GM’s $9,800 Car . . . The One We’re Not Allowed to Buy

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How much is the EPA and DOT costing you?Sail lead

One way to quantify this is to consider a car GM builds – but which you can’t buy. Well, not unless you move outside the United States – and beyond the diktats and fatwas of the EPA and DOT.

It is called the Sail – and GM makes it in China. It retails for 60,000 yuan – equivalent to about $9,800 in “federal” reserve notes.

Demand for the car is so great that GM plans to increase its exports of the Sail to countries like Chile and Ecuador by nearly 70 percent, according to a recent Reuters article (see here).

It just won’t be exported here.

And why?Sail inside

Those two federal agencies mentioned at the beginning of this story. These unelected and unaccountable bureaucracies have made it illegal – a criminal offense – to sell you a car like the Sail. Which, by the way, is neither primitive nor pathetic. The most recent design is a modern and aesthetically appealing sedan or five-door hatchback wagon with a Corvette-inspired “dual cockpit” dash layout. The car has AC, power windows, power door mirrors and a modern stereo with Bluetooth wireless and music streaming. It even has a leather-wrapped steering wheel.Sail 2

It would look at home on any road – and in any garage – in the Western world.

But what really sets the car apart is what’s under its hood. There, you would (if you could buy the Sail) find a high-efficiency 1.4 liter, 101 hp engine or (if you were allowed to choose) 1.2 liter, 85-hp engine that averages 41.2 MPG – easily meeting the 35.5 MPG fuel economy fatwa issued by the Feds, which goes into effect just two model years from now (2016). There is also a 1.3 liter turbo-diesel engine (Fiat-sourced!) on the roster of options.sail engine

It does even better.

Imagine that: A 40 MPG-plus car that costs less than $10,000 and which isn’t a flimsy/shoddy latter-day Yugo, either. It’s not the quickest thing on wheels – depending on the engine, zero to 60 takes 12-15 seconds – but it’s certainly adequate for A to B commuting and general knocking around. It’s only slightly less quick than a Prius C, hybrid – which takes about 11.3 seconds to get to 60 (and costs almost $20,000).

Unfortunately (for American car buyers) the Sail does not pass muster with current EPA emissions and DOT safety requirements.

Hence, it cannot be sold here.

But it is neither “unsafe” – nor “dirty.”Sail EPA

The Sail would probably meet the EPA/DOT standards in effect circa 1990 – by which time new cars were so “clean” that only about 5 percent of what came out of the tailpipe was other than water vapor and carbon dioxide (an inert gas that has nothing to do with the formation of smog). Since that time, the EPA has pursued a policy of diminishing returns by insisting that the remaining 5 percent of the exhaust stream that’s not water vapor and C02 be “controlled.” Instead of a $200 catalytic converter, a $70 oxygen sensor and a $500 throttle body fuel injection system – which cleaned up 90 percent of the exhaust – it’s $500 a piece for for multiple close-coupled cats, $2,000 for direct gas injection (and so on) to get a 1 percent (if that) additional reduction.Sail obamacar

But that’s not the way it’s presented to the public. EPA will instead say that its newest mandate will “cut new car emissions by 50 percent.” Which is technically true. But what EPA never tells you is that they mean 50 percent off the remaining 3-5 percent of tailpipe emissions that are not yet “controlled.” In other words, a fractional reduction – at ever-increasing cost to consumers. Repco Catalogue can offer car safety products, too. But that doesn’t sound as good as saying the new edict will “cut new car emissions by 50 percent.” So it’s not said.

It’s a similar story with regard to DOT “safety” edicts.Sail Metro

Probably, the Sail would be ok if it only had to meet the “safety” standards that were in effect circa 1990. Check Ralphs Ad and Fry’s Ad. It is after all about the same size and weight as a Geo Metro of that era. Was the Metro a deathtrap? Hundreds of thousands of people drove them without suffering so much as a stubbed toe. But it would be hugely illegal for GM to try to sell the 1990 Metro today. Just as it is illegal for GM to try to sell the Sail today.

To us, that is.Sail Benz

The fact of the matter is that almost any car sold in this country as recently as five years ago would likely not pass muster with current “safety” requirements. Go back ten years and none would make the cut. Think about that. A model year 2003 S-Class Mercedes sedan would be considered “unsafe”   . . . by current standards. But was it actually unsafe? Of course not. And neither was a 1993 S-Class Benz.

Like so many – like all – agencies of state coercion, there “ain’t no end to doin’ right” – as the rabid Union cavalry officer put it in the classic film, The Outlaw Josey Wales. It just won’t do to admit that the job has been done. Cars are clean enough – and “safe” enough. Our job is done. Time to find productive work.

No, of course not. EPA and DOT continue to metastacize  – their staffs and budgets always increasing, their edicts and fatwas becoming ever-more-onerous, ever-more-absurd, ever-more-expensive.

And that’s why GM can’t sell you a $9,800 (and 41.2 MPG) Sail.

Throw it in the Woods?


  1. Eric,

    I saw you recently on David Knight’s show, which is how I found out about you. LOVE the site, BTW! I’ve spent hours here…

    Anyway, I spent a lot of time in Peru the last four years. The Chevy Sail is VERY common down there; a good percentage of the cars in Lima are Chevy Sails. Many of the taxi drivers down there use ’em. Though I’ve never driven a Sail (and no SANE person would want to drive in Lima anyway!), I thought that they were well designed and well built little cars. For a large city with heavy traffic, they’re great. As of right now, the Sail costs about $12,500, according the Peruvian cabbie we rode with this past summer (or their winter). I’d buy one if I could. Ah, but I can’t, because Uncle says I can’t!

    Peru has a lot more personal freedom than we do here. Unless you do something SERIOUS, like shoot someone, the police leave you alone. If you need a medicine, you usually don’t need a doctor’s prescription; you simply walk into the pharmacy and BUY it. That’s right; if you know what medicine you need, you simply walk into the pharmacy and buy it. I stocked up on Naproxen, a NSAID I need for my arthritic knees, before I came back this summer. Here, I need a prescription for the 550 mg tablet; there, I did not. So, I brought five boxes back with me. I would have bought more, but that’s all MiFarma had.

    As for vehicles, you see all sorts if interesting contraptions down there! In addition to the Chevy Sail, you’ll see various Chinese marques; BYDs, Geelys, JACs, Cherys, etc. abound. You’ll see 200-250cc motorcycles rigged up as cargo hauling trikes. You have the mototaxis, which are unfortunately vanishing down there-thanks to the authoritarian mindset they got from us. You also have the combis, extended version minivans seating 12-15 people. This Peruvian fixture is disappearing because of the creeping authoritarian mindset; the Lima city gov’t wants to get all combis off the road in the near future. Anyway, you see many vehicles down there which would be impounded here.

    Just my $0.02…

    • Hi Marky,

      Yup, I’ve seen them too (I have family in Mexico). It is astonishing how much less freedom the average American has than the average Central/South American… or Russian, for that matter.

      Most Americans live in a bubble. They believe – because they are told – that they are “free” and that their country is the bestest place on the Earf!

      Well, it’s not. Although once upon a time, it was pretty damned good.

      • I remember a shortwave radio commentator (he was a patriot broadcaster) who talked about going to Russia on a motorcycle trip. One night, they made a camp fire, drank beer, and talked. Someone there reflected that, if they did that in modern day Amerika, they’d be in trouble.

        I haven’t seen the hatchback Sail in your pics. In Peru, you see the sedan. In terms of size, it seems to be comparable to the Toyota Yaris, another common car in Peru.

        Oh, a Chinese marque I forgot to mention is Great Wall. From the outside, their cars look nice; their fit and finish seems to be comparable to any Japanese, American, or European car. I liked their style too. There was a guy on the other block who had one, and he washed it regularly.

        In Peru, they also have Lifan cars. Lifan, like Honda, Suzuki, and BMW, makes both cars and bikes.

        Oh, and did you know that they have natural gas available as a fuel in Peru? They do! You can go into most gas stations and buy it. Some of the taxistas I’ve ridden with down there refueled with gas, because I had to get out of the car before he connected the hose. They use a quick disconnect fitting like what you’d use for connecting air tools.

        My plan had been to move to Peru to be with my now EX GF. That’s a long story for another time. I came back here to regroup and figure out my next move. I have mixed feelings about retiring and spending the rest of my life up here. The USA is NOT the same country I grew up-not by a long shot…

        I remember how, as a Boy Scout (BEFORE BSA was corrupted!), I carried the American flag in the local 4th of July bicentennial parade. It was on of the highlights of my life! When I think of how America has changed since then-well, what can I say?

        That’s all for now. Keep up the good work! Like you, I enjoy personal freedom, cars, and bikes… 🙂

        • Hi Marky,

          It’s tragic, what’s happened. The Clovers (my shorthand for authoritarian control freaks) just sort of took over. Many markers for this transition but the one that sticks out most in my mind is the rise of the Safety Cult. It began innocuously enough with those Baby on Board signs in the ’80s. Then came “safety” checkpoints, seatbelt and helmet laws. These seemed small annoyances at the time but were in fact a Great Leap Forward in terms of the assault upon personal liberty. If the government can point a gun at me over a seatbelt, it can point a gun at me for any reason it wishes. Once my “safety” becomes the government’s business, my liberty is gone.

          And so it is.

          • Morning Eric,

            “The forces of safety are afoot in the land. I, for one, believe it is a conspiracy— a conspiracy of Safety Nazis shouting “Sieg Health” and seeking to trammel freedom, liberty, and large noisy parties. The Safety Nazis advocate gun control, vigorous exercise, and health foods. The result can only be a disarmed, exhausted, and half-starved population ready to acquiesce to dictatorship of some kind.”

            PJ was really good for awhile.

            Cheers, Jeremy

  2. Motorcycles – same thing.

    250cc singles sell for $2000 in China, India, and in Central and South America. Here, they sell for $4,000 and up, similar specs – disc brake, 4 valve head.

  3. What’s so impressive about a car that gets 41 MPG ???

    From 1981 to 1994, Honda Motor Company sold 28 different models on the North American market with a US-EPA rating of > 50 miles per gallon. For example, the 1984 Civic Coupe had an EPA Highway rating of 67 MPG. The 1986 & 1987 Civic Coupe HF had an EPA City rating of 52 MPG. Every one of those 28 Hondas had a greater average MPG figure than the new GM Sail. Even the latest “fuel efficient hybrids” are LESS fuel efficient than the NON-hybrid vehicles produced by Honda a quarter-century ago!

    It really is amazing how quickly the public forgets: it’s almost as if our collective memory has been erased, and inefficient engines are now regarded as some kind of technological breakthrough. But these old Honda Civics still represent incontrovertible proof that we have the capability to produce much more efficient vehicles. So why can we no longer buy them?

    Why did General Motors produce an electric car from 1996 to 1999, which could be re-charged by a windmill, and then pay to CRUSH all those cars in 2003, when customers with a lease were begging to purchase them?

    Why did the price of fuel dramatically increase after the US military seized control of the oil fields in Iraq?

    Why has the US government confiscated patent rights from thousands of inventors under the guise of “national security”, and declared efficient engines to be state secrets?

    Why do “mainstream” politicians and journalists both avoid discussing these topics?

    As Sherlock Holmes says: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however implausible, must be the truth.”

    • Dexter, I said the same thing forever and continue to. I had a lot of friends who worked for insurance examiners that stayed on the road and they all drove Honda’s of one sort of Civic or another. Some of those cars in the 80’s got 70mpg not exceeding 55 and coasting, etc., hyper-miling before it was called anything. They got high 50’s holding them wide open. Not many places in Texas you couldn’t get everything those cars had as far as top speed. Those cars had carburetors too. But they had “lean burn” technology back then. It’s been all downhill since then or uphill rather. The last company car I knew of was a ’06 Corolla that god 32 at the most and 4 less than that at times. Hell, I know plenty people with Cutlasses, Monte Carlo’s, Grand Prix’s that got 30 and 32 driving fairly hard, mid 90’s cars. What’s insane is the Camry’s got as good mileage as the Corolla.

  4. Correction: The retail cost of the car is actually 258,000 RMB (US $41,460). The author must have confused Chinese Government Incentives worth 60,000 RMB (about $9,642) with the total cost.
    So….not feeling quite so ripped off.

  5. The Renault Kangoo Diesel gets 70 miles to the gallon and its not allowed in this country for 2 reasons. 1 Its a Diesel and 2 it gets 70 MPG and that would cut to musch into the highway slush fund. Its not about the environment its about money, power and liberals mental illness. The epa wants us to ride horses again.

  6. That would be great, importing more stuff into the USA when our trade deficit is already $600 Billion+ per year. More money LEAVING the country, increasding our debt.
    Nevermind the jobs it possibly eliminate given 50 million Americans are on welfare, 110 million on soem type of government assistance and 25% of Americans making substandard pay, the higheset percentage in the developed world.
    Peters, ahve you ever been to places like Mexico City or Lanzhou China? The air so filthy you can’t see across the street!
    Idiotic thoughts at best.

    • Darien,

      The trade issue is another issue. Let’s talk emissions. Did you read the article? The Sail is not “dirty.” It has a modern, fuel-injected engine that would pass recent US emissions. Just not current ones – which demand a fractional improvement relative to the previous standards – on the on the order of 50 percent of 1 percent. Cars built since circa 1990 are more than 90 percent clean in terms of exhaust products that form smog. Did you know that? The Sail’s emissions output is lower than a circa 1990 American market car. Probably a 2000 model year American car.

      And, has it ever occurred to you that a smaller engine (the Sail has a 1.2 liter engine) burns less fuel? Which means – wait for it, now – it produces less exhaust by volume. Which means – hey, presto – less emissions overall.

      How’s that for “idiotic” thoughts?

      • Why don’t we eliminate all emissions and safety standards, say circa 1950? 1920? Where do we stop?
        How about rolling back emission standards for ALL manufacturers to 1990? or 1920?
        TRADE is the issue. We have enuff imports to the tune of a $600 Billion deficit per year.
        110 million on the public dole.
        Lost 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the past decade.
        A $17 Trillion national debt.
        Money is flying OUT of this country at supersonic speeds.
        Ad nauseum.
        Reason enough to halt this car and any more imports.

        BTW, emission standards ARE already in volume units. Grams/mile.

        • Darlen,

          You’re being absurd. I was being reasonable.

          It is reasonable to object to laws that make it illegal to sell a car that is 96 percent “clean” at the tailpipe because it’s not 96.5 percent “clean” at the tailpipe.

          As far as trade: I agree with you that labor arbitrage (NAFTA, GATT, MFN) has been disastrous for the country. But that’s a separate issue.

          Cars are as expensive as they are here to a great extent because of all the government ukase. We can debate the pros and cons of the latest emissions regs and whether it’s productive or counter-productive to demand that tailpipe emissions be reduced to 98 percent “clean” from 96.5 percent, irrespective of the cost… but the “safety” regs. are objectively counterproductive. They have made cars much heavier, much less fuel efficient and much more expensive. You may reply that “unsafe” cars should not be “allowed.”

          Well, who are you to tell me or anyone else what sort of car I shall drive? If you want to drive a 5,000 lb. SUV, for whatever reason, that’s your right and I respect it. So please, respect my right – and the right of other people – to choose to drive smaller/lighter cars, even if they are less “crashworthy.”

          My safety is none of your business.

          • Eric,

            I’ve watched this thread for a few days now and you’re all missing the point. Safety and emissions standards are merely a convenient smokescreen for the real objective to the way cars are priced. As proof, all you have to do is look at what they did – along with the first time tax credit for new home buyers, they induced people to trade in their old junkers, the ‘cash for clunkers’ deal. And, what are the two costliest expenditures a person is likely to make during their lifetime? – houses and cars… those are what people generally take out a loan to buy. When money is tight because people are no longer able to qualify for loans for cars and houses, no new money gets created. If no new money is created, there is no money to pay previously created interest – and an economy based on ever expanding debt – COLLAPSES.

            They got around that little wrinkle with QE, so now, even us consumers no longer count. Ya’ want to know why our freedoms are so openly being whittled away – it’s because we can no longer support a debt-money monetary system. Where does that leave us – we’re no more than useless eaters; the money -masters have moved on to richer pastures – ASIA.

  7. Actually, I think you could reasonably argue that these regulations make emissions reductions even more dificult. It’s another application of the Law of Unintended Consequences. How? Think about it. Why does someone keep driving a 1984 Toyota Corolla? Because the cost of new (or newer) cars is too high. It doesn’t make economic sense to replace it. If the cost of an entry-level new car were lowered, the economics would drive the replacement of older cars. Removing just one pre-1990 car is probably equivalent to reducing the emissions by a futher 2% on 50 new cars. If this car could be purchased in the USA for $10K, more people would replace their older cars. Recyclers would have jobs. Manufacturers would have jobs. And how much would it cost the taxpayer? Zilch.

    Reminds me of the Save the Whales campaign. If the groups interested in saving the whales actually saved them, they would loose their largest source of revenue. If the EPA actually achieved its goals, they wouldn’t need those personel. The machine has become self-aware. It no longer functions to serve its creators. It now functions to preserve its own existence.

