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Dr. Al, it is obvious that you have some real significant experience in the auto industry, and it's great to have you commenting on the forum - I know I'm learning things and I'm sure other people are too. Question for you - do you have any idea WHAT new ICE sub-compacts the american companies are developing right now? I know about the Chevy Beat (it will be the 2nd generation Spark), but beyond that.........what else? Chrysler is hooked up with Fiat now, so I assume America will see the Fiat 500 soon (which is great, it's a cool little car). Beyond that, I don't know about anything else. Maybe the Ford Ka? I REALLY think that american manufacturers have shown little social responsibility by literally refusing to sell sub-compacts in America....I know, I know - razor-thin profit margins for those cars. However, here is the ultimate sad fact - the smallest car right now that is sold by a american manufacturer is the Chevy Aveo, and the engine size is 1.6l. That is the SMALLEST car available with a american brand name on it????? Absolutely disgusting that the american consumer doesn't even have a CHOICE when it comes to american made small cars, and it's really no surprise they (Ford/Chrysler/GM) are have so many major problems right now. It's no wonder that the japanese/korean manufacturers have stepped in to fill that void so well, but even they have gotten oversized and bloated. Anyone want to guess now how many cars are available now in America with a engine size below 1.5l - from ANY manufacturer (foreign or domestic)? The answer..........ONE - the Smart Car. Honda Fit? Hyundai Accent? Toyota Yaris? Nissan Versa? All 1.5l engines and above - american consumers don't get the smaller engine choices we get in China (like the 1.3l Fit, the 1.4l Accent or the 1.2l Yaris). WHY???? A 1.3l engine can handle highway speeds just fine and has plenty of power for the city (so does a 1.0l for that matter if you're not worried about being a speed demon)....what this REALLY comes down to is the american cultural and sociological attitude of "biggest, fastest, highest, loudest, etc...". Most americans are so used to "keeping up with the joneses" that they're never happy with all the things and comforts they ALREADY HAVE. Who wants to choose the option of a smaller engine when they can afford the bigger one? THAT is the central issue, and until the american culture gets used to downsizing and conserving (or gas reaches $6-7.00 a gallon, which will happen before americans downsize much), tiny ICE sub-compacts will have a tough hill to climb in regards to american sales.

WITH all of this in mind, I still think that chinese manufacturers could still be successful with ICE sub-compacts - but how?? Simple - start modest, and use Honda as a example. In 1971, Honda started it's auto legacy in America with all of ONE car to sell - the Honda 600. They didn't try to sell nationwide at first, they just focused on the major urban areas (NYC, Los Angeles, the Bay Area) on the coasts - places where a small, nimble little car would fit in well. It didn't sell all that well, but Honda stuck with it and introduced the Civic in 1973 - a little bigger engine and a little more room. The rest, shall we say, is history. China can apply this same basic model when it comes to introducing EV's (and sub-compact ICE cars) here - focus on urban areas (where a EV can be a viable alternative for a commute car), keep it affordable and let brand awareness develop in a organic fashion - it WILL develop if the product is of good enough quality. Those last 3 words - "good enough quality" - is China ready for this when it comes to cars? Not yet, but close..........will they will be ready before that window of opportunity closes in America? I THINK they will, but they need to move faster before that window closes.
 

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I couldn't agree with your assessment of the current state of the industry more:thumb: . You are right, many American's (as long as the economy was doing well) opted for bigger is better, SUVs, trucks and the All-American Muscle Cars actually just recently re-appeared with The Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro. Don't get me wrong, if we weren't facing serious climate change issues and a worldwide recession, I'd personally opt for a new Challenger with a hemi!:cool:
However, and here's the real irony, there is absolutely ZERO reason why this type of car can be re-envisioned as an equally powerful but socially, environmentally, and economically responsible EV with even better features and around the same price of USD 30k; this is what my "Wasp" 4wd solar electric sports coupe design promotes- you can have it all right now, but you're going to need a re-charge periodically.
However, I'm not responding just to advocate the building of my own design by an existing Chinese EV maker (though it is my eventual goal). Rather, I'm telling you that Ford has an aggresive advertising campaign in the US right now promoting several sub-compact mini cars for less than USD $9,000; they woke up and the GM imports you mentioned are coming too along with even more ICE offerings at the bottom of the market from Japan. MY POINT IS THIS DOOR IS CLOSING ON CHINA RIGHT THIS MINUTE! YOU CAN NOT COMPETE IN THIS SUB-COMPACT MARKET HERE BECAUSE ALL CAR MAKERS HAVE REALIZED THE MINI IS THE NEW MID-SIZED HERE. EVERYONE HERE IS ALREADY DOWNSIZING, SO WHY IN THE H*!L WOULD CHINA WANT TO SEND US MORE CARS LIKE THIS? 1.1L, 1.3L, etc...IS NOT THE ANSWER MAN-IT'S EVs- THIS MARKET IS STILL WIDE OPEN IF YOU'LL ONLY Carpe diem!
TAKE THE SMALLEST ORIGINAL CHINESE DESIGNS, STIR IN TWO HUB MOTORS, BAKE IN A COMFORTABLE CLIMATE CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT-AND THE DISH IS READY TO SERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes:
YOU'VE GOT TO GET ICE OFF THE BRAIN-ITS A DEAD END STREET YOU ARE RUSHING DOWN WHEN YOU COULD GET A CLEAR JUMP INTO A LEAD IN EVs! WAKE UP BEIJING AND DON"T FLUSH YOUR MONEY DOWN THE ICE TOILET!
 

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I'm going green and all-electric for my next rig. Mitsubishi has announced today that by 2013 their new all-electric i-MiEV will be priced at only $22,000 in the U.S. That's down from what was talked about being $40,000-$50,000. Read it tonight at the website I've posted here.

You see, the red car you see in all my posts is a replica of my 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and I love the car immensely. I could possibly get a "loyalty rebate" from Mitsu in 2013 when buying an i-MiEV, too, eh?

http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog...tends-to-drop-price-to-22000-by-2013#comments
 

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Universal Automotive Platform Guidelines that make dollars and sense for China :

1.According to almost all noted automotive engineering experts, major OEMs create platforms to be shared by multiple models- even across company and brand makes. Platforms are essential to develop so that production costs and upgrades can be assigned to many models. In the past decade we have seen the Ford Taurus platform applied to Jaguar and Volvo Models, Chrysler adopted existing Mercedes technology in developing their 300 series and Charger Models, GM has used this concept for years in creating three distinct vehicle sizes that applied this concept across the brand lines from Chevrolet to Cadillac. Even Nissan developed their mini- van offering years ago on the Maxima Platform to create excellent ride and handling characteristics. Honda, Toyota and Nissan offer multiple luxury models of differing Acura, Lexus and Infiniti variations on their mainstream models. Currently, GM has created a platform called The “Skateboard” upon which all future EVs will ride.
2.As the world economy shrinks, population expands and countries sign “Green Energy” legislation, cars will be forced to cut out design excesses to meet tighter and tighter emissions and fuel efficiency standards; reducing vehicle size and weight and improving aerodynamics makes these challenges easier to overcome. Most potential consumers now have far less disposable income (than before gas hit $4 a gallon in the US) to spend and now accept this eventuality.
3.Even if China ignores its' social responsibility to NOT put thousands of new polluting ICE models on the road every day, you are filling the pockets of foreign oil billionaires and forcing your own economy to be controlled by British, U.S., and Russian oil powers. Though much of the world's oil comes from The Middle-East- it is, in fact, controlled by the aforementioned powers. Therefore, it doesn't make any sort of long term sense to continue supporting a global oil economy in China, when China has no oil reserves!. If simple supply (of scores of new sub compact ICE models hitting the North American shores from every existing OEM) doesn't deter Chinese automakers- perhaps the clear global demand for quality EVs will! Consumers are screaming for EVs not more small ICE models. Wake up China, the supply of ICE subcompacts is just too great to take on while the demand for the same models in EV form is a wide open marketplace worldwide!
4.Moreover, China is emerging as a worldwide solar power supplier; this is a natural domestic Chinese business partnership waiting to happen by expanding both the EV offerings and solar product outlets. By building cars that offer solar recharging, you are not only cleaning up the dirty planet you helped to pollute, but also offering your customers a huge energy savings with some free charging and more importantly helping to meet Beijing's 8% annual GDP edict. Keep in mind, by offering solar powered cars, remote military operations and deliveries can be made far from power sources and China's coal reserves can be strategically saved for manufacturing expansion and powering older structures not suitable for solar (in other words, this will not significantly effect power company profits there. There will still be a huge demand for coal fired electricity).
5.Since fuel efficiency is proportional to vehicle size and weight, all new vehicle models must decrease wasted space by offering compact (but large enough for four large adults) interior designs; the best opportunity to meet this goal is by adopting the widespread use of BLDC hub motors that can offer regeneration right in the wheel without the need for A/C conversion expenses. With the complete drive train located right inside the wheels, space previously used for the transmission, differential and drive shafts can now be used to both house battery packs and increase passenger space/decrease weight and design excesses.
6.Since vehicle weight is also an established criteria for achieving economical operation, the extensive use of high strength plastic polymers and resins must be employed to create both the desired power to weight ratio, that is currently universally accepted as 15:1 in ICE designs (200hp = 3000lb car), and electrification safety considerations- it only makes sense to build exteriors with ABS bumpers, fiberglass bodies, and strategically reinforced carbon fiber components where needed, etc...and also open up the possibility of applying/laminating solar cells directly to the external shell. Please note, this does not mean the the car will not have structural rigidity- it simply means that the impact rigidity previously built into stamped steel fenders (with crumple zones) now has been moved inside the shell and spread to...
7.A frame-less floor pan with bulk heads designed to absorb impact (like oil freight ships) and further reinforced with a passenger safety cage (as are NASCAR race cars). Moreover, once the hub motor design has been adopted (see solar race cars) the twisting torque forces on the body have been eliminated by as much as 90% by allowing the power made in the wheels the go just a few inches (not throughout the entire vehicle body) directly to where the tire meets the road. In short, solar racers found out years ago, that when using hub motors- you no longer need a vehicle frame to rob power and create excessive weight.
8.Worldwide consumers have repeatedly said that they will accept the EV vehicle range issues if these cars can travel at least 100+ miles per charge (certainly solar extends this range substantially)- but they fully expect these theoretically cheaper to make (especially since lithium battery prices have now come down and EVs have 2/3 fewer parts to begin with) EVs to compete with their old model they are now ready to replace! This means value for dollar, in terms of features and benefits must equal the similarly sized and equipped ICE model. If the ICE subcompact offers offers a plush interior (as Ford is now addressing to compete with Honda, Toyota, etc...) with, PW, PDL, tilt, cruise, A/C etc...then the EV version of the car must offer the features at the same price- including vehicle power suitable for highway speeds. This means at least 100kw of power for even the smallest of cars! Consumers do want to save the planet, but not if it means giving up power and convenience features. This lesson must be learned if any of us are to successfully sell large numbers (and mass production is the only way this economy of scale can be created) of Evs.
9.The Japanese and Europeans already make great compact cars! Don't waste your time copying these car makers' metal ICE model designs! It will take you years to get anywhere near their technology and quality standards and we will accelerate global warming by tenfold in the process! Pouring money down this sewer will return you more earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanic eruptions as you go broke and become ICE OEM pawns to be manipulated.
10.:thumb: Put all of your money and energy into supplying the hard working factory workers and working poor of the world with reliable EV transportation. Not only is this the fastest growing market segment in India and China, but the worldwide recession has spread this need to Europe, Japan and North America as well. You have the wheel hub motor makers, the lithium battery producers, the plastics, the solar and manufacturing base to do this right! This is where you will sell the greatest numbers of cars in huge volume, by completely focusing on exceeding ICE subcompact standards in an original EV designed package (not insert underpowered electric motor in metal ICE car mentality).:nono:

*My own Stinger Motors Inc. Mission statement is offered as a corporate guideline under Idealist.org 's Affinty group: “I won't buy another new car until it's electric”.:mad:


THINK SOLAR GO GREEN CHINA :nod:
 

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My next one's gotta be all-electric, Dr.Al. You are spot on, man. ICE is old, crumpled and wasteful. It's so yesterday and it's so much of a pile-on manifestation. Go all-electric for a better tomorrow.

One way to promote this technology, besides posting on the internet, is with our pocketbooks, huh?
 

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.....adopting the widespread use of BLDC hub motors that can offer regeneration right in the wheel without the need for A/C conversion expenses. With the complete drive train located right inside the wheels, space previously used for the transmission, differential and drive shafts can now be used to both house battery packs and increase passenger space/decrease weight and design excesses....
The challenge here Dr. Al is managing the increased unsprung weight. If these hubs are too heavy then handling will suffer, i.e. once the rubber leaves the road forget about trying to steer the car. Oh yeah making them of light weight materials will take care of that but at what cost.....
 

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The Chinese car manufacturers which could become global players in my opinion:

- Chery
- Geely
- BYD
- Great Wall
- ChangAn/Landwind
- Jianghuai (hopefully they'll use the full name instead of JAC, because of the Dutch meaning of "jakkes" [1) Bastard Curse 2) Interjection 3) Interjection of disgust 4) Exclamation of disgust])
- SAIC brands MG/Roewe

(Less likely) possibilities: Lifan, Brilliance, FAW [Xiali/Hongqi-Besturn], Hafei, Haima, Changfeng, Huatai, GAIC (GAEI)
 

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It's difficult to say! I haven't really kept up with the China car industry. Honestly, I kind of assumed that all car manufacturers were slumping due to the worldly recession. However, I don't know too much about China's economy and their general profit -- the U.S. DOES owe China a significant amount of moola. Oy...talk about a major hard money loan. o_____o
 

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daewoo-chevrolet said:
..... Jianghuai (hopefully they'll use the full name instead of JAC, because of the Dutch meaning of "jakkes" [1) Bastard Curse 2) Interjection 3) Interjection of disgust 4) Exclamation of disgust])
DC I agree with your prediction but would say that FAW should not be counted out, in view of its shear size and wealth. As you know it did have plans for a foray into North America via Mexico but the recent economic slump seemed to put a damper on that try, at least for now.

As for the name "JAC", although it is not a good fit for Europe, in the U.S. I think it could work. It's very brief, easy to remember, and strong sounding. I think most people would associate it with the nickname for John, or with sayings like Jack of all trades, Jack and Jill, etc..

I would just add that I don't think Jianghuai would fit in either Europe or the U.S.. Like Qirui chose Chery and Jili chose Geely, Jianghuai needs some global savy marketing folks to find a suitable name.
 
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