Miscellanea Automotive News

However pricing is still not down usual level yet.

If launched, the yet-unnamed pickup would be marketed as an “affordable” EV with a base price pegged under $30,000.
Making a smaller truck might be a good move. The Ford Maverick is the size of an early 1990’s F-150.
Has anyone noticed that vehicle continue to grow in size. Is that because Americans continue to get fatter?

sixth-generation small block V8 is happening, which GM says it intends to use to “strengthen its industry-leading full-size truck and SUV business.”
News that there will be a sixth-gen comes as only a small surprise, as GM expects to still be selling a lot of gas trucks and SUVs for years to come, likely in part because towing range in electric vehicles still sucks.

The clock is ticking for Uber to electrify its fleet, and the rideshare company wants automakers to help by designing cheaper electric vehicles for its drivers.

Lawmakers are setting deadlines for rideshare companies to ditch fossil fuels (California’s Air Resources Board among them), and Uber has its own electrification deadlines, which range from 2025 to 2030. That’s all well and good, but electric vehicles are still too pricey for most people, including rideshare drivers.

So, chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi says Uber is in talks with automakers to build EVs that sacrifice speed, or even a wheel or two, to drive down the sticker price.


I’d like to ask, naively…why do people buy large vehicles? I can understand why DH wanted a Ford F-250 pickup since we bought a camper that sat in the bed and also because DH brings firewood for our wood stove. But how many owners of the most popular pickup, the F-150, really use its capabilities? And what about the SUV owners who use it to commute or shop with only one passenger?

Wendy (bought a Subaru Impreza because DH is too tall to be comfortable in a Honda Civic)

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Some part of vehicle growth over the last few decades is due to ever higher safety standards. Air bags take space. Crumple zones take space. More rigid passenger compartments add weight. Power windows and door locks and bigger entertainment systems and all of the computing power to run and monitor them take space and add weight.

I find it quite interesting every time I see an older (1980s or earlier) small car (say a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic) on the road. They seem downright tiny by today’s standards.

Even my 1998 Suburban looks small compared to it’s modern version.



The excuses I heard from co-workers

-I like to sit up high

-I feel safe in a big SUV

-I’m a truck person

As noted before, the CAFE reg was “reformed” in 2006 to favor trucks over cars, and large vehicles over small, by making the mpg requirements easier for larger vehicles to meet. Meanwhile, the demands made on smaller vehicles were intentionally made more difficult to meet, to discourage their production…this was openly stated in the reg, using the excuse that smaller vehicles were “less safe”.



Why do you call them excuses?


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Partly because Americans have been sold on " bigger is better". Partly because those vehicles are heavily advertised and in very effective ways. (advertising works, after all). And there is a certain manly macho factor to the ridiculously large pickups with the big grills and huge tires.

For the most part, it’s image.

I know people in rural Texas who actually need them. For work. To drive on really bad gravel roads that would destroy a sedan (I hate those roads in my Accord). Etc. But in my neighborhood, an Austin suburb, its all a bunch of very large vehicles that usually drive a single person around.

I can only say why I have large vehicles. And I do know a bit about large vehicles - I suspect few if any here have a larger personal vehicle for daily use than I do.

My daily driver is a Mercedes Sprinter. I bought that to transport two people who use mobility devices - my wife used a scooter and my son continues to use a motorized wheelchair. Before my wife needed the scooter, we had a minivan modified so that my son could ride safely while in his wheelchair. But that’s really only good for one chair. (You can get two in, but you have to sacrifice the passenger seat - forcing my wife to sit in the way back. That was a non-starter.) So it was on to a full-size van with a lift much like you’d see in a small bus. (Well, exactly like that - I helped take the lift OUT of a bus when I bought it from the guys who were converting that to an RV.) Just for the record, I have the “small” Sprinter. Lower roof and short wheelbase.

My second car is the aforementioned Suburban. That one is, well, for fun. It makes me smile almost every time I drive it, and I haven’t had a car that made me smile in a very long time. It’s also a fling in the collectible car market. It seems that aging Gen X’ers, like many others before them, get a longing for the cars of their youth. And as they become well established in their careers, they can afford to buy those cars and fix them up a bit - either as a hobby or paying someone to do the work for them. The particular age rage of Suburban that I have acquired seems to be a popular one among Gen X for this purpose. It’s slightly collectible, old enough to be cheap but a bit rare in decent shape, and common enough (especially considering that the mechanical bits are in common with Chevy/GM pick up trucks of the era) that most parts are still readily available. So it’s a bit of an investment into the collectible car market. So far, so good, as I could probably sell it for what I have put into it. So at the very least, I am not suffering depreciation any where near what I would in most other cars. Yet another reason to smile.

And - as others have implied, Newton’s laws have not been repealed. In a wreck, the bigger your car (best measured in mass, not physical size even though the two are correlated) in relation to the other car, the better off you are likely to be. No one is going to beat a semi in a wreck. (My favorite bumper sticker of all time - found on an 18 wheeler: “This truck has been in 8 accidents. It hasn’t lost one yet.”) A 1980s era Toyota Corolla isn’t going to win any wrecks today. The closer you can get to the 18 wheeler, the better.

For visual evidence: Smart ForTwo vs. a C class Mercedes.



Now you stirred the pot… I think my first PU was about 1970, traded away a '57 Chevy 2DHT, and then a string of Fords, one Chevy 3/4T PU (Lemon in '95) but F150s, F250s, 2WD, but 4WD for years now… Old days, yes, hauling firewood from far away forests, moving ourselves or family, Cabover Camper, 5th Wheel and lately a regular RV trailer, also used as a backup spot for family as needed due to fires, whatever… Moved from regular cabs to extended cabs to full Crew cabs over the years as grandkids outgrew the smaller trucks… Pay a bit for the lesser mileage, more if towing, but that’s just part of the game… Less hauling, now at my age, fewer construction projects, but the current '06 F150 4x4 will likely outlast me… Inlaws now live in NV, so more trips over the Sierras, but camping is more local at the Coast… Other car, about to be replaced by a hybrid, but our normal driving has dropped a lot… Trucks are handy tools, besides transportation, and I tend to really like good tools… Unclear what I’m going to do with them, but so far, sill hanging onto them…


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Stole this link from Peregrine Trader:

The company lowered prices on new vehicles, which caused a drop in used vehicle values, and the impact may show weakness in both auto companies and the economy overall.

The majors are ramping up EV production and demand is decreasing leading up to the recession. The recession & Tesla price will likely slow the majors movement into the EV market space as they can still sell quite a few IC SUVs & PUs. I would think that some new EV start ups may not be able to endure through the recession due to lack of cash and may go into the dustbin. A plus for Tesla as it kills some competition. And I wonder how China’s demographic issues will affect China’s EV manufacturers. Will they accelerate the move into EU & US markets as China EV demand diminishes? Or will demographic issue create a societal collapse as government pensions are no longer paid & food & energy shortages as China’s trade balance goes negative causing people to protest & Xi has the army shoot protesters. Mega Tiananmen Square type protests on the horizon?

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One statistic that attracted me to our 2004 Toyota Sienna was that you could put an 8’x4’ piece of drywall in it flat. I have rehabbed a lot of homes! In daily use I could transport a good number of people in comfort with it’s seating for 7, and I can still throw 2 10’ long kayaks in to drive to the upstream put in. Or better yet, it allows me to kayak solo, since I don’t need someone to help me get the kayak off the roof and can put it in and out of the van by myself. Soccer Mom duties are a thing of the past, but it’s really nice to bypass putting the kayaks on top of the vehicle, just slipping them in the back door instead. The all wheel drive has come in handy more than once, since we tend to go to many rural places, and it has moved us countless times. We also load up our trash every couple of months for a dump run, which costs us roughly $60/year, vs the $65/month the cheaper trash haulers want to charge us.

At roughly 18 MPG it was never our primary vehicle for long distance, if we could get away with our smaller car, but now I see that there is a hybrid version getting in the mid 30’s. From what I’ve eyeballed on the road the newer vehicles seem too small for my drywall hack, but my days of slinging drywall are hopefully in the past. Vehicle still looks amazing 19 years later, but it may be tempting to get a new one if still long enough for the kayaks.

We have at least one move left…if we can figure out where we want to go! I much prefer one van load of contents to deal with at a time, than having a tractor trailer vomit it’s contents into the house all at once, but I suspect when we move from this area, it will be too far for that sort of multiple trip approach.

YMMV, so to speak, but we definitely use our large vehicle.


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Sometimes you need to make arrangements for your MIL, so a Camper works out OK…



Japanese automaker Honda Motors said it plans to launch an electric vehicle (EV) division in an effort to compete with other EV giants such as China’s BYD and U.S.-based Tesla .

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