Smart Loss-making Smart 'is not doomed'

Page 2 of 3  
snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net (Michael Low) haute in die Tasten:


Diesel fuel has a lower taxation, so one liter of Diesel fuel costs about 20 cent less than one liter of premium gas. In countries where the taxation on fuel is the same no matter which type of fuel, there Diesel fuel usually costs the same or more than gasoline. The lower Diesel tax is some sort of financial aid for commercial traffic like heavy trucks, parcel services and taxicabs. Diesel cars for private use carry a higher car tax in order to compensate the lower fuel tax. Most Diesel cars give you a financial advantage as soon as you drive them 15.000 miles or more per year. This is slightly over average driving. If you have a small city car just for shopping which only gets 5.000 miles per year, it may be cheaper to take a gas engine.
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Citroen - Made in Trance
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You're probably talking about US cents, whereas Michael Low is probably referring to Canadian cents...the Canadian cent is significantly smaller...
DAS
--
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry, I was referring to fractions of an Euro, which also are called "Cent". But I have to correct myself, Diesel fuel has become quite expensive in Germany. One litre of Diesel is about 1,03 Euro, and one liter of premium gas is 1,18 Euro. Okay, 15 Euro Cent are roughly 20 US Cent;-)
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Citroen - Made in Trance
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oh, I thought you were using US 'terminology' since you call petrol "gas"...
;-) DAS
--
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you think, the majority of readers would understand the words "Dieselφl" and "Superbenzin";-)
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Citroen - Made in Trance
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How do you figure? According to Transport Canada fuel figures, the Smart gets 3.5 L per 100 K, and the Golf get 4.6 L per 100 K. Diesel here in NS costs about 94C a liter, so I fail to see where the "lot more" comes in.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Compared to a Golf, a smart is much cheaper to buy and the spare parts are cheaper. The other cost of the cars vary very much from country to country, but in Germany you save with car tax, car insurance and fuel. If I had the choice between a Golf SDI and a Smart, I would save at least 25% by buying and operating a new Smart instead of a Golf.
The calculation may look totally different when you already own one car. So if one has a Golf SDI and intends to sell it and buy a smart instead to save money this may not work out so quickly, because you always lose money when you sell one car and buy another.
Some years ago I was broke and urgently wanted to reduce my personal cost of living. Back then I thought about replacing my 8 year old BMW convertible (burns 11.5 litres per 100 km) against a new Smart (burns less than half of that). My calculation was: Sell the BMW, get the smart on finance, take the money you got for the BMW sale to calm down your bank, and use the money you save in operating a smart instead of a BMW to pay the monthly rates. It did not work out. Compared to the cost of buying a new car the cost for its operation are so low that in most cases you are better off to keep your old car.
Frank
Having taken that into consideration, one may not forget that a Golf ist much roomier, quieter, faster and also safer. It is simply a bigger car.
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Citroen - Made in Trance
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

George, I went to the VW Canada and Smart Canada websites and configured minimal cars with diesel engines, air conditioning, cargo cover, steel rims, side airbags and ESP (Electronic Stabilization Program).
The Golf required the GL level to get this equipment while the Smart was a "Pure" model with some options added. The Smart came to $7,940 less than the Golf.
Based on the gas mileage figures you quote, the Smart also uses almost 25% less fuel than the Golf. That's significant to me.
The Golf is a very old design. The Smart is much newer. The Golf is a bigger car designed for a slightly different market. If you need a backseat then this is not a fair or sensible comparison. But if you only need 2 seats then the Golf is not competitive. Remember, the Golf is an old design. I suppose we would pick the Lupo if we were in Europe but we're not.
Mercedes had the luxury of hindsight when they designed and priced the Smart. It is designed for a different purpose than the Golf or even the Lupo.
There's also another thing I've learned about VWs (I've had 2 before - a used one and a new one). VW makes interesting and basically attractive cars that are fun to drive but they are not durable. VW has a hideous reputation for quality. After 3 or 4 years of ownership I got pretty angry about the cheap components and the oil stains on the floor under my car. I would NEVER buy another VW so long as they maintain this short term approach to product quality.
To be fair, I do not know the quality of the Smart. But I haven't heard of problems yet. A proper comparison should include research on any Smart complaints or problems. If they are as bad as the VW then I would "steer" a wide path away from Smart as well as VW. Nobody needs car maintenance problems.
Michael
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net (Michael Low) haute in die Tasten:

Do they sell the Golf V in Canada by now? It was introduced to market in 2004, so its design is much newer than the smart design.
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Citroen - Made in Trance
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If the V includes the Duse (sp) diesel then yes.
On 13 Nov 2004, Frank Kemper wrote:

THE ABOVE OPINIONS ARE MINE, AND MINE ALONE. THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS INCLUDING MY EMPLOYER(S)
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The correct spelling is Pumpe-Duese, the usual abbreviation in germany is PD. "Pumpe- Duese" stands for "Pump and injector", which means that each single cylinder has its own PD unit. The PD units are driven by the camshaft and provide a direct fuel injection, which is extremely accurate and takes place under extreme pressure (about 1500 times the normal atmospheric pressure). The benefit of this technology is a maximum of fuel efficiency. So it does not make me wonder that the most economical Diesel engines both in passenger cars and in heavy trucks are PD engines.
Unfortunately this technonology also has its downsides: Compared to other Diesel engines (especially CDI common rail technology) PD engines are quite rough and noisy. The PD units require a good fuel quality and may cause problems when run on high sulphur Diesel or biological fuel like vegetable oil. Besides that the VW PD engines have a bad reputation on wearing out the timing belt too early (this belt drives the camshafts). In Germany there are quite some PD engines, which broke down within 60.000 miles because of a timing belt damage.
When former CEO of VW Mr. Ferdinand Piech retired into the board of directors, VW donated him the "1 litre car", a two seat fourwheeler, which complies with all current safety and emmissions standards and reached a max speed of approx. 80 mph. This car consumed less than one liter of fuel per 100 km, which equals a mileage of 282 mpg. The car was fitted with a PD engine!
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Citroen - Made in Trance
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the correction and technical write-up, Frank.
On 15 Nov 2004, Frank Kemper wrote:

