Who cares? Downtown Toledo is getting a new arena, so all is well.
Toledo Blade stories :
Through May , Liberty sales are down 14 percent from last year, Wrangler sales were off 27 percent, and Nitro sales had fallen 32 percent. Customers have switched to more fuel-efficient cars, further hurting sales of sport utility vehicles that have worse gas mileage. The three Toledo vehicles are rated at less than 20 miles to the gallon.
The news story says the blame for the temporary Toledo Jeep layoffs goes to dismal sales of Liberty and Nitro. That's the shallow view of the issue. The blame actually goes to Jeep management and engineers for not designing a Jeep vehicle that is the Prius of crossover vehicles.
Why doesn't Toledo Jeep produce one gas-electric hybrid vehicle that averages 30 to 40 mpg? Sales for the Liberty and Nitro would still be bad, but at least one fuel efficient vehicle reduce the number of layoffs or reduce the length of time of the layoffs. I bet Toledo Jeep workers wished they were assembling a more fuel efficient vehicle.
The Jeep Compass crossover is assembled in Illinois. "As of March 2008, the Compass was the second-worst selling Jeep model, trailed only by the Jeep Commander."
July 2006 blog posting titled All-new 2007 Jeep® Compass Launch - Official Press Release
Compass is the first Jeep vehicle to offer 30 miles per gallon on the highway — fuel-economy numbers not often found on an SUV.
And I believe the Compass is an all-gas-powered vehicle. A hybrid would produce better overall mileage, and that would lead to better sales than the Compass.
News in a September 2007 Toledo Talk posting :
Chrysler's celebrating production of the all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty. A big event is in the works at the Toledo north assembly plant today. Chrysler executives, along with Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur will talk about the new vehicle.
Pricing starts at under Twenty-one thousand dollars for the Liberty Sport 4×2 version, and under twenty-three thousand for the 4×4. The Liberty Limited starts at just over $25,000, and just under $27,000 for the 4×4.
The EPA mileage numbers may discourage some buyers
with the Liberty hitting 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. There has been no decision to add a diesel engine to the Liberty, which the first generation offered to much fanfare. However, no one at Jeep would dismiss the idea either; it just won't put a time frame on it.
2008 Jeep Liberty Mileage :
- 2WD (manual and automatic): 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
- 4WD (manual): 16/22
- 4WD (automatic) 15/21
Why doesn't Jeep produce a hybrid Liberty?
Some kind of news story from, I think, 2006. Maybe it's fiction. DaimlerChrysler Demonstrates Hybrid Technology In Popular Jeep® Liberty SUV :
DaimlerChrysler today showed a hybrid electric version of its popular sport-utility vehicle, the Jeep® Liberty, demonstrating the adaptability of the company's patented Through-the-Road (TTR) hybrid system.
The Liberty HEV achieves a 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared with a conventional six-cylinder Liberty, without sacrificing the vehicle's utility, comfort or performance.
"The Liberty HEV demonstrates how our TTR hybrid system can be adapted to many different types of vehicles," said Larry Oswald, Vice President and head of DaimlerChrysler's Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Product team. "The TTR can be installed in vehicles of different styles and sizes, with front- or rear-wheel drive," Oswald said. "This gives us great flexibility as we continue to explore new applications for environmentally-friendly hybrid technology."
Fuel efficiency is further enhanced by regenerative braking in which energy normally lost as heat during deceleration and braking is captured to recharge the battery.
August 10, 2006 comment in the GreenHybrid message board :
I actually wrote to Jeep a while back about whether they had any plans for a hybrid Liberty. My wife & I love the LIberty and would love to have one. It fits our lifestlye perfectly and we've both had great experience with Jeeps. In fact, I just sold my '96 Cherokee with 98k miles on it and it was still running great. Jeep's response to me was they had no plans to introduce a hybrid vehicle.
January 16, 2008 comment in that same thread :
The hybrid Jeep is a concept vehicle on display at the Detroit Auto Show. The Chevy Volt is also a concept vehicle, full of hope and promise.
