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WesternDC6B
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Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:38 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen: Let me pose a question to you, especially the motorists among us. Is there a market for a plain, basic car? I don’t mean something tiny like a Smart4Two. I mean a standard for the locale-size car, fitted with a competent engine, manual or automatic shift, basic climate control, and a radio? No electric everything, no power tilt steering wheel, no whiz-bangs and giggy-gadgets?

What brought this up is: I was thinking of the cars we had when I was a youngster, then a young motorist. My father’s Studebaker was just a manual-shift station wagon (Estate car in the UK, “shooting brake” for snobs), with a 6-cylinder engine. Mom’s Pontiac Tempest had a four-cylinder, a four-speed, and an AM radio. (And a convertible top, but let’s leave that out. ;-{)}}} ) My step-mom had a Volvo 544. Nothing fancy, just good, basic transportation, and a lot of fun to drive. Yes: I’m old! :old:

Does anyone here think there’d be any takers for such cars in the 3rd decade of the 21st century? My question is - more or less - America-centric, but would like to hear from everyone.

Thanks very much.

DouglasDC6B

(As an aside: one of the most oddly-equipped cars I ever encountered was a 1967 or so Ford LTD. A big land-yacht of a car, all the fancy trim, electric everything, leather interior, and a huge V8. The oddity? It was manual shift. “Three on the tree”. I asked the owner about it. He bought it when he lived in Wyoming. He’d leave his driveway, which was on the road he took to work, work up to high gear, drive 65 miles to work with not a stopsign or signal to be seen, downshift to 2nd to go into the parking lot, and that was the end of his drive. End of the work day, into the car, 1st 2nd 3rd, 65 miles, down to 2nd, into the driveway, and off. “Why spend $450 extra for something i don’t need?”. Why indeed.)
A big heart is commendable. An enlarged heart is a medical condition.
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:41 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
Ladies and Gentlemen: Let me pose a question to you, especially the motorists among us. Is there a market for a plain, basic car? I don’t mean something tiny like a Smart4Two. I mean a standard for the locale-size car, fitted with a competent engine, manual or automatic shift, basic climate control, and a radio? No electric everything, no power tilt steering wheel, no whiz-bangs and giggy-gadgets?

What brought this up is: I was thinking of the cars we had when I was a youngster, then a young motorist. My father’s Studebaker was just a manual-shift station wagon (Estate car in the UK, “shooting brake” for snobs), with a 6-cylinder engine. Mom’s Pontiac Tempest had a four-cylinder, a four-speed, and an AM radio. (And a convertible top, but let’s leave that out. ;-{)}}} ) My step-mom had a Volvo 544. Nothing fancy, just good, basic transportation, and a lot of fun to drive. Yes: I’m old! :old:

Does anyone here think there’d be any takers for such cars in the 3rd decade of the 21st century? My question is - more or less - America-centric, but would like to hear from everyone.

Thanks very much.

DouglasDC6B

(As an aside: one of the most oddly-equipped cars I ever encountered was a 1967 or so Ford LTD. A big land-yacht of a car, all the fancy trim, electric everything, leather interior, and a huge V8. The oddity? It was manual shift. “Three on the tree”. I asked the owner about it. He bought it when he lived in Wyoming. He’d leave his driveway, which was on the road he took to work, work up to high gear, drive 65 miles to work at 100mph, with not a stopsign or signal to be seen, downshift to 2nd to go into the parking lot, and that was the end of his drive. At the end of the work day: into the car, 1st 2nd 3rd, 65 miles, down to 2nd, into the driveway, and off. “Why spend $450 extra for something i don’t need?”. Why indeed.)
A big heart is commendable. An enlarged heart is a medical condition.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:45 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
Ladies and Gentlemen: Let me pose a question to you, especially the motorists among us. Is there a market for a plain, basic car? I don’t mean something tiny like a Smart4Two. I mean a standard for the locale-size car, fitted with a competent engine, manual or automatic shift, basic climate control, and a radio? No electric everything, no power tilt steering wheel, no whiz-bangs and giggy-gadgets?


