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thegelding
feeling my oats
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: there are nice people here...that makes me happy
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2009-12-06, 13:13

ps...ions are ions are ions...

every gas station in the world will add a charging station....then another...

then they will take out half their gas pumps and put in more charging stations...

over time all gas pumps will be removed and electric charging points added...

there will be a few gas only stations for retro cars, muscle gas, diesel cars and trucks...but they will get harder and harder to find...

gas will get more an more expensive, electric will get cheaper and cheaper

it happens with all tech, with all products...they change and adapt or stagnant and die...

like i said, i'm surprised gas cars have survived this long with so little changes

g

crazy is not a rare human condition

everything is food if you chew hard enough
  quote
joveblue
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Melbourne
 
2009-12-06, 20:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinney View Post
Battery swap technology is a central part of the approach of the Better Place company which is among the world leaders in the practical implementation of electric cars. I suspect that this is what joveblue was remembering.
Yes! Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
Until there's a battery swap center on every corner there's now a gas station... you have to carefully plan your routes and nearness to a swap center. That's going to reduce adoption rate, which reduces incentive to create swap stations, which... you see the problem.
That's a very good point. We probably won't see a solution like this work for quite some time. But hopefully we'll see some great advances in battery technology over the next 10 years and we'll almost certainly see the price of petrol go through the roof (especially if a price is put on greenhouse emissions). So in 2020 the economic incentive might be there to help with this. Also, you'd probably mainly really need them along highways and such. You'd plug your car into a charge station at home, work, shopping centres, etc.

Quote:
Secondly, gas is gas is gas. Battery technologies have vastly different discharge profiles. Each car would have to know about each kind of battery technology and know how to best take advantage of it.

Third, battery formats. Consider how many kinds of batteries there are for just cell phones... can you imagine a swap station having to have a couple of every kind of battery out there for every possible model that might pull in? Oy.
Presumably there would have to be some sort of international standard applied here. Obviously that's not going to be a simple task, at all.

[/quote]Finally, you'd have to design the car around a quickly removable battery. They're big (.5mx.5mx2m), they're heavy (600-800kg), and from a vehicle design perspective, best buried deep in the car's center of gravity, under a bit of armor for crash safety. And those are the *forty mile* batteries! How are you going to just swap one of these things out in a few minutes? Heck, again, look at the cell phone. A non-user-replaceable battery in the iPhone means it's thinner, simpler, and a better functional design. Adding quick swapability adds weight, size, and distracts from creating a *car* instead of a battery holder on wheels.[/quote]If the battery is placed underneath the car, like in the YouTube video, that may solve this problem.

There's a lot of challenges to be overcome, for sure, but it could be quite an attractive solution in 10 years time. No solution is going to be ideal.
  quote
Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-12-18, 11:34

Sorry Robo( I believe you were the Saab fan here). Saab is dead.

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f...saab-ab-87179/


giggity
  quote
Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2009-12-18, 12:02

I'm nowhere close to the debate but a part of me wonders if GM never bought out (or owned) Saturn & Saab, would they have been flourishing right now? I've always thought of Saturn & Saab as good brand- GM's buying them up just meant cannibalizing itself, it seems.
  quote
Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-12-18, 12:14

GM created Saturn and was flourishing before the other divisions got jealous.
  quote
Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2009-12-18, 12:26

Right, I couldn't remember for sure if Saturn was once independent company or owned by other company then later bought by GM.

Too bad that it's the one that's getting canned. I would think Buick would be a better candidate for the canning, but whatever.
  quote
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2009-12-18, 15:29

Sad news, but not surprising. Saab is a worthless brand these days. Saab used to make very good, very interesting cars that attracted loyal customers. What has Saab done in the last few years? My answer would be, roughly: disgusted every Saab owner on the planet; bewildered everyone else. That's all GM's fault.

See my previous thoughts here.

P.S. Saab died when GM bought it, not today.
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-12-18, 17:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
P.S. Saab died when GM bought it, not today.
Agreed. Saab's downfall was similar to Saturn's—GM thought it would be a great idea to keep tons of extra brands around without making sure each brand had some level of uniqueness to it. Saturn and Saab both used to have their own cars, but eventually they just became yet more brands to sell boring Epsilon-platform cars. And how about the Saab 9-2X and 9-7X? Those were the most blatant rebadgings ever and were probably insulting to long-time Saab customers.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2009-12-18, 18:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana View Post
Right, I couldn't remember for sure if Saturn was once independent company or owned by other company then later bought by GM.

