The Grey Lady Tests A BYD. CCT Gets Link Love
Yesterday night, I skyped with Ash Sutcliffe of Chinacartimes, and he kvetched that TTAC doesn’t give him enough “link love”. I pride myself in the knowledge of esoteric ways of showing affection, but link love? Would it have something to do with chains? Finally, it dawned on me that I make link love to Ash by topping his URL with TTAC’s high traffic words. And there is no better moment than this. Ash found the first real review of a real BYD plug in hybrid, performed by a real, card-carrying member of the press. My link love goes out to you for this, Ash!
The New York Times could no longer live with the shame of having been scooped by a Los Angeles Public Housing Inspector who made a review of a BYD F3DM one of his projects. The Grey Lady dispatched their very own Brad Berman up into the hills of Glendale, that beauteous suburb of LA, where Berman picked up his test ride at no frills Cars 911, “a used car dealership in this Los Angeles suburb where BYD Autos has set up temporary North American operations.”
The NYT notices “the wobbly storage compartment between the front seats, subpar floor mats, squishy handling,” and decides that “the build quality and materials seem perfectly adequate for utility-oriented Americans.” You wait until EVO gets its hands on that thing.
Forget the build quality. The NYT thinks that this could be the Volt for the people of Wal-Mart:
“To focus on the F3DM’s inconspicuous sheet metal and boring driving experience is to miss the audacity of BYD’s strategy. Think of the F3DM as a Chevrolet Volt with a Wal-Mart price tag, a car with a large-capacity battery — that delivered 31 miles of uninterrupted pure-electric driving for me — as well as a gasoline engine that gives it the ability to go an additional 300 miles.”
“General Motors, however, loaded up the Volt with a powerful electric motor, an iPod-like console and a luxury feel that help to justify a $41,000 price tag (before state and federal tax incentives). The F3DM — which does have an auxiliary audio input jack and a parking sensor — is expected to sell for less than $29,000. Incentives could drop the price closer to $20,000.“
Price and volume a closely related. If the NYT is right, then Obama’s blue sky goal of getting a million EVs on the road by 2015 may be attainable. By China.
Read the whole review here, it’s worth it. Equal link love for New York and China Car Times.
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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