Prius Personal Log  #1078

July 3, 2021  -  July 9, 2021

Last Updated:  Mon. 8/02/2021

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7-09-2021

Bolt Op-Ed, price.  This was a great example of reasoning logic that just plain does not work: "Let's talk about price for a moment.  Starting at $33,000, it may sound more expensive than a similar-sized vehicle like a Trailblazer.  But, I just went and configured a Trailblazer on Chevrolet's website and added in most of the equipment that is standard on the Bolt EUV and came up with a price of $29,000.  Which means the Bolt EUV is only slightly more expensive than a similarly equipped gasoline car."  Think about what the dealer actually wants to sell.  Their push will be to appeal to the customer emotionally, using low monthly payments to justify a higher price.  That equates to greater profit & commission.  Why would they bother with a vehicle that's difficult to sell (lots of questions and few certain answers) instead of one that's an easy sway.  It doesn't take much to convince a shopper to choose something similar, but newer, rather than something entirely different.  Remember all the Prius versus Civic arguments for hybrid choice?  If not, take a look at how RAV4 hybrid is selling.  That's the type of purchase dealers favor.  They seek out those sales with little effort and a quick return.  That most definitely is not what GM has delivered.  I pointed that out this way:  Those walking the showroom floor will see the $21,600 sticker-price (base MSRP) and not look much further.  Loading on options to a vehicle with a 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine isn't what that type of customer would do.  Know your audience.  That is what made Equinox so popular, which Bolt really can't compete with.  Its appeal to those shopping at the dealer is obvious.

7-09-2021

Bolt Op-Ed, showroom.  The quick dismissal I routinely encounter is something enthusiasts rarely ever want to address.  The convince themselves the simple logic will somehow be conveyed & understood magically.  That effort to sway is extraordinarily difficult.  They don't see that though.  In fact, they refuse to even acknowledge the reality that an opportunity likely won't even present itself.  Seeing something to that affect being posted was a nice change: "From a consumer perspective, I doubt there were many potential converts when average customers walked onto a dealer lot and saw one, and then saw the price tag.  It was most definitely a car for EV enthusiasts and environmentalists."  That is something I preach about on a regular basis, so I did again:  That was blatant to everyone except early-adopters.  They absolutely refused to answer the "Who is the market for Volt?" question.  They knew all too well sales were almost entirely to enthusiasts taking advantage of the opportunity and that GM was just milking conquest.  They knew spread of the technology across the fleet was vital, but chose to endorse purity instead.  Their fight to retain the status quo enabled GM to rest on its laurels.  Still all these years later, when you mention SHOWROOM FLOOR importance, they can't help but to negative-vote the post.  That's quite telling.

7-09-2021

Bolt Op-Ed, naming.  I let a couple days pass by before posting any feedback.  It was a write-up from someone who had leased both generations of Volt, then replaced it with a Prius Prime... which was destroyed in an accident... hence now owning a Bolt.  His wife does too and they just upgraded it a few days ago.  Needless to say, he had many observations to contribute.  The first I chimed in about was about naming: "First and foremost, I hate GM's marketing department for naming this vehicle.  If it wasn't bad enough that they had the Volt and the Bolt, which has been extremely confusing for most consumers."  Since this was the same individual who posted the "for whatever reason" comment last week and never responded, I was especially anxious for feedback of some sort.  So, I posted:  Back when "Bolt" naming was revealed, confusion about how Volt actually worked and its struggle for sales made it obvious that ambiguous nature of the name would help obscure their past.  Sure enough, looking back we now see that "Volt" and its impact (pun intended for those who really know their history) has already faded away.  GM knew exactly what it was doing.