But like I always say, try driving a to work.
Car companies have been playing the "concept" game for decades. Back in the 1960s, they claimed that we'd all have flying cars by now. I'm still waiting.
I'm also still waiting for ANY car from the Big 3 that matches the price, features, and mpg of my Civic Hybrid.
Toledo Talk postings :
Locally, the gasoline price has ranged from $3.80 to $4.10 for at least six weeks.
Jeep has had a few years to tackle the consumer's concern over rising gasoline prices. Actually, American automakers have had 30 years to address the problem of fuel efficiency. American automakers are getting hurt now by their own arrogance.
Maybe we should all write letters asking for a hybrid. Flood their mailbox.
Before we all get too green, last night the news had a story that the cost of a hybrid does not make up for the high cost of gas. A better value would be to buy a better miles to the gallon car and not a hybrid according to the story. It takes several years to even out the added cost of a hybrid over the cost of gas.
"It takes several years to even out the added cost of a hybrid over the cost of gas."
Yes. It's simple math. My July 2007 comment :
And you hybrid owners, do the math. How many miles or how long will you have to own the car before you truly start seeing savings? How much did you pay for your hybrid? If you bought a regular all-gas powered Civic instead of a hybrid Civic or an all-gas powered Toyota similar in size to the Prius , would the all-gas powered car [be] cheaper than the hybrid? If so, then the difference in price you could have spent on gas for the cheaper, all-gas powered car. So how long will you have to own the hybrid to really see savings?
I said at the top of this page : "... a Jeep vehicle that is the Prius of crossover vehicles."
I should have been more clear with that sentence because I'm not talking about intelligence or common sense here. I'm talking about sales, and I think the Prius has sold well for Toyota. A hybrid Jeep does not change my view on hybrids.
My other past comments about hybrids :
- The car companies appear more progressive to suckers because they use hip-sounding technology like "hybrid."
- I'd say buying a Prius contributes to the problem. Buying a Prius or an Insight condones the token environmentalism concern expressed by Toyota and Honda.
Forget about the environment part here and forget about sensibility. I'm looking at this from the angle of what may help keep Toledo Jeep workers employed for many more years, and a hybrid Jeep Liberty may help. I doubt Jeep will produce a tiny, all-gas-powered hatchback that gets 50+ mpg and costs less than $20,000. So use the bamboozle plan like Toyota did with the Prius.
Don't forget the people leaving GM Powertrain, and the loss of tax revenue from BOTH plants, as well as the 500 people who took early retirements this week. This means, again, that cops and firefighters will be laid off to cover the shortfall, unless.....
What's the bamboozle plan with a Prius?
A few easy mods and some lazy cruise control driving, you can get 70 mpg. There's also an option to golf cart it...all electric. The Prius also doesn't depreciate as fast as other cars. I saw one locally not hit a reserve on fleabay for $14,5 with 144k miles or something. A 2006, that cost $23 new. So do the math on that?
It still comes down to weight and aerodynamics. Less weight, more aerodynamics, the less hp/torque needed, the more efficient. Cars/Trucks should be built like airplanes and not sleds.
Economically decent hybrids make short term economic/ecological sense and it pushes the market forward long term. The Prius also accelerates faster than the Jeeps I've driven. Electric torque is on now, gas hesitates.
Long-term I think Jeep needs to make cars like Subaru. Coupes, sedans, station wagons that you can beat up. Sti's are still teh shits.
70 mpg in 2008 for a hybrid as small as a Prius, and you think that's OK? You've been bamboozled.
"Economically decent hybrids make short term economic/ecological sense and it pushes the market forward long term."
Yep, with a stupid statement like that combined with the current crop of hybrid products and their lame-ass mileage rating, you've been bamboozled.
Once again ...
In the spring of 1992, I bought the highest rated gas mileage car in the U.S. It was a Honda Civic hatchback model VX. I think the vehicle's window sticker said 56 mpg on the highway and 40-something in the city. The speed limit was still 55 mph. Driving 60 miles per hour on Ohio's highways, I was getting 60 miles per gallon. That '92 Civic VX was an all-gas-powered car.
