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Old 04-07-2021, 01:59 PM   #101
JustyWRC
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Ascent started off well, with pent up demand and good initial press incl Consumer Reports. But then the CVT/Wiring Harness issue hit as well as the tail gate open draining batteries, that really worried potential buyers incl myself, mostly because it took so long to identify the problems and fix them. There were many other minor ones, not worth dwelling on here. But all the issues were enough for CR to dramatically drop their ratings of the Ascent. To me, that means something.


Justy, being a Subaru employee, I can understand your quick and constant defence of the company. But you would gain more credibility with me if you would at least acknowledge more their mistakes and short comings. Please don't tell me the CVT and battery drainage were not major issues.


Overall, Subaru is still a great brand, but it is far from perfect.

Major issues, yes. For those that had the issues. How many had the issues? Not "that" many in comparison to how many are on the road. That CVT issue....you talking about the slippage? That was a programming thing? That ultimately didn't affect every VIN included in the recall. CR is the hard one to look at. Yeah, having them on the negative end can hurt things. I have yet to have anyone "regret" getting an Ascent.

I have been confronted with "I heard this" about what is "wrong" with Subaru forever. I'll explain where that stands and let them use that info anyway they see fit. The Ascent missing weld one was fun. A few refused to believe that that ended up being a non-issue because "but, it was a recall. It must be bad". I was like, yeah. It coulda been bad. For those 260 some odd folks, out of 40,000+ cars on the road, that had the recall. Keep in mind the standards of making just about anything a recall nowadays. Still getting head gasket questions. Worried about it, like you were? Get something else. Those other 97% of buyers still driving the 10 year old Subarus have a different view.


edit: I believe they are still having battery issues. Not just with Ascent.


Come meet me. I'm usually one of the first to bitch about Subaru.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:23 PM   #102
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Major issues, yes. For those that had the issues. How many had the issues? Not "that" many in comparison to how many are on the road. That CVT issue....you talking about the slippage? That was a programming thing? That ultimately didn't affect every VIN included in the recall. CR is the hard one to look at. Yeah, having them on the negative end can hurt things. I have yet to have anyone "regret" getting an Ascent.

I have been confronted with "I heard this" about what is "wrong" with Subaru forever. I'll explain where that stands and let them use that info anyway they see fit. The Ascent missing weld one was fun. A few refused to believe that that ended up being a non-issue because "but, it was a recall. It must be bad". I was like, yeah. It coulda been bad. For those 260 some odd folks, out of 40,000+ cars on the road, that had the recall. Keep in mind the standards of making just about anything a recall nowadays. Still getting head gasket questions. Worried about it, like you were? Get something else. Those other 97% of buyers still driving the 10 year old Subarus have a different view.


edit: I believe they are still having battery issues. Not just with Ascent.


Come meet me. I'm usually one of the first to bitch about Subaru.
I agree about the weld issue, which is why I didn't mention it. But the CVT slippage went on for a long while, before Subaru finally identified it and issued a fix. There were a lot of customers on the Ascent forum that had it. My understanding is that it was caused by a bad wiring harness, which screwed up the programming of the CVT.



I thought the battery draining issue was also fixed, with a recall or TSB? Is that still going on?


And yes, now some new models, like the Telluride and Pallisade are taking sales away from the Ascent. To help Ascent sales again, I think a Wilderness trim would be even more important for this Subaru model. At least that would provide some differentiation. Too late for me, but might attract some other new buyers.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:44 PM   #103
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7 seat SUV is a tough market, Ascent is doing just fine considering how great the competition is. We looked around last summer and decided the Korean twins were not worth $6-7k more for the same features, also they are a little too big. Ascent is one of the most narrow in its class, which helps a ton in parking in our garage and in parking spaces.

We liked the CX9 the best but it's so cramped inside, makes no sense, and the lack of pass through between the captain's chairs was a show stopper.

