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August 06, 2010

Goldberg: The Volkswagon Vs. The "Voltswagon"

Neat piece -- citing both Hitler and Doc Zero (frequently seen at Hot Air).

The original Volkswagen was intended as the "people's car" (that's what Volkswagen means). The idea of a cheap, safe, reliable car for the working man was popular before Adolf Hitler embraced it, but as a self-proclaimed man of the people, he made the idea his own....

And then there's the electric-gas hybrid Chevy Volt, aka the "Voltswagen." At $41,000, about as much as the average American makes in a year, this is no people's car. GM, owned by the government and the labor unions, is pitching it to affluent hipsters who don't need a lot of space for a family. Deloitte Consulting says that the demand for such cars is from "young, very high income individuals" from households that make more than $200,000 a year, which is why the Volt will be rolled out in upscale, trendy urban markets. (Meanwhile the Chevy Cruze, the gas-only version of the Volt, has more room inside and is a mere $17,000.)

Because the Volt's sticker price might be too high for even that crowd, the government is offering a federal subsidy of up to $7,500 (Californians have a state subsidy, too), which means that working-class people will be helping to pay for playthings for upper-income people.

"Like the EV1 that GM tried to peddle in the California market," Kenneth Green, an environmental scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, says, "the Volt is a vanity car for the well-off that will be subsidized by less well-off taxpayers at all stages, from R&D to sales and to the construction of charging stations."

...

[N]o matter how you crunch the numbers or the science, there's no disputing that this is a political car, designed to meet the demands not of an economic market but of an ideological one, directed by the collusion of big business and big government. In this sense, the Volkswagen and the Voltswagen have a lot in common.

Well it is Government Motors, dude.


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posted by Ace at 03:28 PM

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