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  1. #1
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    Just stopped at a new HF store here in Philly and left real depressed. I won't say the Chinese stuff is junk, I'm amazed that they can produce it at that price and I even have a MicroMark lathe myself, admittedly the most expensive Chinese minilathe, but we've screwed ourselves. There are no easy answers to stop capital flow to where it will get the biggest bang but I think that politicians should have protected the machine tool industry like Ronald Regan protected Harley Davidson. European goverments protect their vital industries all the time, why can't we do the same? If the ability to build precision machine tools is lost the country could easily find itself up the creek. Just my two cents.
    Regards, Nial

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    I just saw a report on TV stating the Chinese will be selling cars here in the next two or three years. Prices...$3000 to $4000 range. That should finish GM off.

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    If the ability to build precision machine tools is lost the country could easily find itself up the creek.
    The ability hasn't and won't be lost, just the willingness to do it for non-union wages.

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    Remember,
    You get what you pay for. Do you really think you can get a new safe car for 3k?

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    Do you really think you can get a new safe car for 3k?
    I wouldn't be surprised. Luxurious? No. Safe? Perhaps.

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    There is one tool that is protected for some reason. Magnetic drills. Have you ever tried to find a cheap import magdrill? Milwalkee must have some good freinds in high places to have pulled that off.

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    I have seen em- they have a bunch of $500 mag drills now, not sure if they are chinese or not. Usually at cheapo tool stores.

    And since Milwaukee is now owned by the same Hong Kong businessman who owns Ryobi, there is no guarantee where the Milwaukee mags are from.
    The japanese ones, the Nitto's, are excellent machines, not sure if they are all made in Japan, or made in china too.

    But any product that you want, the chinese will make- in fact, probably already do.

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    This from this morning's news.
    GM is lowering prices on all 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles and most Pontiac vehicles starting Wednesday, LaNeve said. Saab, Saturn and Hummer will be excluded because GM feels they're already priced appropriately.
    Perhaps they see the handwriting on the wall eh?

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    Nial,
    I used to live in the Philly area. What is a HF store?

    I will say that the stuff is junk, it's made for a price, and datz dat. The stuff is a commodity, intent is TRADING $$, thro away when it breaks or wears a little. You do know what China does with the US $$ dontcha...

    As for why the US does not protect any industry, Google "Overseas Private Investment Corp" learn why it exists and how it operates.

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    I just saw a report on TV stating the Chinese will be selling cars here in the next two or three years. Prices...$3000 to $4000 range. That should finish GM off.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Did people already forget the Yugo?

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    Yep, they forgot the Yugo and all that it was, or wasnt as the case may be.

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    Was it not a different time for the Yugo?

    Let's see... although I was only 8 or 9 when they were around: First they were just plain fugly. Gas was still affordable. Homes cost less or were on par with earnings in the cities and thus reduced driving time. This global warming junk science wasn't telling people that they were killing the earth by driving a vehicle that consumed copious amounts of (what was) cheap gas.

    Does this sound right?

    It seems that a "yugo" type vehicle is what the "people" are clamoring for now-a-days. Although most people might be too stupid to buy a “decent” vehicle at a cheap price… seen a Toyota Doesn't-make-finacial-sense-Prius?

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    But a yugo was just an all around poorly made car. When was the last time you even saw one? I still see the occaisional Pinto or Chevette now and agin. A Vega, now haven't seen one in years except at a drag race w/ a V8 stuffed into it.

    Gas is expensive, but there are plenty of decent mileage foreign and domestic cars out their. Something just really smells about a chinese car. And its not a good smell. You'd have a hard time convincing me to drive in DC rush hour in one. Maybe they'll sell them at harbor freight?

    Who knows, maybe after a year or two or three they'll get the formula right. If they do, I think they will hurt all the carmakers. Off course the weak (GM) will get hurt the most.

    Mark

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    Yugo's were 15 year old fiats, when they were new Yugos- that is, the Yugoslavians bought the tooling for an obsolete Fiat, then tried selling them here.
    Even Italians wouldnt buy em at that point. It was a restyled Fiat 127 with a 1300 cc engine.

    No big surprise that they didnt sell real well- they were old designs, poorly made, and the only thing going for em was they were cheap.

    Current asian cars, on the other hand, are very modern- they can put the money they save by not paying wages, benefits, or pensions, into design.

    GM is still selling Overhead Valve engines- but the little, cheap, Korean and Japanese cars are much more advanced.

    The Prius is expensive- and they cant make em fast enough.
    But Toyota was also trying to sell the Echo- at a mere 10 grand, for a modern, comfortable car that gets 42mpg with no hybrid mumbo jumbo- and not very many people wanted em.
    Now Toyota says they will be bringing over the Yaris- another tiny car, that will be pretty cheap and get good mileage. Probably about 13 grand, 40mpg.
    You could buy a Kia Rio- about 10 grand, 30 some mpg.
    Nissan will be bringing in the Versa- about 12 grand, 38mpg.

