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Discussion Starter #1
As I posted at http://www.priuschat.com

BASE PRICE OF ALL FORD VEHICLES

CARS/MINIVAN:
Focus (04) $13,550
Mustang (04) $18,775
Crown Victoria $24,345
Taurus $21,145
Freestar $24,600
AVERAGE BASE PRICE FOR A FORD CAR/MINIVAN: $20,483
TRUCKS:
Ranger $15,195
F150 $22,250
F150 Herritage $20,405
SuperDuty $23,185
E Series Van $25,525
AVERAGE BASE PRICE FOR A FORD TRUCK: $21,312

SUVS:
Escape $19,855
Explorer SportTrac $24,355
Explorer $27,245
Expedition $33,295
Excursion $37,810
Freestyle (05 Coming Soon) $29,000
AVERAGE BASE PRICE FOR A FORD SUV: $28,593.33

NOW...
If you ran a car company that had sub-par sales and cars that are either criticized (SUVs, especially Excursion), non-unique (Taurus, Ranger, etc)or specialties that cost more than they're most likely worth (Thunderbird, GT, etc) wouldn't you want to "conform" to the latest trend in the most profitable way possible?
Take the popular belief that a hybrid vehicle goes for $2000-4000 more than its non hybrid counterpart and he'll be making a LOT more for every hybrid SUV he sells than for every say, hybrid Taurus replacement he sells.

***This is just my opinion, but to note, the base price information I used for this example was found at http://www.ford.com and was current as of the date and time of this original post. Specialty vehicles such as the GT, Thunderbird were not included as that buyers market is much smaller. Most 05 models were not distinctly posted with a base price so I used all 04 info on the website***
 

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I think you're making it more complex than it needs to be, Brad. It's very simple.

1) There's little incentive for Ford to pursue it further. And little incentive for GM to pursue it further.

2) The best incentive is the potential customer.


If the customer wants it, they will build it. If the manufacturer sees a market, they will build it. If the manufacturer has a culture of innovation and willingness to take on challenging tasks, then they will build it and find a way to sell it for a profit.

Does the customer want it (more hybrid options)? Yes and no. Toyota's hybrids are selling like crazy. But I still see SUV after SUV after SUV on the road. And the price per barrel of oil has been falling in recent days.

If the customer wants something, and the manufacturer fails to see that market or capitalize on it (Ford, GM, Daimler), then they stand to eventually lose market share.

On the other hand, those who recognize and take advantage of opportunity (Toyota, Honda) will increase their market share.

All of them make SUVs. Even Toyota. And they sell. So maybe Ford and GM are blind to the hybrid craze..or maybe not. It's possible that they have studied it, and decided that it's not worth the time, trouble, or money at this time.

There's one other thing to keep in mind: the larger a company gets, the less daring and innovative it will be. So as Toyota overtakes Ford and GM, I would expect it (Toyota) to gradually become less innovative. Sad but true.

I compare it to the big dinosaurs. It happened to great companies of the past, Standard Oil, IBM, Microsoft, GE, CISCO, Sun Microsystems, and so on. When these companies were small and growing, they did things differently, faster.
 

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TechnoMage said:
Shepan said:
It looks to me like they are dipping their toes in the hybrid water...
I hope they washed their feet first... :p
Hee hee.. yes, especially since their hybrid system looks uncannily similar to Toyota's HSD system for the Prius.

I poked around on their site. It looks like a nice vehicle. Hope they don't screw this one up. It's too important for our future.
 

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BIF said:
I poked around on their site. It looks like a nice vehicle.
Same here. I doubt I'd ever buy one (don't need one), but for someone who's "in the market", it looks like a decent choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Shepan said:
http://www.fordvehicles.com/escapehybrid/home/index.asp?redir=true&bhcp=1&&br=IE&ver=6&pfrm=Win2000

Above is a link to the 2005 Ford Escape - It looks to me like they are dipping their toes in the hybrid water...
My post referred to why they aren't pursuing a hybrid CAR. People lately have been wondering why Ford has seemed to abandon all attempts at hybrid cars which would get GREAT mileage and instead are increasing mpg of their SUVs by a small amount.

I broke it all down and showed my work so someone can't send a reply simply going "well where'd you get THAT # from?" but it shows that their average SUV is $6000 more than their average car so if they're making this decision purely because of money, it's incredibly SAD but at least it gives a REASON for their sudden backing from the car market.
 

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bradca21 said:
... it shows that their average SUV is $6000 more than their average car so if they're making this decision purely because of money, it's incredibly SAD but at least it gives a REASON for their sudden backing from the car market.
All economic activity in a free-market economy is done for profit. Farmers don't grow food to feed people, they grow it to sell. Hollywood is not in business to entertain you, it's in business to sell you entertainment. And car companies don't exist to provide transportation, they exist to make a profit by selling cars.