One thing would have sold us was better gas mileage in a 7 seater, but not any good options there. The highlander is too small.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:49 PM   #104
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It certainly is odd that someone would be concerned that Subaru is choosing to make large profits over losing money by catering to what’s still a niche market. EV’s may be the future but businesses make money today based on the present.
He and many others think EVs are going to grow from 2% to 100% in a decade. That's what the government wants, and they're going to try to regulate ICE vehicles out of existence.

Perhaps Subaru is smart enough to realize that won't work, there's not enough electricity sources, grid capacity, rare earth metals, copper, silver and semiconductor capacity to make even 10%, much less 100%.

Car companies like VW going whole hog on the government's EV plan might end up with a bunch of cars they can't sell. Subaru could make out like a king.

But I'm not sure this is by design or they're just behind the game.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:53 PM   #105
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But I'm not sure this is by design or they're just behind the game.
Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Subaru already got lucky with the "raised outdoorsy wagon" trend. Maybe they strike gold again by sitting out the EVs.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:08 PM   #106
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He and many others think EVs are going to grow from 2% to 100% in a decade. That's what the government wants, and they're going to try to regulate ICE vehicles out of existence.

Perhaps Subaru is smart enough to realize that won't work, there's not enough electricity sources, grid capacity, rare earth metals, copper, silver and semiconductor capacity to make even 10%, much less 100%.

Car companies like VW going whole hog on the government's EV plan might end up with a bunch of cars they can't sell. Subaru could make out like a king.

But I'm not sure this is by design or they're just behind the game.
What governments want and what consumers are choosing seem to be two different things. The average person isn't an auto enthusiast or tech nerd and doesn't pay much attention to vehicles. They just purchase a people mover that meets their budget and needs. If I gave my wife $50k to go out and get any vehicle of her choice probably a 99% chance she comes home in an ICE SUV of some sort which is what average consumers are buying these days and there seems to be no trends indicating that's going to change anytime soon.

Subaru could be caught a little behind but in their view it's not likely worth sacrificing sales and revenue for what ifs. They probably also realize this may be the golden age for the brand as once they go EV they lose their identity as symmetrical AWD and boxer engine go out the window and they will be selling exactly the same vehicles as the dealer across the street. Best for them to sick with that's been driving the brand as long as possible.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:27 PM   #107
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Subaru could be caught a little behind but in their view it's not likely worth sacrificing sales and revenue for what ifs. They probably also realize this may be the golden age for the brand as once they go EV they lose their identity as symmetrical AWD and boxer engine go out the window and they will be selling exactly the same vehicles as the dealer across the street. Best for them to sick with that's been driving the brand as long as possible.
Leaders never follow.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:35 PM   #108
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Never really paid attention to that. Or I would have posted sooner than I did when it came to where that money was going. I saw that they were building two new headquarters, and an expansion at SIA and a Billion dollar next generation chassis, along with allllll the other things they spend their money on. I just never thought to talk about it. Till I did. I am sure their profitability has taken a good hit these past few years with the recalls they've had. Some are not hardly big at all and others I am sure have been costly. Then the spending they have to do to mitigate those causes......and so on......
I do not put much in sales. Profitability is the health of a company. SOA’s profitability was down drastically, minus +40 %, the last years recorded that I remember 2017-2019.

My local dealer still does 2-3 trans’ a week and they are not that big.

Subaru has to get better designs and quality.

Peace,

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Old 04-07-2021, 04:32 PM   #109
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Leaders never follow.
Good thing Subaru has never been a leader as most of their new models are typically a generation behind what a lot of other automakers are offering.
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Old 04-07-2021, 04:34 PM   #110
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I do not put much in sales. Profitability is the health of a company. SOA’s profitability was down drastically, minus +40 %, the last years recorded that I remember 2017-2019.

My local dealer still does 2-3 trans’ a week and they are not that big.

Subaru has to get better designs and quality.

