Vanguard News Network
VNN Media
VNN Digital Library
VNN Reader Mail
VNN Broadcasts

Old October 12th, 2012 #21
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,338
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter Morrow View Post
I don't think cars nowadays have any soul or styling. You can't pick 'em out anymore. God, give me Studebaker over all this Jap crap. All these heartless, soulless, gutless little econoboxes make me sick.

The current names are awful as well.
You're right about that. I used to own an original Mustang. I drove 76 glorious miles in it, during my tenure. It broke down about as many times. But...and I'm genuinely not interested in things or cars...this car was just cool. Every inch of it. The deep seat, the awesome chuckling purr or throatiness of the ready-to-throttle engine, the hand-tacked carpet, the sheer heaviness of the metal, the chrome, with the leather wrapped around it. It's a made item. An item made by some men, some workers. Just a neat thing - if it actually worked.

But today's cars, while smooth and efficient, and less likely to break down, are all molded gray plastic. They really do lack a soul. They are light and their corners are all rounded. They're not exciting. That's a little bit sad, I think.
 
Old October 12th, 2012 #22
Donnie in Ohio
Switching to glide
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Morrison Hotel
Posts: 9,396
Blog Entries: 11
Donnie in Ohio
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
You're right about that. I used to own an original Mustang. I drove 76 glorious miles in it, during my tenure. It broke down about as many times. But...and I'm genuinely not interested in things or cars...this car was just cool. Every inch of it. The deep seat, the awesome chuckling purr or throatiness of the ready-to-throttle engine, the hand-tacked carpet, the sheer heaviness of the metal, the chrome, with the leather wrapped around it. It's a made item. An item made by some men, some workers. Just a neat thing - if it actually worked.

But today's cars, while smooth and efficient, and less likely to break down, are all molded gray plastic. They really do lack a soul. They are light and their corners are all rounded. They're not exciting. That's a little bit sad, I think.
Google 2012 Grabber Blue Shelby GT500 convertible. I dare you to drive this car and not be grinning like a Special Olympics Gold Medalist.

__________________
"When US gets nuked and NEMO is uninhabitable, I will make my way on foot to the gulf and live off red snapper and grapefruit"- Alex Linder

Last edited by Donnie in Ohio; October 13th, 2012 at 11:12 AM.
 
Old October 14th, 2012 #23
John from Canada
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,158
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick MacThomas View Post
The US car industry is largely a victim of its own stupidity.
Detroit clings to antiquated technologies and refuses to innovate unless it is forced to do so.
The fuel consumption of cars could be cut in half tomorrow by simply replacing petrol engines with turbocharged diesel engines.

The problem with your solution is that one barrel of oil will only yield about 10 gallons of diesel, and an additional 20 gallons of gasoline.

Because North America is very big, most of our diesel is already consumed by the transport industry.

And most of that diesel comes from oil that produces a particularly high yield of gasoline. We need cars that can use this gasoline because there really is no other industrial application for this fuel.

Reducing fuel consumption is much more complicated than what cars we drive. Our demand for petroleum is driven primarily by the transport industry, which is already moving freight as efficiently as possible. The only real change will come about with infrastructure. Better roads and bridges to allow trucks to get where they're going. And that is only possible if people continue to drive cars, and share the cost of that infrastructure.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick MacThomas View Post
No matter how refined or tricked up the petrol engine may become, the essential physics remain unchanged. Under optimum conditions a petrol engine is (at best) 24% efficient at converting the energy potential of the fuel into mechanical energy. A diesel, by comparison, is 40% efficient. This is why a diesel uses about half the fuel to do the same work.
You overlook the fact that diesel fuel contains more energy than gasoline. The efficiency of gasoline engines is also limited by the octane rating of the fuel available to us. In the past oil companies added lead to increase the octane rating of gasoline, allowing carmakers to increase the compression ratios of their engines, and produce more horsepower.

When unleaded gasoline was introduced, horsepower numbers were literally cut in half.
 
