GM U.S. July sales down 19.5 percent, Honda up 10.2%



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If we, as consumer, keep the demand for oil (in any form) up, prices will stay up. Smaller cars are only a portion of what must be done. Cut use by 5% to 10% and prices will drop over night. But no one want to be first, no one wants to be inconvenienced.
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wrote in message

I can't really agree with that. I think it doesn't really matter if we all drove Sunfire's, or each company's version of it (Honda's Civic, etc), gas would still be where it is now. They know we need it, and that we will pay for it.

I don't see that happening at all. See above. They know we need it, and they will charge whatever they want.

I can agree with that. I myself, don't use much gas at all. I mainly stay in-town, and when I go out, I usually wait until more people have to go out, and we all go in one car, at the same time (I live with 5 other family members and friends).
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> On 8/3/2006 2:02 AM ... 80 Knight wrote:

Clearly you need to read up on how commodities markets work.
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We are all entitled to our opinions I guess. What makes you believe the 'fuel(s) of the future' will be less expensive than gasoline? Hydrogen is currently around $20 a gallon
I've been in all three sides of the automotive business for a long time and in the real world people buy what they want. History repeatedly tells us what they ALWAYS want is their vehicles to be bigger and more powerful. Look at what both Toyota and Honda have marketed over the past ten years. They are ALL bigger and more powerful, with more new trucks and SUVs than small cars. Todays Corolla is a bigger car than the Camry of yore. Where the import have the advantage is that can import the midget cars the make and sell around the world. They can't afford to build them in the US anymore than domestics can. Even though the imports have much lower labor and benefits cost than the domestics in the US. When buyers warm to the higher gas prices they will shun smaller cars just as they did after the last big gas price jumps. Teh fact is we use far more gas at $3 than we did when it was $2
Even if we could develop an alternative fuel to replace gasoline, the cost of a delivery system alone would be in the billions, IF we can get it built under the current pollution laws. If we did all that OPEC can simply lower the price of crude and make ANY new fuel a more expensive option. We sill never see any fuel for our cars that is less expensive, so the sooner you become accustomed to it you can buy the big powerful car vehicle you want. ;)
mike hunt

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That is incredibly stupid
Mike Hunter wrote:

People want transport from a to b and they want it to be safe, comfortable and at a low cost
In Europe that means increasingly using trains for long trips and small cars at the destination
There is an increasing number of powerful transport options using combination of high quality trains and comfortable long lasting small cars
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Apparently you do not know much about the US if you believe that. ;)
mike hunt

We are all entitled to our opinions I guess. What makes you believe the 'fuel(s) of the future' will be less expensive than gasoline? Hydrogen is currently around $20 a gallon
I've been in all three sides of the automotive business for a long time and in the real world people buy what they want. History repeatedly tells us what they ALWAYS want is their vehicles to be bigger and more powerful. Look at what both Toyota and Honda have marketed over the past ten years. They are ALL bigger and more powerful, with more new trucks and SUVs than small cars. Todays Corolla is a bigger car than the Camry of yore. Where the import have the advantage is that can import the midget cars the make and sell around the world. They can't afford to build them in the US anymore than domestics can. Even though the imports have much lower labor and benefits cost than the domestics in the US. When buyers warm to the higher gas prices they will shun smaller cars just as they did after the last big gas price jumps. Teh fact is we use far more gas at $3 than we did when it was $2
Even if we could develop an alternative fuel to replace gasoline, the cost of a delivery system alone would be in the billions, IF we can get it built under the current pollution laws. If we did all that OPEC can simply lower the price of crude and make ANY new fuel a more expensive option. We sill never see any fuel for our cars that is less expensive, so the sooner you become accustomed to it you can buy the big powerful car vehicle you want. ;)
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:

That's right, when a commodity is expensive because it's scarce, the solution is to just make more money and consume, consume, consume and don't give a second thought to what would happen if everyone acted like you.
nate
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Isn't envy one of the deadly sins? It is people like me that makes work for others ;)
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:
(idiot top posting fixed)

What are you talking about, oh top posting one?
nate
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On Thu, 3 Aug 2006 13:56:52 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

Horse shit. Size and power are always a compromise between needs/desires of the buyer for capacity, price, fuel economy, maneuverability and other factors. Otherwise we would all be driving cars the size of the Queen Mary by now.

Well, I guess you have now obliquely defined what a "midget car" is. It must be the Yaris and Fit class of cars. No, these are not built here, at least not yet. (Where are they built?)
You imply that these cars are why Honda and Toyota sales are booming while GM and Ford are in the dumper. The Yaris and Fit constitute only a tiny sliver of Toyota and Honda sales. They certainly don't explain why Pilot outsold Explorer last month.

I have to doubt any "fact" you post, but I do know for sure that truck-based SUV sales have been falling for the last four years.

The average American's wages haven't been keeping up with inflation since W got into office. Lots of Americans can't afford the gas for the Suburban they foolishly bought three years ago no matter how accustomed they become to $3/gal. The truck-based SUVs which kept GM and Ford afloat will not come back until gas drops below $2. Don't hold your breath.

