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Resident Hijacker
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So why do people pay tens of thousands of dollars to drive cars with a status badge and no savings on fuel? People make these choices every day and they say hybrids are not 'economical'. Can you make sense out of this?
Yes: different market segments --> different kinds of buyers --> different priorities. This is Marketing 101.

The luxury car buyer isn't make a purchase on the basis of how economical it is to run the car. They are looking for a status symbol and a luxury driving experience. Any arguments you make on the basis of fuel economy won't matter much to this buyer if you are comparing a luxury car to an econobox.

And the person looking for an economy car *is* going to care that it will cost them $10,000 more to save $2,000 over 5 years.

If you don't understand that you have to tailor your message to the buyer you are trying to attract, you aren't going to convince anyone of anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Because they have been convinced through marketing that what they are doing is of great value to the environment, reducing the temperature of the Earth--and because they feel "cool " doing it.
Convinced through research - there is more anti-hybrid marketing and misinformation available than there are facts because we have an oil driven economy. Most people have very wrong assumptions about the hybrids on the roads today. I get asked all the time how often I need to replace the battery, what will I do with the used batteries, where do I plug it in etc. People tell me a Carolla is better on the environment than a Prius because of the production/manufacturing process all the time. The market is ill-informed.

Environmental costs are not calculated in our purchases because these are deferred cost we are leaving to another generation or come back to us as health issues so they are not seen as related.

I certainly do feel much cooler promoting and contributing to cleaner technology development by participating in that economy than I would spending $80,000 on a BMW X5.

It would be great if there were Carolla sized hybrids - they will be even more cost effective than a basic Carolla or Civic - there will be soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
That has nothing to do with the case example you presented. If you have the salary to afford the luxury vehicle, fill your boots. My point is that the ROI takes far too long to make it attractive for an average vehicle buyer to participate in the program.

If they could reduce the savings time by upping the mileage or by reducing the cost of the vehicle, it becomes much more palatable to average car buyers.
My example is not based on the ROI - its based on emissions produced from the production to the end of lifetime for a vehicle. He assumed that energy used in producing the batteries and shipping the cars etc would outweigh or equalize the benefits of reduced energy and emissions from driving. That assumption is wrong.
 

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You can put it any way you wish, but the bottom line is no one but a fool would invest $10,000 to save $2,800 no matter how committed to the environment they were. They would buy a cheaper vehicle with good gas milage and pocket that $10,000 premium. That is the cold hard truth for the vast majority of car buyers at that market level.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Yes: different market segments --> different kinds of buyers --> different priorities. This is Marketing 101.

The luxury car buyer isn't make a purchase on the basis of how economical it is to run the car. They are looking for a status symbol and a luxury driving experience. Any arguments you make on the basis of fuel economy won't matter much to this buyer if you are comparing a luxury car to an econobox.

And the person looking for an economy car *is* going to care that it will cost them $10,000 more to save $2,000 over 5 years.

If you don't understand that you have to tailor your message to the buyer you are trying to attract, you aren't going to convince anyone of anything.
I understand the marketing processes that have got us to where we are. I question the priorities we have when making purchases in 2010.

Buying huge 4X4 8 cylinder vehicles for status when used for commuting and grocery shopping is a direct result of the power of marketing. When practical and environmental issues are considered, it looks to me to be rather silly - and not cool at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
You can put it any way you wish, but the bottom line is no one but a fool would invest $10,000 to save $2,800 no matter how committed to the environment they were. They would buy a cheaper vehicle with good gas milage and pocket that $10,000 premium. That is the cold hard truth for the vast majority of car buyers at that market level.
Having a choice between a Prius and a Malibu or any other mid-sized car in that price category would be a more realistic comparison. I was not suggesting that people who can only afford a Carolla should by Prius. Until there is a wider variety of hybrids available, buyers can only buy what they can afford. But there are lots of buyers that can afford a Prius who spend the same or even more money on a car that is a lot harder on the environment and will cost them much more over time as gas prices continue to increase.
 

