Not exciting but shows what's happening

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Oct 7, 2006
Northern California
Today I had the opportunity to look at a new vehicle from a new car company that not even the car magazines have seen. It's not going to get them excited, but eventually they will be doing stories on it. It will seen in major cities by the thousands in a very short time. And before we all think it's another Bricklin, Tucker, DeLorean or even the likely soon to die Tesla, it isn't. It's a real business financed and run by people with extensive experience in the US auto industry.

It's being built in the USA in a major US vehicle assembly plant by US workers using driveline components and many other parts from Big 3 and other domestic sources, mostly GM. It's a vehicle nitch that will definitely have an impact on the US vehicle market, but in a way that hasn't really been addressed as of late. It's primary purpose is extreme practicality for carrying people and cargo and durability. It weighs a whopping 5000 lbs and it's aimed at the commercial transportation and municipal government market as well as the paratransit market.

The part that I found most interesting, when talking to one of the founders of the company, is some things just can't be sourced in the US because of either cost or quality issues. In this case the body panels for this vehicle are sourced in Japan. I don't think the issue is quality (US stamped bodies can easily match tolerances of anyone) but cost. It's a shame that with the US auto industry in dire straits, a US body stamping operation cannot beat the Japanese at their own game.
Not supposed to say...yet. The company does have a website but if the car magazines don't know anything about it at this time, I will keep quiet...PS-it's made in Indiana!
Commercial market is a good place to start integrating hybrids like this. Companies can buy em' by the hundreds and have dedicated fleet maintenance. Plus it would really show if they could hold up under severe service use that most deliver vans see.
Is it this monster?

This was the concept:
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Looks like they put a prototype bid on some new postal vehicle (grill) and it flopped. They then morphed it to another market.

XB-stretch limo, perhaps?
Originally Posted By: Shannow
I don't think you'd have to go to Japan for panels for that.

No doubt,

You could probably get them at Toys R Us from a plastic doll house.
Originally Posted By: John_K
Is it this:

"The diamond shape in our logo represents the strongest, most durable and sought after form of carbon. Ancient civilizations once believed the diamond represented purity. They used it to protect against evil, which is consistent with Carbon Motors’ focus on law enforcement."

How long before Renault calls and wants their logo back?
The prototype I saw looks far less toy like; I have the brochure for it. Initially the taxi and paratransit market along with municipal customers will be the target. I was told the frame is totally boxed for strength. The only unique mechanical feature that I see so far is the DeDion rear suspension, which I don't believe is used on ANY domestic vehicles and very few foreign brands sold in the US.

The big push will be toward the CNG customer, but to make to sell it to consumers they are going to need either hybrid, hybrid diesel or diesel, because a gasoline powered van of this size and weight will get pretty bad gas mileage. I was told the Toyota minivan was the target, but it seems to be a totally different vehicle. The last vehicle even vaguely similar in the US was the Chevy Astrovan. I believe they also did a lot of development around the London taxi. I think it has potential as a camping/tow vehicle. Spec's say it is 205 inches long.
Looks great and I'd like to think they did their homework, but what public sector organization is going to be able to shell out the bucks for one? An Impala or Crown Vic "cop car" is probably 1/4 of the cost.

What they need is another ADAM 12 or EMERGENCY ..or SWAT television show featuring that car.

It's the same with Babe Watch. Those programs promoted public service stuff so that you wouldn't mind paying for it.

CSI ..etc. Same deal.

How many Toyota trucks (was that what they were) well sold due to Babe Watch? Those beach runners too?

They just need to give a few away for exposure.

Now just be aware that they're gonna want you to pay for them if they get too popular.

It will be like being the first volunteer fireman getting a full light bar. Everyone else at the firehouse will want one.
Originally Posted By: Gary Allan

How many Toyota trucks (was that what they were) well sold due to Babe Watch? selling small pickup for 17 years.
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