Peace,

Greg
Agree. And from what they have been saying, is they are working hard at it.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:33 PM   #111
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What governments want and what consumers are choosing seem to be two different things. The average person isn't an auto enthusiast or tech nerd and doesn't pay much attention to vehicles. They just purchase a people mover that meets their budget and needs. If I gave my wife $50k to go out and get any vehicle of her choice probably a 99% chance she comes home in an ICE SUV of some sort which is what average consumers are buying these days and there seems to be no trends indicating that's going to change anytime soon.

Subaru could be caught a little behind but in their view it's not likely worth sacrificing sales and revenue for what ifs. They probably also realize this may be the golden age for the brand as once they go EV they lose their identity as symmetrical AWD and boxer engine go out the window and they will be selling exactly the same vehicles as the dealer across the street. Best for them to sick with that's been driving the brand as long as possible.
Very true, and not only that, what CEOs and executives want, is not what consumers or their employees want. Their top priority is the stock price, because that's how most of their compensation is given.

One big difference between Japanese and Western carmakers is the focus on stock performance. VW's stock did nothing for years, and has almost doubled since they announced a big focus on EVs. GM got a big boost in the stock for similar reasons. They all want a piece of that Tesla stock performance, regardless whether it's the best decision for the company.

Japanese companies don't operate this way.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:05 PM   #112
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Very true, and not only that, what CEOs and executives want, is not what consumers or their employees want. Their top priority is the stock price, because that's how most of their compensation is given.

One big difference between Japanese and Western carmakers is the focus on stock performance. VW's stock did nothing for years, and has almost doubled since they announced a big focus on EVs. GM got a big boost in the stock for similar reasons. They all want a piece of that Tesla stock performance, regardless whether it's the best decision for the company.

Japanese companies don't operate this way.
I have travelled to both SK and JP on business, and yes, very different attitude with their execs. They tend to think long term, vs short term stock performance like many of the domestic corps.


Also, they are a very proud people, and if they have a major problem, go all out to fix it and make it right for the customer. Case in point, my Kona has a battery issue (potential fires), and they are replacing all the batteries. That is the most expensive component in the car, by far!! In contrast, Tesla (model S) and GM (Bolt) have the same issue (fires). Tesla's solution was a software change to reduce battery charge capacity. Needless to say, owner aren't thrilled with the reduced range. And GM hasn't yet decided if they are going to replace all the Bolt batteries, but in the meantime they also reduced capacity.


And I have seen Subaru do some pretty expensive fixes (outside of warranty even) like airbags and that valve spring problem on the older 2.0 engines.



So needless to say, I still have more faith in JP and SK cars.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:33 PM   #113
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Off-topic, but, R P, what do you think of your Kona? One friend of mine has the 1.6T and another friend is wanting to see what happens with the Kona N before giving up his Baja. A guy down the street from my work traded in his modified bugeye Impreza for a new Kona "Night Edition" or whatever it's called and he seems to be a very satisfied customer.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:46 PM   #114
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Off-topic, but, R P, what do you think of your Kona? One friend of mine has the 1.6T and another friend is wanting to see what happens with the Kona N before giving up his Baja. A guy down the street from my work traded in his modified bugeye Impreza for a new Kona "Night Edition" or whatever it's called and he seems to be a very satisfied customer.
I did a full review/comparison of my Kona and Crosstrek on the Crosstrek forum. Here is a copy and paste of that.
First, my Kona has a few things that my Crosstrek does not have:

1. Auto wipers.

2. HUD. Not just a gimmick. Starting to like this more and more. Besides speed, also shows lane traffic coming up behind you, which is kind of useful to know. And any alerts show up here as well, incl lane change traffic. I found the Kona really doesn’t like you cutting anyone off,… haha. The Crosstrek gives you a little more leeway.

3. Wireless phone charger.

4. Front and rear parking sensors (Subaru just has rear camera).

5. Ventilated A/C front seats.

6. Kona has a phone app (BlueLink) that allows me to remotely monitor status, and change things in my car. Eg, locks, charging, climate control, etc. Works pretty well and does not require a wifi or data connection.

7. And of course the Kona EV is all electric.

Other than that, here are some of the major differences.