Old October 15th, 2012 #24
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,338
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie in Ohio View Post
Google 2012 Grabber Blue Shelby GT500 convertible. I dare you to drive this car and not be grinning like a Special Olympics Gold Medalist.

2012 Shelby GT-500 Convertible Walkaround Start up & Exhaust Rev (Description) - YouTube
That probably would be fun. The one thing I can say about the Mustang was I have never got anything else in life where it was like 10x better than I ever thought it would be. Everything else I knew what I was getting, but I truly didn't appreciate how fun it is to have a super powerful engine and some actual thought put into the design. It's just deeply pleasing to bust out down a road like a bat out of hell, it truly is an awesome feeling. You feel like you're in the mouth of a giant untiring cat, bounding across the Serengeti. I'm trying to think of any other material thing I've had or known that was equally cool. I've liked certain gloves and bats, I guess. When the weight is distributed just right, or the glove is broken in just right, that's a great feeling. The McLuhan model fits - seeing everything as an extension of some human sense or power. The car is like your ability to run infinitely fast and far and never get tired. The bat amplies your strenth. The glove extends your ability to grab things.
 
Old October 15th, 2012 #25
Fred
Commie Killer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,462
Fred
Default

There is nothing like driving a car you enjoy. Whether it be a sports car or a big luxury ride. It is your business.

Unfortunately the people in Washington DC feel differently. They know what is best for you to drive.
 
Old October 15th, 2012 #26
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,338
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred View Post
There is nothing like driving a car you enjoy. Whether it be a sports car or a big luxury ride. It is your business.

Unfortunately the people in Washington DC feel differently. They know what is best for you to drive.
Yeah. I would like to see things a lot more open and free-wheeling. The market will sort out whatever needs it in short order. Instead we have some nigger who's going to sit there and plan out the future of some industry he could never make a buck in by producing something someone actually wanted.
 
Old October 17th, 2012 #27
Donnie in Ohio
Switching to glide
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Morrison Hotel
Posts: 9,396
Blog Entries: 11
Donnie in Ohio
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
That probably would be fun.
It is, boss. It is.

I'm a car guy. Always have been. The Shelby surpasses anything I've ever driven in terms of being able to facilitate adrenaline production by stomping down on the accelerator. It's basically a street-legal race car. In a convertible. 'Nuff said.

I genuinely mourn that today will be the last I'll be able to drive it this year before it is stored.

Quote:
It's just deeply pleasing to bust out down a road like a bat out of hell, it truly is an awesome feeling. You feel like you're in the mouth of a giant untiring cat, bounding across the Serengeti.
Good stuff. You ever think of becoming a writer?
__________________
"When US gets nuked and NEMO is uninhabitable, I will make my way on foot to the gulf and live off red snapper and grapefruit"- Alex Linder
 
Old February 10th, 2013 #28
America First
Senior Member
 
America First's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Earth
Posts: 3,699
America First
Default She mentioned the car industry.



This video interview got less viewers some of Linders radio shows, haa.
__________________
Isn't it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most?

We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples
to lead our country to destruction.

-Charles A. Lindbergh
http://www.fff.org/freedom/0495c.asp

Last edited by America First; February 10th, 2013 at 04:00 AM.
 
Old February 15th, 2014 #29
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,338
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

UAW falls 87 votes short of major victory in South
Associated Press By ERIK SCHELZIG and TOM KRISHER

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Just 87 votes at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee separated the United Auto Workers union from what would have been its first successful organization of workers at a foreign automaker in the South.

Instead of celebrating a potential watershed moment for labor politics in the region, UAW supporters were left crestfallen by the 712-626 vote against union representation in the election that ended Friday night.

The result stunned many labor experts who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.

The loss is a major setback for the UAW's effort to make inroads in the growing South, where foreign automakers have 14 assembly plants, eight built in the past decade, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group at the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Michigan.

"If this was going to work anywhere, this is where it was going to work," she said of the Volkswagen vote.

