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The hidden hybrid PR coup

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http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/for...sion=2007052305

The hidden hybrid PR coup

Wonder why hybrids have taken over Hollywood? A little-known group named EMA helped make them a must for the planet-first crowd, says Fortune's Sue Callaway.

By Sue Zesiger Callaway, Fortune columnist

May 23 2007: 5:55 AM EDT

(Fortune Magazine) -- There's a reason you may be considering buying a gas-electric hybrid vehicle - besides wanting to help the environment or visit the gas station less frequently. Your hybrid awareness is a direct result of what is arguably the most audacious and impressive marketing/product-placement coup in memory.

8 fabulous and fuel-efficient cars

Toyota/Lexus has consistently, cleverly, and tirelessly spent an estimated $100,000,000 to make "hybrid" a household word. The Japanese juggernaut (which just surpassed GM (Charts, Fortune 500) in global sales to grab the No. 1 spot) has a secret weapon: a small but powerful nonprofit organization, the Environmental Media Association.

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Screw the hybrids. How about an automaker brings back a true economy car? Something that gets 40mpg city without costing closer to $20,000 than $10,000. Can we get that, please? Or are we going to have to buy a Payola Prius to ever get that kind of mileage again?

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How about instead of making cheap hybrids we make cheap muscle cars. Big blocks with gobs of power. Cars that when you turn them on, your neighbors down the street think the world is coming to an end. Cars that look good and go fastt and drink fuel like it's nobody's business.

Make the hybrids and fuel sippers the expensive ones. :P

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How about instead of making cheap hybrids we make cheap muscle cars. Big blocks with gobs of power. Cars that when you turn them on, your neighbors down the street think the world is coming to an end. Cars that look good and go fastt and drink fuel like it's nobody's business.

Make the hybrids and fuel sippers the expensive ones. :P

Earth to Nick, come in Nick! Houston, we have a problem! :P

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I am wondering how much fuel economy being a hybrid really adds. I drive a Scion xB ( I know, the most hated car at Cheers and Gears) same basic 1.5 as the Prius. last three tanks were 34.8, 35.7, and 38.8 m.p.g.

Car has Aerodynamics of a Brick...soft tires, driven reasonably aggressively

Question-would the 1.5 in a Prius Body shell without the additional weight of batteries, electrical motors and such, driven carefully perhaps deliver the 41-45 m.p.,g most Prisu owners report?

Wondering if Hybrid drive does anything for fuel economy at all.

Honda Civic Hybrid, driven carefully, 42 m.p.g from a discussion with someone I know.

Another person has the same basic car as a gas 5 speed and drives carefully and gets...40 to 42 m.p.g on the highway.

The damned Cavalier in my sig got an honest 44.5 a couple of times when I was real gentle and ran it at 55 without stopping between fuel ups.

Methinks perhaps a small diesel is a better bet...

Chris

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...and yes we had cheap muscle cars (used) until about 5-10 years ago when all of the good stuff from the 60's and 70's (and even 80's cars) started to dry up.

Perhaps the whole body in steel thing will pick up and one will be able to build a 70 Nova in Kit form for a reasonable price in a few years.

Chris

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Perhaps Pontiac Custom S can help us on the cheap muscle car thing.

Think you could sneak an LS7 into the plant in your lunchbox and drop it into a Sky?

Chris

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Here in Jersey, cheap used muscle started drying up far earlier than a mere 5-10 years ago.

And can we please hold out for something a bit more interesting than a '70 Nova; we already have it's rebadged twin the '69 Camaro available, anyway (j/k!!)

...which just surpassed GM (Charts, Fortune 500) in global sales to grab the No. 1 spot...

How is it that FORBES does not realize the "#1 spot" in sales is based on an annual figure, not a monthly or quarterly one?
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I am wondering how much fuel economy being a hybrid really adds. I drive a Scion xB ( I know, the most hated car at Cheers and Gears) same basic 1.5 as the Prius. last three tanks were 34.8, 35.7, and 38.8 m.p.g.

Car has Aerodynamics of a Brick...soft tires, driven reasonably aggressively

Question-would the 1.5 in a Prius Body shell without the additional weight of batteries, electrical motors and such, driven carefully perhaps deliver the 41-45 m.p.,g most Prisu owners report?

Wondering if Hybrid drive does anything for fuel economy at all.