1. Space: Up front Kona has enough room, but rear passenger leg room is very tight compared to the Crosstrek. Also, Kona rear cargo area is smaller.

2. Clearance: Kona has 6.2 inches vs 8.7 for Crosstrek. Doesn’t matter to me though, as I didn’t buy it for off road. That’s why I have the Crosstrek. And of course, no AWD on my Kona.

3. Ride and comfort: Crosstrek is much better for this, with softer ride and is much smoother (and quieter) over the bumps (like railroad tracks). Also Crosstrek is more stealthy getting up to speed, and is more stable and confident at higher speeds. With the Kona, it feels like you are going fast, and you tend not to speed as much. Cornering on the Kona is not as good (despite the lower center of gravity with the big battery underneath), especially if you go over any bumps in the corners. Crosstrek is definitely more stable. Having said that, the Kona is better than my old Prius, but not anywhere near as good as the Crosstrek (which sets a high bar anyway compared to other vehicles). Seats are slightly more comfortable in the Crosstrek. They are both leather, but the Kona ones are not quite as soft, and feels like you are sitting on a harder bench. Maybe they need to be broken in a bit more.

4. Doors and entry/exit: Kona is better although not to say Crosstrek is really bad. I find that with the Crosstrek it is easy to scuff the bottom front of the door when exiting. Not so with the Kona. Not sure exactly why, maybe the Kona door is positioned more forward. But I did notice this.

5. Power and acceleration: Kona hands down in this area. It has 201 hp, but more importantly, 291 ft lbs torque which, with the electric motor, is immediately available from a stop start. The wheels (FWD) will squeal/chirp right up to 60 kph (about 40 mph), and your head snaps back to the head rest if you are not ready. I have really surprised some friends when I took them for a test ride. I don’t think there will be too many ICE cars that I can’t beat from a red light. Kind of fun, but not how I would drive it normally, of course. I don’t like to make a spectacle of myself.

6. Driver Assist and Safety tech: Crosstrek does everything better in this area, incl ACC (Kona lags too much) and LKA (Kona needs very good lane markings and doesn’t work at all below 60 kph). Kona only has a single camera on the windshield vs dual for the Crosstrek. I think that is the difference. Also, and this one is a little disconcerting, the Kona rear traffic alert doesn’t always pick up a car coming from the side. At our home I back out of my driveway at an angle onto the street. And I have found that on a couple occasions now, it does not pick up a car coming from one side. My Crosstrek, on the other hand, always picks up rear cross traffic even when at an angle. So that is a big difference. The other thing I don’t like is the pre-collision braking. I guess I am a bit of an aggressive driver, and usually come up pretty fast behind the car in front before braking. However, the Kona starts beeping fairly early, and has even slammed the brakes on me (and I mean slammed), even though I thought I still had lots of time to brake. That really surprised me, as the Crosstrek has never done that to me. So now I am a little spooked about that, and start slowing earlier (maybe too much), which is not how I necessarily want to drive. Will have to get used to this and adapt, I guess.

7. Instrumentation: Crosstrek is much more elaborate than the Kona with the multiple displays and setting options. Kona is OK for what you need, but a lot more basic. I think the “cockpit” in the Crosstrek feels nicer, and even the steering wheel has more controls. With the Kona, you need to do more on the center screen to look at or change something.

8. Head Unit: I like the Subura better, seems to be more intuitive and easier to use. Maybe I just need to get used to the Kona one. I don’t like how the radio presets works. And no driver profiles. Wife and I have to share all the same preferences. Nav seems the same as Crosstrek, though, and voice commands work well, as they do in the Subaru. The audio sound in the Kona is good, too, maybe a bit better than the Crosstrek (stronger base).

9. Paint job: Kona paint has a somewhat rough finish, even after a polish, almost feels like there is some overspray. My Crosstrek is silky smooth to the touch. I was back to the Hyundai dealer to pick up my floor mats, and checked some other cars in the showroom, and they were the same. So I asked the salesperson about that, and the reply was that is the “Hyundai paint”. If I want it really smooth, might have to give it a polishing compound treatment.