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On Fri, 4 Aug 2006 09:09:42 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

Where did I say I believed that in the first place? I think you are confused (again).
I don't even know which "fuels" you are even talking about. I know that one "fuel" is already cheaper - electricity. Not too practical for cars (although it might work for some people), but it works pretty well for commuter trains. I also understand that EtOH from sugar cane is at least competitive if not actually cheaper than petroleum fuels in Brazil.
Hydrogen is a sham. If anyone doubted that before, they must realize that now that Bush is promoting it.

Did I say the want small underpowered cars? No, they want vehicles that are bigger inside than an Excursion, faster than a Lamborghini, easier to park than a Segway, as agile as a Mini, and burn fuel like a Vespa.
Here is what I actually said:

Here is my prediction:
With high prices and short supplies of fuel (and possibly CO2 restrictions) ahead, Suburbans will become niche vehicles for people who need to transport >6 people all the time. The engine will become anemic, because these buyers won't care about acceleration but will care about fuel economy. The vehicles will gradually become more car-like because the heavy duty frame and off-road capability will be readily sacrificed for greater fuel economy.
The SUV will evolve into stylistic treatment on a car - basically a macho station wagon. What few "real" SUVs remain will be niche vehicles with tiny sales numbers.

And they are doing a lot better with them than GM and Ford.
When fuel was cheap, the compromise (see above) favored size and power over fuel economy (especially since technology was improving mechanic al efficiency to minimize the penalty.) Now that fuel is no longer cheap, the trend will reverse. Actually, it already has. Sales of truck-based SUVs peaked in 2001.

Fit is the new Civic.

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Mike Hunter wrote:

The main F150 assembly plant in St. Paul is just coming back form a many-week furlogh, with discussions of going to just one shift instead of two, and mgmt hinting of more furloughs later this year.
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Ancient_Hacker wrote:

The US large personal truck/SUV market is going to contract by about 50% from it's peak. That is what it will take to get back to the 20-25% share of sales which represent the people who have a real need for trucks and are not simply buying them because it is a fad to do so.
Fads come and go, and the every man, woman and child needs a Suburban sized vehicle to sit in stop and go traffic with fad has run it's course. Who is going to go to a party and brag about their new Expedition today? Nobody. But, drive up in a tres chic Toyota Prius and you have something to talk about.
The genius of Toyota is that they have strong contenders in every market segment of consequence from the Prius on one end to the Land Cruiser on the other. Why can the world's second largest auto maker field a more competitive line-up world wide than do GM or Ford?
Hula hoops, beanie babies or Razer scooters anyone?
John
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John Horner wrote:

Yes, fads come and go but some actually are worthwhile. Remember how hot the minivan was and how many times it took Honda and Toyota to finally get it right. Ford and GM still can't. But in the end the minivan is a practical vehicle and while not as popular as before they will still be here when the other fad vehicles fade. Remember the "personal luxury coupes" of the seventies. The only who left is the Monte Carlo (the Grand Prix is sedan only now).
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Dave wrote:

The minivan will be around for a long time, but it's peak volume days are over (at least for the full size type).
Pickup trucks are usefull as well and will be around for a long time just as they have been ever since Model T versions were once made, but the days when people would buy them for long commutes to office jobs are probably over as well.
I'm not saying that the large truck / SUV market is going to disappear. I am saying that it is set to contract by about 50%.
John
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sales
People are nervous. They are, perhaps temporarily, thinking economy. Soaring gasoline and associated energy costs are making reasoning people shake their heads in disbelief.
The stock market is making people question the whole economic system and the wars in the Middle East are not helping either.
Predictions were published the other day, and I dont remember really where, that Toyota will overtake GM for the world market in the next couple of years. Predictions dont mean anything, though, and we can wait and watch.
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Overtaking GM worldwide is more of a possibility than in the US. GM and Toyota do not necessarily compete in the same small markets around the world. The Japs have a better economies of scale in the small and midget cars, as well. As Toyota starts to sell vehicles in the US in the million rather than in the hundreds of thousands, as it has for a long time, more of their not so good ones are starting to come to the surface. Over time that will erode the buyers perception of their so call superior quality. Anybody in the business knows that Toyotas vehicles are no better on average than any other manufactures vehicles.
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Stop, you're killing me. Only a very few mfgrs. have the same reputation for reliability and durability as Toyota. Really only Honda has the same kind of "halo" although I am partial to VW myself (but their shitty dealer network and past issues with poor quality outsourced components has tarnished their reputation among the general public.)
Anyone that can say with a straight face that there is no difference in quality between vehicles is quite simply ignorant. If that were true, we'd all just buy the cheapest car we could. Simply test driving a cross-section of the various cars in any given class will show up great differences in fit and finish, material quality, etc. etc. etc. and to disregard this is idiotic. Most people realize this, and try to strike some compromise between quality and price.
nate
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As I said before you are entitle to your opinion but that does not mean it is the most valid. When I owned my fleet service business we serviced thousand of vehicles monthly, of nearly every brand you can name. With our meticulous service, as recorded in the records we accumulated, we saw little discernable differences on average among the vehicles on the market today. The only real difference is style and price and one need not spend at lot more money to buy a good dependable vehicle. Just a note, the manufacture with the most vehicles recalled so far for 2006 is Toyota. ;)
mike hunt

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