It will meld into a non-issue. The masses go with the flow. For a time it
has been SUVs and Pickup trucks. In the near future everyone will feel
comfortable in Tata, SmartCar, VW Beetle and Priapisim cars. The race will
be on to the cutist and stingiest cars.
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Typically car buyers purchase what they can
afford. First question usually asked by a car
salesperson is, "how much a month are you going
We will ratchet down buyer expectations as the
cost increases. In addition to energy savings,
benefits will include lower unsprung weight,
translating into less damage to roads and
bridges. And, highway noise levels will decrease.
Yea verily-- the masses will go with the flow.
If you want a muscle car, those will be
available too, they will be labeled, "export
only" and you'll pay a hefty premium to bring
them back into the country.
Regrettably, Mercedes was the first to put a toe
in the water with the Smartcar. Shame we didn't
have the guts to do it.
Which has nothing to do with the discussion to this point. People already
have the option to buy a lot of available cars that are 1/2 the price of
what they currently drive, get higher gas mileage, yet they continue to buy
Accords, Camry's, trucks, SUV, and whatever. There is simply more to the
equation than buying the smallest, most sardine can-like vehicle on the road
purely in the name of fuel economy.
Sounds good on paper (to you at least), but what a crock. The difference in
wear to roads between the average mid sized sedan and one of these wonder
cars is negligible. The noise levels won't be any different. Well - maybe
they will be louder with these miracle cars, as the sounds of sheet metal
and plastic grenading and the sobs of the dying souls, overwhelms the sounds
of the typical mid-sized sedans driving by.
Too bad the flow won't be these cheap throw away caskets on wheels. They
may be fine for city use, and maybe even for the 3 mile jaunt to the grocery
store (as long as you don't buy anything more than a gallon on milk), but
for the normal driving needs of the average American, these things are not
Regrettably?? It's not a novel concept. There have been urban cars
forever. Besides the marketing hype that Mercedes threw at this thing,
there's nothing unique in this car. Manufacturers all over the world have
built this type of concept for decades.
The fact is MB has yet to make a profit on the Smart. Probably great for
CAFE, however. How 'smart' is one to spend 17K to buy a midget two seat
car when one can buy a four seat Civic, Focus or Corolla for that kind of
money. Better yet one of the others on the market in the 14K range, simply
to save a relative few hundred dollars annually on fuel?
Reminds one of the wisdom of those buying hybrids. The premium one must pay
to buy a hybrid, over its conventionally power twin, will by ALL of ones
fuel for the conventionally powered car for the four years that the average
new car buyer keeps their car. ;)
The only advantage of the Smart is size. If you live in a large city, you
suddenly have more parking options.
As for fuel mileage, I was able to get 42 mpg over 1200 miles in a Smart
ForFour. While good, that is obtainable in other cars. The ForFour has
what they call a back seat. I did not try to sit in it though as there was
barely any leg room. Handling was pretty good even on the highway, cruising
along with the bigger cars on the Autostrade.
If you can find a 1/2 size parking space (not possible here); or share a
full sized space with another Dumb/Smart car.
The Toyota Yaris smokes the ForFour on value
and space in the Yaris sedan.
Mercedes should leave small mini cars to others. They are wasting the
money they make on their full sized cars on their over priced Smart line.
It isn't even a case of the rich helping the poor, because the poor
can't afford a Dumb/Smart car.
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