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"The SUV Backlash Officially Starts Now" - Going Miniature!

By m0rzo in News
Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 02:06:35 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

The legendary British car, the `Mini', made famous by the 1969 Michael Caine film, `The Italian Job' is to make a bold entrance into the United States' car market.


It's the quintessence of cool; the Mini. Compact, agile, economical and above all cute. After its design by Alec Issigonis in 1957 and launch in 1959 it rapidly became Britain's most influential car ever. The car was said to defy physics, every part made for maximum efficiency, its handling second to none.

The British car industry has had a tough time as of late. The most notable manufacturers have either gone bust or they have been bought by American or European giants such as Ford and BMW. Once revered car companies such as Morris have sank miserably into the abyss of mismanagement and incompetency. Nearly all the cars considered British such as the Morgan, Rover, Aston Martin and Rolls Royce are either owned or powered by foreign companies. The Mini hasn't escaped its fair share of turbulence and anxiety either. The 1970s was a particularly bad decade for the car and has become known as The Dark Era - interest flagged and its owners British Leyland were desperate to inject something new. During the 1980s Rover acquired ownership of the Mini and the 90s saw a particularly promising revival in interest particularly in, of all places, Japan. In 2000 German car giants, Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) became the new owners and by September 2001 they had unveiled the all-new MINI at the Paris Motor Show.

With a 1.6ltr, 98bhp Chrysler engine it certainly packs some punch. Its size, however, deviates much from what has become widely accepted as `Mini'. The vast majority of the car's drivers though admit that it's a great little thing to drive and the general feel of the car is definitely `Mini'. Some of the car's critics though have remarked that it looks more like a funeral hearse. Mini zealots are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new 180bhp Mini Cooper S which is expected to be rolled out around about summer of 2002.

Since the emergence of BMW's new MINI the company has been conducting an aggressive marketing campaign to stimulate the interest of the British public into dipping their hands into their pockets. Some of the latest stunts include a fibreglass MINI hanging from a billboard and various entertaining commercials shown on television and in cinemas.

According to news agency Ananova, the MINI's arrival will be preceded by `stealth' marketing ploys such as spoof commercials, posters and billboard ads. It will be the smallest car on America's roads. The car's subtle promotion represents an important shift in advertising methods. Previously, such a car would be advertised with expensive commercials and glossy magazine ads. BMW are obviously opting for the cleverly sophisticated `word of mouth' approach.

It'll be interesting to see how the American public take to this classically `British' export. This is the country that's renowned for its fatal attraction to big, fuel hungry, polluting cars. This is the land of Buicks, Chevies and Fords. Can America's heart warm to such namby-pamby European folly? Will you buy one? Are the days of the gas guzzling SUV numbered? Time will tell.

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Poll
MINI - What's the verdict?
o Cute 13%
o Practical 16%
o Sexy 6%
o Heap of Junk 21%
o Vroom Vroom 21%
o Give me one now!!! 19%

Votes: 73
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Mini
o The Italian Job
o British car industry
o Ford
o BMW
o Morris
o Morgan
o Rover
o Aston Martin
o Rolls Royce
o British Leyland
o Bayerische Motoren Werke
o MINI
o Chrysler
o Mini Cooper S
o According
o Ananova
o Buicks
o Chevies
o Fords
o Also by m0rzo


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"The SUV Backlash Officially Starts Now" - Going Miniature! | 79 comments (68 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Dumpit! -1 (2.69 / 23) (#1)
by ana on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 04:45:18 PM EST

Links to a flash with sound.

Years go by; will I still be waiting
for somebody else to understand?
--Tori Amos

That's a *brilliant* reason. You've got my '5' n.t (3.50 / 6) (#3)
by m0rzo on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 04:47:11 PM EST


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]
You have my "5". (3.50 / 2) (#28)
by regeya on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 08:33:35 PM EST

Anyone who just assumes that Flash is AOK for everyone out there with a PC is SOL, IMHO. Random, arbitrary code executed on my machine, on a piece of code that, as far as I know, has been untested for security holes (and has recently been 'sploted?) No, thanks. :-)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

This reminds me of a The Onion headline (4.00 / 4) (#2)
by Hong Kong Phooey on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 04:47:10 PM EST

New SUV, seats 8 people - and their SUVs.

But Minis are cool, my uncle used to have a green one with 2 white stripes. Shame he crashed it.

I want a Reliant Robin! (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by Robert Minichino on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 04:48:01 PM EST

I don't know if I'd want to drive one, but they're cute little 3-wheeled beasties.

Google is your friend...

Oh no you don't (none / 0) (#74)
by W V Paris on Tue Mar 05, 2002 at 10:09:33 AM EST

They are very unstable, and have been known to overturn when cornering.

They are slow. There's a sketch of a cop at the side of the road as one goes past:

"I've got its number... its chassis number..."

Of course, you could always turn one into a landspeeder, like George did for "Star Wars".

[ Parent ]
First the Beetle, now the Mini, (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by Apuleius on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:05:03 PM EST

.. why won't they do it for the Deux Cheveaux? Oh, yeah, because they have taste and I'm a loon. Oh, well. Looks like the new Mini's my next car.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Beetle vs. Mini (4.50 / 2) (#32)
by strlen on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 11:53:51 PM EST

I think the New Beetle has nothing in common with the classic Beetle, while the Mini has plenty in common with.. the Mini. The Beetle was RWD, rear-engine, air-cooled vs. the new one being FWD, front engine, water cooled. That's a huge difference already, the character of the two cars is quite different. The mini however was the original 'econobox'.. since it was one of the first cars to combine a small 4-cylinder engine, with FWD, front mount engine -- a setup you see in most economy cars these days (including the new beetle). Plus the new mini looks almost exactly like the classic, while the new beetle isn't remotely similar.

I'd personally like to see a new Tatra V8. Tatra V8 was a classic performance car, made in Czekhoslovakia in the 30's. Before communism, Tatra was considered as much of a luxury brand as BMW, and in fact was the choice of vehicle for Nazi offers. It was also the first car, to my knowledge, to use the setup in which the wheel fenders were integrated into the body of the car (just like most modern cars) as opposed to seperate wheel fenders on your average pre war automobiles. It's a relatively unknown car, so I doubt a "new Tatra" will spawn the "Oops, they did it again" reaction. Tatra by the way was integrated into Skoda, which is now owned by Volkswagen. Arm that car with the Volkswagen W8 (or Audi 4.2) engine, and place it on a modified Audi A8 chassis, and you've got a beast :-)



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Have you seen the C8 ? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by gordonjcp on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 07:45:30 AM EST

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/jr.marsh/c8-1.html
It's *horrible*! A reissued 2CV would probably be a melted jellymould dog's breakfast like the New Beetle, and New Mini. Horrible, horrible things...
The C8 doesn't even have Citroen's hydropneumatic suspension! That's a serious backwards step, especially after they did such a nice job of Hydractive III on the C5. By the way, does anybody else think of those funny plasic Sinclair bikes when they see a Citroen C5? There's a name that was ill-researched...
For the uninitiated, "big" Citroens since the 1960's have used grapefruit-sized metal spheres with a bubble of nitrogen trapped inside with a diaphram, and ingenious hydraulic systems, in place of conventional springs and shock absorbers. They give a really soft ride, good handling, and self-levelling and anti-dive brakes, with the "biggest" cars (XM, Xantia, and C5) having "Hydractive" which is a groovy dual-mode active suspension.
The upshot of it is that you have a bloody great big family saloon that can outhandle most sports cars, but is extremely comfortable to drive.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
2 Points (4.40 / 5) (#6)
by ScrO on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:08:51 PM EST

1) Just because the Mini is being re-released doesn't mean there's a huge miniaturization trend all of a sudden. It's more of a novelty car, like the re-released Beetle. Sure, it's nice, but it's not like everyone has one. It's a niche market.

2) If you want to see small, go to Europe or Asia and check out the Smart Car (ignore the fact that their site doesn't work right in Opera... then again, neither does the main navagation on the Mini site). Now THAT's a tiny car. I don't believe they're street legal in the US because they're like half plastic. (=

ScrO!

I don't think I implied... (4.00 / 2) (#10)
by m0rzo on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:27:20 PM EST

that there was 'some kind of miniaturisation trend all of a sudden'. I was simply alluding to the fact that a small car is relatively alien to the USA....


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

Look at your headline (3.50 / 2) (#20)
by ScrO on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 06:16:53 PM EST

I feel your headline of "The SUV Backlash Officially Starts Now" pretty much implied a trend (isn't a backlash a trend?), or at least the beginnings of one. *shrug*

ScrO!

[ Parent ]

Smart Car is coming to the US (4.66 / 3) (#39)
by YesNoCancel on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 08:08:34 AM EST

As far as I know, the Smart will be launched in the US next year or so. I heard that it will cost twice as much as in the EU though, because if they sold it at the European price, no one would buy it (?).

Anyway, the Smart has become quite popular in Europe (it's the most popular small car in Germany, based on sales) and Japan. For EUR 11,000 you get a car that has a fuel efficiency of 90-100 MPG (diesel engine), a top speed of 85 Mph, 6-speed sequential/automatic transmission, air conditioning, leather seats, seat heater, glass roof, electric window regulators and one drawback: Only 2 seats. But they're very comfortable (after all, the Smart Car is made by Mercedes-Benz).

Oh, and despite its size, the Smart Car is quite safe in an accident.

And yes, I actually drive one. =)

[ Parent ]

Small cars are practical (none / 0) (#40)
by Hong Kong Phooey on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 08:55:31 AM EST

Especially if you live in a city. They're also cheaper to buy and own. I was considering bying a Smart a while back, but it just don't work when you measure in at 198 cm.

[ Parent ]
Um... (3.77 / 9) (#7)
by trhurler on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:12:57 PM EST

I like the new Mini. I don't much care for this "review."

First off, unless you're a BMW marketroid, quit trying to sell the car and just describe it. If you ARE a BMW marketroid, get the fuck off of k5.

Second, the base model's sub-100hp does not "pack some punch." This is a 2500lb car, not a sub-tonner like the early 80s econoboxes from Japan, and it ought to have an engine to match. The Cooper S variant is overkill for a commuter economy car, but it'd be nice if there was a version in the middle.

Third, you don't actually describe what's cool about the car. This is a VERY cool car; surely you can try to show why?

Fourth, the Cooper S is around 160hp, not 180.

Fifth, contrary to certain twits' notions, the Mini was never the best handling car around. MGs and similar cars often outperformed it in that category, as did numerous Italian exotics. In the modern incarnation, I doubt the handling is anything more than "above average." Cars like the Corvette will always have better grip limits(huge tires, fully independent sport suspensions tuned to break your back over potholes, better weight distribution,) and AWD and midengine cars will always have closer to neutral handling characteristics and so on. There's only so much you can do to a front engine FWD car, after all.

Finally, this is not the land of Buicks, Chevys(nobody writes "Chevies,") and Fords. This is primarily the land of Japanese cars(and even Japanese SUVs.) More are sold here than in Japan:) Ford and Chevy sell a lot of cars, but Buicks are less and less common every year(because they suck rocks, I think.) To the extent that the American cars are coming back, it is often by imitating the Japanese, and to some extent the Germans.

All that said, the Mini was on my short list of less than five cars that I considered before picking the WRX. A very nice car, and I highly recommend it. (And yes, it'll be a lot cheaper than people think when they think "BMW," so don't think of it as a luxury car that you can't afford. Supposedly you'll be able to get one "nicely equipped" for less than $20,000.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

not sub 100.. (4.00 / 2) (#18)
by rebelcool on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 06:15:34 PM EST

official specs put it at 115 hp for the base model.

That's not too much of a problem though, 115 hp is enough to break any highway speed limits you throw at it. The torque at 110 is more important, i think. 110 isnt terrible for a car its size.

No, it wont win drag races, but its not too bad.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

uhh.. (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by Sc00tz on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 07:12:06 PM EST

On a road trip to Nebraska a few years back I was suprised by one thing.. The ammount of US cars out there. I live in NH, I've been to Atlanta, LA, and parts of Florida. But once I got out of NY state, I think I saw a total of 5 cars that were not US. Once you get past NY EVERYBODY had a US car, 3 of the 5 non US cars are saw were from a New England state. It really depends on where you are.
-- http://scootz.net/~travis
[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 0) (#71)
by trhurler on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 02:06:24 PM EST

Generally, in and around big cities, foriegn cars are popular, and elsewhere they're not. However, the majority of the population lives in and around big cities, so for most of us, foriegn cars are more popular than domestics.

Contrary to the delusions of many New Yorkers, New York isn't all that unique. It is huge, but it is still a city, and there are many cities. I think I'd rather live in New York than most other cities, but that doesn't mean anything about car preferences.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
One nit (4.33 / 3) (#8)
by Rand Race on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:18:56 PM EST

While I think the Minis, both old and new, are pretty damned cool it is not and will not be the smallest vehicle on American roads. The base mini weighs in at just a pussy hair under 2500 Lbs (1115 Kg) while a 1984 or 85 Honda CRX weighs between 1600 Lbs (726 Kg) and 1900 Lbs (862 Kg) depending on trim level. By all acounts, an early CRX Si (1800 Lbs, 98 HP) is as close to a classic mini-cooper as anyone has produced until now. Additionaly there is the, even more common on American roads these days, Mazda Miata which weighs in at around 2300 Lbs (1043 Kg). The MR2 spiders weigh about the same as a Miata as well.

I do like the Mini though, but not enough to displace the 350Z as my lust goat for the moment.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Are you talking weight or dimensions? (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by m0rzo on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:25:06 PM EST

I don't know anything about those cars you mentioned but I was referring to the actual dimensions of the vehicle and not weight.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

Weight (4.00 / 2) (#12)
by Rand Race on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:35:17 PM EST

But I doubt the mini is much smaller than a CRX in dimensions. And shouldn't it be volume? A droptop like a Miata or MR2 kicks ass in the height department. But your point is well taken, the things are quite wee.

I'm a hotrodder type, I think of car size in weight due to the whole power to weight thing. I'd look up the dimensions, but it is 5:30 on the dot and I am outta here....


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

its similar to a civic hatchback. (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by rebelcool on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 11:14:21 PM EST

If memory serves me right, the mini even has a little bit more interior space than a civic hatch due to the box shape.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Mini sizes. (none / 0) (#76)
by katie on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:10:08 AM EST

The new mini isn't actually that small. The original ones were dinky, but if you put the new ones next to it, they're /huge/ - they're almost the size of an old Corsa.

MR2s are getting bigger and bigger as they go though versions as well...

[ Parent ]
Honda Insight (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by etherdeath on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 11:34:23 AM EST

The Honda Insight is pretty small, though not a very popular car here in the US. I was considering getting one, but friends of mine would not be able to fit in it. Also, I had visions of it being crushed by an SUV... which I'm not sure I can just attribute to an overactive imagination or also to SUV ads.

[ Parent ]
civic hybrid (4.00 / 2) (#44)
by rebelcool on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 12:20:45 PM EST

the civic hybrid will be arriving in showrooms in a few months. It's a bit more practical.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

dammit (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by etherdeath on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 01:00:17 PM EST

I just bought an 02 Altima 6 weeks ago. I was researching cars Oct-Nov. I had seen 1 or 2 'natural gas civic's on the street for government use - and I was really interested, but I couldn't find anything on the Honda site.. I don't remember if I checked elsewhere. I see they have a 'natural gas civic' section now, but no hybrid - is that what you're talking about?

[ Parent ]
Nope, a true electric-gas hybrid. (4.00 / 2) (#47)
by rebelcool on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 01:53:40 PM EST

A review of it by edmunds

It uses a more powerful engine than the insight (obviously). Think of it as generation 2 of the hybrids. It wont win any races, of course, but edmunds seemed to enjoy it.

Honda has recently been showing off a v6 hybrid engine at auto shows, you can expect a hybrid accord will probably appear in 2 or 3 years...

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Apples and Oranges (4.40 / 5) (#11)
by notafurry on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 05:31:31 PM EST

Hmm... the Mini was/is popular in Britain, somewhat less so in continental Europe, and Japan. All densely populated areas.

The United States is not a densely populated area (with the exception of local metropolises such as NYC and the San Francisco Bay Area).

Can anyone see a trend and, I don't know, maybe make a connection? The US is not "fatally attracted" to big cars; the US has the room to make effective use of big cars, and therefore enjoy the advantages of interior and cargo space.

Personally, I drive a truck. I don't have to; most of the time I drive with only myself in the vehicle, on the way to or from work. But I like being up above the traffic around me, and I have hobbies which require hauling large amounts of gear from place to place. If my family drives somewhere, we go in my wife's SUV, which has room for us up front and the kids in the back. Out of punching range of each other.

Uses too much gas for four people? Maybe. But there's more than one kind of efficiency.

More than one kind of fatality (1.00 / 1) (#29)
by scruffyMark on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 11:04:42 PM EST

The US is fatally attracted to big cars.

So far, most of the people dying have been not in the US, but in oil producing countries that various US governments have deigned should not get democracy (Iran, Saudi Arabia come to mind), since it might raise oil prices uncomfortably.

Plenty of people in the US do die though from big car addiction - recall the Atlanta Olympics, during which cars were effectively banned from some major part of the city (can't really recall how much, as I don't know Atlanta). Hospital admissions for respiratory emergencies dropped to a tiny fraction of their regular number.

Also, consider the increased fatality rates in SUV-car collisions. I'll avoid the easy cheap shot here.

It may not take very long before the consequences get more dire yet. Here in Saskatchewan, Canada, we're having some of the worst droughts since the 30's, generally accepted to be because of global warming, caused in part by big car addiction (Canadians are almost as addicted as Americans, incidentally, not blaming you per se.)

[ Parent ]

Uh-uh. (3.20 / 5) (#34)
by notafurry on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 12:58:00 AM EST

So far, most of the people dying have been not in the US, but in oil producing countries that various US governments have deigned should not get democracy (Iran, Saudi Arabia come to mind), since it might raise oil prices uncomfortably.

Would you like to back this statement up somehow? Any possible way? Oh, that's right - you can't. Because it makes no sense. One, those oil-producing nations are largely ruled by religious law. There isn't much movement towards democracy, and by and large, the people like it that way. Not everyone wants to be like the US. Second, the US, for the last time, is a fucking Republic. It should not be acting like an Empire and meddling in the affairs of other nations. We would be doing so by pushing those nations to democracy. We are not "blocking" anything. If you feel otherwise, please present actual evidence to back up your claims.

Plenty of people in the US do die though from big car addiction - recall the Atlanta Olympics, during which cars were effectively banned from some major part of the city (can't really recall how much, as I don't know Atlanta). Hospital admissions for respiratory emergencies dropped to a tiny fraction of their regular number.

Air pollution in congested cities is not caused by SUVs. It is caused by internal combustion engines running at idle, followed by a short period of acceleration, followed by an immediate breaking (thus wasting the generated energy), followed by more idling. Your "clean" toy car is generating nearly as much pollution as my SUV. More, since ninety percent of the "tree-hugger" cars I see are not as well maintained as my SUV. More still, because I do not drive the SUV into a congested city - I take a bus.

You want cleaner air in cities? Walk. Bike. Support mass transit. Better yet, quit yelling about nuclear power and allow us to develop cheap, clean electrical power. Hell, do something, anything, other than bitch about problems while refusing to contribute to solutions.

Also, consider the increased fatality rates in SUV-car collisions. I'll avoid the easy cheap shot here.

Hmmm. What easy cheap shot? The one about pathetic idiots thinking they have some right to demand we all drive equally unsafe cars? You want to drive a tin and plastic lunch box, go right ahead. But don't whine about it when that tin and plastic lunch box doesn't hold together in an accident. SUV vs. car accidents are only half as dangerous as car vs. car accidents - because one half of the people involved are protected by a larger, heavier, safer vehicle.

It may not take very long before the consequences get more dire yet. Here in Saskatchewan, Canada, we're having some of the worst droughts since the 30's, generally accepted to be because of global warming, caused in part by big car addiction (Canadians are almost as addicted as Americans, incidentally, not blaming you per se.)

1. Outside of the media, the jury is still out on global warming. Posit one; desertification is not a sign of warming trends. Geological records show that in warmer times, there are no deserts, ocean levels are higher, and rainfall is higher worldwide. Glaciation leads to decreased rainfall, sharper temperature differences from region to region and season to season, and increased desertification. The record is clear, the evidence for "global warming" is not.

2. Assuming global warming to be a fact, what evidence do you have that it is caused by humanity? All of mankind's carbon dioxide pollution, worldwide for the past ten years, does not equal one hours' output from a medium-size volcano such as Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Pinatubo, or Kilawea. For that matter, current output levels of pollution are incredibly low compared to fifty years ago. One hundred years ago, the cities of Europe and North America were heated by coal fires. Aside from the obvious carbon dioxide, sulpher dioxide, and carbon monoxide emissions, those coal fires released more radioactivity into the atmosphere than every nuclear power plant put together.

So sure, if it makes you feel superior, put around in your overgrown golf cart. I'll continue to use my brain and drive smart. Look at the whole board, not the small picture.

[ Parent ]

Curious.... (3.00 / 1) (#36)
by sparky on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 01:29:29 AM EST

Out of curiousity, can you provide some references to your claims on global warming?


Bene qui latuit, bene vixit.
[ Parent ]
I have a few links... (4.25 / 4) (#37)
by notafurry on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 01:55:11 AM EST

Most of this comes from discussion and lecture in various environmental engineering classes, plus round table discussions in various settings (online and offline.)

There are a few obvious links that I have at hand, however. First is the book A Moment on the Earth : The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism by Gregg Easterbrook. Be aware that he's not completely right in this book; some of the arguments he presents, however, are solid.

This brief article presents a few numbers and suppositions while presenting both sides of a few of the issues. Short on details, but it does present some of the basic facts.

I am attempting to find some online coverage of a conference a professor of mine attended. So far I have been unsuccessful. The conference (the materials of which he shared with us in his classes) covered most of the arguments for and against global warming that have been made to date and tried to take a balanced look at the data - they threw out data which could not be corroborated, for example, and averaged trends rather than looking for hot and cold spots.

I'm finding bits and pieces of the data he showed us, and similar bits (for example, stories about the past summer in Australia - predicted, by the models, to have been a hot summer and instead turning out to be one of the coolest on record) but nothing on the conference itself. OK, it was a few years ago, and it didn't get much press (the press hates a conference where the objective is actual thought rather than catchy soundbite "solutions".) You can find such data yourself, however, with a few Google searches - instead of looking for "Global Warming", for example, search for "global warming (arguments or counterarguments or opposition)".

[ Parent ]

Nonsense (3.00 / 1) (#41)
by iwnbap on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 10:02:05 AM EST

In my SUV (small one) I get 10 km/litre travelling too/from work in start-stop traffic; one 42 litre tank gets me approx 400 km. On my 250cc motorbike I get 35-45 km/litre in start-stop traffic; one 10 litre tank gets me 350km plus. I do change the oil twice as often on the bike as the car, but apart from that the service schedule is the same. Both are about 10 years old.

Given I ride/drive similarly in both this would seem to directly contradict your assertion: 'Your "clean" toy car is generating nearly as much pollution as my SUV'.



[ Parent ]
Not the problem (3.00 / 1) (#52)
by notafurry on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 10:19:08 PM EST

You're arguing fuel efficiency, not pollution.

Of course it takes more fuel to move your SUV a set distance than a smaller car. It's a bigger vehicle. Simple physics says it's going to take more energy, hence more fuel.

However, this has nothing to do with pollution. So long as the fuel is being burned efficiently, neither vehicle will produce a significant amount of harmful pollution. Effective maintenance helps with this. No properly tuned engine, however, is efficient at burning fuel while at idle. When you're sitting in traffic, that's what you're doing - burning fuel to no effect and very inefficiently. Producing lots of partially-burned fuel and low-temperature vapor; instead of producing mainly water vapor and carbon dioxide, your engine is producing mainly sulpher dioxide, carbon monoxide, some water vapor, ozone, and unburned fuel (and other hydrocarbons between methane and gasoline.)

In short, if you want efficient, non-polluting transport in cities, throw away your little car and ride the bus.

[ Parent ]

Carbon dioxide is stil pollution (NT) (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by iwnbap on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 07:19:51 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Evidence, since you asked so nice (none / 0) (#51)
by scruffyMark on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 10:03:36 PM EST

Given the tone of your reply, I am reluctant to answer you at all. Really I should be calling your mother and telling her off for forgetting to raise you for human company. Still, some people might appreciate the information.

Would you like to back this statement up somehow?

Sure. Iran, 1953: overthrow of democratically elected government (planning reform of the national oil industry, as if by coincidence), replacement with the Shah Ayatollah Khomeini (ensuing reign of terror should be well known to most). Here for nearly full CIA document on the operation (names of operatives deleted).

Here for a fairly full catalog of CIA anti-democratic operations (at least as far as they are generally known, and up to a year or two ago), with quick overviews of each and references to more complete documentation in most cases.

SUV vs. car accidents are only half as dangerous as car vs. car accidents

That is absolute bollocks, and either you know it, or you have your head buried so deep in the sand your ass is in a different time zone. SUV vs. car accidents are dangerous because SUV bumpers are so high that they go right over the cars' crumple zones and into the passenger area, circumventing the (these days, otherwise pretty effective) safety features of the cars. SUV vs. SUV accidents are just as dangerous for both sets of drivers as car vs. car.

[ Parent ]

Awww (1.00 / 1) (#53)
by notafurry on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 10:38:19 PM EST

Were your tender ears injured?

Regarding your CIA op in Iran; one, you have one source of this information. Granted, a normally reliable source. But still only one source. Not all of the information is available. And even if completely true, with no omissions, you have one incident taking place in a nation which has never been a reliable friend to the US. Besides which, if I remember correctly (and I admit it's possible I don't) I don't recall anyone ever stating that the "free" government which was overthrown was particularly free or democratic other than on the surface. Hell, China calls itself a Republic. (Then again, so does the US.)

SUV vs. car accidents are dangerous because SUV bumpers are so high that they go right over the cars' crumple zones and into the passenger area, circumventing the (these days, otherwise pretty effective) safety features of the cars. SUV vs. SUV accidents are just as dangerous for both sets of drivers as car vs. car.

Hmm. So what you're saying is that cars are not as safe as SUVs in SUV vs. car accidents. SUV vs. SUV accidents are no safer nor more dangerous than car vs. car. How is this different from what I said? You pay your money and you take your choice. I choose to select vehicles which make my family safer; in an SUV I can see farther by being above most traffic, my family is better protected in the event of an accident with a smaller vehicle, and since my kids can't reach each other, they're less likely to argue, which makes it less likely that I'll be distracted while driving.

As for crumple zones, I'm not convinced. Trust them if you like, but I've seen too many people "saved" by crumple zones who were in the hospital for months after accidents that I suspect my family and I would walk away from. Sure, sure, absorbing impact energy and all that - but a massive vehicle does the same thing, by requiring more impact energy to move the vehicle anyway. I was t-boned in an old 1983 Dodge truck several years ago by a drunk driver. I walked away with a bruise on my hip from the seatbelt. The truck was damaged, to the point that I junked it rather than repairing it, but that was mainly a cost and age factor - it was repairable. The frame was straight, the damage was bent sheet metal for the most part. The drunk was dead, crushed when his Toyota "crumpled" the firewall right back through the passenger cab.

But hey, you do as you like.

[ Parent ]

Did you try the second link? (3.00 / 1) (#57)
by scruffyMark on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 02:03:29 AM EST

It makes for some interesting reading, I recommend it. At least look it over before you tell me I have only one incident.

Frankly, can you blame Iran for not being a "reliable friend" to the US? Can you think of one country in the world to which the US has been anything reliably, other than perhaps a nuisance?

[ Parent ]

Proof (1.50 / 4) (#58)
by wurp on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 02:34:53 AM EST

...yet again that frivolous SUV drivers are assholes. notafurry isadick.

SUVs increase air pollution, decrease road safety, and are overpriced, moving money from the less bright middle class citizens to the pockets of big corps. If you don't have a specific need for one, you're an idiotic asshole for driving one.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
Dumb (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by notafurry on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 03:33:29 AM EST

Will you look at what you wrote? Other than the pointless ad hominem, of course. Dipshit. (See, I can do it too! Ain't that pretty? Pointless, too, isn't it?)

1. SUVs do not increase air pollution to any significant degree.

2. SUVs decrease road safety only in the sense that in any accident involving two different kinds of cehicle, one vehicle or the other is safer than the other. Period. Some SUVs have rollover problems; some cars explode when you rear-end them. This does not mean "all SUVs are bad!"

3. An SUV is overpriced if you pay more than you feel the vehicle is worth. To me, a Corvette is overpriced. The Avalanche is overpriced. The Subaru Outback is overpriced. Jeep Cherokee's are overpriced if you buy the yuppie versions.

4. I work for a big corp. Chances are so do you. I earn a nice salary because I am good at what I do, and my company feels it is worth $X to retain my services. I then turn around and spend some portion of $X for various things - food, rent, gas, insurance, toys for my kids, computer hardware and bandwidth, and my wife's SUV. Now, think hard - why is it better for me to spend that money on a small company instead of a huge corporation? If the huge corporation makes a better product, and sells it for a lower price than a small company, what benefit do I get from spending the money on the small company's product? You think you're a cool rebel by prancing around singing "corporations are bad!" like a good little bunny. Do you know why? Can you give examples? Do those examples apply to all corporations, or only a few? Can you list countersamples of corporations that do not fit your examples?

Go away. Come back when you can think for yourself instead of spouting the party line.

[ Parent ]

Party line? (none / 0) (#79)
by wurp on Mon Apr 08, 2002 at 03:03:21 PM EST

> Will you look at what you wrote? Other than the
> pointless ad hominem, of course. Dipshit. (See,
> I can do it too! Ain't that pretty? Pointless,
> too, isn't it?)

Yup, it is. Just as pointless as the "tender ears" line. You failed to recognize my demonstration of pointlessness and instead responded with your own. So long as the point gets across, though, I don't care who makes it.

> 1. SUVs do not increase air pollution to any
> significant degree.

Hmm, SUVs have much worse gas milage than the average, and unless there's something special about them that I haven't heard about, that means that they produce much more pollution for the same distance than another vehicle. Please refute.


> 2. SUVs decrease road safety only in the sense
> that in any accident involving two different
> kinds of cehicle, one vehicle or the other is
> safer than the other. Period. Some SUVs have
> rollover problems; some cars explode when you
> rear-end them. This does not mean "all SUVs
> are bad!"

Do you deny that the other vehicles in multicar accidents are much more likely to have fatalities or injuries than the would if they were hit by a lighter car? This certainly decreases road safety in my opinion. If we say "fine, you should just buy a bigger vehicle for yourself", I see several problems. The biggest of which would be that it is unfair to the poor (buying security for yourself that doesn't degrade the security of others is fine, but buying security that harms others is not IMO) and that it puts us in a vehicle size arms race (tanks on city streets, anyone?)


> 3. An SUV is overpriced if you pay more than
> you feel the vehicle is worth. To me, a
> Corvette is overpriced. The Avalanche is
> overpriced. The Subaru Outback is overpriced.
> Jeep Cherokee's are overpriced if you buy the
> yuppie versions.

We're pretty much in agreement here, although I would say that something is overpriced when a false demand for it (fashion based) escalates the price significantly beyond what it would be in a stable competitive market. I don't think it's evil to overpay for something in that situation, of course, I just think it's foolish.

> 4. I work for a big corp. Chances are so do
> you. I earn a nice salary because I am good at
> what I do, and my company feels it is worth $X
> to retain my services. I then turn around and
> spend some portion of $X for various things -
> food, rent, gas, insurance, toys for my kids,
> computer hardware and bandwidth, and my wife's
> SUV. Now, think hard - why is it better for me
> to spend that money on a small company instead
> of a huge corporation? If the huge corporation
> makes a better product, and sells it for a
> lower price than a small company, what benefit
> do I get from spending the money on the small
> company's product? You think you're a cool
> rebel by prancing around singing "corporations
> are bad!" like a good little bunny. Do you know
> why? Can you give examples? Do those examples
> apply to all corporations, or only a few? Can
> you list countersamples of corporations that do
> not fit your examples?

Big corporations are bad because they concentrate money in the hands of the few, instead of spreading it around. When a few people have the money, they tend to hoard it, which is bad for the economy. They leverage it to control media to market their products and ideology, which is bad for society.

In a small company, more of the money gets recirculated and the execs have less concentrated power.

I work for a small corp, in fact, although my ethics don't prevent me from working for a large one. IMO, taking lots of money from the large corp and distribute it about to the population is a good thing.

"cool rebel, prancing bunny" <- more ad hominem. Much worse than mine, since it's used to ostensibly refute my assertions.

> Go away. Come back when you can think for
> yourself instead of spouting the party line.

Go away? Is this not a public forum? And I've already thought through this stuff for myself very carefully. My views happen to coincide with popular views on some topics (big corps == bad) and not on others (SUVs == good). BTW, it is as much ad hominem to dismiss someone's views based on a (false, in this case) characterization of them as it is to insult them. Much more so, in fact. My statement about your 'dickedness' can be considered separately from my arguments against what your points. You directly imply that my points are invalid for no reason other than I'm "spouting the party line". Refute the points, not the man.

Please think about what "ad hominem" means. Look it up if need be.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
Oh then (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by Betcour on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 04:48:24 AM EST

I choose to select vehicles which make my family safer; in an SUV I can see farther by being above most traffic, my family is better protected in the event of an accident with a smaller vehicle

Oh then pray your pityfull SUV doesn't crash against my Sherman tank, because your familly will be crushed under it like a bug.

What you are adovating is a selfish arm-race of "my car is bigger than yours", were you are risking other people's life more so your ass is more protected. Not only is it selfish, it is counter-productive for everybody in the end.

[ Parent ]
SUV's safer? (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by gregggreg on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 01:39:02 AM EST

... because one half of the people involved are protected by a larger, heavier, safer vehicle.

Safer? Heh, someone didn't see the episode of Frontline about SUV safety:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rollover/

[ Parent ]

Iran and Saudi Arabia (none / 0) (#61)
by Weezul on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 06:44:57 AM EST

I don't think Iran and Saudi Arabia are in the same situation. I think the U.S. gov. would be quite happy to see the democratic side of the Iranian gov. take over. The U.S. has opposed democrasy in Iran in the distant past, but the political situation is not the same today.

Saudi Arabia is a realitivly stable monarchy. The democratisation of Saudi Arabia could only reasonably take one form: convincing the royal family that slow democratisation is the right thing to do. Clearly, this could include giving moral and financial support to non-violent pro-democrasy groups. Any support of revolutionary democratic groups would lead to deaths. I do think revolutions are an appropriate way to install democrasy, but Saudi Arabia can do it the peaceful way over a longer period of time. Anyway, it's a moot point as the revolutionary groups in Saudi Arabia want religious rule.. not democrasy.

Actually, I don't think it would be to hard to get the U.S. to put preasure on Saudi Arabia to make token moves towards democrasy. You'd just need to get a non-oil barron in the whitehouse and convince him that U.S. citizens liked the idea. It's not like there is any political risk as the Saudis would move slowly. Iran is even easier, just leave them alone. They are making plenty of progress without any U.S. involvment.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]
Chrysler Engine? (3.66 / 3) (#15)
by rebelcool on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 06:08:37 PM EST

Why in the world would they be using a DaimlerChrysler engine in a BMW car for? No.

BMW is the Bayerischen Motoren Werke..

In any case, i've been following the new mini for awhile now. I really want one. Unfortunately, they've really fucked themselves by not having a dealership in texas. If they get a dealership closer than New Orleans (come on, Houston has one of the world's largest BMW dealerships..why in the world aren't they selling minis), then I will buy one.

It would also be nice if the offered the cooper-S with more transmission options, or beefed up the power of the ordinary cooper.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Yes. Chrysler engine in BMW car. (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by m0rzo on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 06:16:24 PM EST

Hard to believe, but true.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

we're both wrong. (none / 0) (#21)
by rebelcool on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 06:22:32 PM EST

I looked into it, its one of those joint-effort engines that are popular these days.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

The engine (none / 0) (#31)
by strlen on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 11:41:38 PM EST

That 1.6 4-banger is already in use in BMW's 316 and 316ti, which are sold on the European market. Apparently that engine won a lot of awards, due to its use of variable timing and other buzz words, I believe it got the title of the best sub 1.8 engine. It also puts out 115 hp, rather than 98, but the low 115 hp figure is also due to somewhat restrictive ECU setup. Chip-tuning is available to get 130 hp out of the engine, through only a chip tune -- 15 hp gain, very rare gain from a chip-tune on naturally aspirated cars (turbo-charged cars, where the gain is typically 40-50 hp from a chip are a different thing of course). However, I stand by my opinion that any 4-cylinder BMW, asides from the classic 2002 and 1600 sucks. And yes, this mini sucks (also because it's FWD. An FWD BMW is just a horrid idea in it of itself).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
ehm.. (none / 0) (#45)
by rebelcool on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 12:22:37 PM EST

its only bmw in the sense that bmw owns the marque now and some of the gadgetry inside is from bmw.

From all accounts ive read the mini is a blast to drive.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Horrible little engines... (none / 0) (#68)
by gordonjcp on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 07:25:33 AM EST

It also puts out 115 hp
Yes, at about 6000 RPM! Ghastly little screamers, these BMW engines.
Compare it with the 2l engine in my Citroen XM, which develops 120hp at around 4000 rpm, with a comfortable cruising range of 70mph/2800rpm to 85/3400rpm or so... All the while giving about 35 mpg, and nice and quiet.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Yet, surprisingly (none / 0) (#72)
by strlen on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 03:59:49 PM EST

Surprising BMW gets the award, and Citron doesn't even sell on the US market. I can't say the BMW engine is all that great either. However, if it puts out that power at 6,000 rpm (which is normal for many small, VVT 4-bangers) it means it's probably geared to stay within that power band.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#73)
by gordonjcp on Tue Mar 05, 2002 at 06:33:58 AM EST

Do you mean that Citroens don't sell *well*, or that they're not sold *at all*? I noticed a sticker under the bonnet of mine that said something about it being "unsuitable for use in the US and Canada", which is presumably more than just being right-hand drive. I suppose it's an emissions thing - it runs on 98 octane LRP, and has no catastrophic converter (and before the greenie weenies start complaining, the emissions are far cleaner than most new cars. That's what good maintenance does.) but other than that, don't you have really excessive crash tests?
The Beemers do appear to be geared quite low - they always sound like they're revving their tits off. That might just be typical of Beemer drivers though...

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Re: (none / 0) (#75)
by strlen on Tue Mar 05, 2002 at 06:43:43 PM EST

Citroens aren't sold at all in the US. Renaults and Peagots were sold in the past, but they never sold well, and we didnt get very impressive models. As for cats, I believe there's a few states that dont have emissions testings, but some of the most populous state (California and North East) do have stringent standarts.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Wierd... (none / 0) (#78)
by gordonjcp on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 08:05:03 AM EST

You're really missing out! Big comfortable things, with really good handling. Rolls-Royce licensed the Citroen HP suspension system many years ago, which might give you some idea.
I suppose in the UK we have a fairly low density of cars (except in major cities - London is a nightmare for traffic, Glasgow is really bad two hours either side of rush hour) so the emissions aren't really big problem. All cars in the UK build in the past 15 years have catalytic converters, though, so expect major problems soon.
Sadly, the government has been swayed by the green movement into thinking that replacing tetraethyl lead with *benzine* of all things is a good idea, and that catastrophic converters (which pour out Hydrogen Sulphide, a seriously nasty pollutant) are good. Ever smelt that "rotten egg" smell from a cat-equipped car? That's a lethally poisonous gas.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
no, it's Bayerische Motoren Werke (n.t.) (none / 0) (#55)
by crazycanuck on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 11:23:11 PM EST



[ Parent ]
too us centric (2.00 / 16) (#26)
by enterfornone on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 07:58:02 PM EST

What's with the US obsession with huge cars anyway? It doesn't seem to affect the rest of the world. Are their dicks really that small?

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
amaricans (2.60 / 5) (#27)
by nodsmasher on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 08:20:56 PM EST

becouse amaricans are tools, case in point my mom who gave me a mini van so i could drive to schould with my brother with room for 8
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
Lets play (2.00 / 6) (#38)
by enterfornone on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 03:52:31 AM EST

spot the tiny dicked american

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
If only you had kids... (none / 0) (#54)
by ankhgoel on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 11:14:51 PM EST

Gasoline is a small price to pay for the safety and security of driving your children around. If your Mini gets blown around by a gust of wind, at least when it crashed into an SUV, the SUV won't suffer.

[ Parent ]
Sheesh... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by rantweasel on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 01:28:04 AM EST

There are plenty of great, safe cars for hauling the kids. Take a look at any of the volvo sedans, for instance. Far better for the planet and safer for other people on the road. Not to mention that for accident avoidance, you can't beat a nimble car that's low to the ground. Something like a Ford Excursion will not be able to avoid an accident because of it's high center of gravity and poor handling characteristics. Your kids will get killed in the rollover as you try to dodge the accident, but the family in the Mini will be able to pull over a mile down the road after dodging the accident and call the EMTs for you.

mathias

[ Parent ]
Tiny flaw in that reasoning... (3.00 / 1) (#67)
by gordonjcp on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 07:19:01 AM EST

Is that these 4x4's are *top heavy* and fall over going round corners. They are about as crashworthy as a rusty Coke can, and in an accident, because they're carrying so much petrol, the fire hazard is far greater.
Of course, in the UK, the bigger 4x4's tend to be diesel fuelled, instead of petrol. Since diesel doesn't really burn unless you're really trying, they are a bit safer.
I prefer large (by UK standards) cars to small ones, because I tend to drive long distances more than anything else (my daily commute is around 80 miles. I usually clock up over 1000 miles in a week). They're definitely safer than older small cars. However, the new Minis are actually pretty big - much bigger than the original Issigonis Mini design. I've been in one but I haven't driven it, and it seems pretty solid.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Just a question ... (2.00 / 1) (#35)
by Ashcrow on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 01:29:27 AM EST

will soccer moms still drive SUV's?


----------
"Are you slow? The alleged lie that you might have heard me saying, allegedly moments ago? That's a parasite that lives in my neck."
Probably (none / 0) (#65)
by cam on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 09:53:00 PM EST

will soccer moms still drive SUV's?

Probably. In my case, my wife has the new Suburu Outback. I have an old beat up Suburu Impreza which is aging and running out of legs, it is a small second car which is only used by me. A Mini would be perfect to replace it. Back in Australia a mate had a Mini Cooper S, it was a great little car. IIRC I think I saw the new Mini will be priced about 16000 - 19000 USD. Expensive for a small car on the US market.

cam


Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]
I saw the new mini ... (3.00 / 1) (#50)
by j1mmy on Sat Mar 02, 2002 at 08:26:20 PM EST

... at the Chicago auto show. Almost tripped over it =).

Then stop breathing (1.00 / 1) (#63)
by notafurry on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 09:08:37 PM EST

CO2 is pollution, yes, but in the past the Earth has had much higher levels of CO2 than it does right now - and when CO2 is high, the climate is very, very nice. Better than it is now.

Damnit, wrong button. (nt) (none / 0) (#64)
by notafurry on Sun Mar 03, 2002 at 09:09:42 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I wonder (none / 0) (#70)
by Phillip Asheo on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 08:32:40 AM EST

If they still have lucas electronics ? I once owned a British car. Never again. I had a pool of oil in my garage the size of the Caspian sea.

I would not like to be in a car like this in a pile-up either. There's no protection. Its just too small.

If I bought another British car it would be a TVR

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long

British Cars (none / 0) (#77)
by katie on Wed Mar 06, 2002 at 06:40:39 AM EST

"If they still have lucas electronics ? I once owned a British car. Never again. I had a pool of oil in my garage the size of the Caspian sea."

{Maybe you should have had the sump seal replaced at some point? They tend to need doing once in a while. Yes. Even on non-British cars.}


Lucas don't make car electronics anymore.

In fact Lucas Industries is basically no more.

The once largest employer in the midlands was broken up and sold off by a succession of short-term focussed CEOs. Electronics and batteries were bought by Magnetti Marelli some years ago and now operate off the same site with the same workforce and same customers, but the profits (and hence taxes) go to Italy instead of Britain.

The aerospace division, despite being technically excellent, got made smaller and smaller and smaller and finally got sold off to TRW. It now operates off the same site, with the same staff to the same customers, but the profits and hence taxes go to the US instead of Britain.

This story repeats for.. erm. All of the divisions..

What makes this all the more annoying is that this wasn't a failing company - it made money. It was just that the CEOs could make money by selling off bits of the company, dumping their options as the stock price peaked up then diving overboard and collecting a nice handshake. New senior directors were turning up at the rate of one every few months at one point.

I'm not sure who, apart from the directors concerned, actually benefitted from all this.


"If I bought another British car it would be a TVR". Oh yeah. They're dead reliable they are.

Why not keep a 80s Lotus as a back-up as well?



[ Parent ]
"The SUV Backlash Officially Starts Now" - Going Miniature! | 79 comments (68 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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