US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - madf
Just incase anyone labours under the misapprehension that US carmakers have learned anything over the past 15 years..

Cars heavier, faster but US fuel economy unchanged
Hybrids don't make a dent as fuel efficiency increases but is offset by weight and power.
July 18 2006: 11:56 AM EDT


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- New vehicles in the United States are the fastest and heaviest in three decades, with the fleet's fuel efficiency no better than the figure for 1994 -- about 21 miles per gallon, the government said on Monday.

The mileage estimate for 2006 passenger vehicles -- cars, sports utilities, pickups and minivans -- continues a recent trend even though gasoline prices have risen steadily and now average $3 per gallon, the Environmental Protection Agency said in an annual efficiency report.

Gains from gas-electric hybrid engines and other fuel saving technologies -- mainly seen in compacts, sedans and other passenger cars -- were noted. But these technologies represent a fraction of what is available in showrooms and bigger models continue to blunt efficiency.

Overall domestic sales were off in June, pulled down by a sharp decline in consumer appetite for less efficient SUVs and pickups.

EPA's efficiency estimates are less conservative than widely cited calculations used by the Transportation Department for measuring passenger vehicle fuel standards or Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE).

The EPA has proposed tougher government-wide requirements for calculating fuel economy. The Transportation Department is also reviewing its standard for passenger cars to reduce overall U.S. oil consumption, but any change is not expected for a few years.

Gasoline use accounts for about 40 percent of U.S. daily oil demand that averages close to 21 million barrels, government figures show.

SUVs, pickups and other members of the light truck class average 6 miles per gallon less than cars on average and account for much of the decline in fleet-wide fuel efficiency, the EPA said.

For 2006, sedans, wagons and compacts are expected to average 24.6 mpg. SUVs are expected to get 18.5 mpg and pickups 17 mpg.

This year's cars and light trucks are estimated on average to be the heaviest, fastest and and most powerful vehicles ever built for every day passenger use since the EPA began tracking them in the mid 1970s.

Eight major manufacturers account for nearly all sales, but fall into two groups for fuel performance.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Toyota Motor Corp., Hyundai-Kia Co. Ltd. and Volkswagen AG all make vehicles, mainly cars, that average between 23.5 mpg and 24.2 mpg, the EPA found.

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. all make vehicles, many of which are the most popular SUVs and pickups, that get between 19.1 mpg and 20.5 mpg.

Since 1992, average fuel economy as measured by the EPA has been relatively constant, ranging from 20.6 to 21.4 mpg. This 21.0 mpg value is 5 percent lower than the fleet-average fuel economy peak of 22.1 mpg achieved in 1987-1988.

money.cnn.com/2006/07/18/autos/fuel_eco_trends.reu...m


madf
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Falkirk Bairn
On the MPG front remember a US Gallon is about 4 litres not the usual 4.54 to the Imperial Gallon
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - cjehuk
Exactly, with a US gallon at 3.78l not 4.54l are we really right to complain about US cars doing 'only' 20mpg, when in fact that's as much as our cars doing 25mpg here. That's about the same as an A3 3.2 or a Mondeo ST220 - I don't see people campaigning to remove them from the roads. The US guys aren't as bad as we like to make out.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - madf
You have missed the point imo.

"Since 1992, average fuel economy as measured by the EPA has been relatively constant, ranging from 20.6 to 21.4 mpg. This 21.0 mpg value is 5 percent lower than the fleet-average fuel economy peak of 22.1 mpg achieved in 1987-1988."

Forget the absolute mpg - I mnade no comparison with UK - there has been no overall improvement.
madf
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - type's'
Maybe I have misunderstood but is it not saying that mpg is unchanged in absolute terms but cars are faster and heavier - so surley that means mpg has infact improved if cars do the smae mpg with heavier and fatser cars.
Also in no way is this limited to the USA - what about the explosions of big and small 4x4s in this country ?
I have just spent 4 days driving in Germany and can count the number of 4x4s I saw on one hand.
Got back here and the palce is littered with them. (But thats another thread done to death)
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - glowplug
Wasn't there a piece of legislation that meant that cars had to improve the their efficiency on a yearly basis? I seem to think this was scrapped by one of the recent governments.

As for any car that does 25mpg even in the UK/Europe I think that's daft too. How many of the drivers of these guzzlers are prepared to go and fight for the oil they're wasting?

Steve.
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Xantia HDi Exclusive.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Thommo
'go and fight for the oil they're wasting'

Well I've had a few pub fights in Aberdeen. Do I qualify?
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - glowplug
could do, I suppose it's not too far from a source of oil ;-)

Steve
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Xantia HDi.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Andrew-T
"that means mpg has in fact improved if cars do the same mpg with heavier and fatser [sic] cars"

No, the miles haven't increased or the gallons diminished. You can assume that the engines are getting more work out of the fuel, which major achievement is being squandered on propelling cars which are heavier (safety regs) and contain more power-draining gizmos (e.g.air-con).

Back in 1964 I drove a Morris 1100 round the Western USA, doing 3500 miles at 44 mpg (and IIRC the fuel bill was $57 = £19 at the time). Twentyfive years later when I had moved on to a 205, the MPG was about the same, and today Wife's Clio would probably get about 48 on a similar journey. So in forty years we are getting about 10% more miles for our gallons, albeit in safer, heavier cars with more clutter on board. We are certainly not economising on fuel anything like as much as we could.

Diesel cars of course *have* made a great step forward.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Lud
In another thread the other day, after DD said people were talking about the wrong stuff, I put in a post that said: All cars are too heavy. Discuss.

No one did.

Of course we all like the toys and gizmos that come in our cars, those of us who can afford new cars that is. But as has been pointed out, their increasing girth and weight are largely safety-related. Over-regulation to save us from ourselves has made life increasingly expensive and tiresome.

Andrew-T points out that we are not economising on fuel as much as we could. Lighter cars would handle better, and with a bit of adjustment to gearing and so forth and a small sacrifice of wheel-spinning ability they could be made to go just as fast as the ones we have now while being a lot more economical.

But we won't be allowed to have them unless we get rid of nanny first. Frankly I don't think it will happen. People expect to have their cake and eat it, and the kind of nanny running our country these days - nothing to do with what party's in power - encourages this attitude. Not like the nannies we used to have!

US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - madf
"But we won't be allowed to have them unless we get rid of nanny first"

Does nanny tell us to have
:
power steering, electric windows, satnav, CD player, aircon, cruise control, automatics, electric sunroof, rear wipers,..?

None are ESSENTIAL, All are desired. And they all add weight. Add wide tyres spoilers, seamsealant, metallic paint +lacquer coat.

To suggest the nanny state demands these is risible.
Try selling a car which does not have good primary safety today. (anyone want a metro?:-).

Perhaps the nanny state demands the use of SUVs and 4x4s to collect children?


Lol..

An awful lot of people are born again consumers.. and love things that are in themselves superfluous.

I blame the education system:-)



madf
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Lud
The only thing in yr list I regard as remotely useful, madf, is power steering. Some of the others may be pleasant but one can live without them, and cruise control, satnav and auto transmission are actually undesirable, to me anyway. I suppose seamsealant may be all right too.

Fact is you can't really have your cake and eat it. Surely Metros handle and stop all right for that sort of car (primary safety) but perform badly in crash tests (secondary safety)?

It's not a question of 'trying to sell' this or that in the present market. I would like the market to change. But it won't, it will just continue to evolve - not a very good word in the context - in its own carp direction.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - L'escargot
We're not all obsessed with fuel consumption. I look primarily at the car's specification, performance and price. If it's got a good fuel consumption then that's a bonus not a necessity.
--
L\'escargot.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - nortones2
The changes in vehicles to improve secondary safety have surely occurred because of the implications for occupants and other road users without them. You personally may wish to do without crumple zones, disconnects for the electrical system to prevent the fuel tank from being ignited, seat belts to prevent ejection and decapitation, but many do not. However it is open to you to buy as many old vehicles as you wish. The market for throw-backs is there. Use it if you want, but that is surely an idiosyncrasy?
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Lud
NO nortones. Not old ones, new ones. Lightweight, high-geared, with proper suspension and a bit of crumple stuff. But as I say, it won't happen. Because everyone thinks they're going to crash. Pathetic.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Group B
Its a case of no going back isn't it. If you built a mass-market car that was lightweight, did 120mpg, low emissions, competitively priced, but it only scraped 1 star in NCAP crash tests, the public at large would't buy it. It would be all over the tabloids "This car is a death trap".
I think back to the mid '80's - if you cared about safety, you bought a Volvo; if not, it was taken for granted that most other makes of car would be similarly adequate (or not) in a crash. When my Dad was picking his company cars, choosing between a Sierra, Cavalier, or Montego, he wasn't thinking "I wonder which is the safest", the thought didn't enter into it. Then Merc introduced airbags to Europe, Audi brought out Procon 10, and all of a sudden safety became the big marketing tool.