Organizing a Southern plant is so crucial to the union that UAW President Bob King told workers in a speech that the union has no long-term future without it. The loss means the union remains largely quarantined with the Detroit Three in the Midwest and Northeast.

View galleryFrank Fischer, the chairman and CEO of the Volkswagen …
Frank Fischer, the chairman and CEO of the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, left, and Gary Casteel, a …
Many viewed VW as the union's best chance to gain a crucial foothold in the South because other automakers have not been as welcoming as Volkswagen. Labor interests make up half of the supervisory board at VW in Germany, and they questioned why the Chattanooga plant is the company's only major factory worldwide without formal worker representation.

VW wanted a German-style "works council" in Chattanooga to give employees a say over working conditions. The company says U.S. law won't allow it without an independent union.

In Chattanooga, the union faced stern opposition from Republican politicians who warned that a UAW victory would chase away other automakers who might come to the region.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee was the most vocal opponent, saying that he was told that VW would soon announce plans to build a new SUV in Chattanooga if workers rejected the union. That was later denied by a VW executive, who said the union vote had no bearing on expansion decisions. Other state politicians threatened to cut off state incentives for the plant to expand if the union was approved.

After 53 percent of the workers voted against his union, King said he was outraged at what he called "outside interference" in the election. He wouldn't rule out challenging the outcome with the National Labor Relations Board.

View galleryGary Casteel, right, a regional director for the United …
Gary Casteel, right, a regional director for the United Auto Workers, stands near as Frank Fischer, …
"It's never happened in this country before that the U.S. senator, the governor, the leader of the House, the legislature here, threatened the company with no incentives, threatened workers with a loss of product," King said. "We'll look at all our options in the next few days."

The union could contend that Corker and other local politicians were in collusion with VW and tried to frighten workers into thinking the SUV would be built in Mexico if they voted for the union, said Gary Chaison, a labor relations professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

But Chaison said it will be difficult to tie the politicians to the company, which remained neutral throughout the voting process.

"It's the employer that has real power," he said.

The loss put a spotlight on the union's major difficulty in the South: signing up people who have no history with organized labor and are fearful of being the first in the area to join, Chaison said.

View galleryFILE - In this July 31, 2012 file photo, an employees …
FILE - In this July 31, 2012 file photo, an employees at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., …
Dziczek said the union may have to change its tactics in future organizing efforts, because King's strategy of the union and company working together to help each other did not work.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said through a spokesman that he was pleased with the vote and "looks forward to working with the company on future growth in Tennessee."

Corker echoed that sentiment in a release issued after the vote.

"Needless to say, I am thrilled for the employees at Volkswagen and for our community and its future," he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/uaw-falls-87-v...ance.html?vp=1
 
Old February 15th, 2014 #30
Squarehead Chris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Crawlin' from the wreckage
Posts: 1,951
Squarehead Chris
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie in Ohio View Post
Google 2012 Grabber Blue Shelby GT500 convertible. I dare you to drive this car and not be grinning like a Special Olympics Gold Medalist.

2012 Shelby GT-500 Convertible Walkaround Start up & Exhaust Rev (Description) - YouTube

Ford rubbish.

Actually, I like Ford pick up trucks.
 
Old February 15th, 2014 #31
Roy
Perception Manager
 
Roy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2,794
Roy
Default

If you got some extra money sitting around, invest in Alcoa Aluminium.

Ford is going to be first with the aluminum-based F-150 pickup truck, and then GM and Chrysler are going to probably follow suit if it succeeds.

It's in order to comply with the new MPG requirements.

*covers both ears with hands to ignore free-market spiel about ZOG regulations from AL*

 
Old March 18th, 2014 #32
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,338
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

[jamming together a few posts from lrc re tesla cars and state laws]

Re: Tesla Motors versus The State of New Jersey
Laurence M. Vance

John, just wanted to remind folks that New Jersey has a Republican governor. And the two other states that are against Tesla selling cars; that is, against the free market, are Texas and Arizona. Both have Republican governors and a Republican-controlled legislature. Gee, I thought Republicans were for the free market? They always tell us that they are. Pack of liars.



