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G-CPTN
30th Apr 2009, 17:35
So Chrysler has gone LBU and has been 'acquired' by FIAT.
FIAT's range of small cars are to be built in the USA.
That should restore confidence in the Chrysler brand - just like Daewoo has done for GM and Chevolet . . .

Flyt3est
30th Apr 2009, 19:58
You think the Italian junk is going to ADD value to Chrysler?

Just a bigger pile of poo if you ask me...:ok:

SoundBarrier
30th Apr 2009, 20:04
I would have thought it would be called Chryiat rather than Fiaysler. Everytime you get in the new car you will Chryiat it! LOL

Dushan
30th Apr 2009, 20:06
So if this is FIAT 500

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6e/Fiat_500_Brooklands_auto_italia_2006.jpg/250px-Fiat_500_Brooklands_auto_italia_2006.jpg

what is Chrysler 300 going to look like in a few years?

brickhistory
30th Apr 2009, 20:09
May I just say:


:yuk:

Flash2001
30th Apr 2009, 20:16
Don't I remember many years ago Chrysler and Renault agreeing to produce a common car? And don't I remember that by the time the dust had settled there were only a very few parts in common between the French and U.S. models? Six comes to mind.

After an excellent landing you can use the airplane again!

Sprogget
30th Apr 2009, 20:19
You may. I'll take the 500 anyday.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2hr1jbt.jpg

over this shitbox:}
http://i39.tinypic.com/2i8f24i.jpg

Face facts boy, they ain't going bust cos you boys are clamouring for them!

Dushan
30th Apr 2009, 20:27
Well, Sprogget, you may have a point on the Chrysler, pictured, but it is still bigger than your FIAT pre-fab coffin. However a real man drives one of these:

http://autoindustry.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/dodge-ram.jpg

Sprogget
30th Apr 2009, 20:39
That motor is so Freudian.;)

brickhistory
30th Apr 2009, 20:45
But so much fun to drive.

And actually practical for those of us in the population who's height precluded contorting into various econ-boxes.

I miss my 1995 Dodge Ram.

Dushan
30th Apr 2009, 20:48
Freudian? Good ol' Sigmund wouldn't have been able to drive this baby. I've been to Vienna, and the streets are not wide enough for it, and neither are most other European city streets.

Sprogget
30th Apr 2009, 20:53
So Freudian is conceded then.

Dodge Ram? more like Dodge 1930's. Leaf springs, huuuge engine etc. This is the trouble with yankee doodle jalopies, they fall so far behind the times, they just don't translate & if there's one thing you want to do in this day & age, it's sell round the world. How many American car plants in Japan? How many Japanese car plants in America? QED it would seem.

brickhistory
30th Apr 2009, 20:58
huuuge engine


And it was spectacular!*








*apologies to Seinfeld.

Sprogget
30th Apr 2009, 21:00
Ha! Good one! Of course, a central plank of Seinfeld was the inability to learn from their mistakes. Kinda allegorical, in the circumstances like;)

Dushan
30th Apr 2009, 21:01
This is the trouble with yankee doodle jalopies, they fall so far behind the times, they just don't translate

The trouble may be in your eyes only. Have you ever driven one? Been driven in one? There is nothing more fun than to take your pickup (gun rack equipped), and take it down a dusty country road on a summer Sunday afternoon.

Oh, and no need to translate, most of the world speaks English...

Sprogget
30th Apr 2009, 21:03
Oh Dushan, you can play me better'n that surely! C'mon, the world speaks English, but it sure doesn't speak Ponceiac, Crisisler, General murder, or Caddyshack!

brickhistory
30th Apr 2009, 21:07
sprogget, I've mainly been going for humor, but for many areas of the US that are not urban, the little toy cars are very impractical. Sure you can go 30 miles or better on a gallon, but it's still 200 miles or more until you get to civilization.

Little boxes are great for an urban/short haul driver, hence my lack of truck since it didn't fit in the city I'm trapped in, but those boxes stink for rural or wide open spaces driving, areas largely lacking in your part of the world.

No argument about Detroit losing the plot, but as SUVs/pick up were what were selling gangbusters until last spring, I can't blame them entirely.

They simply made what the American consumer wanted.

They just couldn't shift (pun intended) fast enough once gas hit $4.00/gallon.

Dushan
30th Apr 2009, 21:12
They just couldn't shift (pun intended) fast enough once gas hit $4.00/gallon.

Brick,
I think you are confusing our European friend here. He is probably doing the math and thinking 'I didn't realize petrol has come down in price to .70E/l'.:E

Sprogget
30th Apr 2009, 21:17
Brick, I know this. Parts of what, the corn belt? You can get a licence at 14, because there's no other way of getting around - is that right? I'm poking fun too, but Detroit just didn't adapt when it needed to. I understand the rootin' tootin' man may not appreciate the Eurobox, but the plain facts are that the Saab, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes & all of the Japanese colonised the states & the guys who gave us the car didn't do it back & now they're on their knees.

I take no pleasure in the decline of an industry, it's jobs & families after all, but what a shame the American auto biz didn't play us at our own game. Anyway, I'm a brit & we make JCB's & Robin Reliants, so what would we know?

We now return you to the baiting.:p

frostbite
30th Apr 2009, 21:45
It's Reliant Robin old chap.

Sprogget
30th Apr 2009, 22:40
Actually, we always called them spaz chariots, but don't tell anyone.

airship
1st May 2009, 00:26
None of the amalgams of Chrysler and Fiat that I can think of sound very good.

However, if the Chrysler - Fiat merger does ever go through and Fiat cars (not forgetting Alfa Romeo) do return to the USA after a quarter of a century's absence, I've thought of a great marketing campaign to announce it all:

The 30 second TV spot

A Roman legion, headed by an auguste Roman general in his chariot drawn by 6 majestic white stallions and accompanied by 5,120 legionaries as well as a large number of camp followers, servants and slaves, makes its way across a dusty sand-blown track in a desolate landscape and arrives at a crossroads where they find a small Chrysler dealership with several non-descript motorcars out front and confronted by a dishevelled individual who looks like GWB...

