Cheap cars in Asia, expensive gas everywhere (CNN)

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Cheap cars in Asia, expensive gas everywhere (CNN) http://tinyurl.com/ysrm7m
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The debut of the $2,500 car may be billed as
a mobility breakthrough for billions of people in the developing world, but for U.S. motorists it could mean one thing: higher gas prices.
Rising demand from the developing world has long been cited as a main driver behind the runup in oil prices. That demand will only get more intense with staggering growth in car sales - and by extension, gasoline use - in places like India and China.
"We'll get into a situation where we'll have to compete with them for gasoline, $4, $5 a gallon, who knows how high we could go." said Peter Beutel, an oil analyst at the consultancy Cameron Hanover.
He says that time could come much sooner than 2015, when light vehicle sales in India are expected to total over 3 million - doubling 2006 sales - according to J.D. Power & Associates. In China they're expected to nearly triple - to over 17 million - roughly on par with projected sales in the United States.
That huge growth doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of potential car buyers in those countries though. The 2 billion-plus combined populations of India and China could one day dwarf the 300 million potential car buyers in the U.S.
China is expected to nearly quadruple its fuel consumption for motor vehicles by 2030, according to the Energy information Agency. In India it's expected to rise nearly three-fold.
By comparison, growth in the U.S. is only expected to be about 40 percent, although fuel use in the U.S. will still be more than twice that of China thanks largely to the bigger vehicles we drive.
Sales of all types of cars and trucks are growing in India and China - as they are in other developing economies like Mexico, Brazil and throughout the Middle East.
But small, super-cheap cars are important because they are marketed to people who don't have cars. Earlier this year India's Tata motors introduced the Nano, a two-cylinder, four-person sedan that gets 50 miles per gallon and is priced at $2,500. China's Chery car company has the slightly more expensive QQ, and Nissan and Renault are reportedly considering similar tiny models.
While the vehicles are efficient - certainly more efficient than gas-guzzling SUV so popular in the U.S. - experts say their effect on gas consumption will nonetheless be significant for two reasons.
First, the people that buy them will mostly be trading in motor scooters, which get much better gas mileage especially due to their ability to whiz through Asia's traffic-clogged streets, said Lee Schipper, a fellow at EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute's Center for Sustainable Transport.
Second, these cars are seen as gateway vehicles. The ultimate goal of the car companies is to move the consumer up the supply chain into bigger - and less efficient - rides.
Environmentalist are uneasy criticizing countries that are basically following the development model of the West. But in addition to raising gas prices for everyone, they say the rate of growth will put the countries' roads under serious stress, make cities less livable, and add to pollution.
We've become utterly auto dependent and now we're trapped in our car," said John DeCicco, an automotive strategies fellow at Environmental Defense. He sees cheap cars creating a vast new constituency for cars and road expansion.
India's Tata, which builds the Nano, did not respond to an email seeking comment. China's Chery could not be reached.
But Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said cars in developing counties are far more efficient than cars in the U.S. were just 20 years ago. She also defended the automobiles role in society.
"Modern life couldn't exist without the mobility automobiles provide," said Bergquist. "Access to jobs, healthcare...they really form the basis of our quality of life."
The mobility cars afford is not just relegated to developed nations as evidenced by the skyrocketing sales projections. The Chinese, Indians, Brazilians and others want these things too.
But if they're going to follow the West's development model, some argue that maybe it's better they use cars that get 50 miles a gallon.
"It was going to happen anyway, and I'd rather see them in these than in vehicles that get 20 miles a gallon," said Michael Robinet, vice president of global vehicle forecasts the research firm CSM Worldwide.
Robinet also wasn't convinced these cars will compete directly with U.S. drivers for gasoline, as refining blends often vary country to country and refining bottlenecks in the U.S. are a big reason gas prices are so high.
But the the speed at which customers in developing nations are snapping up these cars, and the sheer size of the market, come with an urban planning challenge commensurate in scope.
"If they go to fast down the road of cars, it will take decades before they are finally able to calm the traffic," said the Schipper.
--
Civis Romanus Sum

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On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 14:36:21 -0500, Jim Higgins wrote:

It is beautiful poetic justice. The US complacently builds guzzlers and squanders the world's petroleum resources on them over several generations. India and China catch up and build fuel efficient cars.
You will have to steal some gas from your neighbor's lawnmower to drive to the FatBurger franchise to get your daily ration of transfat and rodent feces.
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I believe you are confused. There are plenty of higher mileage vehicles available in the US. The difference is Americans can afford to buy and operate the larger safer vehicles they prefer to drive.
The top selling vehicles in the US are trucks, not cars, but even those Americans that buy cars as well prefer mid size cars over small and midget cars from the same manufactures. That applies to domestic and import brands. GM for example has more models available that get 30 MPG than any other brand sold in the US. They do not need to build and American do not need to buy small less safe cars to get decent fuel mileage, GM even sells vehicles with a V8 than can get nearly 30 MPG

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On Sat, 02 Feb 2008 15:06:40 -0500, Mike hunt wrote:

Not confused at all, you are being defensive.

The entire point is that you will shortly be no longer able to afford to run them.

Show me a GM V8 that gets nearly 30MPG when driven in stop start city traffic. You are full of shit. Yes, those motors might get high 20's when running in closed loop cruise conditions at 50MPH but smaller engines will get much better even still in those conditions.
Poetic justic indeed.
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Bhagat Gurtu wrote:

I know I shouldn't feed trolls, but...

Thank you for telling me this. I'm happy to hear it.

Show me any car that gets nearly 30MPG when driving in stop/start city (or highway) traffic.