I don't consider the 2008 hybrids that get 50 to 70 mpg to be much of an advancement. But then again, someone back in '92 could have said the Civic VX was not much of an advancement over the VW vehicle from the late 70's or early 80's. Mileage-wise.
If an all-gas-powered car in 1992 could 60 mpg on the highway, why don't today's hybrids get 80 to 100 mpg or more?
I don't understand why people bag on the hybrids. You can take those 2006/7 calculations and throw them out the window.
I'm a Prius owner and have owned the car over 2 years. I enjoy getting nearly 50 mpg. I also enjoyed the $3150 tax credit.
How long until it "pays for itself"? I would guess it already has paid for itself. Again, I got a tax credit. I also drive a large number of miles, much more than average. I routinely get 48 to 50 mpg.
It doesn't matter to me, though. Whether it takes 3 1/2 or 5 yrs, I'm not feeling the pain most of you endure. Plus, my other car is a Honda my wife and I have owned for 11 yrs.
Me? Bamboozled? I'll have to think about that when I'm sitting in my 50 mpg car.
Since you're bustin' ovaries on the Prius, I give you that. But you're getting lazy on my jr. In fact I'm embarrassed, but from the current crop of cars, Prius makes the most economic and ecological sense unless you can make a VW Rabbit reproduce. What were they, $6k new, enough on a president's salary?
Two simple questions that will not get answered:
- If an all-gas-powered car in 1992 could get 60 mpg on the highway, why don't today's hybrids get 80 to 100 mpg or more?
- Why doesn't a brand new all-gas-powered car exist in 2008 that gets 60 mpg like in 1992?
Do real, technological answers exist to those questions? My answer to the second question is: Because the all-gas-powered car would probably cost less than the hybrid, and that could adversely affect hybrid sales, which would harm the auto company's "green" reputation with the general public.
"I also enjoyed the $3150 tax credit."
Goody gumdrops. I didn't get a tax credit in 1992 when I bought the highest rated mileage car in the U.S. Are new Prius buyers getting the tax credit today? I don't think so.
And I don't understand how you hybrid owners miss the point that your car only gets 50 to 70 mpg in 2008 when an all-gas-powered car in 1992 got 60 mpg on the highway. Do you understand that in 16 years little has changed mileage-wise?
My comment last month :
A 2008 all-gas-powered car getting 80 mpg would probably still be viewed as being Neanderthal. But if it's a hybrid that gets 50 to 60 mpg, then all is well. The word "hybrid" gives the impression of advanced technology and being progressive.
And that's why I believe hybrid buyers contribute to the problem because automakers know that today's hybrid buyers are clueless about the auto industry's past history, and hybrid buyers are willing to pay good money for the bare minimum. I believe Honda and Toyota could do a lot better mileage-wise with their hybrids if they wanted to.
When I was getting 60 mpg on the highway 16 years ago, I naively believed that by the year 2000, there would be gas-powered cars getting 80-100 mpg.
A 2008 hybrid getting 50 to 70 mpg is good for 2008 when compared to what else is out there in 2008. But is it a technological advancement in the auto industry? No way.
I think I'll upgrade my 286 Packard Bell desktop PC to a 486 desktop PC running OS/2 Warp because the 486 is a good buy, and plus, I want to be current with 2008 technology.
Here's another example of the auto industry's wonderful technological advancement.
May 27, 2008 review of the Ford Focus.
The Ford Focus competes with the Honda Civic, Chevy Cobalt, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda3 among many others in the red hot small car market, and is available as both a four-door sedan and two-door coupe. Under the hood, the 2008 Focus is fitted with an efficient 2.0 liter inline four cylinder engine rated at 140 horsepower and 136 foot pounds of torque.
