[Vwdiesel] Rabbit droppings # 88 . ---( the Hybrid questions )

Scott Kair scott3491 at insightbb.com
Sun Jun 13 15:55:58 EDT 2004

Subject: Re: [Vwdiesel] Rabbit droppings # 88 . ---( the Hybrid questions )

> I read somewhere (don't remember where) that the lupo/polo/a2 1.2 all meet
> the strictest safety standards in the world, but vw has no intention of
> importing them to the U.S. unless there is "a significant determined
interest."  I
> have no doubt that there would be a significant determined interest if the
> general populus knew about them.  Although many Americans have been duped
into the
> fashion of bulging, idiotic 12 mpg monsters with enough horsepower to
> accelerate up a 12% grade when already doing 90, not all reason has
escaped all
> Americans.  Still probably 1/3 of all vehicles on the road are economy
cars.  I think
> that's a fairly significant market share.  Hmmm... is there politics
> Andrew

    The manufacturers' and dealers' profit margins are low on econocars, &
very high on behemoths.  The politics involve emissions goals, among other
things.  Eurospecs call for reducing greenhouse gasses, USEPA call for
reducing smog and particulates.  There's also the CARB factor in regulating
Diesels, although lately the People's Republik of California has started
backing down from left coast received wisdom that Diesels are evil. The net
effect is that VW would have to engineer and manufacture Diesel engines to
meet Euro, US, and CARB standards.  Why bother, especially when they can
sell their entire production in Europe?
    Being smarter- and better looking- we Dieselheads are aware of the
Lupo's potential, but the hybrid/ hydrogen crowd made the better marketing &
lobbying pitch for research funding & tax credits.
    Finally, there is the known VW deficiency in marketing in the states,
and I suspect that dealer reputation plays a role.  VW sort of regards us as
a cult, and I truly don't think they know how to proceed with Diesel
development in the states.  Back when Kirby was hosting the original list,
there was serious question as to whether VW would even bring the TDI to the
states- they weren't sure it would sell, they weren't sure that dealers
would be able to support it, and they weren't sure how many different
emissions standards would have to be accomodated.
    I guess the key is how determined the interest is.
    Scott Kair

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