Too bad that it's the one that's getting canned. I would think Buick would be a better candidate for the canning, but whatever.
Saturn seemed like a separate entity because GM basically allowed it to act like like a separate entity until, as Quag pointed out, the other GM divisions got involved.
  quote
thegelding
feeling my oats
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: there are nice people here...that makes me happy
Send a message via AIM to thegelding  
2009-12-18, 19:02

bring back this saab and all will be forgiven




g

Quote:
And how about the Saab 9-2X and 9-7X?
those are acts against both god and and nature...
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2009-12-18, 19:54



At least it didn't go to the Chinese, I guess. Well, most of it.
  quote
Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-12-18, 23:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post


At least it didn't go to the Chinese, I guess. Well, most of it.
Yeah, you'll be seeing pre-2006 Saab 9-3's and the old 9-5's around in China somewhere. lol

It is a shame. I started to like the new 9-5( which was only a month away from starting production


giggity
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2009-12-19, 00:41

The new 9-5 was, like, the savior of the brand. It was what everybody was waiting for. It just didn't come fast enough.

Saturn and Saab, in the same year...ouch.

It looks like Volvo's going to be next, which I don't get at all, because Ford actually seems to be doing okay. But I guess they need the money...

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2009-12-21, 06:05

According to Autoblog Spyker has re-submitted a bid for Saab that addresses eleven of the sticking points of their previous bid. The Swedish government has also apparently gotten involved, since they don't want to see Saab go either. The big issue with Spyker's previous bid was intellectual property fears -- namely, involving Spyker's Russian backer -- but I guess if Sweden backs them instead...

I'm trying really hard not to get my hopes up. Spyker's apparently set a deadline of 5pm eastern today, and it's hard to imagine GM changing their mind that quickly. But then again, they are supposed to be trying to be more "decisive," right?

At least we won't have long to wait.

Shutting down Saab now just makes no sense to me. Right before its comeback car comes out? After development is virtually complete on it? And the wagon variant? And apparently the 9-4X crossover? You'd think they'd at least want to try and sell some of them, to cut their losses. But then again, GM has always retained a unique ability to lose money on each car sold.

It looked like they were finally about ready to let Saab be Saab. But I guess that's all a distraction from trying to get young people to buy Buicks, and trying to get soccer moms into GMCs.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
addison
Formerly “AWM”
 
Join Date: May 2009
 
2009-12-21, 09:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
..P.S. Saab died when GM bought it, not today.
That's not really true. Where would Saab be if GM didn't buy them? Probably out of business for more than a decade by now. They were basically a one car company with the aging 900 as their bestseller when GM stepped in. Saab had little money and no plans to change and improve their lineup. If anything they were life support for them. It was just another wasted investment on GMs part.

These companies going under is not necessarily a bad thing. I know brands develop intense followings but the problem with the auto industry is massive overcapacity which needs to be dealt with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire
GM created Saturn and was flourishing before the other divisions got jealous.
Flourishing.....with an uninspiring product line that never changed. The intense attraction some had to Saturn always seemed to have less to do with product and more to do with the dealer experience and vibe of the company. The cars were pretty stale from day one and never were improved on. They may have been good for GM cars but couldn't really compete with what was coming out of Japan at the time. After a few years the cars were just hideous and the fans moved on.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2009-12-21, 10:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWM View Post
Flourishing.....with an uninspiring product line that never changed. The intense attraction some had to Saturn always seemed to have less to do with product and more to do with the dealer experience and vibe of the company. The cars were pretty stale from day one and never were improved on. They may have been good for GM cars but couldn't really compete with what was coming out of Japan at the time. After a few years the cars were just hideous and the fans moved on.
It's really the "never improved on" part that's the problem. Hence Quag's "other divisions got jealous" bit, which is one of the few GM-related Quag quotes I'll totally agree with. GM should have told the other divisions to STFU and either come out with something to match Saturn's early success or lose their funding. If GM would have axed all those other brands first, and kept pouring money into building Saturn, I think they'd be in a very different position today. When you have a hit, you run with it, but they didn't. They had an early success, but completely blew it, because various execs wanted attention for their crappy pet divisions instead of wanting what was best for the company. There is no doubt in my mind that Saturn could be up there with Toyota and Honda now, if GM hadn't fumbled the ball and tried in vain to save Oldsmobile, et al.

