The Corner

Hilarious Chevy Volt Commentary

Apparently, Audi’s president of North America Johan de Nysschen has derided the Chevy Volt as “a car for idiots.”  He contends that no one “is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla. . . . So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”  The Volt, he contends, is simply “for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are.”

But that’s not the funny part.   The funny part is that on a website that apparently is run by GM-cheerleaders, but not directly connected to the company (gm-volt.com), a Volt apologist finds Mr. de Nysschen’s logic internally inconsistent:  “Of course describing the same individuals as both intellectuals and idiots simultaneously doesn’t speak well of this fellow’s logic, which is flawed.”  Now, I’m not going to say that the terms are synonymous, but they certainly aren’t mutually exclusive either.  I’d posit that if you drew an idiot-intellectual Venn diagram, you’d probably get a fair amount of overlap.

Other logical flaws in Mr. de Nysschen’s analysis, asks the pom pom bearer?  Well, he ignores ”the importance of an expensive first generation to get to more affordable second and third generations with the early technology being subsidized by well-to-do early adopters.”  Ok, so first-in buyers get to subsidize later improvements that they don’t get to enjoy?  Sounds intellectual to me.  ”Also missed is the fact that the true cost of the Volt will be more like $32,500 after tax credits.”  So the “true cost” of the car doesn’t include the massive government subsidy spread among all taxpayers?  Again, them Volt owners is smart.   And of course the need to wean Americans off of foreign oil (but what about coal?  I thought we weren’t supposed to like coal either.)

For the record, GM has succeeded in making me a Ford buyer — we bought a Fusion for my mother this past weekend.  But maybe I need an Audi.

Shannen W. Coffin — Shannen W. Coffin is a contributing editor to National Review. He practices appellate law in Washington, D.C.

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