Honda Civic Hybrid, driven carefully, 42 m.p.g from a discussion with someone I know.

Another person has the same basic car as a gas 5 speed and drives carefully and gets...40 to 42 m.p.g on the highway.

The damned Cavalier in my sig got an honest 44.5 a couple of times when I was real gentle and ran it at 55 without stopping between fuel ups.

Methinks perhaps a small diesel is a better bet...

Chris

bring back a new incarnation of the original diesel Rabbit. those little beasts were slow but would hit 50 mpg with ease.
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I am wondering how much fuel economy being a hybrid really adds. I drive a Scion xB ( I know, the most hated car at Cheers and Gears) same basic 1.5 as the Prius. last three tanks were 34.8, 35.7, and 38.8 m.p.g.

Car has Aerodynamics of a Brick...soft tires, driven reasonably aggressively

Question-would the 1.5 in a Prius Body shell without the additional weight of batteries, electrical motors and such, driven carefully perhaps deliver the 41-45 m.p.,g most Prisu owners report?

Wondering if Hybrid drive does anything for fuel economy at all.

Honda Civic Hybrid, driven carefully, 42 m.p.g from a discussion with someone I know.

Another person has the same basic car as a gas 5 speed and drives carefully and gets...40 to 42 m.p.g on the highway.

The damned Cavalier in my sig got an honest 44.5 a couple of times when I was real gentle and ran it at 55 without stopping between fuel ups.

Methinks perhaps a small diesel is a better bet...

Chris

The most hated car on C&G is the Camry or the Prius :P

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I am wondering how much fuel economy being a hybrid really adds. I drive a Scion xB ( I know, the most hated car at Cheers and Gears) same basic 1.5 as the Prius. last three tanks were 34.8, 35.7, and 38.8 m.p.g.

Car has Aerodynamics of a Brick...soft tires, driven reasonably aggressively

Question-would the 1.5 in a Prius Body shell without the additional weight of batteries, electrical motors and such, driven carefully perhaps deliver the 41-45 m.p.,g most Prisu owners report?

Wondering if Hybrid drive does anything for fuel economy at all.

Honda Civic Hybrid, driven carefully, 42 m.p.g from a discussion with someone I know.

Another person has the same basic car as a gas 5 speed and drives carefully and gets...40 to 42 m.p.g on the highway.

The damned Cavalier in my sig got an honest 44.5 a couple of times when I was real gentle and ran it at 55 without stopping between fuel ups.

Methinks perhaps a small diesel is a better bet...

Chris

i just got a hybrid, on my first tank I got 45 mpg, with less than 1000 miles on the odo. That is with an abundance of city driving, albeit careful driving, and lots of hills, I drive through a canyon [~20 mi] 5 days to go to work. I hope as the break in occurs, and I perfect my hybrid/CVT driving ability, my Civic will get closer to the 50 mpg mark. Whether a diesel, a hybrid, or regular gas engine, getting this kind of mileage is truly wonderful in times of high gas prices and long commutes.

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Yeah, but how much of a premium did you pay over a non-hybrid Civic?

When the prices get up to $5/gallon (I know, they're getting there), it'll be a more justifiable purchase, I think.

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Here in Jersey, cheap used muscle started drying up far earlier than a mere 5-10 years ago.

And can we please hold out for something a bit more interesting than a '70 Nova; we already have it's rebadged twin the '69 Camaro available, anyway (j/k!!)

How is it that FORBES does not realize the "#1 spot" in sales is based on an annual figure, not a monthly or quarterly one?

Isn't that an interesting question? All last year, many media outlets were referring to Toyota as "The biggest car company by market cap." Media bias? GASP! Self-fulfilling prophecy? NEVER!! :banghead:

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Yeah, but how much of a premium did you pay over a non-hybrid Civic?

When the prices get up to $5/gallon (I know, they're getting there), it'll be a more justifiable purchase, I think.

Ah, we Canucks ARE paying $5 a gallon ($1.10 a litre, these days) and I can tell you - no, a hybrid still doesn't make sense. Buy a 4 cylinder Malibu LS, which is $13,000 cheaper than a Prius (Canadian dollars, folks). How much gas would that buy at $5 a gallon? How many years would it take to get your money back?

(I'd love to work it out, but I am still trying to figure out if I would rather have a milkshake or a beer......never mind!) :huh:

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I'll gladly buy you one of each next time I am north of the border!

Chris

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