Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Tata Nano, game changer for Detroit? Previous Next
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1503
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It sounds like this $2,500 car could give heartburn to both Detroit's automakers and environmentalists.

India's Tata Motors unveils ultracheap $2,500 car
Car ownership brought into millions' reach
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20080110/NEW S07/80110012/1002/

Pictures of it here:
http://www.autoblog.com/photos /tata-nano/572708
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 1515
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It sounds like an act of Al Queda.
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El_jimbo
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Username: El_jimbo

Post Number: 492
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not if it's a piece of crap. Critics expect it to suffer from bad quality and safety standards.
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Rugbyman
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Username: Rugbyman

Post Number: 181
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Would a car like that even meet Federal Highway or EU safety regulations? Something tells me that's not going to be in any developed nation any time soon. Not at $2500, anyway.
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Rb336
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Username: Rb336

Post Number: 4432
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

it's made of papier mache
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Pffft
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Username: Pffft

Post Number: 1440
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Remember the Yugo?

There've always been cheap, dangerous tin cans people will bafflingly buy for a couple thousand.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 4531
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looks like a death trap to me. I wouldn't take it over Mighty Mac.
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 879
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I didn't read the article, but how do they plan on getting that toy past federal safety standards?
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Kid_dynamite
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Username: Kid_dynamite

Post Number: 449
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 9:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

good comparison...it's the new Yugo.
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 1516
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Do I have to wind it up or pull a rip chord?
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El_jimbo
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Username: El_jimbo

Post Number: 493
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

With a billion potential customers in India, do they need to sell it in the US or Europe?
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Detroitinmyheart
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Username: Detroitinmyheart

Post Number: 177
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It looks exactly like Mercedes Smart car which is going to retail for 12,500.

Justy because its from India and retails for 1/5th the cost doesn't mean it will be no good.

Remember , everything is outsourced to India anyway.
Maybe they have good quality at cheap prices .
At least thats what all the outsourcing points too.
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Umcs
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Username: Umcs

Post Number: 436
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's not made for Americans. It's made for the billions of non-American/European middle classes (which make less than what we consider "poverty levels), which is a market NOT tapped by the Big 3.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2482
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

With a billion potential customers in India, do they need to sell it in the US or Europe?



Exactly! It's not designed for any of you. It is a threat to currently open market share in places like India and China with rapidly developing economies...

This really doesn't mean much to Detroit. Even if GM or Ford does design a similar prototype, it won't be manufactured anywhere near this part of the globe.
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 1517
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Its like the SNL skit where they introduce "Bags o' Glass" as a new toy for children.

Shouldn't business meet the needs of children too poor to afford safe toys?
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 1504
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think it can significantly impact the bottom lines of Detroit's automakers if successful. The Big Three are pumping billions of dollars to establish themselves as key players in those developing markets. If this car upsets that, watch out.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2483
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

It's made for the billions of non-American/European middle classes (which make less than what we consider "poverty levels), which is a market NOT tapped by the Big 3.



Actually, that's not true... But most Detroiters/Americans are oblivious to it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S hanghai_GM
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Izzadore
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Username: Izzadore

Post Number: 101
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 10:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

People will buy it if it passes American safety standards. Let's be real here.

The car costs less than a:
MacBook!
Bedroom Set
Heck, the mattresses for the bedroom set
The yearly insurance premium in a decent Detroit zip-code.

I'd buy one to drive to the train station and save my 'real' car from the door dings.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 4532
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 11:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Its like the SNL skit where they introduce "Bags o' Glass" as a new toy for children.





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Rb336
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Username: Rb336

Post Number: 4436
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 11:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Do I have to wind it up or pull a rip chord?"

it has one of those t-strips like the old Kenner SSPs
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 3200
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 11:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looks to me like the 1st generation Honda CIVICs that appeared in the US in the 70's.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 4803
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 11:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't laugh because the Tata Group is the sixth largest firm that produces autos and trucks that's traded on stock exchanges. Ford and GM are fourth and fifth largest.

The Tata Motors subsidiary will probably buy Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, and possibly other brands. One of its several other subsidiaries even bought the Eight O'Clock Coffee brand (formerly A&P). It's so easy for some to put down such companies while the US firms are getting smaller and smaller and firms like Tata only get bigger.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 6492
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 11:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Exactly LY.

The only thing dangerous about this car is the risk of getting hit by a fucktard in a Hummer who's yapping on the phone, oblivious to the world around him.

If they came to North America, I would grab one for running around town in a heart beat.

Imagine a low cost car, with a fuel efficient diesel engine!

But then again, you really need that giant SUV for all the harsh driving conditions you meet from the sub-division to the strip mall.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 4804
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 11:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I had a Honda Civic CRX HF hatchback that got 53 combined / 56 highway MPG. It was a nice vehicle and lasted 200,000 miles before I decided to part with it. I prefer a stick, and its 5-speed manual transmission fit me perfectly. I might yet buy another if one sells nearby.
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Umcs
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Username: Umcs

Post Number: 438
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 12:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Actually, that's not true... But most Detroiters/Americans are oblivious to it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S hanghai_GM"

Most people involved with the auto industry know not only about Shanghai GM but also the other ventures out there. The point I'm trying to make is that Tata's Nano is tapping into the market looking for a $2,500 car as opposed to the $8K+ market that the Big 3 and others look at.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2491
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 1:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Most people involved with the auto industry know not only about Shanghai GM but also the other ventures out there. The point I'm trying to make is that Tata's Nano is tapping into the market looking for a $2,500 car as opposed to the $8K+ market that the Big 3 and others look at.