Funny that much of the "electric everything" was standard here before AC.

I like having some of extras i can have, but on the outside it is as plain as possible. I miss understood the title first :D

But yes, there is a market, at least here, and Dacia is filling it: https://www.gruprenault.ro/modelele-noastre/dacia

best regards
Thomas
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:50 pm

tommy1808 wrote:

Funny that much of the "electric everything" was standard here before AC.

I like having some of extras i can have, but on the outside it is as plain as possible. I miss understood the title first :D

But yes, there is a market, at least here, and Dacia is filling it: https://www.gruprenault.ro/modelele-noastre/dacia

best regards
Thomas


Would that be the Dacia Duster? Electric windows and door locks, in these violent times, I can see having. I meant overkill like electric tilting steering wheels, etc.
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Francoflier
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:01 pm

There are such models and makes in Europe, as mentioned above, and in other markets as well.

Not so much in America I guess aside from the basic version of compact cars from the usual manufacturers.

Truth be told, the basic electric comforts of nowadays cars have become so cheap and commonplace that it would probably be more expensive to forego them at this stage. I'm pretty sure that if a manufacturer called their vendor and asked for crank-operated windows, they'd be told (after a good laugh) that they would be more expensive to produce than the now ubiquitous electric.

Interestingly, I've always thought that entry-level pickup trucks were the no-frill vehicles in North America; basic design and old technology, cheap to produce and buy, with few amenities and little in the way of comfort and refinement. They certainly look and feel cheap.
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:11 pm

Francoflier wrote:
There are such models and makes in Europe, as mentioned above, and in other markets as well.

Not so much in America I guess aside from the basic version of compact cars from the usual manufacturers.

Truth be told, the basic electric comforts of nowadays cars have become so cheap and commonplace that it would probably be more expensive to forego them at this stage. I'm pretty sure that if a manufacturer called their vendor and asked for crank-operated windows, they'd be told (after a good laugh) that they would be more expensive to produce than the now ubiquitous electric.

Interestingly, I've always thought that entry-level pickup trucks were the no-frill vehicles in North America; basic design and old technology, cheap to produce and buy, with few amenities and little in the way of comfort and refinement. They certainly look and feel cheap.


I suppose you’re right. The one big thing I would LOVE to see go away: the center console. Back in the 1960s, when bucket seats started to appear in US makes, they sometimes added a little center console that was little more than a second glove compartment. Now, they are these mammoth things that crowd the ability to move one’s legs very much, and - for me - make a big interior cramped and tight. I am a big man (shoulders with separate post codes, tall), and trying to find something without a console aside from a pickup is proving very hard. The Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon triplets from GM offered a console delete option, but this likely will go away with the 2021 model changeover. I am not alone in this complaint. My daily driver is a Chrysler Pacifica van. It has a center thing for cup holders and some storage, but it does not join with the dashboard, so there is room for my right knee. There is nothing else on the market like this except for the Honda Odyssey, but the one I had was a lemon and I sold it back.

I have relatively short arms and legs, so i drive with my right knee bent a bit while on the road with cruise control. Consoles preclude this.
A big heart is commendable. An enlarged heart is a medical condition.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:12 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:

Funny that much of the "electric everything" was standard here before AC.

I like having some of extras i can have, but on the outside it is as plain as possible. I miss understood the title first :D

But yes, there is a market, at least here, and Dacia is filling it: https://www.gruprenault.ro/modelele-noastre/dacia

best regards
Thomas


Would that be the Dacia Duster? Electric windows and door locks, in these violent times, I can see having. I meant overkill like electric tilting steering wheels, etc.