10. Warranty: Better with Subaru which gives 3 years end to end (incl wipers and brakes). Hyundai excludes all wear items, and only 1 year for free checks and adjustments.

11. Value: I think you get what you pay for. The ICE FWD Kona is a lot cheaper than the Crosstrek. But the Kona EV top trim version, like I have, is a lot more expensive (costs even more than the top trim Ascent).

12. Looks: All about personal preference. I like both actually. My Crosstrek is Cool Grey Khaki while the Kona is a deep, bright red and definitely stands out in a parking lot. Hope it doesn’t attract any keyers…

Having said all that, I like the Kona for what it is, a high range (450 kms) EV. That why I bought it. It is a replacement for my Prius and will be great for driving around town. And it is a good complement to my Crosstrek which is much better off road and can pull my boat. Also on trips, I would prefer the Crosstrek. However, the Kona will be our primary driving vehicle, and look forward to all the free driving (with free chargers all over the place here). And oh, my wife likes it, so that is important.
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:26 PM   #115
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Thanks! That's a very comprehensive yet informative review! Do you have a Crosstrek Limited with the FB25DI?
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:04 PM   #116
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What country is that guy. Hey guy, what country is you?
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:17 PM   #117
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Thanks! That's a very comprehensive yet informative review! Do you have a Crosstrek Limited with the FB25DI?
No, I have a 2018 Crosstrek Limited, 1st year on the new SGP platform, with the DI 2.0. Works well, and meets all my needs/wants. Despite the bad rap from the auto press, I consider the power very adequate. Gets out of its way, when I want it to.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:19 PM   #118
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What country is that guy. Hey guy, what country is you?
If you're talking about me, Canada,... BC to be specific.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:37 AM   #119
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Drive a 2021 Crosstrek Limited and you'll understand better why their sales are up... and, why their owners think all the yak yak about EVs is laughable.

If the FB25D is good enough to make the larger Foresters and Outbacks such great selling vehicles... couple it with an already winning package in a smaller, lighter vehicle with a new and unexpectedly responsive CVT. It has the same or better MPG as the Impreza but in a vehicle that makes the poor little Imp look and feel like a girl's first car.

Inclines me to think 2022 will be an interesting year for Subaru sales... that is, if they listen.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:02 AM   #120
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Off-topic, but, R P, what do you think of your Kona? One friend of mine has the 1.6T and another friend is wanting to see what happens with the Kona N before giving up his Baja. A guy down the street from my work traded in his modified bugeye Impreza for a new Kona "Night Edition" or whatever it's called and he seems to be a very satisfied customer.
I like it, if you squint it looks like a hot hatch. If it had a manual it would be on the short list. For the boring driving I do most of the time a manual adds a little involvement.

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Old 04-08-2021, 10:12 AM   #121
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I have travelled to both SK and JP on business, and yes, very different attitude with their execs. They tend to think long term, vs short term stock performance like many of the domestic corps.

Also, they are a very proud people, and if they have a major problem, go all out to fix it and make it right for the customer. Case in point, my Kona has a battery issue (potential fires), and they are replacing all the batteries. That is the most expensive component in the car, by far!! In contrast, Tesla (model S) and GM (Bolt) have the same issue (fires). Tesla's solution was a software change to reduce battery charge capacity. Needless to say, owner aren't thrilled with the reduced range. And GM hasn't yet decided if they are going to replace all the Bolt batteries, but in the meantime they also reduced capacity.

And I have seen Subaru do some pretty expensive fixes (outside of warranty even) like airbags and that valve spring problem on the older 2.0 engines.

So needless to say, I still have more faith in JP and SK cars.
Yeah, it's a cultural thing. I've finally warmed up to Korean cars, for a long time they seemed to be cutting corners but now they're at the top of their game.