  8. “EPA will instead say that its newest mandate will “cut new car emissions by 50 percent.” Which is technically true. But what EPA never tells you is that they mean 50 percent off the remaining 3-5 percent of tailpipe emissions that are not yet “controlled.””

    If I earn $500 a week and spend $25 on food, that is 5% of my wages.

    If the supermarket promises to cut my food bill by $10, you say it’s somehow misleading (but, as you say merely “techincaly true”) for the supermarket to call that a 40% discount, as it’s only saving me 2% from my overall wage?

    • Hi Stuart,

      It isn’t “somehow” misleading. It is misleading.

      Most people have no idea that vehicle exhaust emissions have already been reduced by more than 95 percent since the 1960s. Hence, it is disingenuous for the EPA (or a politician) to state: “This new requirement will cut car emissions by 50 percent.”

      Technically, it may be true. The proposed requirement will reduce 1 percent to half a percent.

      And that is a “50 percent reduction.”

      But it’s specious because of the way it’s presented. The EPA never says: New car emissions are almost nonexistent (which they are) but we intend to push for another very slight reduction, even though we know it will mean significant added cost to the consumer.

      They imply that modern cars are smog-spewing despoilers of the air, which is simply not true – and hasn’t been true for more than two decades at least.

      Want to reduce emissions – including C02? Get rid of the government “safety” mandates that have increased the weight of the average new car by more than 400 pounds. A car like the GM Sail I mentioned in the article gets by with a 1.2 liter engine – an engine much smaller than the engines in our government-approved cars – because it doesn’t have to comply with all the “safety” BS that the cars sold here have to comply with.

      A smaller engine burns less fuel. It produces less exhaust. Lower emissions, including C02.

      Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

      • “but we intend to push for another very slight reduction, even though we know it will mean significant added cost to the consumer.”

        Additionally, at some point the ecological cost of manufacturing the ‘greening’ equipment outweighs the emissions reductions in the end product.

        • Remember the cheer-leaders are know-nothings that don’t grasp concepts of where stuff comes from. They’ve never made in anything in their lives but fully expect to tell other people how to do it. However, higher up I think some folks know clearly about net-negative environmental efforts, but their goals aren’t about the environment, at least in the short term. They likely aim to return things to the way they used to be, to keep people in their places. If economy cars cost 100K each that’s just fine by them.

    • False Equivalence is FALSE.
      The Store made a different claim entirely in your argument. You are equating YOUR income in Step 1 (paycheck and grocery costs) to the MARKET’S reduction in YOUR outlay for food.
      A != B.

      You have to claim that the grocery store is cutting your OUTLAY by 40% to make it analagous, and I’m not even sure that gets it right.

      So, to be blunt:
      If 1990 is 100% of emissions:
      – adjustments made 1995 50% of emissions.
      – Adjustments from 1995 – 2000 took care of 50% of emissions FROM 1995 – NOT from 1990, which is the switch in the three-card-monte dealing we’re getting.

      They leave off the change of the goalposts. They’re not comparing to 1990, making a fixed comparison – they’re comparing it a new position entirely.

      So, if you earn $500/wk and spend $25 on food, and it’s 5% of wages:
      – YOU cut costs by $10, that’s a 2.x% INCREASE IN YOUR PAYROL SAVINGS. (Originally $475, now $485.) You are now taking home 97% of your income instead of 95%.
      – if THEY reduce prices by a cumulative $10 off your bill, it’s costing you 40% LESS, but YOU didn’t do anything. THEY did. To change the equivalence by making it all about your food bill ignores what was actually done, and by whom.

      You might as well say it costs you NOTHING when the IRS taxes you, because it’s not the EPA taxing you. It’s about on the same logic…

      Does that penetrate the rock you call a skull?

  9. Fark, the #3,247 website in the world, hath spoken:

    Some Guy Named Eric. Thu June 06, 2013: Main (score 59%)
    Topics: Fail, Geo Metro, Streaming Music. 229 Comments.

    Sorted: Smartest & Funniest First

    And all we have to do is give up all our advances in cleaner and safer cars that have been put in place for the past 20 years?
    Well sign me up.
    Dude, your blog sucks.
    You’d give it up over the maybe five percent remaining? Why?
    What a ridiculously one-sided and misleading article. Go spend a few days in Beijing before you complain about our air standards.
    While it’s easy to believe that current EPA mandates may have entered the area of diminishing returns, that article is clearly an anti-EPA and anti-Obama polemic, and, as such, should be regarded as suspect.

    That’s right, it reads like a Tea Party handout.

    1990 – by which time new cars were so “clean” that only about 5 percent of what came out of the tailpipe was other than water vapor and carbon dioxide (an inert gas that has nothing to do with the formation of smog).”

    What is this, Michele Bachmann’s blog? Those “5%” emissions add up to, I dunno, About THAT MUCH smog when you’re talking about five million vehicles.

    While I like the idea of a fuel-efficient car selling for under $10K, I’m already driving a 2006 Kia Rio that is getting 36 to 38 MPG. I’m not going to upgrade for maybe a 5 MPG difference, regardless of how cheap that car may be. What I would consider upgrading for is a hybrid that gets 100 MPG or an electric car that has a reasonable range (such as something from Tesla, once their prices start to come down).
    I love his argument “Its just as safe as a 1990 Geo Metro”!
    simpsons did it.

    Any article that uses the term “fatwa” in relations to government agencies isn’t going to garner a lot of credibility in my book…

    Inflammatory language does not a compelling case make.
    thread done.

    But if it was made here the cost would be around $45,000 thanks to paying unions off.
    I propose we add stupid, pointless references to Islam and terrorists like “fatwa” to the definition of Godwining your argument.
    Some of the nicest cars never see the shores of America.
    This car ain’t one of them.

    Stupid DOT safety regulations! If I want to have a car that explodes when it hits a deer, a bird, or a toddler, that’s MY business!
    I was trying to figure out the secret message hidden in the italicized words.

    You fatwas China illegal leather-wrapped steering wheel averages fatwa current 1990 multiple additional technically fractional us current enough enough productive fatwas that’s Throw it in the Woods.

    He said fatwa three times. He must really like fatwas.
    I can almost HEAR how smug the author is in his tone of voice. Putting federal, for federal reserve notes (yes, he called them federal reserve notes instead of dollars) in quotes, calling the mandate for cleaner air a “fatwa”. I’m sorry, it just sounded so pompous that I didn’t read the rest. Fark.
    Well, what a hurping derp herder. Hint: if they want to farking sell that geo metro 2.0 here, upgrade its catalytic converter and you know, make it up to modern safety standards. It’s not rocket science. Funny that Hyundai has no problems putting out similar market segment cars in the US.

    I realize you derpy herpy hurpaderpers all want to live in Beijing, look how awesome their air quality is!

    Needs more fatwah.
    Yes, that evil gub’mint, keeping our air clean and our highways safe, has once again screwed you out of the nicest shiatmobile GM could sell to the Chinese.

    7-year-old Scion keeps on tickin’ with about 45 mpg and zero mechanical woes to date.
    And it came loaded for 14 grand

    Go anywhere in Asia. I visited Delhi over Christmas, one of the “cleaner” cities in Asia. I was blowing black shiat out of my nose after a day and the air had a distinct ozone smell. I’ll take clean air any day over a cheap car.

    One thing that screws up fuel mileage and emmissions and price on cars is all the investigative journolists who act like everything that isnt a 6 star safety pick is some kind of death trap that needs redisigned even though it meets all federal safety standards.
    It also meets labor law standards for 17th Century Russia! What, you need a better car then the Romanovs, comrade?
    the article screamed “blame Obama!” throughout it, even if it was bashing the EPA and DOT (the diktas and fatwas parts oozed “Obama bin Laden!)

    that said, you’re absolutely right

    some laws are there for a reason, if you want to bash, bash that it’s an Amurrican company, selling it’s God, wholesome CAPITALIST goods, to a red, dirty, COMMUNIST country
    You ought to read his one about sail fawns. The guy’s a bit of a loonball and probably dictates his articles to his phone while he’s driving.

    Those two federal agencies mentioned at the beginning of this story. These unelected and unaccountable bureaucracies have made it illegal – a criminal offense – to sell you a car like the Sail. Not really, Both of those agencies were created by Congress with mandates written into law. The senior staff is appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. The “unelected” slur that used when things don’t go your way is just foolishness and demagoguery. Would you really want every single government employee to be elected?
    2013-06-06 07:38:55 AM

    So that little car has a combined rating of ~40 mpg? Gee, that is bad. And I am not joking.

    My next car (a station wagon) has a combined rating of 60 mpg.

    Then again, it costs over three times as much.

    the dude puts libertarian in the first line of the site’s title

    i don’t generally disagree with the libertarian mindset
    it’s just that most people who fly under the libertarian flag and make it known are a little, well, they’ve lost their mindset, let’s just leave it at that

    I agree that it’s stupid that we can’t buy that car in the U.S., but….what right-wing whack job wrote that article? Or was the writer simply trying to make some point about always referring to “fatwas” and going off on the EPA, etc.?
    Ding ding ding ding. Winnar!
    well at least that’ll solve the upcoming resource war with china. They’ll all be dead.
    So I got trolled? OK, I figured as much.
    Article writer also failed to note that part of the reason said shiatmobile is so cheap, is generous subsidies and tax favoritism to the auto industry, courtesy of the US tax-payer and, presumably, the Chinese tax-payer as well. And that it’s being built in China by (comparative) slave labor thanks to Chinese currency manipulation which makes their labor cost peanuts.

    Guess that’d get in the way of his narrative about private industry doing everything better without government meddling.
    1959 car vs 2009 car.

    Guess which wins?

    Hint: The more fuel-efficient one.

    I feel like emailing this guy to ask for a pamphlet.
    The guy may have a point somewhere, but I’d have to did through too much derp to find it.
    Did horrific things to the human body when they impacted anything. A lowspeed fender bender that you would walk away from with a little soreness today would have caused major, if not life-threatening injuries at that time.

    Because we know European cars are deathtraps. Yet those also won’t pass US crash standards
    Now, I’m not much of a car geek, and I’m not much in the way of “OMG dat car has got the sexy”, but I don’t understand how a guy with a car blog can go off and talk about how awesome and un-Yugo like this car is:

    …as this is pretty much exactly what a Yugo would look like if they made it today (square box, incredibly dinky tires). Plus I chuckled at the whole “Corvette-inspired” dash that looks pretty much like every car today that hasn’t started implementing wacky LCD display tech.

    Oh wait, this is a political car blog? That’s something new.
    Oh, god, the comments…..
    I’m pretty sure the Sail only comes with a driver’s side airbag in that configuration.

    Also, this is the body structure of a Chevrolet Sail. Maybe it’s missing something, but it appears to have minimal, if any, side and offset impact protection.

    In fact, like that it looks an awful lot like an Aveo and I wouldn’t trust an Aveo to tap a curb without crumpling into a little ball of tin. Just for reference, this is a Dodge Charger:

    But, no, I’m sure it’s an absolutely spectacular car by modern standards and isn’t just cheap as dog shiat for any sensible reason…

    anybody ever see the episode of Top Gear where they showed the massive differences in damage to cars with 3 vs 4 star Euro NCAP safety ratings?
    love to see this CNCAP rated car stacked up against a 2 star ENCAP car…
    Anti-regulatory people remind me of anti-vaxers in some ways, in that they’re people who have never actually had to live in the conditions that these policies were put in place to manage, and therefore are of the assumption that “Since I can no longer see the problem that this policy is managing, and the only thing I can actually see it doing is minorly inconvenience me from time to time, we should obviously abolish it.”

    Nobody gets measles anymore, so I shouldn’t worry about vaccinating my children, since it’s such a bother

    The air quality is fine, so we should stop worrying about emissions, since it’s such a bother

    Was the Metro a deathtrap? Hundreds of thousands of people drove them without suffering so much as a stubbed toe.
    Uh, yes.
    I work for the EPA, and I can confirm that neither our staff or budget is “ever increasing”.
    getting a kick, etc.
    I thought Scion’s big schtick was marketing aggressively towards the raver and LGBTQ community. Did that change?
    What car is that? Thundercougarfalconbird.

    That’s some libertarian thinking right there.
    If written by someone who wasn’t foaming at the mouth, this could have made some great points. Since it was written by a moran.
    Basically the same story on Fark from last year about why Volkswagem builds 70 MPG Golfs in the US but can’t sell them here. The more efficient engine doesn’t meet current EPA standards so they have to put a less efficient engine in the car to sell it in the US market.

    The same diesel engine is coming to the US sometime this year (they say). The Mazda 6 is already on sale in America but it’s the sedan/saloon gasoline version for now, and I don’t think they’re bringing over the wagon/estate/tourer. The 6 gets 38 mpg (EPA estimated, don’t know if that is a valid measure) and 180ish HP. The diesel will apparently get at least 46 mpg when it’s tested by the EPA while putting out 175 HP and 280 lb/ft of torque.
    If you want a small car with good gas mileage and safety standards from 20+ years ago… why don’t you just go buy a 1990 Geo Metro? It doesn’t have the leather wrapped steering wheel or Bluetooth, but it won’t cost you $9800 either, so you can afford to add those with aftermarket devices.

    They don’t have to, they just don’t want to have to use a urea solution to meet the standards. Mercedes-Benz is selling clean diesels in the U.S. now, you just have to have that blue urea solution recharged every once in awhile.

    The GLK 250 gets 24/33 mpg produces 200hp and 370 lb ft of torque and still drags its 2.1 ton ass to 60 in about 7 seconds.

    A fully fair and balanced article with zero addition of irelevant spin or boogey man buzzwords. What a breath of fresh air. What? Oh sorry, my desire for fresh air means I am committing a “fatwa” using my federal reserve “notes”.

    Author of article is an “ultra partisan hack” and is a “f@cktard”.
    I’m pretty sure the Sail only comes with a driver’s side airbag in that configuration.

    Also, this is the body structure of a Chevrolet Sail. Maybe it’s missing something, but it appears to have minimal, if any, side and offset impact protection.

    Since you posted a picture with the doors not included, I’d say yes, it is missing something.

    I have a 2007 Nissan Versa hatchback, purchased new. I have the SL, which is the “higher end” with rims, not hubcaps, a six-speaker stereo, nicer seat fabric, a center armrest, map lights (too bright!) and a sunglasses holder, and several other little upgrades.

    Save for the fact that the mileage is below what’s advertised (and I’m an efficient driver) and the fact that you can’t fit a bike through the hatch (I don’t own one, it was somebody else’s), it’s a fantastic car and I enjoy driving it.

    But my favorite thing about it is the fact that it comfortably seats people 6′ tall in the back seat, with knee room to spare, even though it’s only 14’ long.

    Having said that, I can imagine why anyone would get the sedan. Even though it’s slightly cheaper, it’s far less versatile, the back seats don’t even fold down to open up the trunk, and it has no personality. The hatch has nice lines for what it is. The sedan looks utterly generic.

    nobody cares

    That’s where you are wrong, it would still cost the same, the workers are not the ones inflating the price but it is nice to blame the little guy isn’t it.

    The logistics and manufacturing process is far more efficient here,

    It reminded me of my neighbor who was screaming about how I don’t pay property taxes because I rent. He seems to think that my landlords don’t use my rent to pay their property taxes.
    IIRC Lotus had a lot of trouble convincing US regulators that their cars weren’t death traps.

    Go be fatwah somewhere else.
    (such as something from Tesla, once their prices start to come down).

    The tesla is quite affordable for a sportscar.

    what market do you think they’re really appealing to, anyway?
    It’s a BMW/Audi competitor.

    Ummm yeah, it kinda was you moran
    the “unelected” slur that used when things don’t go your way is just foolishness and demagoguery. Would you really want every single government employee to be elected?

    On a serious note, a recall process would be nice. There is a legitimate point amidst the derp that such departments are completely unaccountable to the public.

    Also i’m kind of shocked that there’s not a single dissenting opinion in here. So the EPA/FTA are right 100% of the time? No chance, however small, that failing their emissions or safety standards doesn’t necessarily mean the car involved isn’t a smoke spewing deathtrap?
    We had a Geo Metro. It was not a deathtrap, as long as you didn’t bump into anything. Ever.

    Water vapor is the biggest greenhouse gas there is. It’s responsible for most of the warming we have today.
    Oh, it meets the regulations that were in effect in 1990. Thats close enough. Not too much has changed in 23 years.

    What’s this Bluetooth they talk about in the stereo? I just want to know if it has a CD player, so I can listen to Nirvana and Soundgarden on it.

    The whole article sounded like a fat waaaaahhh
    That was in the cray cray rant somewhere
    That’s an Aveo. Aveo’s suck and were discontinued because nobody wanted them. GM does offer the Spark now though, a better car for just a but higher price then this, since, you know, it isn’t being sold to 3rd world standards.
    Article from a guy a bit out of touch. I drive a 94 Ford Explorer with no AC, no radio, although it does have power windows. It really doesn’t get much in terms of mileage, either. However, the price for buying a fuel efficient car vs. just using what I got is pretty hard to make up if my vehicle has no issues (even if I spend 50% less on gas, it could still take years to make up the price difference).

