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#51 Greg Locock

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 22:22

And when you answer, please state whether you own any GM stock.

I don't because I'm not an American taxpayer (low blow).

I had enormous problems with the Volt design from a technical standpoint right the way through, and the resulting design and performance justify that position. It is bad design well executed. I also disliked the hype about it and the mouth-breathers made any sensible discussion of the powertrain architecture impossible.

If I ran GM I'd put some money into the Corvette's interior, and maybe try and drag the body structure into the 90s, if that hasn't been done (I haven't driven one for 22 years). But I doubt that would increase profitability.

Late edit: here's a partial list of torsional rigidity figures, stolen from http://www.germancar...rigidity.12334/

note that BMW make a fetish of achieving high stiffness in their sedans, Porsche on the other have always been happy to work around a low figure. I am responsible for 1450 of the Esprit number by the way!


BMW X5 (2004) - 23,100 Nm/degree
BMW E90: 22,500 Nm/deg
BMW Z4 Coupe, 32,000Nm/degree
BMW Z4 Roadster: 14,500 Nm/deg
Bugatti Veyron - 60,000 Nm/degree
Chrysler Crossfire 20,140 Nm/deg
Chrysler Durango 6,800 Nm/deg
Chevrolet Corvette C5 9,100 Nm/deg
Dodge Viper Coupe 7,600 Nm/deg
Ferrari 360 Spider 8,500 Nm/deg
Ford GT: 27,100 Nm/deg
Ford GT40 MkI 17,000 Nm/deg
Ford Mustang 2003 16,000 Nm/deg
Ford Mustang 2005 21,000 Nm/deg
Ford Mustang Convertible (2003) 4,800 Nm/deg
Ford Mustang Convertible (2005) 9,500 Nm/deg
Jaguar X-Type Sedan 22,000 Nm/deg

Koenigsegg - 28.100 Nm/degree
Lambo Murcielago 20,000 Nm/deg
Lotus Elan 7,900 Nm/deg
Lotus Elan GRP body 8,900 Nm/deg
Lotus Elise 10,000 Nm/deg
Lotus Elise 111s 11,000 Nm/deg
Lotus Esprit SE Turbo 5,850 Nm/deg
Porsche 911 Turbo (2000) 13,500 Nm/deg
Porsche 959 12,900 Nm/deg
Porsche Carrera GT - 26,000Nm/degree

There are enormous problems with lists like these, as test technique will have a significant contribution. None the less, if you were to draw a line, 15-20000 looks like being a reasonable target for a modern car with a tin roof.

The downside of having a relatively soft body is that squeaks and rattles get a lot worse, it is more difficult to tune the shocks, and the shake performance on rougher roads gets a lot worse. The advantage is the potential weight saving, and obviously smaller chassis members mean better packaging.

Edited by Greg Locock, 20 January 2013 - 22:44.


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#52 phoenix101

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 22:59

That'd be the case for something like the Mercedes SLR GT3, but that doesn't seem to be the justification for Mercedes in F1 and DTM.


DTM = NASCAR

Everyone can buy the stuff, not everyone can squeeze the last 1% out of the equipment. Now that refueling is banned in DTM, fuel strategy often decides the victor, similar to NASCAR. SuperGT is headed the same direction. Aussie V8 Supercars is already there.

Engines in F1 are equalized, frozen, and homologated, ATM. Mercedes may not earn money from its F1 activities, but F1 uses BoP for engine manufacturers, and they create financial incentives for leasing to other teams. The aero is not balanced so F1 development spending goes into producing useless (but fun) race cars. Part of the reason BMW, Honda, and Toyota withdrew is b/c aerodynamicists have all of the power in the F1 paddock. Drivers and engine builders are just participating in their game.

In general, the problem with racing is that engine development is either useless or dead--killed by BoP and horsepower regulations. LMP1 and F1 are switching to fuel-flow-limiting to see if they can break the powertrain stagnation. ACO GTE, home of the Corvette C6R, is moving towards BoP. Chevrolet will participate to sell race cars.

#53 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:14

Chevrolet in NASCAR and Mercedes in DTM are making far less in customer sales than they are spending on R&D and sponsorship checks. And that assumes Chevy gets a cut of everyone purchase of a Hendrick engine or chassis.

Aero might be "part of the reason" BMW Honda and Toyota left, but it wasn't the deciding reason.

#54 phoenix101

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:22

The Volt vs. Corvette thing has been notoriously described this way: The Volt is an investment in the future, while the Corvette is an investment in the past.

