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Umm.. unions, innovation, autoparts?? or something

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by qwk, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Yeah I was going to include that, but didn't.
    By the looks of it, I don't think they will smart up in time. 2 of the 3 would be gone now if it wasn't for government intervention, and funny accounting.
     
  2. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    If you know anything at all about the automobile industry, including its history, you would know that the "Detroit" 3 are in fact quite innovative. That they have not mass produced electric cars yet is simply a result of not wanting to pour billions of dollars into a product for which there is nascent demand. They can't afford to do it on a grand scale and get it wrong. They are testing the waters first before jumping in completely; as the market evolves they will respond accordingly.

    Ford is bringing out an electric version of the Focus, on their own, which is why this arrangement is so unusual to me.

    Studebaker was the only carriage maker to successfully transition to automobiles. And even they only pulled if off for 60 years or so!
     
  3. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    They wouldn't have needed the help if it weren't for crippling pension costs due to horrible union contracts. Something that is critically afflicting many local and state governments.
     
  4. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    That is a small part of it. The reluctancy of change and innovation coupled with very poor vehicle quality played a much larger role.
     
  5. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    #5 Jaff, Jan 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
    Matt, while I agree with your comments about unions making costs of practically any product or service increase significantly, I disagree with your comment about the Detroit 3 being quite innovative...remember, basically 2 of the 3 went bankrupt & needed government (public) bailouts...this is not the result of being innovative...it is the result of years of mismanagement.

    If the Detroit 3 were in fact being innovative, they would find a way to bring a quality EV to market for well under a billion dollars like TM did / is doing.

    The many surveys that have been done & subsequently discussed on this forum have shown that the demand for a quality EV is legitimate as we speak...it is the supply of these quality EV's that is the weak link.


     
  6. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    I did not see Matt's innovative comment. LOL

    There is absolutely nothing innovative about using 100 year old technology. The Ev1 was a really good step for GM, but the management of that time was braindead.
    I really don't know of any other product that when it was discontinued people held a vigil. Do you?
    Common sense would tell you that squashing that kind of following is idiocrasy.
     
  7. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    Okay, we are going off topic here, but one thing I will never understand is why GM is forever vilified for killing the EV1. Every other car company that had an EV on the market at that time killed their program in exactly the same manner, yet they all get a free pass. Tried to buy an EV Plus lately? When was the last time you saw a Nissan Altra? I haven't seen any of the Japanese companies putting out any electric cars since then, should we also make snide comments about their lack of innovation?
     
  8. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    The Roadster is impractical as an EV for the overwhelming majority of people because it is a small, sports-oriented car with virtually zero storage space. It is built by installing an electric drivetrain with an admittedly ass-kicking battery pack into a chassis built by another manufacturer, just exactly like ACPropulsion does. It sells for more than I paid for my house, and only 1100 have been built over the course of three years. As cool as the Roadster is, I hardly qualify that as being all that innovative, or bringing "a quality EV to market."

    It's entirely possible that there's a whole lot more to engineering a car, and building it in significant numbers (think 50,000 a year) than you think.
     
  9. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Gm is the villain because they got caught crushing first after denying it.
    They also TOOK taxpayers $$ that will never be recouped. Sure other manufacturers are also guilty, but GM is by far the worst culprit.

    Matt, you act like you have a grudge against Tesla and EV's, do you work for an oil company?

    If you think that a roadster is NOT innovative, than what car is? And why?
     
  10. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    Hahahaha!

    No, I don't. And I have nothing at all against Tesla or EV's.

    Maybe my purpose here is to act as a little bit of a realist against the overwhelming fanboy-ism that takes place here. I've never been on any other forum where the members had so much hate towards any car other than the one they praise, and so much disdain for those that do not bow down and declare that car to be the best car that has ever existed in the world.

    I have enthusiasm for all kinds of cars, of which the Tesla Roadster is one. The electric car revolution is going to be happening very slowly. Everybody wants to get in on the game right now because it's good PR, and if it turns out to be the dominant form of transportation, no one wants to be left holding the bag. So believe me, everybody is working on this as hard as they can. Because the first company that can build EVs in quantities that matter, at a price that the average person will pay, and make a profit doing so, will be in the driver's seat. So it's not a question of car companies, or the people that run those car companies, being stupid. IT'S REALLY THAT DIFFICULT. Get used to that idea.

    Tesla builds one hell of a battery pack, that cannot be disputed. And no one else gets as much power into an EV as they do. Beyond that, there is nothing particularly innovative about the Roadster at all. The car itself is a seven year old Lotus design. But I guess, yes, you can say the Roadster is innovative, but then I guess I can also say that it is not. We can agree to disagree.

    I personally do not think that Tesla will be able to bring the Model S to market without some outside help, and it is my right to have that opinion. But believe me when I tell you this, I do hope that they pull it off. I'm all for automotive diversity. If the Model S will be as great as everyone here hopes it will be, then the quality of the product will stand on its own. And if it does come to market as it is promised, then yes, THAT is an innovative product.

