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  • Air Powered Car into Production

    Why can't an American Auto manufacturer come out with some new technology such as this "air car" which is being produced by Tata Motors (recently acquired Jaguar and Range Rover) out of India.

    This car runs for 125 miles on one compression charge which costs about $2.50 of electricity. It reaches top speeds of 68 mph. There are two models - the six-seat hybrid model is scheduled to be sold in the US in 2010. That model uses pure air up to 38mph. Beyond 38mph combustion kicks in for highway driving where you would get "only" 109 miles per gallon! Of course, up to 38 mph it used zero gas!

    Instead of laying people off, why don't US auto companies get a little creative and start producing something like this?

    www.newlaunches.com/archives/tata_motor ... on_run.php

    WHY?

  • #2
    I must admit that I do not understand the reluctance of the US auto companies to get high mileage/alternate fuel cars into production. The first car company that sold a decent car that got 200 mpg would sell a billion of them. Yet the auto makers have to be dragged screaming and crying all the way to even marginal increases in fuel economy. Makes no sense . . .

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    • #3
      It seems as though the MO is to come up with an inferior product two years too late.

      This country, and specifically the auto industry, was founded on being first to the punch. Look at Ford's history...they were first with the Mod T.

      What makes the situation all the more frustrating is that this country is in a very quick down hill slide. Jobs are lost, inflation is high, gas at nearly $5 here in So. Cal. and there is no relief in sight.

      This country has a great history of being able to tool-up and get things done when needed. They tooled up for tanks, amunitions, planes, aircraft carriers etc. in remarkable time during WWII.

      They acted very quickly in the space race and were first.

      For some reason things have changed. Are we simply too bogged down in beuracracy? Is there collusion between big oil and auto? I'm not one to buy into conspiracy theories but this is very very strange.

      There are answers out there. Alternative fuel technologies are ready to go but US companies would rather wait than be first.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cyril
        Is there collusion between big oil and auto?
        I do not understand how this would work. I understand what is in it for the oil companies to keep the status quo, but not the auto companies (and there is a side argument here that the oil companies are so tight with the current administration that there is no motivation for the government to attempt to change things). The auto companies are hurting so much that you would think the motivation is there to innovate.

        A miscellaneous side rant: I think as a whole that American auto engineers suck. Generally speaking Japanese cars are much better built (ie trouble-free) than American cars (just pick up the annual auto edition of Consumers Reports for confirmation), But the thing is, the best two vehicles I've owned were Japanese cars that were built in America. It is not the guy on the factory floor that is screwing things up . . .

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        • #5
          I agree on the your collusion conclusion...

          It really doesn't add up. Barbara Boxer stated last night that she thought there was collusion but it really doesn't make sense.

          As for auto engineering, I think it is obvious that the Japanese, Germans and now Indians have moved far ahead of the US.

          However, I don't know if it is the engineers themselves or the manufacturers restraints on the engineers. It seems as though creativity is stifled in the country for fear of taking a risk in something innovative.

          There are plenty of smart and creative people in this country, why aren't we seeing any products from any of them?

          I think there is something wrong within the system. The only US companies that have been truely creative in the last decade Apple and Microsoft.

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          • #6
            As for German cars, no country knows better how to put out cars that are fun to drive and practical (knocking the exotic Italian cars out) but uniformly their electrical engineers suck. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW, all have histories of electrical glitches. But they all way too fun to drive.

            And on the American side, I gotta give Chrysler and Dodge a lot of credit in one area - style. They have been putting out some of the best looking cars in decades. They still have all of the mechanical glitches all American cars do, but they look great doing it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bad hammy
              As for German cars, no country knows better how to put out cars that are fun to drive and practical (knocking the exotic Italian cars out) but uniformly their electrical engineers suck. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW, all have histories of electrical glitches. But they all way too fun to drive.

              And on the American side, I gotta give Chrysler and Dodge a lot of credit in one area - style. They have been putting out some of the best looking cars in decades. They still have all of the mechanical glitches all American cars do, but they look great doing it.
              Styling is great, but at this point we (this country and the world) need serious innovation. I don't think any American company is on the cutting edge of technology.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cyril
                It seems as though the MO is to come up with an inferior product two years too late.
                And then bitch and moan since the consumers are not loyal to American companies and choose to buy foreign.

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                • #9
                  I have liked all my American cars, hated any Japanese ones I have been in. Worst piece of junk I ever had was a Datsun (Japanese for lemon) 310. That was terrible.

                  Also, hop right on in there guys, and get that air car rolling. Nothing stopping you designing and producing that baby yourselves!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gm
                    I have liked all my American cars, hated any Japanese ones I have been in. Worst piece of junk I ever had was a Datsun (Japanese for lemon) 310. That was terrible.

                    Also, hop right on in there guys, and get that air car rolling. Nothing stopping you designing and producing that baby yourselves!
                    Money? It would have taken millions just to purchase the design patent.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gm
                      Worst piece of junk I ever had was a Datsun (Japanese for lemon) 310. That was terrible.
                      I don't doubt you, but what year was that? i think the quality of foreign mass produced cars has been rising steadily, as has their market share.

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                      • #12
                        Well Cyril, if it's apparently so easy, design your own! Good old go-gettin' spirit, all that.

                        Daisy -- it was in the 80's, but I haven't liked any Japanese car I have been in since then, either. Hate them, in fact, wouldn't spend a penny on one. To each his own, I guess.

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                        • #13
                          I'm not an engineer. But I do think we have some brilliant engineers in the US. For some reason, however, the US auto industry has not come out with anything innovative in years.

                          Who ever said it was easy? But I don't buy the fact that US engineers are just inferior to Japanese and German. There must be another reason that US auto is having so much trouble coming up with something to set the standard rather than always following.

                          Any ideas?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gm
                            To each his own, I guess.
                            We have had a toyota and a honda. Both were/are trouble free. The first went over 200,000 trouble free. Clearly personal experience plays a role in any decision. And all companies make a bad car now and then, even for the better models.

                            Maybe you just like more space, certainly the US cars give you more leg room.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gm
                              Well Cyril, if it's apparently so easy, design your own! Good old go-gettin' spirit, all that.
                              Who said it was easy? For all I know it is as complex as getting to the moon and back, or the Manhattan Project. Maybe we need the same level of effort. What I do know is that it does not appear to be happening, and it is kind of imperative that it does. Life for us Americans would be a lot easier and cheaper and safer if we did not depend on resources located in the Middle East.

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