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Old 12-27-2003, 06:19 AM   #51
electraglider_1997
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Default Market niche

The first Prius's hit the US market in 2000 after selling in Japan since 1997. The completely new 2004 Prius is selling so fast that customers have to order and wait months to get one. Mine will get here next week (supposedly). I ordered mine Oct 29th. My folks have theirs' already and my Dad loves the gas mileage and wonders how they can sell such a car for only 20K. Next year Toyota will sell their hybrid RX 330 luxury Lexus SUV and it reportedly gets 40 some mpg. Anyone can understand the implications of getting over 40 in an SUV market used to about 20 mpg. AND this SUV will actually have more power then the older gas engine model it replaces. http://www.toyota.com/about/news/pro...RX-Hybrid.html
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Old 12-27-2003, 06:27 AM   #52
electraglider_1997
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Default GeeWizz factor

Go down to your Toyota dealer and test drive their demo Prius. Pretty darn neat. I love the computer screen on the dash. Fly by wire brakes and accelerator. Bladder gas tank, electric airconditioner, ect, ect....
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Old 12-27-2003, 06:43 AM   #53
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Default Prius

Prius news letter site. http://www.priusview.com/newsletter.asp



I don't work for Toyota, I'm just pumped about getting my new Prius next week (hopefully). The more you know about this hybrid technology the more you'll know what a crock the big 3 US auto makers have been feeding us. Their stalling maneuvers are choking us with excess pollution when the means to clean up our air is at hand. The more you know the less you'll believe that motorcycles can't achieve the same tech now.
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Old 12-27-2003, 07:58 AM   #54
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Default Re: Prius

Isn't GM planning a similar powertrain for its large SUVs to increase fuel economy?
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Old 12-27-2003, 11:38 AM   #55
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Default Re: Sealed nickel metal hydride batter pack.

One thing that seems to be going over the greenies heads is the fact, as you pointed out, that batteries are incredibly nasty things

I'd really rather take my chances with petroleum refining, transport and storage, than mountains of lead/acid, metal hydride, copper nickel or whatever else kind of batteries you can think of.

Also most of these devices are going to require more mining to get the preciouse metals to make them out of, and more power generation to manufacture and charge them. Since nuclear power is out and the greenies advocate breeching most hydroelectric dams where do they think the power comes from?

Giant windmills make noise, kill sea birds and (most important) obscure view propertys along the coast. Offshore wave turbines alter tidal flows and erode water fronts unless they're way offshore, then the engineering becomes cost prohibitive, and coal gas and oil plants all require constant updating and retrofitting to keep abreast of increasing emission standards.

I don't see a problem with going to EFI and Cat. Cons. on bikes, it'll clean up emissions and the technology is already in wide spread use so whats the differance? The converters and heat shielding don't add more than a few pounds and shouldn't cost any more than a carb. once they're incorporated into the whole line-up.
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Old 12-27-2003, 11:41 AM   #56
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Default Re: great

Only the guys in the BMW ads are stinky.
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Old 12-27-2003, 12:02 PM   #57
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Default Re: Hmmm

A friend of mine in Mesquite, Az had an older 912 that he'd spent years restoring to mint condition. Once he was done he was so constantly terrified about it getting damaged or stolen, plus the insanely high cost of insurance, that he almost never drove it. He was even afraid to go out of his house without it after somebody broke into his garage while he was out camping. He finally decided that he was tired of walking the edge of a nervous breakdown and sold it.



A word to the wise who lust after Porsches. Sometimes the downside of ownership out-weighs the lust.



That's one reason I usually buy used Japanese bikes. Who on Earth would want to steal one?
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Old 12-27-2003, 12:05 PM   #58
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Default Re: GeeWizz factor

I agree with you that hybrids are an excellent idea and I've been waiting to see them on the market for years. I'm just waiting to see the maintenance costs associated with them before I jump into one.



Now if Subaru would do the treatment to a Legacy AWD platform....
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Old 12-27-2003, 01:01 PM   #59
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Default Re: Motorcycle Pollution Standards Changed

IÂ’m not trying to answer for F451, here, but IÂ’m not aware of any dealers here or elsewhere gouging people. However, by my definition, itÂ’s only gouging if hidden, surprise, or ambush costs are involved. Any up front, clearly stated, price is okay by me, even if itÂ’s double MSRP. ThatÂ’s not gouging, just good business. People who resent businesses charging a price that the market will pay are just under-educated. If people are having to pay more for California models because of more limited numbers, they need to get angry at their state government, not their dealers.



My reason for getting into this discussion is that your original post above echoed sentiments IÂ’ve heard from several dealers, a couple of whom are friends of mine. They resent the fact that they run good shops and provide good service, but people go down to the SuperMegaJumboStore to buy their bikes at a large discount, and/or expect the same discount from them. They end up making little on the sales of new bikes, and have to compete with very large, well-financed companies that do huge volume and care about little else. I sympathize with them.



However, letÂ’s take a look at things from a consumerÂ’s perspective. My neighborhood dealer says he will sell me a 2004 Belchfire 1000R at $500 off MSRP, and thatÂ’s pretty much his bottom line. Now, the SuperMegaJumboStore 25 miles away is offering the Belchfire 4000R at $1500 off of list. Same manufacturer, same bike, same warranty; Now, as a consumer, one who has to try to be as stretch his money as far possible (donÂ’t we all?), what should I do? What is the tangible, measurable, value I get if I spend $1000 more? Faster, better, more reliable service and care? Can you guarantee that? Can you provide an explanation for spending a $1000 more that my wife would buy? And if I suggest that my neighborhood dealer should match the price of the SuperMegaJumboStore, or at least come close, then I get the "so where are you going to get your bike serviced after I go down the tubes?" tirade. Fun huh?



The bottom line is that a commonly available low price is what establishes the value of something when new, and has future effects on the resale value that a buyer should keep in mind as well. It is a business transaction, and a smart businessperson endeavors to get the maximum value for his/her money.



If you go out of business because of large firms discounting a product, itÂ’s not the fault of the consumer. Consumers naturally seek value, some of them more competently than others. If they donÂ’t see value in buying from you, and you believe it is there, then you have failed to articulate it in a way that they understand, and resenting them for it wonÂ’t improve things. If the value truly isnÂ’t there (and if you canÂ’t clearly articulate it in terms of value to the consumer, then itÂ’s not), you may have to re-examine your business model. Many small businesses have found it impossible to compete with the large chains; consumer electronics for example (remember the neighborhood stereo store?). However, I tend to believe this is not necessarily the fate of the well-rounded, smaller motorcycle dealer. But that dealer is going to have to differentiate themselves from other dealers and provide a solid value proposition.



Is good will and hospitable treatment worthless? Of course not; Most will people will pay a little more to feel special. That shouldnÂ’t be abandoned, because it can be a significant source of strength for a business. But it is perhaps not enough by itself.



In summary, what started this whole thing for me is the resentment for the consumer. While I sympathize with the feeling, it doesnÂ’t change the reality youÂ’re doing business in. Consumers and the market arenÂ’t going to change, so you have to adapt your business to them.

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Old 12-27-2003, 01:07 PM   #60
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Default Re: Motorcycle Pollution Standards Changed

Exactly! And thatÂ’s what most people are going to do. To resent the customer for trying to get the most for his money is like kicking the horse for grazing. ItÂ’s what they do. The job of the business is to figure out to make their grass seem greener than the pasture next door.
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