"Wull, hiya dudes, y'all look like you've comes a long way. You ain't lost are you? I got a whole shelf of road maps back in the shop. Got lots of cold drinks and snacks too, toilets out the back..."

The Roman general utters a swear word (which cannot be repeated here), draws his whip and strikes the unfortunate American. Instantaneously, the car-dealer is transformed into a Barack Obama lookalike. The Roman general then proceeds to strike all the pitiful Chryslers in the lot, transforming them into wonderful and delightful modern, economical Fiat cars hitherto only available in (old) Europe.

With an "Ave, Berlusconi!", he rides off into the sunset. Whilst a slave stands behind him, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: "that all glory is fleeting..."

A 5 second spot

You love pizza don't you? Well, you'll love the new Chryslers! (European design, engineering, safety and economy)...

If you want any more of that, you'll have to pay me a 6 figure annual consultancy fee. :}

RJM
1st May 2009, 05:16
Thanks, er, Mr Airship. We'll be in touch...

(to PA) 'Where was that guy from? PPRuNe??"

Re Fiaysler

We've had something close, with very attractive results - the remarkable Fieseler Storch!

http://i44.tinypic.com/255rtsi.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/j6q6nc.jpg

RJM
1st May 2009, 05:38
If Chrysler keeps up these mergers and de-mergers, they will have had access to the intellectual property of the entire industry!

ChrisVJ
1st May 2009, 06:20
By definition it is the problem of the major car companies as they are the ones in a desperate situation, however the reasons, and maybe the answers, are nowhere near as simple as detractors make out.

Once upon a time there were no real competitors and the big three had 90% of the US market. In any system, where you then present a number of viable alternatives a number of people are going to buy those alternatives and if the alternatives' labour costs are a fraction their prices will be too.

Granted the big three have been arrogant and poorly run in an ultra competitive market, but if you want to know what kind of cars people want go and look in the local car park. At a school function the other day I counted over thirty SUVs and only seven compacts!

I don't know what the real answer is, but I suspect there is not much mileage in selling Fiat 500s here.

merlinxx
1st May 2009, 06:33
You'd be amazed what can be achieved in a Cinquecento on a warm summers evening down at the Lido in Roma:E:ok:

tinpis
1st May 2009, 07:02
Want..want...http://www.augk18.dsl.pipex.com/Smileys/hug5.gif

http://www.zcars.com.au/images/fiat-500-abarth1.jpg

Mr Grimsdale
1st May 2009, 07:45
Those new 500s seem to be driven almost exclusively by very attractive ladies. I love 'em.

Wod
1st May 2009, 08:07
Once upon a time there were no real competitors and the big three had 90% of the US market. In any system, where you then present a number of viable alternatives a number of people are going to buy those alternatives and if the alternatives' labour costs are a fraction their prices will be too.

Granted the big three have been arrogant and poorly run in an ultra competitive market, but if you want to know what kind of cars people want go and look in the local car park. At a school function the other day I counted over thirty SUVs and only seven compacts!

I don't know what the real answer is, but I suspect there is not much mileage in selling Fiat 500s here.

90% of the U.S. market was fine until the U.S. market opened up to free trade.

The problem then became that the World market didn't much want vehicles designed for the U.S. market, but the U.S market liked some of the "foreign" offerings.

Introduce financial stress and the U.S. market contracts, showing a preference for smaller "foreign" vehicles, while the domestic and export market for gas-guzzlers declines. But that is all the domestic U.S. plants are tooled for.

I think there is probably a niche market in the U.S. for the Fiat 500 (They bought Minis after all), but more of a market for the Japanese and British 4Wheel drive, and the city-nimble smaller sedans, many of which are manufactured by off-shore subsidiaries of the Big Three paradoxically.

FWIW

Sprogget
1st May 2009, 08:41
And therein lies the problem. Americans like Euro saloons & Jap boxes, but Europe doesn't like American behemoths. Detroit failed to make an attractive proposition to the rest of the world & now the financial crisis is hastening the inevitable.

eastern wiseguy
1st May 2009, 09:08
Brick
They simply made what the American consumer wanted.



Weren't there some rather spectacular tax breaks available for the purchase of SUV's and Trucks?.

Did they not dissappear over the past year or so rendering that market even less palatable with the (then) surge in gas prices?

brickhistory
1st May 2009, 09:48
Eastern,

I know of no such tax breaks.

The biggest share of the US domestic market until around the spring/early summer of 2008 was SUVs/pick-ups with them having better than 50% of all vehicles sold in the US.

It was the amazing surge in gas prices of last summer that killed the American appetite for such vehicles.

Unless gas prices drop again.

As for American vehicles overseas, as the behemoths don't fit well in the tiny streets, it's not surprising they weren't popular sellers.

But they worked well here for many years. Detroit apparently didn't have a back up plan for when the SUV craze stopped and paid the price (well, the American taxpayer is paying the price).

SMT Member
1st May 2009, 09:49
Onya Tinpis, that's porn on wheels that is! Betcha you could pull more totty in that than any yank tank!

Am seriously thinking of buying one for the wife. Best bit is, she wouldn't be seen dead in it, so she can potter around in the company wheels and I'll have it all to myself!

To whomever said that small cars are unfit for open road/long distance driving: Bollocks! I used to own a Mini Cooper S and regularly took it on 1000km drives up and down the German Autobahn. Worked a treat that did. Ok, maybe not if you're hauling the extended family and a kitchen sink, but when solo or dual it was farking marvellous.

brickhistory
1st May 2009, 09:51
That was me.

And my statement holds.

If you don't fit in 'em, as I don't, then they are useless.

As well as kinda effeminate looking.






Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Sprogget
1st May 2009, 09:53
As for American vehicles overseas, as the behemoths don't fit well in the tiny streets, it's not surprising they weren't popular sellers.