Toyota has claimed a market niche: middle-class tree huggers who are willing to spend money on a car that pollutes less and burns less gas, but who are not willing to compromise on performance or space. The Big 3, on the other hand, are sticking with the much larger market segment of people willing to spend much more money for a humongous vehicle and willing to spend an extra $1,500 a year on gas.
 

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Daniel said:
bradca21 said:
... it shows that their average SUV is $6000 more than their average car so if they're making this decision purely because of money, it's incredibly SAD but at least it gives a REASON for their sudden backing from the car market.
All economic activity in a free-market economy is done for profit. Farmers don't grow food to feed people, they grow it to sell. Hollywood is not in business to entertain you, it's in business to sell you entertainment. And car companies don't exist to provide transportation, they exist to make a profit by selling cars.

Toyota has claimed a market niche: middle-class tree huggers who are willing to spend money on a car that pollutes less and burns less gas, but who are not willing to compromise on performance or space. The Big 3, on the other hand, are sticking with the much larger market segment of people willing to spend much more money for a humongous vehicle and willing to spend an extra $1,500 a year on gas.
Um... You do realize that the next 2 hybrids out from Toyota/Lexus to the US are SUVs, right? The Lexus RX400H (a rebadged hybrid RX330) was supposed to come out fall of 2004, but the release was pushed back to allow for more parts flow to catchup on Prius production. I believe the Lexus RX400H will probably come out around the same time as the hybrid Toyota Highlander in the Spring of 2005.
 

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Americans, on average are getting fatter and older each year. Cars are generally lower down and smaller than big SUVs and trucks. Just watch all the big bottoms s--l--i--d--e out of SUV's at Walmart... thy don't have to lift the weight with their knees/legs. SUV's and trucks are more comfortable for many people. Its that simple.
 

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mrv said:
Um... You do realize that the next 2 hybrids out from Toyota/Lexus to the US are SUVs, right?...
Toyota is not conceding the SUV market. They are in it for the profit also. And now that they have developed the HSD, they'll put it in lots of vehicles. My point was that the Big 3 are much less interested in the tree-hugger niche than they are in the high-profit SUV market.
 

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Americans, on average are getting fatter and older each year. Cars are generally lower down and smaller than big SUVs and trucks. Just watch all the big bottoms s--l--i--d--e out of SUV's at Walmart... thy don't have to lift the weight with their knees/legs. SUV's and trucks are more comfortable for many people. Its that simple.
What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this board is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. - Modified from the epic of Billy Madison
 

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Discussion Starter #13
kenlacy said:
What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this board is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. - Modified from the epic of Billy Madison
Oh yeah... feel the love
 

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I feel the love... yes I do.

Reason #674 why George Bush is our "president."

As long as America is well-fed, air-conditioned, fearful of terrorists, and addled into a stupor every night by endless television pap, they will be easily manipulated by the 496-odd wealthy families that control this country. SUV's fit very well into this lifestyle.
 

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As long as America is well-fed, air-conditioned, fearful of terrorists, and addled into a stupor every night by endless television pap, they will be easily manipulated by the 496-odd wealthy families that control this country. SUV's fit very well into this lifestyle.
Again, What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this board is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. - Modified from the epic of Billy Madison

The problem with our country today - and why nothing gets done, is because fanatics on boths sides blow things so far out of proportion to overstate their points, the people in the middle - who understand both sides points of view are left trying to re-educate the people fooled by the fanatics rather than doing something constructive. I know run-on sentence but deal with it.

It is like the demonstrators today, the conventions, the whole swift-boat crap. Could you imagine the good that would come if all these people put their money, time and effort to use for a purpose - rather than spewin and fightin bs.
 

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Kenlacy... which part of my original post is not accurate? Are you saying

Americans are not fatter than they were ten years ago?
America is not an aging population?
Car seats are not lower in general than truck/SUV seats and therefore less easy for large people to enter and egress?
Walmart does not attract a disproportionate percentage of wide-bottomed Americans than other stores?
Americans do not get most of their info from talking heads on TV?

I do ramble at times, but this certainly isn't a forum that requires conciseness or clarity. I don't understand your vitriol, unless it hits too close to home....
 

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wally world

Thank you, Saruman, for a most coherant, most concise, most accurate statement about Wally world, SUVs, and our 'president'. I agree. Drive fun, drive clean, drive Prius.
 

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Where to start. I can't believe for a liberal you are so quick to generalize a group of people.

I would like you to show me more than one objective study that shows a disproportionate amount of obese people go to Walmart vs. Target or any other large chain. I should just quit here, because I already know you can't do that. But what fun would that be.

