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Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, smart fortwo, MINI Cooper
Oct 22, 2009 (7:19 am)
is getting into the microcar game, with a new model here in the U.S. in about two years priced and sized below Versa:
Tokyo auto show: Nissan plans new low-cost model below the Versa for U.S.
....The small platform will yield three models: a four-door sedan, a five-door hatchback and a multipurpose vehicle. They will replace the subcompact Micra that is now sold in markets around the world other than the United States.
-- The new platform will see a 50-percent improvement in fuel economy over the current Micra. The cars will come with both gasoline and diesel engines, depending on local market demand.
....The new platform will be manufactured at five plants around the world, he said, launching first in Thailand in March 2010.
It seems like if all the talk right now pans out, the Smart Car is going to have a lot of company in the U.S. by 2012 or so....
#8563 of 9848 Re: Nissan [nippononly]
Oct 22, 2009 (8:07 am)
I think that we need a bump in gas prices if micros are to survive in the US market. Given the 2-year time frame for their introduction, I am pretty sure that we will get it.
Oct 23, 2009 (10:37 am)
microcar in your link there shows a micro car that looks a bit sportier-tiny than their current micro the Micra. Not a bad micro-shape.
Nov 11, 2009 (1:38 pm)
"Ford CEO Alan Mulally said the company won't bring the Ka minicar to the U.S. He told the trade paper that the Ka is too small for American tastes and the Fiesta will be the smallest car in the lineup."
Ford Ka Not Coming to the U.S. Says CEO (Inside Line)
#8566 of 9848 Re: No Ka? Ca-ca. [steve_]
Nov 11, 2009 (1:47 pm)
Another mistake, this time for Ford...
This suit, Mulally, is mistaken...when petrol prices begin to rise this type of vehicle will again be in vogue...the Smart and Toyota's new micro will continue to clean up in this niche, so to speak.
"What fools these mortals be"...
#8567 of 9848 Re: No Ka? Ca-ca. [steve_]
Nov 11, 2009 (1:58 pm)
I think its the right call for the current market. The Fiesta is already subcompact/Fit sized...the only things from the supermini class in the US market are the smart, the Aveo and maybe a 2 door Yaris. All of which are available, with incentives, at your local dealer right now.
Ford needs to focus on making the Fiesta a success without distractions...
#8568 of 9848 Re: No Ka? Ca-ca. [tifighter]
Nov 11, 2009 (3:07 pm)
I think it is a mistake on Fords part not to bring the Ka over sometime after the Fiesta. Once the economy starts to pick up I can see gas climbing again and Ford could use it then.
#8569 of 9848 Re: No Ka? Ca-ca. [snakeweasel]
Nov 11, 2009 (3:28 pm)
Conceptually, I agree. But I think the subcompact category has the best chance of volume in the US, just like its the bigger category in Europe. VW can barely bring itself to ship the Polo (subcompact) here, much less the Fox/Lupo class.
Anyhow, this is Ford were talking about, and bringing over their Euro cars has not exactly been a lay-up in the past. Remember the first few years of the Focus? Or the Contour? The XR4Ti and Scorpio were disasters, if you really go far back. Anyhow, they need to get the Fiesta right...ported over from Europe with the same level of quality from that market. They can't have the same recall problems that plagued the Focus at rollout; many US consumers won't be forgiving to ANY US car company now after public money started flowing (yes I know Ford didn't take public money). I hope they get it right...
#8570 of 9848 Re: No Ka? Ca-ca. [tifighter]
Nov 11, 2009 (6:06 pm)
While I commiserate with those who say it's a bad move, the reality is that the average injury rating for most sedans is in the 120/100 range due to a heavy skewing by heavier SUVs and trucks on the road. The Yaris comes out at almost a 200 score, while a 4Runner is around 60 last I checked.
4Runner 4x4 72 56 66 (and this isn't nearly as big as a Surburban or Land Cruiser)
Yaris(4 door) 207 192 134
They could bring it over, but it's so badly outclassed that it would result in a greater that 4:1 imbalance between itself and a typical SUV in a crash., since it is a class smaller than even a Yaris. If you look at the actual aftermaths of Smart Car crashes versus SUVs, as well as it is engineered(probably the best in the whole world right now, actually, in terms of crash safety), it just can't compete. 5000+ lbs just obliterates 2000lbs every time. The Smart car is safe versus normal vehicles in Europe. Just these metal v8 behemoths that are everywhere over here are something it was never designed to cope with.
It's not a bad decision for Ford to say "too small - people will get killed".
EDIT: I used to be firmly in the small car crowd for almost two decades. But in the last decade or so I've come to the realization that big is the game in the U.S., and you're an idiot not to put as much metal between yourself and these things as you can reasonably manage. I'd personally not buy any car smaller than a Civic given what I see driving around next to me.
Note - that a Civic can get roughly 40mpg highway AND still be acceptably safe is a testament to Honda's engineering and goals.
#8571 of 9848 Re: No Ka? Ca-ca. [plekto]
Nov 12, 2009 (12:08 pm)
Your ratings show that the MINI Toyota Yaris (132) is much safer the LARGE Dodge Charger (153). What's up with that?