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Eco-weenies choose the Prius over Honda hybrids because the Hondas look like a normal car. Gee, what a surprise. Guess it wasn't about saving the planet after all but flaunting your devotion to Gaia. Me, I think I'm going to get some price quotes on these, since these selfless souls are out there conserving gas so I can burn it. Y'all still going to Hell. (Rachel)

Song unrelated. Trust me on this.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
tokenfanboy
Sep. 4th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Aaron's (AD Video dept) Prius is a pretty nifty car any time I've ridden with him anywhere. He's been pretty happy with it thusfar and he's had it for several years now. Toyota just did a much better job of marketing their product. Going with an all-new design, rather than calling it a Corolla or Camry made it stand out from the others. It's not necessarily just an image thing. It was a terrific job of brand-creation in a new field of products. Prius has about the same name recognition of Kleenex, and Xerox.
wombat_socho
Sep. 4th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, no question that Toyota stomped the daylights out of Honda in the marketing of their respective hybrids. See my comments to Cheb below.
chebutykin
Sep. 4th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
The article misses the point that the hybrid Hondas are quite a bit less fuel efficient than the Prius. If someone is going to buy a car solely on efficiency, they're going to buy the Prius, hands down. The article also misses that the Honda Insight was even weirder-looking than the Prius.

Now, the Honda Insight was even better than the Prius on the efficiency front, but Honda stopped making them a year ago. Honda never threw their production and advertising weight behind the Insight, and never had any sitting around dealerships to show off, which probably explains why the Prius whomped the Insight as the prime hybrid choice. I probably would have purchased an Insight if I ever could have found one to test drive, I couldn't find one to save my life. And there's no way I'm going to buy a car I can't test drive.
wombat_socho
Sep. 4th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
Part of the problem was that at first, hybrids sold like crap. There wasn't much of a market for them, and the Prius dominated what market there was by dint of the sales effort put into them. By the time the celebrities and pols started getting excited about global warming and pushing hybrid vehicles, the Hondas were pretty much shut out.

Your reasons for buying a Prius had nothing to do with image, iirc. Rightly or wrongly, you decided that you were going to do this as your personal conservation effort. All well and good, and not at all like Hollyweird scum who park a Prius in their driveway while taking limos & private jets everywhere.
chebutykin
Sep. 4th, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
Actually, I got a hybrid Honda Civic. I traded off the extra efficiency of the Prius for the reliability I know Honda to have. (Not that I have a particular beef against Toyota; it's just that my previous Honda was a fantastic little car that just kept running and running and running. I'm pretty loyal to brands who make good stuff.)

Part of the problem was that at first, hybrids sold like crap.

Actually, I think we're getting into chicken-and-egg stuff here. Automakers made hybrids and EVs as concept vehicles, and thus didn't push them to the masses. Thus, the masses didn't take notice, therefore not ponying up the cash. Automakers decided the cars weren't big business, so the kept them as niche vehicles. Wash, rinse, repeat. I think electric vehicles are still currently in that cycle, while Toyota finally figured out how to blaze the trail to the outside.

I'm anxious to see what happens with the all-electric Tesla. They're aiming at the luxury market first, then working their way down to normal consumer vehicles, rather than the other way around. Not sure it will work, but it's an interesting approach.
wombat_socho
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
Eggs are to be scrambled and served with Tabasco at Waffle House; chickens are to be cut up and fried at Chick-fil-A or Popeye's. This disposes of chickens and eggs and thus the problem goes away. :3
wombat_socho
Sep. 4th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
My mistake; now that you mention it, I do recall you mentioning that you went with a hybrid Civic. Sorry.

You're probably right about the history of hybrids/electrics. It's not something I paid a lot of attention to, frankly, because I am one of those people who isn't going to worry too much until the price of gas gets up to $5/gallon at which point some politicians will be shot, fuel taxes will be cut, and things will get back to normal I'll probably do something to improve my fuel economy...but I already get nearly 30 mpg as it is, and can't realistically fit into a smaller, more efficient vehicle at this point.
nornagest
Sep. 5th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
Hmm. I think a large part of the reason Honda didn't do so well in the hybrid market is that its initial offering, the Insight, was just a bad car. Besides its image flaws, it had two seats, an anemic powertrain, and very little cargo space -- and if you want a cramped two-seater that gets 60 MPG, a Kawasaki Ninja will do that and also a hundred and eighty miles per hour. They did the right thing with the Civic and Accord hybrids, but those came after Toyota had already established itself as the premier hybrid brand (with a sedan that actually functioned as such, and, yes, was also fairly distinctive). As such, they're catching up a bit in certain markets now, although I think Toyota's definitely won this round.

Also, while I don't know the details of your own situation, if I was given the choice between a new Explorer and a new Prius as daily drivers in a metropolitan area I'd take the Prius -- and I say this as an Explorer owner. I'd also buy a bumper sticker for said Explorer saying "One Less Hybrid", but that's just my instinct for being reflexively contrarian talking.
wombat_socho
Sep. 5th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty happy with my Kia Sportage, especially now that I've gotten all of my household goods out of it and am only carrying around me, a couple of suitcases, and occasionally P. Next vehicle will likely be the 6-cylinder Sportage - while I do like the Excursion, it's just not practical here.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 5th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
You know you want one....

http://www.bikeforest.com/kenworth_pilgrimage.php

(yes, it's a five year old joke at this point).

You could always get a Chevy Kodiak... they're pretty slick.

-r

wombat_socho
Sep. 5th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
I admit to having a soft spot for the Dominator, but I want to see the new models based on the HEMTT.
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