This the whole point. You make a product, a market doesn't go for it, so it doesn't sell. Meanwhile, the furriners make a product, your market does like it, it does sell, you're effectively hit on two fronts, you go bust.

larssnowpharter
1st May 2009, 10:16
I learned to drive in a 'cinquecento' and loved playing submarine commanders thans to the (standard) sun roof and the hand throttle. Also recall a certain lady being very generous with her favours in the 'Giardinetto' version which does prove you can do it in a 500. Later, I used to rally a Fiat 124 ST with some success against the Escort Mexicos that were all the rage then.

One therefore has a certain affection for the marque. One of the Casa Lars vehicles at the moment is an Alfa GTV Spyder which is just a totally great fun car. To get that exhaust note just the way it sounds must have taken a team of engineers. Lovely drive and well capable of blowing away most Yank competition especially as it can actually negotiate corners.

Fiat are more than just a car company. They own CNH which makes them second only to John Deere in agri machinery.

They also have made some great aircraft; Gino, anyone.

Oh, European Car of the Year 4 times in the last 10 years.

Has anyone mentioned Ferrari yet?

SMT Member
1st May 2009, 10:23
Brick, how much more than 6ft 3inches are you then? I've got a mate that height, and he fit the Cooper just fine. Your argument, however, was not about being able to fit the car, you said small cars are not good at long distance travels. Based on personal experience, that's just not true.

I've driven other small cars around Europe, and apart from a really crappy Fiesta 1.1, which suffered horribly going over the Alps, have had no issues. Some where a bit short of power (there's the Fiesta again) but even small cars come with pretty powerful engines these days; the Abarth SS pictured above has in the order of 160hp, and that's more than enough.

You like big cars, no issues with that. But don't claim small cars can't do the job, 'cause they can.

brickhistory
1st May 2009, 10:33
For me, more than 6'3", a small-ish car doesn't do the job, short or long trips.

To each his or her own.

I believe that pick-ups/SUVs will still be a (smaller) part of the market here in the U.S.

And that car looks like what's referred to as a 'chick car' here.

ORAC
1st May 2009, 11:44
And Reliant also stopped producing cars in 2002....

larssnowpharter
1st May 2009, 12:30
And Reliant also stopped producing cars in 2002....
With the greatest of respect sir - with the exception of some sports estates - Reliant never made cars. Accessories to TV comedy programmes perhaps. :E

Mr Grimsdale
1st May 2009, 12:40
brickhistory
If you don't fit in 'em, as I don't, then they are useless.[quote]

SMT Member
[quote]Brick, how much more than 6ft 3inches are you then? I've got a mate that height, and he fit the Cooper just fine. Your argument, however, was not about being able to fit the car, you said small cars are not good at long distance travels. Based on personal experience, that's just not true.


I'm 6'3" and fit in small cars like the Mini or Fiat 500 easily enough, they're probably more comfortable and roomy than some larger vehicles.

larssnowpharter
Which Alfa GTV have you got? I've got one of the 3 litre 2000 models, great car up to nearly 130000 miles now and still going strong.

Peter Fanelli
1st May 2009, 12:45
However a real man drives one of these:


What, you mean an overgrown pickup named after a bloody sheep!

Oversize pickups are for rednecks with undersize dicks.

eastern wiseguy
1st May 2009, 12:48
Brick.....this is what I was thinking of.


Free SUVs For Small Business Owners - Pros and Cons of New SUV Tax Break (http://4wheeldrive.about.com/cs/drivingtipssafety/a/aa041603a.htm)


Back in 1996, in an effort to change tax laws "to encourage business investment," Congress made it possible for business owners to claim $17,500 in accelerated depreciation on equipment (such as trucks). That amount increased in '01, '02, and '03 from $20,000 to $24,000 to $25,000, respectively. Now, Bush's plan calls for up to $75,000 "accelerated depreciation" for business owners.

The tax break was originally intended for business owners such as farmers and construction workers, so their pickup trucks and cargo vans would not be treated as "luxury vehicles" - for which the code was not as generous. At the time, nobody considered SUVs and pickup trucks as "luxury" vehicles. But the tax code defines industrial vehicles by weight instead of function, and the parameter that the vehicle must be over 6,000 pounds fits the original intent of the legislation to help small family farmers. Due to the fact that SUVs are today classified as "light trucks," SUV owners who are also business owners can now take advantage of such benefits.


This has recently "gone away"(my Brother in Law in Ohio has certainly felt the pinch).

It can't have helped...even without the gas hike.


Regards

EW

er340790
1st May 2009, 12:50
I think it's just hysterical.

1. The new entity will be 55% owned by the UAW.... whose track record in destroying the American auto industry is unmatched.

2. Daimler paid $38 bn for this pile of s**t back in '98. And it's still a pile of s**t, but one now operating in a market 43% down.

3. With the exception of some of the Jeep models, its cars are a joke, based on ancient floorpans and running gear.

4. Fiat are contributing zero cash because... THEY DON'T HAVE ANY! Forget their $5bn 'cash reserves', a quick check on their Balance Sheet reveals $11 bn of S/T and L/T debt, so net $6 bn in the hole.

5. President Tiger Woods has about as much grasp of economics as that golfer Barack Obama.

6. GOD SAVE AMERICA(N TAXPAYER)!

brickhistory
1st May 2009, 13:06
Peter Fanelli:

Oversize pickups are for rednecks with undersize dicks.


In some cases, certainly.

In other cases, they are very necessary farm/industry/small business tools.

In other cases, they are comfortable means of transportation for someone over 6'3." Genital size is not a topic for discussion here, I believe.

As for those praising the small cars being "great and I'm 6'3," I am happy for you.

For me, having ridden in a new Mini, while there was good legroom, I am at a stage in my life where A) I'm not 20 and want something with a little more 'gravitas' and B) don't want the hassle of having to clamber in something like a Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot, all gangly legs and inserting things carefully so they'll fit.

I'm happy for you that you like your little cars.

Until our young twenty-something metrosexuals grow into power economically and we become even more like Europe (which is what Europe wants. Why, I wonder? but I digress.), the majority of Americans still think the little cars as exhibited here are 'cute' and 'for chicks.'

I do anyway.