I doubt that the Big 3 are turning a blind eye to this.... As a publicly traded company, GM and Ford are looking for the markets that will turn them to biggest profit. If manufacturing a car in India costs them $500 and there is a market to sell it for $2,500 then they are damn well gonna fight for a piece of that market share.

Considering how large the populations of some of these developing nations are and how rapidly they are industrializing, they'd be down right stupid not to. What is a $2,000 net profit multiplied by 1 billion people?
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Nainrouge
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Username: Nainrouge

Post Number: 598
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 2:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How is this car less safe than a motorcycle?
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Talleman1
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Username: Talleman1

Post Number: 22
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 2:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I will say one thing being small is not so bad, India has alooooooooot of people and no room but yeah it could use some better tires, what are they trailer. My dad owned a Ford Festiva and it got 50mpg and ran well, no leaks, easy to repair but yeah a bit scary to drive only because AMERICAN CARS ARE BIG in comparison. Ford still builds the Aspire overseas.
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Nainrouge
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Username: Nainrouge

Post Number: 600
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 2:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On India's crowded roads, you aren't going to be driving so fast either...
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 3185
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 3:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From what I've read about this thing, I'll probably break it just opening the door.

Wheel bearings that aren't rated above 45 MPH.

A steering columns that are made from stamped metal.

And these are the things engineering-wise that we do know about it.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 11276
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 3:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd love to see more of this type of vehicle in North America.


I'm way more interested in efficiency, nimbleness, INexpense, and just getting there without getting wet rather than prestige and huge mass and great waste.
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Broken_main
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Username: Broken_main

Post Number: 1379
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not trying to be too morbid, but if, God forbid, an accident should occur, the car could double as a casket.
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Zephyrmec
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Username: Zephyrmec

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Likely ideal for it's intended purpose, to put wheels under the butts of people in India and China who could not otherwise afford anything better than a scooter or small motorcycle. I'd speculate that it could be the "Model T" of the emerging world. We could use a bare-bones vehicle here, but by the time the government regulators finished with it, it would cost $15K and be pretty useless and no fun at all to drive. I doubt that a bare bones car could be brought to market here for under $10K, and the margin on that would be so slim, a small independent company would have to build it. BTW, at least the company has a great name "We can really cut you a deal on new tatas" it would have to sell!

(Message edited by zephyrmec on January 10, 2008)
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 11284
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Zephyrmec,

Thanks for that laugh, and welcome!

I'll take two.

Cheers
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Broken_main
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Username: Broken_main

Post Number: 1380
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice one Zehyrmec!
Welcome to the board...what an entrance!!
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2492
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This thread reminds me of how Detroit embraced the Honda Accord...
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Zephyrmec
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Username: Zephyrmec

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 4:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the welcome. I'll post an intro on the connect board.
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Craggy
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Username: Craggy

Post Number: 292
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 7:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This car will NOT be for sale in the United States. It can not meet any federal emissions or safety standards.

It is made for emerging markets. Tata has no intention of marketing it in this country.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 11298
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 3:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Craggy,

Thanks for the clarity, I understood it but didn't reflect it in my words.


I adore that Daimler finally decided to market their inexpensive (relative to everything else in their lineup) city car here...and most certainly WOULD like to see more of this type of car here.

That was the more accurate statement...this car reminded me of that and would certainly be in the same classification. I feel quite strongly that this vehicle SHOULD be allowed here, I'd rather a NEW plastic car in front of me than some old, rusting clunker dropping parts.


I'd be willing to forgo crashworthiness for nimbleness and efficiency...sure would like to see the NHTSA giving out some small-scale allowances to test how these things will...impact...the flow of traffic. Let a few of us be sacrificial guinea pigs, we'll be squealing with joy at the gas pumps.


As for the general population? It is pretty clear that they have NOT been actually any safer in the behemoths they talk on the phone, eat, shave, makeup, and watch television within...oh yeah, while they RIDE to their destination.

Crash tests, schmash tests. The only thing that counts is whether there is a driver or some loose nut on the steering controls. Being merely a rider in modern automatic-everything vehicles is FAR from driving, imho, so we've given everyone TOO much slack to become loose nuts...the next step towards becoming full-on danger to the rest of us using the roads.


Most people would be much more alert while driving little scary cars, they would have to shed their complacency in order to survive!


