Fewer VWs . . . More EVs

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VW will – apparently – stop selling the mainstream, affordable version of the Golf hatchback next year, leaving only the high-performance GTI and Golf R versions on the roster. This represents a winnowing of the IC herd as VW doesn’t sell that many GTIs and Golf Rs relative to regular Golf – for the obvious reason that not everyone can afford the extra coin for these hotted-up Golfs.

It’s good psychology, though – because the GTI and Golf R’s higher prices make the electric cars VW will soon be peddling seem more “affordable.”

A regular Golf stickers for $21,845 to start – vs. $27,595 for the GTI.

An eGolf – the electric version of the same car – stickers for $31,895.

That goes down easier when the non-electric version of the same thing stickers for $27k rather than $21k.

Or rather, will.

This is one of the ways VW will try to make EVs more palatable, though not less expensive – that being not possible, absent something along the lines of Mr. Fusion (a completely new chemistry/physics) which doesn’t appear imminent.

VW understands that most people will not buy a $30k-plus EV so long as they have the option to buy a much-less-costly non-EV.

Ergo eliminate the non EVs.

Or at least, the ones that embarrass the EVs.

We got a preview of this stratagem when the government eliminated VW’s diesel-powered cars, including the diesel-powered Golf – which had a range of 700 miles vs. 150 for the $31k eGolf.

It also refueled in just a few minutes vs. several hours – and could be expected to last for 15-20 years before anything hugely expensive failed.

EVs last about ten years – maybe – before their battery packs inevitably fail (begin to lose their ability receive and hold a charge) as a result of battery chemistry and physics – costing the EV owners many thousands of dollars.

It’s a tough sell.

Ford has a different stratagem in mind. Well – it is copying a different stratagem. It is the stratagem elaborated by the front man for the EV putsch against affordable personal transportation for the masses, St. Elon the Anointed.

His idea – a brilliant one – was to forget about trying to sell EVs as economical and practical alternatives to non-EVs. He understood that was like trying to teach a cinder block to swim. Instead, focus on the things the EV cinder block can do well – such as accelerate quickly (and never mind the effect of using that capability on economy or practicality).

He sexed up the EV.

It no longer mattered that the EV is expensive and impractical; people overlook those deficits when the car looks pretty and can get to 60 in less than half the time it takes a Prius to do the deed.

It’s like the way men overlook a gold-digger’s interest in their wallets because they’re interested in . . . the things men tend to be interested in when it comes to women.

Even if the woman is a terrible prospect for a girlfriend or wife.

Ford had no luck selling the “girl” who would make a good girlfriend – or wife. Turns out not many people are willing to pay a premium for a not-very-sexy but very efficient and practical plug-in hybrid (e.g., C-Max, Fusion hybrid) or an EV made to similar specifications.

They flopped.

Enter the Mach E – an “exhilarating” electric car that touts everything except being cheaper and more practical than a non-electric car. “Think battery electric vehicles and speed don’t mix”? reads the ad copy.

Same as St. Elon’s “Ludicrous Speed.”

Baffling.

It is like touting the hotness of sex with a hooker who has AIDs. A good time in the moment, maybe. But the long-term consequences aren’t so sexy.

And this “hooker” doesn’t even have the decency to tell you she has AIDs – so to speak. It’s not just this “hooker,” either.

It is all of them.

Every one of them touts a lie – or at least a major misrepresentation – about how far they go. Instead of the long-established practice of numbering city and highway mileage (another way of elaborating a vehicle’s range) EVs tout a single number and the implication is this is how far they’ll go.

But they usually don’t.

It’s like the advertising shysterism of “up to” whatever they want you to think you’ll be getting – when in fact, what you get is invariably much less.

Ford says the Mach E will have a range of 300 miles. Ford does not say whether that range is in slow-pokey city traffic (where EVs do best) or on the highway (where they do much worse) and there is not even any fine print to explain to people that – very much unlike non-EVs – the range you get out of an EV will vary tremendously based not only on how you drive but what it’s like outside when you drive.

It is grossly dishonest – edging upon fraudulent – to present the performance/range of an EV driven in warm (and mostly flat) LA as representative of the performance/range of an EV driven in Minnesota in January.

But that is how it’s being misrepresented. To prevent people from noticing – or  objecting – until it is too late for that to matter. Which will happen when you can no longer buy a new car that isn’t electric – or priced right up there with one.

Fait meet accompli.

And don’t say later on that no one warned you. I just did.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Eric,

    The Lockheed Constellation, Douglas DC-7, and Boeing 377 Stratocruiser would both go cross country nonstop. However, being recips and not jets, they’d take about twice as long. That said, passengers were CODDLED compared to today; first class passengers would have a table between them. Passengers had a lot more comfort, which would compensate for the trip length.

    • Hi Anonymous,

      The joke’s on us. Why does the press continue to publish the claims made by this known and established fraud? And even if, for the sake of (insane) discussion, we take at face value the claimed $39,000 base price what we’ve got here is a jacking up of the price of a truck by about $10,000 (vs. the cost of a base trim 1500). I’ve never such insanity in my life – or my professional career covering the car business, which is going on 30 years now. Leaving aside practical considerations, cost has become no object. Imagine if the housing industry decided to increase the price of the average home by 30-50 percent because everyone should have a kitchen with granite countertops, Andersen windows and a shake roof? But with EVs, it’s much worse because a well-built/high-end house will last a lifetime and be worth more than what you paid for it over time. EVs cost more, but don’t last nearly as long and lose value much more quickly than IC cars.

      And they ask me why I drink…

      • And the $39k version is just the rwd model, which is only supposed to have 250 mile range and 7500# towing, not the much publicized 500/14000 of the most expensive model.

        And of course, I wonder how low that range will go while towing, especially in the hills?

        Just imagine it trying to tow 7500# in the Rockies during the winter. Smfh.

      • They are doing expensive mandates with homes plus all sorts of taxes, fees, etc on home builders. It’s hidden in all sorts of permits and building codes. So much so that nobody builds “starter homes” any more or smaller houses. There’s no way to sell them at a profit.

        • Morning, Brent –

          Yup. A good example being the new standards regarding wood stoves. If I want to replace the one I’ve got in my house with a new one, the cost will be on the order of $4,000 – because the regs require “catalytic” wood stoves and they are not inexpensive. Luckily, my stove is made of heavy steel plate and I have several friends who weld professionally!

    • Yes it is clearly a joke. This Showman Musk at work.

      This is something put together in a barely equipped shop. Well barely equipped with regards to making a vehicle body. It’s all shear and brake press work. Flat glass. That’s why it looks like something out of a low budget 70s-80s sci-fi movie. Of course it does seem better detailed but photoshop and other software can do that too.

      Many/most people will be suckered by it. Too many people too far removed from making stuff.

      • “It’s all shear and brake press work. Flat glass.”

        I think Musk said that was intentional for cost. And for flat, not that bad I guess. As a design experiment, kind of cool.

        But as a daily real world vehicle, no, just no Elon.
        No way that thing is street legal anywhere as shown either.

        And the Apillar. What does that do to visibility? Same for the big rear hatch thingy.

      • The worst part of this reveal?

        Right now hundreds of car designers have started working on their own version of this angular joke.

        Expect several lookalikes in the next few years. Thanks Elon you dick.

  2. Im thinking (and hoping) that this Mustang Mach-E thing is a clever ploy by ford management to make people realise the bland and depressing future thats about to be forced onto them, and then go out and buy real Mustangs…..

    • Don’t look now but the usuals have already proven ready and willing to defend this revolting disgrace. Here are some actual quotes from a discussion on another forum:

      “With everything I’ve seen and read, nothing has indicated that the Mach-E is replacing the actual Mustang. The Mustang is still here to stay, the Mach-E is its own thing. If it was set to replace the Mustang, then I would have a problem. Here they’re introducing something different but keeping the original car as is, nothing changed. However, if it later turns out that I’m actually wrong, then oof is me. ”

      “The Mustang II was actually a huge success for Ford, and highly increased sales.

      It was the right car for its time, it just wasn’t the right car for Internet Car Guys’ time.”

      “Soiling? Why?

      It’s a lifestyle vehicle that can go into performance if specced well, just like most Mustangs throughout the history. ”

      “If we’re going by what the first Mustang was, then the current one should be given another name, and the Mustang should be nothing more than a Focus with a coupe/convertible/fastback (or maybe crossover, because that’s what’s in fashion now, like coupes were in the 60s).

      The S550 is far enough from the humble origins for the Mustang name to be used in other vehicles. ”

      If I had money, I’d probably be an alcoholic right now and this is why…

        • “Mindless bots”? How do you think the NPC meme got started? I’m convinced that, if the government declared hands an illegal weapon and ordered everyone to cut theirs off, most people would be enthusiastically agreeing with the idea. A few people might not, but they wouldn’t disobey or fight back, and even many of the stragglers could be converted just by getting some “expert” to quote statistics saying that the number of deaths by beating was on the rise, or pointing the camera at some “concerned mom” sobbing hysterically about how her son got beaten up and this couldn’t happen if we didn’t have our hands! And then a couple years later it would be feet instead, and everyone would be enthusiastically agreeing with that too, and ridiculing anyone who objected or drew comparisons between the two ban proposals as a “conspiracy theorist” or “violently unstable”. So it goes with everything, including car culture.

  3. My Sage advice: Buy the used car of your dreams before another cash for clunkers comes about.

    Better to hypothetically take the few grand you’d of put down and buy a good car that needs some work, then go from there.

    Plenty of good cars that’ll run practically forever or close enough, unlike these AIDS bricks

    • I agree completely.

      I’ve been maintaining my own cars since the 1970s. My current rides are a 1996 Nissan Maxima, a 1992 Nissan Hardbody, and a 2003 Toyota Corolla which I have in reserve.

      Japanese cars were excellent during that period of time. Nissan used to build excellent products.

      My rides aren’t worth much anymore. Yet I can drive each of them an additional 100k miles without much trouble.

      I’m a retired guy. I don’t need to impress any one.

