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Old 03-18-2009, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,211 posts, read 47,623,364 times
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The Ford and Honda hybrids due out this month are among dozens planned for the coming years as automakers try to meet new fuel-efficiency standards and please politicians overseeing the industry's multibillion-dollar bailout.

Unfortunately for the automakers, hybrids are a tough sell these days.

Hybrid car sales go from 60 to 0 at breakneck speed - Los Angeles Times
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,392,857 times
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All cars are a tough sell these days. $15 - 35 k is just too much for a vehicle when you cannot take the price out of your increased house hold equity. All of the auto makers are going to have to cut prices by 1/3 to 1/2 to sell anything. Hard times for all.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Washington DC
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It's why we need CAFE standards.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 10,763,615 times
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Doesn't surprise me at all. Hybrids are generally considered a wash in the cost benefit ratio considering the premium that is charged for them and savings of fuel. They do emit less carbon themselves, but often require a number of rare earth minerals in their construction, so it's a possibility of a wash in manufacture too. So why would anyone pay a good deal higher upfront cost for them when they can push out the higher costs over the lifetime of the car?
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,828,923 times
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I agree, car sales in general have plummetted. Plus, most people who wanted a hybrid bought it before 2009 so they could take advantage of the tax break that just recently expired.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subsound View Post
So why would anyone pay a good deal higher upfront cost for them when they can push out the higher costs over the lifetime of the car?
It depends on how much you drive. I do a great deal of driving, and my 2005 Prius more than paid for itself quite some time ago.

But I didn't buy it for that reason. And you're probably right, people who measure the value of a cars by how well it "stretches a dollar" would probably do better getting some used Yugo or other lightweight tin can of a car and driving it to death.

I bought it because I thought it was so much fun. I love a lot of the features, but my favorite has to be the silence when you drive. I get such a kick from having a silent car--makes me feel like I'm piloting a stealth bomber!

Also, I think the car's cute. I've driven it for more than four years now and still think it's my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But it's a personal taste--and IMO the people who share that sort of taste have probably already bought one. There's only so many of us.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:26 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,176,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
All cars are a tough sell these days. $15 - 35 k is just too much for a vehicle when you cannot take the price out of your increased house hold equity. All of the auto makers are going to have to cut prices by 1/3 to 1/2 to sell anything. Hard times for all.
You're absolutely right. I read recently that every single car maker had a drop of at least 30% in their sales in January 2009, compared to January 2008. (Don't quote me on that, but the trend is obviously there.)

We also cannot deny the impact of gas at $1.79 per gallon as opposed to $4.00 per gallon. People are parking their small cars and getting out the trucks again.


I almost hate to say it, but I think one of the best things that could have happened - long term - is if gas would have gone to $5.00 per gallon and stayed there for a year. I think that might have permanently turned the tide toward fuel efficient and/or hybrid vehicles.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Washington DC
5,915 posts, read 7,258,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
You're absolutely right. I read recently that every single car maker had a drop of at least 30% in their sales in January 2009, compared to January 2008. (Don't quote me on that, but the trend is obviously there.)

We also cannot deny the impact of gas at $1.79 per gallon as opposed to $4.00 per gallon. People are parking their small cars and getting out the trucks again.


I almost hate to say it, but I think one of the best things that could have happened - long term - is if gas would have gone to $5.00 per gallon and stayed there for a year. I think that might have permanently turned the tide toward fuel efficient and/or hybrid vehicles.
If people pull out their gas guzzlers again the price will be back to $4.00/gallon. Pretty stupid, but I can easily see "Joe the Plumber" doing that. ***** at the government about CAFE standards, then ***** at the government about high fuel prices. In this country we used to have a ethic of taking responsibility for you actions, now we just blame it on the government.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:50 AM
 
28,243 posts, read 39,908,153 times
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I was one who switched. I looked for two years.

It came down to the Prius, Camry, and Vue Hybrid.

I gave up on Saturn actually building the Vue.

I dropped the Prius because it drives like a brick and is just too small for me. I just barely fit in it. I liked driving Tinker Toys when I was younger, but I prefer some heft to my vehicles now.

Kia announced a $5k rebate last October. Toyota gave no deals and I would have waited 3 months for the car.

I compared the estimated cost minus my trade-in for the Sorento and the Camry, then figured the cost of fuel at $6.00 a gallon from the day I bought the vehicle. I thought that might end up being a good average over the next 10 years. Could be a bit low, though.

Nine years to payback.

I bought the Kia.

The price of gas plummeted right after I bought. I now estimate I will be trading the Kia before I ever reach payback.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,176,970 times
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You're right Tek Freak. ^^

5 years ago I wanted to buy my wife a VW New Beetle for our anniversary. I would really liked to have gotten a TDI. I loved the 48-50 mpg highway mileage, as opposed to 31 for the gasser.

Unfortunately, the TDI was going to cost $3000 - $3500 more than the equivalent gas model. At that time, when diesel fuel was less expensive than gas, it was going to take me 70,000 miles before I recovered the extra cost.

I went with the gas model.


The unfortunate truth is that many of these hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles are just too expensive for John Q Public.
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