Bring 'em on, save a dead horse...I've beaten this one enough!
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Queensfinest
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Username: Queensfinest

Post Number: 148
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 5:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

does anyone here know of any detroit related websites that aren't comprised of retarded 50 and 60 somethings still pining over the antiquated auto industry culture of their youth?

if so, please send a link. it's for research. thanks!
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Bobj
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Username: Bobj

Post Number: 3608
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 8:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Queen,I see that you are here for positive reasons
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 1917
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 8:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

does anyone here know of any detroit related websites that aren't comprised of retarded 50 and 60 somethings still pining over the antiquated auto industry culture of their youth?



i would also like to be directed to such a place. the opinions on this stuff are just too predictable around here
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Umcs
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Username: Umcs

Post Number: 440
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 9:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anyone remember the old BMW 1.5-person car from the 60's/70's that was entered through a front door as opposed to side doors? The Nano reminds me of that thing.

Oh wait, I must be pining over an antiquated auto industry culture of my youth to remember that this idea has already been tried by others 30 YEARS AGO.

Of course, QueensFinest, being a paragon of modernity who disparages our heritage and knowledge would know of the exact car about which I am referring and how wildly successful it was. Can you enlighten us backwards folks here in the hinterlands QueensFinest?
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 1918
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 10:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Anyone remember the old BMW 1.5-person car from the 60's/70's that was entered through a front door as opposed to side doors? The Nano reminds me of that thing.

Oh wait, I must be pining over an antiquated auto industry culture of my youth to remember that this idea has already been tried by others 30 YEARS AGO.



doesn't actually sound like you are pining over the isetta (the BMW) a whole lot there, sounds more like loathing.
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Umcs
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Username: Umcs

Post Number: 441
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 10:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You get a cookie Gravitymachine. I don't loathe the Isetta. It's interesting but not practical today with highways, etc.

The point I'm trying to make is that the Nano is not some radical change in automobile concepts. It is a reimagining of an old concept to a new market. There is some technological achievement in its design and manufacture but this is not a "revolution" in vehicle design and manufacturing.

My biggest source of annoyance and loathing are those people who Oooh and Aaah over the Nano, publicly state they want one, pooh pooh local engineers and manufacturers, and otherwise, attempt to disparage an industry without even doing some basic research.

If you want a Nano, you can still buy a darn Isetta kit for crying out loud and it gets 63 MPG.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2497
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 10:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

does anyone here know of any detroit related websites that aren't comprised of retarded 50 and 60 somethings still pining over the antiquated auto industry culture of their youth?

if so, please send a link. it's for research. thanks!



I lol'd.

I'd be interested in a discussion on here about why Detroit must cut it's blind allegiance to the domestic auto industry. I don't quite think the other shoe has dropped on that yet... So it's probably still a fairly unpopular sentiment. But believe me, it's coming and soon!

My guess is that will happen when either 1) Ford goes broke or 2) Cerberus finally gets around to selling off the scraps of Chrysler.

Btw, I don't think I saw any mention on here about Honda's donation to the DSO:
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20080109/ENT 04/801090323/1035/ENT
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2507
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 10:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Both campaigns may have seen the skirmish as a way to burnish their images to Michigan voters -- Romney as a businessman and McCain as a straight-talker. Michigan has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000, with the majority of the losses in the auto industry. Contraction of the auto industry hits the state much harder than other states because Michigan employs 24 percent of all motor-vehicle manufacturing workers in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Even if the Big 3 increase their market share, manufacturing employment isn't likely to increase, according to the Michigan Economic Outlook and Budget Review released by the Senate Fiscal Agency last month. Increased demand will be met by increased automation, according to the report.



http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.d ll/article?AID=/20080112/POLIT ICS01/801120339/1408/LOCAL

Romney says what you want to hear while McCain says what you need to hear.
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Frumoasa
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Username: Frumoasa

Post Number: 102
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 12:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

While I can't see the Nano breaking in to the US market with any big impact, this car will really affect other parts of the world. I can even see them making a splash in Eastern Europe if they can pass inspections. The most popular car in Romania is a 7000 dollar car that doesn't look much more luxurious than the Nano, albeit it has a trunk and a 1.1 litre engine. If people could buy this car for 2500, it would blow that car out of the water. People in less affluent countries are more willing to fix their car on a regular basis and since I can only assume this car has the mechanics of a golf cart, people might be willing to buy parts and fix the car at a much more regular rate than we would. It's a very interesting business move, and I think it will have serious repercussions for the big 3's marketshare in the rest of the world. I think their best strategy would be to build a $4000 car that doesn't suck as much that way when people buy a Nano and decide it's crap, they can move up to a not as crappy car made by one of our automakers.
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Tk65
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Username: Tk65

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 1:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


car
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6125
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 5:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I see Queensfinest is continuing his sanity meltdown... must be all those NYC exhaust fumes are going to his brain...
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Softailrider
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Username: Softailrider

Post Number: 107
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 6:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A family of four riding the streets of India in a Nano in relative comfort and safety, or all of them on squashed in on a motor scooter hanging on to the fenders and handlebars and shoulders of each other, falling off the thing and getting run over by traffic ... which paints a better picture in your mind ?
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Sludgedaddy
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Username: Sludgedaddy

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2008 - 5:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I hope Matt Groening of "The Simpsons" fame gets wind of the Nano Tata. I can see Apu Driving to the QuickeeMart in his "little Mechanical elephant".

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