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Discussion Starter #1
CNN/Money did a gallery on past concept cars. It's at http://money.cnn.com/2003/06/23/pf/auto ... Y_LINK.JPG

Note the next to last car for shoppers. The concept car did not have an engine, but for 1963, this looks an awful lot like the Insight. If only GM was farsighted enought to take the subcompact car market then...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Irony is everything Nader said about the Corvair (the family had one for 18 years), is essentially a large VW Beetle. They are still going to make the original Beetle for a few more months.
 

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I think the 1951 Le Sabre is closer to the Insight with its magnesium / aluminium and plastic body. That Shopper's car is a joke - you have to push it around like a trolley. They could have at least put in pedals!
 

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I think the "pusher" car is a perfect example of what is wrong with American car manufacturers. They work on design before they work on engineering. The designer/engineer ratio is far too heavy on design and not nearly substantial enough in engineering compared to European or Japanese manufacturers. This is short-sighted, focussed far more on eye candy, trying to make the sale instead of providing a car with sufficient quality to deserve a reputation for reliability, efficiency, ecology or safety.
 

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I think the problem is they just spend too much on marketting and cash incentives, and hardly anything on engineering at all. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem unusual for a lot of American companies.

I'm just wondering when the American car manufacturers are going to wake up. They've been losing marketshare against the Japanese for the last 20 years. At this rate, in another 10-15 years Toyota and Honda will meet and surpass their marketshare in the US car market. Of course, one of the big three will probably go bankrupt before that point, anyway.

I don't see much future in the American car manufacturers unless they wake up and get back to innovating. They're way behind the Japanes in R&D. Sure, they say hybrids are just a novelty, but the truth is that's only because they don't have any. Maybe there's even some truth to that, but the bottomline is you can't just always be bringing up the rear in terms of technology. Especially not when the Japanese are perfectly willing to go for the throat.
 

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"I think the problem is they just spend too much on marketting and cash incentives, and hardly anything on engineering at all."

When I was a kid, we had a '55 Chevy for a while. For its time, it was a decent car. Had one annoying problem, though: every so often the shift linkage would get stuck between first & second, and you'd have to stop and jiggle the linkage with a screwdriver.

So a couple of decades later, I bought a 70-something Chevy, which was a piece of crud - and in addition to everything else that was wrong, every so often the shift linkage would get stuck between first & second. Yeah, 20-some years, and they were
still using the same bad design!

"At this rate, in another 10-15 years Toyota and Honda will meet and surpass their marketshare in the US car market."

Huh? Judging from what I see going by, they already have. At least when you add in Nissan, Subaru, and the Korean makes.
 

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The American Car compaines are determined to create only big ticket items like Trucks and SUVs, these cars have a higher profit ratio than compact cars like the Civic or Focus. If i had to choose one American car that has a chance in the market it would be the Focus simply because its a copy of what makes the Civic a great car.

But American car compaines do try at least a little bit, and Ford is far better in this catagory than GM.

Just for kicks check out the Ford EcoSport a SUV step in the right direction rather than a larger excursion.

But can't get it in North America. Kinda fun looking if you ask me
http://www.ford.com.br/
 

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Though you have to answer the chicken/egg question first: do US automakers build large cars because that's what their customers seem to want, or do the customers want them because that's what the automakers want to build and sell.

I think myself that it all boils down to simple psychology, of the same sort that leads to all that penis/breast enlargement spam. Some poor schmuck thinks his equipment is too small, so he goes out and buys a Hummer to compensate :)
 

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While I agree on the topic of compensation, given that you can walk into a dealer with no idea of what you want and walk out with a Hummer just by following the salesman's advice, but you pretty much need to get rude and pushy to get an Insight with a 5-speed transmission, it would probably be short-sighted to not credit car salesmen with much of the bias toward vehicles most likely to expedite the end of civilization as we know it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm wondering why there has not been a commericial that blantanly appeals to the baser instincts of people that buy their monster vehicle. Imagine an ad that has someone weaving rapidly in traffic, practically bouncing other vehichles off the road in the process, playing heavy-metal. The grill has a tiger shark painted. The narrator is relentlessly pumping up the audience exhorting you to "KICK BUTT", "KICK BUTT".

I know such a commericial sounds absurd, and even insulting, but I frankly think it would be an outrageously successful commericial. Quite a number of drivers apparently want to act this out and don't care how assine their behavior is.
 
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