Bit small perhaps. Generally yes, some stuff you just can´t drop theses days: Central door looking because otherwise, without Deadlock, insurance premiums go up, and much stuff now has economies of scale that it is cheaper to have the electric system compared to have manual.

best regards
Thomas
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VSMUT
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:13 pm

Sounds like several Dacia, Renault, Ford (european models), Proton, Peugeot etc. models I've experienced.
 
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afterburner
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:19 pm

Yes. For Uber or similar services.
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:20 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Sounds like several Dacia, Renault, Ford (european models), Proton, Peugeot etc. models I've experienced.


One of the most delightful cars i drove when on business in Europe was a Lancia Musa. I am built like a human grizzly-bear but found the Musa to be roomy and comfortable. Mine had some sort of small diesel in it, and it was a real bundle of joy to drive.

(The worst rentals I had on business in Europe was the Vauxhall/Opel Meriva. One diesel, the other gas. Dismal!)
A big heart is commendable. An enlarged heart is a medical condition.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:38 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Sounds like several Dacia, Renault, Ford (european models), Proton, Peugeot etc. models I've experienced.


One of the most delightful cars i drove when on business in Europe was a Lancia Musa. I am built like a human grizzly-bear but found the Musa to be roomy and comfortable. Mine had some sort of small diesel in it, and it was a real bundle of joy to drive.

(The worst rentals I had on business in Europe was the Vauxhall/Opel Meriva. One diesel, the other gas. Dismal!)


LPG gas? What country?
 
ltbewr
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:54 pm

One thing that discourages 'stripped down' versions of cars is that they tend to be poor at resale or trade in, especially in the USA. Very few cars, less than 5%, mainly some sport sedans and 2 seaters, have stick transmissions in the USA available and resale is poor. The price difference of a 'stripped' car, the low profits to the dealers, the low margins of profit for car makers discourage such vehicles in most developed markets.
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:59 pm

VSMUT wrote:
WesternDC6B wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Sounds like several Dacia, Renault, Ford (european models), Proton, Peugeot etc. models I've experienced.


One of the most delightful cars i drove when on business in Europe was a Lancia Musa. I am built like a human grizzly-bear but found the Musa to be roomy and comfortable. Mine had some sort of small diesel in it, and it was a real bundle of joy to drive.

(The worst rentals I had on business in Europe was the Vauxhall/Opel Meriva. One diesel, the other gas. Dismal!)


LPG gas? What country?


Uhm... petrol. Here in the US, gasoline is often called just “gas”. One of my good friends, from Scotland, still chuckles when he sees signs by road exits that say “GAS FOOD”. :-{)}}}
A big heart is commendable. An enlarged heart is a medical condition.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:04 pm

I doubt any modern automaker will build a basic car. High volume makes it cheaper to include power options and those options fail, more after sales revenue at a future date.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:09 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
I doubt any modern automaker will build a basic car. High volume makes it cheaper to include power options and those options fail, more after sales revenue at a future date.


Some markets have fairly strict warranty requirements on used cars as well, stuff that can break is a risk in those jurisdictions, not a profit center.

best regards
Thomas
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:13 pm

Some cars getting too smart for me. I've given up on the idea of not having a rear view camera as that will be standardized, but I don't need auto braking or lane assist. If I can't properly change lanes without some software telling me I'm about to collide, then I failed my driver's test.
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JJJ
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:38 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:

Would that be the Dacia Duster? .


The whole Dacia lineup is based around basic no-frills cars that take you from A to B.

Sure, you can option them to a higher standard but the price adds up and kind of defeats the purpose.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:43 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
but I don't need auto braking or lane assist. If I can't properly change lanes without some software telling me I'm about to collide, then I failed my driver's test.


Its not the software telling you that you are about to collide, but about slamming on the break the way you likely wouldn´t since drivers tend to increase breaking pressure over time while accessing the seriousness of the collision risk. And by pre-charging the breaking system it increases the onset rate even if you give it everything from the start. Lane assist to keep you in the lane, or alert you when leaving it unintentionally, are more driver failure sort of things, but there is microsleep and momentarily failure to perform (or however Augenblicksversagen could be translated) to consider.