    The Volt is an innovative product. It might be overcomplicated and unecessary, and may be a commercial flop, but it is innovative, in the sense that there is not now nor has there ever been any other car like it.
     
  11. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Every one of your posts seems negative towards Tesla. I don't know what your experience with vehicles is, but it doesn't seem like it's extensive.

    I don't think that fanboyism is the case here. I give credit where credit is due. If it wasn't for Tesla there would be no EV offerings from anybody else, period. Find me a drivetrain as light as Tesla's or AC prop. that puts out the same power/torque. It's not just the battery that Tesla got right.

    Tesla is like Apple, they changed the game. Now everybody is copying apple's iphone.

    As far as the Volt being innovative, give me a break. It's basically a prius you can plug in. Not exactly new technology. A GM ICE vehicle has enough problems. Couple that with more components and it will be a nightmare to own after the warranty expires.
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Hard to dispute that considering investments from Damlier, Toyota, and Panasonic. Not to mention an IPO.

    And yes the Volt is innovative as a purchasable product. It's just the wrong way to go.
     
  13. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Matt, the lessons (TM) learned when designing, building, repairing, redesigning the gearbox, battery and PEM are all incorporated in one way or another into the Model S. It matters not that the Roadster is impractical / unaffordable for many folks...the Roadster was the testing ground for the technology that will be used to design & build the Model S and all subsequent models that TM builds on the Model S platform.

    Whether you believe so or not, the Roadster (btw 1,500 units sold world wide) and it's technology are innovative...the fact that it sells for more than your house or my house, is irrelevant to the innovation discussion.


     
  14. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    Read it as negativity if you want, but I think my posts have been fair. Sorry for having a different point of view. I stand by my posts.

    My experience is that the family business is the third largest NAPA store in the country, for which I have worked for the last 25 years. So I have pretty much been studying the industry my entire life, and I read everything I can get my hands on. That doesn't make me an expert on everything, but we can discuss and learn from each other if you choose. Luckily for you I have not made any assumptions about your credentials.
     
  15. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    I shouldn't have made the credential statement. Having said that, I will give you one of many examples why Tesla got it right.
    As an avid drag racer, I love the technology Tesla has to offer.
    When you take an ICE car to the track(similar track times to the roadster or faster) numerous times the end result is parts failure and breakage, along with a ton of maintenance. With the Tesla, all you need is just charging. No oil to change, head gaskets to blow, detonation ect. While this does not benefit the line of work you are in, it is a ton of help to the racer, as working on cars all the time gets very old.

    Ps Now I see why you criticize Tesla. They are a big threat to NAPA and the like. I really don't blame you.
     
  16. donauker

    donauker Member

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    Now there is a statement that is about as wrong as can be. Do you even know anything about the technology of the Volt?
     
  17. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Absolutely. Very similar to the Hymotion Prius. Different motor designs, but they both achieve about the same thing. Gm was not exactly the first to do this.

    http://www.a123systems.com/hymotion

    I really don't know why people rave about the Volt. The NiMh EV1 was a better car, and that was 10+ years ago.

    Do you seriously think that a manufacturer that made this commercial is serious about selling decent EV's?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g7cgUm7o9k
     
  18. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    The majority of our business is undercar (brakes, chassis and the like). We also do quite well in componentry which has nothing to do with the engine, for example climate control or window regulators (a high failure item). There will be many components of electric cars which will need replacement over the service life of such cars. I assure you we will continue to be viable. But thank you for your concern.
     
  19. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    In skimming these posts that went off the rails from another thread, I can't say I'm sure what the central topic is. Perhaps the participants can suggest a better title.
     
  20. strider

    strider Active Member

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    #20 strider, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
    As I understand it there is a pretty big difference. A Prius is driven by both its electric and ICE motors where the Volt is driven only by the electric motor - the ICE is used purely to supply electricity to the motor/charge the batteries (as in a locomotive).

    I see this as an interesting way for Chevy to begin to develop an all-electric drivetrain and as battery tech and charging infrastructure improves then can increase the pack size and delete the ICE. You cannot take the ICE out of a Pruis - Toyota can use very little of their Prius tech in an EV (hence licensing TM's tech).

    IMO the big error was they should have used a small diesel for the ICE - much more efficient at constant rpm than gasoline.

    Also, what's w/ the GM hating? My family have run GM cars for decades and I don't find they are any more prone to problems than any other manufacturer. Just take care of them and they'll run.

    Anyway, I was tempted to drive a Volt until the Model S came out but I wanted an EV now (for carpool lane access - wasn't clear if/how the stickers would work for the Volt), liked the performance of the Roadster (a step up from my Corvette instead of a step down performance-wise), gave us priority on a Model S, etc. We also have the luxury of having more than one car for long trips - some people don't have that luxury. I think the Volt has its place.
     

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