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I understand the marketing processes that have got us to where we are. I question the priorities we have when making purchases in 2010.

Buying huge 4X4 8 cylinder vehicles for status when used for commuting and grocery shopping is a direct result of the power of marketing. When practical and environmental issues are considered, it looks to me to be rather silly - and not cool at all.
Like it or not it is NOT the big V8s that the hybrids are competing against. It is the Civics, the Yaris, The Corolla... To do that successfully, mileage has to go way up and cost has to come way down. If all goes well I will own my little econobox for about 15 years. It gets a year round mileage of 37+MPG. Depending on Miles driven the very most I could have saved in one year by driving a Prius is about $500. Realistically it would be quite a bit less, as at least half my miles are highway and the Prius delivers slightly poorer economy on the highway than does my car.

For drivers such as myself the math for the Hybrid fails.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
You can put it any way you wish, but the bottom line is no one but a fool would invest $10,000 to save $2,800 no matter how committed to the environment they were.
ooooh Sinc - I do believe you have just called myself, my son, my parents, many of my neighbours and other careful car buyers concerned about the environment and the implications of our current buying habits....a fool!

But its not so bad as it sounds, there are many other benefits of owing the car.
 

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ooooh Sinc - I do believe you have just called myself, my son, my parents, many of my neighbours and other careful car buyers concerned about the environment and the implications of our current buying habits....a fool!

But its not so bad as it sounds, there are many other benefits of owing the car.
Nothing personal, jef. :)

But I sure would not call spending 10 grand to get back 2,800 bucks an astute investment. That said, if you feel there are benefits to owning such a vehicle that outweigh the extra cost, good on you. It's just not something I would ever do. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Like it or not it is NOT the big V8s that the hybrids are competing against. It is the Civics, the Yaris, The Corolla... To do that successfully, mileage has to go way up and cost has to come way down. If all goes well I will own my little econobox for about 15 years. It gets a year round mileage of 37+MPG. Depending on Miles driven the very most I could have saved in one year by driving a Prius is about $500. Realistically it would be quite a bit less, as at least half my miles are highway and the Prius delivers slightly poorer economy on the highway than does my car.

For drivers such as myself the math for the Hybrid fails.
I have not argued about the ROI in any of my posts even though there is a clear ROI when the Prius is compared to most other cars over their lifetime.

The Prius is not in the same class of car as the cars you mention above. I'll look for figures to back this up but in my experience, the majority of first time Prius buyers are well educated, professional people who are looking to reduce emissions and contribute to new, cleaner technologies. Not people who are looking for a cheap car.

Most Prius owners I know ( I know a lot but its not hard data here) did trade in 'luxury' or over-sized vehicles because of concerns about wasting money on gas and emissions.
 

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I have not argued about the ROI in any of my posts even though there is a clear ROI when the Prius is compared to most other cars over their lifetime.

The Prius is not in the same class of car as the cars you mention above. I'll look for figures to back this up but in my experience, the majority of first time Prius buyers are well educated, professional people who are looking to reduce emissions and contribute to new, cleaner technologies. Not people who are looking for a cheap car.

Most Prius owners I know ( I know a lot but its not hard data here) did trade in 'luxury' or over-sized vehicles because of concerns about wasting money on gas and emissions.
The examples I quoted were not cheap cars but rather cars that deliver the very most for the dollar. Most for the dollar includes; purchase price, longevity, maintenance costs as well as fuel efficiency.

Certainly the Prius offers the same size engine as a Yaris and only a marginally larger trunk. The Yaris seats may not look that impressive but are extremely comfortable over a long period of time.

What the Prius offers that the Yaris does not is status and is highly recommended for those that like to have the garage protruding from the front of their house like a phallic symbol. For those looking for the best value it is not the Prius or any other Hybrid.
 

