Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Who says

Much blather about how US car companies can't make economical autos with good gas mileage. This is a lie. The problem is that they neither make or sell them in the US. The picture to the right is the new Ford Fiesta (UK). Diesel versions get over 60 mpg, there is even a model with a claimed 76 mpg (ok bunnies, Eli knows that is imperial gallons so in US speak that is 48 and 61 mpg. Gas versions get between 40 and 35 mpg US. Eli went all over town trying to get a Euro version of the Fiesta a year ago and generally got laughed at. The US Fiesta was equivalent to the ten years ago UK version, only not so good and the fittings were cheap. It was a car they had to offer to maintain fleet mileage limits but didn't want to sell.

GM owns Opel in Germany and several other places, as well as Vauxhall in the UK. The Opel Astra gets 5.4 l/100 km to 9.3 depending on the motor version (in US speak 44 mpg to 26 mpg US), not so good, but a lot better than is on offer in the US.

Other examples of US companies manufacturing useful autos with good mileage welcome in the comments


Anonymous said...

I think the chief bunny may have got his conversions slightly awry:

60 mpg_UK/1.201 ~ 50 mpg_US and 76 mpg_UK/1.201 ~ 63 mpg_US ...

(or mpg_UK * 0.833 = mpg_US, whichever dangles your carrot).

Mind you it's late and I'm tired and I could be wrong, and I'm off to my burrow.

BTW, Chrysler UK do a 3.0 litre 300C saloon with an extra-urban 43 mpg_UK (~36 mpg_US). I think the nearest US model is the Chrysler 300, 2.7 litre V6 ... extra-urban (hwy) = 26 mpg_US (~31 mpg_UK).

Go figure!

Cymraeg llygoden

EliRabett said...

Isn't it 40 oz/ imperial qt? So the conversion factor is .8 US gallons/imperial gallon.

Eli always had good thoughts for the queen when drinking pints.

Anonymous said...

Near enough, either way really.

And imperial pints or not, roll on the Republic :-) (not that I've bad thoughts about HM really).

Cymraeg llygoden

Flavius Collium said...

Would be interesting to know where exactly European Fords or GM Opels are designed.

Some Astras have proven to be quite reliable actually too, though the first models were horrible.

You can get some used Chrysler Neons here for a pittance. American cars fare really badly in the annual reliability charts. Mercedes Benz has suffered there too in the last years. Mazda and Toyota are doing quite well. Ford, not very well. The Focus is nice to drive though, if you like a snappy feel.

Flavius Collium said...

Here are the TÜV reports, statistics of the reliability of car models lately in Germany (a large enough country to provide a big sample).

Magnus W said...

They did however pretty much destroy the good reputation Volvo and SAAB had... (Grr)

EliRabett said...

That pretty much happened when Volvo bought DAF:) the Trabi of the West

Anonymous said...

On the matter of conversion factors again. I follow Eli's fl. oz. argument (there is method in the 0.8 arrival -- but have not looked into it to find why the discrepancy), but my CRC (19th edn) Standard Mathematical Tables lists the conversion factor for gallon (US) to gallon (British) as 0.832675.

Small beer anyway, unless you're running on vapour and more than 2 miles from a filling station.

Cymraeg llygoden

EliRabett said...

the imperial oz is different. Shudda known (from the wikipedia/gallon)

The gallons in current use are subdivided into eight pints or four quarts. Pints are further subdivided into fluid ounces and liquid gallons are also subdivided into 32 gills, i.e. a quarter of a pint. The sub-units of pint and fluid ounce, despite having the same name in both Imperial and U.S. units, differ in volume and are therefore not interchangeable. The principal difference is that the Imperial pint contains 20 Imperial fluid ounces, whereas the U.S. pint contains 16 U.S. fluid ounces. A U.S. fluid ounce is approximately 4% bigger than an Imperial fluid ounce and therefore they are often used interchangeably, whereas U.S. and Imperial pints and gallons are sufficiently different that they should not be used interchangeably, although they often are.

OTOH that is STILL more beer

Anonymous said...

"The gallons in current use are subdivided into eight pints or four quarts. Pints are further subdivided into fluid ounces...
despite having the same name in both Imperial and U.S. units, differ in volume and are therefore not interchangeable"

..and some wonder why action to address climate change has gone nowhere.

good lord, you have to be a quantum mechanic to even figure out gas mileage.

Dano said...

When I lived Over There, the Ford Merkur XR4Ti came out, and the first few I saw were screaming past me on the Autobahn. IIRC they were 2.2 engines but lots of compression and horespower.

Anyway, the models over here were but mere shadows of the screamin' cars over there.



Anonymous said...

How not to make decent cars.

Pay your assembly line workers 100k a year.

Load them with crazed workrules and demarcation rules, to make them unproductive.

Load them with huge retiree benefits.

Make sure that there is no way of reducing payroll if business slows down. Load the costs of that into the cars.

Then introduce competition from startup companies which are located in the non-union South.

Have these companies draw on European or Japanese design and production engineering.

Have these companies start up with smaller, leaner dealer networks.

Stand back while your management continues to behave as if it were 1962, and there is no alternative but to buy their stuff.

Make sure you keep management overheads up high as well.

Then wonder why they don't make competitive cars and why people have stopped buying them.

Stand back and wait for the company to fall off the cliff.