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Tugger
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:44 pm

I was quite surprised the other day to find a 2015 Ford Focus with hand crank windows! Didn't even know it was an option nowadays.

Tugg
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VSMUT
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:54 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
WesternDC6B wrote:

One of the most delightful cars i drove when on business in Europe was a Lancia Musa. I am built like a human grizzly-bear but found the Musa to be roomy and comfortable. Mine had some sort of small diesel in it, and it was a real bundle of joy to drive.

(The worst rentals I had on business in Europe was the Vauxhall/Opel Meriva. One diesel, the other gas. Dismal!)


LPG gas? What country?


Uhm... petrol. Here in the US, gasoline is often called just “gas”. One of my good friends, from Scotland, still chuckles when he sees signs by road exits that say “GAS FOOD”. :-{)}}}


What do you call actual gas powered cars then? ;) I have noticed more and more of them in the 3rd world.

dtw2hyd wrote:
I doubt any modern automaker will build a basic car. High volume makes it cheaper to include power options and those options fail, more after sales revenue at a future date.


You need to pay a visit to India, Eastern Europe, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. Those places are full of basic cars of both international and domestic brands.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:04 pm

VSMUT wrote:
WesternDC6B wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

LPG gas? What country?


Uhm... petrol. Here in the US, gasoline is often called just “gas”. One of my good friends, from Scotland, still chuckles when he sees signs by road exits that say “GAS FOOD”. :-{)}}}


What do you call actual gas powered cars then? ;) I have noticed more and more of them in the 3rd world. .


"Autogas", at least here, or just LPG. Plenty of people drive LPG in Europe, in those states where it makes sense (= is cheaper), so lots in Germany, pretty much no in Austria......

Sales share of liquified petroleum gases (LPG) in Europe in 2017, by industry sector

Image

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/941 ... ry-europe/

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LCDFlight
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:18 pm

Basically no, there isn't a market for that. Here is the reason basically.

BMW 320i cost of production & delivery: US $20,000 (approx.) Price: $40,000
Nissan Versa cost of production & delivery: US $15,000 (approx.) Price: $15,000

Nissan Versa is the cheapest car that satisfies the definition of "car" in the US and passes our laws. Yet, it has almost as many parts as the BMW. My point is, it is really hard to make a "cheap car" that satisfies all the pollution, safety and durability requirements. You're RIGHT that a Nissan Versa is almost as good as the BMW (it gets you from A to B reliably in air conditioned comfort). It also costs a similar amount to make (not equal, but similar). You have to employ almost the same number of engineers, engine plant workers & dealership workers. So why not just make a nicer car and forget selling cheap cars.
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:51 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
BMW 320i cost of production & delivery: US $20,000 (approx.) Price: $40,000
Nissan Versa cost of production & delivery: US $15,000 (approx.) Price: $15,000

... So why not just make a nicer car and forget selling cheap cars.


Because not everyone cares about badge snobism?
 
Kiwirob
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:25 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
I doubt any modern automaker will build a basic car. High volume makes it cheaper to include power options and those options fail, more after sales revenue at a future date.


Plenty of modern automakers build just that, basic cars that are just transport and nothing else.
 
olle
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:33 pm

With a future of geofencing -> why a porche if it cannot drive faster then 130 km/h?

The new cars that fast will be much more automatic we might even see that ownership change dramatically and we pay per hour and the cars will become more like trucks or busses used around the clock.

So sadly our joyrides will be moved to special areas like we today uses horses :-)
 
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:35 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
I doubt any modern automaker will build a basic car. High volume makes it cheaper to include power options and those options fail, more after sales revenue at a future date.


Plenty of modern automakers build just that, basic cars that are just transport and nothing else.

