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Spellcheck turned off KRA?
I think it was an "in your face" racial slur. :eek: :rolleyes: I can understand, he said he does spend a lot of time on Korea and some Koreans strongly dislike the Japanese. My Taiwanese mother-in-law dislikes them for the same reasons a lot of the older Koreans don't like them.
 

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Well, from a practical standpoint, if you have a family, a bigger car simply makes more sense. Even if you are a two-car family, then there are too many times either or both of the cars need to seat more than 2 people. Folks that are single, retired, or who just have a LOT of cars it's no big deal to collect a car like the smart for fun (or a Miata or whatever). Additionally many of the 4-seaters don't get THAT much worse gas mileage, so although the smart is fun/stylish, it will never replace the likes of a Corolla, or even a Yaris or FIAT 500.:cool:
I tend to agree with KRA. We got a progressively bigger "car" as our three daughters got older, ending up with our Tahoe. Seats 9, because girls always need their BF. Now that there is only one left at the house, I was just able to get a smart for myself. The weekends the daughter is with her mom, my wife and I can use the smart. Now there is a problem...one of my daughter's best friends is losing her home. Both parents have been in jail because of drugs, can't find jobs and lost the house they were renting. Their daughter is a truly delightful young lady, good grades, goes to church. We can't let her last 7 months of high school be in a diferent school because the shelter is in another district. We are going to put her up in the spare room and help her to go to the Prom and home coming. the smart is going to be lacking in picking them up from school. My daughter is giving up getting a car so we can afford to help her friend. It will be hard but we will make it. My smart is going to have to wait on some of the things I want to do to it.
 

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I think it was an "in your face" racial slur. :eek: :rolleyes: I can understand, he said he does spend a lot of time on Korea and some Koreans strongly dislike the Japanese. My Taiwanese mother-in-law dislikes them for the same reasons a lot of the older Koreans don't like them.
Well, I got nothing agin them. Most of that crap happened a LONG time ago. The thing that really chafes the Koreans is that the Japanese have really never come clean on the whole WWII thing and the atrocities that they committed in Asia (and in this case more particularly in Korea). They captured a bunch of Korean women and sent them off to 'service' the Japanese soldiers etc. It's a bad thing for sure but particularly egregious considering their culture.

So, every time a Japanese student history book comes out, and it COMPLETELY glosses over their actions during the war, the Koreans get pretty upset about it (protests and whatnot). My dad flew in a B-17 bomber during WWII in the European theatre, but I don't think there is the same animosity since the Germans have at least made the attempt at coming clean. I got a few great German friends (and frankly some Japanese friends as well!)

War is heck, and for me personally it was a long time ago. Even now here in Korea I see some Lexus cars (which are hugely expensive here due to the 50% import tax -- got to love that 'free' trade!)and no graffiti on them, so I think things are changing -- it really would help if Japan at least owned up to what went on. You can ask the average Japanese, for instance, why America dropped the bomb, or was even at war with them -- they don't even know Japan attacked Pearl Harbour! :eek:
 

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Excuse me Kennyrayandersen, I take exception with your terminology here. Two people are a family. It is not necessary to have proven your ability to reproduce to be considered a family. What you should have said was: "...from a practical standpoint, if you have children (i.e. anklebiters, rugrats, flesh loafs, crib lizards, screechlings, etc.,) a bigger car simply makes more sense..."

Considering that STATISTICALLY the more intelligent and educated you are, the more likely you are to be childfree, *and* considering the fact that childfree people have a significantly higher level of discretionary income, many of us opt to purchase high-end two-seaters such as the BMW Z4 M Coupe, or the Porche Boxter or even the Cadillac XLR. Therefore, your assessment of the childed preferring large cars is correct, but there remains a SIGNIFICANT and substantial market for the two-seater *if* you market the car to the right audience.

Family indeed.

20yrsinBranson
I think you'll fit in perfectly in our family! :) (no sarcasm)

I love when the new guys school us long time members!:D
 

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What I see in those numbers is super small is not what Americans want.

My Toyota and Honda dealers lots have been empty for months. No cars to sell, or at least not a lot of option choices, yet somehow there numbers still don't look that bad.

I can't believe some of you are impressed with the Fiat numbers. Those suck too, considering the lots are full and customers have options and advertising


The new ford truck ad sumps it up
"my grandpa had a truck, my daddy had a truck, and I always wanted a truck, so when the time came there wasn't even a choice...."
 

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I can't believe some of you are impressed with the Fiat numbers. Those suck too, considering the lots are full and customers have options and advertising
Well, there are several reasons to think that it's reasonably impressive. There are some negative stereotypes out there about FIAT which have to be overcome, Many dealers are still getting set up, advertising hasn't been going on that long. The car is new to most Americans, so I'd say they are off to a decent start. Let's wait and see how much advertising helps Smart (my guess is not so much -- un-car and all...), but I think the FIAT 500 will continue to out-sell the smart just simply because it offers more utility.

The Japanese cars have built a real following and it will be a long time coming for FIAT to gain back the trust and build up the return customer base. Time will tell whether they will be able to do that. The Japanese have been at it a LONG time. The Corolla, if I'm not mistaken went on sale in the early 70s (may have been available in Japan in the late 60's). That's a long time to refine a car (even though you'd be hard-pressed to call it the same car).