I'm not really bothered that you think differently than me.

Sprogget
1st May 2009, 13:19
the majority of Americans still think the little cars as exhibited here are 'cute' and 'for chicks.'

I do anyway.

Ha ha! This goading is fun, if a little contradictory in that I should wonder you speak for most Americans. Hey everybody, we got the prez on the line!:p

Storminnorm
1st May 2009, 13:31
British LEYLAND seriously missed out in the American market.
They should have produced a massive pick-up/ SUV for the
yanks, and called it The Leyland Lardass.
Would've sold millions.

BenThere
1st May 2009, 13:35
If, in our brave new world, we are limited to owning just one vehicle to last us the rest of our lives in order to put a brake on our carbon footprint, I would likely go with a full size Chevy Silverado Crew Cab all wheel drive, V8, dressed in leather, nav system, premium sound, cruise control, etc.

Such a vehicle can transport people, accommodate my bimonthly $1,000 trips to Costco, bring home a tree from the suburban garden store for planting, get me and all my gear to the airport or Montana, and handle something like an Italian leather sofa or drill press bought at an open air market.

Don't underestimate the Cinquecento, however. They have been plying the roads of Italy for decades, and 40 year old Cinques are still a common sight. Like Vespa's, the old 500 CC people's transport is a heritage vehicle. Even on the Autostrada, you will encounter, as you move along at 200 clicks, the odd Cinquecento puttering along at its top speed of about 60 clicks, a smiling, singing Italian dangling his cigarette from the wing vent.

As for Chrysler, the fix is in and it's perfect. We can continue to shovel taxpayer money in, sift it through the UAW comb, and have it returned to the Democratic party faithful via UAW control of the company and the graft such an arrangement guarantees.

brickhistory
1st May 2009, 13:49
the majority of Americans still think the little cars as exhibited here are 'cute' and 'for chicks.'

I do anyway.


sprogget, surely even the very meanest of intellects can see that the second sentence modifies the previous one to narrow the scope of the idea to my opinion only.

Further, if you had the "prez" on the line, he still doesn't speak for all of us. Only the 52% that voted for him.

0 for 2 in goading accuracy.

Standards have slipped.

Must be the loss of testosterone from driving all those chick cars.

Sprogget
1st May 2009, 14:00
Aw, c'mon, I'm only teasing you back for teasing me! Anyway, last time I looked, 52% was a majority, but no matter - and the thing with chick cars is you find chicks in them. A lesson for you there meboy!

MagnusP
1st May 2009, 15:19
With the greatest of respect sir - with the exception of some sports estates - Reliant never made cars.

Sabre and Scimitar both had non-estate variants in the mid-80's, if I remember correctly.

Princess Anne was, I think, nicked for speeding in hers. (And more recently in her Bentley.) :p

Storminnorm
1st May 2009, 15:25
Scimitar was useless, I itched for weeks after crashing mine!!!

larssnowpharter
1st May 2009, 15:35
larssnowpharter
Which Alfa GTV have you got? I've got one of the 3 litre 2000 models, great car up to nearly 130000 miles now and still going strong.

Alas, not the mighty V6. 'Tis but a humble Twin Spark Spider from the same year as yours but with less than 50,000 km. However, it was enough to win a Mustang which was then promptly sold back to it's owner;)

Different cars for different places, of course. Here in the ME we also have a Ford SUV and a Nissan thing for Senora Lars. Back home another pair of SUVs both courtesy of Toyota.

Mr Grimsdale
1st May 2009, 15:51
HA! Great to hear your GTV blitzed a Mustang, what engine size was that?

If you've only got 50000 km on the clock you've barely worn the engine in, there's years left in your car.

G-CPTN
1st May 2009, 16:43
http://fiatpasion.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/fiat-topolino-3.jpg

Fiat Topolino - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topolino)

racedo
1st May 2009, 17:24
The issue isn't so much with the Vehicle size but the gaz guzzlers that exist and a complete unwillingness to consider Diesel vehicles.

Having hired numerous cars over last 3 years I can attest that 45-50 MPG in a Diesel is easily achievable even when running the living daylights out of it on Motorway
/ Autobahn / Autostrada.

US could probably cut its Oil consumption by about 20% if it woke up to what everyone else knows that Diesel is far more efficient.

SMT Member
1st May 2009, 18:06
Too right Racedo. My 320d will sip around 7 litres per 100 km pottering along at around 170 kmn on the 'bahn (sorry, I don't to MPGs or MPHs). For fast cruising (+200 km/h), it'll still burn less than 10l/100km. And since it's low revving (3000 rpm equals roughly 180 kmh) it's quiter than its petrol sister. I can't find a single reason why one would choose the petrol over the diesel.

Modern common-rail diesels is the only way to go, unless you run something sporty - and despite it's name a SUV is anything but sporty.

larssnowpharter
1st May 2009, 18:37
I can't find a single reason why one would choose the petrol over the diesel.

Modern common-rail diesels is the only way to go, unless you run something sporty

Quite agree but you try telling the cousins that! One of the SUVs I have in the PI is a Toyota Fortuner, built on the same chassis as the (indestructable) High Lux pick up. It is a decent 7 seater, fits down the roads as its is on the thin side and has loads of ground clearance, 4 WD and low ratio. 3 litre common rail diesel turbo. It also has enough torque to deal with the mountain roads. Ideal truck for SE Asia.

HA! Great to hear your GTV blitzed a Mustang, what engine size was that?

To be honest, I don't recall. Young local lad owned it so it had a silly paint job and lots of bits hanging off it. Deal was that I could choose the road. Straight line he had the legs but throw in a few bends and roundabouts and ..... well, the Mustang handles like crap given its live rear axle etc. He lost it on a corner. Not fair really.:}

racedo
1st May 2009, 18:43
Young local lad owned it so it had a silly paint job and lots of bits hanging off it. Deal was that I could choose the road. Straight line he had the legs but throw in a few bends and roundabouts and ..... well, the Mustang handles like crap given its live rear axle etc. He lost it on a corner. Not fair really

Old age and Cunning do Youth and Inexperience almost all the time:ok:

brickhistory
1st May 2009, 19:19
Aw, c'mon, I'm only teasing you back for teasing me!

