Mo' Media Attention - Mo' Miles or Low Miles?
First, let me repeat a key point. I, Pete Blackshaw, am a passionate believer in hybrid technology. But I'm equally passionate about truth in advertising. This blog has shifted from high-octave "love letter" to dispirited "tough critic" because I fear there's a troubling and well-documented gap between the brand "promise" -- reflected in Hybrid advertising, promotion, and dealer representations -- and the actual product "benefit" and performance. Nothing will kill this industry faster than consumer cynicism, especially in the internet age of high-velocity word-of-mouth. With gas prices skyrocketing and a flood of new hybrid vehicles about to enter the market, three things need to happen. (1) Dealers need to work much harder to disclose the "true" mileage to potential buyers, (2) the EPA needs to retool its MPG mileage calculation immediately, and (3) manufacturers need to put in place smart and thoughtful "recovery" programs for early buyers and enthusiasts who feel betrayed and misled by the "mileage" misrepresentations. Meanwhile, more media coverage on this issue continues to roll-out, from Wired News, to Motor Trend, to CBS Marketwatch.