QOTD: Model Missing?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd model missing

Humans, like other animals, have an innate ability to detect when something’s wrong in their immediate environment. The sense that something’s amiss, that the natural order of things has shifted in an unusual direction. Of course, this is only achievable if one chooses to open their eyes and look around.

We can all be keen observers if we choose to, and sometimes it pays dividends — it’s said that farmers are traditionally less likely to be killed by tornadoes than non-farmers. And we’ve all seen alien movies where the most obtuse among us don’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late.

Maybe you’ve noticed something odd in your town or neighborhood. Something that should be there … but isn’t.

You probably have a good sense of your town or city’s median income, its demographics, its prevailing politics, and its major employers. You’ve noticed that a larger cut of drivers gravitate towards certain models, brands, and body styles. But have you noticed something missing? What arent you be seeing in your neighborhood, that you should?

Around these parts — where last night I witnessed two urban cyclists battling 30 mph headwinds, heavy snow, and a temperature of 10F — driving one’s ideology is par for the course, regardless of personal misery. For those not interested in projecting their green bona fides, Audi seems to fill in the gap among the well-off urban class. It’s a happy medium between brash, new-money assholery (BMW) and old-money snootiness (Mercedes-Benz). But green is big, and not just because Ontario, until recently, offered obscene incentives for buyers.

Given the very different production capabilities of Tesla and General Motors, it’s hard to ignore that I see more Model 3s than Chevrolet Bolts plying these polite streets. God knows the Bolt had a head start, and it’s the cheaper option to boot. And yet, despite being on sale in Canada for two full years, Bolts remain vanishingly thin on the ground compared to Musk’s launch-compromised wonder car. It can’t just be badge snobbery.

Well, it isn’t. There’s a good reason for the Bolt’s meager showing north of the border, and it’s because General Motors simply wasn’t building enough of them. While hanging out in my local GM dealer back in May, I overheard staff tell a would-be Bolt buyer to check back in six months. They’d probably have some then. The same month, Green Car Reports detailed a Toronto man who was told he faced an 8- to 12-month waiting list for a Bolt. Naturally, the man said “screw that” and bought a Volt instead, commenting that GM needs to “have dealers and manufacturing on [the] same page.”

While GM Canada confirmed the waiting list, erasing a buyer backlog doesn’t happen overnight. In its end-of-year sales recap, the automaker noted an increase in electric vehicle sales compared to 2018. At the same time, its American counterpart announced, “GM increased production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV during the fourth quarter to meet strong global demand, including higher than expected demand in South Korea and Canada, and to begin rebuilding U.S. dealer inventories.”

GM was first with a low-priced, long-range EV, but constrained supply led its rival, Tesla, to make inroads with a moderately priced EV.

That’s my story, but what’s yours? What’s conspicuously missing from the vehicular landscape in your area?

[Image: General Motors]

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3 of 72 comments
  • Wodehouse Wodehouse on Jan 08, 2019

    I've seen only 1 of the current Buick Regal pair and that one was on the showroom floor. It was there for 4 days. I was going to nominate the XT4 until I saw a noisy television advert showcasing that what I thought were facelifted Chevy Traxxx were in fact the many Cadillac XT4s that I've incorrectly identified.

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jan 08, 2019

    We've never had government handouts for buying EVs or plug-in hybrids in the Canadian Maritime provinces. Nor can the billionaire who owns 14 different car brand dealerships and the Genesis web presence be bothered to open an Alfa dealership after his Fiat Studio bust at the Chrysler dealership. But they do repairs on Alfas from Autoport, the Halifax NS port of entry for Canada. The ones that won't start, etc. Source - my best pal is warranty manager at that dealer. I've seen one Tesla Model S, although there are supposed to be a dozen around among the wealthy, about three or four Leafs, no Volts or Bolts or Model 3's. Got one friend about to lease an MB E Class coupe E53 AMG, but the 3 year lease is $2K a month, first try. Never considered a Tesla, since his retirement dream is to tour North America with his wife. Hanging around chargers is not on his menu. He might just buy the car outright instead of screwing around with leases, got the dough. This is pickup country. If you don't bribe the populace with government incentives, electric anything doesn't seem to sell. But a Maritimer will mortgage their life for a high end F150.

    • Mcs Mcs on Jan 08, 2019

      "Hanging around chargers is not on his menu." So, after driving 3 1/2 to 4 hours he can't take a 40-minute break?

  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.
  • SCE to AUX One data point: my rental '23 Model 3 had good build quality, but still not as good as my Hyundais.Test mule aside, perhaps the build quality of the CT will be good in 2027.