I'm not knocking people for whom safety is a major criteria for buying a car, each to their own; I just find it ridiculous that a modern Fiesta can weigh 170kg more than a mid-Eighties Sierra. All the extra chassis weight requiring heavier duty suspension, bigger brakes, fatter tyres to keep the handling respectable, more powerful engines to maintain performance. More kinetic energy flying down the road at 70mph.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - DP
I'm not knocking people for whom safety is a major criteria
for buying a car, each to their own; I just find
it ridiculous that a modern Fiesta can weigh 170kg more than
a mid-Eighties Sierra. All the extra chassis weight requiring heavier
duty suspension, bigger brakes, fatter tyres to keep the handling respectable,
more powerful engines to maintain performance. More kinetic energy flying
down the road at 70mph.


I could not agree more!!

DP
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - DP
+ more wear and tear on roads and bridges of course, greater use of road space (my favourite comparison is when you see a mk1 and mk5 Golf alongside each other, but it applies to almost all models of car), and the proven psychological effect of "safer" cars on people's driving standards and habits.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Lud
Good on you Rich and DP. You have the correct vision.

Most people can't see the wood for the trees though. They'll have nightmarish thoughts of their wives and nippers mangled and play safe. Can't blame them really I suppose.

But 'what might have been' still might be one day, fingers crossed.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - fluter
>... points out that we are not economising on fuel as much as we could. Lighter cars would handle better, and with a bit of adjustment to gearing and so forth and a small sacrifice of wheel-spinning ability they could be made to go just as fast as the ones we have now while being a lot more economical.

But we won't be allowed to have them unless we get rid of nanny first.<

As an old banger driver, I find the safety argument pretty irrelevant at the moment, but I do worry as all around me cars get bigger and faster with no noticeable improvement in driver skill or behaviour. If the nanny state were really interested I'm sure the lighter cars could be introduced, but perhaps we'd need to curtail speeds and Chelsea tractors a bit (I've no problem with working grubby tow-barred versions), as well as taxing fuel even more. The historical antipathy of motorcyclists to Volvo drivers illustrates the dynamic that is now operating on the safety front - drivers feeling safer hasn't done much for road safety.

I've always felt that removing Jeremy's gonads would also help tremendously, but that's only as a result of once trying to derive some imaginative pleasure whilst being forced to watch some Christmas special.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - madf
" I just find it ridiculous that a modern Fiesta can weigh 170kg more than a mid-Eighties Sierra"

Ford design is carp. IIRC the Fiesta unladen weight is around 1200kg.

The equivalent Yaris is under 1000kg.

Nuff said..

No wonder Toyota are wrorld leaders and rising and Ford are going backward. Instead of investing in car design and new models in the late 1990s, Ford spent their money buying Jaguar Volvo and Kwikfit.

NeitherJjaguar nor Volvo are profitable and Kwikfit was sold at a huge loss...

Says it all really. So to pay for it Ford delayed replacing the Fiesta until 2002 (it should have been 1998) and did not invest...


madf
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - nortones2
Certainly there are lightweight cars, but they tend to be specialised. You could always downsize or get a JiangLing Landwind not likely to sell. Even though it weighs 2 tonnes, it scored zero stars in crash tests last week by the ADAC. Sounds just the job for Lud.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Lud
Thank you Nortones. Heavy, slow, dangerous and Chinese: how clever of you to notice that that was what I really meant!
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - DP
My idea of dream personal commuting/weekend knockabout transport is something based on the old 205 GTI but with the 136 bhp 2.0 HDI engine and 6 speed 'box in it.

0-60 in about 7 seconds, 130+ top end, utterly brilliant handling and tipping the scales at under 900kg, I reckon you'd get 70 mpg out of it driven gently, with an easy 60 day to day.

