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[#] Mon Sep 22 2008 22:27:03 EDT from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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The 7 Ugliest Cars Ever Built

Auto makers employ some of the world’s most skilled designers to help them create the general aesthetic for their brand, and the subtle nuances that help create an identity for each of their models. Sex appeal has always played a role in car design, as sales are often driven as much by functionality as they are by desire.

Bob Lutz, GM’s current head designer, has said that one of the main goals in automotive design is to “create an emotional connection with the buyer.” In the case of these seven… things, I think it’s safe to assume that emotion is either despair or embarrassment. Here are the seven ugliest cars ever built. 

[#] Tue Sep 23 2008 23:14:19 EDT from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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Why Can’t the U.S. Have Toyota’s 40 MPG 4WD Minivan?

Its become a bit of a perennial question that I’m reminded of when I find myself mired in the depths of the internet — a question that’s been simmering in the back of my mind since I learned about the Toyota Estima hybrid minivan 3 years ago… and then went to full boil when I learned that the Estima hybrid has been sold in Japan since 2001.

At the time, I googled extensively, I asked some Japanese colleagues, I contacted Toyota — I even set up a half-hearted online petition to bring the Estima hybrid to the US (offline now, but the Union of Concerned Scientists was more ambitious, garnering over 18,000 signatures).

After all that, I never really got answers as to why Toyota had no plans to bring this family-fantasy four-wheel-drive, 40 mpg minivan to the US, but as I did more research, I pieced together my own picture of the reasons. It seemed that Toyota didn’t think Americans would buy it because it wasn’t a “full-sized” minivan and it didn’t have enough power.

But now, with the hearts and minds of consumers changing and demand for fuel efficient vehicles steaming ahead, I come back to the same question. And it’s the question I find myself asking of most every major auto manufacturer these days: WTF? If you’ve got a car that everybody will want, why don’t you just go ahead and sell it to everybody?

When I was growing up, my family was one of the first to buy Toyota’s Previa minivan. I remember sitting in it for the first time and thinking I was at the helm of a spaceship. It seemed so cool and turned me into an instant Toyota fanboy.

That Previa was built like a tank: it went 170,000 miles without any major service needed. It was also the source of many a fond teenage make-out and illicit substance memory — although most of those are a little foggy now, aren’t they?

I’ve owned Toyotas ever since, and probably will ’till the day I die. But recently I’ve started to get pissed at Toyota in the same way that I am at the American auto manufacturers for some of thedolt-headed, intelligence-defying marketing decisions they’ve made in regards to fuel efficient vehicles.

You see folks, that first generation Previa was the precursor to the Estima, but for some reason, when Toyota introduced the next generation Estima to the rest of the world as it phased-out the Previa, it introduced the turd-like Sienna to the US. The Sienna was a gas hog — just like all other US minivans — and was designed with not a hint of the Previa in mind.

As the years went on, the Japanese Estima got better and better and Toyota even released a “full-size” hybrid minivan to the Japanese market called the Alphard. But we were still stuck with the hulking Sienna.

Currently, the rumors indicate that Toyota will introduce a hybrid version of the Sienna to the US market sometime next year, but it won’t get nearly the mileage of the Estima. Again, I ask, WTF? Yo, Toyota, you’ve already got a minivan that half of the families in the US would kill for, what the hell are you doing investing so much energy in redesigning a has-been?

The video below is in Japanese, but regardless, it clearly shows the Estima hybrid in operation with its fancy Americans-need-it options and all. As a dad to two, I want this car for my family. What do you think? Is Toyota crazy just like all the other big auto manufacturers? 

[#] Thu Sep 25 2008 13:56:44 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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adding all the safety and emmisions equipment to a car to make it us (and calif) legal probably outweighs any extra sales they might get.

[#] Sat Oct 11 2008 12:37:33 EDT from rudolf @ Uncensored

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Has anyone had any experience with Toyota's Scion cars? I'm curious about the xB's especially. Maybe I should look at Subaru wagons.

[#] Wed Oct 15 2008 15:27:35 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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They look like boxes.

If you live in snowy area buy a subaru, if you don't I'd stay away.
Mine didn't hold together very well. Had shuddering problems that the dealer insisted wasn't a problem
Whenever the dealer starts saying things like "it performs to spec" just walk away, and don't plan on buying another car like that.

[#] Wed Oct 22 2008 17:29:12 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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I just saved 80% by calling geico!
I called them, then I called my insurance company to ask why geico was so much cheaper and they pointed out all this comprehensive coverage I didn't want, and now it's a lot less than geico!

[#] Sat Nov 01 2008 00:32:27 EDT from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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The death of Chrysler: And then there were two:

Chrysler, R.I.P.

