By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of the MACS Convention and Trade Show is the simple opportunity to meet people and chat with them. To some that’s <gasp!> networking, but in most cases it’s just a conversation.
I had a particularly interesting talk during one of the evening receptions in Las Vegas. I met an owner of a small shop in a metropolitan area, and soon we were talking about alt fuel vehicles and similar topics.
He noted that many of his customers were asking him about hybrids, plug-in electric vehicles and all the soon-to-appear variants on the theme. Should they buy one now? Are they as efficient as the advertising says? Will they electrocute the cat? He said his customers, mostly well educated professional types, were plainly lost for the answers.
“The manufacturers have stepped on their own toes,” he said. “There’s too much information out there for a buyer to understand. A lot of people can “get” the high level eco argument but they won’t have a hint on the details when they plan to buy their next car.”
He told me his shop has already been working on hybrids for a couple years—almost exclusively Priuses, and almost all the work nothing more than routine maintenance. He said most of the owners know the car is a hybrid, but have little knowledge of when or how each system (gas and electric) operates. “They just drive it and like it,” he said.
We talked about the near-term future market as all the OEMs bring out their latest and greatest e-products. Will they sell or just muddy the waters and extend the model lines? He dropped an answer on me that was stunning in its simplicity.
“If they really want to sell these cars, they have to make the hybrid/ electric drive/ whatever invisible (to the customer.) Just sell it as a car with good gas mileage, good space, and good manners. The customer doesn’t care really how it goes – it just has to go well. Leave the tech talk to the shops and the few owners that really care.”
Maybe what they don’t see will be the key.
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When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL