QOTD: Model Missing?

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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  • 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?

  • Luke42 I like the Metris quite a bit, but I never bought one.Two problems kept me from pulling the trigger:[list=1][*]It was expensive for what it was.[/*][*]For the price they were asking, it needed to have a plug for me to buy it.[/*][/list=1]I wanted a minivan that could tow, and I test drove one and liked it. The Mercedes dealer stocked both cargo versions and conversion vans. It was a nice vehicle, and I really wanted one for a while.This is the inevitable fate of cars that I like, but don't actually buy.
  • Garrett I would have gone for one of these if it had AWD. If they had offered it, it could have done far better.
  • Michael500 Sorry, EV's are no good. How am I supposed to rev the motor to impress girls? (the sophisticated ones I like).
  • Michael500 Oh my dog- this is one of my favorite cars in human history! A neighbor had a '71 when I was a child and I stopped and gazed at that car every time it was parked outside its garage. Turquoise with a black vinyl. That high beltline looks awesome today!
  • ScarecrowRepair I'd love an electric car -- quiet, torque, drive train simplicity -- but only if the cost was less, if recharging was as fast as gas (5 minutes) and as ubiquitous. I can take a road trip and know that with a few posted exceptions (US 50 from Reno to Utah), I don't have to wonder where the next fuel station is, and if I do run out, I can lug a gallon of gas back.Sure I'd miss the engine sounds and the joys of shifting. But life is all about tradeoffs.
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