Not by much. As I've mentioned earlier, my father passed away in September. I acquired his '99 sub-compact Chrysler Sebring coupe. (It has around 50K miles.)
Although it was tiny and uncomfortable, I thought I'd drive it to get that magical extra mileage. After all, it has a 2.5L V6, which *should* get way better mileage than my 5.3L V8 Avalanche.
How wrong was I!
Over a few months, I recorded the mileage dutifully. On the highway my Avalanche gets about 17MPG in stop and go traffic and 21MPG on the road. (I often take trips. It is one year old and has 26,000 miles.)
The Sebring - though much smaller, noisier and less safe than the AV - gets only 18MPG in stop and go traffic and 24 MPG on the road.
Is 3MPG highway worth the safety risk?
I think not.
I sold it to a lady who wanted it to drive to and from work.

I like poems!
This is one of my favorites...
Kein Zeitungsknabe wird uns jemals erzählen, was grad alt oder brandneu ist. Damit wird er höchstens so viel erzielen wie ein Hund, der gegen Bäume pisst. Das Ende setzen wir uns selbst und niemand anders auf der Welt. Begreift besser jetzt als nie: Es kommt erst, wenn es uns gefällt!
Wir sind noch keine 60 und wir sind auch nicht nah dran. Und erst dann werden wir erzählen, was früher einmal war.
Wir werden immer laut durch's Leben ziehn, jeden Tag in jedem Jahr, und wenn wir wirklich einmal anders sind, ist das heute noch scheißegal.
--
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On Sat, 02 Feb 2008 19:03:14 -0800, PerfectReign wrote:

You are welcome.

The Japper hybrids will do it with ease, so will the new generation of small turbo diesels.

Not necessarily, it would depend on how you drove it, whether it was an automatic or not. If you don't know how to drive stick or are too lazy to, then of course you pay the price at the pump.

Indeed, this reflects poorly on the fuel efficiencies of US cars in general.

The sooner the oversized land barges are off your roads the better it will then. Bring on higher fuel prices.
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On Sat, 02 Feb 2008 21:23:05 -0800, PerfectReign wrote:

I for one do not want to "get into" the USA. I live in a much better country thank you.

Hehehe
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Bhagat Gurtu wrote:

Speaking of which, how is it there in Australia? Have they had the party yet for the two kayaker guys?
Oh, and how do you like Pan? The last version I used it was Karma Hunters.

Tell me you don't want to drive a Holden Commodore VE.
--
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On Sun, 03 Feb 2008 12:14:46 -0800, PerfectReign wrote:

I had forgotten all about those guys. There was a lot of media coverage when they arrived in NZ, then things went quiet for them. They blew their chance of making lots of money from media rights to their story because they were online (via satellite) the whole trip.

Pan is very reliable, like the ancient Red Hat Linux it is running on. I've never felt the need to upgrade it.

Nope. Don't drive or aspire to a Commodore VE. I don't think they are a bad car, but I don't like them. Stupidly, Holdens increased the weight and package dimensions of the VE.
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Bhagat Gurtu wrote:

Well, they could always write a book. We'll see. It was just cool watching them cross from all the way from here.

I use it for binary downloads but got tired of some of the idiosyncracies compared to KNode. I hadn't used Red Hat since - um - 4.2, I think.

I dunno - were I to run into a kangaroo, I'd want that weight behind me.
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On Sun, 03 Feb 2008 19:13:00 -0800, PerfectReign wrote:

I agree. It was an uber cool thing to do.

Lots of OSs running here on various bits of hardware. The RH 9 is used as a server primarily.

Doesn't matter what kind of car you are driving if you hit one of them, stuff like headlights, grilles, radiators, ICs etc get damaged regardless.
The risk is non-existant in cities and built up areas of course, and very low on main coastal highways. On some inland roads you have be careful. They are either stupid or have a big latency problem because they often jump right into the side of cars.
The rule is, if you see a roo (or even a small wallaby) on the road verge then slow down because they are totally unpredicable. You really only have to worry at dusk/early evening and dawn.
A year ago I hit a big Grey with a Toyota Landcruiser HJ60. Even though it had solid roo bars, they were bent back into the headlamp and stuff was broken.
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Gas in my area is dowm to $2.95. What is it in Europe now, $7? ;)

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On Sun, 03 Feb 2008 09:38:54 -0500, Mike hunt wrote:

Petrol (91 RON) is currently A$1.24/litre, an ethanol mix of 10% is maybe 2-3c/litre less. The price fluctuates in a weekly cycle, right now it is in the low part of the price cycle.
I have no idea what it is in "Europe", since there are many different countries in Europe each country will have a different price, i.e. the German price will be different from the UK price which will be different from the Romanian price which will be different from the French price and so on.
I hope that helped.
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When I was there it was 1.24 Euro per liter in Italy last March. That translates to $6.40 per gallon back then. Amsterdam was 1.90/l in November. The Euro is now close to $1.48 now
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Fuel is heavily tax, as are vehicles in general, in all of Europe. The money to fund socialist systems must come from somewhere. One will find "free" healthcare to be rather expensive LOL

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Mike hunt wrote:

Wait, it will rise-a lot.
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That may be your situation but Americans are using more gas today at $3 a gallon than when it was around $1 a gallon. If you look at the top selling vehicles in the US you would discover not everyone considers fuel mileage as the only criteria for the vehicle they purchase. I sure do not ;)

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The fact that GM builds more cars that get over 30mgp than anyone else sorta messes up your useless dribble. But - don't let facts get in your way.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Notice that it isn't SELLS more 30MPG vehicles?
b
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They probably do. I just don't know that for sure.
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