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I just read on the net that they think gas will go to a possible high of $3.00 a gallon. Does anybody here think this will cause a move towards more people seeking this type of transportation. I personally am ready to make the move this Summer to either the Burgman 400 S or a Burgman 400. I currently have Nissan Pathfinder that gets 16 MPG and I know some of you say you shouldn't get it for the mileage , but when your single and a Teacher thats why. I want used , but will get new in North Florida if I can't find a close by used one. On a side note I know our European and Asian brothers can only laugh as they have been paying high prices for gas for a long time
 

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I just wrote a letter to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper editor in hopes that it will get published. In the letter I pointed out that rising fuel costs would cause more people to ride motorcycles and Maxi-scooters on the roads and freeways. I asked that everyone be extra aware and careful and watch for the smart people "Saving Money" on gas. Yes, I think that all two-wheeled vehicle sales will probably soar this spring and summer as gas prices soar.
 

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Yea casek I see at the bottom of your signature why you have one :) I'm in the same boat , I get gas at Sams and it's still about $40.00 to fill it up. I never go past half though 20 is better than 40.
 

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Seminoles3 said:
I just read on the net that they think gas will go to a possible high of $3.00 a gallon.
Here in British Columbia, I have, in the past two weeks, paid as much as $1.03CDN per liter of diesel, that works out to about $4.21 per US gallon. Our gas is a few cents a liter cheaper (for regular) but would still be over the $4.00 per US gallon mark.
 

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I sure am glad we don't have to use Bottled water for fuel

Gas is expensive, but bottled water is $8.00 a gallon. Things could be worse. :(
 

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I think we may see a rapid decline in sales of the big SUVs. The used vehicle market could easily become flooded with them within a few years. But I doubt that all those folks will be lining up to buy scooters, particularly in the states that suffer bad Winter road conditions. I would antcipate that there will be some amount of growth in scooter sales due to rising fuel costs, but most folks that buy 2 wheeled vehicles in this country do it more for fun and recreation than for practical reasons. The general populace still regards them as too dangerous and difficult to ride.
 

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I doubt gas will get up to $3. The news sources have passed on this kind of speculation every spring for a while now, and although prices did go up to record levels, they never skyrocketed. Sort of a chicken-little "the sky is falling!" thing. I'd expect averages up around $2.25.

If you're an environmentalist, then getting a scooter to save on pollution is probably justifiable. But if you're just looking to simply save money, you can fill up an SUV quite a few times for the price of a Burgman. Instead of buying a Burgman 400 for $5000, you could buy 2222 gallons of gas if the price is $2.25/gallon. That's 111 tankfuls for an average 20-gallon tank. Sure, a scooter will get better mileage, but when you look at the payback, it doesn't really make sense. Ride because you like to ride.

If you want the most frugal option -- and I'm biased :wink: -- I'd say get a diesel VW. Great performance, 45mpg, lasts a long time, and doesn't have the complexity and cost of a gas/electric hybrid car.
 

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I work for a carmaker. One serious side-effect to watch out for here if SUV sales crash is severe financial problems for the Big Three. SUV's are the only thing they've been making anything but a negligible profit on in years, and retooling (not to mention developing new business strategies) takes time. One or more of these companies probably will not make it, if this new sales climate lasts. (Which I beleive will be the case.)

Goodbye, pension! Bye-bye!

<sigh>.
 

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I work in the auto industry, too -- at a Tier 1 company that supplies interior trim. I wouldn't worry about an SUV sales crash. I was surprised when I went to the Los Angeles area a couple of years ago to spend a week at Mitsubishi's studios working on the Eclipse Spyder convertible. Given their higher gas prices, the smog issue, etc., I was expecting to see more small and fuel-efficient cars -- Civics and Priuses. What I saw was a lot of SUV's with 21" wheels going 90mph. Americans won't be changing their buying habits that quickly. Image rules, not practicality. Your pension is safe. :wink:
 

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frugality said:
Your pension is safe. :wink:
Right now - certainly in Europe - that is one thing no one will give a 100% guarantee on unless you stand to get a govt pension.

Oil prices - they could have a very marked effect on peoples buying habits believe me - all you need is an oil shock and an order of magnitude rise (like double or triple) and those people who are out of work (many) will not be buying anything - SUVs, Burgmans - whatever - they will be selling them!!

Not that I expect that to happen - but it did happen - 73 wasn't it?
 

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For people to consider a bike for serious transportation the dealers will have to make major changes. They consider bikes of all kinds to be toys.
There has to be a major overhaul in the service departments. They will have to stock parts & be able to do at least minor repair work on a walk-in basis.
As it is now you have to order parts, make an appointment days in advance just to change a tire & then drop the bike off & if you are lucky pick it up several hours later.
If the auto industry was run this way we would all still be riding horses.
 

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gruntled said:
If the auto industry was run this way we would all still be riding horses.
......and you would not be able to sell horse **** for love nor money! :lol:
 

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I took a number of business trips to Toronto, Canada a few years back. I did not see the swarm of SUVs and Pickup trucks that you see in the USA. I did see a lot of Toyota Corolas and other small cars. The difference is gas prices.

Yes, it could take several years for the auto market to change. Folks have those SUVs financed for 5 or 6 years, and are into their financing upside down (negative equity) for the first couple of years. But if gas costs do keep rising, it will change buying habits. And an auto maker should be able to compensate by shifting a percentage of production from SUVs that folks won't be buying, to the new market for fuel efficient vehicles.
 

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The used car lots up here are beginning to fill with SUVs and vans, if that tells you anything.
 