    All of these are full of the stuff americans want in cars- ac, auto tranny's, power windows and door locks, cushy seats and cd players- and the stuff our government says we must have- airbags, 5mph bumpers, side impact protection, and very low emissions.

    There is no way we are gonna see $3000, or even $5000 cars here- because all the above mentioned stuff costs money. And you cant, either legally, or market wise, sell a car without it here.
    You might get to $7000 or so if you stripped everything out, had a bare metal dashboard and a cheap ohv 4 cylinder 1000cc engine, with vinyl bench seats and a rubber mat on the floor.
    But nobody will even try that- the only way you could make any money on it is to sell incredible volume, and the market just isnt there.

    We may see a small chinese car here in a few years, but I bet it will cost 10 grand, and follow the Korean philosophy of giving you a lot for a little- not a stripper.

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    Something tells me that if you buy a chinese car, it will be like their food, 5 mins later you'l need another..

    hopefully not for a partz car...

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    I bought my 2003 Ford Focus ZX3 new at the 2003 year-end close-out for $10,380 dollars. It has cruise control, a great sound system, and hauls people and luggage around really well. It handles in a sporting manner and has adequate power. I got 34mpg coming back from visiting son David in Melbourne, Florida over Christmas. I got it after I sold my motorcycle because of the MS diagnosis, which explained my weakened legs. I am pleasantly surprised at the satisfaction I am getting from the this Ford product.

    Jim Williams

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    I just got the latest HF flyer in the mail today, and I can say I am depressed as well, because I will probably buy some of this stuff.

    Not that I want to, but those copies of the Milwaukee Hole Hawg and the Sioux close-quarter drill are priced at 25% of the real thing. They will probably last less than 25% of the real thing, but if needed for only one job...

    I bought a Yugo several years ago. It was 2 years old and had broken the timing belt at about 20K miles. It was like new otherwise.

    I paid $400 for it, spent $100 or so replacing bent valves, etc., and my wife drove it for 100K miles. Despite being an obsolete Fiat, it was a good car.

    The Fiat connection was a good thing after the Yugo plant was bombed, as the Fiat parts were available and fit.

    At about 135K, it pretty much fell apart, but had done it's job by then and paid for itself 100 times.

    I saw a Vega the other day, still running under it's own power. It did get my attention.

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    How do you make a Yugo go faster?
    A towtruck.
    What do you call the shock absorbers inside a Yugo?
    Passengers.
    Two guys in a Yugo were arrested last night in Oakland following a push-by shooting incident.
    The new Yugo has an air bag. When you sense an impending accident, start pumping real fast.
    A friend went to a dealer the other day and said, "I'd like a gas cap for my Yugo." The dealer replied, "Okay. Sounds like a fair trade."
    I have also said for years that the car is named because "Yugo, but it doesn't".
    How can you get a Yugo to do 60 miles an hour?
    Push it over a cliff.

    Q: How do you upgrade a Yugo car?
    A: Put in an engine.
    A. "TRADE IT FOR A TRABBIE" (the late great Roosian "people's car")
    A. "PARK IT NEXT TO A PORTAJOHN.....AND LEAVE IT UNLOCKED"
    A. "CRUSH IT AND USE IT FOR TRACTION BALLAST IN YOUR BIG DOG 4X4 PICKEMUP TRUCK"
    Q: Why do Yugos have heated rear windows?
    A: To keep your hands warm when you're pushing them.

    Q: How do you make accelerate a Yugo from 0 to 100 km in 10 seconds?
    Q. What's the difference between a Yugo and the principal's office?
    A. It's less embarrassing if your friends see you leaving the principal's
    office.

    Q: What goes on pages 4-5 of the Yugo user's manual?
    A: The train & bus schedule.

    A man goes to a parts garage:
    Man: "Can I have a windshield wiper for a Yugo please?"
    Parts man: "Yeah, that seems like a fair swap."

    Q: What is the sport-version of Yugo?
    A: The driver wears Nike shoes.

    Q: What do you call a Yugo at the top of a hill?
    A: A miracle.

    Q: What do you call two Yugos at the top of a hill?
    A: A mirage.

    Q: What do you call a Yugo with dual exhausts?
    A: A wheelbarrow

    Q: How do you double the value of a Yugo?
    A: Half fill it with gasoline!

    Q: How do you make a Yugo look good?
    A: Park it between two Cadillacs!

    Q: What to you call a Yugo with brakes?
    A: Customized.

    Q: What do you have to do if your Yugo gets in the way of a swarm of killer
    bees?
    A: Stop pushing and take refuge into the car.

