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?

  • Redapple2 BeautySoulClass/eleganceRarityExpense.Very interesting series
  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.