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View Poll Results: Would there be a market for mass produced simple basic cars?
yes 39 44.83%
no 48 55.17%
Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-24-2019, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,283 posts, read 4,978,539 times
Reputation: 3068

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I own a Smart Car. It was cheap and averages 45 mpg and would suit the needs for many more people than ever bought them (they now moved to exclusively electric versions in North America and have discontinued sales in many places outside of major metropolitan areas in the US). I live in a more urban area now and it is quite convenient to use the Smart Car for errands around town, short trips, and driving into the city. I also have an Acura RDX for longer trips. A small simple car would be a great second car for most families instead the trend has been toward larger, more powerful vehicles often driven by one person. There are solutions to encourage people to go for smaller, simpler vehicles, such as allowing light vehicles to use HOV lanes like many areas allow motorcycles to use them. However, the market is betting on driverless cars and shared ownership for the future. It's odd how during this transition we went from smaller vehicles to larger ones and eventually back to smaller ones driven by a computer.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:22 PM
Status: "In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: SF, CA
1,218 posts, read 518,491 times
Reputation: 1834
An ideal basic car might combine elements of old and new:

A squarish shape, like the old Scout, or the boxy thing Honda built for awhile.
That would make for ample room inside, and the flat body panels would be cheap to manufacture.

A stamped-steel "pan" for a frame, like the VW Bug... the body panels could be metal, or maybe recycled plastic.... get in a fender-bender? Just replace the fender. No costly body repair.

An engine designed to run on E-85 fuel (mostly alcohol). Then the emission-controls might be simpler, since the engine wouldn't be emitting as much crud to begin with.

Could the engine be air-cooled, like the VWs of old? No worries about coolant leaks.

Ideally, no delicate, bug-prone electronic powertrain controls... yes, those are better than carburetors and vacuum hoses, but the best technology would be simple and robust.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:20 PM
 
5,051 posts, read 5,123,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
An engine designed to run on E-85 fuel (mostly alcohol).
Please do a search on forum about the scam of E-85. And all of the government welfare payment to the farmers and welfare payments to the E-85 refineries.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:24 PM
 
Location: SoCal
2,755 posts, read 2,106,594 times
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There's a huge market for low miles even cars in rural China. I don't think these cars have much in the way of specs.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:20 PM
 
3,036 posts, read 1,311,598 times
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Yes there is.

The car will need roll up windows and manual locks.fabric seats and the very bare necessity of options.

The car must have a sporty,rev happy engine, with carburator/ throttle bodyies,
4 wheel disc brakes and in a manual transmission.

Offer it in a sedan coupe and wagon. Moon roof is the only option. Make sure the wheels use the most common of tire size.

I basically described a Corolla or civic.

Make it fun and cheap always draws a crowd.
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Old Yesterday, 05:11 AM
 
5,051 posts, read 5,123,074 times
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL78mfe1KZM

Never caught on.
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Old Yesterday, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit Michigan
3,329 posts, read 902,749 times
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Trying to make a cheap vehicle and still meet government crash and safety requirements plus epa standards makes it cost prohibitive and the cost of materials and labor and other overhead like shipping cost , utilities, and insurance makes a $1,000 vehicle into a $10,000 vehicle. This isn’t the 60’s anymore people. You just can’t slap cheap vehicle together and sell them to the public like Henry Ford did.
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Old Yesterday, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Podunk, IA
3,015 posts, read 1,389,050 times
Reputation: 3102
Quote:
Originally Posted by easy62 View Post
You just can’t slap cheap vehicle together and sell them to the public like Henry Ford did.
Or Yugo.
People seem to forget that it's ALREADY BEEN DONE on several occasions in recent times and they all ended in dismal failure.
A cheap car is like a manual transmission... people talk a good game but when it comes time to put cash behind the talk they all disappear.
There's already a Mitsubishi Mirage out there for you folks. That's about as cheap as it's gonna get.
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Old Yesterday, 07:22 AM
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568 posts, read 303,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eaton53 View Post
Or Yugo.
People seem to forget that it's ALREADY BEEN DONE on several occasions in recent times and they all ended in dismal failure.
A cheap car is like a manual transmission... people talk a good game but when it comes time to put cash behind the talk they all disappear.
There's already a Mitsubishi Mirage out there for you folks. That's about as cheap as it's gonna get.
True.
If you want it you can probably still find it somewhere.
Even that plain-jane utilitarian truck that I want is out there. Problem is, I can't get it new for less than 15k like I think I should be able to. I just don't see 20k+ worth of value in any truck period. Or any vehicle really, but a loophole is left there in case I strike it rich and get that 911 I wanted as a kid.
Another issue that's already been mentioned, is that a slightly used vehicle is vastly cheaper and you'll likely keep it just as long with just as few problems. That's how we roll in our family.
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Old Yesterday, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit Michigan
3,329 posts, read 902,749 times
Reputation: 2716
Quote:
Originally Posted by eaton53 View Post
Or Yugo.
People seem to forget that it's ALREADY BEEN DONE on several occasions in recent times and they all ended in dismal failure.
A cheap car is like a manual transmission... people talk a good game but when it comes time to put cash behind the talk they all disappear.
There's already a Mitsubishi Mirage out there for you folks. That's about as cheap as it's gonna get.
And federal standards have really changed since the Yugoslav. Back then airbags were not required, or side impact protection. People fail to realize what it takes to bring a new vehicle to market. All the federal government red tape thatís involved.
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