2006/11/28

Big Auto Predicts An End To California's SUVs

And Blognonymous says...GOOD!

From the San Francisco Chronicle -
The auto industry said Monday that lawsuits over vehicles' greenhouse gas emissions could eventually force manufacturers to eliminate big SUVs from the market in California
You know what, a vehicle with a grill so high that you can't spot a pedestrian in front of you is not a good thing! A vehicle that weighs 3 tons but that isn't any safer than your average mini-van is not a good thing. A vehicle that sucks down gasoline like a drunk with a 1/5th of Mad Dog, is not a good thing.

And if Big Auto can't see their way clear to building a more fuel efficient SUV in order to satisfy our regulations, then F*CK 'EM! Let them be consigned to the dustbin of history cause we're talking about our air here, and we've got the worst in the nation. But don't worry Californians. If GM won't build a better SUV, Toyata will. Oh wait...Toyota already does.

19 Comments:

If we all drove Flintstone-mobiles, we wouldn't have so many damn fat kids.
there's also the one-upsmanship factor in considering why these behemoths proliferate even with sky-high gas prices ... when drivers of regular size vehicles are dwarfed & can't even see around corners, they feel unsafe & vow "my next car will be a big SUV".

but, is there any real hope of a calif suv-ban when your own governor is in love with them? ooh, i like fred's idea, maybe pedi-cabs are the future. ~~ D.K.
You know what, a vehicle with a grill so high that you can't spot a pedestrian in front of you is not a good thing!
Nor is a car so small a truck can't see you when they back up. I drive a Toyota. The mechanics I've watched work, cuss their hybrids to the high heavens. Just not quite ready for prime time, nor do they get anything remotely close to the advertised mileage. I know it's the in thing now to diss domestic automakers to hell and back. They are only building what the public is asking for!! And "hybrids" being "developed" pop up like so many weeds in my lawn when gas prices go up....then it all disappears. "Make it look like we're doing something....."

Now then:) About the millions of paved acres in those damn malls lit up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Guess what kind of fuel it takes to make them shine?:)
they need to be outlawed everywhere...except where people actually need them for work reasons...

funny in europe they hate our cars as they break too easily and create too much smog...
The mechanics I've watched work, cuss their hybrids to the high heavens. Just not quite ready for prime time, nor do they get anything remotely close to the advertised mileage.

TFWY, Oh come on... Mechanics, like most hourly earners, want to work on jobs that take an hour or less (their highest work/profit ratio). Hybrids are more complex and take longer. Boo hoo. And as for mileage: Bringing up the fact that hybrids don't get the "advertised" mileage (an EPA measurement issue) is just a way to dodge the essential point. Hybrids get better mileage and with lower emissions. Whether it's 100% or 50% is not relevant.

I know it's the in thing now to diss domestic automakers to hell and back. They are only building what the public is asking for!! And "hybrids" being "developed" pop up like so many weeds in my lawn when gas prices go up....then it all disappears.

Where you are, that last remark is probably true. But here in California--and remember that it is California's, NOT FREAKIN' MICHIGAN's, regulations that we're talking about--the waiting lists for hybrids, from Escapes to Highlanders to Prius', are months long.

Now then:) About the millions of paved acres in those damn malls lit up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Guess what kind of fuel it takes to make them shine?:)

In my world, having both problems is not an excuse for failing to deal with either. California can do what-the-f*ck it wants without Bu$hCo and Big Auto interference, and Detroit's threat-making is just PR that they use to try and save their sorry asses from regulation.

Sorry for the tirade. You and I seem to argue this topic frequently.
Fred, if we all drove Flintstone mobiles I'd be complaining about how the blockheads behind the wheels are running over us pedestrians with big f*cking rocks! :-)

D.K., it's not really a ban so much as an attempt to regulate CO2 as a "greenhouse" gas.

AZG, Europe is god on the greenhouse gas emissions but not so good on the NO2 and emissions of particulate matter.
I think that American automakers need to learn from history. They had a pretty good thing going until Toyotas, Datsuns and Subarus started showing up in the U.S. It didn't take long for consumers to realize these imports were more reliable and generally of a higher quality than American cars. It took our automakers quite a while to catch up in terms of quality, if they have actually ever caught up.

Now Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, et al are firmly entrenched in the American market, and something new, hybrid technology, is being introduced to America by innovative Japanese engineers. Consumers are beginning to catch on to hybrid cars, and the same kind of American laughing and dissing of that technology is going on now that went on 30 years ago when we first started seeing Toyota mini-trucks, Datsun sedans, etc. This is particularly noticeable in large U.S. metro areas, but it is eventually going to trickle down to rural areas as well.