Thoughts?


I'm not sure why the Corvette is chided for being 'old fashioned', but the 911 is praised for being traditional and staying true to its roots. I suppose water-cooling could be the exception, but most Porsche buyers are hardcore believers in the brand, not the technical nuances of the 911.

It's a strange situation. A ZR1 will beat almost anything around a track other than the most exotic hypercars. The Corvette C6.R has a great competition record. Yet, the Corvette is still regarded as a mullet rocket, laden with outdated technology. Corvette has a brand problem. The weirdest part of their brand problem is that GM love to pretend their other products are better than the competition, but when they actually have a car that is demonstrably better than most performance vehicles, they can't market it. :confused:

The brand problem prevents sales. I wouldn't want to own a Corvette b/c it is regarded as old-fashioned-scrap for white-haired seniors. Why pay $60K to have people think ill of you? They have to do something with the Corvette. The C7 does little to change its image.

#55 phoenix101

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:06

Chevrolet in NASCAR and Mercedes in DTM are making far less in customer sales than they are spending on R&D and sponsorship checks.


True, and the organizers lack the ability or the motivation to stop them from spending. Regardless, the manufacturers no longer spend money to develop a meaningful competitive advantage, which translates into production car sales. They can say it until their blue in the face, but it won't be true. Air-restricted GT racing and BoP have very little to do with the showroom models.

Fuel-flow-limiting, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish. If they use FFL in production car racing, and thermal efficiency technologies are required to be near-stock, and engine placement is required to be close to stock, the manufacturers can draw parallels between the showroom and the track.

#56 MatsNorway

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:44

BoP ruins it for the Corvette. I seriously doubt a Ferrari 4whatever, 911 NA, or a silly BMW Zsomething could keep up if they where allowed to race in a series where hp where not limited to puny 500ish hp. Even with a kg/engine size ratio the corvette would do decent.

One thing corvette needs to consider is to ditch the rubber spring thing underneath. Its not that great of a idea? i know its light, but they switch to coilovers in racing for a reason. And the corvette is constantly bragging about the development from racing.

#57 Magoo

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 13:36

I had enormous problems with the Volt design from a technical standpoint right the way through, and the resulting design and performance justify that position. It is bad design well executed. I also disliked the hype about it and the mouth-breathers made any sensible discussion of the powertrain architecture impossible.


Could you *unpack* your objection a bit? (This week's hip corporate jargon.) Are you unimpressed with the extended-range BEV concept itself or with the way GM approached it?

Edited by Magoo, 21 January 2013 - 13:37.


#58 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 14:00

Wait, the Volt is hyped? In a positive way? I need to travel internationally more often...

#59 MatsNorway

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 18:48

What volt....


"The use of carbonfibre for the bonnet and removable roof panel"

Wait... Does the corvette have a targa roof? Is that the only option??

Hahahaha. they blew it so hard. Topless cars are showoffs. gimmicky, bling, not clean design, unpure, compromise, heavier..






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#60 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 19:35

A Corvette by nature is show off.

#61 mariner

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 19:58

I don't because I'm not an American taxpayer (low blow).

I had enormous problems with the Volt design from a technical standpoint right the way through, and the resulting design and performance justify that position. It is bad design well executed. I also disliked the hype about it and the mouth-breathers made any sensible discussion of the powertrain architecture impossible.

If I ran GM I'd put some money into the Corvette's interior, and maybe try and drag the body structure into the 90s, if that hasn't been done (I haven't driven one for 22 years). But I doubt that would increase profitability.

Late edit: here's a partial list of torsional rigidity figures, stolen from http://www.germancar...rigidity.12334/

note that BMW make a fetish of achieving high stiffness in their sedans, Porsche on the other have always been happy to work around a low figure. I am responsible for 1450 of the Esprit number by the way!


BMW X5 (2004) - 23,100 Nm/degree
BMW E90: 22,500 Nm/deg
BMW Z4 Coupe, 32,000Nm/degree
BMW Z4 Roadster: 14,500 Nm/deg
Bugatti Veyron - 60,000 Nm/degree
Chrysler Crossfire 20,140 Nm/deg
Chrysler Durango 6,800 Nm/deg
Chevrolet Corvette C5 9,100 Nm/deg
Dodge Viper Coupe 7,600 Nm/deg
Ferrari 360 Spider 8,500 Nm/deg
Ford GT: 27,100 Nm/deg
Ford GT40 MkI 17,000 Nm/deg
Ford Mustang 2003 16,000 Nm/deg
Ford Mustang 2005 21,000 Nm/deg
Ford Mustang Convertible (2003) 4,800 Nm/deg
Ford Mustang Convertible (2005) 9,500 Nm/deg
Jaguar X-Type Sedan 22,000 Nm/deg

Koenigsegg - 28.100 Nm/degree
Lambo Murcielago 20,000 Nm/deg
Lotus Elan 7,900 Nm/deg
Lotus Elan GRP body 8,900 Nm/deg
Lotus Elise 10,000 Nm/deg
Lotus Elise 111s 11,000 Nm/deg
Lotus Esprit SE Turbo 5,850 Nm/deg
Porsche 911 Turbo (2000) 13,500 Nm/deg
Porsche 959 12,900 Nm/deg
Porsche Carrera GT - 26,000Nm/degree

There are enormous problems with lists like these, as test technique will have a significant contribution. None the less, if you were to draw a line, 15-20000 looks like being a reasonable target for a modern car with a tin roof.

The downside of having a relatively soft body is that squeaks and rattles get a lot worse, it is more difficult to tune the shocks, and the shake performance on rougher roads gets a lot worse. The advantage is the potential weight saving, and obviously smaller chassis members mean better packaging.


Greg, I read all these numbers but three things occour to me.

1) who measured them and was it done in standardised way so you really can compare them in engineering terms. ( I cant access the site)

2 For handling ( not NVH) is there a minimum ratio of torsional stiffness to wheel spring rate that will ensure the spring/dampers do most of the work not the chassis.

3) has anybody ever tried to test torsional rigidity versus handling on a scientific back to back procedure. For example did somebody at Lotus put a full cage into an Esprit and re run it round Hethel and found it was 1 second a lap quicker?


#62 Canuck

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 20:14

The Bugatti's 60,000 stands out like a sore thumb. Is that number legit in any way?

#63 mariner

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 20:45

I think, to clarify my question to Greg, you can't look at this data in isolation. ignroing the wonders of aero in F1, as a car gets heavioer it needs higher rate springs. As the spring rate goes up the chassis has to get stiffer if the springs/dampera are to control things rather than body flex.

So in comparing numbers I would think you do a "reynolds number " thing and divide the quoted torsional stiffnes by the spring rate if known. Or divide TS by weight .


As a Veryon weighs 2000 kg and an Elise weighs 650 kg I would be tempted to divide the Veyron number by 3 before drawing comparisions

#64 Greg Locock

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 21:57

1) who measured them and was it done in standardised way so you really can compare them in engineering terms. ( I cant access the site)

2 For handling ( not NVH) is there a minimum ratio of torsional stiffness to wheel spring rate that will ensure the spring/dampers do most of the work not the chassis.

3) has anybody ever tried to test torsional rigidity versus handling on a scientific back to back procedure. For example did somebody at Lotus put a full cage into an Esprit and re run it round Hethel and found it was 1 second a lap quicker?

4) The Bugatti's 60,000 stands out like a sore thumb. Is that number legit in any way?

5)Or divide TS by weight .


1), no that was a collected list from a variety of sources. the numbers I know on it look about right, but that is less than 20% of the complete list. As I said, test technique matters, it probably gives a difference of 10-20% between different facilities eg some people might measure at the shock mounts, others at the spring towers, some may brace across the car, others may use hydraulics. We did it in a garage by supporting the chassis at 3 of the spring towers and applying load (25 kg sacks) at the 4th. We emasure deflections along both chassis rails and a few other points. Then we did the same at the other end. Then I used FEA to back out the bending and torsional stiffness of the chassis. Not ideal.

2) Surprisingly low, the Esprit was much easier to tune after we stiffened the thing by 1400

3)I don't know. I expect Mazda have. The trouble is you need to retune the springs sta bar and shocks between the two experiments, so what are you really testing? The esprit, untuned, after the stiffening exercise was a bag full of understeer, which was a first time ever.

4)I share your cynicism, but I suppose a full composite tub and roof structure with no real need to worry about weight could be pretty stiff, I'd rather try and reach 60 with a veyron than a 4 seater 4 door made of steel, for example.

5) Bingo - stiffness divided by weight is proportional to resonant frequency squared. That's why people often quote frequencies (plus they are a lot easier to measure)







#65 Greg Locock

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 22:33

Could you *unpack* your objection a bit? (This week's hip corporate jargon.) Are you unimpressed with the extended-range BEV concept itself or with the way GM approached it?

