Re: R.I.P. General Motors (1931-2006)

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Not so, you obviously know little about how corporate fleets operate, if that is what you believe. Corporate fleets, generally, keep their vehicles
longer than any other new vehicle buyer and average more mileage as well. Because of federal tax deprecation laws they run the vehicles, that are just one more tool used in their business, for five years or 300K WOF.
Fleet discounts are offered by all manufactures, domestic and import. It currently is around $600 per vehicle, if one buys at least five, for all manufactures hardly below cost. GM nor any other manufacture can sell directly to fleets or any other buyer. ALL sales are through the franchised dealers. ALL dealers can sell to fleets and they all are eligible to sell at the same discount. Besides what difference does it make who buys the vehicles?
Imports would love to capture more of the fleet business, but the only ones doing so in any great numbers are the Koreans. Courier car fleets who easily run their cars up to 100K annually, buy a lots of imports. They run Civics, Corollas, Neons, Cobolts, Focus', VWs and Hyundais etc. Courier fleets buy from many manufactures because not one, or even a combination of them, can provide the numbers of vehicles the courier companies need. Most every rental car company offers imports as well but rental car companies, unlike fleets, sell off the cars in a year or less.. Corporate fleets prefer Fords vehicles, by far, over any of the GM or import vehicles in any event.
No matter how you spin it more buyers still choose GM, Ford and Chrysler over any import. If you prefer to spend 20% to 30% more to buy an import you are free to do so, its your money
mike hunt

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It wasn't me that posted the paragraph you're responding to. The facts in Mike's post are correct.
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If you think the Japanese are the only ones offering vehicles that get good mileage, you have not looked at the EPA Fuel Economy Guide CAFE figures. If you think gas mileage alone is the determining factor as to what buyers buy your thinking is faulty. The Camry outsells the Corolla, which get the better gas mileage? Eight out of ten Camrys sold have only a 4cy engine. The Camry outsells the Ford Fusion, which 4 cy get the better fuel mileage? The Pruis gets better mileage than the Corolla, which sells better? Do you think a person that spends 50K or 70K to buy any vehicle cares about the price of gasoline? The only people that have a problem affording gas, at a price over $3, are they people that can only afford econoboxes. ;)
mike hunt

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On Wed, 5 Apr 2006 18:26:14 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

they can have them assembled in other countries. They take advantage of the lower cost so they can compensate themselves with bigger bonuses and stock options while laying off blue collar workers.
GM and Ford do sell more than Toyotas. So what? That does not make them better vehicles. McDonalds sells more food than any 5-star restaurants. Does that mean that their food is better? Only lunatics believe so.
Study after study show that Toyotas have better reliability than GM and Ford. Only those with single-digit IQ's deny that.
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Apparently more buyers think the vehicles sold by GM, Ford and Chrysler, in the same price range think so, that is why they buy more of them.
Are the folks that are willing to pay $10 for a burger in one of those 5-Star restaurants, as smart a buyer as the guy that buys one from McDonalds for $1? When it comes to vehicles more buyers realize they need not spend so much more for an import that is in the real world no better? LOL
mike hunt
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On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 12:52:39 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

You don't go to many 5-star restaurants, do you Mikey?
Is the guy eating at the 5-star restaurant smarter than the guy eating at McDonalds? Well, on the average he is probably earning five to ten times as much so I would be inclined to say yes.
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I live in 5-star restaurants, but I don't order burgers. That was not the question I asked. In answer to your question, he may be smarter but he is hardly a smarter BUYER if he goes to a 5-star restaurant just to buy a burger. ;)
mike hunt
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Also--the guy might be attempting to impress a customer (eg real estate salesman) by taking the customer to a 5-star restaurant.
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Or an excess of demand.
As for there being a real shortage of refinery capacity in NA, I have heard it both ways. If NA refineries are all running flat out, wouldn't that tend to depress the price of oil compared to what it would be if we had more capacity?
How much refined petroleum do we import into NA?
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There IS a shortage of oil and it will get even worst in the next 10 years. Every day, thousands of new cars are sold in China and India. Those people that are buying those new cars in China and India have never before owned a car. That means that China and India will be buying thousands of barrels of oil every day. In other words, the oil now in ground will be used at an even faster rate than any of the experts predicted that it would be used.
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Jason) wrote:

Oil reserves are based on profitable recovery based on current oil prices. With the higher oil prices more oil is recoverable from current fields and new oil fields will be explored. An example of this is the huge reserves in Alberta's oil sands, where production is currently limited by available labor. At current oil prices recovery is very profitable. If the higher oil prices stick many newer fields will be explored in northern Canada.
It is true that the rapidly developing Asian countries will consume an increasing amount of oil, but unfortunately the west is consuming an increasing amount, particularly in NA because of our excessively large vehicles. In Europe much higher gasoline prices limit vehicle size. Obviously gasoline isn't expensive enough yet in NA.
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There is a limited amount of oil in the ground. Each year, millions of gallons of that oil are pumped out of the ground. Some of the oil experts are of the opinion that the amount of oil in the world has now "peaked". On a bell curve, the peak is the very top center of the bell curve. In other words, we are now on the wrong side of the bell curve. Only God knows when the last barrel of oil will be pumped out of the ground. We can only hope that alternative fuels are developed within the next 20 years. It's my opinion that we have enough oil to last at least 20 to 40 years--I am only guessing. Jason
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Jason) wrote:

get out of the wells is related to the selling price of oil. It has to sell for a profit or it won't be pumped out. The more difficult it is to pump out the higher the delivered price must be.
The alternatives you mention will happen. Looking at the history of fuels the alternative has become more common well before the current fuel has run out. Lots of coal for fuel left in the ground!
So let the price of gasoline rise and we will have fuel for some time. Tough on the big three automakers who did so well selling those monster SUVs. <:)
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I hope that it does not end up like the "Mad Max" movie. Which of the alternative fuels will solve our problems? I know that it will not be hydrogen fuel cells. I read an article about that subject and found out that it is NOT cost effective since it cost so much money to make hydrogen fuel cells. I do believe that we need more Nuclear Power Plants but the environmentalists will not allow it. Jason
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Jason wrote:

They will probably change their minds when the eventual lack of energy impacts their ability to live their lives as they want to. That's a big variable as some people can live with less energy than others, but it will eventually impact everyone if alternative fuels are not developed. As for when that will happen, I don't know.
BTW, I agree that fuel prices in NA are still actually very low vs world standards. I'm not saying I like them where they are. I'm just facing the reality that we've been getting off easy for a long time. That's part of the reason that people continue to buy those big SUV's in NA when the rest of the world doesn't due to the MUCH higher fuel proces.
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Many of the folks I know that own an SUV also own smaller vehicle for when they do not need the capability of their SUV. The folks that must cut back on their fuel consumption as prices rise are the folks that can only afford to buy little cars or used cars. I doubt the folks that a laying out $75,000 or more for a new Lexus or $55,000 for a Cadillac SUV are concerned too much a about $2,000 more a year for the fuel to run them. I personally would not ride around in an unsafe underpowered little car just to save $2,000 a year ;)
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Underpowered and unsafe are your opinions. Here's mine: Many people who drive SUV's don't really need them. They might be trendy and offer some level of serviceability (capacity and possibly off-road) not as obvious in smaller vehicles -- and although it's certainly an individual choice of course, actual need is what I'm talking about. Of course, people who own $75,000 cars don't actually need them either.
So what am I saying? I'm saying that SUV's are not really needed by many who have them ... and with fuel costs being what they are and are moving toward, they may not be a prudent choice. I'm also saying that as many people grow more and more tired of the high fuel costs and eventually become unable to pay them, the US auto manufacturers will lose even more market share -- making an already bad situation worse.
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Please explain to us how you know what buys 'need?' What is better taking ones family and all of their stuff in one seven passenger SUV, or using two small cars to get to the same destination? I believe you are simply confused, around 55% of the new vehicles sold in the US are light trucks and SUVs. The greatest percentage of Toyotas Motors (Sales) increased sales over the past five years has been in light trucks, including SUVs not cars. They know what buyer want today, as well. Camry sales were actually at their highest in 2004.
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Mike Hunter wrote:

If you'll note, I said it was my opinion. An opinion means it's mine, and not necessarily yours. It also means it's not stated as a fact.

I've raised two sons with all the associated sports, schools, etc without the "need" for an SUV or mini-van. That fact is what I base my opinion on. Everyone is free to choose what they want as well.
I believe you are simply

The fact that 55% of the US population (I assume you're correct -- although around here, it looks to be an even higher percentage) buys trucks, and SUV's does not change my OPINION that many of those purchasing them don't need them. It also does not change my opinion that the higher gas prices will reduce that number substantially -- further eroding the big three's market shares.
BTW, the fact that our opinions don't match does not indicate that I am confused.
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I would never ague with a persons opinion, you certainly entitled to your own opinion, but GM SUV sales were up for the first quarter, not down. Toyotas newest vehicles are SUVs as well. I was only asking how you knew people that own SUVs do not really need them when you said;

I agree with you if you don't need an SUV don't buy one. I don't, I prefer and own large and sporty cars with V8 engines myself. If you had two or three MORE children you may have 'NEEDED' an SUV, but that is just my opinion. When I was young I had five children and we had to take our two 1947 Plymouths whenever we all went somewhere. My oldest son had five children as well and he could have used an SUV but SUVs were not on the market in the sixties. He had to buy a conversion van.
Today my one granddaughter has four children and owns one of those 57K seven passenger SUVs. When they go on a trip she even has to put on a roof carrier to take the six of them and all their 'stuff.' You may think SUV drivers care that much about the price of fuel, however take notice how many you see in gas stations that have a higher price posted than one across the street. Personally I drive into the one with the shortest line, preferably one that charges more per gallon to pump the gas for me.
Seems to me the people that are hardest hit by rising price, gas or whatever, are those that can only afford to buy used cars or small cars, not those that buy new expensive vehicles.
What I find strange are those that are inside the connivance store complaining to the lowly clerk about the $40 it cost them to fill the tank in their Corolla with premium gas, then walk our with a twelve pack of bottled water and a carton of cigarettes that cost them $50. LOL
mike hunt

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