GM always viewed Saturn in a ridiculously outmoded way. They created Saturn as a niche "import-fighting" division, oblivious to the fact that all of their product would need to fight imports. (It was like having a niche "competitive" division within GM - huh?) The solution to that impasse, of course, would be to have Saturn make all of their product, or at least all of their product that had import competition (at the time, this largely excluded trucks) but that was too risky for GM, who decided to spread amongst nine brands what should have been poured into just two, weakening their advertising. Saturn was perpetually underfunded, and their early success was all but forgotten.

GM's problem is that they were - still are - in love with themselves. They thought that people really wanted to have Buick and Cadillac and GMC and Pontiac and Hummer and Chevrolet and Saturn and Oldsmobile around. GM was convinced that each of these brands would reach customers none of their other brands could, that they were all necessary by virtue of their history and, presumably, a loyal owner base. Some people love(d) those brands, true, but not as much as GM loves them. The problem was that nobody really wanted an Oldsmobile, yet GM still wasted a good bit of their resources (most notably advertising) trying to make Oldsmobile somehow necessary.

The entire dealer model is archaic, IMO, but especially GM's "we're slaves to our dealers" arrangement. Your Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealers are telling you they want a more affordable product? You tell them to STFU because they aren't low-end dealers, they chose not to be -- do Lexus dealers demand econoboxes to move? Unfortunately, GM told them "Sure!" and build the Pontiac G3, a clone of the Aveo that exactly zero people asked for. And then they spent money trying to make people ask for it.

Marques should complement each other, not compete for the exact same dollars. It's amazing how long it took GM to learn this, and I think in some ways (Buick/GMC) they still haven't. GM's problem wasn't that they could never make good cars, just that they couldn't make enough good cars to keep nine brands afloat, and thus developed a bad reputation. If they had focused on just keeping their essentials competitive, I think they'd be in a different position.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-12-21, 13:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
It's really the "never improved on" part that's the problem. Hence Quag's "other divisions got jealous" bit, which is one of the few GM-related Quag quotes I'll totally agree with.
Oh come on, my other quotes were 100% truth as well. I swear there was no bias ever.


Quote:
The entire dealer model is archaic, IMO, but especially GM's "we're slaves to our dealers" arrangement. Your Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealers are telling you they want a more affordable product? You tell them to STFU because they aren't low-end dealers, they chose not to be -- do Lexus dealers demand econoboxes to move? Unfortunately, GM told them "Sure!" and build the Pontiac G3, a clone of the Aveo that exactly zero people asked for. And then they spent money trying to make people ask for it.
I seriously don't know what GM was thinking with the G3. I know GM reluctantly gave them the G5, but that was a deal with the dealers. Pontiac dealers would merge with GMC and Buick if they got the G5. That is why I hate dealers so much. Pontiac dealers couldn't stand that Pontiac was going to become a niche brand of RWD cars. The dealers still wanted a mainstream rebadged Chevy to shove down our throats, which is why I support abolishing the independent dealer network system. The automakers should be able to open corporate dealers. It would give the automakers direct control over the quality and type of service the consumer gets. No more dealers trying to screw the consumer with mark ups( they added $5K in mark ups to the G8 which helped it fail), no more dealers screwing consumers with ridiculous service where your car needs, " Such and such" when it really doesn't. When there is a bad independent dealer which screws over a customer, they don't know the dealer is independent and think that is how GM treats their customers.

giggity
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2009-12-21, 14:53

That's what like about Toyota, they killed the markups years ago, at least on new cars. They set the price, and the dealers have to work with it. The dealers make money on service, and used cars. If they screw those things up, they loose customers, plain and simple.
  quote
Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-12-21, 15:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
That's what like about Toyota, they killed the markups years ago, at least on new cars. They set the price, and the dealers have to work with it. The dealers make money on service, and used cars. If they screw those things up, they loose customers, plain and simple.
The markups are put on by the dealer, not GM.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2009-12-21, 16:01

I know, but Toyota does not let the dealers do that, which was my point.
  quote
Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-12-21, 16:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I know, but Toyota does not let the dealers do that, which was my point.
Ah ok. I hope GM doesn't let the dealers do it when it comes time for GM and the dealers to redo their contract in 2010. It's a stupid practice which costs GM customers.

giggity
  quote
DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2009-12-21, 17:51

No, GM's shitty vehicles cost them customers.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2009-12-21, 21:24

Spyker has extended their revised offer for Saab "until further notice."