    I don’t see what’s so hot about 40 mpg these days, either. There’s a heck of a lot better available, and 9800 isn’t what I’d consider “cheap.” But then again, I also come from a place where buying a brand new car is something only rich people and/or fools do.

    Everyone knew that, even back then. Go faster Daddy!

    How I end up with an Aveo every farking time I rent a car in LA is beyond me. It’s like I’m cursed.

    So did he get anything wrong?
    I mean, on top of being a sucky blog, his overwhelming use of political dogwhistles makes me assume he probably did.
    Read his article about how the Costumed Enforcers are responsible for the murder of an innocent man who only forgot to use his turn signal (and ran from cops, and other misc. bad things hardly noteworthy).

    There ARE some pretty great little cars that are sold in Europe though. A friend of mine very much wishes that she could get her Ford Puma imported into the US. She really loved that little car.

    The extra safety and emissions features probably add $1000 to the cost of each if you have large-scale production. The Sail looks similar to the Spark which GM is selling in the US. The real deltas in cost between the Sail ($9800 according to the article) and the Spark ($13000 base MSRP) are more likely that South Korean labor is more expensive than mainland chinese labor, and to get into the US market, both countries pay a tariff.
    So if GM wanted to sell the Sail here, the tariff would probably bring it close to the price that the Spark is now.
    Since you’re so well-informed, please tell us about some of the many vehicles available in the US that get 40mpg AND cost $9800.
    I came to cover the ‘fatwa’ angle but I see it’s been done. I agree with the guys point but he is being a tool about it.
    If written by someone who wasn’t foaming at the mouth, this could have made some great points. Since it was written by a moran.
    another “libertarian” who is actually a corporate anarchist.


    This guy would be pissed off if there was only ONE regulation on the U.S. Auto industry. He can stick his fatwas up his ass.

    Ah yes, the good ol’ days of 1990 air standards, where there were 41 first stage smog alerts in Los Angeles, compared to the…zero…there were last year. I really do miss when I could scoop out my air with a spoon. Those were such wonderful times.

    I thought Scion’s big schtick was marketing aggressively towards the raver and LGBTQ community. Did that change?

    Ahhh, so that explains the complimentary box of glowsticks, passifiers, and buttplugs.

    But no, seriously: I couldn’t give a flying ratfark about who they market to. The cars are built by Toyota, in Japan, hence legendary reliability. The build quality and attention to detail is better than any other car I’ve driven, including German ones that cost 3-4 times as much. And the handling and interior appointments are much sportier and more enjoyable than most of what Toyota sells under its own label. It came with a Pioneer sound system that is absolutely biatchin’ for standard factory equipment.
    My xA is plenty zippy for an econobox (I have the 5-speed manual, so there’s more than enough torque available for city driving). My friends jokingly refer to it as the TARDIS (it’s blue, and there’s somehow more volume on the inside than there is on the outside). And the gas mileage, as noted, is pretty impressive. Before I switched the factory economy tires for some grippier ones, I could get close to 60 mpg on the highway. Even with the stickier tires I still get close to 50 in cruise.

    I’m really looking forward to sticking an FR-S in my garage when my financial situation changes.

    There is a legitimate point amidst the derp that such departments are completely unaccountable to the public.

    You’re right. They are more accountable to the damn corporations than the public. See “captured regulatory agencies” and “revolving door jobs.”

    I think the constant drumbeat about “over regulation” is one of the most idiotic talking points we have to deal with. The corporations are writing most of the regulations and, furthermore, the government is actually enforcing almost no regulations with anything other than a wrist slap. We’ve never been more pro-corporation at any time in history except maybe the guilded age… and the guilded age led right into the depression.

    I tried reading through the comments in TFA, but all the teabagger derp was starting to give me a migraine.

    Actually if you bought the cars from GM as rolling chassis no engine or transmission. They would not come with a VIN number, so they would meet the definition of a kit car. All you would need to do is install the drive-train and have the state you live in issue you a home-built tittle.

    It’s not that the government is infallible. In fact, quite the opposite. Technologically, we can be doing better than what we are. The problem is that government standards are written by people with direct ties to the industries they are governing. In this case, a lot of the EPA ranges were a compromise to appease the Detroit 3.

    What is this, Michele Bachmann’s blog? Those “5%” emissions add up to, I dunno,

    About THAT MUCH smog when you’re talking about five million vehicles.

    2C8H18 + 25O2 -> 16CO2 + 18H2O

    5% mystery meat seems like a lot.

    The thing I never understand about Libertarians is that they do not seem to realize positive rights exist.

    He has an article complaining about security measures preventing cell phone usage and DUI in newer cars because they interfere with HIS rights.

    Well guess what shiathead. I have rights too. And one of those rights is not having to get run down by your drunk and texting ass.

    Let’s see: a 6-speed transmission? a high-efficiency diesel? Of course it’s not sold in the US.

    Rented a honkin’ big full-size van in Italy last year that got mileage like that.
    VW sells turbo-diesels in the US. US customers don’t like diesel fuel. I don’t think the emissions standards are a big problem, because VW was able to overcome them. Diesels are more expensive cars, and turbo diesels even more so. Maybe it’s the fuel economy test, the european diesels get lower ratings than they should so they become less attractive to customers. But you can’t get around that upfront cost. It’s high.

    The notion that a car is safe or unsafe or clean or unclean based on our government-mandated tests alone is bunk and this pretty much proves it. If something would fail here but pass in Europe, it indicates that both safety and cleanliness is something that’s a matter of degrees (much like anything else in this world), not a binary black or white.

    You do realize standards are not magically and randomly selected right? The European standards are currently being debated to increase to match ours. The basis for the standards is based on very real statistical analysis. If you want to suggest the standards are wrong, show how the math is wrong. Don’t wave the “government” around us a boogie man.

    So the EU’s statistical analysis was just plain wrong the first time? If our government’s tests are the be all end all, Gandalf bringing his staff down and saying YOU SHALL NOT PASS (based on scientifically rigorous data) why would anyone else come up with a different result and different standards? You don’t argue with an angry wizard.
    I want a cheap simple car that is fun to drive and will break less. Car makers do not like to make those.

    Has anyone seen the crash tests for what drives on Chinese streets? Chinese car makers have attempted to get their cars into Europe, and the results are on youtube. It is just scary.

    Not that this is important either way, American car companies condition people to want expensive cars that make toast then will melt down at about 150k.

    He may have a point about dimishing marginal returns.
    That’s kind of what I was getting at. There are cars that fail US standards (and are therefore unsellable here) but are fine over in first world European nations due to nothing but differences in the testing protocols.

    The notion that a car is safe or unsafe or clean or unclean based on our government-mandated tests alone is bunk and this pretty much proves it. If something would fail here but pass in Europe, it indicates that both safety and cleanliness is something that’s a matter of degrees (much like anything else in this world), not a binary black or white.

    No one ever said it was black and white. The problem is that you can’t regulate a gray zone, so you draw a line. As time goes on and technology progresses, you move that line. European cities do not have the same smog concerns that we face in America. They drive far less than we do, and have fewer cars per capita. Gas is ridiculously expensive across the pond, so they use a lot less of it. Nature has a pretty good filter for some of pollution as long as you don’t overload it. We require stricter standards not because one particular car is worse than another, but simply because we have a larger pollution footprint with which to regulate.

    There didn’t used to be any, 20 years ago when I had a diesel golf. That farker belched smoke like a coal truck. But I went 500 miles on like a 10 gallon or so tank.

    I definitely was exempt from emissions testing (windshield sticker) in PA.

    I have no antipollution devices on my car that I drive every day whatsoever…no cat, no egr, no smog pump, no fuel inlet restrictor, no OBD…none of that stuff at all.
    I have protested the EPA by driving nothing but driving a car i bought many years ago for $300 – a 1967 Chevy II.

    The Cubans have really inspired me that no matter how old the car is, it can and will run forever.
    I must admit though, my inner libertarian (I try to keep it suppressed, but damnit, it just gets out sometimes) feels a little icky that the government is saying “No, you can’t buy that here. Not yours.” when the only person to be affected by my poor taste in cars would be me, the guy getting annihilated in a crash.
    Or pedestrians damaged by shrapnel
    Or the other driver injured because your car did not absorb any of the shock
    Or other drivers who hit your out of control vehicle
    Or the other passengers in your car
    Not to mention the inevitable toll the taxpayer would have to pay to cover the increased need for EMS and medical services, police presence, shut down of major roads due to severe accidents, and the possibility of economic impacts by declaring bankruptcy for medical reasons.

    The problem with Libertarian thinking like that is that your actions do not exist in a vacuum. Your decisions always affect others. It is not a violation of your rights to force you to comply with basic standards, its an enforcement of the rights of everyone else to be safe from your irresponsibility.
    Not to mention the inevitable toll the taxpayer would have to pay to cover the increased need for EMS and medical services, police presence, shut down of major roads due to severe accidents, and the possibility of economic impacts by declaring bankruptcy for medical reasons.

    Which is another argument for another time. EMS services should be federally or state subsidized, free of cost to the person in need provided it’s a legitimate use of the system, and people should NOT be going bankrupt for medical bills.

    Executive summary:

    Add like seven Fatwas and pretty much
    It’s well illustrated, too.

    0bummerlamadingdog is coming to take your cars!
    I would pay to hear this read by someone in Beijing on one of their don’t-go-outside days. Sputtering and choking along.
    I couldn’t make it past the epic butthurt of the first two paragraphs to see whether there was a valid point in there somewhere.
    It’s bright yellow because that’s the only way you can see it on Chinese roads due to all the smog.

    I’m very pleased the EPA stands firm on stuff like this.
    Now that’s a steaming pile of derp. Diktats and fatwas, unelected and unaccountable bureaucracies, comparing EPA and DOT to cancer, yada yada.

    And to think we could have this wundercar if only we rolled back our safety and environmental standards back to where they were in 1990.

    Besides all that, even if GM were allowed to import the car, it damn sure wouldn’t cost US consumers $9800. Probably closer to twice that. And it would still be a piece of crap.


    It’s cheap for a reason. Cut-corner safety being a part of that reason. If he wants to argue that consumers should be free to make that type of choice, fine (I personally don’t think they should because like so many other “libertarian” free choice rants, this one completely ignores that the consequences of their “freedom” choices is not limited themselves), but it’s disingenuous to suggest that this car is somehow reasonably equivalent and it’s just that the government are being dicks about it for no reason at all.

    not only that, he looks back to 1990 for inspiration, a time when small cars completely passed the now-basic IIHS 40 mph front crash test and several failed it completely

    tl;dr: this guy’s a farking moron, like most averred libertarians, and thinks he’s got a point about safety standards being unnecessary because he doesn’t personally experience the problems they’re actively preventing
    Strawman, they took a virtually rusted out and empty 1959 car. Sorry.
    Vehicle Miles Traveled (Billions ) 2011: 2946
    Fatalities per billion Vehicle Miles Traveled 1994: 17.3
    Fatalities per billion Vehicle Miles Traveled 2011: 11.0
    2946B Miles * 17.3 1994 rate deaths == 50966 dead
    MINUS 2946B Miles * 11 2011 rate deaths == 32406 dead
    == 18560 saved this year alone!

    So all this safety stuff, this expense, this safety work and education and legislation at the consumers and taxpayers expense, adds up to 18,560 Americans not dead just this year alone. Worth it? How many tea bags can you buy with 18,000 lives?
    The problem is that the teabaggers are the ones who lived. Maybe we should have left standards where they were.

    I think that everyone is missing the point here: Why can’t the US government be more like the freedom-loving Chinese government?

    I was smashed into on the interstate a few years back by an SUV driver who blindly merged right into the back of a line of stopped traffic and pushed my car into the back of a tractor trailer. The entire back end of the car was crushed and the front went underneath the steel bar on the bottom of the trailer, but the frame of the car forced the motor down and underneath the front of the cabin and lifted the entire shell up off the road on top of it instead of into my legs. My teenage sisters in law were in the back seat and my wife was in the passenger seat.

    In a car built to 1990s safety standards, I have no doubt we’d have all been killed. Instead, in my car built in 2006, my wife suffered a broken eye socket and some nasty bruises, I broke my wrist and nose and the kids didn’t suffer any serious injuries.

    So I’m going to go with… yea… yea I think so. Which is kind of part of the reason I’m so fired up about this idiot’s retarded commentary. If he wants to argue that people should be free to get in cars that will likely kill them in a crash to save a few bucks, fine, but drop the disingenuous bullshiat and say what you mean, dickhead blogger: you think more people should be dying so that you can get ultra-cheap, crappy cars. The Chevy Sonic is only about $4000 more and is significant safer. Over the course of 10 years that’s $400 a year. Whoopidy frickin’ doo, stupid blogger.
    In this scene, we see some individuals in China enjoying their freedom by taking a ride on some inexpensive transportation.
    Yep, and the “new sail” in China + third world is the… Spark. Same platform, less airbags, less quality control, poorer workers.
    That’s a funny website.
    What a screed. Reminds me of this rant against rentabike in NYC:
    not sure if serious.
    The comments in that second link are utterly derpy. The crumple zones, which distribute and absorb impact forces, are the reason that “plastic POS” allows it’s occupants to walk away. Sure, the body looked nice in older cars after you dinged them at 35 miles per hour, but that was of little solace to the guy who now has bilateral femur fractures and massive chest trauma from the steering column. Oh, and has a 200 degree engine setting ontop of him.
    Sure, if they sell it in China, it must be good. Because look at how awesome life is in China. No issues with product safety or air pollution. It is a workers’ and consumers’ paradise over there.

    Plus, if they sold it here, it sure as hell wouldn’t be $9800. They’d double the price, at least.
    Thank the granola-eating hippies that want everyone in golfcarts for that car being kept out of the US.

    That, and what particular risk was there for civilians to have more power per dollar than what the government allows outside the nomenklatura?
    Nothing of which is supported by the Wikipedia article you linked. In reality, Chevy/GM would have been competing with its self by releasing the car, and did not want to take a risky market venture after just having been bailed out by TARP, is what the article states.
    Because the kind of idiots who would want a car that can go way faster than could ever be legally needed on public roads would probably end up using that speed on public roads?
    This. As a public health measure, we obviously have a responsibility, as a society, to fund and build a sufficient number of drag strips and road race courses for use by these idiots. For the protection of both the idiots themselves and the public at large, we must push all racing off the street and on to the track.

    In 2008, I went to the Ford dealer, and told them I wanted a work truck. They started showing me these $35k models, with all the bells and whistles. I then told the salesman that he didn’t understand what I was saying. I wanted one of those V6, 5-speed, crank windows, vinyl seats, rubber floor trucks, with air.
    After he realized I wasn’t going to pay for one of those trucks, he sold me a new 2008 F150 for $9999. 120k miles later, it’s still getting 20mpg. Gimme me the low end models any day.
    A vehicle requires about 30-35 hours to build – the cost per hour of UAW labor (which includes everything – current-employee health care, funding retiree health care and pensions both for current workers and those already retired, in addition to the actual salary paid to employees), That makes the total cost of US labor to assemble a vehicle about $2100-$2500. The 2007 agreement is expected to bring that down to $55/hour, or $1650/car.

    The average price of a new vehicle is $30,000, making labor 7% of the cost of manufacturing.

    So keep making these arguments that US manufacturing labor is too expensive. Your corporate overlords might deign to pat you on the head for bowing down to them.
    What a ridiculously one-sided and misleading article. Go spend a few days in Beijing before you complain about our air standards. Here is a start

    Go anywhere in Asia. I visited Delhi over Christmas, one of the “cleaner” cities in Asia. I was blowing black shiat out of my nose after a day and the air had a distinct ozone smell. I’ll take clean air any day over a cheap car.

    I may be wrong, but I thought that the air quality problems in China (and large swaths of Asia) also had a lot to do with rampant industrial activity and few – if any – effective environmental regulations. Also, that for the vehicles a lot of that pollution is coming out of small engines of motorbikes, mopeds and scooters which are way worse for emissions then car engines – and cars which are much, much older and don’t have much emission control enforcement.

    As for TFA… he makes some good points about diminishing returns, but buried in a childish, hystrionic tone which doesn’t help at all.

    Water vapor is the biggest greenhouse gas there is. It’s responsible for most of the warming we have today.

    So humidifiers are causing global warming?

    For the Rest of Us not fortunate to have such a public sector job, no such luck. The best that one can do is an auction or private sale for a car with more wear than a overly-raced Z28. That, or hope that you can find a Mercury Marauder in decent condition(which has a fair amount of cop-car parts in a civilian-friendly package).

    So your complaint is that you cannot get a police package vehicle, which has lightbar/warning light mounts and an integrated siren system built in, with a police interceptor engine for no other reason than you want power? The 6.0L V8 is 362HP and the V6 is 280HP. The engine on a Chevrolet Camaro, 2013 model, is upgradable to a V8 with 580HP from the factory with no mods or tuning.

