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The 'Big 3' are moving in the wrong direction.....

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by ggies07, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Well, I guess the end-result is the same. If you're into EVs for weening us off foreign oil, then more fuel-efficient cars also help the cause.

    Guessing they mean separately here.
     
  3. Oyvind.H

    Oyvind.H Member

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    So ICE cars need 10 speed gearbox to be more efficient..... Must say I like Teslas single speed gearbox better.....
     
  4. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    hate to sound like a cynic, but more complexity means more stuff that can break, and if it does break it's more costly to repair.
     
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Or they could use CVTs like the Japanese, but they don't have them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well, more gears could mean less use of each gear so reduced wear. I'd expect that in normal driving it wouldn't be changing gears as much because of the "hunting" the article alluded to.

    Transmissions went from 3 to 4 to 5 to 6 without anybody complaining about problems. I expect the same will be true in the future.
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    That has got to be real expensive to build. Which I guess is the point of the article.
    When an owner has one break can he partner with another broken transmission owner to split the cost on repairs?
     
  7. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Looks like the beginning of the end of those two companies. Kodak didn't want to abandon film either, look where that got them.
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Wait... We're predicting their doom because they're taking time to build more efficient transmissions instead of the EVs you feel they should build? Why? Cost? Complexity? People claimed the new DSGs were going to be horrible and super problematic. I think there was a smattering of first-year issues (taken care of under warranty) and now nothing. Our A6 has a 7-speed S-Tronic transmission, and it's smooth as butter. It's actually pretty hard to tell when it shifts at all. Again, no problems.

    Granted I'm not 10 years into ownership (though the GLI is close, and I know the person who bought it and he has no issues), but throwing out insane costs and predicting the death of these companies because they're building more efficient transmissions is pretty much equivalent to the uninformed anti-EV BS that gets thrown around by those with their own agenda. It's not one way or the highway people.

    P.S. didn't Tesla only go to the single speed transmission because they had issues with the 2-speed and couldn't figure it out?
     
  9. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    After driving the Model S, anybody should know that is where the future is headed. The only question should be, how long is it going to take to get there? The writing is on the wall.
     
  10. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    I don't think they are doomed. I think they are going to waste lots of the three things I mentioned over the next decade or two trying to hold onto the ICE car. Tesla is out there now, people know it can be done. Those companies definitely have the R&D capital to find their own EV. We don't need another "advanced" transmission/engine to get better gas mileage if the end goal is to get off of it.
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    If you look at historical precedent, very few companies can survive and thrive through a technology revolution.

    When transistors were invented, some electron tube manufacturers started up transistor divisions. Others looked at the nascent unreliable and low performance offerings, and not seeing their potential decided to stick with tubes. Even the ones who did get on board didn't go "all in". Result: not one survived.

    IBM survived the PC revolution. They're one of the exceptions, and it required a radical reinvention of the company - they've moved from mainframe computers to PC manufacturing to providing software services.

    I do think that when the change comes, it will happen swiftly. Gas prices will soon get too high, and meanwhile battery prices continue to drop. Suddenly the consumers will look at the cost equation, and it will have tipped strongly in favor of EVs. That's when the current trickle of people moving over to EVs will become a flood. Companies that didn't get on board may well go under. And those with weak offerings will struggle. The only lucky thing for conventional automakers is that starting a new company from scratch is very hard. There surely can't be many disruptive startups like Tesla.
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Kodak was essentially gone in 8 years. They did not go "all in" when digital took over.

    Nikon, Canon moved with the format so maybe GM and all can do it too.
     
  13. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    True. And with photography it's just partly the film v.s. digital sensor part - the other part being the optics, which is the same whether it's an analog or digital camera. Same with cars: a car is a lot more than energy storage (gas v.s. battery) and drivetrain/motor (ICE v..s electric) - there is a lot more that goes in to making a good car and these big automakers have that knowledge. I'm sure some of them will adapt and some of them will fail.
     
  14. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    IBM survived the PC revolution because they missed the intermediate minicomputer era, and realized they needed to not ever do that again. They're pretty much the only survivor, and note that all the minicomputer companies are gone now too. Gotta hand it to IBM management for getting it right. I guess it helped that they had huge resources to fall back on.
     
  15. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I bought several early Kodak digital cameras. They were definitely trying it out and innovating. I think the film division kept sticking daggers in their back.

    I think an important piece of the technological change bubble is the internal politics. The film division fights the new digital division - defending the established product lines and their profits. "Don't cannabalize our old product with this new product" they say. The biggest impediment to tomorrows innovation is todays successful product.
    GM has a long history of internal fighting like that kills off new ideas - Saturn is one example. My money is betting that they haven't learned anything from that.
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Was waiting for someone to point out Kodak's digital cameras. They actually were quite early in the digital realm and still hold several key patents on chips and image processing.

    "All in" in this case is a euphemism for internal politics. Kodak had just like GM in the EV1 days (read "The Car That Could")

    I think the thing that would have all the car makers either terrified or crazy busy (or both) is the amazing car that Tesla built. No way they could see that coming at the level.
     
  17. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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  18. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I had a Kodak DC50...

    But getting back to cars, I have talked to a few Town Car service operators. They buy used town cars and keep them until about 300,000 miles. Then they discard them because either the transmission or the engine fails in some expensive way and it is cheaper to just get another.
    ICE and transmissions are unnecessary complexity and the knowledge of their construction, care and maintenance will soon have the same value as how to build wooden hulls and rig sails.
     
  19. MikeL

    MikeL some guy

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    Speaking of Big 3, I think my fave thing about the Mega Factories show on Tesla Preview: Tesla factory featured on National Geographic's Megafactories was the "Motor has THREE moving parts" !!! It's in there somewhere, I just about started cheering in my kitchen. ML

    oops, link is the preview, there are versions of the whole thing, 45 min. in Video category
     
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    Wow. I just looked at the specs of that. Hahaha. Those were the days.... when there weren't even any 1 megapixel consumer digital cameras.
     

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