Author Topic: New micro  (Read 8430 times)

marcus

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2676
    • http://marcusdemowbray.wordpress.com/
New micro
« on: August 07, 2015, 08:55:25 AM »
Not sure about the lack of a rear window, but this seems to be an interesting device at a sensible price:

http://www.eliomotors.com/
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

DaveMiller

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 346
Re: New micro
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 09:14:38 AM »
Looks very interesting ... but three cylinders, three airbags, aircon, power windows and central locking all standard, for £4,400 ??   Seems too good to be true ...
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 09:35:02 AM by DaveMiller »

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4578
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: New micro
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 09:22:49 AM »
Well I am glad you found the spec info, as could not. OK I like it, but I do not want aircon, power windows and central locking. Not sure I want three scumbags either. Can I have a lighter one, that is even more economical and a bit faster?

I will see if I can find more info, as so far it seems mainly froth. If they started in 2008 they have been a long time making something. A lot of pressure to sign up, with whizzy desply of peer pressure group. Rather smacks of an internet deposit ripoff.
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

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4578
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: New micro
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2015, 10:02:12 AM »
OK found the specs. More froth. Looked at the engine outfit IVA. They have never made an engine, only bits of engines. So look further. The new engine has so far failed to attend several public test dates.
THe original idea was to use the Suzuki Swift engine, good little unit. However having nailed the Elio on fuel economy, publishing a claim, they found the Swift engine could not meet the requirement. Doh!
So IVA would appear to have said. We can re engineer the Swift engine and make a better unit that is more economical. Clearly this will be a new engine from a source that has not manufactured an engine before. The dates are slipping and there is a problem. Yet rhere are some  42,000 alleged buyers waiting. If this was a real business would you not attempt to sell your 42,000 deposit paid customers an interim model, using the Swift engine, get production of the car started, and cash flowing to finance your development? Well if you know that not only can you not meet the claimed performance, but you cannot meet the claimed sale price you would not. You would, as an ex Stockbroker, use other peoples money to risk, full in the knowledge that if you fail, you can disappear without great loss. Oh, he was a taxi driver, too. His engineering background is an American new college degree.
Would I put my name down for one, no.
Would I buy one? Well its not a small car. It is 5 ft 6 in wide. Its over 14 ft long. A schmitt does the same job in nearly half the space! The quote its low is not true. It might be a tandem but its not really very aerodynamic. Add in an unknown power source. No, I will watch from the side and see if it works. Pity as it has a style I like and the potential is there. But I still sense a deposit ripoff. We have been here before of course with Fritz Fend's Fend 2000..........
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

plas man

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
Re: New micro
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 07:47:15 PM »
mmm , cheep to buy - bet you cant afford the spare's , dealer only had a Die-hat-su like that , 3 pots as well  (thats pots of money!) and it died  :(

AndyL

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
Re: New micro
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 09:08:26 PM »
Had my interest peaked by this car a couple of years back, but it seems the project has stalled.

I guess the lower oil prices have reduced the interest in more fuel efficient vehicles.

http://www.edison2.com/
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

AndrewG

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 288
Re: New micro
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 11:39:27 PM »
Elio has been just about to make this vehicle for a while, so one has to ask why haven't they done so?

The 900cc 3-cylinder 55hp engine sounds very much like the ubiquitous Chery copy of the superb Suzuki engine that lasted forever in things like the Daewoo Matiz/Chevrolet Spark.  So not exactly microcar except in overall appearance.

It's a lovely idea, but I don't think you can remove enough from a small car to make it significantly cheaper than a small four-wheeler/seater.  Even the technical and financial clout of Mercedes hasn't made the Smart car into a mainstream product and without that volume, the price goes up.

Jim Janecek

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 864
Re: New micro
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 12:34:13 AM »
The ELIO is also not a "car" because it is a 3-wheeler, so in the States it has to be registered as a Motorcycle and that requires a Motorcycle license in most States and other States will require a helmet.  There are also a few States that will not register an "enclosed trike" for road use.  So the actual market for this is very small. 

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4578
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: New micro
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 08:06:39 AM »
Ah, the officials. I would love to be wealthy. A three wheeler cannot be a car, not uncommon. So take one Citroen, remove a rear wheel and drive it around. Is that not a three wheeled car? What law is it otherwise breaking? Fight the court case, so leaving logic to dictate such a blanket statement as being unimaginative. Living in boxes just makes you square. But we are stuck with silly nonsense like this, wherever you are.

So all in all the Elio should have already happened, if it was going to. It looks like the hype beat reality, and what product was there, has been diminished by over optimistic ideas.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 08:11:08 AM by Big Al »
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

marcus

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2676
    • http://marcusdemowbray.wordpress.com/
Re: New micro
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2015, 08:20:45 AM »
Jim, I did not know that about 3 wlrs over there and it amazes me that so much work has been done without checking this out!

