Kizashi Club

Your Kizashi Owners Club and Forum 

Non-Suzuki related topics. Anything can go here.
 #48215  by Woodie
 Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:09 pm
Of course the SUV in the form of Chevy Suburban, International Harvester Carryall, Jeep Wagoneer existed previously, but they were very much niche products. The CAFE standard (with it's one big loophole) is what began the elimination of the station wagon to be replaced by the SUV. The fact that they could make a lot more profit on an SUV led the manufacturers to push safety (despite the fact that single vehicle fatalities are greatly increased) and use pricing and availability to convert our society into one that has half of the vehicles on the road being 5,000+ lb behemoths carrying one person (often a 90 lb woman). You can claim that it was consumers and manufacturers but the genesis was a misguided social engineering experiment by the government. The low fuel prices of the 90's really supercharged this trend and led to the demise of tiny cars like my beloved Metro. The result was the exact opposite of what the environmentalists and the government were trying to do.

If they would stop trying to micromanage people's behavior and just put a $2 or 3 a gallon tax on fuel, the marketplace would self correct and we'd all be driving much more efficient and reasonably sized cars and go back to the 5% of people who actually need a vehicle like that driving them.
Last edited by Woodie on Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 #48216  by Woodie
 Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:13 pm
Of course the SUV in the form of Chevy Suburban, International Harvester Carryall, Jeep Wagoneer existed previously, but they were very much niche products.

That is what I meant to say above.

Am I just slow, or is there no way to edit anymore? Okay, I'm just dense, I found it and edited the above post to make more sense.
 #48217  by KuroNekko
 Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:34 pm
Woodie wrote:Of course the SUV in the form of Chevy Suburban, International Harvester Carryall, Jeep Wagoneer existed previously, but they were very much niche products. The CAFE standard (with it's one big loophole) is what began the elimination of the station wagon to be replaced by the SUV. The fact that they could make a lot more profit on an SUV led the manufacturers to push safety (despite the fact that single vehicle fatalities are greatly increased) and use pricing and availability to convert our society into one that has half of the vehicles on the road being 5,000+ lb behemoths carrying one person (often a 90 lb woman). You can claim that it was consumers and manufacturers but the genesis was a misguided social engineering experiment by the government. The low fuel prices of the 90's really supercharged this trend and led to the demise of tiny cars like my beloved Metro. The result was the exact opposite of what the environmentalists and the government were trying to do.


I agree that SUVs were rather niche products prior to their popularization about 30 years ago. What I'm debating here is how much of an effect the government had on that. Following the oil embargo, the government passed CAFE which really doesn't affect consumers directly. It's a standard for fleet fuel economy average for automakers to meet. While many automakers argued this would cause them to only offer tiny econoboxes, the light-truck exemption in addition to the spur of innovative engineering basically resulted in more fuel efficient and a wider variety of all vehicles for consumers. While SUVs are popular now, fuel economy has significantly increased for all vehicles due to CAFE. However, it was the affordability of fuel that really dictated the buying trends of American consumers and not new laws that were really only aimed at automakers.

I truly think it was the lower gas prices that popularized SUVs and we are experiencing a renaissance of that with current low gas prices as proof again of what drives SUV popularity. As I've stated before, the US has very lax vehicle classification regulations and taxes so consumers largely buy cars based on what they can afford in payments and fuel. This is in stark contrast to places like Japan (sorry, I keep using this country but I know it well) where 30% of the population drive kei-cars to reap the benefits of the lower taxes and operating costs. In fact, in the countryside where people have lower incomes, kei-cars amount to about 70% of all vehicles residents own. I saw this firsthand when I went to a smaller island on my last trip there (as I'm typically in big cities). The island is called Shodojima which literally means "small bean island" and is most famous for growing olives. The main industries there are farming and aquaculture though tourism is gaining popularity. The vast majority of vehicles on the island owned by locals were kei's with the yellow license plates as people in the countryside have lower incomes than people living in the big cities with their corporate jobs. It's almost the opposite from the US where people in rural areas have larger vehicles and city-dwellers have smaller ones just out of practicality and utility reasons.

Woodie wrote:If they would stop trying to micromanage people's behavior and just put a $2 or 3 a gallon tax on fuel, the marketplace would self correct and we'd all be driving much more efficient and reasonably sized cars and go back to the 5% of people who actually need a vehicle like that driving them.


I believe this is essentially how the US does things. They don't rely on emissions taxes or vehicle classification taxes and mostly use excise taxes on fuel. Those who consume more end up paying more taxes as it's in the price of fuel. However, when oil prices are so low, people don't care too much as they can afford to drive the vehicle that gets 12 miles to the gallon. The government doesn't micromanage much hence factors like consumer trends dictate the automobile popularity in the US. Unfortunately for you, most Americans like larger CUVs and SUVs than smaller nimble and fuel-efficient cars. We all know that some people buy cars to impress others rather than themselves or satisfy actual needs.

Lastly, I want to say that small cars have a stigma in the US unlike other countries. In the US, if you drive a small economy car, it's almost to say you can't afford anything else. It's like a badge of shame and brands like Suzuki have been ridiculed as such cars. However, in other countries, smaller cars are the norm and automakers put more quality into them. You can find small cars in places like Japan with rather high trim packages and features. Hence, it's no surprise to me why Americans typically favor compacts from Asia and Europe over domestics. For a long time, domestics offered small cars as budget econobox afterthoughts while focusing on larger vehicles as something Americans actually found desirable. Meanwhile, automakers like Japanese ones made compacts as popular volume sellers thus made them more competitive for their home markets which affected export models. American consumers then noticed vehicles like the Civic were much better than models like the Escort. However, in terms of desirability, most Americans seem to still think bigger is better and if they can afford it, will buy that way. Foreign brands took notice and have created models in America for Americans. Vehicles like the Toyota Tundra and Toyota Sequoia were designed and made in the USA for the USA and actually don't exist in Toyota's home country of Japan.
So while I really do like lower fuel prices myself, it's really the reason why larger CUVs and SUVs are so popular.
 #48219  by redmed
 Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:00 am
KuroNekko,
Where you living in the US in 1976?
 #48220  by KuroNekko
 Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:08 am
redmed wrote:KuroNekko,
Where you living in the US in 1976?


I wasn't even born then. However, if you want to relate to personal recollection and interpretation of events over 40 years ago, good luck. I'll rely on research and education instead.
 #48221  by WESHOOT2
 Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:53 pm
Got married the first time in '76.

From my personal recollection and interpretation of events over 40 years ago, research and education, government regulations may create a market opportunity.

We have a giant country, and we drive giant distances.
Japan and Europe are wee places, and people drive wee distances because the trains are crowded.

IMO government intrusion runs rampant, with little accountability.
 #48222  by Ronzuki
 Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:30 pm
WESHOOT2 wrote:Got married the first time in '76.

From my personal recollection and interpretation of events over 40 years ago, research and education, government regulations may create a market opportunity.

We have a giant country, and we drive giant distances.
Japan and Europe are wee places, and people drive wee distances because the trains are crowded.

IMO government intrusion runs rampant, with little accountability.


That's pretty much the consensus among those of us who have been alive long enough and paying enough attention (read: head not in the sand or up something else) to witness it all unfolding. Experiencing and living the government's ever-increasing intrusion that we have. There's your research and education that far too many deem unworthy. We're also smart enough to see through the BS lies, stories and excuses bombarding us from every direction via every medium which is nothing more than a very effective modern-day form of brain washing IMHO.

Interesting list of mid-term candidates in the paper week before elections providing their bios and backgrounds. Not surprisingly, the majority of the liberal dems running had 'educational and/or social services' type backgrounds (where little to no accountability exists) while the local Repubs were, mainly, from out in the working world (where there exists vast amounts of accountability). Interesting no? Kinda gives a little taste of who exactly is doing the "educating" and what their agenda is, or might be, no? And before I'm accused of being something I'm not, ;) I did not vote straight party ticket.
 #48223  by KuroNekko
 Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:53 pm
WESHOOT2 wrote:From my personal recollection and interpretation of events over 40 years ago, research and education, government regulations may create a market opportunity.


There is no doubt regulations have some effect, but I'm presenting that other factors largely affect consumer choices in America. Regardless of decade, vehicle prices and fuel prices largely drive the popularity of certain vehicles in America. We are literally seeing this again right now. Despite environmental concerns and fuel economy standards, CUVs and SUVs are selling so well in America, a major automaker like Ford has decided to drop all of their sedans and hatchbacks save for the iconic Mustang. This is literally evidence to show the consumer market, not the desires of the government, dictate what kinds of vehicles are sold and end up on the road.

WESHOOT2 wrote:We have a giant country, and we drive giant distances.
Japan and Europe are wee places, and people drive wee distances because the trains are crowded.


Yes, the US is big but isn't the only large nation. China, Russia, India, and Brazil are huge too but people in these countries don't drive quite the massive vehicles we Americans do in such large numbers. Again, consumer-based factors like popularity, economics, fuel prices, etc. dictate the kinds of cars people get in America.
Also, while the US is a large country, it's divided into states. Comparatively, the states are about the size of many other nations in Europe and Asia. Considering that most Americans don't drive out of their state regularly and the average daily commute for over 75% of Americans is under 30 miles, the reality again is that consumers pick the cars they want rather than they need here. I'm not stating that's a negative thing, but I'm countering the argument that government regulations heavily factor in the vehicle choices of Americans.

WESHOOT2 wrote:IMO government intrusion runs rampant, with little accountability.


I absolutely agree but likely in a different regard than most active members of this thread. I'm not too concerned about safety standards my car needs to meet. In terms of government intrusions and accountability, I'm far more concerned about terrible public policies and political ramifications coming about in the form of power-hungry executive orders, appointments of under-qualified individuals, mass resignations, and pathetically, uneducated and factually incorrect tweets on social media. Let's not forget the rampant corruption and scandals and the deliberate interference of a proper judicial process. Yet, I'm supposed to be mad at the government for TPMS?

Ronzuki wrote:That's pretty much the consensus among those of us who have been alive long enough and paying enough attention (read: head not in the sand or up something else) to witness it all unfolding. Experiencing and living the government's ever-increasing intrusion that we have. There's your research and education that far too many deem unworthy. We're also smart enough to see through the BS lies, stories and excuses bombarding us from every direction via every medium which is nothing more than a very effective modern-day form of brain washing IMHO.

Interesting list of mid-term candidates in the paper week before elections providing their bios and backgrounds. Not surprisingly, the majority of the liberal dems running had 'educational and/or social services' type backgrounds (where little to no accountability exists) while the local Repubs were, mainly, from out in the working world (where there exists vast amounts of accountability). Interesting no? Kinda gives a little taste of who exactly is doing the "educating" and what their agenda is, or might be, no? And before I'm accused of being something I'm not, ;) I did not vote straight party ticket.


I'm trying to keep this thread on topic to automobiles, related regulations, TPMS, etc. as much as possible but I see that it's hard to stay out of general politics given political leanings are involved in the opinions of these matters. However, what has happened in the last few posts is that rather than countering my points on topic, it's turned off-topic to generalized anecdotes from age and current politics. I can easily counter every point in your last paragraph to devastating effect but I don't want the thread to become just political bickering. We're getting there and I want to put the brakes on as it turns an otherwise good online forum to an ugly thing.

As for the age vs. education point, let me put it this way: wisdom comes with experience (age is a contributing factor) but understanding comes from knowledge and education. Relying on personal interpretations and experience clouds one from the objectiveness of reality and truth. This is why the scientific method puts zero value on one's own experience or views and requires the objective reproduction by others to validate a claim. Can you imagine the dangers if we just relied on anecdotal evidence to guide all our lives, let alone public policy? You already see it coming around in the form of Flat-Earth believers, Anti-vaxxers, and climate change deniers. Just because one doesn't recall, doesn't observe, or simply doesn't understand the science for themselves isn't a good reason to reject the facts, science, and educated consensus on a matter. In fact, the rejection of science, facts, and research is often a deliberate choice to pursue an agenda. I didn't need to rely on my personal 40 year-ago recollection of how things were in the mid-1970's in terms of automobile sales, regulation, popularity, etc. Instead, I looked up major contributing factors, the data, read up on specific models and why the automaker developed them, researched the laws enacted, and read up on how they were implemented. I also pursued a comparative analysis to portray the vast differences in perceived vs. actual consumer-subjected vehicle regulation policies. Anyone else bother to do research-based argument? Given the responses I got and the changing direction of this thread, I think I know the answer.
 #48224  by redmed
 Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:38 pm
"Relying on personal interpretations and experience clouds one from the objectiveness of reality and truth. This is why the scientific method puts zero value on one's own experience or views and requires the objective reproduction by others to validate a claim."

You're belief in that your "Scientific data":
"I looked up major contributing factors, the data, read up on specific models and why the automaker developed them, researched the laws enacted, and read up on how they were implemented."
is pure and not clouded by personal & political interpretation? Is (I don't want to be rude) quite naive. Then discount others who directly experienced these events. Gives me pause thinking of times I have I have had discussions of historical events I have researched then discussed with elders that lived at that time. When their experiences contradicted what I had read, I corrected them. Thinking that they only experienced a small part of the big picture and the scholarly publications I had read had a higher level view. I now wish I could revisit some of those discussions.
 #48225  by Woodie
 Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:58 am
I absolutely agree but likely in a different regard than most active members of this thread. I'm not too concerned about safety standards my car needs to meet. In terms of government intrusions and accountability, I'm far more concerned about terrible public policies and political ramifications coming about in the form of power-hungry executive orders, appointments of under-qualified individuals, mass resignations, and pathetically, uneducated and factually incorrect tweets on social media. Let's not forget the rampant corruption and scandals and the deliberate interference of a proper judicial process. Yet, I'm supposed to be mad at the government for TPMS?


TPMS (as one example of bureaucracy run amok) has a far bigger effect on your personal life than all of the things you mentioned above (which pretty much boils down to one thing, the Henny Penny hysteria we're getting from the left right now can not be concealed that easily).

And yes, I did an hour of research on the sales of the Suburban and SUV's in general before writing that post. Was hoping to find a nice graph I could include but I didn't. Didn't even find a chart with every year listed, just random year quotes. What I did find showed that Chevy Suburban and other SUV sales took off in the late 70's and again in the 90's, pretty much coinciding with the CAFE standard and a period of relatively low fuel prices.