The EPA gas mileage estimates for the 2008 Ford Focus come in at 24 city / 33 miles per gallon (MPG) highway, when equipped with the automatic transmission. Over a week of driving, we easily exceeded the estimates, as we achieved a 40.1 miles per gallon on the highway in sixty to seventy degree weather, scoring 32.7 MPG combined. (The vast majority of driving was done with the air conditioning off.)
Remarkable, eh? I guess it's relative. I don't understand why an all-gas-powered 2008 model of the Ford Focus doesn't get at least 50 to 60 mpg on the highway. I assume the Ford Focus costs less than a Prius or an Insight. If so, then the existence of a two-door, manual transmission Focus getting 50 to 60 mpg would mean that a relatively high mileage car would be available to people who cannot afford the more expensive hybrids.
You just really have a stick up your behind about the hybrids, huh, jr?
The bottom line is I went from an American car (purchased in '02) that got approx 20 to the gallon to a 50 mpg car (purchased in '06). I originally purchased the 20 mpg because of my job; it's a mistake I allowed.
So a '92 got ya 60 mpg? Goody gumdrops! Do you currently drive one of these fine auto's? Would you be able to comfortably fit a family of 5 (includes me, the wife, two boys, and a rather large dog)?
Sorry to hear you didn't get a tax credit. While I'm not a big fan of that type of stuff, I justified it by saying they were simply returning the money to its rightful owner (me). Anyhow, it was nice to see it in my tax return.
While I understand your angst with the '92 cars vs today, I don't understand your venom towards the hybrid. Consumers are largely to blame for this situation. It wasn't until the last year or so when most consumers started paying attention to mpg. Shame on them. Get back in your/ their SUV's and feel the pain.
What impact have the safety reg's played here as well.
Jr, do you intend on pissing all over the plug-in's when they become available, too? When they come to market, I may finally get rid of the '98 Honda (4 cycl, btw).
Oh well, I feel your pain, but probably not as much of it. Long live my Prius!
So is it a crisis of engineering or just that the bean counters are designing cars?
Ford,GM,Sizzler... their not companies, they're institutions like a university, church, prison, etc.
I have some engineer friends and I ask them how they can take pride in some of the absolute shit they produce. Like the scoops on the Ford Focus. Why not go all out with the louvers and KC lights? And then I like to tell them how Tesla is more significant than Hank Ford, Edison, all the Ivy League studs, add in most the Nobel prize winners, add in most scientists, engineers, pro bowlers...and he was EE dropout.
Long term, I'd like to have nice bike paths, decent public transit, vehicles that run on a variety of renewable fuels, lots of publicly accessible beaches (for kayaking/sailing/etc.), clean water, clean air, that sort of thing. Is the Prius the end all be all? The 3rd coming of Christ? Probably not. Just the best available wideout that Millen's sleeping on.
"So is it a crisis of engineering or just that the bean counters are designing cars"?
I think you nailed it Charlatan.
I am convinced the damn bean counters will be the death of the company. These genius college boys think they are so smart. Everything is pinching pennies, trouble is they'll spend a million to save a hundred.
I have lost track of how many times we have lost large amounts of production due to the fact that they don't keep spare parts for important equipment.
Sure, the equipment costs $$ but how much are you wasting when the whole shop sits, getting paid, because you don't have a piece of equipment?
I find it hard to believe they can't get better mileage out of their engines. Sure our vehicles are a bit heavy, but frankly, I want a Jeep to be rugged and stout. I just don't understand why my Wrangler 4 door with it's 3.8 litre v-6 only gets 13-14 mpg in the city.
Hum...good points all around, but kinda hard to follow the conversation some with 5 billion quotes in some replies. Granted, if this board used an actual message board setup instead of this retarded blog like thing...it would be easier to follow and reply to.
I read that article, (thanks jr.) about the hybrid Jeep Liberty. The last sentence says they were to begin marketing them in 2003. Perhaps if they had followed through on this plan we would not be getting laid off now. I do work at Jeep and have been a supporter of hybrid technology for another reason as well. A company cannot get good at, and perfect, any technology, without real world testing and application. The products must be out in the field to be evaluated, tested, tweaked, and improved.The supposed up-front cost must be balanced out with the stark question of, "Do you still want to be in business in ten years?"
