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Friday, April 06, 2007

B-Class Cars?

Besides the Flex, the other vehicles that inerest me are the Chevrolet small-car triplet Beat/Trax/Groove. These are fresh and practical looking small cars, which would have as good a chance as any of being a success, if Americans would be willing to buy small cars. (Image courtesy of AutoBlog. Cutie not included)

Which they aren't.

Despite the current meme that Americans are dumping SUVs for cars (only partly true), there is not a groundswell of demand for very small cars. Americans don't want small, fuel efficient cars, they really want cheap gas. Absent cheap gas, they want large cars and mid-size SUVs to replace their large SUVs.

There are some small cars which do well because they fill a specific niche. The Mini, for example, or the upcoming Smart. Others, like the Yaris (son of the abominable Echo) only really appeal to people who can't afford something better, or rental car fleets. Smart, by the way, has not been profitable since its inception in its home market.

On the regulatory side, the new CAFE calculations, which use a vehicle's footprint to calculate fuel economy targets rather than an arbitrary number, should give manufacturers the flexibility to avoid b-cars and concentrate on improving the efficiency of their larger vehicles.

1 comment:

Auto Deals said...

Hi there!! As part of the community, we all need to do our part in doing all we can for a "peak oil" world. Yes, energy crisis is an issue which needs to be considered by the rest of humanity and action needs to be done asap so that we can save our resources and thus save the world!
Economical usage for fuel means less demand for fuel which also means less fuel waste and we get to save our earth's resources! When it comes to fuel consumption, automobiles also takes a large percentage of this resource.
In relation to this, the recent Hybrid cars also getting popular day by day. Fuel prices are rising and so is the demand for Hybrid cars. Recently HONDA CIVIC HYBRID is named as Car of year at USA car show. Famous models of Toyota are gaining importance in todays life, most favourites are : Toyota Prius, Lexus , Alphard and Estima Hybrid. Or a Toyota hybrid mini van for those who want a larger vehicle. If you wish to check more info on these cars, even for used Japanese cars selling of these brands, you may want to review online Japan used car sales . Thank you so much for sharing and keep em coming! Have a nice day! :)