As I said, it is a bad design, well executed. A series hybrid operating as an EV suffers from lugging around an unused engine and fuel tank, and when it operates as a gasoline car it is lugging around an enormous battery. Consequently the range as an EV suffers, and the fuel consumption as a gas car suffers. If your intention is low running cost this is relatively unimportant, if you are hyping the greenness of the solution then you have missed the point.

If you look at capital cost, again everything is bigger than it needs to be because it is only used half the time. So your low running cost is masked by high capital cost. As a result the Volt is an expensive car to own, and has unremarkable CO2 emissions, overall. It does use less oil than any competitive vehicle typically, so if that is your sole criterion, go for it.

This duplication is why a Prius with its series/parallel architecture has more seats, is lighter, cheaper, and has better fuel consumption. The straight line performance is much worse, as a Prius makes do with only one integrated power unit. However if I wanted a dragster I wouldn't start from either concept.

As to hype, that show car was disgusting. Everybody with 2 braincells knew that the final car would bear no significant resemblance to it.

I am glad they built it and made a good job of it, as the numbers it generates are a very useful real world proof of the paper written in the 70s that outlined the various architecture choices, I'm tempted to say it was by TRW or Teledyne, it was in the original Prius press pack.

Having said all that and sounding like the Prius is the be all and end all, I'm less than convinced that hybrids or PHEVs or EVs have any long term future as a large proportion of normal vehicles. For some people each architecture has its advantages, but overall, the extra weight and complexity make any tradeoffs very difficult. Gamechangers would be - Peak Oil, significantly smaller motors and electronics, better battery chemistry, widespread electric power generation from non fossil sources, proof of AGW and a will to do something effective about it. You will see an incremental push from each of those, but my bet is that in 2025 you or your robot will drive an oil powered car with a slightly larger capacity battery, possibly not lead acid, some sort of regen for city cars, a clever auto box without a torque converter, and no tow bar.


#66 phoenix101

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 23:10

You will see an incremental push from each of those, but my bet is that in 2025 you or your robot will drive an oil powered car with a slightly larger capacity battery, possibly not lead acid, some sort of regen for city cars, a clever auto box without a torque converter, and no tow bar.


I think the battery capacity will be reduced or remain the same, unless consumers begin purchasing superfluous battery capacity as they purchase superfluous horsepower. Eventually, the manufacturers will get carbon-reinforced polymers sorted, and cars will weigh 800kg-1000kg. Less energy will be available for recapture during coasting and braking. Less power will be required for electric drive mode. Battery capacity should fall proportionally with vehicle weight, imo.

As vehicle weight falls, heat recapture should become the technological zeitgeist. Cars will feature 1.0L twin-charged (exhaust turbo spool and electronic turbo spool) Miller cycle engines, with exhaust heat recapture systems fitted to the turbo and exhaust equipment. Since the energy will be used continuously as it is generated, the battery capacity will not be affected by additional recapture, imo.

#67 Greg Locock

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 00:19

Yup, heat management will become much more commonplace than it is now, in fact I'd expect some real attempt at insulation in the roof and firewall, at least in Oz, and probably Alaska.

if regen is used then the lead acids will have to get bigger, or you could use supercaps.

#68 MatsNorway

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:51

A Corvette by nature is show off.


Porsche and Ferrari says rich show off much more effective..

#69 gruntguru

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:11

I think by 2025 the cost of oil vs baseload electricity will have shifted 100% or more giving the advantage to EVs or EV + small range extender (which the Volt should have been).

Hang on - is this the right thread?

Edited by gruntguru, 22 January 2013 - 07:12.


#70 just me again

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:49

Is there an EV with a small range extender in production. An EV with maybe a 20HP motor wich will run with constant RPM in the trunk. I think his will a workable idea, wich would negate some of the range provlems with an EV.

BJørn

#71 MatsNorway

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:13

I think by 2025 the cost of oil vs baseload electricity will have shifted 100% or more giving the advantage to EVs or EV + small range extender (which the Volt should have been).

Hang on - is this the right thread?


Not at all.

Any comments on the targa roof?

All i can say about targa roof is that there is not a single well known targa car in the history considered to be a classic.

Edited by MatsNorway, 22 January 2013 - 09:15.


