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  1. #11

    Laurie David - Misguided logic?

    This may sound a little convoluted, so please bear with me.

    I compared the Prius to the Subaru Legacy (of which I have owned two) the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, since they are all considered mid-size mobiles. I work with people who currently own Camries and Accords. Camries have a base price of around $18K to $26K depending on options. Total price can be much higher. Legacy prices are similar, but I am not sure about Accord. The Prius base price is (was) $21.4K when I bought it. Therefore, my reasoning is that there is no premium to buying the Prius since the base Prius has a few more options than the base Camry. However, my comparison is based mostly on interior room. Check out the rear leg room of the above cars, and also Volvo, 3 or 5 series BMWs, etc and you'll find the Prius stacks up very well. Any car provides enough room for the drive and passenger, but many leave no leg room for the rear seat passengers.

    Since there is no premium to buying the Prius, the (simple) payback to me is immediate. Obviously the batteries will make a dent in this reasoning, however I am willing to take that chance, especially with Toyota. And the way sales are going, I think I made the right choice. Also, since I have read a lot about peak oil (and have put my investment money there) I knew gasoline prices would keep going up. (I ordered my Prius when gasoline was about $1.50/gallon.) I also had the good fortune to know several Prius (Gen. 2) drivers before I ordered mine, and they were both getting 48-53 mpgs. So, I knew not to trust anyone telling me otherwise. Not everyone has that added benefit. Since I have always kept good gas mileage records for every car I owned, I knew the Camry (33 mpg highway), Legacy (28 mpg) and Accord would probably average out to 30 (26) mpg for me. So, I figured I would be getting the same quality car, the same utility, but better gas mileage, for no significant extra cost.

    There are also many other paybacks to consider beyond what I pay for gasoline. By using less gasoline: I reduce demand for oil, I reduce pollution which reduces (the increase in) health care costs, I reduce global warming potential, which reduces (the increase in) global-warming related natural disasters, and I reduce the need for our country to try to forcibly take oil from other countries, and hold our collective noses while we negotiate treaties, business deals, etc. with people who dislike us, and we them. Most people will not see these paybacks in their own home economics, however, they are real and a state, region and especially the country will.

    There are some towns in Texas (near the refineries) where 35% of the children have asthma! Think about how much that will cost us for the rest of their lives. What is the cost of the lost freedom these kids (don't) have because they can't run around and play as much as the other kids. And this doesn't even count the adults who now have asthma after moving to that area.

    Companies don't care about these benefits since they just get contracts to drill for oil once we take over a country, and the US taxpayer pays for the security....more corporate welfare in my book.

    Consumers have the ultimate control; we just need to learn to use it. We can save more energy my reducing demand, than we can find by drilling for it, or stealing it. It is now, and will be even more so in the future, cheaper to save energy than to buy it.

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  3. #12

    Laurie David - Misguided logic?

    To G,
    How my hybrid saves me money...

    I replaced my '97 Toyota Rav 4 with a '05 Ford Escape Hybrid. I was averaging 23 mpg in my Rav 4, I now get 32 mpg in my Ford, and the Escape is a larger SUV. Over the life of the car (I drive them to 100,000 miles, or about 7 years) my Rav took 4,348 gallons of gas...my Ford will only need 3,125. At today's gas prices in So Cal. that's a $4,000 savings in gas alone.

    My Rav needed oil changes every 3-5000 miles, my Escape needs them every 10,000. At $40 a pop, I'm saving a few hundred more.

    I am able to do all my in-town driving on electric power, not polluting with noise or carbon monoxide. That, to me, is priceless.

  4. #13

    Laurie David - Misguided logic?


    You didn't even mention tax incentives... both federal and local....

  5. #14

    Laurie David - Misguided logic?


    Wow! You get local tax breaks? I'm from Ohio (please stop laughing, its not my fault) we get nuttin'! We are soooooo backward!

  6. #15

    Laurie David - Misguided logic?

    Let me ask the opposite.

    How do hybrids make money for automakers?

    Add in the component costs (batteries, power inverter).

    Amortize the engineering cost over the 3 - 4 year development time.

    Divide by annual sales (50,000??).

    Show me the (profitable) math.... please.


  7. #16

    Laurie David - Misguided logic?

    Profit levels are a very tight secret for auto makers. So we customers have no idea. However, as you've mentioned in a previous post, auto companies need to make a profit. I can't see companies like Toyota and Honda making cars for which they don't expect to make profits. And since Honda and Toyota seem to be increasing market share routinely, they're obviously doing something right.

    Maybe Japanese auto makers plan to make profits long term and American companies plan for the quarter. Maybe its because your average Japanese executive makes only about 20-30 times the average employees' salary, not 100-200 as for American companies, so the Japanese companies have more money for R&D. Maybe when Japense marketing survey people took data on what customers wanted, they interpreted it differently than their American counterparts--and got it right with hybrids! Who knows?

    American car companies seem to just re-invent, re-organize, and re-structure themselves over and over again whenever they have a problem. Instead of solving it. This is just financial masturbation. Japanese companies just make high quality cars. Customers bring profits, NOT re-structuring.

    I could run GM into the ground for a lot less money than its current CEO!

  8. #17

    Laurie David - Misguided logic?

    This just in: another example as to how a company as stupid as GM is raising your costs--just so it can help already-wealthy people buy gas guzzlers, pollute your air, increase your health care costs, increase your global warming costs, and increase the costs of gasoline itself by raising demand:


    They (GM) and the country would be much better off if they gave that money to their R&D engineers!

  9. #18

    Laurie David - Misguided logic?

    C'mon G-

    We don't have time for your numbers games (most of us have lives.) If you want to do your own math, search Google news with Honda or Toyota...and you will see that they are making and investing money in hybrid technology. Here, I'll give you a free one, about Honda opening a plant in America, while GM and Ford are closing 26 plants in America next year. It's been a big story this week-


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