Last post on Oct 02, 2009 at 3:05 PM
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#455 of 464 The smell of napalm in the morning...
Jul 28, 2009 (2:47 pm)
Son, you can join the combat now going on, or you can surf! Now what's it going to be?
My Renault Dauphine was some 850cc in size, put out 1950's power, and could be overhauled with a $29.95 kit from JCWhitney. How do I know? Been there. Done that. After a couple years of exciting ownership, I traded up for a brand new 1969 R10. I loved them both, and reveled in their "dee-fair-onss". That 1100cc R10 could wax a 1300cc VeeDubyuh in a fair drag. And that is very important!
#456 of 464 Re: The smell of napalm in the morning... [wtd44]
Jul 29, 2009 (2:26 am)
Just to refresh your memories:
http://www.forum-auto.com/automobiles-mythiques-exception/section5/sujet380974.h- - - tm
Times have changed!
For 30$ you could get the head gasket and the copper seals/rings for the bottom of the cylinder sleeves. I'd be surprised if you got the full set of piston rings for that price (fire, compression and oil scraper)
The nice thing about that small engine was that I could carry it to the workbench by myself, without the gearbox and accessories of course. The newer engines are quite different and located in front of the vehicle, so now you loose on winter and steep slope traction and everything becomes much more expensive
Are you really sure you would enjoy such a small vehicle again with it's messy gear shifting pattern, total absence of torque and strange rear suspension?
I think we pay a lot for torque on the newer models, and our problems are related to the way we produce power to keep the environment clean. Perhaps an in-between solution, a 2 Liter engine similar to the VW 2.0 TDI could be adequate to move a mid size sedan providing good safety of it's occupants, like the new Audi4
#457 of 464 Re: The smell of napalm in the morning... [caribou1]
Jul 29, 2009 (5:51 am)
I agree with your observations. I personally would love a new A4 Allroad TDI.
The more I think about Fiat trying to save Chrysler, the more ridiculous it gets. Who is going to pay to revamp the UAW factories to build these Fiat tech cars? Our over loaded tax payers is the answer. They will fail for the same reason they went bankrupt. The domestics cannot build low profit margin cars with their labor packages. The only reason Ford is doing well is most of their low profit vehicles are built in Mexico.
#458 of 464 Viewed with waves of nostalgia... [caribou1]
Jul 29, 2009 (8:04 am)
Sincerely, I can't thank you enough for the web address. I will return there again and again. The visuals are great.
#459 of 464 Re: The smell of napalm in the morning... [gagrice]
Jul 29, 2009 (12:28 pm)
It takes 10 years to train an engineer, 20 more for this young person to become a top level specialist.
We left time go by without paying much attention to "other countries". South America, Asia, India and other countries providing good education will now play the role we had in the recent years. C'est la vie. We are forced to be inventive to survive.
Could UAW or even PSA (Peugeot - Citroen) factories convert to build Fiat cars? Not immediately, that's simply human. The same rules apply in the EU: we are stuck with our habits and privileges.
#460 of 464 the current truck market
Aug 12, 2009 (8:43 pm)
I'm thinking that Dodge trucks are a big item for Chrysler when the load hits the road. In spite of all protestations against large gasoline burners, the Dodge pickups seem to sell quite nicely here in 4WD country along the front range of the Rocky Mountains.
#461 of 464 Dodge is missing the what they were doing right
Oct 02, 2009 (8:39 am)
Dodge has an opportunity to capitalize on a segment of the market that other manufacturers phased out or have chosen to ignore. The US market place has changed dramatically in the last 3-4 years consumers are moving towards a performance end market. But part of that performance driven market is not like Ford, Chrysler and GM are assuming. There is a segment out there that desires higher mileage, manual transmissions and diesel engines. Dodge should have learned something from the liberty diesel they publicly noted that they were surprised at how successful that two year program wasÖÖ but they didnít grasp the concept entirely instead they abandoned what was being anticipated by consumers as a break through in the US market finally opening the door to smaller diesel powered vehicles in other platforms with the desired result of mileage and drivability instead of just brute power.
Dodge needs to move their product mix away from their competitors they need to differentiate themselves. But instead of just looking at styling to gain market share look back at the drive train and itís performance. (Think blue ocean strategy) What arenít the competitors doingÖ. What market segments can you serviceÖ..
Take a look at the market place and tell me how many vehicles still offer a manual transmission or a optional smaller diesel engine?