Americans are heavier - I don't question that, by what - 10 lbs - oh no, why don't you go sue McDonalds.

Yes we are an aging population - guess that obesity problem is wreaking havoc!

Car seats are lower, but that doesn't make them any harder or easier to get in or out of. My parents are in their 60's, my dad is probably about 10 lbs over what a normal 6 footer should weigh (200 lbs.). They have a tougher time getting in and out of my Suburban because it is higher vs. their Caddy. Obviosuly this can be very different from one person to the next and vehicle to vehicle. But if you want to generalize, I would definitely counter with the fact that obesity and level of income have some correlations - and that level using doesn't support buying a SUV vs a smaller more economical vehicle.

I read your response while at work earlier, realizing I was needing formula and diapers, I stopped by Walmart after work and decided to make a quick count of 4 rows while parking (obviously not a controlled scientific study), but out of 113 vehicles, there were 18 SUV's (8 full size and 10 smalls) and 23 PU's, the rest were cars or minivans. And that is in Northern MN where SUV's and Pickups are a big benefit during the wintertime.

As long as America is well-fed, air-conditioned, fearful of terrorists, and addled into a stupor every night by endless television pap, they will be easily manipulated by the 496-odd wealthy families that control this country. SUV's fit very well into this lifestyle.
Saying America is well-fed, air-onditioned and addled into a stupor every night by endless television pap and so on - how does this benefit the Bush Admin? If so, it would then benefit any administration. I won't give you the bs about fearful of terrorists as I don't know anyone who continues to alter their lifestyle because of terrorists or stays up late at night worring about it - do you? They keep the alert elevated because God Forbid there is another attack, if it wasn't elevated the libs would be blaming Bush for not warning them. Just like if he does bring up anything, he's trying to scare us into voting for him - what a joke.

And did you know - the 3 largest individual political contributors all give to the dems! The Republicans will get more donations through a much larger # of contributors - but they don't come close to the amount of large $$ contributors that the Dems get. Why do you think the Dems aren't pushing for a limit on contribs. If they put a limit of $2000 on contribs, the Dems wouldn't get crap vs the Republicans.

Anyways, thats enough for tonight - and yes I am about 15 lbs overweight according to the "recommended" weight for my age and height. That doesn't hardly keep me from hauling 3 of them (at the same time) up and down the stairs on my back. Please don't report me to social services for endangering their lives!
 

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"Saying America is well-fed, air-onditioned and addled into a stupor every night by endless television pap and so on - how does this benefit the Bush Admin? If so, it would then benefit any administration. I won't give you the bs about fearful of terrorists as I don't know anyone who continues to alter their lifestyle because of terrorists or stays up late at night worring about it - do you? They keep the alert elevated because God Forbid there is another attack, if it wasn't elevated the libs would be blaming Bush for not warning them. Just like if he does bring up anything, he's trying to scare us into voting for him - what a joke. "

ANY political analyst will agree that the more "frightened" America is ten days before the election, the more likely Bush will win. Unfortunately Bush has commandeered patriotism and will condemn opposition to his policies as anti-American, effectively hushing opposing viewpoints under a smothering American Flag. This machinery is in place and ready to activate should their be another domestic terrorist incident. It is frightenly similar to the rabid nationalism that fueled other, European regimes of the 20th century.

I agree with you that the popularity of engineered "pap" entertainment as a news source favors both "big" parties, as it reduces complex issues to "talking points" and discourages real dialogue and the intellectual exercise that comes from following such exchanges.

My Walmart observations are purely anecdotal, sarcastic, and obviously so... in my mind. I used it as a symbol for our addiction to massive consumption and wasteful spending - much of it credit. Walmart is where it is because it encourages impulse spending and can now mandate prices so low that mostly only overseas manufacturers (China) can supply them now... hence the ongoing trend of domestic manufacturing job losses.
America, I am sorry to say, has become addicted to consumer-driven growth founded on deficit spending (credit cards). This model is unsustainable, since our ability to buy oil will fall behind our daily consumption in the next few years. It is going to get bad worldwide, and it will hit us particularly hard.
In my opinion ( a teacher not in the mideast or in politics... just a reader), US foreign policy today is focused on securing contracts for future oil supply by force and intimidation (accept our culture/religion/gov system or else) and this is fueiling the massive resistance of terrorist cells worldwide, many of which are based in Muslim countries sitting on oil reserves. When China, Russia, and eastern Europe begin competing with us more intensely due to their ongoing modernization and subsequent increased need for oil, we will lose out because we are perceived as such international bullies.
Its the classic walled city syndrome of the Middle Ages. We have isolated ourselves politically, yet are fed and clothed from external sources---a very indefensible position. The siege (terrorism) has only just begun.
 
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