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Interesting Times


Padgett
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It has occurred to me that I have lived through some interesting times. When was young, "What's good for GM is good for the USA". When I went to work there GM was concerned about selling too many cars (over 50% of the cars sold in the USA, more than Ford, Chrysler, and AMC combined), the fed was talking about a monopoly and breaking the corporation up. GM then shuffled divisions and capabilities so no one company could stand alone: Cars had to be built in Fisher Body plants with parts from Delco, Rochester, Harrison, Saginaw, Hydramatic, and DDA. Dealers had to get parts from GMPD.. Today Mary and co. have a really nice building in Detroit but major decisions  are made elsewhere (SAIC) and most of the side divisions have been sold off or separated.. (Delco-Remy is owned by Borg-Warner, Guide Lamp was separated from GM then closed in 2006. Pontiac and Oldsmobile are gone (Chinese really like Buicks). Think of it as evolution in action.

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Great observation Padgett. You could almost write a book about what you have seen as you were on the inside when this all happened.

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If you collect my postings I probably already have. Over 20k on AACA alone before powers that be decided they did not like what I was saying.

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i always drifted to the Pontiac division for its performance/sporty bent.  Sad to see the disappearance of these iconic brands.  I could be wrong, but I don't think in 2022 Buick even makes a car/sedan,  

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I believe (but not entirely sure) that Cadillac is the only American car manufacturer left that sells a sedan model.

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Chevrolet still has the Malibu. This is the last year for the Korean built Spark. Chrysler still has the 300 which hasn't changed much in the last 15 years. Plus the Dodge Chargers are still around. It's sad what the SUV has done to continue the homogenization of the US. It's like everything that was cool and quirky about the variety of the past keeps getting filtered down into "more of the same."

Edited by BlakesReatta
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We do indeed live in interesting times! And not just from an automobile perspective (although that is a big one). The history of the American car is a storied and fascinating one! You SHOULD write a book Padgett! What year did you start at GM? Just curious about the time frames of what you experienced. My dad worked for Ford for over 30 years at the dealer/sales level. He sure saw a lot of changes!

 

Speaking of the changing car business. I have mixed feelings about this "EV" push...How do you all feel about it? Although I see some real advantages, I feel that the folks pushing it are missing some major issues like the fossil fuels it requires to feed the electrical grid to charge all these vehicles. I get that they are cool, and fast...but give me a good 'ol combustible engine any day! I like how they sound and run!

 

Also, I agree that it's sad to see major manufacturers moving away from building actual cars (sedans & coupes) in favor of the SUV, SAC, etc. etc.

 

However...has anyone seen this? The Cadillac Celestiq. Google it...Not only is it a car....it's quite the car! WOW....

Edited by ColoradoReatta
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Personally am not interested in Anything built past 2014. My DD is a Catera Touring Sedan Coupe.

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There was also an interesting Buick concept car that hit the media recently. The Wildcat.

 

I think CNG vehicles would be more easily implemented. They emit way lower emissions than gasoline cars, natural gas is cheaper per unit than gas also. Electric cars are great for city driving but not for people driving long distances or people out in the "country." I personally drive 40 miles round trip a day and it could work for me but I'm not dropping $50,000 on a Tesla anytime soon and I suspect the majority won't either. It's an elite symbol currently. Luckily gas has come down a bit in the last few weeks.

 

The worst thing about electric cars is the mining for nickel and lithium. Mountains will literally be leveled to extract these resources from the Earth. How's that green?

Edited by BlakesReatta
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In the last generation of the Chevy Cavalier, there was a CNG option available. Pretty neat little car for a daily commuter. Economical and for the working man.

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I spent the better part of a year, or actually more, looking for an electric car I could live with. It was to be a summer car in parallel with my Reatta, but I found almost nothing was available in the Midwest. By biggest complaint is the lack of outward visibility. I have no central vision in one eye so that likely magnifies blind spots. My second criteria was no black interiors allowed, after all this is to be a summer car and preferably a white exterior. Surprise, surprise, many of the lower end and affordable cars, <$40k, are only available with black interior. No sunroofs available on some as well, no matter the model level. The best bang for the buck, IMHO, was the Chevy Bolt, but I couldn't see out of it, and then the EUV variant came out which has better visibility, but then the battery fires soured my outlook on them. One that had my interest was the electric Kia Soul, but then the decision was made at some level that the 2022 car would not be sold in the U.S. but it is available north of the border, go figure. Many car models are only easily available in a group of states that have joined together in some sort of climate change agreement, the east and west coast primarily, plus Colorado, so much electric vehicle production is earmarked or biased to those markets. I did ask a couple of local dealerships if they could get something from the coastal dealerships and was told they were forbidden from doing so. This was all up until about one year ago when I gave up looking. This has all been very disappointing. One thing that is almost always missing from reviews of the vehicle is the practicality and visibility. The tech included in the dash seems to be the main focus, but it doesn't matter that the heavily slanted and extended "A" pillars block enough vision to hide an entire builiding. Lotsa fun maneuvering in a parking lot. The Reatta isn't great in that regard, long nose and somewhat limited front quarter view, but light years better than some modern vehicles. 