Likewise, I'm sure.

Anyway, last time I looked, 52% was a majority, but no matter -

But not all which was your point.

and the thing with chick cars is you find chicks in them.
Unless there's a guy driving the car. Based on numerous comments, numerous Euro-guys like the cars.


A lesson for you there meboy!


Indeed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

As for those championing the diesel, I don't argue.

But that engine suffers from the long memory and poor PR of the last time diesels made a US appearance for cars.

Absolute crap for passenger vehicle use - no torque, hard to find filling stations other than truck stops, etc.

I drove a diesel VW in Germany a couple of years ago for some months, I was very impressed.

edited for crap spelling

Sprogget
1st May 2009, 19:36
But not all which was your point.

Er, no it wasn't. I'll put my own words in my mouth thank you very much.:=

But that engine suffers from the long memory and poor PR of the last time deisels made a US appearance for cars.

Perhaps, but the country that gave us marketing, could do so again. There really is no future in v8 10mpg monsters. Adieu, Pontiac.

Cheerio
1st May 2009, 20:03
There is no future in underpowered, over-compressed little sh!tbox diesels either! The only difference is tax. The cousins see mobility as a right, and our crappy septic isle sees it as an taxable evil somewhere between alcohol and nicotine. Give me proper sparking engines with capacity more suited to being measured in inches any day. It bugs the hell out of me to even be forced to consider a reading a brochure including a flat out, nuts off, soon to be smoky, 1.6 litre rattle-box diesel in a car the size of an E class estate, when it ought to be purring along at just over idle on a twin turbo 3.2 staight six petrol.

Fiat will fail in the US again, unless Obama decides to try a bit of good ol' Euro taxation on fuel. They just don't fit, just like a Mustang is hopelessly unsuited to hanging out on the Hangar Lane Gyratory.

Sprogget
1st May 2009, 20:37
Ah, the horses for courses argument, which flys in the face of the experience of Honda USA, Toyota USA, Mercedes USA... I could go on

...unlike the US auto industry.

Ken Wells
1st May 2009, 21:10
Maybe if Chrysler had produced cars that didn't look like they where designed by a 10 year old out of Lego and Americans didn't buy Japanese, things might have been different.

brickhistory
1st May 2009, 23:04
Actually, I bought German.

Lon More
2nd May 2009, 09:09
In the drive here, largest to smallest

1963 Chevrolet C10 Stepside pickup
Renault Vel Satis
Peugeot Partner

For the space behind the wheel reverse the list.

The Chevy was a nightmare to drive until we changed the pedal box. To go from the throttle to the brake you had to lift your foot off the floor, bashing your knee on the column in the process. Required a lot of anticipation to avoid flattening whatever was in front.

BTW last time I worked it out the Chevy was doing about 10mp(imperial)g.

G-CPTN
2nd May 2009, 10:18
"Fiat is easily the weakest of all the major automotive companies. It does not even generate enough revenue to fund its own investment."
Fiat will not pay anything for its stake in Chrysler, but will instead bring its small engines and small-car platforms to the table.
This will enable the American company to produce re-skinned, own-brand Fiat models in its US and Canadian factories, thus providing employment - an important consideration given that the union will own a major stake in Chrysler.
Fiat's input should also help reduce the group's average fleet emissions, but in spite of much reporting on how US drivers are switching to more efficient cars, there are few reasons to expect them to queue up to buy these home-built small Fiats.
"For a company that narrowly escaped insolvency of its own just a couple of years ago, I would say that the risk is very high, and I say that independent of the current [gloomy] economic situation," observes one European automotive analyst who asked not to be named.
Fiat Group's chief executive, Sergio Marchione "would be better off focusing on Fiat's existing problems"

From:- BBC NEWS | Business | Can Fiat put Chrysler on road to recovery? (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8026621.stm)

pigboat
2nd May 2009, 14:30
Still no orders. Decide to bail out. Walked back to station. No trains. Starts raining. No coat. Train comes, doesn't stop at my station, get on anyway, as dry inside. Arrive. Twenty minute walk home. Feet hurt more. Garage calls. Tell me nothing wrong with clutch. Oil seal from gearbox causing clutch slip. Informs me now the car is in bits, best to fit new clutch & flywheel anyway,still £1000 charge, plus £1.60 for oil seal and do I work Near Godalming Audi?, as they can't get oil seal anywhere else. Reflect on £1000 clutch repair plus request to be unpaid courier on behalf of garage. Mood sinks further.

Computer breaks down repeatedly. No orders. feet hurt. Garage call at 20:00 Car done. Garage man tells me I am lucky as they got the only oil seal in county. Hand over £1000 on card. Don't feel lucky.

Ditch the Audi and buy one of them Chrysler shitboxes. For anything more than an oil change, my Chrysler dealer supplies a free loaner auto until the job is finished. It's considered polite to throw ten bucks worth of gas in it, though. :p

Dushan
2nd May 2009, 15:27
pigboat,
from now on expect a FIAT 500 as a free loaner. The good side is $10 worth of gas will last till July, the bad news is it will probably not start in CYZV in winter, and it will only last one winter, leaving a pile of rust, where it was parked, after the seond winter.

One Outsider
2nd May 2009, 15:41
I see the inversely proportional rule doesn't just apply to watches.

bnt
2nd May 2009, 15:53
I think pigboat was talking about the new Fiat 500, which is made in Poland, not Italy, and is all the better for that. No major reliability concerns have been reported, after over two years on the market. I dunno what will happen if they're made in the USA, though. :bored:

That "horses for courses" comment aligns with what I'm thinking, in general. It might be a bit much to expect one car to be thrifty in the city, yet comfortable on long journeys, and I think even a Fiat 500, like the new Mini, is a bit of compromised by those conflicting requirements. I'd rather take a train for long trips, or a long-distance coach, than a city car like that - and those options are much less environmentally harmful than a car, far less a big, comfy car that eats the miles.