#72 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:56

I have said it before and will say it again. Electric, hybrid, green, ecobox cars are largely useless in the real world. They are metro area hacks, and should have a barring feature so as they do not leave the metro area.
And after all said and done are really not green at all as the waste is far worse than a normal vehicle.They cost way too much, cost way too much to service, are too damn heavy and grossly underpowered.
On my epic trip last week I passed a Qld registered Camry hybrid somewhere near Mildura. 80kmh in a 110 zone, in the middle of the road. If he drove at 110k he probably would use more fuel than the v8 Landcruiser I was driving. It is damn near as heavy and half the size!
But the trendy can say they are green!! As green as the 'enviro' bags they cart around stinking in their cars. That take about a 1000 years to break down when they break and go to landfill.

#73 mariner

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:14

GM still owns Opel, and Opel cars are not sold in the US. GM lost an estimated $1.5 billion from Opel-Vauxhall operations in 2012.

The GM corporation was given a $50 billion bailout by US taxpayers in 2009 in return for some GM stock, and since then GM has paid back around $8 billion of that money. At GM's current share price the stock held by US taxpayers is worth about $15 billion, which means that US taxpayers currently would see a $27 billion net loss.

The only vehicles that GM currently sells at a profit are Corvettes, Camaros, trucks, and SUVs.



I dont think that's necessarily true - "profit per car" is not a simple number. When GM went bankrupt the Geithner reports indicated its gross margin ( net mfr price from dealer less variable costs) was about 30%. Even if GM's cutbacks and layoff's had nil impact on variable cost it would be making a similar profit per car today. It was fixed and particularly contractual benefits liabilities which meant it was insolvent for years before it went into chapter 11. Whatever the "rights or wrongs " of the bale-out it still had productive factories.

To put that in perspective , in as much as you can trust any published headcount numbers from any companies, GM currently makes 45 cars per total employee , BMW makes 19 - but is massively more profitable due to premium pricing power.

GM makes good money in China ( its biggest market now) and usually some money in Latin America. It now makes OK money in the USA but loses huge amounts in Europe, as do Fiat, Renault, PSA, Ford i.e every volume mfr except VW/Audi ( VAG).

The European market hads fallen so much its back to 1998 levels. VAG, through good work have held volume flat so they now own 25% of the EU market. GM, PSA and Fat combined barely match the VAG volume. They all make a variable ( gross margin) profit on each car but they cant cover fixed costs at less than 1998 volumes.

The only real solution is to 1) beat VAG at its own game - i.e outsell the Golf and have a premium line like Audi based on your base Golfs etc. or 2) close plants to dump fixed cost and share teh R+D with volume outside Europe.

I doubt GM, Fiat or PSA telling that , thier problem is implementing it.

Edited by mariner, 22 January 2013 - 10:44.


#74 Magoo

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:37

I dont think that's necessarily true - "profit per car" is not a simple number. When GM went bankrupt the Geithner reports indicated its gross margin ( net mfr price from dealer less variable costs) was about 30%. Even if GM's cutbacks and layoff's had nil impact on variable cost it would be making a similar profit per car today. It was fixed and particularly contractual benefits liabilities which meant it was insolvent for years before it went into chapter 11. Whatever the "rights or wrongs " of the bale-out it still had productive factories.

To put that in perspective , in as much as you can trust any published headcount numbers from any companies, GM currently makes 45 cars per total employee , BMW makes 19 - but is massively more profitable due to premium pricing power.

GM makes good money in China ( its biggest market now) and usually some money in Latin America. It now makes OK money in the USA but loses huge amounts in Europe, as do Fiat, Renault, PSA, Ford i.e every volume mfr except VW/Audi ( VAG).

The European market hads fallen so much its back to 1998 levels. VAG, through good work have held volume flat so they now own 25% of the EU market. GM, PSA and Fat combined barely match the VAG volume. They all make a variable ( gross margin) profit on each car but they cant cover fixed costs at less than 1998 volumes.

The only real solution is to 1) beat VAG at its own game - i.e outsell the Golf and have a premium line like Audi based on your base Golfs etc. or 2) close plants to dump fixed cost and share teh R+D with volume outside Europe.

I doubt GM, Fiat or PSA telling that , thier problem is implementing it.


All good points. GM + PSA are trying to hammer something out as we speak.

...the global car biz will always be geographically cyclic in nature. Calms in one part of the world allow them to weather storms in another. In both China and Europe, economic conditions are transitory.

Also worth consideration: the potential profitability of a vehicle that does <12,000 units/yr in a company that does 9,000,000+ units/yr. Depends what you mean by profitability. Loose coins in the cushions, perhaps.


#75 Magoo

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 14:50

As to hype, that show car was disgusting. Everybody with 2 braincells knew that the final car would bear no significant resemblance to it.


