Automotive Madness: Three Stories

Subaru BRZ

1. You may already have heard that a few dealers are upcharging for the upcoming Subaru BRZ (above)—to the tune of $5,000 over MSRP. Some have called this price gouging, which, of course, it is. Anyone paying this price is a turkey.

One imbecile argues that this is owing to the immutable law of supply and demand. Since the BRZ is in high demand and deliveries are late, if you don’t like the upcharge, “go buy a Civic,” he says. He also questions why anyone would want a BRZ when you can buy a Mustang with over twice the horsepower for the price of the BRZ plus the upcharge (around $30K).

The over-list gouge is not a new thing, of course. It’s been done with the Prius and other cars. Manufacturers should absolutely forbid it and, as one commenter said, take away the dealer’s allocation. It’s a perversion of supply and demand.

2. The Responsible Young Drivers group in Belgium came up with a great idea: Make teens take a driving test in which they are forced to text and drive, with the driving instructor telling them that this is a new legal requirement.

Of course, the idea was staged, in a sense, but the point is still valid. Read the comments here to see how texters reacted, mostly in a very defensive way. They criticized the instructor for not wearing a seatbelt in part of the test; others claimed how easy it was to text and drive.

I still say all phone use should be jammed in cars unless the vehicle is parked.

3. One of our great current, right-thinking governors, Jan Brewer of Arizona, recently vetoed a bill that would have drastically reduced the number of red-light camera tickets and thus eliminated “hundreds of thousands in revenue” to the state.

The measure would have brought Arizona into compliance with federal law and a definition of an intersection that 48 other states have implemented. The Gov said that it would be just too dangerous to adopt this standard (which would have extended yellow-light time and made photo ticketing much less prevalent).

The Gov got strong protests against the proposed measure from some of the big players in the so-called photo enforcement industry and in fact has herself had “significant connections” to that industry.

Perhaps those so imbued with Arizona’s crazed gun culture could begin shooting out those red-light cameras? Just a thought.

I would like to know what you think about the Subaru BRZ upcharge. Is it justified, or justifiable?


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  1. If Subaru can find people stupid enough to pay it, why not? But $30K for a Mustang? Three years later it’s worth $15K. The Subaru will likely depreciate less, even with the upcharge. But why pay it? Do some calling around and find out where in podunk it’s available at a reasonable price (away from the big cities) and that $5k you save will pay you to fly out and drive it back.

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