7-05-2021

Forcing Narratives.  There are a lot of early-adopters who don't like Toyota's schedule or approach, so they use they the "laggard" label and "kicking & screaming" status to portray an automaker reluctant to embrace BEV offerings.  It falls apart when you turn to GM and notice that Volt & Bolt have been nothing but token rollouts.  There was never anything with either of those 2 vehicles to entice their own SHOWROOM SHOPPERS to consider purchase.  This is why my post a few days ago about the purpose of EV tax-credits was to transform loyal customers, not to score conquest sales, got lots of negative votes.  That denial of market & intent is a sign of trouble to come.  Appealing to enthusiast is far easier then ordinary consumers.  People naturally fight change.  Heck, our vaccination level for Covid is slowing to a crawl as it approaches 70%.  There's a group who will deny and deny, not even wanting to take a simple (quick, easy, and free) step to help us get over the pandemic.  When they refuse to do something requiring so little effort with the potential for such a huge return is fought, how do we expect change for something requiring more?  Plugging in every night and having to pay a premium up front pretty much cancels out any logic showing the benefit.  Necessity of change won't be acknowledged.  That's how we get narratives.  People invent stories to support their beliefs.  That provides reasoning without question, a group-think excuse not to bother.  That is what makes this so frustrating.  It sets up a trap.  They fail to see that the solution can be solved by other means.  The attitude of "my way or no way" becomes so dominant, they convince themselves any difference is a form of resistance.  I saw that play out endlessly with Volt.  They were dead set on a particular design, not other variation was possible.  It was a one-solution-for-all mentality.  Ugh.  Needless to say, I'm seeing the same thing emerge again.

7-05-2021

Extreme Denial.  It is quite bizarre when you witness someone greenwashing themself.  I witness it from time to time.  Today, it came as: "Hahahahaha.  587% of nothing is still nothing.  Total Toyota BEVs sold: ZERO.  3.7% BEVs of 56M vehicles annually = 2,072,000 down.  53,928,000 to go."  Now that everyone has watched a president convince himself of his own lies, completely losing touch with reality, it is easier to point out how that can happen.  Those paying attention watched the process along the way.  They saw how each lie further reinforced the false narrative.  This is result of "spin" from decades ago became so pervasive, people had a more and more difficult time finding actual facts.  They find self-validating references and never actually confirm whether or not they are true.  They just accept the word of others without question.  I suspect that's how the comment today came about.  The person was fed information to support what they wanted to be true.  It's surprisingly easy to fall into that trap too.  All you have to do is run across an article with outdated & omitted facts.  Many enthusiast reports exclude the rest of the world, writing only about what they have available to them at that time.  Not wanting to believe there is a better option somewhere else in the world is a problem.  Finding out you endorsed a technology that didn't deliver as promised makes the situation even worse.  Remember Volt denial?  That was quite extreme.  We see the same happening from other sources now.  This is how I replied to that latest nonsense:  Posting such blatantly false information tells us what?  Toyota has rolled out 4 models of BEV already.  Of those 56 million sales worldwide each year, a small number are UX300e, C-HR EV, and the 2 other BEV in elsewhere in the world.  That's not ZERO.  Next year, we'll see bZ4X offered in several markets, including here in the United States.  Put another way, the narrative for Toyota being "anti" is falling apart.  Anyone who understands how an EV operates will recognize the electric-only driving from RAV4 Prime is no different than a BEV.  The same battery cells feed the same traction motors using the same software.  The fact that a PHEV carries a gas-engine for use after the plug-supplied electricity has been depleted is an additional feature, not any part of the EV drive itself.  Attempts to misrepresent Toyota tell us quite a bit about the confidence enthusiasts have about the current market.  They recognize those early sales were really long-hanging fruit and that Toyota is one of the legacy automakers well informed about how to reach the more difficult consumers.  Too bad if they don't like the approach.  True change is rarely as straight forward as early-adopters portray.