With time, I'm sure FIATs goal is to build back the customer trust and some market share. More power to them -- I'm for anyone willing to promote smaller, more fuel-efficient cars -- that goes for smart, Honda, Toyota, and FIAT!:cool:
 

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Didn't they see the Movie...
It probably went over as big as the movie about Japanese dolphin-killing:D In some cultures (Asian for sure). Admitting your are wrong is a BIG deal. Admitting really heinous wrongs is a really bitter pill.

They've just really been unable to swallow it. I watched a show about the rape of Nanjing. They were talking to a Japanese guy who was a soldier during the war and more specifically involved in the Nanjing massacre and ask him what was going on in their heads -- how could they do that to other human beings. He said the government started in the schools about 15 years before the war started and indoctrination all of them to think that everybody else were really just sub-humans and that they were doing the world a favor by getting rid of everybody else (sound familiar?) -- essentially stripping the humanity out of them.

I guess it hard for people to admit that they they participated in something that awful, and maybe now they are thinking -- it wasn't me or my generation, so the hurt feeling throughout Asia continue because no one has ever owned up to it or apologized. I think it will straighten out eventually, but it would have been much faster had they just confessed and moved on.
 

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Some people are forgetting one thing on that chart. Smart and Fiat are represented by a one car company in the US. The others, Soul, Cube, etc, are just one model of a much larger line of cars.
 

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FIAT 500 still logging about 5 times the smart sales, but short of what they were shooting for. I swear, unless gas costs what it does in Europe, there won't be any change in behaviour (buying small cars)
 

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FIAT 500 still logging about 5 times the smart sales, but short of what they were shooting for. I swear, unless gas costs what it does in Europe, there won't be any change in behaviour (buying small cars)
The Fiat 500 has had major TV advertising time, while Smart is only starting. It will be interesting to see the impact of the numbers on Smart over the next few months.


Bob Diaz
 

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FIAT 500 still logging about 5 times the smart sales, but short of what they were shooting for. I swear, unless gas costs what it does in Europe, there won't be any change in behaviour (buying small cars)
But... I'll bet first year Fiat 500 sales will be about the same or worse than first year smart sales. :wink: Comparing apples to apples or newly introduced models to newly introduced models...
 

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The Fiat 500 has had major TV advertising time, while Smart is only starting. It will be interesting to see the impact of the numbers on Smart over the next few months.
Bob Diaz
Agreed Bob, it will be interesting to watch it unfold. Since I plan on having one of each, I guess I don't care which of the horses wins the race. I think ever small car sold in America is a victory of sorts. I'm pulling for both of them to succeed. That's why occasionally I come off as a bit harsh toward smart, it's only because I think I have an idea what it's going to take to make them more successful, and when you see inaction with a problem, you know it will hurt the long-term prospects. That's why I think things like the tranny needs to be worked over, not for me, I mean it's odd, but not odd enough to keep me from buying it, but for a LOT of people it is. I would like to see more people in smarts, that's all.

But... I'll bet first year Fiat 500 sales will be about the same or worse than first year smart sales. :wink: Comparing apples to apples or newly introduced models to newly introduced models...
I see your point, but I suspect that the pent-up demand for smarts was a lot higher than for the FIATs. I suspect their sales to grow, whereas with smart they have pretty well stagnated for quite some time. Like I said, I'm pulling for both of them and I hope the smart marketing works and sales do improve. I do think there does need to be some changed to make it just a bit more palatable for John Q. Public. I don't think the FIAT has quite the cute-tiny factor that the smart has, but it appears to have a fair amount more utility. Time will certainly tell.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Some interesting data; the top 3 sellers: Cruze, Corolla, Jetta. Appears the market still wants larger small cars, mpg be damned. And if I was Mazda I'd be asking some tough questions - why did we sell 956 Mazda 2s while Ford sold 3,967 Fiestas (essentially the same car)? At least smart sold more fortwos than Nissan did Cubes. :)
 

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Some interesting data; the top 3 sellers: Cruze, Corolla, Jetta. Appears the market still wants larger small cars, mpg be damned. And if I was Mazda I'd be asking some tough questions - why did we sell 956 Mazda 2s while Ford sold 3,967 Fiestas (essentially the same car)? At least smart sold more fortwos than Nissan did Cubes. :)
Although they do share some key bits, there are some notable differences IMHO. The Mazda uses older transmission tech (no 6 speed dual clutch) and can't reach the same MPG as the Ford. Also, Mazda seemed to go after traditional economy car buyers with a lower sticker while the Fiesta has upscale features usually found on more expensive models (Sync and other "luxury" features). Of course, Ford seems to be marketing the Fiesta pretty heavily and has more dealers than Mazda as well.

I think Ford is proving their marketing case that a certain segment will pay more for a small car if it has the features they want - not everyone wants a stripped down econobox at the lowest MSRP possible.
 

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We have yet to see a new Smart commercial on TV and we have been looking.

It's a new world out in advertising land. Most of us now watch TV via DVR and get just a fleeting glance of commercials as we fast forward on by.

I guess the Post Office is right, the future is direct mail for impact advertising.

Where's my 2012 Smart, color mailer from MB :D
A2Jack.
 

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Also, look at some images, the cars do look a little different. The Ford, and I hate to say this, does look better to me. I had high hopes for the Mazda 2, but it's kind of turned out kind of fugly. A clear case of the Americans actually getting one right!
 

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Discussion Starter #40
In this case Ford was smart enough to develop the Fiesta in Europe, put it on sale there first and then bring it to the U.S. essentially unchanged - they did get that right IMHO. Same with the new Focus. :)
 
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