Daily Podcast: The L.A.-S.F.-N.Y. Bubble

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz

Among other topics in today’s podcast, Jonny and I discuss the Audi A3. He and I both agree, we’re seeing them all over the place. But if you’re not deep in Audi country, you almost definitely are not. With sales of 646 nationwide for July of 2008 (the A8 only sold 205 in July, and I see those everywhere too), we’re not exactly talking about a volume vehicle. In fact, while Pontiac is moving 1500-2000 G8s per month, I rarely if ever see those on the road; maybe five of them in total since the car’s launch. But Audi’s expensive little hatchback? Ubiquitous here in the NY metro area, especially on the island of Manhattan itself. And why not? I often remark that NYC is the most European-style city in terms of its layout and density. Buyers in Manhattan want small cars, they want prestigious logos on the front grill, and they want the occasional dose of practicality. It must be one of the only places in America where the Mini Cooper convertible appears to outsell the Toyota Camry. But whatever the reasons, I’d contend that Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York comprise a vehicular bubble that’s the exception, not the rule, even for big cities in the U.S.

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Sep 09, 2008

    I see Smarts all the time in my wanderings mostly betw Lexington and Cambridge. But it's the same three Smarts. Probably the same situation as your A3s.

  • Guyincognito Guyincognito on Sep 10, 2008

    I hadn't thought of it until now but I've never seen a G8 on the road. There is an A3 on my street, as well as a Mini, a Volvo C30, and several Bimmers. I'd say a 3 series is the most common car around Boston.

  • MattVA MattVA on Sep 10, 2008

    Add Washington DC, and the surrounding area to the list. I see A3s all the time.

  • Geeber Geeber on Sep 10, 2008

    Makes sense. I think I've seen one Audi A3 on the road around here (Harrisburg, Pa.). On the other hand, I haven't yet seen a Pontiac G8 on the road. They appear to be nailed to the dealer lot. Around here, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Ford dominate in passenger cars, while Chevy still sells lots of trucks and SUVs. The new Malibu still seems rare, while the Fusion is fairly popular, but I'm already seeing as many 2008 Accords on the road as either one of them. Buicks and Cadillacs are still popular among older people.