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Why the car industry in the US is failing Or are they-?The number of Cars/trucks in the US has reached an apex. There are approximately 250,851,833 cars in the United States that are registered and in operation. That is almost a car for every person in the US. I own a 1995 Ford Explorer that has every gadget you can imagine. From electric windows to powered seats that move in almost all directions while contouring to your physical needs. To a climate control system that keeps you comfy under any climatic condition.If your engine wears out you can replace the entire engine, fuel system, intake and exhaust manifolds, block and all for $1,200 dollars.If you need a complete transmission it will cost you $1,100The vehicle I own carries no debt, it is paid off. The only expense this vehicle accrues is maintenance, fuel and registration fees.The vehicle has driven over 169,000 miles. While all of its creature comforts continue to work and if I continue to make modest investments in it, it could easily last another 100,000 miles.If fewer new cars enter the market this does not spell doomsday for parts distributers. There is a bonanza to be had in used and new parts. The volume of cars is going to continue to rise but it will not rise to replace the obsolete. Cars, like washing machines they just keep going and going and going.Like Peak Oil, car production in the US has peaked as well.BTW I can also convert the engine to run on natural gas. (:-
Just my personal opinion - mind you but, everytime they made a good fuel efficient vehicle or improted one such as a Dodge Raider from Japan (read - Mitsubishi Montero 4x4) They'd stop selling them, if they were fuel efficient or never broke down. Mine got 188,000 miles, on the first engine and 24mpg for a 6-cylinder 4x4 always driven off-road and comfortable on dirt roads courtesy of the air ride seats (think semi-trucks). Replaced the engine with a Dodge minivan engine and it cr*pped after 100,000 miles - at 20 mpg.
My next and only other American vehicle was and is still running a Dodge Ram 2500 quad cab short bed pickup that has a Cummins engine 6-cylinder and has 190,000 miles and only has had a leak in the air shocks (extra cost),brakes, tires,and a steering/brake booster pump $300 bucks - used to have an in-bed 3000 lb. slide in truck camper - fuel mileage period 26mpg shot to 29mpg using commercially available biodiesel running in bumper to bumper DC beltway traffic with AC on - or 4x4 and on dirt trails (logging roads) or moose paths - didn't matter.
My new Jetta TDI 68,000 miles (1 gallon each way to work) is getting 55 mpg it does drop to 50 in the dead of winter when it's 0 to -20º below zero fahrenheit, they both start easier than gasoline except when it dips below -30º, then you best have a block heater or an electric blanket, etc.
Every bell and whistle is on the VW and a 6'5" semi-chunky male me can fit comfortably behind the wheel without sitting in the back seat or poking my head through the moon roof.
There are American made better fuel mileage hybrid vehicles made in this country you drive for the first 40 miles on battery, before a generator kicks in and using it's 100 mpg 1 or 1.5 cylinder diesel engine. Problem being for most Americans is its a 3-wheel vehicle with 2 wide wheels in the front and one in the rear. Looks like an airplane without wings and has a gull wing type canopy. Seating for 2 to 4 people and available now and next year (back orders) - made by the same people that made the expensive beyond belief boat/RV's give me a while and I'll give you a website and a name, price for 100 mpg , the same as my VW TDI Jetta. $20,000 - in 2 or 4 person capacity and a wheelchair accesible version.
Guess the deal is you needn't buy Japanese to get a hybrid now or a fuel efficient vehicle. Diesel engines are made for longevity (ask the Navy for old-ish style engines). They are heavier as a rule, the engine and more fuel efficient.
My only expenses are a fuel, oil, and filter change every 5 to 10,000 miles (period) both came with standard bumper to bumper 100,000 mile warranties.