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I fear that I remain very pessimistic. Unlike 1973, the auto companies are going into this oil shock _already_ on the margins of bankruptcy; Ford's problems are notorious, and GM has had their bonds downrated (I beleive several times) during the past year. There is no cash to retool, nor will credit for such high-risk companies be cheap or easy.

I work for the Saturn Division of GM, and when I was transferred there back in 1989 we had extensive training on the industry as a whole. Even back then, it was well known that no one in the world was making significant money on small cars, not even Honda or Toyota. It just simply could not be done in the US market, for several reasons. One was lack of demand, which surging oil proces could change at at any time. But there were others, which went far deeper. For example, it costs very nearly as much to buy a small car as a large car or SUV, and the actual costs of production are even closer than the difference in retail due to the fact that the auto maker has to take a profit where he can get it. This is because safety testing, pollution certification, and many other things cost the same, no matter what the size of the final product. For example, _every_ car gets at least two air bags at a cost (last I heard) of about $700 installed, no matter how big or small it is. Every car gets an expensive pollution control suite (including a catalytic exhaust system that makes use of exotic substances like Rhoduim and Platinum) and every car produced, no matter how large or small, requires hundreds of dollars worth of government- and lawsuit-mandated record-keeping. Marketing costs on a car are also pretty much the same, no matter how large or small it is.

And it goes on from there. It doesn't really cost all that much more to stamp out a large fender than a small one, or to make a 17" wheel instead of a 14'" one. By the time all is said and done, if prices were truly representative your $12000 small car would really go for $16,000, and your $25,000 SUV would sticker out at $21,000. (These figures are off-the-top-of-my-head estimates, but I don't think they're exaggerated.) It is no wonder that buyers go ahead and select the big one. Not only has the entire auto industry become totally addicted to bloated SUV stickers, but they've become entrapped in a system where even if small-car demand rises they'll immediately have to raise prices on them to avoid bankruptcy, thus stifling the demand. This didn't happen overnight, and in my view has at least as much to do with fallacious government policies regarding safety and pollution control as anything else. But the economic trap is very real, and I feel the noose tightening every day.

<sigh>. I'm not an executive or anything like that; please don't send me complaints about GM products. In fact, I'm just a powerless assembly-line ape who paid attention in class. But everything I've said here is true to the best of my knowledge, and the sources quoted in my classes were impeccable.

I predict that one of the Big Three, and maybe two of them, will fail in the next two years if gas prices hit anything like $3 a gallon and stay there. Several Japanese companies are in trouble as well, the last I heard (which was admittedly about four years back). When basic resource prices change, the whole economy _must_ re-order itself accordingly. This is a fact of basic economics, not some sinister plot. Such re-ordering cannot occur without turmoil.

And, sadly, in the modern world economic turmoil eats pensions. Including, quite possibly, mine.
 

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Lapine Rider said:
--snip-- And, sadly, in the modern world economic turmoil eats pensions. Including, quite possibly, mine.
This is one reason I took an early retirement at 55 years old for a lesser amount than if I had waited until 62 or 65 years old.

Rising oil costs will affect much more than just the auto industry. Most consumer goods in this country move by truck - and they burn diesel and gasoline. That cost will eventually get folded in to the cost of all goods. Airlines are hovering on bankruptcy - rising fuel costs could put some of them under. Consumers have to fuel their vehicles and heat their homes so disposable income will suffer. This will hurt all manufacturing and retail businesses to some degree. We are not a country set up for mass transit - and we have at best a weak railroad system. We are also a country of commuters - many people do not live really close to their jobs. We are just not well positioned to absorb huge increases in oil pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I feel that I will have fun with a 400 as well as save money. I have a mid level SUV Nissan Pathfinder 4X4 that gets about 16 mpg. I didn't get it with the intentions of ruling the road big man type of attitude. I got it to haul stuff around. I do feel that way about Hummers though , pointless vehicle that cost about $55,000 and if I'm not mistaken it's on a Tahoe chasis. Pauljo- I agree about mass transportation thing, I live in Jacksonville,Florida and it is the largest land area city in the US.Here you can take 60 minutes to get to the other side of town.It takes me 20-30 minutes to get to work , plus the Suzuki dealership is across the street from my job. I spent a college semester in London and everything is centralized. Great tube system and you can walk unlike most of the US. Some great informed points about the auto industry that I have never heard.
 

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frugality said:
I doubt gas will get up to $3.

If you want the most frugal option -- and I'm biased :wink: -- I'd say get a diesel VW. Great performance, 45mpg, lasts a long time, and doesn't have the complexity and cost of a gas/electric hybrid car.
Dean,

I had a 2001 New Beetle with the TDI 1.8. The car got about 45 mpg and rode great .... however this was the worst built car I have ever owned (12 and counting many different brands) electrical problems, transmission problems, etc. Got rid of it for a Toyota Prius. Now getting 58 mpg and no problems (plus VERY ecologically friendly). There is no contest between VW - Audi vs Toyota - Lexus. Toyota wins in every price range.

JMHO :)
Alan
 

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I'm not too sure the current oil situation and resulting rise in gas prices will cause large numbers of people to dump large vehicles for smaller ones or convert to two wheels or mass transit. Most people are hoping that the sudden rise in prices is not long term and everything will soon return to under $2/gallon. What it will probably take is gasoline shortage.
I remember the gas shortage in the early 70s. Now that was scarey. At times it was impossible to find gas at any price. Waiting in LONG lines was a daily fact of life. There was even some serious talk of gas rationing.
Now that really made people look at vehicles that got good mileage. If you had a vehicle that got 15 MPG and were allotted 10 gallons of gas for a week and had to drive 200 miles/week just to get to and from work, even the math-challenged figured out that they would have a problem. Cars like the Ford Falcon and VW bug suddenly became real popular.
Don
 
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