    Start from the undercover package and rip out the non-civilian parts (the siren system/lights). Next, figure out how to get the V8 under 25k and the V6 under 20k(hint: downgrade the audio system). There wouldn’t be a need to do that if GM decided to take a page from Chrysler regarding their lineup instead of Ford regarding the replacement of perfectly good V6’s with hippie-friendly I4’s. It’s not so much the specific package, but the entire lack of a civilian model in the first place.

    As for the Camaro, that’s a whole ‘nother car that is built to be a competitor to the Mustang.

    Wouldn’t mind the 1990’s Impala
    Or the Mercury Marauder
    …if hippies keep on farking with car design

    Oh wait, I forgot: Toyota’s not unionized in the US. But the difference between their labor cost and the UAW labor costs is only 10-15%.

    That’s courtesy of them being in “know-thy-place” states where businesses are considered full citizens and everyone else is 3/5ths one one at best.

    As far as I can tell, there wasn’t any actual argument. It was just assumptions and innuendo. He thinks maybe the car might be no worse than US 1990 crash and emission standards… but has absolutely no data to back it up.

    China is putting industrialization ahead of all other concerns. Life is cheap, so pollution standards and crash saftey standards are non-existent. There’s simply no reason to believe this $10k car – which isn’t THAT much cheaper than a similar sized car in the US – would have any crash survivability.

    Next, the fuel economy is reported according to… whom? People think of fuel economy as this monolithic truth, but every agency that measures fuel economy uses its own test method, and the paces they put cars through vary tremendously. The EPA tests are more stringent than those around the world, and fuel economies are generally much lower than those reported by other countries on the same vehicle. There’s absolutely no reason to believe this vehicle would reach 40MPG on the US test.

    Further, it achieves low gas milage by using a laughably weak engine – an 80HP engine would never fly in the US. The standard engine on the $13000 MSRP, 38 MPG Ford Fiesta is 120HP. (Then of course there’s the 197HP version…)

    There are plenty of other cheap, small alternatives: Nissan Versa ($11k /36MPG), Chevy Spark ($12k / 38MPG), SmartCar ($12.5k / 38MPG), Hyundai Accent ($12.5k / 37MPG), or Kia Rio ($13k / 37mpg). Every one of which passes US emissions and crash safety testing.

    So it’s at best A) $2-3k cheaper than vehicles sold in the US, B) 3-4MPG better, but at the cost of A) 30HP weaker B) no crash safety standards, and C) even those MPG claims are suspicious, having not been performed according to the same procedures.

    His argument made sense to me.
    Get help>

    No, I’ll just keep driving the cheaper cars, and not wreck them.

    His argument made sense to me.

    No, it didn’t, because it makes no sense period. You just have the same cognitive defect he does..

    It’s kind of like how two people with the same disorder might see things that are red as if they’re blue. That doesn’t mean they’re actually blue, it just means those two people both have the same problem.

    His argument made sense to me.

    No, it didn’t, because it makes no sense period. You just have the same cognitive defect he does..

    It’s kind of like how two people with the same disorder might see things that are red as if they’re blue. That doesn’t mean they’re actually blue, it just means those two people both have the same problem.

    The sky is purple… if Rush says it is.
    saying stuff makes it true.

    Mhmm, having a wrong-sized/no engine does that. Here’s a better crash test courtesy of Stuntbusters (with Cadillacs!).

    So, the only thing different with the video than real life is that the engine didn’t end up laying on the occupants in the Bel Air?

    Pretty sure that outcome would have been the same.

    not sure if serious.
    The comments in that second link are utterly derpy. The crumple zones, which distribute and absorb impact forces, are the reason that “plastic POS” allows it’s occupants to walk away. Sure, the body looked nice in older cars after you dinged them at 35 5 miles per hour, but that was of little solace to the guy who now has bilateral femur fractures and massive chest trauma from the steering column. Oh, and has a 200 degree engine setting ontop of him.

    “Eric Peters Autos, Automobiles, Motorcycles and Libertarian Politics
    That was my cue to stop reading.

    I own a CUV (compact utility vehicle, that is allowed to park in compact parking spaces. One day, in Texas, there was a big fat Nissan SUV just jammed into a parling spot next to it. So Iparked in the full size spot next to it. About 20 minutes later, on the loudspeaker, a voice asked for the owner(me) to move my car. After about 45 minute, I went to move my car. There was this heifer, acting upset that I had the temerity to park where I did, ranting about having my car towed. I turned around and started walking back. She became more incensed, asking where I was going. I told her get off in 3 hours. She changed her tone right away. Where I parked (in the space, she had about 7″of room to open the door. I then proceeded to advise her to “Learn to park”.
    Just because it fits in the space, doesn’t mean you can get in/out.
    Was kinda a dick move, but how are people gonna learn? I get over 30 MPG, so what makes these fatasses feel entitled for something they know is inherently wrong? Just try being considerate of others, for a change.

    A Mustang convertible, just a summertime weekend fun car. Low miles (60k) and a price that was too good to pass up. It’s fun to drive, but I have no illusions about it’s safety compared to new cars — which is why it’s restricted to weekend “cruising”.
    It has a 5.0 V8 but a current Honda Civic would blow it’s doors off. It also gets worse MPG than any of my other (modern) higher horsepower, smaller engine cars. Amazing what 23 years of technology advancement can do…..
    What I wouldn’t give to have a 302 in my 88 Mustang LX. The 2.3L not only doesn’t have any power, but gets worse gas mileage at this point too.

    Most Civics I doubt would out do your 5L if it’s running right.
    I’d put a turbo on mine if I could afford it….
    blow it’s doors off.
    That, and if one cares to mod the Mustang, the Civic would find itself looking at the wrong end of that Mustang.

    Amazing what 23 years of listening to environmentalist hippies can do…..
    It turns perfectly good cars into glorified Trabants.

    You second point is spot on.
    But the 5.0 Mustang in question also has the infamous AOD automatic transmission which takes an enormous amount of horsepower out of the equation via driveline loss. It only dyno’d at 170 rwhp. So a basically stock new Civic would have a good chance.
    The ’90 will get some mods — first up 3.55 gears and a shift kit. But I won’t be making a fire-breather out of it — I already have a fairly ridiculous horsepower car (an ’03 SVT Cobra w/ about 450hp) — it’s only intended to be a laid back, top-down cruiser.

    A bull bar might help with that.

    VW sells turbo-diesels in the US. US customers don’t like diesel fuel.

    First car is now a mass of dents because I got an American land yacht (6’4″, 310 pounds) and moved to a place with tiny parking spaces.

    A bull bar might help with that.

    Do they make them for corners? My big problem is the stupid poles on the sides of my parking spot. If I back out far enough to miss it, I can’t make the angle to pull out of the parking spot without whacking the guy behind me, and if I don’t pull out far enough, I whack the pole. Or I can bash in the corners a bit and make the angle every single time.

    It also doesn’t help that I learned to drive in a minivan with poor brakes. My two problems right now are this big honking nose that I’m not used to having, and getting rearended when I brake faster than the other guy (which would NEVER have happened in the minivan. Those brakes have been squealing for 30K miles now. )

    That and I got my DL the day before I went off to college, took a 2 year break from driving, drove for 3 months, took another 2 year break from driving, and now need to figure out how to drive again.

    Now, my memory isn’t what it used to be, but I was under the distinct impression that the emissions standards we have today are a direct result of scientists in the early 90’s telling us that the lax emissions standards of the day were causing record levels of acid rain, and a failure to act would render the earth barren within 50 years.

    Yeah, that’s hogwash.

    Acid rain was from burning sulfur-heavy coal in electric generation facilities. Had nothing to do with cars.

    If you actually tried to get a ex-law enforcement vehicle, you would find out that it’s not as simple as that.

    Come to DC and try to peddle that BS. Ex-Cruisers are some of the most desirable vehicles at the auctions. Especially popular with the Brothers. Hell, you see taxis with the “police interceptor” badging around here. They are everywhere and command top dollar.

    Curse you government and your insistence that cars be safe and non-polluting!

    you are all clueless. maybe it’s no safer then a 1990 metro, but how much safer is it then a motorcycle, scooter or moped? or one of these new can-am bikes? please, in some states you don’t even need a helmet.
    lets talk have safe a car need to be.

    I really wasn’t trying to be snarky or infer anything with that, Cthulu. It was one of their actual marketing strategies to go after that demographic for a while.

    I might look into one when I get my next car, if they’re that good for the price. I just bought a lightly used 2009 mustang a year ago (25,000 miles), so I’m set for the next few years.

    Bloody love that car.

    Nah, I didn’t take any offense. I just found the idea entertaining, a car designed for gay ravers.

    I think their marketing people were just trying to shake the image that Toyota has of “this is the car your grandma drives”. To be fair, Grandma drives Toyotas because you can’t kill them by collapsing buildings on top of them. My grandpa actually drove his (US equivalent) Hilux home from a botched service job and it ran fine for a couple days without any oil.
    Don’t know if it’s been mentioned but wow there was just a whole lot of right wing stupid going on in the articles comments section.

    Another amusing batch of fark commentary based on ignorance of automotive history filled in with government propaganda.

    Gee… one year we had SAE standards and then the next the same standards were copied by the government and then we were ‘safe’ at last. Today an automaker or supplier comes up with something and then it gets mandated because people in government think its a good idea… Yeah, those evil automakers who would fund universities to study safety back in the day never do any of this on their own… they never tried to use it sell cars until the government made them. Well except for those old advertisements and films that only car geeks ever look at.
    I can’t believe he’s allowing my comments to post…
    I work for the EPA, and I can confirm that neither our staff or budget is “ever increasing”.

    getting a kick, etc.

    Not sure if serious due to meme reference. EPA budget was increased 50% (from $8 to $12 billion) between 2010 and 2011 alone.

    Certainly not ever-increasing, but that is a huge leap despite the agency receiving healthy increases nearly every year.

    Displayed 229 of 229 comments

    • Why is it that libtards/clovers (is there a difference?) so fucking VERBOSE?! I lost count of how many times I hit “Page Dn” just go get through that screed…

    • Tor Minotaur, its obvious that you understand as little about libertarianism, as you do about economics, politics and the science behind ecology. Ladies and gentlemen, what you see above is whats known as a fisk. Its intended to be, a point by point refutation of a article or post. In its ideal form, it ties in valid counter arguments, and weaves a tapestry of truth and insight, in order to educate those who read it. In other words, its a blend of science and art. Unfortunately, all too many people lack the knowledge/talent/ability required, and thus tend to mistake quantity with quality. That results in a LONG rambling, stream of poorly conceived, and poorly expressed semi concepts. I could direct them to any number of resources, that would address their obvious ignorance of the various topics, but I suspect that would be nearly as much a waste of my (and your) time, as counter fisking them. So, I will simply content my self with listing several sources, that most of you are already familiar with. Rathbard, Mises, Hayek, Hoppe, Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods. To name just a few.

  10. “The fact of the matter is that almost any car sold in this country as recently as five years ago would likely not pass muster with current “safety” requirements. Go back ten years and none would make the cut. Think about that.”

    So I started thinking about that…In 2003 there were 42,643 deaths. In 2011 it was 32,367… I’m pretty sure that teenagers didn’t somehow learn to drive better all of a sudden, so I’d say those pesky safety standards are probably to blame for most those 10,000 extra people every year being alive. I wonder what those numbers look like for injuries? Hmm….

    However, this article compares this car to the Geo Metro and safety standards specifically for the year 1990.
    In 1990 there were 46,800 deaths of which 24,100 were in passenger cars like the Geo Metro. In 2009 there were almost half as many at 13,100. Like a previous poster commented this doesn’t even take into account population growth over 23 years!

    So yeah, you can buy cars like this in China and Brazil, and they are definitely “cheaper.” The real question is… Is your life worth that extra $50 a month in car payments… If not, then I know a used car salesman who’d love to meet you! I’ll keep my seat belts, airbags and non-exploding fuel tanks thank you!

    Don’t even get me started on China’s smog problem… Although, I suppose if you like wearing gas masks and installing expensive air filtration systems for your house in order to breath without said gas mask in your bed at night, then maybe you should go move there and buy one of these miracles of pure unadulterated capitalism.

    • Dear Thinkier,

      Assuming you are a male, and basing this recommendation on your value system, you should consider getting an orchiectomy ASAP. It’s done as an outpatient for $2,500. It will add an average of 14 years to your life.

      Is your life worth all those primal chemicals and their toxic side-effects?

      Bilateral Orchiectomy


    • There are many confounding factors and attempting to compare numerical death numbers is not going to often yield reliable results.

      There also have been ups and down in safety over time due to the government regulations themselves. If you want crash safety many cars built from 1977 to 1995 should be avoided while a number of cars made from 1971-1985 are still likely good choices, especially if some of their deficiencies to modern cars are taken care of. That means better seat belts, brakes, etc.

      The reason is that engineering is always about balancing many factors. If I pull an old car that was about large size, strength and safety it will fair much better than one that was about cost, fuel economy, and small size. Government is another factor in the mix of many. In the 1980s CAFE forced size down. In the 1970s steel was simply added for safety. What do you want?

      The problem with many people commenting on this article is they read it as ‘this is what we should have’ instead of ‘we should be able to choose this’. In doing so they get their panties in a bunch. If you want airbags, buy them. I don’t want them. With my habit of wearing a seatbelt and government mandated over-powering for those who don’t wear one they are more likely to hurt me by breaking my fingers or other painful injuries than save me from any. Of course the evil automakers found out these problems in the early 70s, but our loving government knew better. Then people started dying in low speed crashes from the airbags. Now we have all sorts of kludge fixes and big ugly decals because nobody in government could admit they f’d up and the automakers, who did the development work, were right after all.

      Also, China’s smog problem? China has the powerful government to have prevented it, to fix it even now. Why not? Because it doesn’t suit them to. Just as it didn’t suit government in the USA to for many decades. Then when it suited the government to do so, it did. It doesn’t care about us, that’s not why it did it. It did it because it suited their interests. There is also no real international pressure on China to clean up its act. Why? Because it doesn’t suit the powers that be for it to clean up.

    • Hi Thinkier,

      The issue here is people’s right to choose for themselves. When I was a young guy in college, I was able to choose an old VW Beetle that cost me $800 and virtually nothing to maintain. I made that choice because I preferred “inexpensive” over “more crashworthy” because I judged the risk of actually being in an accident to be small (which it was, since I never had one) and worth assuming vs. the absolute facts of more expense, more complexity – and so on. That is – and ought to be – my choice to make. And yours. And everyone else’s, too.

      Let those who want airbags and so on buy them. Those who do not want them should be free to not buy them. That’s all I was trying to get at in the article. Free choice. You live your life, I’ll live mine.

      I also choose to run and lift weights regularly, because I prefer being fit to assuming the risks of being a sedentary and overweight couch potato. Perhaps the sedentary and overweight should not be “allowed” to eat excessively and forced to exercise….

    • Thinkier, by your standards we should buy a new car every year. Why you ask? Because the standards change every year. Right now the NHTSA is hard on Chrysler to recall 2.7M Jeeps starting in 1994 to the present. Problem, gas tank ruptures in accidents supposedly, and there have been 3 different positions of those tanks during this time. So where to put the things? They (NHTSA) don’t like them behind the rear axle, don’t like them in front of it, don’t like them in the center of the car(I can’t say between frame rails since there are none). This problem, according to the NHTSA has caused 44 deaths over the course of 20 years and the recall would cost Chrysler billions, yep, billions. I don’t attempt to put a price on a life but at an average of 2 people per year supposedly being victims of this “defect”, isn’t there a point it becomes ridiculous? Chrysler rightly pointed out every one of the vehicles complied with the safety regs in each and every year. We’re supposed to be protected from “Ex Post Facto” laws and I can only logically extend this to manufacturers of anything who met the regulations when they made a product as coming under this law too. I drove one of those “exploding Chevy” pickups for 20 years, even cobbed a big tree laid down and had it bend hell out of a passenger side tank and continued to drive it for years. I never really felt like I was in danger or I would have traded it for another style, brand, what have you. I’m not a big Chrysler fan but I have to side with them on this. 20 years later you change the rules for vehicles that there probably aren’t many left of the first versions and various changes to the fuel tank locations as well as construction. I drove drunk many times starting over 50 years ago, back when drunk driving was just virtually nothing. If you got stopped, the worst to happen would be sleeping it off in jail and mostly they just told you to get your drunk ass to the house and off the road, basically what you were already doing. So let’s go back and take these extreme DD laws we have now, apply them to when I was a minor, in a time DD was common enough and just string me up since it’s now worse than murder. Ex Post Facto my butt, I was guilty then, I’m guilty now…..right? Yeah, I’m just one of those “constitutional” junkies hiding out behind basic rights I was born with. Tor is correct about the orchiectomy too. It is a life extender, the very reason some people want to neuter your pet. I’ll neuter my dog when it’s his balls or his life, just like myself. I’ve known people who chose that route because of complications involving other diseases. As an 80 year old widower told me, it wasn’t that big a deal for him at that point. But Tor is correct. Got that doc’s appt. yet?