7-04-2021

Greenwash Lies.  When an enthusiasts just outright lies with the hope to greenwash, you know they are getting desperate.  Today, it came in the form of: "Toyota went to a lot of expense to develop the Prius.  This gave them a 'green cred' and a futuristic look.  They never built on this foundation.  Now they have trashed the green and are looking to be as anti-green as possible."  Never built?  We now see Toyota's hybrid technology spread across almost the entire fleet and to other automakers.  2 traditional vehicles have become hybrid only.  Their top-seller is now available as a hybrid with a plug.  How is that not green support?  The reasoning for the quote is simple.  Because there is not a BEV available here, it means Toyota is against them.  In other words, it is greenwash based on omission.  The antagonist doesn't want you to see the big picture.  They cherry-pick to make sure the narrative they are pushing becomes so apparent, you stop looking for evidence to the contrary.  It's what we have seen here in the United States with the Republican party.  You are only told what they want you to believe... hence those news channels that selectively broadcast content to support the story they wish to tell.  Claiming the sales of 16 million hybrids was not the result of building upon the foundation Prius established is delusional.  Being in denial to that extreme is the nonsense I have to deal with.  They just plain don't care what actually happened.  In their mind, no BEV means no progress.  The sad part about that story is they will continue to believe their this-way-only approach is the only way to achieve change.  They're focus will be so intense, they'll dismiss warnings.  Remember each time an initiative with Volt failed?  Rather than learning from the mistake, they make excuses.  In makes change more and more difficult.  Eventually, the narrative completely falls apart.  In other words, they end up greenwashing themselves.

7-04-2021

Waiting/Delay.  The mindset of an early-adopter is one of rapid acceptance.  Once they prove the worth of the technology, there is an expectation of no resistance.  That doesn't happen.  It results in dismay & confusion.  Eventually, that becomes frustration.  This is when they transform from supporter to enthusiast, that moment they lose touch with their audience.  Not being able to understand why there isn't just a natural transition over to the newer technology becomes a very real problem.  They look for someone to blame.  With the case of plug-in cars, enthusiasts take out their frustration on Toyota.  Seen as a "laggard" for rolling out so slowly, they fail to notice what actually happens with adoption.  The technology continues to improve.  A manufacturer must carefully determine when the best time is to invest and on what scale.  Taking an approach not pleasing to the early-adopter is how conflict comes about.  They don't like waiting.  They don't like any reasoning for delay.  They are driving proven technology and expect everyone else to do the same... regardless of cost or if it even fits need.  It is what they wanted, so why not push the same on the rest of the market?  Ugh.  That type of "can only see the tree" is the nonsense I dealt with for years with Volt.  Those daily bloggers absolutely refused to acknowledge a forest filled with a wide variety of trees.  As far as they were concerned, it was just all one giant sales opportunity with a single-product that could bring about change.  The true nature of the technology wasn't recognized.  It wasn't the vehicle, it was the engineering.  That's why when I pointed out Camry hybrid or the upcoming RAV4 hybrid, they only heard Prius.  Their world was a simplistic solution, no complex equations necessary.  Everyone had the same requirement.  Ugh.  Anywho, this is the underlying problem of why most online still don't get it.  They just see the supply issue as a matter of building up capacity to produce.  What actually gets produced isn't addressed.  That's why the absurdity of Tesla supposedly being able to sell 10,000,000 vehicles per year by 2030 doesn't make any sense.  What exactly would they sell?  To reach such a wide audience, a wide variety of choices must be offered.  That means a mix of technologies.  No single size or chemistry could achieve that.  Diversification is key.  That's why the decision about what will be the dominant choice must be made very carefully.  Change along should be an expectation.  Remember Toyota's approach of continuous improvement?  You explore opportunity, which creates diversity along the way.  Adapt to the changing market.  The one-size-fits-all mindset we saw with Volt and now see with Tesla is a recipe for dilemma.  Put in a more direct manner and in response specifically to batteries, I posted this in the on-going discussion about supply:  There's a potential benefit enthusiasts don't want to talk about... the reality that investment in battery production now could backfire.  A seemingly reluctant automaker could actually be playing the risk card by waiting until a better build/chemistry becomes viable for high-volume & profit.  Think about scale & goals.  When you produce 10 million vehicles per year, you don't have to go with the crowd... especially when taking your own approach in the past turned out to be a wise move.  There is no guarantee follow-the-leader will be rewarding, despite how much enthusiasts dictate it.

