Wagons Ho!

 I really like Autoguy, and I definitely recommend you check out the site. That said, I find that I often don't agree with his view of the auto industry. This is a good thing, as it means I get exposed to a different point of view. I'm not an automotive guru, and my views on the industry are influenced by my life experiences and where I live. The same is true for Autoguy, and I think that is one of the main reasons I find our views are disparate. Here am I, in Nashville, Tennessee, a land of trucks and SUV's, while autoguy is in LA.

 As someone who lives in LA, and knows the Hollywood/freeway mentality that goes on here, it's important that the word gets out on what is cool in the auto industry, and what isn't. LA leads in fads, and what cars we Angelenos drive, are the cars that eventually all of America will drive, and whatever car company doesn't sell well here, there's a good chance they won't sell well in the future.

 I happen to believe that LA is not the center of the automotive world. It's very influential, yes, but a car that is not successful there does not mean it will be unsuccessful in the rest of the country. Fads come and go, and the internet has greatly changed the way they spread and develop. LA also has adifferent climate than a lot of the country, and winter has a huge affect on many automotive purchases. I used to live in Cleveland, Ohio, and I can tell you that how a car handles in the snow makes a major impact on which vehicle you buy if you live in the north.

 All of this leads up to Autoguy's latest post, discussing the upcoming Chevy Nomad. Autoguy thinks it's a mistake, while I think it's a smart move. Chrysler has been very successful with the PT Cruiser, and the Nomad is a logical choice to compete n that market. The wagon market has been in decline for over a decade now, with the rising popularity of SUV's, and that's exactly why I think the Nomad makes sense. These are not your father's wagon, as it were.

 Autoguy says the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix have been a failure, but I see more of them every day. Yes, they're wagons, but they don't have the old wagon image. They look like hybrid wagon-SUV's, and that's why they sell. Instead of being simply a Corolla wagon, Toyota has wisely given them they're own style. The Mazda Protege S wagon is another of these vehicles I see more of everyay, and the Mada 3 wagon continues this trend. The same will be true for the Nomad, but it will need a four-door version if GM wants it to be a commercial success. The poeple buying these wagons are the young and young at heart, who want the utility of an SUV but not the handling of a truck.

 We won't really know which one of us is correct for a while. The Nomad won't reach showrooms until 2007.


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