I still prefer Japanese products because it's not in their culture to cheat or cut corners ever. Korea is culturally more like China, cheating and cutting corners is part of doing business.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:26 AM   #122
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Yeah, it's a cultural thing. I've finally warmed up to Korean cars, for a long time they seemed to be cutting corners but now they're at the top of their game.

I still prefer Japanese products because it's not in their culture to cheat or cut corners ever. Korea is culturally more like China, cheating and cutting corners is part of doing business.
I would say JPers are more conservative, and try to be more precise and punctual with everything. They don't like to take any chances or risks. SKers, on the other hand, are more western in that regard, and will take more risks, eg new products.


I think that is why we are seeing more innovation coming from Hyundai/Kia, and why they are ahead with EVs. They don't always work perfectly out the gate, with lots of issues. I have had many recalls on my Kona, mostly software, and the latest one is actually replacing the big traction battery. And it is their 2nd gen EV.


And who would have guessed Kia would come out with a high performance EV sports car that can beat almost all Super Cars in the 1/4 run (all 0-60)!!
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:16 PM   #123
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And who would have guessed Kia would come out with a high performance EV sports car that can beat almost all Super Cars in the 1/4 run (all 0-60)!!
This makes me think of the scene in Gone in 60 Seconds when the two brothers are racing a tiny RC truck vs a big truck.

I hope this results in the death of the obsession with 0-60 times, and maybe even big HP. It's gotten stupid and its sent performance cars in the wrong direction - turbos and lots of weight.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:07 PM   #124
neg_matnik
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What governments want and what consumers are choosing seem to be two different things. The average person isn't an auto enthusiast or tech nerd and doesn't pay much attention to vehicles. They just purchase a people mover that meets their budget and needs. If I gave my wife $50k to go out and get any vehicle of her choice probably a 99% chance she comes home in an ICE SUV of some sort which is what average consumers are buying these days and there seems to be no trends indicating that's going to change anytime soon.

Subaru could be caught a little behind but in their view it's not likely worth sacrificing sales and revenue for what ifs. They probably also realize this may be the golden age for the brand as once they go EV they lose their identity as symmetrical AWD and boxer engine go out the window and they will be selling exactly the same vehicles as the dealer across the street. Best for them to sick with that's been driving the brand as long as possible.
I think we need to carefully look at the numbers though.
Today, only 2% of U.S. sales are EV, but out of these 2%, at least 45% of these sales happened in California in 2018.
In short, nearly half of the entire U.S. EV sales happens in a single state: California.
While U.S. EV sales are trending down, California EV sales are actually trending up.
So, IMO, when the #1 state in the U.S. in terms of sales and the #10 car market in the world is buying a significant chunk of EVs, manufacturers are paying close attention.
Up here in NorCal, EVs have become mainstream; they won't replace ICE anytime soon, but they are going to account for a significant chunk of the market in California (it's already 8% today).
I mentioned it before, but putting gov regulation aside just for a minute, a significant chunk of people no longer want to deal with ICE or ICE maintenance.
That's a big contributor to ICE adoption and I see it happen around me all the time.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:23 PM   #125
VarmintCong
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I think we need to carefully look at the numbers though.
Today, only 2% of U.S. sales are EV, but out of these 2%, at least 45% of these sales happened in California in 2018.
In short, nearly half of the entire U.S. EV sales happens in a single state: California.
While U.S. EV sales are trending down, California EV sales are actually trending up.
So, IMO, when the #1 state in the U.S. in terms of sales and the #10 car market in the world is buying a significant chunk of EVs, manufacturers are paying close attention.
Up here in NorCal, EVs have become mainstream; they won't replace ICE anytime soon, but they are going to account for a significant chunk of the market in California (it's already 8% today).
I mentioned it before, but putting gov regulation aside just for a minute, a significant chunk of people no longer want to deal with ICE or ICE maintenance.
That's a big contributor to ICE adoption and I see it happen around me all the time.
Try taking away the $10k+ in rebates and all the special treatment and see how they sell. It’s government generated demand.
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