Americans hate small cars

Posted by: Barthélemy Barbancourt

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SUVs saved Chrysler

Chrysler's return to profitability is a direct result of the fabulous success of its SUVs.

Chrysler Group reported sales were up 17 percent to 1.1 million vehicles in 2010 on the strength of its wildly popular, redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs. For CEO Marchionne, the SUVs success in the U.S. market has been a revelation and he is planning to expand the SUV lineup into Europe with Alfa Romeo and Maserati-badged trucks. Marchionne is no starry-eyed green - he has realized that trucks like the Cherokee typically rake in twice the per-vehicle profit of cars.

Americans only buy small cars when they are forced to and  they trade them for trucks as soon as they are able to.

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TomC
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written by TomC , May 24, 2011

This is supported by he insanity of GM (still significantly Government Motors) going "green" by abandoning several marginally profitable lines and then selling the Volt for less than it costs to build it. Perhaps they will make it up in volume?

Manufacturers only build small unprofitable vehicles because there are government mandates for them to do so. Either specific mandates or CAFE type regulations forcing the issue. Look forward to Boeing-style NRLB type mandates in the future forcing the "Big 3" -- (can we still call them that?) to knuckle under to some inane rulings.



Barthélemy Barbancourt
CAFE kills
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 24, 2011

The CAFE standards have resulted in small, unsafe cars that have killed drivers and passengers.

One of the best things Congress could do for passenger safety is to remove the CAFE standards.



Woody
Americans "hate" small cars..
written by Woody , May 25, 2011

.. but there's sure a hell of a lot of them on the road. Kudos to Chrysler group for repaying the >$7 billion loan PLUS INTEREST in a wire transfer to the US Treasury yesterday. They also turned a profit for the first time in five years! They are also retooling some of their manufacturing facilities in anticipation of producing smaller cars in anticipation of greater demand for these vehicles. These plants are adding 20-30% additional employees to their work force. I guess we can stop calling Chrysler "Government Motors" now can't we.


JW of Minnesota
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written by JW of Minnesota , May 25, 2011

Chrysler still manufactures, and has for 30 years, shit vehicles.

Had the bailout not occurred, I don't think it would have been a big loss without Chrysler's horrible cars. I can see some justification for bailing out GM, but not Chrysler.




Woody
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written by Woody , May 25, 2011

I can't dispute that JW Chrysler does make shit cars but they sure sell a lot of em. Imagine how many PT Cruisers with body rot you will see around town in 5 years or so. The bailout did save Chrysler and, with it, thousands of manufacturing jobs. Maybe Chrysler can show some gratitude by improving the quality of their vehicles. Chevys doing it.


Jim ross
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written by Jim ross , May 25, 2011

Americans have a lot of shit. And we keep hatching out kids even though they make us miserable. Until those two facts change, it's silly to push small cars on the masses. Target your small-car efforts to those of us that are sane and do not have children or own an entire warehouse full of junk we rarely use.


Woody
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written by Woody , May 25, 2011

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Barthélemy Barbancourt
Sam's Club and Home Depot
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 25, 2011

First, there are a ton of mid-sized cars on the roads, very few Honda Fit's and Smart cars. The American definition of a "small" car is a Ford Taurus.

Second, I recently traded in my Jeep for a Mercedes C350. It is amazing how this has affected my ability to shop. I can't fit anything in the trunk. I am switching back to an SUV as I can't adjust how I live and shop to fit this new limitation.

Many Americans have had the same experience and they switch back to an SUV ASAP. Our lifestyle doesn't accommodate small cars that won't fit the Sam's Club package of TP in the trunk.

In short, given that 70% of our economy is based on consumer products, we had better hope Americans don't switch to small cars and permanently alter how they shop.



Woody
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written by Woody , May 25, 2011

Sounds like there might be an opportunity out there to market trailers to small car owners for running errands. Might make me reconsider that Triumph TR6 I've always wanted but can't justify.


Barthélemy Barbancourt
Nah, rain, snow, storage
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 25, 2011

Urban home owners and people how live in sub-divisions with associations don't have the room or ability to store a trailer. Plus I don't want to put the Sam's Club TP in a trailer and tarp it down. I want to throw it in the back on go.

Also, very few small cars have a tow hitch, trailer light connection or any towing capacity. If you look at US ratings, you'd find that to tow any trailer you need to know the GVWR as CARGO CAPACITY = GVWR - Empty Trailer Weight. Check out the listing for cars like the Honda Fit and you find that they are not rated as they are not recommended for towing ANYTHING!

Scion doesn't list a GVWR for any vehicle it makes, nor do the Saturn Ion and Astra. Small cars are near useless to the average American.



Woody
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written by Woody , May 25, 2011

So the dream of the TR6 with 1/2 cord of firewood is dead. Thanks Bart!




