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Discussion Starter #1
FORD (or Detroit) could ask the President/Auto Task Force for a “SHORT TERM (24 month) … TEMPORARY IMPORT RESTRICTION WAIVER” for any EU certified vehicle that achieves greater than 52 mpg(Imperial) combined cycle! Ford has a very fine collection! Possibly THE BEST!

This could probably be done by EXECUTIVE ORDER under the WAR POWERS ACT ... because OUR collapsing auto industry/industrial base, ailing economy, and oil imports are ... ALL .... NATIONAL SECURITY issues (of course Congress could do it but much slower)!

The “SHORT TERM … TEMPORARY IMPORT RESTRICTION WAIVER” is proposed as a SHORT TERM, quick, low cost, low risk “TOOL” (or test) to educate the consumer regarding "fuel frugal" alternatives, stimulate the US auto market, and more to accurately determine what the US consumers REALLY want in order help Detroit get back on track to PROFITABLE ... HIGH VOLUME PRODUCTION ... in the least amount of TIME ... and at the lowest cost!

The temporarily imported product would be from excess stockpiled EU inventories (supply limited) that would not have to be modified for compliance due to the "waiver", so the only additional costs would be transportation, and delivery could be almost immediate.

It is agreed that a NEW domestically built machine would contribute FAR more than an import to the US economic engine. However, Detroit does NOT HAVE the time, manpower, or the funds to pursue a HIGH RISK (unpredictable degree of customer purchase rate) program for even one vehicle, certainly not 5 to 30 different vehicle configurations! Besides, their track record of "guesses" has not been very good for at least the last 10 years.

Here is part of the beauty of a “SHORT TERM … TEMPORARY … IMPORT RESTRICTION WAIVER” allowing importation of 44 and greater mpg vehicles. It should not alter demand for traditional domestic vehicles for those that want them! For those that have been and still ARE DISSATISFIED, they now have new choices: very small to midsize; gasoline or diesel ... all with above 44 mpg fuel economy.

This could open up TWO new market segments based on OBSERVED consumer acceptance rates to: “above 44 mpg fuel economy”; and diesel cars. Increased demand in either or both could expand the market, increase TOTAL sales, and TOTAL production volumes resulting in INCREASED domestic automotive industry employment ... provided management (both business and labor) can quickly figure out how to profitably build the POPULAR machines in the US! Hopefully before the "import restriction waiver" expires!!! Remember what was accmplished in WWII.

An interesting side note: The "domestic economic cost/impact" of temporarily importing these fuel frugal vehicles will, over time, be recovered from long term reductions in imported oil costs because of their reduced fuel consumption. How about that?

Just an idea to consider ... IF ... Ford/Detroit want to get back on their feet QUICKLY.


IF ... you like this idea ... pass it on!


IF ... YOU DON'T ... please explain why.
 

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I haven't the foggiest idea about economics, but I would think that if the Japanese can import vehicles from their homeland and build some here why can't Detroit? I also think if you are going to import a vehicle, it would be taxed as an import. I think you are asking to waive the import tax to bring these vehicles over, but if you do it for one you must and should do it for all. I think if you relax the import tax on all vehicles, it would not have a satisfactory result on Detroit because I do not think people want Detroit to be helped by the government. With this on your mind, leaves me to my next thought below.

If Detroit imported their European variants to the United States, would people buy them? I know I like some of the cars over there, but I don't think there are enough people that really know what the Europeans have other than Volkswagen, Mini, BMW, and maybe another European manufacturer. We might be preaching about fuel economy to the American public till we are blue in the face since no one wants to give up their large SUV's. I think GM was a little smart into putting a hybrid engine into these beasts, but the fuel economy increase is not significant enough to justify the price difference.

I personally am biased to Ford because ever since I have had a NEW car it has always been a Ford Motor Company vehicle. I don't understand why people don't want to drive them, and I know Ford has had some issues with quality in the past but so has Toyota. My goodness people, if your car company has to buy back your truck because it is not safe for you to hit a pothole without it falling apart, there must be an issue.

I won't rant anymore, but I hope there will be more vehicles with a higher MPG in the near future. I see in the next year or two more people complaining about the price of fuel and crying about their SUV's costing a lot of money. I notice a lot of these SUV's around where I live with only one or two people in them, especially grand parents who only drive one or two people in them. I think the picture perfect SUV owners are Soccer Moms hauling a group of kids and not grandma and grandpa wanting to see over everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
YellowZx5, I agree with you that there appears to be no reason that the Det3 can not build small and midsized vehicles profitably in the US and that includes fuel frugal ones.

The idea of waiving ALL import restrictions, including taxes/tariffs, on all 44 mpg combined average vehicles that are EU certified for ... ONLY ... 24 months is to clearly DEMONSTRATE that IT CAN BE DONE by not only VW ... but Ford, GM, Opel, and many others.

To very quickly OPEN the US auto market to new IDEAS and PRODUCT at minimum cost and minimum risk in minimum time (resources currently in VERY SHORT supply) ... in hopes of saving as much of the Det3 and their employee base as possible! This "temporary import restriction waiver" (experiment) would clearly show what the US consumer will BUY IF given a TRUE FREEDOM of CHOICE.

Then the Det3 would KNOW WHAT THEY SHOULD BE BUILDING and SELLING in the US. Then the industry (management AND labor) would have to figure out how to build those popular product(s) PROFITTABLY in the US!

Could we trust the Det3 to do that?

... IF .. THEY WANT to SURVIVE ... under current cirrcumstances, THEY WILL HAVE TO!!

These EARLY IMPORTS under a 24 month restriction waiver WOULD IMMEDIATELY start reducing OIL IMPORTS by an average 15 barrels per vehicle year.

That is almost $1,000 per vehicle returned to OUR ECONOMY generating about $5 THOUSAND in economic activity ... PLUS generate $1 THOUSAND in Federal/State tax revenue!

Detroit has long opposed California compliant small displacement (2 liter or less) turbo diesels based on the argument that "the technology is beyond the acceptable cost range for the average US automotive buyer. Possibly as high as $11 thousand per machine has been reported!

A friend just completed a pricing analysis of the new US VW Jetta TDI versus a comparably equiped US gasoline Jetta.

Here is what he found:

In a nutshell the "50 state clean" diesel Jetta is priced about $1,300 ... MORE THAN ... a comparably equiped gasoline Jetta. Does anyone disagree?

And with, various "new fuel frugal automotive purchase incentives" the diesel Jetta may ACTUALLY be $500 CHEAPER (out of pocket) THAN a comparably equiped GASOLINE Jetta!

Continuing this thought, if "cash for clunkers" applied at maximum to the diesel (and not the gas model), then the diesel COULD be as much as $2,000 cheaper "out of pocket" than its' gasoline counterpart!

Does anyone see a flaw in this analysis up to this point?

Now, does anyone out there believe that VW is selling their US "50 state" diesel Jetta at a loss in the US?

============

Does anyone out there have any data (or evidence) to find a flaw in this analysis?
 

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I like your ideas a lot, my only concern would be if people would buy diesels when diesel is more expensive to fill your car up. My radical idea would be to eliminate the NHTSA's guidelines and just follow the European's models. Would that not be a lot better and just produce the same models with different steering wheel sides where needed?

The amount of extra fluff put into our vehicles seems to be adding an amount of weight to be noticed by MPG's. I am a little pressed for time right now and I have not done enough research to take a jab at the US vs. Euro models' MPG's.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I like your ideas a lot, my only concern would be if people would buy diesels when diesel is more expensive to fill your car up. My radical idea would be to eliminate the NHTSA's guidelines and just follow the European's models. Would that not be a lot better and just produce the same models with different steering wheel sides where needed?

The amount of extra fluff put into our vehicles seems to be adding an amount of weight to be noticed by MPG's. I am a little pressed for time right now and I have not done enough research to take a jab at the US vs. Euro models' MPG's.
Comparing the price of diesel ... in our area diesel has been between $0.10 and $0.30 below unleaded for over a month, maybe two. Yesterday diesel was $0.15 below unleaded which was running between $2.30 and $2.45. (I think this is because of reduced diesel demand worldwide.)

Current US refining processes generally yield about 25~30% more gasoline than diesel per barrel. In Europe it is generally the other way around because of higher diesel demand (more diesel vehicles in Europe).

Also, WHEN enough diesel cars are on US roads ... to reduce gasoline demand by about 15%, that will free up some US refining capacity ... as well as cause an imbalance in diesel/gasoline refinery OUTPUT versus diesel/gasoline CONSUMPTION/DEMAND.

When that happens, it is reasonable to believe that US oil companies will modify some of the US refining capacity to yield more diesel than gasoline per barrel (like in Europe).

So, it is reasonable to believe that diesel and gasoline prices WILL remain "relatively" closely priced ... unless fuel taxes are used to influence consumer behavior ... or ... "speculation".

I like YOUR IDEA of "eliminating the NHTSA's guidelines [CAFE & safety] and just follow the European's models." However, there are probably FAR TOO MANY ... business/political stakeholders with vested interests to allow this to happen.

It WOULD make sense to try to "homologize" [merge] US and EU emissions and safety standards ... I have no confidence it will happen.

The right/left hand drive has been solved long ago.

As for sources on foreign fuel economy, vehicle specs and pricing ... I have found these to be reliable

UK sources

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/information/how-to-use-the-data-tables.asp#petrol

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/information/how-to-use-the-data-tables.asp#diesel

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/fuelConSearch.asp

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/search.asp

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/

http://www.autocar.co.uk/SpecsPrices/SpecsAndPrices.aspx

and for the US fuel economy (1994 to 2010)

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/advancedSearch.htm


I hope the links help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am dissapointed.

There have been 50 or so "viewers" and only one (1) commentor.

I would really like to know what is "good" and/or "bad" about this set of ideas, the logic, explainations, and justifications.

Please post your thoughts ... POSITIVE ... or ... NEGATIVE! I'd really like to know!
 

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Just to add more fuel to the fire, I was listening to AutoBlog podcast and the US, Japan, and Europe are doing things differently to achieve more MPG's or KPG's across the pond.

Do I think 44mpg's is achievable? Yes, but it will take time. Is the 44mpg mark a REAL life mark or NHTSA number? We as Americans have a lead foot and I have yet to see the MPG's my Milan is supposed to achieve.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I like oil burners for trucks but not small cars.

44 mpg, are you a zealot?
May I ask why you do not like diesel for small cars?

Would you object to a diesel in a 3.5k to 4k pound car/suv?

Your zealot question? I guess it depends on your definition ...


I guess I am obsessive about wanting to see OUR COUNTRY's economy and industry survive ... and THRIVE!

And Det3 is one of the major tools to make it happen but they need "some NEW ways to solve old problem more quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is the 44mpg mark a REAL life mark or NHTSA number? We as Americans have a lead foot and I have yet to see the MPG's my Milan is supposed to achieve.
The 44 mpg I am using is based on 52 mpg(Imperial) combined cycle which should be fairly close. And they should be achievable in "real life".

http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/fuelConSearch.asp


You've got to be kidding about NHTSA numbers ... they are at least 25% (maybe 35%) higher than EPA.

I understand about driving styles ... some folks around here use the binary method ... "full on" or "OFF".
 
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