Author Topic: Will microcars ever take off in America?  (Read 2788 times)

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

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Will microcars ever take off in America?
« on: December 05, 2015, 12:44:43 AM »
Malcolm
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Jim Janecek

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 03:11:18 AM »
boy that Janecek guy they quote sure is a curmudgeon.   >:(

Big Al

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 08:54:16 AM »
Interesting. It fascinates me that you ask an engineer the questions and I can understand the answer. Artist, what is he talking about? Which is why I feel the design of stuff is best left to the engineers to get stuff right, then let the artist style it. I think auto design tends to work the other way round. But it is not where the majority of classic microcars, or possibly the best cars of any size, came from. No, do not get muddled up with Ferrari and stuff. I am talking about cars that function above the ability of their competition.
On top of that there is the need to meet stringent crash tests and protect idiots that walk into you. This clearly plays against a small light weight car. I am amazed at the amount of room there is not in modern small cars. So much space is lost to gubbins. The Smart actually wins here, though it fails on gadgets. Oh dear, there are some silly ones, when sensible ones would have aided to the car. That will be those artists again I expect. But the engineers 'manual' version is pathetic. The ability to change the colouring/style with panels is good. No two Smart need be the same. That jazziness gets them noticed. Something a small car needs to achieve to claim its rightful road-space. Sadly the Smart project blinked, and the biggest move from Europe has gone conservative.
I would be interested to know how many Kew class cars were marketed in the USA, We never really had the chance to buy. Now these really show that a small car can be a small big car. Are the Microcars, no. But I think the true microcar is probably unmarketable at the moment. Folk are addicted to excess, display of wealth and are very conservative buyers. But a microcar that has excess, yeah, that might sell (It would not really be a microcar, but don't tell).
The other traditional selling point is price. Ditch the gadgets, drop the price. That ever leaves margins low, though. Selling useless items is a great profit earner. As the man said you have to 'get people to desire' crap. My desire for a modern is nil. So I realise I do not actually need one. I imagine a considerable % of buyers could do the same if they woke up and thought for themselves. That would really shake things up, or get the State to ban old cars for their cor-pirate masters.
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Barry

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2015, 11:56:31 AM »

https://www.facebook.com/PeterStevensDesign/?fref=photo

Peter Stevens is a very well respected car designer and lives just a couple of miles from me.

Big Al

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2015, 01:23:26 PM »
Did the BMW 600 pre date the Fiat Multipla? Interested he rates the BMW Isetta design. In engineering terms its not really quite right. But ultimately it depends what your trying to do and if it sells as there is more than that to the equation.
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AndyL

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2015, 01:27:44 PM »
...perhaps, with a powerful enough engine and a good headwind.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2015, 04:28:09 PM »
The Multipla pre-dates the BMW 600 by well over a year.
Malcolm
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Jim Janecek

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2015, 05:22:47 PM »
The only way modern "microcars" will ever "take off in America" is when a combination of external factors occurs:

1: Higher fuel prices  (much, much higher)
2: Fuel Rationing
3: Insurance prices based on engine size or hp
4: Licensing/testing based on engine size or hp
5: Tax rates based on engine size or hp
6: Economic collapse

Chris Thomas

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2015, 08:13:55 PM »
Dear Jim

items 1, 2 and 6 are inter-related and items 3, 4 and 5 are inter-related, so when the economy collapses and the government tax big thirsty vehicles, then it will all kick off big time.

Could we see that in our life time? I doubt it.

Meanwhile we shall look out for the signs and hope the world economy does not collapse.

Chris Thomas

powerdrive

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2015, 10:18:54 PM »
Having recently visited America our family over there were debating whether to buy one of these 3 wheelers man says no way the lady likes the idea ,but apparently a debate is going on in some states which are demanding that drivers wear a crash helmet inside  ::) :-   :P 
  http://www.gizmag.com/elios-motors-delay-2016/35928/

Jim Janecek

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2015, 10:46:00 PM »
Having recently visited America our family over there were debating whether to buy one of these 3 wheelers man says no way the lady likes the idea ,but apparently a debate is going on in some states which are demanding that drivers wear a crash helmet inside  ::) :-   :P 

That is because in most states a motorcycle license is required to drive any modern 3-wheeled vehicle that is Registered as a "motorcycle".  Some states have helmet laws that require the use of a helmet when riding any motorcycle whether 2 or 3 wheels.
Then there is the problem that some of these enclosed 3-wheelers cannot be registered in some states even as motorcycles since they are "enclosed".  They have to be registered as "automobiles" but since they have not been crash tested as "automobiles" they can't be sold in those states.

Just the fact that one has to go through an ADDITIONAL drivers test (motorcycle class) in order to get a different license is throwing a wet towel on many of these plans but you will not hear the manufacturers talking about it.

Jim Janecek

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2015, 10:48:55 PM »
I meant SOME combination of those factors I listed above.
They don't ALL have to happen in order for Americans to embrace modern microcars.

Big Al

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Re: Will microcars ever take off in America?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2015, 12:21:39 PM »
The state legalities and regulation have a big bearing on what people drive. Look at the proliferation of the pug ugly pick up, now 4WD saloons are taxed as a luxury oil burners. Niche market created by Gov interferance. It is ever thus.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs