MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Real SUV We Can’t Have – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. Fox on March 22, 2018

The closest to ‘off road’ that cross-over SUV’s are designed for is pulling into the restaurant parking lot.  Thanks to government regulation that profits uncomplaining automakers, cars today are joke. Too expensive to buy and fix, no fun to drive. No one in the car biz is on your side.

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2018/03/20/real-suv-cant/

Nissan just announced a new SUV they’re not going to sell here.

It’s called the Terra – and the Chinese (and other foreign markets) will get it beginning next spring. Nissan’s Ashwani Gupta says there is growing demand in China for “go anywhere SUVs built like the rugged SUVs old” – which apparently are no longer in demand here.

This, of course, is claptrap. There is plenty of demand.

The problem is Uncle.

It is becoming extremely difficult to sell “go anywhere SUVs built like the rugged SUVs of old” because they are heavy and heavy means big engines and that means a hearty appetite for gas. This however isn’t a problem for the people who buy such vehicles; they are – presumably – ok with paying more for gas in exchange for  the ruggedness and go-anywhere capabilities…

But never mind. Uncle – acting in loco parentis – believes we are using “too much” gas.

He therefore imposes taxes and other disincentives to artificially curb market demand for “rugged, go anywhere SUVs” – punishing you for daring to want what he thinks you ought not to have. As a result, “rugged, go anywhere SUVs” are already very few in number and mostly expensive models such as high-end Land Rovers…

We get crossover SUVs – which aren’t really SUVs because they are basically just jacked-up cars styled to look like SUVs. They are defined by not having rugged underthings, such as a four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case and low range gearing. They have all-wheel-drive (without the transfer case and low-range gearing) meant for light snow on paved roads; maybe wet grass.

Most of all, they are defined by not having their drivetrains and suspensions cradled by rugged and so heavy steel frames, onto which their bodies are bolted – as real SUVs do.

Instead they have car-ish unibodies. Frame and body welded together. It’s much lighter – which makes it feasible to use small engines in these things. Which in turn means they use less less gas.

But they are much less rugged – and you can’t “go anywhere” in these things – as a result.

It is also harder – and more expensive – to repair these unibodied crossovers when they are damaged. Including in particular lightly damaged, as occurs when a fender is bent.

You can unbolt most of the exterior sheetmetal bolted to the frame of a body-on-frame SUV. You have to cut – and weld – most of the panels on a unibody crossover, if it gets bent.

Also, the body of a body-on-frame SUV isn’tstructural; if you hit a deer, you bend a fender – not the frame….

It’s very interesting that so few people seem to object to the fact that the government is now in the business of punishing people who’ve not harmed anyone but only on account of some decision of theirs which others do not like.

And that’s something even the Chinese aren’t doing.

Be seeing you

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I am not a number. I am a free man!-Number 6

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