In the long term (decades), I see a 2-tier system: small city cars getting even smaller, to the point where they would have to be barred from highways (like mopeds are). Leave the highways to trucks, buses, and those who can afford big cars, and the rest of us will have to deal with more shared transport. Eventually, I think that only the rich will have big cars in their garages.

Dushan
2nd May 2009, 16:14
I'd rather take a train for long trips, or a long-distance coach, than a city car like that - and those options are much less environmentally harmful than a car, far less a big, comfy car that eats the miles.

In the long term (decades), I see a 2-tier system: small city cars getting even smaller, to the point where they would have to be barred from highways (like mopeds are). Leave the highways to trucks, buses, and those who can afford big cars, and the rest of us will have to deal with more shared transport. Eventually, I think that only the rich will have big cars in their garages.

Easy to say in Europe, where you can spit across two countries. Here in NA the distances do not warrant trains and busses as in Europe. People want to be able to get into their big, comfortable, car and drive for 6 hours to see grandma, not spend a day changing trains and waiting for busses.

As for your second comment, about "those who can afford big cars, and the rest of us will have to deal with more shared transport", I see that as yet another step towards socialism.

They will have to pry the car keys from my cold, dead, hands...

One Outsider
2nd May 2009, 16:41
It would appear that most, if not all, American car manufacturers welcome socialism. As do most banks and mortgage lenders.

It would seem, in fact, that the mainstays of capitalism relies on socialism to keep them afloat.

pigboat
2nd May 2009, 19:06
Dushan it would take a very brave man indeed to tackle Route 138, east of Quebec City, in the middle of winter in a Fiat 500.

I took the engine out of one once and stuck it in an electric razor. It stalled out in a three-day stubble. :p

Sprogget
2nd May 2009, 19:22
They will have to pry the car keys from my cold, dead, hands...
You got yourself a priority error there son.


I took the engine out of one once and stuck it in an electric razor. It stalled out in a three-day stubble.

It may not be the most powerful motor you ever did see, but I assure you, you wouldn't want it on the end of your nose for a wart;)

deltayankee
2nd May 2009, 19:49
About diesels, I am old enough to have an irrational dislike of them on principle, but I have to admit that sometimes when I rent cars at airports these days I need to look at the instructions to find out what it is because many diesels today perform like real engines.

G-CPTN
2nd May 2009, 20:14
I realise that expectations from our vehicles have changed, but over the decades the power output from 'typical' engines has increased significantly. Whereas it might have been enough to drive at a maximum of 50-60mph, now most vehicles are capable of much higher speeds.
The original FIAT 500 (Topolino) had all of 13bhp (which rose to 16.5bhp with the later OHV engine) with a maximum speed of 53mph, whereas the current FIAT 500 starts with 69bhp (from an engine more than twice the capacity at 1242cc) and has options up to 100bhp (1368cc) and can achieve 99mph (or 113mph). The original ran 47mpg, whilst the current 69bhp gives 55mpg (or 45mpg for the 100bhp version).

Now there are also diesel versions (1242cc, 103mph and 67mpg).

CR2
2nd May 2009, 20:18
C'mon folks, modern turbo-diesels are a pleasure to drive.. I'd take a 2.5 Audi V6 TD with full torque @ 2000rpm any day. Over here the price of diesel is daft and generally difficult to find. A year ago, gas was $4.50/gallon in New York... everyone was screaming. It went down to about 1.80 and is now about 2.20/30. Diesel is about $3 when you can find it.

On the other hand... when I lived in Europe in had a Camaro and a Mustang (not at the same time), both V8, and fuelling them was no fun on the wallet. Fortunately, during the Mustang days, my daily commute was a total of about 5-6 miles.

BenThere
2nd May 2009, 20:36
Those new little Eurodiesels are fine engines, not like my old 240D which barely made it up the mountain top.

If you can't find diesel, or can't find it at a reasonable price, she'll run just fine on Jet A or JP 5.

One of the stumbling blocks for Eurodiesels in the USA is the EPA regime and its set of emission restrictions.

West Coast
2nd May 2009, 21:22
but Europe doesn't like American behemoths.

Doesn't like, or can't afford?

I live in an area of San Diego where there's lots of transplants from Euroland and Asia. (maquiladora effect) Damned if lots of them don't buy big cars and big houses. Keep this part to yourselves, some buy guns and go hunting. They even call it soccer, but only under the influence...

I'd have preferred to see Chrysler fold or take it's chances on it's own. Kinda like the boxer who should have retired on top rather than going out with a loss. Prefer to remember MOPAR power like the hemi, the 'cuda and similar rather than that crap in the posted pictures.

G-CPTN
3rd May 2009, 20:41
Just heard some media pundit from the Financial Times on the Beeb reckon that FIAT are set to takeover GM Europe . . .
FT.com / Companies / Automobiles - Fiat plans European car supergroup (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a4a4767a-380d-11de-9211-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1)

FT.com / Lex / Macroeconomics & markets - Fiat (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/ba28d3be-3813-11de-9211-00144feabdc0.html)

Sergio Marchionne is either a visionary or seriously deluded. The chief executive of Fiat, fresh from a five-year turnround of the once-derided Italian car group, now wants to build one of the world’s biggest carmakers – in the midst of the industry’s worst crisis since, well, ever.

.

Lon More
3rd May 2009, 21:51
When DAF trucks took over Leyland a wee Scot was being interviewed in Bathgate. One of the questions was about the name of the new company. Fe said LeyDAF* would be appropriate. Very appropriate.

Looks like LDV in UK is also going down the pan

*LeyDAF + Laid off (unemployed)in dialect

vapilot2004
3rd May 2009, 23:17
Any US manufacturer is screwed in comparison to the EU, Japan and China.
Health care costs are spiraling and these costs as common worker benefits add significantly to the cost of whatever it is they are selling. Another reason why we need change in our health care system in the US.

Trade agreements we have made in the past have screwed the US car companies. We import cheap cars with no tariffs while allowing our cars to be 'tariffed' into the stratosphere by many countries. They happen to love Buicks and other popular brands in Japan, China and other US trading partner countries, but the prices are through the roof.