Tesla Motors versus The State of New Jersey
John Keller

The great entrepreneur Elon Musk gives a textbook example of the collusion between state and entrenched business interests in a post to his Tesla blog. Tesla is now prevented from selling their cars directly, as this upsets the dealership model. The dealerships are of course in bed with the regulatory agency that governs them. This is how nearly all regulatory bodies operate – while claiming to protect the consumer, they actually protect the bloated pre-existing businesses from start-up competitors – cf. ”regulatory capture”

The choicest quote from Mr. Musk’s post:

The rationale given for the regulation change that requires auto companies to sell through dealers is that it ensures “consumer protection”. If you believe this, Gov. Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you! Unless they are referring to the mafia version of “protection”, this is obviously untrue. As anyone who has been through the conventional auto dealer purchase process knows, consumer protection is pretty much the furthest thing from the typical car dealer’s mind.

8:02 am on March 17, 2014
Email John Keller

http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/...of-new-jersey/
 
Old March 18th, 2014 #33
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,338
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

March 14, 2014
To the People of New Jersey
By Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect & CEO

On Tuesday, under pressure from the New Jersey auto dealer lobby to protect its monopoly, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, composed of political appointees of the Governor, ended your right to purchase vehicles at a manufacturer store within the state. Governor Christie had promised that this would be put to a vote of the elected state legislature, which is the appropriate way to change the law. When it became apparent to the auto dealer lobby that this approach would not succeed, they cut a backroom deal with the Governor to circumvent the legislative process and pass a regulation that is fundamentally contrary to the intent of the law.

It is worth examining the history of these laws to understand why they exist, as the auto dealer franchise laws were originally put in place for a just cause and are now being twisted to an unjust purpose. Many decades ago, the incumbent auto manufacturers sold franchises to generate capital and gain a salesforce. The franchisees then further invested a lot of their money and time in building up the dealerships. That’s a fair deal and it should not be broken. However, some of the big auto companies later engaged in pressure tactics to get the franchisees to sell their dealerships back at a low price. The franchisees rightly sought protection from their state legislatures, which resulted in the laws on the books today throughout the United States (these laws are not present anywhere else in the world).

The intent was simply to prevent a fair and longstanding deal between an existing auto company and its dealers from being broken, not to prevent a new company that has no franchisees from selling directly to consumers. In most states, the laws are reasonable and clear. In a handful of states, the laws were written in an overzealous or ambiguous manner. When all auto companies sold through franchises, this didn’t really matter. However, when Tesla came along as a new company with no existing franchisees, the auto dealers, who possess vastly more resources and influence than Tesla, nonetheless sought to force us to sell through them.

The reason that we did not choose to do this is that the auto dealers have a fundamental conflict of interest between promoting gasoline cars, which constitute virtually all of their revenue, and electric cars, which constitute virtually none. Moreover, it is much harder to sell a new technology car from a new company when people are so used to the old. Inevitably, they revert to selling what’s easy and it is game over for the new company.

The evidence is clear: when has an American startup auto company ever succeeded by selling through auto dealers? The last successful American car company was Chrysler, which was founded almost a century ago, and even they went bankrupt a few years ago, along with General Motors. Since the founding of Chrysler, there have been dozens of failures, Tucker and DeLorean being simply the most well-known. In recent years, electric car startups, such as Fisker, Coda, and many others, attempted to use auto dealers and all failed.

An even bigger conflict of interest with auto dealers is that they make most of their profit from service, but electric cars require much less service than gasoline cars. There are no oil, spark plug or fuel filter changes, no tune-ups and no smog checks needed for an electric car. Also, all Tesla Model S vehicles are capable of over-the-air updates to upgrade the software, just like your phone or computer, so no visit to the service center is required for that either.

Going a step further, I have made it a principle within Tesla that we should never attempt to make servicing a profit center. It does not seem right to me that companies try to make a profit off customers when their product breaks. Overcharging people for unneeded servicing (often not even fixing the original problem) is rampant within the industry and happened to me personally on several occasions when I drove gasoline cars. I resolved that we would endeavor never to do such a thing at Tesla, as described in the Tesla service blog post I wrote last year.

