Kish, Kasey and I were walking back from the library this afternoon in the bright sunshine when we passed this beautiful, candy-colored Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon. Check out the white sidewalls, the gleaming paint job, the wide grille, the acres of shiny chrome, and that hood ornament. I’m guessing it’s a 1956 model.
Those were the days when Detroit made cars with real panache. This showstopper looks like an Easter egg on wheels.
It hasn’t been easy for the Chevy Volt. Announced with great fanfare as the electric hybrid, alternative energy car of the future, the Volt has had problems getting traction with consumers.
The most recent news is that some Chevrolet dealers don’t want to take their allotment of Volts. The sales of the car have been disappointing — only 7,671 were sold last year — and there have been some concerns about the risk of fires in the Volt’s battery packs, which led to a government investigation that concluded the cars weren’t at a greater fire risk. Whatever the reason, dealers are balking at accepting lots of Volts and devoting precious showroom and on-the-lot space to a car that most consumers apparently don’t want.
Some people hoped that the Volt would lead General Motors back to profitability. The Volt hasn’t filled that role. And dealers are pretty reliable barometers of consumer demand. If hordes of potential buyers were flooding dealerships demanding a Volt, the dealers would be perfectly happy to sell them. The fact that dealers don’t want even a modest allotment of the cars is a strong indication that America isn’t quite ready to be an electric car nation.