The US automakers and their employees (UAW) represent a sizable and powerful chunk of the Democratic vote. Anything to kill the automakers will be supported by Republicans. It is the red states after all that have invited Honda, Toyota and Nissan in, giving away the farm in the process. These states also have 'right to work' laws that weaken unions at the starting gate. They would love to see Detroit fall.

Blame the unions? Easy out, but in reality only half the story.
On each and every labor contract there are two signatories. Labor and management. What management has done all of these years is give away the store in exchange for known future financial troubles. They should have been tougher on labor and not been corporate enablers of UAW bad behaviors.

If we allow even two of the big three to fall, there are at least 6 midwestern states that will be critically wounded by the collapse and it will take 10-15 years for them to recover from the economic fallout and malaise. This will end up costing the Federal government tens of billions more than the current bailout tab that has been spent so far on the automakers.


Chrysler is small potatoes compared to what we are facing with GM. That will be the arena where the real fun will be had by all. :eek:

Davaar
4th May 2009, 00:12
Dodge 1930's. Leaf springs, huuuge engine etc. This is the trouble with yankee doodle jalopies,

The 1932 Dodge sedan was a terrific car. Drove one a lot in the 1950s. Of course, it was nowhere near a Mini, I know that. Pity GM does not make new 1968 V-8 307 cu. in., Chevrolet Caprice two-door hardtops. I'd buy two and they would last my days out.

Oh No! I got that wrong. What I want is some golf-cart electric p*ss pot or chanty with a lid. So they tell me.

tinpis
4th May 2009, 01:22
Tins 1936 Ford V8 coupe. The DOOR would weigh as much as a mini.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/tinpis/36ford.jpghttp://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/tinpis/ford36int.jpg

BenThere
4th May 2009, 01:27
Now that's a beaut! Looks cherry!

n5296s
4th May 2009, 01:30
I got to drive a new Dodge Avenger yesterday, rather further than intended. (It was a rental and when I had a problem with the plane I ended up driving it 3 hours home). What a total piece of absolute sh*t*. I can't imagine what would persuade anyone to buy one for themselves. (And indeed, one review I read ranked it 23 out of 23 mid-size cars!).

The car generally had a 15-year old feeling about it, design wise. It pulled constantly to the right, especially under what you could generously call power. The bodywork was full of rattles, squeaks and graunches.

What Fiat plans to do with them is beyond me.

n5296s

Dushan
4th May 2009, 01:38
Tins 1936 Ford V8 coupe. The DOOR would weigh as much as a mini.


Yes, and getting T-boned by something like a Mini would require some paint touch up:p. Do you see that as a problem?

pigboat
4th May 2009, 01:52
Just for you tinny.
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/U_k09doejQI&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/U_k09doejQI&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Dushan
4th May 2009, 02:30
pigboat,
that brings back memories. Cruising in a two-tone, two-door 1963 Rambler Ambassador.

pigboat
4th May 2009, 03:00
Cruising in a two-tone, two-door 1963 Rambler Ambassador.

'63 Chevy stovebolt. :p

No razor motors here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITefc61_gy0). ;)

tinpis
4th May 2009, 03:12
Hell, the bumper bar weighs as much as a minihttp://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/tinpis/family/fordcoupe.jpghttp://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/tinpis/family/sidevalve.jpg

Yes, all original Ben. Except for the radiator return bottle :hmm:

Dushan
4th May 2009, 03:18
So now Fiat going after Opel.

Are we changing the thread title to Frayspel?

pigboat
4th May 2009, 03:25
Simply gorgeous tinny. :ok:

Sprogget
4th May 2009, 08:50
So now Fiat going after Opel.

Are we changing the thread title to Frayspel?


Or perhaps Opiat.

Cheerio
4th May 2009, 09:31
Great Engines of (just before) our time:

Alfa V6 and twin-cam, and Sud Flat 4
Coventry Climax as seen in the Hillman Imp
Rover V8 (OK thanks to Buick)
BMW straight 6's from 325 to M3
Fiat Lampredi Twin Cam
etc etc (and that's not even looking further than Europe)

Light, wide power bands, singing to the rafters at full chat, a sensory delight.

Crap Engines of Our time (a specialisation of the hair-shirt and sandal wearing European):

JTD, TDI, CDI, TDCI, D, D, D, D........

I can't believe how people are so bought into them. They are horrid sooty, rattly, overcomplicated appliances with a power band you could barely slip a rizla paper between.
Lazy urban and motorway drivers love them for their 'any gear, any time' response - for as long as it lasts. Give me a proper petrol engine (not one attempting to be a diesel in functionality, or an underpowered bottom rung poverty spec model) any day.

In fact despite the fact it looks like a cheap boom-box inside, I'm tempted to get a Honda Civic R just because I have a nasty feeling that it is the proper sporting engines last hurrah.

Now, put a Sulzer diesel into something like a locomotive, and I'll join the fan club, but that is where they belong.

Back on thread, I can't believe the strategy of FIAT at the moment. They achieved an astonishing turn-around, product led but also funded by an imploding GM. They are uniquely well positioned among the European manufacturers. I guess I wouldn't have the cojones to do what Marchionne is proposing, but then I guess that's why he is head of FIAT and I'm not. Still, I think he is making a mistake. With a steady and deliberate strategy, FIAT could be well placed for expansion, but this seems to me to be an opportunistic land-grab. The market is over supplied, why take on others problems? I hope it doesn't undo all the recent progress. I can't help thinking that we must be seeing only a partial view of a bigger picture here.

bnt
4th May 2009, 09:57
As for your second comment, about "those who can afford big cars, and the rest of us will have to deal with more shared transport", I see that as yet another step towards socialism.

They will have to pry the car keys from my cold, dead, hands...
More like: they won't be able to find the car keys, buried at the back of the drawer because you can't afford to run that car any more. Where did I even hint any kind of socialism, or infringement on your right to do whatever you are able to do?