Why Did They Claim That This Change Was Necessary?

The rationale given for the regulation change that requires auto companies to sell through dealers is that it ensures “consumer protection”. If you believe this, Gov. Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you! Unless they are referring to the mafia version of “protection”, this is obviously untrue. As anyone who has been through the conventional auto dealer purchase process knows, consumer protection is pretty much the furthest thing from the typical car dealer’s mind.

There are other ways to assess the premise that auto dealers take better care of customers than Tesla does. Consumer Reports conducts an annual survey of 1.1 million subscribers, which factors in quality, reliability and consumer satisfaction. The Tesla Model S was the top overall pick of any vehicle in the world, scoring 99 out of 100. This is the highest score any car has ever received. By comparison, in the industry report card, Ford, which sells their cars through franchise dealers, received a score of 50. BMW, which makes competing premium sedans, received a score of 66.

Consumers across the country have also voiced their opinion on the sales model they prefer. In North Carolina, a Triangle Business Journal poll found that 97 percent of people polled said Tesla should be allowed to sell cars directly. A poll by the Austin Business Journal showed that 86 percent of respondents were in favor of direct sales, and in a Los Angeles Times poll 99 percent of respondents came to the same conclusion. These aren’t polls that we commissioned and there are many more like them. We have not seen a single poll that didn’t result in an overwhelming majority saying they preferred the direct model to the traditional dealer model. Democracy is supposed to reflect the will of the people. When a politician acts in a manner so radically opposed to the will of the people who elected him, the only explanation is that there are other factors at play.

Going Forward

Some reassurances are also in order. Until at least April 1, everything is business as usual for Tesla in New Jersey. It should also be noted that this regulation deals only with sales, so our service centers will not be affected. Our stores will transition to being galleries, where you can see the car and ask questions of our staff, but we will not be able to discuss price or complete a sale in the store. However, that can still be done at our Manhattan store just over the river in Chelsea or our King of Prussia store near Philadelphia.

Most importantly, even after April 1, you will still be able to order vehicles from New Jersey for delivery in New Jersey on our TeslaMotors.com website.

We are evaluating judicial remedies to correct the situation. Also, if you believe that your right to buy direct at a Tesla store should be restored, please contact your state senator & assemblyman: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/distric...ictnumbers.asp.

Finally, we would like to thank the many people who showed up in Trenton on Tuesday to support Tesla and speak out against the MVC’s back-door tactics in passing this regulation change without public consultation or due process. It was an amazing response at very short notice and much appreciated.

Elon

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/people-new-jersey
 
Old April 5th, 2014 #34
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,338
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

What Might Cars Cost If We Had a Free Market?

by eric • April 4, 2014 • 38 Comments

It’s a common gripe that new cars cost too much – and, they do.

As of last year, the average transaction price paid for a new car exceeded $30,000 for the first time. Of course, it’s still very possible to buy a new car for less than $30,000. But even the least expensive new cars start around $15,000 – and that’s a lot of money for many people. Too much money for many people, in fact. There’s a reason for the extension of car loans from the once-typical three or four years to five – and even six. With seven surely on the horizon (though this is self-limiting because of depreciation; people will find themselves “upside down” on their car loan. But that’s another article).

The reason car loans are as long as they are is to mask the true cost – the unaffordability – of new cars, measured in terms of the average person’s ability to pay for them. If you earn the (roughly) $54,000 or so annually that the average person – the average family – earns, finding $400 a month to pay for a five-year loan on a bread-and-butter family car such as a Toyota Camry purchased for $24k (which would – just barely – get you into a base trim Camry with very few options) is simply not feasible. So, the payments are pushed out to six years – and that brings the monthly nut down to about $330.

Still, it’s a lot of debt to assume – and for most people, debt is all-but-unavoidable because they don’t have the cash to buy outright. Financing – debt – is inevitable.empty pockets pic

But why have cars become so expensive?