Barthélemy Barbancourt
I probably saved you some $$
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 25, 2011

Johnny Law would probably arrest you.


jk noreen
Woody- Economist or Shill?
written by jokin , May 25, 2011

Americans "hate" small cars..
written by Woody , May 25, 2011

.. but there's sure a hell of a lot of them on the road. Kudos to Chrysler group for repaying the >$7 billion loan PLUS INTEREST in a wire transfer to the US Treasury yesterday. They also turned a profit for the first time in five years! They are also retooling some of their manufacturing facilities in anticipation of producing smaller cars in anticipation of greater demand for these vehicles. These plants are adding 20-30% additional employees to their work force. I guess we can stop calling Chrysler "Government Motors" now can't we."

No, no we "can't". The government still owns about 7% of Chrysler.

Pretending that Chrysler is suddenly a healthy company is absurd. The company is, in the long run, still essentially a parapalegic in a hot tub- cooked! The unions and the crappy cars are paralyzing elements that the company simply can't throw off.

The loan you mention was "repaid" with funds gathered from yet another set of loans and a bond sale. Obama inflicted huge market distortions from the bailouts, cash for clunkers, imposition of a Fasicst/Socialist-tainted Fiat as new master of the company, and, of course, the theft of the previous creditors' bond holdings- all to prop up an outmoded Mid-20th Century business model- the US economy will likely never be the same.

I suspect Chairman Marchionne (Fiat) knew that Obama was a crony capitalist's dream, a soft touch. He promised Obama he would inflict the One's greenie vision of crappy Fiat mini-cars in every driveway in Amerika, Wink-Wink, knowing full well he could play Obama as easily as he played GM and others in previous deals- now he's got cheaper financing and a pending infusion of new IPO funds to build and sell EVEN MORE trucks, knowing the union's seat at the table will "help" the EPA to continue to look the other way a while longer on the CAFE violations. Woody seems to swallow the CAFE Kool-Aid just as readily as BHO did.



Woody
jokin seems to swallow....
written by Woody , May 25, 2011

..... the anti-American Kool-Aid served up by right wing radio. At least somebody still listens to that crap. Seen the Arbitrons lately?? Ouch!!


jk noreen
Predictable response...
written by jokin , May 25, 2011

jokin seems to swallow....
written by Woody , May 25, 2011

..... the anti-American Kool-Aid served up by right wing radio. At least somebody still listens to that crap. Seen the Arbitrons lately?? Ouch!!"

Well, that made no sense, had no relevance, and utterly failed to answer any of the facts, as stated.







Woody
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written by Woody , May 26, 2011

Jokin, you're statement is tainted by anti-American (Amerika) sentiment and false references to communism/socialism/parapalegics in hot tubs (you kiddin me???). It deserves no response. I believe in a stronger America and a resurgence of American manufacturing. You can continue to cheerlead for the failure of this great Country but I refuse to participate in this nonsense. Good day!


Barthélemy Barbancourt
So you support rotary phone subsidies?
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 26, 2011

How about subsidizing the typewriter industry?

I'm pro-jobs and pro-growth but I oppose propping up out-dated industries and business models. The Union model of the 50's no long works for auto companies in 2011. Chrysler and GM will either have to change or die. I'd prefer that they change through the legal bankruptcy process just like the airlines did. I flew on bankrupt airlines and I'd buy a car from a bankrupt car maker.

If you are pro-job, should we try to bring back Enron and Arthur Anderson? They both employed thousands of people.



jk noreen
Clever satire? No,just Fail
written by jokin , May 26, 2011

...
written by Woody , May 26, 2011

"Jokin, you're statement is tainted by anti-American (Amerika) sentiment and false references to communism/socialism/parapalegics in hot tubs (you kiddin me???). It deserves no response. I believe in a stronger America and a resurgence of American manufacturing. You can continue to cheerlead for the failure of this great Country but I refuse to participate in this nonsense. Good day!"

You continually circle jerk the discussion, but you're not fooling anyone. You say that my factual and (occasionally) colorful metaphorical comments "deserve no response" and "cheerleading for failure" "nonsense" because you know you can't respond intelligently to the basic facts about Chrysler, Fiat and Obama. Nice job of false conlations, too, but of course everyone's already wise to your rhetorical nudgery.

FYI, you well know this, but it's worth stating clearly: we (once again) share common ground on the principle of "a stronger America and a resurgence of American manufacturing"- it just ain't gonna happen in Woody's Retro-America or in Obama's "Just Say No, Amerika!" in answer to Adam Smith's neat, elegant and time-tested idea of letting the free market make the economy's choices for who wins and loses.




jk noreen
sp. edit
written by jokin , May 26, 2011

Nice job of false CONFLATIONS, too, but of course everyone's already wise to your rhetorical nudgery.





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