I was thinking in terms of costs, not politics, because there may come a day when you are no longer able to run that shiny 2-ton hunk of metal, at least not every day or for long distances. That is all I meant, nothing political. Note that I said "shared transport", not "public transport". It's not "socialism" if people choose to work together without government involvement.

However, if you're one of those folks looking at the plans to re-develop passenger rail in the USA, and thinking "socialism", then fine, it's socialism, because you can't expect multiple companies to build competing thousand-mile tracks. Even privatising existing railways is a bad idea, as the UK found out the hard way (the Railtrack (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railtrack) fiasco). So, go ahead and take that big comfy car out on the Interstate, for as long as you can afford to, and don't worry about who builds and maintains the Interstate highway system. :cool:

Dushan
4th May 2009, 12:01
More like: they won't be able to find the car keys, buried at the back of the drawer because you can't afford to run that car any more. Where did I even hint any kind of socialism, or infringement on your right to do whatever you are able to do?

Most of the, anticipated, increase in car ownership is due to the governments adding additional taxes to car ownership. Gasoline, pollution fighting carp legislations etc. Forcing someone , by way of social engineering to take public transport is socialism. And no, I won't loose my keys, because it is a big set to more than one car...





I was thinking in terms of costs, not politics, because there may come a day when you are no longer able to run that shiny 2-ton hunk of metal, at least not every day or for long distances. That is all I meant, nothing political. Note that I said "shared transport", not "public transport". It's not "socialism" if people choose to work together without government involvement.

It is actually closer to 3 tons, but never mind that now. As above, trying to make it too expensive is political.



However, if you're one of those folks looking at the plans to re-develop passenger rail in the USA, and thinking "socialism", then fine, it's socialism, because you can't expect multiple companies to build competing thousand-mile tracks. Even privatising existing railways is a bad idea, as the UK found out the hard way (the Railtrack (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railtrack) fiasco). So, go ahead and take that big comfy car out on the Interstate, for as long as you can afford to, and don't worry about who builds and maintains the Interstate highway system. :cool:

Again, you are trying to make that car too expensive for me and force me to share transportation with someone else. I am not against public transport (I have taken the subway to work, when it was more convenient, but actually more expensive than a car), but am against the governments forcing me to do it because of their attempts to price it out of my ability to own a car.

er340790
4th May 2009, 14:20
Took delivery of my latest piece of automotive joy last week. A few clues as to its identity:


* It has a 3-litre engine.


* It has a primer.


* It has a mixture control.


* It rides better on rough roads than a Mercedes M Class.


* It can carry 5 people wearing top-hats.


* A really big rubber mallet is included in the tool box.


* People smile and wave whenever I drive it.


* It is guaranteed road-rage proof.


* It is in better shape than the day it left the factory.


* The independent insurance appraisal yesterday valued it at +138% more than I paid for it.


* It will likely outlast me, my kids and their kids.


* On a good day it will exceed 10 mpg.


* and 35 mph.


* It is (very) black.


OK - it's a 1927 Model T Ford Tudor, now in its ninth decade and going better than ever. Fully restored in the 1980s by a professional mechanic who's just retired and done only a few Summer miles each year since then. Every drive makes me glad to be alive.

Where oh where did it all go so wrong????????????? :{

Storminnorm
4th May 2009, 14:38
All these fancy motors pale into total obscurity in comparison
to the Morris Minor Traveller. THE Ideal Motor Carriage.
I love them!!!!

G-CPTN
4th May 2009, 15:04
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/GroupCaptain/Snetterton1965.jpg
Mine (taken in 1965).

Storminnorm
4th May 2009, 15:07
Switch all those lights on and the engine would stop.

G-CPTN
4th May 2009, 15:11
'Twas a Formula Junior engine . . .

Will Fraser
4th May 2009, 15:17
With the possible exception of the E-type roadster, that traveler is the finest example of furrin car stateside, IMHO.

Will

G-CPTN
4th May 2009, 16:15
'Media discussion' suggesting that FIAT will close the UK GM plants (Luton and Ellesmere Port) in deference to any German or Belgian GM factories. GM Europe (prior to the recent developments) stated that three production facilities are excess to requirement. Negotiations in Berlin between FIAT, GM and the German government are said to have included promises to keep the German plants open:-
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg also said Fiat had pledged to keep the three main German factories if its bid went ahead.
Professor Garel Rhys from the Cardiff Business School agreed that British jobs could be lost if the deal went ahead.
"General Motors has indicated they have three plants too many and those three plants too many are actually in Germany, or run by the Germans", he said.
"It could be that Fiat, knowing that the company is too big, would balk at taking on the Germans and might look for the softer option of closing a plant in the UK."

BBC NEWS | Business | Fiat in talks over GM Europe move (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8032213.stm)

Storminnorm
4th May 2009, 16:22
This story 'smacks' of a previous Italy/Germany pact to me.
There's no-one called Mussolini involved is there????

As soon as someone announces the new model as a "Tiger" I'm off!!!

frostbite
4th May 2009, 16:52
The Morris Minor Traveller.

A half timbered car to go with all our half timbered buildings.

BombayDuck
4th May 2009, 21:33
Anyone wants Morris Oxfords, please head over to India. We still make them under the Hindustan Motors 'Ambassador' name....

G-CPTN
4th May 2009, 22:09
And fine sturdy vehicles they are too!

Davaar
4th May 2009, 22:20
total obscurity in comparison
to the Morris Minor

Many years ago the great W O Bentley was interviewed in one of the UK motoring magazines. The story ranged over the wonder days of Le Mans in the late twenties, the 3-litres, the British Racing Green, the famed racing drivers ("Tim", Sir Henry Birkin and the Bentley Boys). The article ended:

Q: "And what, Sir, are you driving yourself these days?"

WOB: "Oh! a Morris Minor".

tinpis
5th May 2009, 02:34
Yer would be a made man in this here in the jungle. Panama hat, white linen suit and a pint of gin in the glove box. :ok:

http://www.cornwallclassiccarhire.co.uk/site/ourcars/header/morris-minor.jpg