My family and I live about 250 miles east of Portland, Oregon in a very rural area, and we drive hybrid Toyotas. They handle well, they work well in cold weather, the gas mileage may not be as good as advertised but I'll take 40-50 mpg on the highway with fewer emissions and less gasoline anyday, if given a choice between that and an SUV that gets 20-25 mpg tops.

I do live in town, and I know that a lot of people who live out a ways in our county definitely need their 4WD SUVs to get around in winter. There are certain areas of the mountains around here that are nice to be able to get to in the summertime, and passenger cars don't quite make it to some of those spots... So I would be skeptical about California trying to enforce a ban on large SUVs, considering there are quite a few who live in remote areas and might actually have a need for more powerful vehicles. I could see some kind of fees, fines, etc. for driving an SUV as one's primary vehicle in some large cities, where the road and winter weather conditions don't merit such a large vehicle.

Anyway, given that it took American automakers so long to catch up with the Japanese the first time, it seems they wouldn't want to be caught behind the eight ball again. Granted, they may just be manufacturing what they know people will buy, but what if people decide there are better things to buy... and the automakers have to play catch-up again? I don't like the thought of our major automakers going under, but it seems like that may just what they are bringing on themselves.

"Made in Japan" used to bring howls of laughter and derision among Americans until about 30 years ago... but it seems like some Americans still just don't "get it". Call it pride, hubris, whatever... but I am afraid the continuation of such attitudes will come back to bite us all in our collective butt during the next couple of decades when it comes to cars.
I have never owned a Japanese-named automobile. I doubt that I ever will.

And it has nothing to do with reliability, gas mileage or anything else - it has to do with the fact that the Japanese still treat women like 3rd class citizens.

Oh, it's downplayed considerably, but I've worked for Japanese owned companies. I know wherefrom I doth speak.

I will not intentionally support the economy of a country that considers a person's worth based primarily upon their liquid waste elimination facilities.
Snave, Sewmouse...the real crux of the issue seems to be getting lost in the discussion.

The issue at hand is California's attempt to get the EPA to regulate green-house gases under the Clean Air Act and the administration's and auto industry's attempts to prevent it. California is, in essence, trying to set a higher standard in order to clean up our, very dirty, air. The US automakers are, of course, trying to prevent us from achieving that, and this latest announcement is a scare tactic. They want to get California consumers to tell the state government to stop the lawsuit so that they can go on selling high-price, high-profit, high-emissions, low milegage, lightly regulated SUVs rather than have to trim their profit margins to make compliant cars.
I would support California. I should say though, that I don't live there and I also am not a fan of most SUVs. The highlight of my winter is to see some idiot in an SUV flipped over in the median here in Minnesota. It is not funny if someone is hurt, of course, but I watch them driving like it is clear and just wait for them to hit a pole so I can stop and compliment their big ass vehicle
Ford does too.

That'll be my next car. Hybrids all over though...! I hope CA gets working on it quick. Hybridize or die, cuz they can't be allowed to make us kill ourselves for a few lousy bucks.

Has anyone heard anything 'bout AmTrack and the Democrats? Nationwide rail could be both a helluvalot cheaper and safer than the current state (and Security don't ya know) of the air ways. We'd cut way back on jet fuel exhausts over our continents and at so many airports. Have a lot of superconductive rails with trains safely "flying" at 250mph from station to station and fewer Enormous Air Ports handling overseas flights.

And it all starts with a slowly increasing gas tax. Maybe up to 50% in 10 or 12 years ($4.50 gal? $5?) By then, Public Trans is a solid consumer market, with Quality care providing incentives for a - still only slightly - wealthier, healthier populace to be able to fund more rational highway system. THAT will depend 'pon what the hybrids evolve into.

Oh, and on how radically the climate keeps to changing...
The only reason Hubby and decided to lease a SUV was b/c we were able to get a hybrid. We needed a bigger vehicle, but would only do so if a hybrid was available. We've had our lease for a yr and half now, and we love it.
I feel so DIRTY. . .the factory that makes Hummers is less than an hour from here. And everybody here in Aboite seems to love them. And Escallades. And IH semis disguised as large pickups.

I have a taste for V-8's, I admit it. But at least my Deville gets 20 mpg city if I keep my foot out of it.
Hey, maybe my hummer will fetch a high price on ebay if that happens...no wait, I don't have a hummer, but I like following the lead of former presidents in the types of hummers they get.
Sorry for the tirade. You and I seem to argue this topic frequently.
And we will probably continue to. But an apology is never necessary (to me at least) for strongly held views. One last go, and I let it die. I failed at the outset in that I didn't mention that I have been a staunch champion of alternate fuels pretty much since they were available. It doesn't take a USC grad to see we're screwing this place up, and bad.