Logically, they ought to be getting less expensive all the time – because of manufacturing efficiencies, because the basic technology has been sorted out years ago, and many other reasons besides.

In some respects, they are less expensive – in that it’s now routine for cars to come standard with features and equipment that in the past were available only in a few high-end cars. Fuel injection is a good example. If you rewind the historical clock to 1980, fuel injection was exotic technology; virtually all mass-market cars still had carburetors. Same goes for other technical great leaps forward like overdrive (and CVT and dual-clutch) automatic transmissions, as well as the near-ubiquity these days of amenities such as climate control air conditioning, excellent factory audio systems – even heated seats.

But, while such features have become more mass market, the cars themselves are – demonstrably – much more expensive than they might otherwise be.

Because of the myriad mandates the government has imposed.

Whether these mandates are “good things” isn’t the issue. The issue – for purposes of our discussion – is the cost of these mandates.

It’s hard to nail down the exact tab, especially as regards the mandates that effectively dictate fundamental design (here I refer to impact standards, fuel efficiency and emissions requirements). But the cost of add-on mandates can be identified with some degree of accuracy, based on government/industry statements as well as extrapolated from the known cost of parts/repair. Let’s take a look at some of these – and get a handle on the price of the “features” we’re all being forced to buy:

* Back-up cameras -back-up 1

The most recent add-on mandate (see here for more) will add at least $140 to the purchase price of your next new car – by the government’s own estimate. This estimate does not factor in repair/replacement costs, nor the likely increase in insurance costs (generally) as a result of increased repair costs following accidents. Let’s call it $500 in total/lifetime costs – which is almost certainly under-estimating it.

* ABS/Traction control -

We can estimate the add-on costs because these now-standard (by mandate) features were once optional. I dug up a window sticker for a 1990 Toyota Camry (pictured above; also see here). ABS was optional that year. And the option added $1,300 to the car’s MSRP. Here’s another article – also from 1990 – discussing the cost of then-optional ABS. The writer confirms the range $900-$1,000 or thereabouts.

Now, it’s true that in 1990 ABS (and traction control, which works using the ABS) were relatively new technologies and, as such, their cost was higher then – in the same way that the first microwaves and laptops were more expensive than they are now. But even if we cut the cost of ABS/traction control by a third to account for amortization of the R&D, the lowered cost of components – and so forth – we’re still looking at another $300-$500 per car. And, again, we’re low-balling in order to put the most favorable (to the control freaks who mandate all this stuff) spin on everything.ABS pic

Down-the-road costs should also be acknowledged. An ABS system includes additional parts such as wheel speed sensors, the ABS pump and of course the computer brain to run it all. While it is not guaranteed that every owner of every ABS-equipped car will have to pay to replace the car’s ABS pump (several hundred bucks, typically) or wheel speed sensors or its computer, the possibility is both there and not remote. Indeed, it becomes increasingly likely that some ABS (or traction control) related component will fail as the years go by and the mileage accumulates. And the bill for repairs will be sent to you – not the bureaucrat or pol who forced you to buy ABS in the first place.

* Air bags -air bags picture

This is the Big One. Not merely because the airbags themselves cost a lot (though they do cost a lot) but also because of the sheer number of them in the typical modern car and because of the ruinous repair costs they impose if they deploy.

And – even if they don’t deploy.

Let’s start with the cost of the bags themselves. And the number of bags we’re dealing with.

Very few cars built within the past five years have fewer than four air bags – and six or more is very quickly becoming common. Some new cars have eight or more air bags. There are frontal impact, side/door impact, knee and roof air bags.

Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that each air bag and its related components adds $100 to the bottom line price of a new car. Minimally, then, the air bags add $400 to the price of a car equipped with just four air bags. Which, again, is very few new cars. Most 2014 cars have at least six air bags.

So, $600.

And $100 per air bag is probably under-estimating the cost by several hundred percent. Consider that the cost to replace just the driver and passenger side air bags is typically in the range of $1,500-$2,000.