  11. I spend the winter in South America and see a bunch of american vehicles I cant buy at home and should be able to. for example, most of the s-10s and ranger pickups are deisels. S10 blazers and explorers are deisels. They also have a full line of toyota/nissan/ jap diesels. They have small Aveo sized cars, probably chinese which are deisels. I would estimate that 25-30% of the passenger vehicles on the road there, not even talking about commercial vehicles, are deisels. I want a mid sized diesel here but am limited to the VWs and the E class mercedes, or a few leftovers from the 80s like the caprice classic diesel which is not viable today. I cant figure out why our government will not let us have the fuel efficient vehicles we want. School kids are taught that we live in the land of the free but it aint so!! KF

    • Hi King,


      The key thing to understand here is that it’s not “our” government. It’s the government. And to does not work for us.

  12. OORRRRR….you could just legalize storage of hydrogen in hydride tanks and we could just use hydrogen powered cars, a renewable energy source that burns clean and efficient. Oh wait, there’s still so much more to be made off oil that this will never happen even though we easily have the technology and resources to do so. My bad. Never mind.

  13. It seems that when they made these cars illegal to sell or own in the US, they forgot to make it illegal for US companies (and their subsidiaries in other countries) to manufacture them. What would happen if GM was not allowed to make this car? Would they, perhaps, lobby for more sensible EPA and DOT standards that would allow it?

  14. When I was 16 in southern California you couldn’t see your had in front of your face because of the smog. People bitched about the clean air requirements.
    When I was 16 50,000 people were killed a year in traffic accidents. People bitched about the safety requirements.

    Now I am 63 the air in Calif. is breathable. There are still 40,000 to 50,0000 people killed each year in traffic accidents. However when I was 16 there were a 160 million people in the US now there are 310 million. (do the math).

    Due to the requirements that cars be more efficient and the engineering as a result 500 hp engines are common place.

    I have care creds — built and raced b and c sports racers in the 70s still have sports cars Beck Spyder and 79 Rolls Royce — Both dirty and unsafe but not really driven much — and an Audi Avant Safe and Clean.

    So the point is that these cars could be approved for the US — The smart car is a small wierdly powered vehicle. The market in the US wants SUVs not small cheap commuter cars. It doesn’t really have anything to do with you Libertarian views and you hate for the colored guy in the white house.

    BTW — If Libertarianisnm is such a great thing. Please tell me one country that works like this utopia you speak of – or one society that has ever been successful at it..

    Sorry your rant is BS

    • Boy,

      In the article I pointed out that we reached the point of diminishing returns sometime during the late 1980s/early 1990s. By that time, more than 90 percent of tailpipe emissions had been “controlled.” Now we’re at the point of attempting to get at the last 1-3 percent – at tremendous cost.

      Your observation: “The market in the US wants SUVs not small cheap commuter cars.”

      Guess what car has seen the most explosive growth in the US during the past two years?

      Fiat. The 500.

      The SmartCar, by the way, is pretty stupid. It only seats two, has virtually no cargo capacity and its mileage sucks for what it is.

      And what the hell does the current head-thug-in-residence’s skin color have to do with anything?

      I don’t give a damn what his skin color is. I do give a damn that he’s an authoritarian thug. Just like his predecessor.

      • My observations still stand. The Smart Car passes the safety and emissions standards. The Fiat is qute and unique but dosen’t get that good a gas mileage.

        I’m pretty well off I live in Georgia. My acquaintances at the boat dock (the 90 foot slip boat dock) and those in business assume I am part of the tribe. Believe me the color of the president is always the base issue. You are naive to think it is not.Clover

        Done here

        • “Believe me the color of the president is always the base issue. You are naive to think it is not.

          Done here”

          Yes, that’s typically what’s done after building the straw man. Leaving.

        • No, your points don’t stand.

          You stated that Americans aren’t interested in small, economical cars. I pointed out that the 500 Fiat is selling extremely well. It’s a huge hit. This proves my point – and disproves yours.

          The Smart gets 34 city, 38 highway. The much more useful/practical 500 gets 31 city and 40 highway.

          The Chevy Sail gets 41.2 MPG.

          You keep chirping about Obama’s color. No one here ever mentions it. And I’ve repeatedly denounced his white (and inbred) predecessor – as well as his most recent (white) challenger for the title of Dear Leader. I despise Obama – and Bush and Romney and all the rest of them – because they are authoritarians.

          • That is my anecdotal experience also. While personally, I require hood-tested non-descript battlewagons, I have heard numerous ladies say the Fiat was “cute.”

            Before that, I often hear the fair ones made of spice and everything nice cooing over how much they’d like to have a Mini Cooper.

            I gotta believe Chicks drive purchasing choices, I know I hate to buy anything new whatsoever. I always wait out in the parking lot at stores, never entering a Big Box Borg Shopping Cube for any reason.

            I can live with almost anything that goes vroom, but not something that whirrs and clicks and mashes ass into elbow and soup into nuts for a penny a mile mileage improvement provided by the 43rd best choice of the 43 available affordable small cars. (Ford Fiesta #1 Honda Fit #2)

            Electric Chain Saw vs. Gas Chain Saw

            The Smart Car seems a horrendous undriveable gimmick so far at its current price point. Sell-em stripped down and cheap at a Walmart, and then we can talk.

            I think that Sail would kill it here in America. How does one start a grass roots campaign to demand it be made available to us?

            The Smart Car Production Process

          • Tor, good luck on finding that chick. I’d swoon if one knew the diff between a Karmann Ghia and Porsche 911. I went to high school with a girl gearhead and since she was 3 years younger, a beanpole who wasn’t loud and proud, I never noticed. Only 15 or so years later did I meet her at a swap meet and saw her ride, an old restored Vette that was rank. Oh well, I was married, she was too, to a whole stable of muscle cars. That’s the way love goes…..

            • Independent testing, Bob.

              The car has a modern (fuel-injected, computer controlled) 1.2 liter engine and five-speed overdrive in a car that weighs about 2,200 pounds. What sort of mileage do you suppose a car like that delivers?

        • Ahh, where there is no well reasoned argument for our betters telling us what’s best for us but instead endless ridicule for not accepting the greater wisdom of government. The government regulatory system that is oddly run by the very same evil people they claim government protects us from. Yes, I have a fark handle, no I am not going to tell you what it is.

          The funny thing is though just about every thread should be proof that liberty would work. Just look at all those folks that would buy the safest and cleanest cars all on their own. Automakers would have to come up with something safer year over year to please these people. Just like they used to. Proof that customer demand works. But like a clover, a farker thinks his own ideas are superior and the unwashed masses must be forced to along with him or else. It’s just too much work to convince his fellow man to make similar choices, forcing him is much easier and expedient.

          Since the typical farker’s argument rests on belief of his own superior opinion (given to him through the mass media and government schools) and violence the only argument he has against liberty is ridicule.

          The typical farker never studied where this regulatory system came from. He still thinks government is a counter balance to the evil corporations not knowing that the evil corporations are the government regulators and have been for a very long time. That it was the undo influence of these evil corporations over government that resulted in the pollution problem in the first place. Government told people harmed by pollution to go pound sand. See, government didn’t do its basic job back then and thus as usual the solution has been more government later on, just to screw us little people in a different way. Well at least the air is cleaner. Would have been nicer if the government had simply recognized property rights in the first place and stopped the pollution a 100+ years ago. But alas it did not, so now the environment is a regulatory weapon for the PTB.

          I do enjoy the farker’s photos of China, never mind that of course China’s government has all the power necessary to prevent pollution but doesn’t because, well their crony capitalists don’t have a competition problem to deal with. There’s no need for such regulation because it doesn’t serve those with power. Perhaps like the USA, at some point it will serve those with power to have it and things will get cleaned up. What it won’t be is clean air for the sake of the poor and middle class.

          Oh and to exboyracer, government controls people by pitting them off against one another on meaningless things like religion, race, pizza toppings, sports teams, ethnic background, car make preferences, and host of other things. The regulars here are for the most part well beyond that. Obama, like Bush jr, like Clinton was groomed for a very long time and performing accordingly.

          • Brent says: The regulars here are for the most part well beyond that. Obama, like Bush jr, like Clinton was groomed for a very long time and performing accordingly.
            Say it ain’t so Joe, say it ain’t so.
            by Jon Rappoport

            June 6, 2013


            An announcement: This is satire.

            After writing about 150 million Americans going to Mexico, swimming back across the Rio Grande, applying for benefits as immigrants, and becoming instant millionaires…some people believed I was reporting (or misreporting) a fact.

            But satire can be more real than reality. (Many things, as it turns out, are more real than reality.)

            Television, for example.

            Anyway, the period between the election of a president and his inauguration is a fascinating one, because that’s when the shiny new commander-in-chief learns the score.

            He knows certain secrets already, but people of importance fill him in on the rest.

            In President Obama’s case, he had questions.

            On a fall afternoon in 2008, comfortably ensconced in a Virginia cave 600 feet below the Langley headquarters of the CIA, in a room that was soundproofed a dozen different ways, Obama sucked on a non-filtered Camel, sipped brandy, and said:

            “Look, Mark, or whatever your real name is, I get the fact that I’m deliriously happy with Michelle. That’s been explained to me. We’re the perfect couple. I get the fact that I’m working for ‘the bankers,’ and I get that I’ll be launching a few military actions and stringing out operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They already filled me in on that. But what about jobs?”

            Mark, an Ivy League prunehead from an old Boston family, stood up and started pacing.

            “Barack, the jobs thing is tricky. We don’t want jobs to come back. We want to make people believe they will come back and are coming back. We can manage the statistics on it. That’s no problem. But we need you to be the blue-sky guy for a bit. We need you to sell it. We need you to dazzle the rubes with a brand of bullshit that soars like music.”

            “Well,” the new president said, “that’s what I do. That’s why I’m here. Don’t worry about it.”

            Mark shook his head. “No, you don’t understand. We’ve already calculated that your gloss is going to wear out in about a year. We know it. The public trance is going to fade.”

            “You’ve calculated? What does that mean?”

            “It means we have algorithms. We have gnomes from MIT who do the math for us. They don’t miss. You’re going to sound like a broken record in a year. And it’s going to go downhill from there, for the rest of your terms in the White House.”


            “This is a twofer, Barack. You serve until 2016. It’s in the bag.”

            Obama smiled. “First time I’ve heard that.”

            “Take it to the bank,” Mark said. “Unless you really screw up, in which case, we’ll wrap you in scandals that’ll make your head spin.”

            “Hey Mark,” Barack said, “give me a teleprompter and I’m Jesus, Abe Lincoln, and and the Oxy stain-remover guy all rolled up into one. I do speeches. I excel. I can paint paradise for a blind guy and force him to tears.”

            Mark sighed. He’d been through this with Bush and Clinton. Presidents always had false perceptions of their own skills. You manipulate the press, surround them with fawning androids, fake the election results when necessary, put these clowns into office, and all of a sudden they develop new layers on their already swollen egos.

            “Barack,” he said. “You’re going to do freebies. That’s your ace in the hole.”


            “We have the timetable. It’s all programmed. What’s that phrase you love? ‘We’re all in this together.’ You’re going to hit that like a pinata. And goodies are going to come tumbling out. We want at least fifteen million Americans on disability by the first year of your second term.”

            “I’m going to give away the farm?” Obama said.

            “The farm, the tractor, the pickup, and the house. You’re going to give away the moon and Mars. If it’s nailed down, you’re going to pry it up and hand it out. That’s your mandate. You’re the freebie president. You’re Santa Claus and Johnny Appleseed.”

            “Wow,” Barack said. “I had no idea.”

            “It’s easy. We’ll take you along step by step. You’re going to put America in such a deep hole it’ll never get out.”

            “What about the corporations and the banks?” Obama said.

            Mark stared at him for a few seconds. “Let me make this crystal clear, Barack. The banks and corporations GET freebies. Massive freebies. They aren’t presents you GIVE away. The corporations aren’t America. They don’t go down in the hole with the people. They’re free floating. They run the show.”

            “Got it.”


            “No, really. I’ve got it,” Barack said. “But listen, I’ve been meaning to ask somebody about the surgery.”

            Mark smiled. “A brilliant piece of work.”

            Barack nodded. “That’s what they kept telling me, but I never understood what it was for.”

            “Right,” Mark said. “Well, that’s part of this briefing. The boys from the clinic in Freeport put a liquid chip in your left arm. It’s not a chip, actually. It’s a a cluster of nanoparticles. I don’t know the tech side of it. But it allows us to shut you down.”


            More silence.

            “Excuse me?”

            “Shut you down. For a second, a minute, a day, a month, a year. Or permanently. Let me put it this way. We could close you out, ship you to the Hollywood Wax Museum, prop you up in a display, and no one would know you’re the president. You’d stand there for decades and never move or blink. Suspended animation.”

            Barack felt beads of sweat on his forehead. He felt he was standing in a blazing desert.

            He took a gulp of his brandy.

            “You’re…serious?” he said. “Is this a joke?”

            “Try wandering off the reservation and you’ll find out,” Mark said. “In 1992, Bill Clinton started talking about having a porn star cut to look like Marilyn Monroe. He was going to install her in a room in the White House. Bill was obsessed with John Kennedy. He wanted to be JFK.”

            Barack’s hands were trembling. “So…what did you do?” he said.

            “We eventually put together an android at Los Alamos. A girl. We named her Monica Lewinsky. Created a complete legend and back story for her, including a family. Do I need to spell out the rest?”

            Barack shook his head.

            “But you see,” Mark said, “that was just a light tap on the head for Bill. We could have gone much heavier on him…if we wanted to.”

            Obama sat there for a long time and didn’t say anything.

            Then he stood up.

            “I have a serious question for you, Mark,” he said. “It’s major.”

            Mark nodded. “I already know what it is,” he said. “You suspect something. We haven’t been able to blot out all the leakage. You won’t be the first president to ask the big question.”

            They stood there looking at each other.

            “You want to know,” Mark said, “whether you’re the ‘real’ Barack Obama.”

            Barack took a deep breath and let it out. Now, sweat was running down his cheeks.

            “In a way,” Mark said, “that’s a moot point. Does it actually matter? But because you’re the president-elect, I’ll give you an answer. You’re the third Barack Obama. The other two didn’t pan out. Don’t ask me about the real one. There are many things you’re not privy to.”

            Barack, without thinking, said, “BUT I REMEMBER MY WHOLE LIFE.”

            “Well, of course you do.” Mark said. “You think we’re a bunch of amateurs?”

            Mark looked at his watch. “I’m late for a meeting,” he said. “The fifth Chris Matthews is becoming unhinged. He’s talking about a tingle up his leg when he thinks about you. We need to see whether he needs an upgrade or a replacement.”

            The room began to melt and dissolve.

            Obama woke up in Jeffrey Katzenberg’s house in Los Angeles. He was lying on a large bed inside an ivy-colored cloud of memories.

            He stopped himself from screaming.

            He rolled over and reached out to the night table for his cigarettes. They weren’t there. His thumb touched something that slithered and made a crinkling sound.

            A small voice said, “We’re all in this together.”

            Obama quickly drew back his hand.

            He suddenly realized he was holding his cell phone. He brought it up in front of his face and punched in a number.

            A voice he knew immediately answered.

            “Yes, Mr. President, I’m here.”

            “Give the farm away, ” Obama said. “I want thirty million Americans on disability by next month! I want a new secret bank bailout plan on my desk tomorrow afternoon. Tell Bernanke to Q up five trillion dollars right away.”

            “Mr. President,” the voice said. “Bernanke will have to check with the City of London. Remember, they tell you what to do.”


            “Yes,” Obama said. “I momentarily forgot. I’ve had a tough night. Ask Bernanke then. Call it a request.”

            “Yes sir. Right away. Do you need more sleep?”

            Obama lay in the dark and thought about it.

            “I do,” he said. “Without any damn dreams.”

            “Hold on a second. I’ll key the transmission.”

            Obama waited.

            He felt a surge of warm energy in his left arm. He closed his eyes.

            …He remembered a rainy afternoon in Chicago. A pretty afternoon in the spring. He was walking along a path in Lincoln Park, and there was a boy sitting with his mother on a bench. She was stroking the boy’s face and smiling. He didn’t know why they were sitting there in the rain. He stopped walking and looked at them. The mother glanced up and waved at him, as if she knew him. Suddenly, Barack felt as if he could run in the rain. He could run for miles. He could run right out of Chicago on to the old 66 and keep going all the way down to St. Louis. He could hop on a raft and float on the great Mississippi down to New Orleans. He could walk through the French Quarter and no one would recognize him. He could check into a little hotel and and forget. He could float out the window and drift, drift, drift, and become lost in the stars.

            He could escape.

            He could merge with the dust of space and disappear.

            Then the President slept.

            …But the promise of no dreams did not come true. He was suddenly back in the cave under Langley talking with Mark again.

            “There’s one thing I don’t understand,” Barack said. “If you had your people make me, build me to your specs, then why are you worrying about whether I’ll go rogue?”