Also, hearing from Al about its size I can only say that for a vehicle of those dimensions interior space will be quite limited because of the "body between external front wheels" styling. In the 1950s and 60s this was acceptable for KRs, Inters Reyonnahs etc., but nowadays people tend to have more "stuff" to cart around.

Good point too about how much can you remove from a car to keep the price down, yet still have a vehicle which is  acceptable to a reasonable number of buyers.

I now get the feeling the idea was from a person who wanted to make a modern KR, but failed to do the most basic research into modern regulations and market.

The Smart car, and similar ones from Toyota, Citroen, Peugeot, GWhizz, Matiz and others are the nearest modern equivalent of classic era micros, and even with big backing they cannot get the price down that low. In fact, to make a car which is acceptably tough and well appointed for modern times, the Smart car is actually a lot more expensive than some compact cars like Suzuki Wagon, Daewoo, Matiz etc..
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4578
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: New micro
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2015, 08:50:22 AM »
Business knows that profit is in the additives. That's why supermarkets tempt you with dead animals with souce and chemicals added all ready. They can charge more for it, better margin, than just dead animal. (also hides bad practises of pumping full of water etc) In the same way a basic small car has not the margin of profit that one full of gadgets has. As long as you can convince folk they need all these gadgets you can sell them stuff they do not need. The only way of getting rich on a basic product is to sell loads of them. But its still harder work. So even basic cars have all sorts of promotional stylist limited editions to push up the margin. And people continually fall for it as having a bigger willy is so much more important then just getting from a to b. Only the economy and/or enforcement will change this, by putting the possibility out of affordability.
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

AndrewG

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 288
Re: New micro
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2015, 10:44:04 AM »
The ELIO is also not a "car" because it is a 3-wheeler, so in the States...

In the States it will also not have to pass crash tests, which is a major saving in cost and weight, if not human life.

There are a lot of weasel words on that Elio web site about crash protection, none of which say "our vehicle is substantially safer than the motorcycles and trikes with which we compare ourselves".

AndyL

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
Re: New micro
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2015, 02:43:13 PM »
I think Gordon Murray summed it up pretty well, when he said that in developing the T.25, he realised why car makers tend to avoid producing very small cars- it's very difficult to make good money out of them.

It takes pretty much the same amount of man hours to produce a small car as it does a larger one, only the material cost is lower, and that is a modest cost compared with time.

1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Jim Janecek

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 864
Re: New micro
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2015, 03:05:58 PM »
In the States it will also not have to pass crash tests, which is a major saving in cost and weight, if not human life.

Correct, and that is why all these "new microcars" that appear (and then dis-appear...) are all 3-wheelers.

The way that these small vehicle companies generally make money is not to sell the vehicles, but sell DEALERSHIPS or FRANCHISE opportunities.
Several years ago, USA was the last place on earth to be able to buy a SMART, so of course there was lots of talk about how cool they were and some pent up demand.  I know of at least two Registered US Government Importers (companies that were approved by the Federal Govt. to import and alter automobiles to US standards) that were competing to figure out how to make the SMART compliant so they could sell them.
One company on the West Coast beat the East Coast company by patenting a few key alterations, thereby giving them a monopoly on that market.  They proceeded to purchase some new and many off-lease SMARTs, about 100 or so I recall.
They would pay around $10K for them and then sell them for $25K or more after alterations.

A company called ZAP! was claiming to be the sole source of the converted SMARTS and was selling "dealerships" for $150K with the condition that the dealer was required to purchase X number of ZAP! vehicles.  Many suckers, entrepreneurs, paid tons of money for the "rights" to sell these things, but there were a limited number of SMARTS that could be sold.  ZAP! would then substitute these cheap Chinese electric 3-wheeled vehicles to their dealers to sell instead of SMARTS to fulfill the purchase agreements of their contract.
They sold many of these dealership "opportunities" and several of them sued ZAP! with settlements done out of court for ZAP! stock options and other things.

Interesting article on how this all operated can be read HERE

So my point is that the profit is not always in the thing itself. They could sell these at a loss and still be making money if the whole idea was to attract investors and then do a public offering of the company on the Stock Exchange.  The company could be hemorrhaging cash but once the IPO happens, the company owners become rich and the shareholders get stuck with what is left.   That may not be what is happening here but it is one option.

AndrewG

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 288
Re: New micro
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2015, 04:13:38 PM »
A lovely quote from that article:

Quote
The all-electric crossover SUV ... would not only produce 644 horsepower, rocketing it from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a Ferrari-esque 4.8 seconds, but would travel 350 miles on a single 10-minute charge.

I do think that believing that statement is a bit like walking around with "Please fleece me" written on your tee-shirt.

There is also a good living to be made by the 'entrepreneurs' developing these projects, always on other peoples' money.  Sure, the good times don't last forever, but you have to believe they save some of their earnings.

One of the wildest schemes was the Acabion which for years was a cabin motorcycle with outriggers.  It even got to a prototype stage, though it was never seen with its outriggers raised.  It has now morphed into a huge five-seat widebody glider on wheels