THE ABOVE OPINIONS ARE MINE, AND MINE ALONE. THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS INCLUDING MY EMPLOYER(S)
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(Michael Low) haute in die Tasten:

Sorry, I've never heard of the Golf V. It may not be available in Canada.
If it's new then it's new but the important question is whether it's designed for the same market as the Smart.
Because if it's not then it is not so relevant to this discussion. There are many newer cars than the Smart but our discussion is whether the Smart (Fortwo) has a future. We are not discussing Golfs or just new(er) cars per se.
Here's the VW Canada Golf configuration webpage. I can't see anything that looks suitable as a direct competition to the Smart (CDI) in Canada:
http://www.vw.ca/vwca/models/build/0,2264,45,00.html
Maybe a better question is whether there is sufficient market for the Smart in Canada or in the world.
Michael
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The current Golf:
http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/new_cars/new_golf_hatch
http://showrooms.volkswagen.de/golf /
Do these look like the model in the Canadian brochure?
DAS
--
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net (Michael Low) haute in die Tasten:

One can say that a smart is three feet shorter than most other microcars, and these three feet come out of the missing rear seat and the stranger rear engine concept. That's all.
Frank
--
please replace spam-muelleimer with fk-newsgroups for e-mail contact

Citroen - Made in Trance
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12 Nov 2004, Michael Low wrote:

nothing more nothing less.

Twenty-five percent less fuel here in NS means about a twenty-five cent piece.

Have you checked out the Duse (sp) diesel?

Got to agree on the durability issue - for those that are built in Mexico. It seems that based on everything I've read, that the Brazilian and German models appear to have much more durability.

Absolutely agree! We're looking at a Jetta wagon today, and the reason I'm attracted to the VW is because of the amount of warranty. It has the bulk of the original warranty, plus it's VW certified, which in practical terms means 125,000K in warranty.
Also, we are interested in a Smart, but we have to wait till the 4 door or SUV makes it's way to Canada. We travel 150K a day, and most of it is on 100 series highways. I have real concerns because there are a lot of high winds on our root, and Nova Scotia winters can be bad. I just don't trust the Smart in high winds. Love to hear comments from anyone who has driven extended distances in one!

THE ABOVE OPINIONS ARE MINE, AND MINE ALONE. THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS INCLUDING MY EMPLOYER(S)
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Er, I thought this thread is about the financial viability of the Smart. I sense you are very interested in the Golf TDI but that's not the topic of this thread. Other people may not appreciate the discussion veering off-course.

Based on a daily commute of 150 km at 250 working days a year. It comes to CAD 412.50 if diesel is rounded off to $1 a litre.

Nope.
I had a '82 Scirocco (Wolfsburg). The engine was a pain to keep in good running order. The valve cover seals kept leaking. Valves kept getting carbon deposits - driveability problems expensive to fix. Glove compartment lid developed big air bubble after 2 years. Dashboard cracked after 3 years. Upgraded radio died and replaced after 2 years.
If you read up on the current VWs you'll find a large number of consumer complaints about reliability problems from new car owners. Even pundits who positively review the Touareg wonder how long it would take owners to get fed up with expected reliability problems. IMO, the lack of quality is a pandemic problem with VW.

Be careful with cars purchases that have to be justified with warranty. It can be very unpleasant to claim warranties. That's one of the reasons why I said "Nobody needs car maintenance problems". Not only is the car out of commission but you may have to argue with the dealer and the VW rep. And then the warranty repairs may not be very good.
As I said, I haven't researched Smart reliability so I can't comment. But I can comment on VW reliability and shop service. From my experience, they were and are both terrible. Check with your local BBB to see if there has been any consumer complaints.

I passed one that was doing 120 kph on the Autobahn. There was another one that I saw heading onto an off-ramp going about the same speed. I think I have a CAR mag review of one.
I can appreciate your concerns. But your other choices need not be limited to the Smart. What about the Toyota Prius hybrid - it has even better mileage rating than the Golf TDI (curiously, it's rated better in city driving). It is also guaranteed to be much more reliable than the Golf.
Here's a handy website on fuel consumption in case you haven't seen it yet:
http://www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/vehicles/guide/guide.cfm?PrintView=N&Text=N
Michael
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Follow your own advice, see your reply above about two paragrapsh up, what does that have to do with "financial viability" Others might not appreaciate the discussion veering off course *smile*

Here in NS it is 84.9 at Superstore.

Yes, and Lemon-Aid and other publications have a large number of complaints about MB (including reports from a number of years ago to stay away from 190s (ours is trouble free)

Been down that road with the Chevy Tracker. Ever checked this out:
www.camvap.ca
Worked for me!

What does speed have to do with high-wind concerns????

My other choices don't need to be limited to anything. I will choose whatever I want to in a vehicle, understand?

Thanks, been using it for years.

THE ABOVE OPINIONS ARE MINE, AND MINE ALONE. THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS INCLUDING MY EMPLOYER(S)
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net (Michael Low) wrote in message

I do not know much about cars except the basic concepts and it may well be true that a HEMI in the forfour or something like it would be a bad or impossible idea but the concept did work for the small British car with the big American engine that became the AC Cobra and I would guess that there are some engineers working for Mercedes who would be happy to give it a try.
.
Add pictures here
βœ–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.