Or a mk2 Golf GTI with the latest 2.0 TDi 140 lump in it. Ditto above.

Forgive me - I sometimes get quite excited at the prospect of a modern engine pulling 80's kerbweights with pre-nanny state handling characteristics. The performance and economy compromise would be astonishing, and I have almost forgotten what lift off oversteer feels like!! :-(

US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - mss1tw
The thing would just understeer like nothing else and the weight of the engine would completely overcome the chassis.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - DP
I'm sure you're right. It's a nice idea though... :-)

I wonder how much heavier the HDi is than the old 1.8 XUD (which worked a treat in the 205)?
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - mss1tw
It's a nice idea though... :-)


Absolutely - especially with the gearing ratios adjusted to use the now huge quatntities of excess torque!
I wonder how much heavier the HDi is than the old
1.8 XUD (which worked a treat in the 205)?


Well it's 2 litre but probably (I don't know) uses more modern metals and production techniques...so that's a tricky one.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Andrew-T
"I wonder how much heavier the HDi is than the old 1.8 XUD (which worked a treat in the 205)?"

About the same, I guess. My 306 handbook gives the same kerb weight for the car with the HDi 90 and with the XUD 1905cc. I doubt there is more than 20kg difference.
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Andrew-T
"something based on the old 205 GTI but with the 136 bhp 2.0 HDI engine"

Well, I've just bought the GTI bit (1989G, 46K) - now how do I get the HDI engine shoehorned in?
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - nortones2
I thought you wanted to live dangerously. You can do that and be jeered by the antis. Isn't that what you really want?
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - dieselhead
This shows how oil consumption is rising

tinyurl.com/jbgvo {Link to a powerpoint file shortened as was screwing up the page width - DD}

It is a scandal that the Americans haven't changed the fuel economy regulations for 15 years - they could drive more economical cars without making any major personal sacrifice. Yet we are asked to pay huge taxes and use our rip off public transport. Bearing in mind that the average American drives everywhere and over long distances the environmental impact of their V8 monsters must be huge.

US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - Andrew-T
"I would like the market to change. But it won't, it will just continue to evolve in its own carp direction"

I'm afraid so, Lud. One point of debate is the chicken-and-egg - whether the makers give the buyers what they want, or simply provoke trends. I don't believe for a moment that buyers' pressure caused the makers to come up with the fat 4x4 (to pick a currently contentious example). One of them tried it on, and were presumably gratified with the response, which I attribute partly to a sheep-like British habit of copying things American, whether or not it makes any sense on this side of the water, where we have far less space to exercise those monsters. All the same, their affluent buyers happily snatch road and parking space from the rest of us ...

rant over ...
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - madf
The US Gov't effectively encourage dthe move to larger cars by exempting (iirc) pickups and large 4x4s from fuel consumption regulations - which were supposed to encourage greater fuel efficiency.

All it did was encourage Detroit to continue to abandon the smaller/lighter car sector to imports (i.e Japanese) as Ford is finding out..

tinyurl.com/gjzyv
...

Ford's Way Forward restructuring programme already includes closing 14 plants and cutting up to 30,000 factory jobs in North America, as part of a plan to reduce capacity by 15pc, but Mr Ford said he had charged leaders of the US division to work on "plans to accelerate their efforts. Within the next 60 days, we'll be in a position to discuss the additional actions we will be taking".

Part of that will involve paring production in North America even further.

"It was a dismal quarter," said John Novak, an analyst with Morningstar. "Everyone expected tough times in North America, but the results looked bad across the board."

The company has been hit particularly hard by falling sales of sports utility vehicles, which Ford relied on for profits. Sales of the Explorer mid-size SUV fell 32pc during the second quarter and sales of the larger Expedition declined 42pc as buyers turned to smaller cars from Asian competitors as gasoline prices climbed towards $3 a gallon.


madf
US carmakers economy unchanged in 15yrs - glowplug
What a great thread!

Talking of safety, I can help but think that if all steering wheel air bags were removed and replaced by a big sharp spike, how much more safely would people drive. Those that didn't would be removed from the gene pool, bonus.

I'm just bitter after having my car wrote off - a brain dead in a van that shoved a car into mine.

Steve.
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Xantia HDi.
 

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