      My rides do what I tell them to do. They don’t tell me what to do. They don’t report my location or rat me out to an insurance company.

      I see little reason to spend 30 grand for a vehicle which provide little additional benefit compared to the ones I have.

      • Hi JvG!

        Amen.. ditto. I may install a better stereo in my ’02 Nissan pick-up eventually. But otherwise? It has everything I need and nothing I don’t want, except the got-damned air bags! But just two…

  4. Hmmm, losing the Golf. I assume the Jetta and Passat are still there…VW killed the Sportwagen already, so the A-platform sized VW range is down to the Jetta sedan, and technically, the Tiguan. And those with a heavily turbo’ed GDI 1.4L. Sad, since the VW A-platform cars were selling quite well and provided good value for the money.

    With the Diesel problems here (and lack therefore of their main draw relative the Japanese brands, the TDI’s), I predict a repeat of VW’s US operations near collapse of the early 1990’s.

    • Hi Crusty,

      I’ll raise you. I predict the collapse of the entire car industry – or at least, its consolidation into a few megacorps peddling “transportation as a service.”

      I’m glad I’m getting old.

      • Yeah Eric, we thought Ma MoPar’s woes in the late 70’s were bad…this time around, it’s going to be a universal Charlie Foxtrot.

  5. My folks picked up a leftover (but still new) 2018 Focus a few months ago, for $14,500 (MSRP $22k). Even though the Focus is supposed to return to the lineup in the US market, it seems like it probably won’t. Especially if a high volume dealer still has leftovers almost two model years old. And if it does, I don’t see Ford pushing sales very much. They already have too much “invested” in electric to have smaller cheaper non electric in the lineup anymore. (Short term they end up losing those buyers to Hyundai).

    For $14,500 it’s a good little car. Had this been the original price, I bet they would sell much better than they did. Don’t think I would have wanted to pay closer to the MSRP though, and that is the problem. New cars are just too expensive even IC ones. Great value at 14.5k not so much at 22k. Guessing this could be my dad’s last car buy (he is 77), since he keeps cars long (too long sometimes).

    But I think that is the strategy to get people to start actually buying electric (at least the ones that can afford them or finance them). Just stop making IC ones. Just like they did with big full size cars in the 70’s and 80’s. Just claim people aren’t buying them anymore and just stop making them.

    I think past the 2030 model year, there will be very few non electrics left. That is less than a decade away. By then IC will be banned outright in places like California and Germany. We won’t have big SUV’s and pickups to escape into either as they will push electric on those segments as well.

    The car companies end strategy for the future isn’t sales of new vehicles but rental fleets they themselves will try to operate. It has to be the strategy, because there is no other way they could survive with this regulatory climate.

    They probably will refuse to sell to individuals at some point (or even other rental fleets). At some point they probably won’t even bother making their own vehicles anymore “outsourcing” that even. I imagine some high end brands like Rolls Royce will offer expensive leases that only the upper class will be able to get into.

    People need to wake up because ride “share” just won’t work. The “service” will be no better then an utility is and will be unaffordable to a large segment of the population. It’s a circle of hell we are about to be in.

    Once the mobility of the common person is restricted it will be very hard to reverse at that point. That’s why it needs to be stopped now. We maybe are too late already.

    • ” By then IC will be banned outright in places like California and Germany.”

      Oh no! They will never be banned. We just won’t be allowed to purchase them anymore. Our dear leaders, on the other hand, will be able to continue “smoking” for as long as they please, even if they end up blocking out the sun as a result.

      • Hi BlueGrey,

        I also doubt there will be an outright ban. It’s too clumsy. Exorbitant “fees” and so on are more effective. You can keep and even drive your IC-engined car… provided you pay the “polluter tax” along with your annual registration. This “polluter tax” – or whatever they decide to call it – will be high enough to make it more expensive to own/drive an IC-powered car than an EV.

        And that’ll be that.

  6. Just had to pick up a backhoe from a rental agency about 30 miles away. My Buick Regal had no trouble pulling it… try that with an EV. Talk about range reduction. And it’s about 50 degrees also affecting batteries. Then there is the fact that the battery will lose about half it’s ability to hold a charge so there is no keeping the car for twenty or more years as the cost of the battery and installation will kill it. Soon everyone will be buying trucks because EV’s cannot do the all around work an IC can. Then they’ll come out with EV Trucks…. 🙂 or make you pay a fortune to register an IC truck.

    And all this for outright lies and Bullsh*t. Isn’t it amazing how domesticated we have become. We grovel like dogs to Corpgov goons, Federal, State and local. We put up with Gestapo police tactics, Women and Children being felt up at bus stations and airports, standing in line with no shoes on. We pay for our children’s indoctrination at Corpgov schools, We pay to continue to live in our paid off homes, pay to get permission to put in a new sink, new electric circuit or new room. We pay for our “privilege” to drive on highways we paid for and now they’re telling us what we can and cannot buy over false science they lie about.

    For anyone interested here is a link to another video explaining how we are being had for anyone interested.
    Title: Cold is hot, Slavery is freedom
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=St6E1cF00GA&feature=emb_logo

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