US society has grasped the concept that diesels can achieve significantly more mileage and if a manufacturer would offer them with either a manual tranny or a automatic they could capitalize on an under supplied market place and a segment of society that still prefers to drive a manual transmission and or the segment that is desiring the smaller more efficient diesel engines for daily service.
Take a look in Argentina, and use a ford F series pickup for example. You can get it with a 4cylinder diesel an d a manual transmission, the mid level is a 4.2L 6 cylinder diesel and a 5 speed that gets ridiculous mileage and the turbo charged engine keeps the truck scooting down the road with brisk power or you can order the larger more powerful 7.3 diesel. But in the US you can only get the largest most powerful diesel engine otherwise you are restricted to a gasoline engine and an efficiency robbing automatic transmission.
Chrysler could easily integrate a small 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine and a small 6 cylinder turbo diesel engine into their lineup offering it in a manual transmission and a automatic transmission format. (offering of both is key since all other manufacturers have chosen to ignore this segment of the market Offer it in all chassisís from all jeeps, to the Dakota, and the 1500 ram. And if they made them stand alone units the wiring woes of the integrated system could be minimized, these engines also could possibly be used for retrofits to older chassisís. Use the same bell housing pattern and flywheel across the board reducing replacement and service partís complexity. Go back to the days of interchangeability to reduce inventory carry costs. Simplicity is key and many of these manufactures moved away from simplicity years ago in an effort to protect their brand and create a necessary market for dealership service but in the process they have created a complex and costly replacement parts inventory that they have to maintain.
If I could replace our outside salesmenís gasoline 4x4 pickups with a pickup with a 5 or 6 speed manual and a 6 cylinder or better yet 4 cylinder diesel that would double the current 15-16 mpg they are currently getting with something that could easily net 24-28 I would do it in a heartbeat. My guys arenít out there to win races they are out there to get the job done but they need a pickup with a lumber rack and some weight capacity. Problem is today I can only order one of a handful of options, a chevy 2500 with a 6.0 gas engine and automatic , a Dodge 2500 with a 5.7L hemi and automatic or a Ford F250 with v10 or 5.4 and automatic. OR I buy one of the New diesels that gets similar mileage, puts down Way too much power for what is mostly a commute/utility truck. Power eats fuel and the premium cost of the engine is hard to justify when for the most part itís not netting me much more in mileage but a smaller turbo charged engine would. At $3.00 a gallon + everyone is looking back to tricks of the past to squeeze a few more miles out of each gallon everyone except the manufacturers.
Hybrids are cool for somethingís but in the utility truck and 4x4 market a step back to a time of automatic or manual hubs, optional manual transmissions and smaller turbo charged engines would help us still keep our heavier duty vehicles for utility purposes on the road while and increase mileage this is something most the manufacturers havenít even considered instead they are dolling up the interior and changing the exterior and streamlining in GMís case to the point of only having two options in their HD trucks gas guzzler and automatic or high powered Diesel guzzler and a automatic. Gee guess I wonít be buying anymore GM products.
If they want to keep producing exactly what their competitors are and all compete of r the same customers thatís one thing but if they want to try opening the door up a little to a segment of the market that for many years has been phased out they might find a customer base that could help them get back on their feet ahead of their competitors as this market continues its swing towards different needs and options
Just my opinion but I know these very same issues have been raised by many other consumers who are feeling that the market place is no longer servicing their desires, itís a market place that is becoming less and less diverse.
#462 of 464 Re: Dodge is missing the what they were doing right [ddestruel]
Oct 02, 2009 (9:42 am)
I didn't read your post word-for-word, but I agree that there are market-segment opportunities out there such as you describe.
But what I didn't get from your post is "Why do you think Dodge or Chrysler will fill this gap?" I ask because the only reason they survive is baecause of taxpayer $. And a lot more taxpayer money would have to go into Chrysler and Dodge before they could offer these types of vehicles.
Why would we pay many billions of $ to let Chrysler do this, when these vehicles already exist other places in the world? Why not let Chrysler fail, and just let Fiat sell their Fiats here?
#463 of 464 Re: Dodge is missing the what they were doing right [kernick]
by steve_ HOST
Oct 02, 2009 (10:37 am)
When we bailed out Chrysler in 1980, Iacocca came out with the minivan and they were good to go for another couple of decades. Maybe Marchionne can pull a similar rabbit out of the hat.
Doesn't look too good at the moment though, does it?
#464 of 464 I wish Fiat would hurry up.
Oct 02, 2009 (3:05 pm)
I can say Hemi, and I can spell Alfa. What else do I need?