<VV> Rant (minor corvair)

Padgett pp2 at 6007.us
Tue Oct 18 10:20:04 EDT 2005

>And so, you cannot buy the car you want. You cannot make the decision to
>save money by not having a bumper, or an airbag. Because you, like me, are
>not free.

(political note: I use "Americans" to mean those from the USA and mean no 
slight to those who must put up with part of a Canadian winter before 
flocking to Florida. People south of us never seemed to care)

Who boy, doesn't anyone do any research any more ? What a pack of BS laced 
with occasional allusions to the truth. Among other things, the 5 mph 
bumper law no longer exists. Also I know of no *law* requiring airbags, 
they are more of a marketting ploy and are effective for those who refuse 
to wear seat belts.

I have been wearing seat belts since the early sixties because I prefer 
that I (and any passengers) stay in their seats if an evasive maneuver is 
necessary. Believe there is a law in that case, enacted in or became 
effective in 1966 and a good thing because good seat belts require good 
anchoring points. They are also inexpensive if not tricked out with gee-gaws.

Yes, congress has enacted some really stupid laws (e.g. seat belt law in 
1974) fortunately they do not last long. However, generally the 
manufacturers give the American people the cars they say they want, 
generally proven in the marketplace. The American public has generally 
wanted big and that is what they have received.

Take Cadillac for instance. Underneath the sheet metal (and less of that is 
"Cadillac" than you might think, badge engineering is rife and has been 
since the 50's), most of what is different from a Chevrolet is what you see 
and touch and are bolt-ons. The rest is generic GM. Small Cadillacs 
(Cimmaron, Catera) have been tried but have never really done well. Instead 
people flocked to the Escalade, ESV and EXT. $60,000 pseudo trucks for 
heaven's sake.

Bottom line is that the emissions laws and safety laws have had an effect 
(mostly for the manufacturers to find loopholes as with the "light trucks") 
but no where near as much ass claimed. Most of what is wrong with the auto 
industry is a monumental failure to have contingency plans in effect for a 
changing economic climate. Instead we have vehicles which have just enough 
hybrid technology to be called hybrids with no real fuel savings.

Are they right ? Are Americans so insensitive to gas prices that a 50% 
increase in a year is unnoticed as long as gas is available. Is it still 
cheap enough to be discretionary ? Maybeso.

I have always been a "form follows function" person who believes that a 
well maintained mix of cars for different purposes is ideal but then I have 
the necessary garage space.

The other issue, the difficulty of importing a car, is more accurate. There 
are a number of standards (glass, roll over protection) that require 
destruction of several cars and other tests that are just plain expensive 
that makes outside companies wonder. Those building cars here have lineups 
that are far different from what they sell abroad. Americans in general 
have voted for large cars with their pocketbooks.

Look at the recession/economy/passion for imports in the 1950's that 
created the Corvair. It also created the Falcon, Comet,  Valliant, 
Lancer,  Lark, and American. With the exception of the American which 
really was nice looking, *none* made it to calendar year 1970 except as 
"low line" badges on another model (e.g "Valiant" on the "Duster" line). 
Instead they were replaced by what were designed as economy cars to meet 
the new regulations with entirely different packaging (Vega, Bobcat, 
Horizon) and not "compacts" but "sub-compacts".

So while the rant contains some grains of truth, the assumptions are wrongs 
and can only lead to wrong conclusions. In the end it is all about money.


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