The demise of an iconic American automaker.



Seriously, I wonder how long before Ford and GM die then? 

[#] Sat Nov 01 2008 10:51:57 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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They won't both die. Too many jobs at stake. The government will bail them out. And Chyrsler is owned by Cerberus... They were looking to buy cash, just like GM is. Cerberus was recently trying to buy GMAC....

Expect GM to get the bailout, and Ford to hurt badly, maybe even be acquired by a foreign company (Tata of India comes to mind).

[#] Sat Nov 01 2008 11:43:21 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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I wonder if Chrysler's woes could have been avoided if they'd just taken the time to build a transmission for their minivans that didn't blow itself up every 10,000 miles.

[#] Sat Nov 01 2008 12:13:03 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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It's been 20 years, you'd think in that time they'd figure out that the reason they are getting their ass kicked is because they purposefully choose to build shitty cars.
Why not stop with the chinsy plastic that falls apart. Yeah you'll have to charge a bit more, but you might find that people would actually WANT TO BUY YOUR CARS.
I know there's more to it than that the whole health care thing, but still, by cheaping out on the cars they only prolonged the inevitable rather than possibly try and sell a product.

[#] Sat Nov 01 2008 12:51:59 EDT from BOFHMike @ My Castle Wall

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Not to mention they didn't see the writing on the wall when gas prices started climbing 8 years ago.  They kept their gas hogs in the show room when everyone else started to tweak their engines for better performance. Hell, even the F150 gets a better MPG then most of the Crysler vehicles.

[#] Sat Nov 01 2008 19:04:52 EDT from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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Well, if the American auto industry is any indicator, it is going to take them being close to death for them to change anything.

I don't think they understand even now why the Japanese and now the Koreans are kicking their ass in auto building

and why no one is buying American. Fuck patriotic, people want cars that are reliable, and I think for the most

part American auto makers figure people will buy their cars because they are American cars.

That will not work. 

[#] Sat Nov 01 2008 22:13:09 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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part American auto makers figure people will buy their cars because they
American cars.

No, they will buy american cars because they are cheaper. They have been cheaper compared to comparable cars for a long time.
When was the last time a honda civic cost less than a chevy cavalier?

[#] Sun Nov 02 2008 07:15:28 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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And yet, interestingly, some of the best Japanese cars are built in the USA.

[#] Sun Nov 02 2008 09:02:44 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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Ummm.... Don't forget, even with problems, GM is the LARGEST auto company in the world. Someone is buying American, even if you don't flynn.....

My last 4 American cars, three were GM's and one was a Ford. Every one of them was reliable.... Granted the Ford rattled, which was annoying, but all four were great.

Toyota's quality has been dropping rapidly because they're trying to overtake GM... Especially with their transmissions.

[#] Sun Nov 02 2008 13:22:12 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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Ragnar : C'mon man! This is the days of the internet - if you're going to spout such obviously wrong statements, back them up. You're WRONG. Toyota is the world's largest automaker.  

Compare the  2 companies : Toyota - Revenue 202.86 billion     Net Income 13.93 billion    ----   GM - Revenue 181.122 billion   Net Income -   -38.732 billion (that means NEGATIVE 38 bllion)

Oh, and sources for those stats : Toyota :       GM :


IG : I know some of the best Japanese cars are built in the USA and Canada - Toyota nad Honda both have manufacturing plants in Ontario. They just follow the same thing that works in Japan - produce good cars.


Ford : American cars are cheaper? Bullshit. 

Top Ten Least Expensive Cars (Actually 15 least expensive cars)

Of of the 15 cars:

8 Japanese

4 American

2 Korean

1 German 





[#] Sun Nov 02 2008 13:45:20 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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I was thinking in terms of total units sold, not in revenue.... GM still sells more than Toyota, but just barely.

[#] Sun Nov 02 2008 15:48:54 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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Christ, Ragnar, had you bothered to read the first story, you'll see I was talking about total units sold!
Japan's Toyota has overtaken US rival General Motors to become the world's biggest carmaker, a spokesman for the company has said.

According to company figures, Toyota sold 2.348 million vehicles in the first three months of 2007.

General Motors (GM) is estimated to have sold 2.26 million cars and small trucks during the same period. 

[#] Sun Nov 02 2008 15:56:32 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold @ Uncensored

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Old story.....

If you had bothered to do any more research, you'd see that you were wrong.

GM has trailed so far this year.... But the final numbers aren't available yet.

[#] Sun Nov 02 2008 16:12:30 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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No, wait till one month more.

Fair enough, GM sold a few tousand more, yet lost 38 billion more in dollars.



Oh, Ford?

As for the cheapest car in the USA, Nissian Versa brand-new at 9.990. 

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