Sell it already, GM! Stop toying with my heart

Some of you might have seen this, but here was the first ad in Saab's (failed?) re-launch campaign. The ad, for the quick-and-dirty, we're-bleeding-cash-and-need-a-crossover-now 9-3X, showed that Saab was still trying to hold onto its Swedish quirkiness. Plus, it's an actual ad. For a Saab. That alone makes it sort of novel.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-12-21, 23:10

I would say it failed as I totally forgot about the 9-3x.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2009-12-22, 01:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagmire View Post
I would say it failed as I totally forgot about the 9-3x.
Apparently, it hasn't gone on sale in the US yet? It's not on Saab's US site.

That's weird, because it actually seems like a very US-facing product -- all it is is a lifted (1.4 inches IIRC) 9-3 SportCombi with two-tone cladding and more standard features (yay roof rails!), but it's a "crossover," not a "wagon." That's very important. It seems designed to escape the stigma wagons have in the US while offering a very (let's face it) car-like crossover, which is what some people want. Yet the US didn't get it (yet?)...huh.

Saab's real relaunch, of course, would have been the new 9-5, Saab's new flagship with a new design language and their first 9-5 update...ever. (The current model dates back to 1998.) Along with that would have been the 9-4x, based on the SRX platform but a more significant (and successful) badge job than either the 9-2x and 9-7x. A really new sedan and a real crossover...just what Saab needs to be relevant again. If I were Saab's new owners, I would actually skip the 2010 model year and launch the 9-5 and 9-4x in the US at NAIAS in January as the first 2011s.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong

Last edited by Robo : 2009-12-22 at 01:48.
  quote
dmegatool
Custom User Title
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: At home
 
2009-12-22, 02:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by NosferaDrew View Post
That's Tuna Canyon Road.
It's a magnificent road above Malibu (there are many up there) and it's one-way straight down.

Here's a little video of the trip down.
Nice road indeed. So you took your pictures at 3:20 right ?
  quote
atomicbartbeans
reticulating your mom
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Send a message via AIM to atomicbartbeans  
2009-12-22, 14:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaqtly View Post
Top Gear talk also strongly encouraged.
Indeed! I've been following Top Gear for several months now, and watched pretty much everything since season 6. Very addictive show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoe View Post
First car (1996-1998): 1989 Toyota Tercel EZ, manual 4-speed.
Tomoe, how was your experience with the Tercel? Mine is a 1992 Tercel DX 5-speed - I've had it for 8K miles and just under a year.





It's the first car that I've owned and it's been very worthwhile so far - purchased from a professor for $950 last January. Fuel economy is quite better than EPA (my record for one tank is 42.05 MPG; I typically get 36-39 highway and 31-34 city).

You ask me for a hamburger.
  quote
addison
Formerly “AWM”
 
Join Date: May 2009
 
2009-12-22, 23:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
Apparently, it hasn't gone on sale in the US yet? It's not on Saab's US site.
9-3 Sport Combi is one of the best looking cars out there....9-3X? Not digging the lifted look. And from what I've read the price may be north of $40K!! That's too much for Saabs in my opinion. They just aren't worth it. If I was in the market for that type of vehicle I'd probably buy a Forrester. A lot cheaper and way more reliable.
  quote
Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-12-23, 01:11

This season of Top Gear has been a big disappointment. I hope they don't go out on this one, i read that the next ep should bring it back up to our lofty standards though.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2009-12-23, 03:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbartbeans View Post
Indeed! I've been following Top Gear for several months now, and watched pretty much everything since season 6. Very addictive show.


Tomoe, how was your experience with the Tercel? Mine is a 1992 Tercel DX 5-speed - I've had it for 8K miles and just under a year.
...
It's the first car that I've owned and it's been very worthwhile so far - purchased from a professor for $950 last January. Fuel economy is quite better than EPA (my record for one tank is 42.05 MPG; I typically get 36-39 highway and 31-34 city).
I hope your car went in with the recall, I know they had to do a lot of rebuilds on early 90's Tercels.
  quote
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