            “Yes,” Mark said. “That’s the other question the presidents ask. First of all, there’s merely the matter of the damage you could do in your position. Suppose a wild surmise came into your head and you held a televised press conference, and told the world you were working for the banks and the corporations. Suppose you laid it out. Suppose you told the people who’s really running this country. Suppose you made them believe the truth. The president is always only one move away from doing that. And then there’s a metaphysical slant to this whole deal. It’s a bit more esoteric. But it’s vital. You see,, Barack, every particle of matter and energy in this universe, no matter how it’s reworked, no matter what configuration it’s shaped into, strives for more. Every particle wants to be alive, more and more alive. Do you know what that means? Every particle of energy wants to be free. So even though we built you, there is an irrepressible urge within you for freedom. That makes you dangerous. The programming we installed only goes so far. We have to achieve total control with threats, backed up with the supreme willingness to act on those threats.”

            Barack thought about that. He nodded.

            “What about you, Mark?” he said. “Do you want to be free?”

            Mark looked up at the ceiling and said nothing. Barack watched his face tighten into a grimace of ancient hatred.

            “I have my moments, ” Mark said quietly. “But they pass. I’m serving the Good. And you are, too.”

            The lights in the room slowly dimmed.

            When the room was dark, Barack finally said:

            “All right. I’m ready to be the forty-fourth president of the United States.”

            “Yes, sir,” Mark immediately said. “I wish you every success in the challenges that lie ahead. These are perilous times. I have faith that you’ll navigate the deep waters with exemplary common sense and wisdom, and bring honor to the tradition of your Office.”

            Somewhere in the distance, a cymbal crashed and a marching band started up.

            Somewhere, in a small town, a parade began. People sat in the stands with flags. The band marched down the center of the street. The sun shone overhead.

            In the center of the music, laughter began.

            It slowly spread, engulfing the tune.

            Then it took over the street.

            People looked to see where it was coming from. But they couldn’t find it. The laughter climbed up the walls of the small brick buildings, it cannoned out into the countryside, into the pastures, the fields, the farms. It shot up into the sky. It turned the blue air into the green of money and the gold of livelihoods lost.

            Tunnels of sacking laughing wind blew that money and gold all the way into digitized numbers crawling across the sausage hands of the men who run America.

        • Thanks for posting that, exboyracer. I enjoyed all those comments.

          Strange kids, whose main concern in life is air quality? Really, that’s number one on your hierarchy? 24/7 curfew and prohibition on unapproved fun and freedom is no prob. What are you, cybermonks?

          Beijing is the type of place where a 30 year old man exchanges 200 tomatoes for a willing female fellatioist’s services. That’s the kind of green environmental co-op relationship an old guy libertarian can relate to.

          Man shoots at pimp and prostitute who robbed him, and killed the woman.

          Not convicted of murder due to nightime theft and fleeing provision of Texas law

    • “BTW — If Libertarianisnm [sic] is such a great thing. Please tell me one country that works like this utopia you speak of – or one society that has ever been successful at it.”

      That’s not the point. The goal is a free society, not a utopia. No one is expecting a utopia. “Bad things” can and will happen. It is wrong to legislate-away these “bad things” at the expense of liberty.

      Your statement is a textbook example of a “straw man”. Look it up if you’re unfamiliar.


    • ” It doesn’t really have anything to do with you [sic] Libertarian views and you [sic] hate for the colored guy in the white house.”

      You’re way out of line. Don’t confuse disdain for the current administration with racism. Once again, classic “staw man”. C’mon, you’re better than this.


    • Bastiat tells us why there are no libertarian countries:

      “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

      Find me a country without parasitical people and a bunch of other people that fall for their BS and then there will be a libertarian country.

      So long as some people try to live off the labor of other people a libertarian system will not be sustainable.

      As to an example of one, I offer the USA. Which through libertarian principle produced great wealth through hard work. Then the parasites decided they could live off the work of others. Their kind grew and grew. Now look at it. There are less people in productive industries than there are in government. Pretty sad. Many people want to live without working, they need a government so we have one.

      • Very well stated Brent. The principles of libertarianism, lead to obvious conclusions, that do not endorse a coercive State, that is so beloved of those who seek to live at the expense of others. It is not a “utopia” we seek, as much as individual liberty and freedom of choice, and its consequence.

        • Hi BJ,

          One of the stock objections to Libertarianism is that it’s “utopian.” The false premise that Libertarianism has the perfect solution to every problem. This is absurd, of course – just a means by which to avoid discussing what Libertarians do advocate, which is that individuals be left free to deal with the problems they have, as individuals, without being forced to accept “solutions” imposed by violence. Violence legalized and generalized being the worst problem of all.

          Libertarians hold that individuals have the moral right to deal with their own problems and also know their own problems better and their own interests better than someone with a “plan” and a gun to enforce it.

          That no one has the right to threaten violence for any reason except in defense of their own right to be left in peace.

    • “BTW — If Libertarianisnm is such a great thing. Please tell me one country that works like this utopia you speak of – or one society that has ever been successful at it..”

      State worshiping authoritarian collectivist control freak bootlicking turds (which seems to compose a huge majority of the Boomer generation which exboyracer belongs to) love to pitch this straw man. It runs along the lines of “Name one society in history that was ever anarchist/libertrian…” I usually reply with “Name one society that flew using wings before airplanes were invented” or “Name one society that used computers before computers where invented.” If these people were listened to 1 million years ago, human beings would never have left the trees.

  15. The EPA is the reason why THERE IS NOT ONE car in my fleet that is newer than 1992. These agencies have created the “Cuban Effect”…where in that country, most vehicles still on the road there is NOT NEWER than the 1960 model year…and proof that you can keep a car on the road for almost forever, I am forced to do this exact same thing.

    • Ditto, Skig –

      Only my “newest” is a 2002. But, it is pretty simple as modern cars go. Compact Nissan Frontier; 4 cylinder with conventional FI (not DI), conventional 5-speed manual (not “direct shift,” automated manual or CVT), manual AC, no flat screens, no EDR.

    • My ’93 Chevy diesel pickup, only thing on the exhaust beyond the turbo is a muffler, no computer controller, perfect.

  16. While carbon dioxide might not cause smog, it is a main cause of greenhouse gas, and that contributes to climate change.

    • Hi Methuselah,

      Leaving aside “climate change” – the fact is the Sail has a smaller engine – which means it produces less C02.

    • CO2 causes climate change is a belief. Correlation is not causation and even the correlation used appears sketchy at best. There is so much power and money in making CO2 a pollutant that I have very strong doubts about this government sponsored science.

      Furthermore, they ignore the other side of hydrocarbon combustion, H2O. Water vapor is a much much stronger greenhouse gas and nobody considers the water being added to the earth’s systems. For every CO2 created there are more than one H2O. (each carbon in the chain has two H and the end carbons have three)

      • There is evidence that increased carbon dioxide *follows* warming. If this is the case, how can it be that carbon dioxide causes warming? It’s simple logic.

        I never thought I’d live to see the day when carbon dioxide is considered a pollutant by the EPA. We exhale the stuff, and plants “inhale” it. It’s just another episode of Government Gone Wild.

        • If you wanted to manage everything, everyone, CO2 is the perfect vehicle to achieve that.

          If you want to control a carbon based planet, control carbon.

          Nothing wild, stupid, or insane about it. Perfectly sane and rational.

          Sociopaths have controlled people through climate fears for ages. They had religions and now cartoonist gods but ‘science’, sponsored the way the ruling class once sponsored the priest class, is a decent substitute. The rubes don’t even understand that ‘science’ is political and social. Hell many scientists don’t even grasp that the way to ruin a career is to write a perfect and sound scientific paper proving well established thinking is wrong. (which is why it is rarely done)

  17. “carbon dioxide (an inert gas that has nothing to do with the formation of smog)”
    Imma stop you right there. CO2 has nothing to do with the formation of smog, and everything to do with climate change. It’s the fact that our CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has topped 400ppm that scares climate scientists – not that ugly blanket of brownish-black gook that floats lazily over LA.

    • Terry,

      Without even getting into the “climate change” issue, have you stopped to consider that the Sail – being small and light – can get away with using a much smaller engine than the heavier/larger cars we’re force-fed here? Do you know what that means?

      How much C02 does a 1.2 liter engine produce relative to a 2.0 liter engine?

    • Again:

      CO2 causes climate change is a belief. Correlation is not causation and even the correlation used appears sketchy at best. There is so much power and money in making CO2 a pollutant that I have very strong doubts about this government sponsored science.

      Furthermore, they ignore the other side of hydrocarbon combustion, H2O. Water vapor is a much much stronger greenhouse gas and nobody considers the water being added to the earth.s systems. For every CO2 created there are more than one H2O. (each carbon in the chain has two H and the end carbons have three)

      Just because those who want to control your life say something over and over again and sponsor science to find reasons to back up their plans doesn’t make it real. In the end, it is still a belief, nobody really knows if it does anything but serve as plant food.

  18. Mr. Peters,
    This a kind of ‘triple-whammy’.
    Let’s look at the facts.
    The bailout money given to General motors by the taxpayers went to fund the construction of 13 car plants in mainland China.
    Chi-General Motors is now producing a car that has come in to very high demand around the world (except, of course, the United States, whose citizens are on the hook for paying for the ability of Chi-GM to build the damned thing in the first place).
    FURTHERMORE, thanks to the combined efforts of the corporatocracy (FASCISM) that IS the United States, the people that are paying for this car (that would be, the United States), will, by and large, not only NOT be able to purchase it, but ALSO will never even know that it exists (unless they read Lew Rockwell); and THEREFORE will be kept in the dark as to the fact that THEY are being SCREWED, TWICE, and THRICE!

    Keep the plants running in China, and keep sending the pollutants over the Pacific Ocean to the CONUS, and KEEP the Chinese people as a ‘slave-labor class’, Chi-GM! The WORLD is your fricking OYSTER of CORPORATE PROFIT and AVARICE!

    It’s NOT about the EPA and the DOT mandates…

    • China has domestic content laws. Now keep in mind those are not something the USA and other western countries are allowed to do under trade agreements, but China has an exception of some sort I suppose. I don’t know if it has changed, but when I was designing product for China we had to source parts in China as well as do the assembly there. I believe those laws are still in place.

      Something a car would be priced out of the market with the tariffs if made in the USA and exported to China.

    • Hi Mr. Scott (love the handle!),

      I share your outrage about the bailout money – whether it was used to fund GM’s operations here or anywhere else. Put another way, Americans are no more entitled to my money than are the Chinese. I don’t want anyone using the force of government to take my money for any reason – whether to build cars in China or “help” build government schools here – etc.

      GM is simply exploiting the system it helped to create.

      The Chinese masses can buy cars now to a great extent because of “free trade” (labor arbitrage) which has shifted production and manufacturing from here to there. The Chinese also don’t – yet – have the ridiculous “safety” (and diminishing returns) “emissions” regs. that exist here, so GM can build a $9k car over there – but not here.

      The Chinese market is not unlike the US car market was circa 1950. It is rapidly growing – whereas ours is what they call “mature.”

      • It took more than labor prices to move manufacturing to China. If we had real free trade alone, by itself, I don’t think the factories would have been relocated. It would not make economic sense to have done so. Further automation here in the USA would have made sense. Shipping, travel of engineers, training, building, etc is a lot of money to make up for.

        To move to China the trade agreements had to be slanted so much in China’s favor that it becomes absurd. On top of that the western currencies had to be devaluated to make it happen. Even then I doubt the overall savings due to engineering cultures, conditions, etc. But at least with that much if someone looked at it in a very simple way of manufacturing labor and retail price it finally looked good to spend the money on it.

        Price point is what is important. If the banksters weren’t stealing productivity increases and then some it would be easy to hold price point in the USA. Maybe someone would have gone to China to try and get something on the shelf cheaper yet but that would have been a dangerous risk under those conditions.

        China was made into a sweet deal while the USA was made into a very difficult risky one.

        What amuses me is that environmentalists think authoritarian government will save the planet. Look at China. The authoritarians do not care about the pollution the poor and middle class have to live in. The regulation or lack of it in authoritarian systems (USA included in this regard) is just a tool to achieve their economic and political goals. If anyone really cared about the environment, China could be forced under these trade agreements to implement 1960s-1980s technology which is cheap and does 90+ percent of the job. But instead a rich nation like China is portrayed as too poor to do it. What a crock. It’s the USA that’s too poor, at least too poor to be going after the very expensive remaining 3% or so.

  19. Funny you should mention the 2003 or 1993 S-Class.

    In Europe, they go one step further than here:
    they impose their newer standards on those cars as well, meaning, if at some point you can’t make the cut, trash the car.
    (for example the smog in city rule, whereby most major European cities are now off limits to a huge number of cars).

    Only a matter of time for that to start here…

    • Hi Chris,

      Yes, indeed.

      I agree that it’s only a matter of time.

      It will begin with emissions – via remote sensing technology, perhaps. Any vehicle that gets flagged as emitting “too much” pollution will have its registration/tags rescinded if not made “compliant.” This one can still be dealt with, though, as in most cases a tune-up will do it and – failing that – replacing the carb with a TBI system and 02 sensor will often do the trick. That’s still economically feasible.

      But the “safety” stuff will be The End.

      Economically impossible to bring an old car up to modern “safety” standards.

  20. Spot on again as per usual Eric.

    Now tell me again why I cant (legally) buy a deisel powered Nissan or Toyota truck or SUV that that is sold new in every other developed country? and if you read the accounts of the owners in those countries, they are likely more capable than the gas powered counterparts sold here in the USSA ?

    • “recycled steel from “Cash for Clunkers” cars.”

      As soon as they run out of steel from the WTC……………. 😉

  21. Eric, it really is amazing how much better a company can build a car without government edicts in the way, isn’t it?

    I’ve tried numerous times to explain to less knowledgeable friends how the EPA and DOT have *ruined* the choice you have in the new vehicle market. I don’t get many facts thrown back at me, instead I’ll get emoting. “Oh but we’d have our oceans filled with oil!” “But the polar bears! You don’t CARE about the polar bears?” To be frank, I don’t give two pieces of manure about the polar bears or the ocean. This is because I know that, like one character put so succinctly in Jurassic Park “life finds a way.” That’s evolution.

    Now, do I consider that stance a way to just let corporations take a giant dump on our planet? No, I most certainly do not. In today’s mindset, with people obsessed with protecting our environment, endangered animals and the like, the free market would be doing a much better job of cleaning up corporations’ acts than would government edict. Why? Government edicts always have loopholes or extra taxes levied on a company that doesn’t comply. If this were a free market, it wouldn’t be an extra tax, it would be bankruptcy, because people would walk away from a company that engages in such actions that put local wildlife, or wildlife downstream from them in danger. I myself would walk away from such a company. I vote with my dollars. I am sick and tired of people who don’t have the balls or patience to search around for companies that conduct business in ways the consumer finds appropriate, and instead force their ideals down my throat by government edict.

    Then you have the absolutely asinine restrictions on imported cars, as though suddenly everyone would be going overseas for their car. I’m not the biggest fan of Japanese vehicles, but I do have a massive soft spot for the R33 Nissan Skyline. I have to wait until 2018 to purchase one and legally own it here, and by that time, well, it’s a classic. It won’t be affordable anymore. How about one of Japan’s Kei cars? Suzuki Cappucinos the like. Itty bitty little cars with excellent mileage and wonderful handling.

    I can’t choose to purchase any of these because of the EPA and DOT getting in the way of consumer choice, thanks in large part to the work of Mercedes Benz during the 1980s. They screwed themselves by selling the vehicles in the United States at a considerable markup over the same models in Europe. Instead of taking the losses, they ran to government to put a ban on importing new cars, which is another instance of a corporation being able to shaft you thanks to a piece of government working against the people in favor of big money.

    Another look at ways in which the EPA and DOT screw us over in the long run: How many excellent businessmen, entrepreneurs and car lovers have been unable to start a new car company because of these edicts? How many excellent, workable ideas have been left out in the cold because they just weren’t quite “ready”? How many small companies could we have had making specialty vehicles for enthusiasts like us? We already know that the big three have, for the most part, left the enthusiast motorist behind, due in very large part to the restrictions placed on them. Ever wonder why so many sports and muscle cars have the stigma of ‘mid-life crises’ attached to them? You can’t build a fun or affordable sports/muscle car for young guys anymore because they end up being too expensive, so companies end up building them for what OLD guys want. I would very, VERY much like the big three to be allowed to produce a modern interpretation of a cheap, rwd, body-on-frame muscle car. Or how about japan being allowed to sell one of their many, many affordable small sports cars here, such as the kei cars?

    In the end, it is all about control, and keeping us lowly serfs from thinking too much. “Hush now, you don’t need to think about all that pesky liberty, big Daddy government is here to protect you.” It makes me sick.

    In any case, it’s good to be back on the site, as it’s been a long time since I posted here at all. Thanks again Eric for having a wonderful website and pulling no punches when it comes to the BS us liberty minded car folk have to put up with.

    • Shep, tell us how you really feel. Naw, I’m an old fart and got on a rant with an old friend yesterday about congress and how we should just descend on DC, close the doors and go through the capitol with ropes and nooses for everybody who ever voted for NDAA or Patriot bills and summarily string them up to the nearest solid object, no hesitation, just read from the list of votes and string em up and find the one who are no longer there and do the same. When I got off my rant he said to tell him how I really felt. Well, dammit, there comes a time. My parents didn’t have me to become a slave in my own country. Back then DC was just a place Yankees went back to when we were able to get rid of them. Come to Texas and tell us how to ride a horse, how to operate a drilling rig, how to plant cotton, always had a better way of doing everything and it took the whole damned lot of them to get it done. Sheesh, I feel a bit better. Ed, eric, where’s those fishheads?