There used to be trucks that easily fit that description in the USA. I loved the old Ford Ranger for this, it was, could be had as the most basic thing. Sure it drove terribly, etc., like a truck! But nowadays you really can't buy a basic truck: a cab with a truck bed, one with a stick shift, hand crank windows, no AC, bench seat (with no space behind it).

Tugg
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:10 pm

So this would be like if someone wanted a Ford Tempo. Only moreso...
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M564038
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:37 pm

Obvious solution would be an EV:
Gears: D R P
Wiper handle.
Blinkers.
Wheel
Throttle and brake pedal.
Speedometer and battery indicator.
AC.

Thats about 1/100 of the moving parts of other small, simple cars.


USB port for optional use Apple Car play and Android Auto for those who want navigation or entertainment.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:32 pm

cheapest versions of Toyota and Honda etc. (US based manufacturers seem to have exited the market) are the basic cars available. You don't get to change what is available or not available - that is why they are cheap. You want a really basic car, for only about $19K you can get a Model A coupe. We had one. Definitely the car to use in a parade, otherwise - no thanks!
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Jalap
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:34 am

When I got my current car, my only requirements were:
- Get me from A to B safely and relatively comfortably
- Allow me to put a lot of stuff in the trunk
- Very good sound quality (because a car is the 2nd best place to enjoy music - live music is 1st)

Then, within those requirements, as cheap as possible.
My previous car had 4 electric windows, my kids were truely enthousiastic because now we have crank windows in the back :)
 
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Aesma
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:12 am

My company car is pretty close. It's a car I use to work (and go to work) not for my personal use. Renault Clio, 2 seats (rear seats replaced with plastic cargo thing), manual trans, 1.5 dCi engine that has been put into millions of Renault, Nissan, and even Mercedes cars/vans, 2 electric windows without automation (you need to hold the buttons, really annoying). It has the radio/bluetooth etc. on a 7" touchscreen, you must pay to get navigation (unless you hack it like I did). No rear camera or radar, nothing except what is mandatory (ESP, ABS, things like that). It has manual AC (fortunately).

Personally I like technology so I'd rather have much more stuff, up to Tesla's autopilot.

Not that I don't like driving, but I'd rather do it only when I want, in a pleasure car.

M564038 : a colleague of mine has the most basic Renault Zoe available, it's just like you list, in fact the audio deck is some sort of 20€ USB radio thing, totally ridiculous in what is a very advanced car from a drivetrain point of view.
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Ken777
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:55 am

When I think of a plain, cheap car I'm focused on reliability and cost to own. My wife drove her Mazda MX-3 for 17 years - then we traded it for close to $1K of plumbing work. It certainly wasn't plain looking, but it. certainly wasn't ugly and she loved driving it. Same as a Mazda 3 with a "sporty" looking body. It came with everything it needed and was inexpensive, as opposed to "cheap".

Some cars cost a tad bit more new, like the Toyota Corolla, but if cared for will end up costing you less than a really cheap car, especially because resale values will be better.

Simple cars still face legislation and regulations in the country they operate. Rear facing cameras and airbags are good examples. So is the ability to connect a car to a computer for diagnostic testing.

Total costs and reliability will continue to be the most important factor for most buyers.
 
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stl07
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:58 am

I think Tatas and Maruti Suzukis are exactly what you are looking for OP, the latter of which can be bought brand new latest model for 4000 USD (NOT 40,000, I said 4000)
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cpd
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:07 am

Tugger wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
I doubt any modern automaker will build a basic car. High volume makes it cheaper to include power options and those options fail, more after sales revenue at a future date.


Plenty of modern automakers build just that, basic cars that are just transport and nothing else.

There used to be trucks that easily fit that description in the USA. I loved the old Ford Ranger for this, it was, could be had as the most basic thing. Sure it drove terribly, etc., like a truck! But nowadays you really can't buy a basic truck: a cab with a truck bed, one with a stick shift, hand crank windows, no AC, bench seat (with no space behind it).

