Hey, easy on the Pinto. I had one in High School. It was a good car if you didn't mind the rust, gutless engine, sagging uni-body, and total lack of drivability in snow. But in HS all I wanted was to get from point A to point B. Besides, I rarely had more than a gallon or two of gas in the gas tank. If only I could afford a GTO back then and still have it today <missed opprotunities>.
But to get back to the point, as I recall everyone thought the Hondas were crap back in the 70's, got a little noticed in the '80's, and well recieved in the 90's and beyond. Why?
And they also put together some amazing dream cars for autoshows!
The Mustang and the Pinto were the same chassis. The Pinto was sold in tremendous volume, and the differntial plug being able to spear the gas tank was trivial to fix, was fixed, and totally a bum rap. People always try to attack small cars because they want to sell larger cars at higher profit margins. The Corvair was another example of slander over what was not serious, easily fixed, was fixed, but still continued as false inuendo. Anyone who can attack the Pinto does not know much about cars.
Yes, you're right. The Ford Pinto is the most successful vehicle ever built by Ford. Yep. I would actually be more assuaged to say "most popular", thanks to "Top Secret" and other spoofs exposing its 'flaw'.
It is true that small and economicial cars won't be cost effective until they reach economy of scale, but that is very easy. You just have to drop the price lower, by making them smaller, lighter, not have tons of electric options, have swapable batteries, etc.
The people want that car and will buy millions of them. If only we would sell it.
You can justify having a commuter box if it is less than $10k and saves you $100/week in gas. And soon the current cars will cost $150/week in gas.
Lee Iacocca took Ford from the gates of bankruptcy with the Mustang and Pinto, the 2 most successful cars Ford ever built. And Volvo and the Germans saved Ford again with the Focus and Fusion. Ford donestic production has nothing to brag about.
I think we're missing the point here. These are dream cars, not grocery-getters. With the exception of the Corvette, these cars are unattainable for consumers. Corvettes are not cheap, but plenty of consumers can afford to buy one. However, like most of us, I can't justify owning a $55k two-seater. I also can't justify owning a commuter-friendly micro-box, either.
As for EVs and hybrids, the manufacturers don't turn a profit from them yet. In some cases they lose money on every unit they sell. Yes, if 80% of buyers bought this type of vehicle, the cost would come down, but not enough to make them profitable. It would be bail-out time all over again. Automakers will build whatever sells and generates profit. The reason they build the loss leaders (EVs and hybrids) they do now is because of government interference. It's either accept government incentives to build unprofitable cars or lose money paying non-compliance fines.
NHOutbacker, Ford received a 5.9 billion dollar loan, while that pales in comparison to what it took to bail out GM it's not nothing. We sold Chrysler to the Germans (Daimler-Benz). 'Benz took what they wanted from Chrysler and sold the rest to the Italians, or something to that effect.
... I want a very simple 80-100 mpg, very light 3 wheeled vehicle for commuting for days when the weather is not very appealing for my motorcycle or bicycle (rain/snow/salt). The ELIO is almost it, but even they are putting 3 airbags into the vehicle. I want a basic $5k vehicle that has a roof, is reliable, and gets great mpg. I don't want ABS, airbags, traction control, satalite radio, GPS, remote start, power windows, power seats, etc. I don't even need a radio. ...
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.