7-03-2021

Fanboy Defeat.  You don't ever expect to get this from a former foe: "I was a GM Volt fanboy from way back in 2007, so I am more than a little tired of GM and their lame plug-in products."  Of course, he didn't want to reveal the fact that his faithful & blind loyalty extended all the way up to the discontinuation of Volt just 2 years ago.  He wouldn't ever admit I was correct either.  My constant complaining about audience finally sunk in.  GM only cared about praise & conquest.  The idea of "game changer" never had any substance, never had a chance to happen.  That wasn't a priority for the automaker and you'd have to be blind not to see it.  He was one of those who made that choice.  He didn't want to see the truth.  GM would develop a technology, then do nothing to spread it across the fleet.  It was deny, deny, deny... and attack anyone who pointed out what was actually happening and not happening.  Notice how we still aren't hearing anything with regard to volume from GM?  That's quite a contrast from Toyota, who clearly states their expectations for traditional vehicle replacement.  There's no GM phaseout plan.  There's nothing but a vague mention of model count.  We need to know what will happen at dealerships.  What can we expect for change?  What's the point otherwise?  New offerings like Hummer EV do nothing to change Pickup or SUV sales.  After well over a decade of me drawing attention to that absence of progress, he has grown tired of it.  Phew!  That recognition of the issue was looooooong overdue.

7-03-2021

Unhappy, part 2.  My previous post left me frustrated.  I was still quite annoyed.  So, I looked up Toyota actual strategy.  It turned out to be a blatant contradiction to what was claimed.  There is nothing to support an "unhappy" stance.  Enthusiasts feel it is a necessity to have a protagonist & antagonist in their story... hence a narrative.  Simply stating facts and accepting the reality of more than one route to success isn't something they can endorse.  A binary mindset is required for them to portray a "happy" future.  This is why we have so many problems politically.  Our society can't handle the complexities of large & dynamic situations.  They believe simplicity is the only solution, hence their approach to also seek the easiest path.  I saw this post as an opportunity to convey some harsh reality.  The fact I found from my quick look up online worked great for that.  So, I posted:  The more I think about it, I'm compelled to outright say your "unhappy" claim is a load of rubbish.  15 BEVs, including 7 Toyota "bZ" models of BEV, will be introduced globally by 2025.  How can that possibly be spun to be viewed as a misstep?

7-03-2021

Unhappy, part 1.  I found this quite annoying: "Toyota is still unhappy with this as their roadmap was hybrid for the next 10 years, dragging this evolution out as long as possible.  Can't wait to see if they can manage pull out of their strategic misstep."  It was obviously an effort to undermine, more narrative feeding to portray Toyota as a legacy automaker resisting change.  In reality, it's a misrepresentation to distract.  We see GM & VW struggling to reach their own loyal customers.  Sure, they have interesting plug-in choices, but actually changing what happens at their dealerships with loyal customers is an entirely different matter... a matter enthusiasts refuse to address.  I keep calling them out on that.  And when they attempt to mislead about Toyota, I call them out on that too:  How is Toyota unhappy?  It's very easy to see the fleet transitioning from hybrid to plug-in hybrid. Look at how well that went for RAV4 Prime.  Seeing Corolla Cross hybrid follow the same approach is a no-brainer.  We are very likely to see a next-gen Prius Prime too.  Along with that, the first of the "bZ" line-up will be debuting within a year.  Looking at other legacy automakers, there is no clear transition plan.  From both VW and GM, the expectation is to rollout entirely new vehicles and just hope for the best.  That certainly isn't a roadmap.  Ford will have a winner with F150 as a BEV.  It directly targets their core product, which is fantastic.  But it provides no roadmap for the rest of the fleet.  In other words, the narrative about Toyota kicking & screaming change is falling apart as more and more evidence to the contrary emerges.  We will see lots of plug-in choices from Toyota in the next few years.  There's nothing unhappy about that.

 

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