    • Shep, I think if government had stayed out of it and people were simply educated properly about the various topics today’s cars would be safer, consume less fuel, be all around better products, and be cleaner.

      Why? Customer. Customer. Customer.

      Corporatist government is about stablizing conditions. A free market means pleasing customers. If customers wanted safety, low fuel consumption, or anything else they would get it. They would get it in a cost effective manner.

      This chevy might not be on the US market even without government, but there would be something better for people attracted to this sort of vehicle instead.

  22. The Sail seems like a good little car. But it’s too dirty and dangerous for Clover.
    Clover is so thankful that selfless and altruistic government agencies are here to protect us from affordable and quality transportation. It almost brings a tear to my eye thinking about how many children they have saved. And really, guys, it’s all about the children, isn’t it?

    By the way, in all seriousness, GM outside of the US are not bad cars. I once had a Chevy S-10 in the USA and it was the worst vehicle I ever bought. I still hate myself for buying it. I don’t have many reservations about buying an Asian GM.

    • sounds like your trying to appease the bash GM crowd. I owned a 1985 4×4 s-10 just sold this spring. It kicked ass as I used it hard and held up to Michigan salt and snow. I bought a 2nd one in 2003 and still driving it.

      I think we need the these GM foreign type cars built in USA, I drove GM Opel’s in Germany and wished they made in USA 1994

      • Hi Tim,

        The main thing that gripes me about this situation is that we (taxpayers) helped finance the Sail – yet aren’t allowed to buy it!

        I was talking with Dom (the web master for this site) the other day about the little-known (to non-car people) fact that we have the technology and manufacturing ability to mass produce 70 MPG economy cars – and sporty cars that could deliver 6 second or quicker 0-60 times and still deliver 50 MPG – but they can’t be legally built because of government “safety” mandates.

  23. Would you be talking about the same EPA and DOT that are stacked with former auto industry players? Cause you’d think they would be helping their former companies so they can make more profits…. oh wait, I think I see the problem here….

  24. Interesting that the agencies that made those cars illegal are part of the EXECUTIVE branch, which is NOT allowed to write laws isn’t it?

  25. It used to be possible to buy a new car overseas and then bring it into the U.S. as a used car, with less stringent restrictions. Is this still possible.

    P.S. Can you get rid of the islamic ads on your page. They are offensive.

    • “P.S. Can you get rid of the islamic ads on your page. They are offensive.”

      No one forces you to come here if they offend. You do see how Cloverific expecting the owner of a website to conform to your bigoted prejudices is right? That is offensive.

      • I have no Islamic ads. I use Firefox with AdBlock+ but it may be the NoScript add-on that isn’t letting some ads through. Where are the ads located on the page? I”m just wondering what part of the world Pete is in.

      • Not sure WTF is going on, but – I see the Islamic Marriage advertisement right now.
        1. I’m Catholic – we’re not known for Muzzie-love anyway.
        2. Don’t frequent Muslim sites.
        3. Don’t frequent ANTI-muslim sites, either. (Work filter blocks it as, “Hate speech,” IIRC. Betcha I could pull up NAMBLA, though.)
        Not offended, but POed, definitely, as I think the ad senders would be, to know that they’re wasting their advertising money… 😉

    • Ads are out of Eric’s control. Adsense or whatever company does ads here customize ads based on the viewer’s viewing habits. I have all Korean ads. You must check out a lot of Muslim (or anti-Muslim) websites or news stories, and so your browser feeds data to the ad company and the algorithm chooses to show you Muslim ads. Not Eric’s fault.

  26. You’re right Eric. EPA and DOT are in bed together to ensure control and revenue sans Congress. Why would they allow a 10k car to go on sale when they can allow one to sell for double that and thereby doubling their sales tax.

    “..and carbon dioxide (an inert gas that has nothing to do with the formation of smog).”

    A gas which plants breathe, however many have been brainwashed by the green/left to forget basic photosynthesis they learned in school and forced to think it’s a poison so we can be taxed on it. Further reading:


      “however many have been brainwashed by the green/left to forget basic photosynthesis they learned in school ”

      Revolution, PLEASE!
      Most of them didn’t LEARN photosynthesis. These days, that’s COLLEGE level math! 😉 (I know, it’s science, but THEY don’t know…)

  27. The Elio seems to be a possible vehicle that is basic inexpensive transportation.

    49/84 mpg
    2 passengers
    Top speed ~100mph
    0-60 under 10 seconds

    I will not hold my breath since there have been vehicles that seemed interesting/great but never became available for sale to the public.

  28. Another great story, Eric. Keep up the great work. Two additional points I’d like to make…
    1) The US auto industry makes cars for the government. Not for the US consumer. The safety and emissions issues you made in the story point that out clearly.
    2) The US needs to really embrace diesel technology. The high MPG diesels running in Europe made by BMW and VW stretch fuel MPG to heights of 60+

    Of course the bureaucracies of the government want high MPG from US cars and they want it sooner than later. So when vehicles like Euro BMWs and VWs are available they dont allow them to be sold here. They make too high of an MPG and will take away from the fuel taxes generated by purchasing gasoline. Dont they see this dilemma coming? They may. Now we hear talk of imposing taxes by miles driven since cars are getting on average much higher MPGs than just 10 years ago. All to make up for lost dollars. It’s an insane, circular policy from bureaucracies struggling to stay in business.

    On a lighter note… If they are afraid of losing fuel tax revenue from high MPG cars, then why dont they just print the money they need and stop taxing us?

    Just my 2 cents.

  29. To understand WHY things like this always seem to happen you MUST understand HOW our monetary system works. As weird as that may sound, once you know about debt-money all things become clear.

    The ONLY way new money gets created is for people(consumers) to borrow new money into existence. That’s what happens every time someone borrows money from a bank – the bank CREATES that money out of nothing. New money must always be created to pay back the interest owed to the bank from previous borrowed money. That’s the real reason for ‘cash for clunkers’.

    There is no incentive to reduce the cost of a new car – the incentive is to INCREASE the cost so the consumer must borrow even more money.

    It’s a system that will eventually implode… it will last only so long as people remain ignorant of it’s true intent – to make a very few people very rich.

  30. Rothbard had it wrong — government thugs are not a gang of thieves writ large. Thieves would not care about the car you drive, the foods you choose to eat, the books you choose to read, the medicines you choose to take, the guns you choose to own, and the ideas you choose to express. Thieves only want your money. Government thugs want to control everything you do because they get off on power and control and can’t sexually express or satisfy themselves in the normal way (which is why you always read about weird sex scandals at the upper levels of gummint). They just take your own money to use it as a weapon against you (often literally). A right-thinking people would never put up with this thuggery and control over their lives, but the American public is like the victim of domestic abuse, making one excuse after another…”Oh, sure, they take half my income in taxes, but it’s for my own good…look at the crappy school my kids get to go to…and the potholes in the roads they fix really help wake me up during my morning commute…and these ‘fact finding’ trips’ are really great…we need to have facts…and the military does a great job of fighting for my freedom in places I’ve never heard of…” Etc.

  31. I shouldn’t say this because it might make somebody think. But since they already think this way I will. Most of the used cars currently on the roads that do not meet a certain standard will be forced off the road sometime in the next twenty years. For our own good of course. You might be allowed to buy a license to drive them in a parade. If you are lucky you will be allowed take it to a car show start it up and drive it around town for a few hours during the car cruise.

    The fascist pricks will find a way to line the pockets of their corporatist bosses one way or another and if the economy hit’s the skids and people stop buying new cars they will force us to one way or another. Of course they will force us to buy the right cars and never anything remotely like the sail. For our own good of course.

    • Hey Brad,

      Yeah – that thought occurred to me also. I mean, how can “we” tolerate “unsafe” cars on “our” roads? Right?

      That’s how it will be done. It’s been tried in the past but failed because the social-psychological groundwork hadn’t yet been laid down. It has now. Pavlov’s (TPTB’s) call word is “safety.”

      Once said, anything is justified – and accepted.

    • Too bad it’s not the right people, though.

      You and I and the others here, for instance. We don’t deserve the government that rules over us. But we’ve got it because there’s a sufficiency of Clovers out there who want it.

      • I believe it was Will Rogers who said:

        “Democracy is a system where everybody gets the government the majority deserves.”

        I have yet to see anything that would convince me he was wrong.

        • Idiocracy writ large.
          Which is why we had – HAD – a republic.

          Pity, but we’re right on track – 200 years. (And if you think about it, the true anniversay for the US isn’t 1776, but 1789 – when the Constitution was ratified. So we’re living on borrowed time, but still within the period of dissolution of empire. )

  32. P.S. In case you think I’m bashing imperial majesty emperor sobama’s Government Motors just because it is fun a family member has a mid 2000s Blazer that is a total POS. The interior is literally falling apart with door panels not matching the power windows buttons and it currently has a hole in the head gasket that the mechanic wants 500$ to repair. We are shopping around for better estimates but none have been any lower. The anti-freeze leaks out after a normal days driving and we don’t get any further out then 8-10 miles. Luckily the dreaded globull warming hasn’t reached here yet with daytime highs in the 60s-70s. Hopefully it will be repaired before the summer heat kicks in but first we have to come up with the money.

    • Simply amazing. We too had one, a 2004 that my wife bought from her sister, a real POS. I should have known, guess I just wanted her to have what she thought she wanted. Engine-drivetrain wise, it was fine, almost outstanding but the rest was pure junk. Going down I-20 into a hard quartering SW wind, damned trim around the windshield just flies off and starts banging on the side, nice. Then a garbage truck runs over it and the troubles were just beginning, a great deal of that was because of the city’s insurance though. I bought a Nissan in ’84 after testing most everything out there in the way of small pickups. The S-10 was clearly a POS so I just test drove one, chalked it up to a bad vehicle line and went on. My dad decides he wants a small pickup too so I told him, buy anything, preferably a Toy since he had money to spare, but under no circumstances buy a GM. He comes home with an S-10. I won’t even go into it. Piss under the tire and it was stuck. Try to drive up on the turnrow you wouldn’t hesitate in your family sedan, stuck. He got one tire in the garden when it was muddy and I had to come by with my 4WD 3/4T Chevy and pull it out…..just hooked up to it, put my big pickup in gear and let out on the brake and pulled it out, nothing to it. it was a raving POS from day one till trade-in, same with uncles’. I can’t say anything about anybody buying something since I knew before we bought the Blazer most likely what we’d be getting. At least my Nissan had plenty leg room and head room.

      • #1 it’s wonderful that you both mentioned pre-bailout vehicles as examples of what’s wrong with “Government Motors” – I’m sure the irony is lost in your anti-government group-think bubble.

        #2 the article says “Was the Metro a deathtrap?” Having owned one I can say yes, it was. The ceiling of mine was riddled with dents from me punching upward in frustration during traffic jams in L.A. The steel it was made of was amazingly thin (for weight) and buckled if you looked at it wrong.

        #3 having grown up in Los Angeles in the 70’s, experiencing 1st and 2nd degree smog alerts (don’t go outside to play, it’s bad for you) – I welcome the continued efforts to make life better in the U.S.A. Especially when I visit family there now and am able to see the mountains that were always there, but for some reason through my youth were rarely visible.

        • Cyber,

          My “safety” is none of your business. I drove a ’73 Beetle when I was in college because it was cheap to buy and maintain – and I valued that more than theoretically higher crashworthiness (theoretical, because “accidents” are almost always the result of driver error and to a great extent avoidable by being a competent, alert driver).

          In any case, the choice is mine to make – not yours. Not anyone else’s.

          As far as the smog issue, see my response to Boy. We long ago (1980s-1990s) reached the point of diminishing returns. By that time – more than 20 years ago – more than 90 percent of tailpipe exhaust emissions that are smog precursors had been controlled via chemical exhaust scrubbers (catalytic converters) and maintaining optimal air-fuel ratios via fuel injection. This was cost effective and reasonable.

          What’s happening now isn’t. Fractional improvements at great expense.

          Keep in mind, too, that there has been an efficiency loss as a result of all the “safety” mandates you defend; i.e., cars have become much heavier – which in turns mean they need bigger and more powerful engines.

          Bigger/more powerful engines burn more fuel. Which means: A greater total volume of exhaust product – as well as more fuel burned.

          How’s all that sit with you?

          • “My “safety” is none of your business.”

            Sure, if you live in a completely financially independent bubble free from the cares of the rest of society. My first vehicle was a 1970 VW van so I know exactly what you experienced. However we learned long ago that auto manufacturers are unwilling to improve safety unless they are required to do so – in fact they have a history of calculating the expenses of wrongful-death lawsuits and deciding on more dangerous designs that cost less to make as a balance against those expenses. Auto makers are big businesses, which are inherently selfish enterprises with profit being the only consideration, so they don’t mind killing off a few customers if it will save them a dime.

            However, re: your safety being my business, I do pay taxes, which will pay for your medical expenses (since you can’t afford your own health insurance, otherwise you’d be able to afford a decent & safe auto) when your mangled mess shows up in the emergency room. So it is in all of our best interests to make sure that you show up there with a few bruises rather than a caved in skull.

            Re: smog & diminishing returns, I’d say that diminishing returns are still returns, while the article was arguing that an auto built to Chinese standards (read: none) should be allowed to be sold in the U.S. You are welcome to work towards the “good old days” & moving the country backwards in safety and smog control, but personally I prefer to work toward a better future that my children & I can be proud of.

            Re: efficiency loss, well yeah as long as you’re stuck on gas power that will be a natural trade-off for safety & pollution controls. I’m happy that there are independent companies that are working on viable alternatives that the major automakers are uninterested in pursuing, that’s where the future is.

            You put “safety” in quotes as if it’s not a real thing – the “safety” mandates we’re talking about are the difference between walking away from an accident and never walking again. If you’re happy with living life in a wheelchair in exchange for your “freedom” then you are welcome to pay for all of your own medical expenses along the way.

          • FKin Hippies.
            We couldn’t get rid of the sandalwood and patchouli oil crowd when they were major issues, I guess we’re still waiting for the worthless to die out.

            Hippy, Stay the F*CK out of my way. I’ve met too many of your kind, who think they can save the world from themselves, because Hippie is SO much smarter.
            The hippies I’ve known make Janice (of Muppet show fame) look intelligent and coherent. You’re a few steps down.

            If you can ban my guns? I can ban your MJ.
            If you can mandate my safety? I can mandate your comitment to an asylum, as mentally deficient.

            See how it works? If YOU can USE FORCE on me, Mr. Peacenik – I can use force on you, FREE AND CLEAR.
            And when it comes to your type, I don’t have a conscience. I just want to GTFO from your polluted self.

            The idea of balancing the costs of “wrongful death” lawsuits (in and of itself a BS concept) against the costs of “Life-saving SAAAFFFEEETTYYY measures” Is called BUSINESS. Guess what? Your dealer is NOT covered by those same safety requirements! You can do Mexican Brown or China White from the same guy, even two different China Whites. And when you have a MAJOR incident because one was cut with oven cleaner? NOT my problem…

            Except those like you in the rubber baby bumper mentality THEN want to be taken care of.

            Here’s the comparison for you: I ride motorcycles. I wear a helmet, because I think it’s a good idea. There is NOTHING, however, that compares to riding lid-less – feeling the wind in your face and through your hair, feeling the sun on your scalp and body… I CHOOSE to give up that feeling of fun and happiness because I want to survive a low-speed, low-impact accident, should I have one – and NOT wearing a helmet could get me killed even just falling off the bike, at a stop light.
            HOWEVER, YOUR KIND made it a f*ckin’ LAW. REAL TOLERANT, ASSHAT.

            Go do something useful – like overdose. If you only smoke some MJ, go get some everclear and chug it.

            They’re called “Buyers.” Airbags were in cars before they were mandatory. Fuel-injected engines, too. Catalytic converters as well. Seatbelts. Anti-lock brakes. Power steering. HEADLIGHTS, even. Backup cameras.
            They were OPTIONS.

            As in, we had a choice, oh tolerant one. WE chose to live in a world that gave us MORE MONEY for OTHER ACTIVITIES: Saving, spending, investing, whatever, none of your effing business YET AGAIN.

            NOW, we don’t have a choice, but your little sheep brain looks at the cage and screams, “FREEDOM!!!!”

            Yes, we are so VERY free in the sheep pen.

            Anybody got a shiv? Some people don’t deserve LIFE, let alone freedom.

          • However we learned long ago that auto manufacturers are unwilling to improve safety unless they are required to do so

            Entirely false. I was brought up with the same belief. Then I started studying the industry. Ford’s programs of the 1950s, Chevy and Ford in the 1930s, and many others between and after and before. It’s quite frankly yet another government lie. Government’s standards, FMVSS were just copies of SAE’s at the beginning.

            in fact they have a history of calculating the expenses of wrongful-death lawsuits and deciding on more dangerous designs that cost less to make as a balance against those expenses.