That's hardly unique to the Volt. Speaking of the 2014 Corvette Stingray, compare the concept to the eventual production vehicle. That's the process. The whole idea is to move the chains forward every down. (American football metaphor.) In most every concept vehicle are features that can never make production--until one day, they finally do.


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#76 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 15:03

Also worth consideration: the potential profitability of a vehicle that does <12,000 units/yr in a company that does 9,000,000+ units/yr. Depends what you mean by profitability. Loose coins in the cushions, perhaps.



But. And this is a good question for Greg. How much more expensive is it to R&D a 100k car vs a 20k car? The margins have to be pretty good the higher you go up the ladder.

#77 Greg Locock

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 22:29

But. And this is a good question for Greg. How much more expensive is it to R&D a 100k car vs a 20k car? The margins have to be pretty good the higher you go up the ladder.

Depends what you mean by R&D. The engineering+tooling cost for a new program is largely volume dependent, and also obviously changes depending on program content. A worldwide C class (Focus) car probably runs two billion in up front costs to Job 1, worst case I know of was 6 billion for one of Ford's 'world' cars (a CD), before One Ford, so it was essentially 3 cars. Our SUV built on a devleopment of an existing platform cost about 1/2 a billion

The sums work out like this:

up front cost 2 billion
refresh costs/in cycle actions 1200 million

Say cycle is 8 years so you have to make 400 million 'profit' a year selling that car, at 30% gross margin and 10000 build cost that is 120000 cars a year.

That hasn't made you any money, and no bank would support that business model. Note what happens when you sell 150000 a year at the same price. Happy bank. I doubt anybody would claim to be able to predict sales out for 8 years to +/- 20%, hence the number of heart attacks and ulcers.

Now you can work backwards for a 100000 dollar car, if you are selling 5000 a year, build cost is probably 30000 or 40000. I don't know how dealer margins work in the stratosphere, so let's work on the same 30% at the factory gates.

8years*5000 car per year*.3*35000=480 million to spend on pre job 1 engineering and tooling and in cycle actions. Assume same split as above, say 300 million up front (this seems a gross over estimate to me).

To be honest I suspect Magoo has a much better handle on this stuff than me.





#78 gruntguru

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:26

On my epic trip last week I passed a Qld registered Camry hybrid somewhere near Mildura. 80kmh in a 110 zone, in the middle of the road. If he drove at 110k he probably would use more fuel than the v8 Landcruiser I was driving. It is damn near as heavy and half the size!

Steady speed cruise economy depends mostly on frontal area and drag coefficient - and very little on weight.

Camry hybrid - Urban 5.7 L/100km, Hwy 4.9
Landcruiser V8 petrol - Urban 18.4, Hwy 10.9

#79 bigleagueslider

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:29

The Volt vs. Corvette thing has been notoriously described this way: The Volt is an investment in the future, while the Corvette is an investment in the past......Thoughts?


Magoo-

I would disagree. In theory, the principle behind any business financial "investment" is to generate some sort return that provides increased value. The shareholder money GM has spent on designing and manufacturing new Corvettes year-after-year, for the past 5+ decades, has always produced profits for those shareholders. Thus, this spending would definitely qualify as an "investment" in the future, since without the annual profits produced by Corvette sales, there would be no company funds available to develop money-losing vehicles like the Volt. The only reason the Volt even exists is because US taxpayers provided GM over $2B to develop the Volt, and now provide over $14K worth of various subsidies for each Volt sold.

I accept your correction about the profits from GM's Cadillac and Buick products. However, I'd like to provide some historical perspective on annual sales numbers of GM vehicles. When GM halted Camaro production (around 10 years ago) due to low sales volumes, they were still selling over 30,000 Camaros per year at a modest profit. Compare that to annual Volt sales of less than half that number, with each Volt sale producing a huge loss for GM.


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#80 Magoo

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 15:07

To be honest I suspect Magoo has a much better handle on this stuff than me.



I'm not sure. I know it's possible to build 9 million cars and lose $30 billion in a year because I've seen it done twice. It's hard to give a specific answer except to a very specific question. What kind of car, what kind of volume, how much assembly sharing, etc. You can do a low-volume car pretty cheap if it doesn't have to be very good. Original Viper. It was a Detroit production car, sort of.

#81 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 17:24

Steady speed cruise economy depends mostly on frontal area and drag coefficient - and very little on weight.

Camry hybrid - Urban 5.7 L/100km, Hwy 4.9
Landcruiser V8 petrol - Urban 18.4, Hwy 10.9


Might be getting a bit off topic but I offer some real life fuel economy results. My wife's turbo diesel auto Astra regularly gets 7.5 L/100km in town and 5.0 on highway journeys at speed limits.

Bears out accuraccy of Grunt's comment on frontal area and drag affecting cruise economy. I strongly suspect that the Prius/Camry figures in town beat the Astra due to use of battery versus my wife's heavy foot after stops. The relatively small difference in fuel use means that the extra cost of the Toyotamobiles will never pay back. Well never might be a bit of exageration, may be after 300,000 km or so!

Regards

#82 meb58

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:52

If future global warming (propaganda) maintains its pace, the Volt is certainly a future and the Vette is the past. Who's determining our social ethic...and therefore our choices?



The Volt vs. Corvette thing has been notoriously described this way: The Volt is an investment in the future, while the Corvette is an investment in the past.

Thoughts?



#83 Magoo

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:36

Speaking of Corvettes, big photo essay with rare period images, LINK:


Sixty Years of Corvettes | Mac's Motor City Garage.com


Posted Image


#84 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:42

If future global warming (propaganda) maintains its pace...


Yeah, it's all a massive scam to dupe the oil companies into funding research showing it isn't happening. Provisionally the film rights are known as Oceans 14.

#85 meb58

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 15:10

It's an interesting point ( global warming hype or not) from a marketing and product development perspective. How long will cars like the Corvette or Ferrari 458 Italia be around? Take the Weather Channel here in the US this morning; the back drop behind the two weather folks was a near full screen picture of the globe, the entire southern hemisphere wrapped in a moving cloud cover with the caption, "Globe AT Risk". This nonsense begins to develop a social paranoia pushing folks away from cars/products like the Corvette...they become socially irresponsible products shifting consumer dollars elsewhere...we are at times gullible sheep.

Oceans 14...presumably the height at which oceans will rise...

Yeah, it's all a massive scam to dupe the oil companies into funding research showing it isn't happening. Provisionally the film rights are known as Oceans 14.


Edited by meb58, 24 January 2013 - 15:12.


#86 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 15:31

Well, I'd love to see the argument that the Corvette is any way socially responsible. It's certainly not good for your gas budget.

#87 meb58

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 15:41

...I buy a Corvette and drive it 3,000 miles a year and another guy buys a Prius and drives it 60,000 miles a year...oh, and the guy driving the Prius is drinking a bottle of Fiji water...I fill a bottle from my tap. Social consciousness has a comatose component.

Well, I'd love to see the argument that the Corvette is any way socially responsible. It's certainly not good for your gas budget.


Edited by meb58, 24 January 2013 - 15:42.


#88 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 16:17

So you're getting less bang for your buck?

#89 meb58

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 16:34

Well, if I drive the Vette at top speed for 3,000 miles and then the Prius at top speed for 60,000 miles, the less bang for the buck is less than at first blush :drunk: The Hybrid motor's contribution at some point falls way off...the Prius goes ever slower and fuel consumption goes up. Either way, I'll need a pee break.

We submit our social consciousness from a conceited reference point, and I'm no different, obviously. I like Corvette and Ferrari, as but two examples, but I drive a Golf Diesel ~45K miles per year. It makes sense, for me


So you're getting less bang for your buck?


Edited by meb58, 24 January 2013 - 16:37.


#90 gruntguru

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 21:57

Good point. How many people buy Corvette as their primary means of transport? For most it is just a toy and annual fuel use is quite low. A bit like motor racing I suppose.

#91 Magoo

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 22:13

My next door neighbor's cars include two Priuses (Prii?) driven daily and a 2012 Shelby GT500 driven for pleasure. For this family, these vehicle choices make perfect sense to me. Personally, I have never followed the thinking that if one endeavors to be "green," one must live one's life eating bark in the woods or one is somehow a hypocrite. That seems screwy to me.

#92 meb58

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 13:31

And further, some of these exotics get hammered with gas Guzzler tax. If in my analogy above the guy in the Corvette really drives 2,000 - 3,000 miles per year and the Prii - nice - drive 60,000 miles per year, who uses more gas? Or are we saying as a society, as Magoo wrote, we must eat from tree bark for the rest of our lives? Back to roll centers...oops, wrong thread...

#93 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 14:31

But that's a false comparison. Because it's not 3k vs 60k but what is the most appropriate vehicle for each category.