Tugg


You can still get a Mercedes G Class like that with an extremely basic interior, vinyl seat trim, etc, even just as a cab on a chassis with nothing at the back (so free to fit out as you need). It’s a bit too basic though, utterly horrible thing. Sure it is rugged, but the poor people inside could do with just a few comforts. It doesn’t even have a sat nav, unless you supply your own.

I wouldn’t want to spend any great length of time in that old fashioned thing. Much like the Landcruiser of a similar purpose, equally cramped and uncomfortable.

L410Turbolet wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:
BMW 320i cost of production & delivery: US $20,000 (approx.) Price: $40,000
Nissan Versa cost of production & delivery: US $15,000 (approx.) Price: $15,000

... So why not just make a nicer car and forget selling cheap cars.


Because not everyone cares about badge snobism?


Except those Nissan badge snobs of course for whom their Skyline or Sylvia is an object of near religious devotion.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:48 am

Several references made to Indian auto market, I could never get a pulse on what sells in India and why. Their perceptions are totally different.

Suzuki a Japanese brand is considered low end compared to Hyundai a South Korean brand.
Tata tried to build Nano the world's cheapest car $2,500, no one purchased
AFAIK, cheapest cars are not the best sellers in India.

GM and Ford both burned their fingers in India. GM tried to sell their basic models, it even tried to sell a rebranded SIAL(China) as a last ditch effort, failed miserably. Ford also got out of India, gave the keys to Mahindra and left the country.

I was looking at Tata Nano's supply chain to figure out how can they sell for $2,500. It includes Bosch and Johnson Control alikes, not some unknown suppliers. The effort will be the same for any car.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:58 am

Tats Nano is really cool. To the posters above, BMW makes more money than Nissan.

The question was, why aren’t manufacturers building basic cars. The answer (currently) is, it is more profitable to build fancy cars. It is very hard to build basic cars and make money. Few succeed.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:46 am

olle wrote:
With a future of geofencing -> why a porche if it cannot drive faster then 130 km/h?


because going from ramp speed to 130 in under 3 seconds is more fun than in 10.

Top speed stopped to matter for a large part a while back

The new cars that fast will be much more automatic we might even see that ownership change dramatically and we pay per hour and the cars will become more like trucks or busses used around the clock.


There will be more of that, and i am sure that driving manually will be pretty much banned in my lifetime, but in many ways a shared car is to an owned car like a hotel room is to your own place. Its nice, it can be extremely nice, but it ain´t home.

best regards
Thomas
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TSS
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:29 am

dtw2hyd wrote:
Tata tried to build Nano the world's cheapest car $2,500, no one purchased
AFAIK, cheapest cars are not the best sellers in India.

I was looking at Tata Nano's supply chain to figure out how can they sell for $2,500. It includes Bosch and Johnson Control alikes, not some unknown suppliers. The effort will be the same for any car.


LCDFlight wrote:
Tata Nano is really cool.


Cool or not, world's cheapest car or not, the Tata Nano was simply a bad design from the get-go. Tata would have done much better to have produced a minimally updated version of the far more versatile and durable Citroen 2CV, which was designed with rutted, muddy, dirt roads in mind and which, unlike the Nano, easily converts from sedan to pickup and back again making the lowly 2CV possibly the world's first SUV.

History and driving impression of the Tata Nano- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqV2YD8BnAo

Citroen 2CV- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCYH4kpsUyc
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Tugger
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:12 am

cpd wrote:
Tugger wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:

Plenty of modern automakers build just that, basic cars that are just transport and nothing else.

There used to be trucks that easily fit that description in the USA. I loved the old Ford Ranger for this, it was, could be had as the most basic thing. Sure it drove terribly, etc., like a truck! But nowadays you really can't buy a basic truck: a cab with a truck bed, one with a stick shift, hand crank windows, no AC, bench seat (with no space behind it).