[TFWY wrote:]The mechanics I've watched work, cuss their hybrids to the high heavens. Just not quite ready for prime time, nor do they get anything remotely close to the advertised mileage.

TFWY, Oh come on... Mechanics, like most hourly earners, want to work on jobs that take an hour or less (their highest work/profit ratio). Hybrids are more complex and take longer. Boo hoo.

I can't speak for all Toyota dealerships obviously, but the one I bought my Toyota at, and had serviced at, paid it's mechanics a set hourly wage - whether they fixed one car a day or eighty. I specifically asked several mechanics, as well as management, as I'm wary of "hurry up and get the next one in the door so I can make more" service. The dealer I take mine to here is the same. Now, nearly all dealers, foreign and domestic, have a set time it should take to fix a broken headlight for example, but that's to weed out the poor mechanics.

[B.N. wrote:]California can do what-the-f*ck it wants without Bu$hCo and Big Auto interference, and Detroit's threat-making is just PR that they use to try and save their sorry asses from regulation.
I wasn't aware of any "threats" from Detroit. I do know at one time GM wanted to build several assembly plants in S. Cal, specifically to build a "California car", as it was costing us a huge amount of money to build them in Michigan and ship them out there. That proposal was rejected - they'd cause too much pollution!! And yes, I suppose California can do whatever it wishes. It is a world within itself. So start your own car company(s), and teach Detroit a lesson.:)

[TFWY wrote:]Now then:) About the millions of paved acres in those damn malls lit up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Guess what kind of fuel it takes to make them shine?:)
In my world, having both problems is not an excuse for failing to deal with either.
It certainly isn't. But until I see you assault the malls and other major sources of pollution out there, with the same fervency you approach Detroit with, I will continue to bring it up. My Inlaws are in S.Cal (LA area). I'm out there a couple times a year or so. I see the problems you speak of, although obviously, not as detailed as you do. But I also see the literally hundreds of thousands of acres of cemented malls, neon signs towering over the freeways, competing for space with the next one, etc. it takes a LOT of fossil fuel to feed those. A lot!

I simply refuse to go along with a one pronged attack on one industry, and one company, when the only solution to the problems you describe, is a multi-pronged attack at the same time. Nobody forced any Californian to buy those cars!! Californians need to take some personal responsibility for the mess they have. The state of California has long tried to get the one and two passenger carload combined into three and four: it has met with resistance without fail, some going so far as to buy inflatable dummy's to fool the fast lane requirements. Californians love their cars. We do in Detroit too, except we don't blame California for our smog problems.


Where you are, that last remark is probably true. But here in California--and remember that it is California's, NOT FREAKIN' MICHIGAN's, regulations
Now now.:) Play nice, or I'll come out there and whup you with a wet hunk of pasta!:P

The entire ecosystem is fubar. Nobody can dispute that. One thing you might not know, is the UAW fought long and hard for California emission standards on ALL cars - not just the one's we sent you. We just didn't get the press. We weren't as "exciting" as "California vs Detroit", plus we screamed for the controls every day, day after day. It got "boring" to listen to us.

Your cause is the same as mine. But when your approach is to single out one industry and company, and point to them as the source of your troubles without taking to task the other many mammoth polluters out there as equally culpable....well then it's me that's gonna yell.:)

The first time I ever met my Father In Law (then to be), he cracked, "Us Californians don't trust air we can't see!" You've came a long way since then. Why isn't Detroit credited at all with helping with your turnaround? I still see a lot of GM cars out there!

Case closed here (until the next time, at least!:), and thank you for your bandwidth.
Your cause is the same as mine. But when your approach is to single out one industry...

I really can't answer all of your points so let me just address this one...

Don't mistake my apparent loathing of a single industry for narrowness of perspective. I've attacked misguided policies and unsupportable assumptions about our energy independence. I've spread my loathing equally by pointing out that automobiles (all automobiles...not just Detroit's) have impoverished more Americans than any invention in history. I'm a tireless advocate for nuclear power because, until we can achieve some power generation breakthrough, nuclear still provides our best alternative to fossil fuels.

In short, I'm an equal opportunity crank, but at least when it comes to the auto, I live my convictions. (8 of 10 years in the Bay Area without a car).
I still think we should push for lower speed limits for SUVs (it's a safety issue--those things are killing machines). Maybe that would put the last nail in the coffin...
British Airways to Contact Passengers After Traces of Radiation Found on Planes

scary??????


Not when it comes from my favorite Faux News troll.

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