#94 meb58

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 14:58

I understand, however, there is more than one way to view purchasing rationale...much of it is personal, driven by money/budget, common sense, prestige and image. I am more poking fun at the references we - the general public - use to judge what other folks, in this context, purchase. We make judgements instead of being curious, or minding our own business...and taking a huge leap here, we make policy based on the cumulation of those judgments - a trend.

In reality, I don't think the Corvette segment will die from the perspective of fuel mileage. I think that segment is losing it's demographic to some extent as many of these types of cars are not primary transportation; shrinking consumer dollars may well define this segments fate.

By the way, the image of the guy drinking a Fiji while driving his Prius was real...I was tempted to challenge his perspective. But perhaps on that day, that was the only choice available to him. Had he had a refridge full of the stuff we might have to wonder...or at least I would.

Edited by meb58, 25 January 2013 - 15:09.


#95 MatsNorway

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 15:00

But that's a false comparison. Because it's not 3k vs 60k but what is the most appropriate vehicle for each category.


I disagree. If i choose to take the bus to afford a corvette why should i pay gas gusler price.

Why can`t they just tax the fuel so it pays of more to save it...

#96 meb58

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 15:24

This has been one of my chief arguments about the gas guzzler tax. How do we tax a guy or gal for buying a Corvette who may only drive 3,000 miles a year when, in my perfect world, the Prius is using much more fuel during the course of a year? And in particular, the Corvette gets pretty good mileage on the highway...the Prius' mileage drops off on the highway, closing the fairly substantial mpg gap. I submit, we're taxing a choice, not fuel consumption.

I disagree. If i choose to take the bus to afford a corvette why should i pay gas gusler price.

Why can`t they just tax the fuel so it pays of more to save it...


Edited by meb58, 25 January 2013 - 15:25.


#97 Magoo

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 17:11

The problem with a gasoline tax is it's highly regressive. The poor guy working for minimum wage needs a gallon of gasoline to get to work just like I do. However, the tax he pays on his gallon is a much greater percentage of his income than mine. He can barely afford the gasoline let alone the tax.

...and this is how the working poor in the USA often pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than the more affluent... a fact totally lost on one of our national political parties, morons.

I think a gas guzzler or horsepower tax on vehicle sales is far preferable since the taxation is focused on those who can most afford to pay. I don't claim it's perfect but let's not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

#98 meb58

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 20:34

I agree that there isn't really another 'more perfect' way, but does the gas guzzler tax dissuade the high end purchase and does it reduce the tax burden on the less fortunate?





#99 Powersteer

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:00

Marketing, no one outside the US ever read up on anything new GM is doing but with the release of the Corvette its the other way around. If they make it good, you would see posters of the C7 in China. Feasibility within the USA? Of course. Do you know how much it hurts an economy when expensive branded products are imported into a country? Its the complete opposite when exporting. So if americans buy their own supercar it would be a contributing factor, also to draw confidence on their own society into comeback to buy American. This brings back the Prius argument that it is how sharp car manufacturers are in looking into a problem and taking advantage of it.

:cool:

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#100 gruntguru

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:34

The problem with a gasoline tax is it's highly regressive. The poor guy working for minimum wage needs a gallon of gasoline to get to work just like I do. However, the tax he pays on his gallon is a much greater percentage of his income than mine. He can barely afford the gasoline let alone the tax.

...and this is how the working poor in the USA often pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than the more affluent... a fact totally lost on one of our national political parties, morons.

I think a gas guzzler or horsepower tax on vehicle sales is far preferable since the taxation is focused on those who can most afford to pay. I don't claim it's perfect but let's not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

It depends what you want the tax to acchieve. If the object is to punish the naughty people that buy thirsty cars, use a gas guzzler tax. If you want to reduce fuel usage and save the planet, reduce reliance on imports etc - apply a fuel tax. A small fuel tax will reduce consumption far more than a big gas-guzzler tax. Everyone can reduce their fuel use including the poor guy on minimum wage. If the fuel price goes up 5% he only has to reduce his mileage by 2 - 3% to recoup the impost. Walk to the shops occasionally, organise yourself to shop less often, car pool, get the car tuned . . . . . etc.

Additionally there is always someone at the margin who will make a major decision after even a small price rise - upgrade the car, start using public transport, purchase a bicycle.

It is easy to say "oh but taxes are regressive". The reality is, a fuel tax is the fairest (user pays) way to pay for road infrastructure and maintenance, and a host of less obvious costs to society like environmental degradation, road trauma, public health etc.

Edited by gruntguru, 26 January 2013 - 02:35.