I believe Toyota has a plan to continuously refine, improve, and lower the cost of their hybrid systems to the point where there is a decreasing cash difference between hybrid and non-hybrid. What then Detroit? What competitive advantages would "Detroit Auto" have then?
"You just really have a stick up your behind about the hybrids, huh, jr?"
"When I was getting 60 mpg on the highway 16 years ago, I naively believed that by the year 2000, there would be gas-powered cars getting 80-100 mpg."
jr., the fact that you were mistaken about the mileage gas-powered cars would be getting in 2000 doesn't mean the owners of hybrids today can't be happy with their investment. Wish I had one, LOL.
JeepMaker said: « I just don't understand why my Wrangler 4 door with it's 3.8 litre v-6 only gets 13-14 mpg in the city. »
Because Detroit went back to a 100% power culture after the 1980s. Detroit concluded that automobile model X+1 had to out-accelerate model X, to let a fatassed Imperial American feel like more of a god on the road.
And it's that simple truth that kills the entire discussion, since fatassed Imperial Americans will never admit to being so shallow and manipulated. No, better to invade other nations to steal their oil, and also loudly complain about the price of gasoline (while Europeans just yawn in their hyperefficient cars).
All Empires run on foundation illusions. Our "dick car" is one of our illusions. Go to a dealership and try talking about fuel efficiency. They probably think 30mpg is "pretty good". The illusion is that strong.
For fuel efficiency I've always wondered why sub compact cars never took off here. If you go to Japan you can find nifty little cars that look like a motorbike with 3 wheels and a frame. Probably get's 60+ miles to the gallon but with a body so you can stay out of the weather.
Personally I'd love to have one of those cars, but you can't get them here in the states.
Just heard a rumor (and hopes it only that) that the Wrangler plant may shut down for a short time also - over and above their 'vacation shut down' coming in July.
Also, I understand the European diesel version of the Nitro gets GREAT mileage. Problem being is that it won't meet emission standards here in the US!
Jshriver, you need to look up Wildfire Motors. There's a car just like you described for sale:
" The WF251-T has a 248cc Hi-Po liquid cooled engine, with a five speed manual transmission with reverse. With up to 72 miles per gallon fuel efficiency and a cruising speed of 45, this is a great vehicle to beat high gas prices. "
$5700 new. I've also seen it for as low as $3800 used on eBay. 70mpg. SEVENTY.
I found out about it when I saw a red-colored example of this being used by a private citizen, who parks it on occasion in a private lot on Navarre by the GFS and across from the Krogers.
The only problem i see with those small things is you should be fine uless one of those jerk-off's in those big "i got a hemi" dodge trucks that love to ride peoples tails just for fun! My car is a 4 door and i still have to deal with that, can you imgine what they'd do to this little buggy.
Well, that's a problem we'll have to get used to, tm2. Large automobiles can't achieve the fuel efficiency. Anyway, I wouldn't worry about those SUVs and other genitalia-compensation vehicles clogging the roads. When Bush or McCain attacks Iran and the price of a barrel of oil goes over $200, the price at the pump will go to $5.50-$6.00 ... and those SUVs will evaporate like a gas spill on hot asphalt.
I wonder if hybrid engines are well suited for typically rugged 4×4 off-road vehicles? It may be that besides the fact that Chrysler is years behind on hybrid technology, it just isn't suitable for the vehicles that Jeep is famous for.
Postal: I don't think jr's venom is aimed at the hybrid technology. It's mainly for the management types at automakers who would rather sell us high profit margin whizz-bang technological solutions than the simple, traditional fuel efficient designs that they've been capable of producing for decades. P.T. Barnum would be proud. We're being fleeced by feel-good, high tech marketing and we're THANKING them for it.
Need to restart making old VW rabbit diesels that got 50mpg.