That’s for two.

Remember: Almost all new cars have at least four – and most have six.

Now, it’s true that replacement costs – and factory-installed costs – are different kinds of costs. But the replacement costs are just as real. Which you’ll discover, if you get into an accident in an air bag-equipped car. Especially if it’s an older car. If the average retail value of the vehicle is much less than $10,000 it is extremely likely the vehicle – even if otherwise repairable – will be “totaled” by the insurance company solely because the cost to replace the air bags can and frequently does push the fix-it estimate to within 50 percent of the vehicle’s pre-accident value. At which point, most insurance adjusters will junk the car rather than authorize repairs.

Even if you never wreck – and the bags never deploy – you still pay. Because your insurance premium – everyone’s insurance premium – is based on the cost to repair (or to throw away) the air bag-equipped car in the event of an accident.

But let’s be conservative and call it another $600 “up front” for a car with six air bags – and again, we’re likely low-balling it by orders of magnitude. irs

All right. Let’s add ‘em up:

Back-up cameras: $500.

ABS/traction control: $1,000.

Air bags (six): $600


That’s a very conservatively figured $2,100 in Additional Sticker Shock. And this rough math does not include the unseen – the harder to nail down – costs imposed by such things as bumper impact, rollover/roof crush/side impact standards, the huge costs of complying with the federal government’s ever-increasing fuel economy standards (the cars save you money on fuel, but cost more to buy) and its ever-more-draconian (for ever-diminishing-returns) tailpipe emissions standards. These things probably add – again, very conservatively estimated – 20 percent to the typical new car’s sticker price.

If we assume a new car with a sticker price of say $20,000 (and this would be a modestly priced/entry-level car these days), 20 percent would be about $4,000 – plus the $2,100 for the add-ons (ABS/TCS, back-up cameras, air bags, etc.) .

So, $6,100 of the $20,000 car’s MSRP is the cost of the mandates to you.

Put another way, if these mandates didn’t exist – if the car companies were free to build cars the way you, the customer, wanted them to built – it would mean that $20,000 car might only list for $14,000. And there would almost certainly be “basic transportation” new cars available for $8,000 or less.

Such cars are, in fact, available in other parts of the world. (See here, here, here and here, for some examples.)

Parts of the world where the government hasn’t yet interposed itself between the customer and the car company – dictating to the car company how cars shall be made . . . and to customers, what they shall buy.

Throw it in the Woods?

Eric Peters is a veteran car/bike journalist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs. Twitter handle: LibertarianCarG

If you like what you’ve been reading here, please consider tossing EPautos.com a couple bucks. We’re a reader-supported outfit and depend on you to keep the wheels turning.

Our donate button is here. For those not Pay Pal-inclined, you can mail us at the following:

EPautos
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

http://ericpetersautos.com/2014/04/0...t-free-market/

Last edited by Alex Linder; April 5th, 2014 at 09:52 AM.
 
Old April 5th, 2014 #35
Donnie in Ohio
Switching to glide
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Morrison Hotel
Posts: 9,396
Blog Entries: 11
Donnie in Ohio
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarehead Chris View Post
Ford rubbish.
You consider a Shelby GT500 rubbish? What the hell do you drive Chris, a Lamborghini?

Paganus.
__________________
"When US gets nuked and NEMO is uninhabitable, I will make my way on foot to the gulf and live off red snapper and grapefruit"- Alex Linder
 
Old April 5th, 2014 #36
Squarehead Chris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Crawlin' from the wreckage
Posts: 1,951
Squarehead Chris
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie in Ohio View Post
You consider a Shelby GT500 rubbish? What the hell do you drive Chris, a Lamborghini?

Paganus.
No, actually this pagan drives a 450SL most of the time.
I also own and drive a mid-sized GM 4WHD pick up.
I was just taking a jab at the Ford folks out there cause I knew I'd get a rise.
The Ford/Chevy rivalry goes back decades.

I like Fords too.