            Entirely false. Government regulators required automakers to make calculations regarding how much a human life was worth vs. the cost of complying with a new regulation. There is no evidence to my knowledge that such calculations were made prior to the government demanding them.

            our safety being my business, I do pay taxes, which will pay for your medical expenses

            Now why would government make you do this, pay for others? Because it motivates you demand more government control over your neighbors of course.

            As to China’s pollution regulations or lack there of, what you’re telling me is that government is horrible institution that acts against the interests of the people. If governments were so wonderful, why does one as rich and powerful as China’s government do this? Because it serves it and those close to it. Same reason government allowed pollution in the USA for so many decades and then flipped around… whatever works best at the time for the goals they have in mind. What is best for us is irrelevant.

          • Cyberhippy, that link spew does not go against anything I posted. I am so tired of people such as yourself ignorantly repeating the same claybrookian mantra that government makes cars safe. Automakers made safety gains year over year before government took over the system that was already existing.

            It’s such a long-running and recurring theme that it takes a serious dose of self-inflicted ignorance to believe that a financial decision hasn’t been made in these cases (again).

            Regulars know I do product design for a living. Let me tell you for a fact there is never any calculation done with regard to lawsuits and part cost. The metric is not having lawsuits. That means it’s safe. Period. Every place I have worked has been the same.

            Furthermore, I’d love to see you government lovers get off your asses and start developing products. I’d love to see it. How much would your truck cost? $60,000? $100,000? Would it even work? I am so tired of hearing people who have never made anything being critical of those make things. If you live in a rusting climate you should be looking under your car every now and then. If you let a gas tank strap rust to the point where the tank falls off it’s your fault, not because the straps weren’t made out of a more expensive material. Sure, we can specify only the best stuff everywhere, but all that adds up and next thing you know you can’t afford anything. Then again if it wasn’t for central banking by now maybe people could afford the best everywhere. We’ll never know because the bankers stole the productivity gains that should have gone into making people’s lives better.

            How do you handle the whiplash from that turnaround? Neither statement is in any way related to my response, but go ahead and rant away.

            It’s obviously above your head. The point is that government does what is best for it and those close to it. Your concerns are irrelevant to the state. The USA regulations only happened because they serve those interests. Pollution in a libertarian sense would have been stopped on a property rights basis when it first appeared. Instead government, not being libertarian, told people to go pound sand. When it became better to have an image of cleaning things up while the corporatist system was better served by consolidation and eliminating competition, we got regulations that favored some players over others. What we have today. The clearer vistas you enjoy are just a side effect. They should have never been sullied in the first place.

          • For some sad website design reason I can’t reply to the two responses so I’ll do it here…

            @Brent: “Entirely false” – hope you don’t drive a Ford truck:

            Or perhaps a GM:

            It’s such a long-running and recurring theme that it takes a serious dose of self-inflicted ignorance to believe that a financial decision hasn’t been made in these cases (again).

            “There is no evidence to my knowledge that such calculations were made prior to the government demanding them.”

            Your lack of knowledge is not exactly strong evidence for anything other than your lack of knowledge.

            “what you’re telling me is that government is horrible institution that acts against the interests of the people. If governments were so wonderful”

            How do you handle the whiplash from that turnaround? Neither statement is in any way related to my response, but go ahead and rant away.

            @Jean, am I supposed to take someone who starts off by quoting Cartman from South Park seriously? I mean, everyone needs a hero and you’ve clearly found yours…

            Here I am responding to the coherent part of your rant in detail:

          • Cyber hipster is full of shit. Typical collective type who feels that a few enlightned like him know so much more than the ordinary folks…..

          • August West, Cyber is so indoctrinated with pathocracy think he literally cannot see the forest for the trees. Where is it? Over there, between the trees. I can’t see anything but trees. So, you’re saying there’s nothing in the forest but trees?

    • My brother had a late 90s GMC Jimmy (Uses a lot of the same parts as a blazer) and had nothing but issues from it. He had to replace the fuel pump 2 times, the fuel injector 1 time (had to buy a whole new assembly thanks to solid casting which made replacing a single injector impossible), the alternator twice, the water pump 1 time, deal with a computer malfunction which messed with the cars idle, and a lot of other minor issues.

      After four years of dumping money into it hoping it was the last issue he finally scraped the car and got a new used car that lasted him 200K miles without any issue (save for general maintenance).

    • I agree. I am not buying anything made by Government Motors and the freedom-hating union goons that it employs. Still the theme of the post is correct. The bureaucrats have no business preventing someone from buying one of these cars.

  33. I wonder if you could travel to the countries it is sold in and buy it to bring back… Wonder if the state would prevent you from registering the vehicle because it does not meet the feds stupid standards… (States like Michigan that don’t require vehicle testing to get plates or tags)

    • Matt
      an imported vehicle must have a dot/epa sticker to bring it into the usa…it will be crushed (destroyed) if it doesn’t comply or you pay for the compliance testing which means it will have a safety equipment test plus epa standards approval testing…done by qualifed engineers …in some cases if you are working abroad for the required amount of time (not sure how long) it could qualify you to import your vehicle purchased in that country…otherwise it can be imported if it is over 20 or 25 years old…not sure which…I tried too import rhd jeeps but the hoops were more than I wished to jump thru…and they were made in ohio but exported to japan…with no stickers…hope this answers your question…sorry about being vague… its been awhile

  34. Great post, Eric. Thanks for the clear illustration of the stupidity of our government.

    Actually, my guess is that Ford, GM, and the like, at the highest levels, are all in favor of these mandates. The regulatory burden of being a car maker must be horrendously expensive, which keeps out those pesky, innovative, lower-cost small fry.

    My guess is that there is a nice, lucrative lobbying effort and revolving door between the EPA and DOT and the auto industry (just as there is in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, finance, and ‘defense’).

    • Government is not stupid IMO. Everything it does benefits government as institution, the people who are run/working for government, the people who are close to government, or some other interest that is in the mix. It only looks stupid to the people who are duped into thinking government is stupid so they let this gravy train roll on and pay for it all. Now sometimes it’s a short term benefit, sometimes a long term benefit, they both may be less than ideal for those folks otherwise, but benefit they will sooner or later.

      • “Government is not stupid IMO”. Look out there BP, that limb you’re out on is not very big. The main thing about govt. is 1 It never goes away 2 it never goes away.

        • acht Süden Mann, I just wish the Gov recognized the natural laws of fight club. Their serf and terf shit sandwiches would go down a lot easier, if only given a chance to exercise my god given rights to bear knuckles once in a while.

          – Uncle Sam is forever – just like herpes.

          • Tor, amazing how that movie just passed right over the “collective’s head”. I have tried and tried to get people to watch it, trying to impress on them what an unusually good movie it is and I don’t push the libertarian/anarchist theme since they’ll figure it out if they ever watch it. I had one friend tell me he didn’t tend to watch Brad Pitt movies. NO shit? You really limit yourself to movies just because you don’t care for an actor’s politics or whatever his problem was. So he’s a midget, no skin off my butt, he’s a great actor. It still doesn’t have anything to do with the great movie Fight Club is.

        • Show me where they did something that didn’t benefit them in the long or short term.
          Now show me where they did things that did benefit them in the long and short term.
          Calculate the ratio.

          Does this ratio look like the result one would expect of the stupid?

          Government employees make double or more what their work would get in the productive sector. Those close to government make great fortunes. Those in government make great fortunes.

          How is this the behavior of stupid people?

          They are certainly ignorant of just about everything productive, but they aren’t stupid. They use their very limited skill set in social manipulations to do very very well for themselves.

          • exactly…I gave up trying to enlighten people to this error in their thinking…politicos and bureaucrats will eat their own young to stay in power…by saying they are stupid / idiots reinforces this idea in the minds of the ruled…which distracts from the possibility of ever changeing the system from its current direction of self induced distruction…its what for dinner…us…

          • Everyone is missing Brent’s point. He is saying the government is smart because everything they do is about self preservation and increasing their power over the serf class in our country. The are extremely smart… not in an Einstein manner, but more in a Hitler/Mao/Stalin kind of way.

    • Enjoyed the article. Enjoyed the comments.

      I am a strong advocate for abolishing all government agencies that prevent innovation. The EPA is at the top of the list. They are also standing in the way of a sensible Energy Policy as well.

  35. The EPA and the DOT……..

    This is a classic case of a couple of bureaucracies that really aren’t needed, yet in order to justify their miserable existence, they keep updating policies and rules by regulatory fiat. They have reached a point where they are useless and pointless, but a pain in everyone’s ass, and they know it.

    What’s happened here is what usually happens to most bureaucracies: Their very existence becomes not about any real function or service, but the very survival of the bureaucracy and it’s members itself.

    • i wish they were only useless and pointless, that would mean their net effect would be zero, which would be an improvement. in reality it is much worse, they are in fact destructive and yield a negative result.
      abolish them all and replace them with nothing.

      • I should clarify. When I said “useless and pointless”, I did not mean “harmless”..
        These are destructive agencies which need to go the way of the dodo.

        • No such luck. The Dodo had the dual virtues of being both edible and easy to catch. EPA and DOT staff may qualify on those two points. However, the economy will have to deteriorate to a much greater extent before people will overcome the dietary restraints that keep these agencies from going the way of the Dodo.

          • It would give us a place to dump our excess lead, though.
            It makes the staff inedible, but they arguably already are inedible, regardless…

    • My copy of the Constitution says that only Congress can pass laws. That Congress passes a law and leaves the details to beurocrats is in itself unconstitutional and hence not a law. Unfortunately the rubber stamp at the Supreme Court is working overtime. What’s one more cut in a death of a thousand cuts. The Constitution is dead. Remember freedom?

  36. The irony of the US taxpayer also partially funding the development of the tooling for this car via the bailout is a bit too much to even be labeled “irony”….more like “ludicrous”…as in Spaceballs ludicrous.

    The taxpayer gets to fund development of a car that they can’t even buy…lol…it’s the very example/definition of moral hazard.

    • But at least its an export. The “theory” is it would be new money coming into this country. One sail export can offset the import of five, 70″ flat-screen TVs.

      However… I would agree that the EPA and DOT regs are a bit out of control. I bet the “exhaust” coming out of some tail pipes is cleaner than the air going in!
      As for the DOT.. instead of insisting we make cars safer, why dont we try to make the DRIVERS safer?

      • The Sail is NOT made in the US.

        So the only money that comes back in pretty much just lines the shareholders and BOD’s pockets….

      • The air going in is dirty because of that 3 to 5% coming out in the first place. It all adds up over time. I care about my kids and grand kids enough to pay more for a car with those environmental controls. Asthma and emphysema are not a lot of fun and cost taxpayers more in terms of healthcare than what little you have to pay extra for your car. I say, let the Chinese have the sail.

        • Alfie,

          We’re talking small fractional differences. They’re not “controlling” the remaining 3-5 percent of tailpipe emissions that are smog precursors. They are talking about 1 percent (or less) of that remaining 3-5 percent. It’s an insignificant difference in terms of smog precursors – purchased at ever-higher cost.

          These costs have to be taken into account, whether you like it or not – because people do not have an unlimited reserve of money with which to buy cars. What is the end point? A $30,000 economy car? And have you stopped to consider that as new cars become more and more costly, more and more people are holding on to their older – and higher emissions – vehicles for longer and longer?

          My point is, we’ve reached the point of diminishing returns. Getting new cars 90-percent “clean” was doable in economic cost-benefit terms. We’re now at 95 percent – and the cost to get to there from 90 percent was much higher than going from 0 to 90 percent. Getting at that last couple of percent is not economically realistic. There will always be some emissions. The question is whether it’s reasonable – worth doing – to pursue the unicorn of a zero or nearly zero emissions car, irrespective of any cost considerations.

          A circa 1995 car is not “dirty.” If the entire fleet of vehicles in existence met the standards in effect in ’95, there would be no significant air quality issue. In fact, smog (in the US) has been a non-issue for decades. This is due chiefly to the reductions in exhaust emissions achieved from circa 1975 (first year for catalytic converters) and the mid-1980s (when fuel injection replaced carburetors).

          • morning eric. There’s a part of the equation not being addressed, the carbon footprint(pollutants of all sorts)produced building the new vehicle. I maintain even though my diesel is “dirty” not buying a new one for 21 years goes a long way to reduce overall emissions compared to people who have bee through half a dozen pickups in that time period. New vehicle production involves mining valuable heavy metals for the exhaust, computer system. How many VOC’s are produced making the interior for that vehicle? How much energy was consumed making the entire thing? It’s not just a matter of what comes out the tailpipe for sure. No matter how much they might obfuscate, the energy companies are producing extremely dirty energy, esp. coal ant that has a much greater effect on the area downwind from it than the exhaust of vehicles plus the pollutants released into people’s homes, businesses and the environment, and the changed environment that follows the mining of the coal. When you educate yourself to what’s happening in Appalachia then new vehicle production looks a great deal more evil than an arbitrary exhaust number. I could write a Tor sized post about this but my leg hurts. Maybe I can goad Tor to expand on this subject. Tor? How about it? Thanks everyone.

            • Absolutely.

              Also – on the other end of the spectrum – these much-more-complex new cars are likely to have shorter useful lives. They become uneconomic to fix sooner. Depreciation remains a fairly constant thing. The average new car loses about 30 percent of its new car value within three years after leaving the dealer’s lot. By 8-10 years old, it’s worth about 40 percent of what it was worth new (or less). But now it has additional/more-expensive-to-repair-or-replace parts (a turbo, for example). Not many people holding the keys to a ten-year-old car worth maybe $8,000 are going to spend $4,000 on a new turbo. So, throw the car away – and buy a new one, with all the attendant “feetprint” that go into making a new car from scratch.

          • BTW, the manufacturers are blameless for much of the problems either. They all have made cars that are disposable. At a family get together a young woman had a car, a small Ford of some sort that refused to start. My nephew and I began working on it and one thing led to another. We ended up making a run for parts, starter being one item, and when we asked for the parts we needed, the parts guy smiled and said, Working on the disposable car eh? We didn’t get every part we wanted but got it starting again. It was a real piece of junk sitting on the showroom floor and didn’t get any better with age. If GM had put a diesel and a bit better tranny in Vega’s they’d still be rolling as an example.

          • Crap, I meant the manufacturers Are Not Blameless. They create junk they know is junk simply for the bottom line.

          • No, Vegas would not roam the earth today if they had more durable engines. The engines might have survived but the rest of the car would have still dissolved and returned to nature.

            Design life of any product is driven by customer expectations. If your customer expects 10 years and you design for 25 you’ll soon find that you don’t sell many. Furthermore customers think in dollar price points. As we know the value of the dollar is always changing. Who’s going to be first to raise their price in dollars? Products must be made less costly in constant terms to maintain the same price point.

            To get a car that lives a long time today the best thing to do is buy something with considerable aftermarket support. Once upon a time one could buy a MB, but now they are just too expensive to keep going.

            • Vegas, no – but VW Beetles are still a common sight in my area. Daily drivers, I mean. Yes, they are prone to rust, but replacement panels are readily available and it’s worth the repair cost because the car itself is so damn cheap to buy – and operate.

          • BrentP, well, bust my bubble. I was going to put a Duramax driveline in one. I suppose any unibody is a limited life car though.

          • Not all cars… but the vega is one that rusted faster and more than most any car before or since.

            The vega from my childhood was long-lived for a vega. Nearly 100K miles before being sold in running, driving condition. The car had been however well eaten by rust. Plus any decent level of torque will twist even a rust free vega. (as those who put V8s in them found out)

          • Don Hardy is about 150 M from me, made a good v-8 kit. The car was designed to hold a small block but not the kind of HP most would install in it. You could stiffen the bottom of the car and get pretty decent performance but the front end needed to be braced well. Rust is not a factor here though. I considered it many times but knew I’d be needing to install a frame too since I wanted as many ponies as I could afford. I saw one long ago someone had stuck a small block in right about even with the front seats on a station wagon. It was a bad boy but it was framed too. I have some fond memories of them that has nothing to do with the longevity of the car.

        • What is left today already means in many places what comes out of the tailpipe is cleaner than what is going in through the air filter.

          Want a clean earth? Let’s start looking at the real polluters, governments, military forces, and crony capitalist companies. That’s where all the low hanging fruit is now. The system we have today is a modified version of the old system where people were told to go pound sand when they harmed by the politically powerful. Environmental regulation has been weaponized and is now an economic weapon against the very people who demanded these entities clean up their act. Those entities still pollute a lot and are allowed to do some things like dump into the great lakes that is quite absurd in this day and age.

          Cars are now often cleaning their pollution out of the air. Perhaps that is the idea, to make us pay for it.

    • OOPS!!!! Actually, the car will retail for about RMB 258,000 (US$41,460), before incentives of up to RMB 60,000 (US$9,642) from the central government and RMB 40,000 (US$6,428) from the Shanghai government. In addition, the car will qualify for a free local Shanghai license plate exclusively for electric vehicles. The Sail Springo EV was developed as joint-venture between Shanghai General Motors and partner SAIC Motor.


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