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Hoes R US
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I considered getting a Prius recently but was scarred off by the fact that I keep my cars for 8 to 10 years and the battery life on them is rated to be 6 or 7 years. When I enquired about battery replacement costs the Toyota rep speculated that replacement would be about $7000 to $9000. It didn't make sense to me.
 

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Wow! That nearly doubles the premium to own one of those things. (My current ride, a 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited 4 x 4) hasn't even had a tune-up or a battery in the 9 1/2 years we have owned it. Repair costs have been zero as well. Approaching 90,000 km and other than oil and filter and a set of tires, ZERO dollars spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
I considered getting a Prius recently but was scarred off by the fact that I keep my cars for 8 to 10 years and the battery life on them is rated to be 6 or 7 years. When I enquired about battery replacement costs the Toyota rep speculated that replacement would be about $7000 to $9000. It didn't make sense to me.
The information you received is incorrect. Battery life is rated for the life of the car. Mine is a 2001 and the original battery is still in it. It was recently tested at 98% of new capacity. If you ever did need a replacement, the cost today is about $3,000 and of course much cheaper if you get one from an accident vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Wow! That nearly doubles the premium to own one of those things. (My current ride, a 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara Limited 4 x 4) hasn't even had a tune-up or a battery in the 9 1/2 years we have owned it. Repair costs have been zero as well. Approaching 90,000 km and other than oil and filter and a set of tires, ZERO dollars spent.
The Prius is consistently ranked as the lowest cost of ownership in its category and is in the top ranks of compact cars - just google 'lowest cost of ownership car' and start reading. I have put over 350,000kms total on 2 2001 Prius' (one I owned in Japan and the other in Canada) with no repair costs other than what Sinc lists above. Both cars are still on the road with original batteries. The other 2 in the family are much newer and have also never needed a repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Certainly the Prius offers the same size engine as a Yaris and only a marginally larger trunk. The Yaris seats may not look that impressive but are extremely comfortable over a long period of time.

What the Prius offers that the Yaris does not is status and is highly recommended for those that like to have the garage protruding from the front of their house like a phallic symbol. For those looking for the best value it is not the Prius or any other Hybrid.
The Prius offers a hybrid synergy system that is 2 motors, one gas and one electric so comparing the engine to a Yaris is not very productive. The 2 motors split the wear and tear and is one reason why they are so reliable and need so little maintenance compared to a car with only one engine.

If you are interested in how the drive train works, have a look here:

Hybrid Synergy Drive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The rest of your comments I don't understand - I lost interest in what cars look like a long time ago. The shape of the Prius is the way it is because it is aerodynamic; its designed to be efficient. If you see a phallic symbol in a car, I think you need help...
 

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Hoes R US
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The information you received is incorrect. battery life is rated for the life of the car. Mine is a 2001 and the original battery is still in it. It was recently tested at 98% of new capacity. If you ever did need a replacement, the cost today is about $3,000 and of course much cheaper if you get one from an accident vehicle.
Just googled this and received U.S. info 8 years, 150,000 miles. $3200 USD to replace. Regardless I didn't pursue.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Just googled this and received U.S. info 8 years, 150,000 miles. $3200 USD to replace. Regardless I didn't pursue.
Do you have a source? The real world information indicates that actual life of batteries in use now is holding to Toyota's estimate 'for the life of the car'. So far, there have not been many (or any I can find) documented battery failures (other than damage caused by floods, accidents or leaving the battery for many weeks without a charge) and many Prius' are documented to have clocked over 450,000 kms on the original battery.

If there were suddenly a rash of battery failures and expensive replacements, it would certainly make the front page news since so many erroneous predictions have been made by the automotive press over the years. I follow the hybrid news and have not seen any evidence of natural failures and the Prius has been on the road since 1997 in Japan.

Lots of people have made the decision not to buy based on erroneous information.
 
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