    Q: What is the Yugo owner's most ardent wish?
    A: To buy a car.

    Q: What do you call a Yugo with a seat belt?
    A: A rucksack.

    Q: How do you make a Yugo go faster uphill?
    A: Throw out the passenger.

    Q: How do you make a Yugo go faster downhill?
    A: Turn off the engine.

    Q: What do you call a Yugo with a flat tire?
    A: A write off.

    STOP PRESS!!
    Yugo has announced a new 16 Valve model for 1993.
    8 in the engine, 8 in the radio.

    - I can see you've got a new car - a Yugo!
    - Yes, I won the second prize in a lottery.
    - What was the first prize then?
    - A fruit-basket!

    Yugo will be introducing three new vehicles next year. They will have a moped called an "I Go". They will have a
    4-door called a "We Go". They will also have a new station wagon called the "Y'all Go"

    Q: Why does the Yugo have a rear window defroster? A: To keep your hands warm while you are pushing it.
    Q: How can one double the value of his Yugo? A: By filling the Yugo's fuel tank.
    Q: What is the difference between Yugo and Yugo Sport? A: Yugo sport has a lighter.
    Q: What is the difference between Yugo Sport and Yugo Lux? A: Yugo Lux's lighter works.

    SNL debuted a spoof commercial in 1986 for an extremely cheap subcompact car called "Adobe," (a Renault Le Car in disguise) which according to the advertisement is literally made of clay and sells for only $179. The pitchman (played by Phil Hartman) prefaces the car's introduction by declaring, "These days, everyone's talking about the Hyundai, and the Yugo. Both nice cars, if you've got $3,000 or $4,000 to throw around."


    Simpsons family car
    The Simpsons: Episode #9F07 (Mr. Plow) makes a reference to the Yugo. After totaling both family cars in a drunk driving incident, Homer Simpson makes his way to "Crazy Vaclav's Place of Automobiles" and test drives a subcompact car from a country that "no longer exists". Crazy Vlaclav goes on to tell Homer that the car "gets 400 hectares to a tank of kerosene." As Homer attempts to start the car Crazy Vraclav shouts for Homer to "Put it in 'H'!", which is a reference to the Cyrillic alphabet used in the Serbian written language. In Serbian the word for 'Neutral' is 'Neutralan', which is written "?????????" with an H. Another reference occurs in episode #EABF01 (The Great Louse Detective) which indicates that Homer's pink sedan may be a Yugo. After discovering that he cannot drive whilst reading a magazine and crashing his pink sedan, he summons a tow truck. He informs the mechanic that he wants his car fixed "with quality GM Parts". The mechanic informs Homer that his car was "made in Croatia" from "old Soviet tanks". Visual cues suggest his car may be a Zastava 1100, AKA 128 Skala, which was never sold in the U.S.

    So I hope the chinese do send us some cars- think of the jokes, tv skits, and simpsons episodes that it could spawn.

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    When it comes to handheld power tools I only buy used high-end tools. Usually costs less than new Chinese imports and lasts much longer. Got my Sioux drill for $25, my deep-cut Portaband for $75, etc.

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    You might get to $7000 or so if you stripped everything out, had a bare metal dashboard and a cheap ohv 4 cylinder 1000cc engine, with vinyl bench seats and a rubber mat on the floor.
    Interesting you should say that. That is exactly the kind of vehicle I would buy if it were available. (Maybe not the 1L engine).

    It is difficult to find even a "work truck" on the lot that has vinyl seats and rubber mats.

    If I am looking for a basic utility vehicle for utility use, I don't want to have to pay for deluxe seats, deep-pile carpeting, power windows, 17-speaker CD system, etc.

    After Toyota stopped selling "real" Land Cruisers in the US, I had an interesting email exchange with the head of marketing for the 4Runner, which was at the time competing against the Ford Explorer. I asked him why they no longer offered a basic, tough, no-nonsense utility vehicle, and why they felt it necessary to dress the 4Runner up with plastic running boards, etc.

    He told me that what I described was a "paramilitary" vehicle, and nobody would want it. He also said he was "proud" of the styling changes he had approved....

    The only Land Cruiser available here at that time was the 80-series wagon, which had been turned into a luxo-barge and cost more than my home.

    That same model was being sold in countries such as Australia in basic form, turbo-diesel equipped with a manual trans. I guess there must be a lot of paramilitary types in OZ?

    I see that Toyota is ready to unveil the "FJ Cruiser" here. It looks like another plastic retro moneymaker similar to the "new Mini".

    If the Chinese could faithfully copy the FJ-40 Land Cruiser (itself a copy of the venerable Jeep), and it didn't cost 3 years' income, I would consider it. I hate myself for saying it, but who else would produce such a basic vehicle?


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