Tugg


You can still get a Mercedes G Class like that with an extremely basic interior, vinyl seat trim, etc, even just as a cab on a chassis with nothing at the back (so free to fit out as you need). It’s a bit too basic though, utterly horrible thing. Sure it is rugged, but the poor people inside could do with just a few comforts. It doesn’t even have a sat nav, unless you supply your own.

I wouldn’t want to spend any great length of time in that old fashioned thing. Much like the Landcruiser of a similar purpose, equally cramped and uncomfortable.

But can you get the G for $14,000? THAT is the key, it is (was) absolutely bare bones, entry level, nothing added, throw your stuff in the bed, throw your body in the cab, and foo where you needed. It was affordable when you couldn't afford anything.

Tugg
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L410Turbolet
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:04 am

LCDFlight wrote:
Tats Nano is really cool. To the posters above, BMW makes more money than Nissan.

The question was, why aren’t manufacturers building basic cars. The answer (currently) is, it is more profitable to build fancy cars. It is very hard to build basic cars and make money. Few succeed.


There is a world outside of the US...
 
Bongodog49
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:38 am

Having recently been looking for a newer smallish car, I discovered that quite a number of manufacturers selling in the UK market have introduced low spec basic models. Small standard spec cars from Ford, VW etc tend to have a UK list price of around £15k before discounts etc, they and others now offer a basic model at around £10k
 
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Aesma
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:55 pm

Beware of what you wish for !

My father drives a Dacia Sandero LPG. Laureate edition (the highest end). It was by far the cheapest car on the market in France when he bought it, thanks to a 2000€ government incentive => 7500€ new, with 20% VAT included.

For the price it's great, the engine is low power but that's normal here, it has electric windows, there was no audio deck but the cables were there so I just added a cheap one. However there are a few drawbacks, one in particular that I absolutely hate : no air filter for the cabin. If the car sits under trees that shed small things, when you start up the car the things fly directly in your face !

I think it has been corrected in the new model. It's also a bit less spartan. But no more LPG version.
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offloaded
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:56 pm

The more "toys" a car is equipped with, the more money it will make the manufacturer in spare parts during it's lifetime.
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frmrCapCadet
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:35 pm

It is not unusual for electric window, locks, mirror adjusts, ABS, backup cameras to outlast the car. Automatic transmissions last as long as manual, air conditioners have needed major repairs. Check Consumer Reports, usually April edition. Reliable inexpensive new car or low milage used cars are not that hard to find. They break down repairs on over a dozen components.
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Aesma
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:01 pm

PSA's CEO has been open about this, saying that electric cars will need less maintenance, making him less money.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:22 pm

Aesma wrote:
PSA's CEO has been open about this, saying that electric cars will need less maintenance, making him less money.


But that is not because of breaking gadgets, it's because of less wearing parts, no oil change, sparkplugs and stuff.

Best regards
Thomas
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Kiwirob
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:47 pm

Thinking about this I would call the base model Model 3 a bare bones basic car. It’s about a vanilla as a that I could think of.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:30 pm

For the big manufacturers I'd say any low end Subaru, Hyundai, and Kia are as bare bones as it gets. 4 cylinder, manual transmissions for subarus, air conditioning, radio that may have aux and bluetooth and thats about it for them.
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Dutchy
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:41 pm

My two cents, younger people don't think a car is a status symbol, so yes there is room for a basic car and actually a shared car might be the prefered option here. Have a car when needed, but don't have all the cost associated with owning one.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Is There a Market for a Plain, Ordinary Car?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:25 pm

VSMUT wrote:
You need to pay a visit to India, Eastern Europe, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. Those places are full of basic cars of both international and domestic brands.


Cars in Malaysia are getting more & more equipped with fancy technology. For example the Perodua Axia once was a basic car, but now comes equipped with AEB on the high spec models.

Even Hondas, Toyotas, Volkswagens etc that cost like 3x more doesn't have AEB here!
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