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The rare earth minerals for the batteries are truly and issue as we have no way of mining these materials fast enough and the cost of these commodities will continue to rise astronomically. Ironically, China controls most of this market as I understand. The other thing they don't tell you about EV's is that when the battery dies, it's very costly to replace. I've heard $5k-$20k. Also, the other thing is the safety in a rollover crash. I know someone who's friend rolled over in one and it blew up because of the battery. Sadly the person died in the crash. The EV Utopia that is currently being promoted is more of a dystopia in my humble opinion.

 

Has anyone else heard about this?

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If you need to buy something new to save gas, I think the Honda Civic hatchback (or whatever it's called), that has a small four cylinder with a water cooled turbo is hard to beat. A friend of mine bought one a year or so ago as his retirement car and he loves it. It has plenty of power and he just averaged 47 mpg driving from here to Illinois and back. I don't think EVs are ready for primetime yet so if I was buying new, with fuel efficiency in mind, the Honda turbo is what I would get. I don't think it would pollute much more than an EV.

 

This is what the exhaust pipe on an EV looks like.

 

kingston_steam_plant 1-19-16.jpg

 

 

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I hear yah😎. In my case it was never about savings, it was no or very little maintenance, plus would do essentially all my normal chores. A plug in hybrid with 50+ mile range would be great all around, like a late model Chevy Volt, but, it has all of the things I don’t like as well. Of course the plug in model for most hybrids is the most expensive option 😕

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LNG/Propane is also very low emission.. Was ok to run inside plants.

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The September 2022 issue of Motor Trend features a bevy of "future to be on the market" EVs. Some exotics are out of reach price-wise. However, a number of them are reportedly to be offered in the $40-$50K range (we'll see). One in particular catches my eye - a future 2025 (reportedly on sale in 2024) Dodge Electric Muscle Car. It looks like a cross between a current day Challenger and a vintage (say '68) Charger. Showed my son the photo today and his immediate comment was "S-W-E-E-T". He owns a '70 Challenger w/440 cid, a '67 Camaro SS w/327 cid, a 67 Dodge Dart w/440 cid, a '69 Nova with Corvette engine (I forget cid), and a S-10 pickup ProStreet. His daily drivers are a Dodge Pickup, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan 370Z. To say that he will rue the day when gasoline is a hot commodity is an under statement. But the "S-W-E-E-T" comment about the EV Dodge Electric Muscle Car shows that conversion from ICE to EV may be possible, if not inevitable.  I doubt that any of the "future" EVs shown in Motor Trend would fill the bill for 2 Seater - unfortunate. 

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On 7/19/2022 at 12:47 PM, Padgett said:

It has occurred to me that I have lived through some interesting times. When was young, "What's good for GM is good for the USA". When I went to work there GM was concerned about selling too many cars (over 50% of the cars sold in the USA, more than Ford, Chrysler, and AMC combined), the fed was talking about a monopoly and breaking the corporation up. GM then shuffled divisions and capabilities so no one company could stand alone: Cars had to be built in Fisher Body plants with parts from Delco, Rochester, Harrison, Saginaw, Hydramatic, and DDA. Dealers had to get parts from GMPD.. Today Mary and co. have a really nice building in Detroit but major decisions  are made elsewhere (SAIC) and most of the side divisions have been sold off or separated.. (Delco-Remy is owned by Borg-Warner, Guide Lamp was separated from GM then closed in 2006. Pontiac and Oldsmobile are gone (Chinese really like Buicks). Think of it as evolution in action.

More like the "Heat beat of America" is close to being on cardiac arrest any day.  As the CEO of GM earns herself another multi million dollar annual salary.  

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I just saw that the AVERAGE price for an EV is $66,000. If you can't afford gasoline, no worries, just buy an EV!

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Lol, even if gas were still $5 a gallon, it would be cheaper to operate a Reatta or any gas burner (without a big monthly payment) that gets over 20 mpg than making a monthly payment on a new EV. Plus, electricity prices are way up......so it's not like you're saving money on electricity either.

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On 7/22/2022 at 12:34 PM, ColoradoReatta said:

The rare earth minerals for the batteries are truly and issue as we have no way of mining these materials fast enough and the cost of these commodities will continue to rise astronomically. Ironically, China controls most of this market as I understand. The other thing they don't tell you about EV's is that when the battery dies, it's very costly to replace. I've heard $5k-$20k. Also, the other thing is the safety in a rollover crash. I know someone who's friend rolled over in one and it blew up because of the battery. Sadly the person died in the crash. The EV Utopia that is currently being promoted is more of a dystopia in my humble opinion.

 

Has anyone else heard about this?

Yes, the replacement batteries for EVs are extremely expensive. My step mother is an insurance adjuster and recently she had a claim for an EV and the battery was damaged somehow. It was nearly 20K for the battery(s) alone. 

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