Last edited by Squarehead Chris; April 5th, 2014 at 12:37 PM.
 
Old April 5th, 2014 #37
Donnie in Ohio
Switching to glide
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Morrison Hotel
Posts: 9,396
Blog Entries: 11
Donnie in Ohio
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarehead Chris View Post
No, actually this pagan drives a 450SL most of the time.
In the original Latin, Paganus roughly translates to "peasant ". Nothing personal.


Quote:
I also own and drive a mid-sized GM 4WHD pick up.
I was just taking a jab at the Ford folks out there cause I knew I'd get a rise.
The Ford/Chevy rivalry goes back decades.

I like Fords too.
I hear you. I'm a car guy too. I like a lot of different models. Not really into trucks or imports, although the wife drives an SUV, which I have to admit is a nice vehicle.
__________________
"When US gets nuked and NEMO is uninhabitable, I will make my way on foot to the gulf and live off red snapper and grapefruit"- Alex Linder
 
Old April 6th, 2014 #38
Nigel Thornberry
Ole' Cyber Crusher
 
Nigel Thornberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,386
Nigel Thornberry
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie in Ohio View Post
I hear you. I'm a car guy too. I like a lot of different models. Not really into trucks or imports, although the wife drives an SUV, which I have to admit is a nice vehicle.

I'm buying one of these today.

Should be useful given the 6 month winters around here.
 
Old April 6th, 2014 #39
Jimmy Marr
Moderator
 
Jimmy Marr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Jew S. A.
Posts: 3,674
Jimmy Marr
Default

I just got news that my son rolled my daughter's mother-in-law's brand new Porsche last night.

He's OK, physically. The car is toast.

I'm sure the full details of how this came to pass will be s-l-o-w to come out.

Apparently, he was making a store run from a party. This happened in a small town and the first responders (fire and police) were attending the party, so this may mitigate legal complications.
 
Old April 6th, 2014 #40
Mike in Denver
Enkidu
 
Mike in Denver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Under the Panopticon.
Posts: 4,133
Mike in Denver
Default

There is more than an undercurrent of a movement in the world to get rid of cars. By that I mean human driven cars. I've been reading articles and watching videos and it is obvious, not hidden at all, that those who run the world, or think they do, have decided to replace cars with driverless cars, probably within 10 years, even sooner.

The technology is there and it works and is improving. Google is already, with government approval, using driverless cars in four states and the District of Columbia. Tesla is also involved, as is BMW, and pretty much every car manufacturer.

Will they succeed? It is difficult to see how, at least in the US. The US doesn't seem populated with people who would be willing to give up their right to drive. I grew up with muscle cars, sports cars, and large pickup trucks. I've owned all of these and have an affection for pickup trucks.

But, will they succeed? Yes, if they really want it, and we don't have a calamitous economic event (and we won't,) and if they persist, yes, they will succeed. When you are stubbornly driving your 8,000 lb SUV to work, in the one lane permitted to driven cars, fighting to average 12 miles an hour, burning $6.50 gas, and you look to your right (or left) and see three lanes of driverless cars streaming by at 75 miles an hour, in cars that get three times the mileage, and cost less, by far, than your SUV, through government subsidies, and you turn your attention back to driving just in time to feel the impact of the even larger SUV driving through your back bumper...then you will give up the SUV and move to a small driverless car, or at least your wife (well, soon to be ex-wife,) will move to a small driverless car with her new (geek) husband.

They will succeed by making it cheaper, and easier, and more convenient than the alternative. If they are willing to do this, then they will succeed.

And to repeat myself, the technology is there, it works, is safe, and is getting better. Do a Google search on "driverless cars" and read the articles. Then repeat the search with videos, and watch the videos.

Sorry folks.

Mike
__________________
You have to remember I live in Denver and some things are perfectly legal here that aren't where you live.

Last edited by Mike in Denver; April 6th, 2014 at 01:20 PM.
 
Reply

Tags
#1

Share


Thread
Display Modes


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:37 PM.
Page generated in 0.21029 seconds.