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The war on oil.

Friday, 10 January, 2003

This was originally one of my middle of the night rants. I present it now since the server was down overnight. Even after hours of shallow sleep this seems to make sence but it’s not terribly interesting or useful. I get a little obsessed for time to time if you didn’t know.

As if you didn’t know, Arianna Huffington has started something called Detroit Project. The object of the exercise here is to parody the Administration’s absurd NODCP ads and while at it make a self-evident point. Every smart ass in the country has thought of this on his own, but Ms. H and company are actually doing something about it.

In a complimentary point, due to the CAFE standards and DOT regulations hammered in and altered at Detroit’s whim since 1968, certain features are not allowed in cars to be sold in the U.S. Manufacturers really do go thorough fifteen kinds of hell preparing products for this market. Not so much because Americans drive like hell and brake like hell and generally are allowed to drive in a way that would land someone in prison in about six minutes anywhere else in the world … not that we have a choice in transportation and it’s too late to rip up the entire country and start over … I think.

But because the rules are completely arbitrary. Headlights must be so bright, but not this bright. You must have at least X and no more than Y amount of air circulating within the vehicle at all times

Okay, look, we’re stuck with a nation of fat, lazy, self-absorbed assholes who, for all points and purposes, require personal transportation. Somehow our free market is one of the most controlled in the world when it comes to personalized transportaton. I will stop rambling now in order to provide a list of automobiles which are not available in the US but should be.

  • Aixam quadricycle, but the site is all screwy.
  • Aro, a series of small Czech trucks.
  • BMW C1 or City, depending upon where it’s sold.
  • Daihatsu Cuore, yes I know they had a disasterous run in the US a while back, but the cars were solid.
  • Daihatsu Extol, kind of a Microvan.
  • Daihatsu Move, even smaller.
  • Daewoo Kalos, pick your language. English not available. (Edit: This is the Chevrolet Aveo)
  • I would point you to the Ford Ka, and its sister the Streetka (a cabriolet) but all of the international Ford sites are flash based and I don’t want to sit here and type instructions. But as long as I am haranguing my partner’s family, now that a Ford is back in charge, you will quickly notice the Fiesta, New Fiesta and Focus all selling side by side. These are three cars in the filling the same niche all being sold by the same company at once. Even scarier, is the “Maverick”. Let’s go. Because the Americanized (bigger engine) Modeo (aka Ford Contour) was not selling the vehicle was radically redesigned into the Ford Escape which could be sold under the pretention that it is an SUV. This vehicle is now being sold in Europe and Japan as the Ford Maverick. I am even more surprised to see the Maverick moniker back. What a crock. I wonder who is going to hand Detroit’s testicles to ’em this time. (Edit: A new Fiesta is coming to North America for the 2010 MY)
  • GM’s Barina. This very car is sold around the world by a variety of GM brands. I chose this brand because of the obscurity of Australian cars … for now
  • Honda Vamos, another microvan
  • Honda Fit (now available)
  • Honda Mobilio
  • Honda ACTY, an actual truck
  • Hyundai Getz
  • Mega, one chassis, three cars
  • Microcar, ditto
  • Nissan March, resembles some 60’s Japanese car … not unlike the Subaru 360
  • Nissan Moco, boring and tiny
  • Reliant, take your pick … yes, Mr. Bean drove one of these.
  • Seat Arosa, it’s “say-ought” as though it were in Continental Spanish. Seat is a wholly owned part of Volkswagen AG (Edit: The replacement for the small VW may be coming to NA in MY 2010-2011.)
  • Skoda, take your pick again. One of three surviving German auto companies after the depression, in 1945 they were on the wrong side of the line. Now a part of VW … it’s not like these people don’t have a dealer network. (Edit: VWs without all the unreliable accessories.)
  • Smart, the littlest Mercedes, or Chrysler, or whoever the hell they are. (Edit: In America, Feb ’08.)
  • Toyota Yaris (Edit: now available)
  • Volkswagen Lupo (Edit: The replacement for the small VW may be coming to NA in MY 2010-2011.)
  • Volkswagen Polo and just for kicks here’s a link to another VW some of you haven’t seen in a while, the Type I or Sedan.

This should not be considered an endorcement of the various products.

So the next time you go out to buy a car … just give up. Oh, and drive around mindlessly while you can. We’re looking at $3.20 per gallon by September. See, I bitch and moan, but I am a conspirator too. I just don’t even know where to begin to do anything about it.

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