In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Will we get the Volkswagen ID. LIFE?
- Suzuki’s U.S. comeback
- Buying views and likes
The first question comes from a Volkswagen fan whop ants to know if the Volkswagen ID. LIFE concept will go into production.
Q (Via NathanAdlen@Twitter): Check out this Volkswagen ID. LIFE concept!
How do we tell Volkswagen to build this and stop teasing us!?
— B. Swartz
A: The Volkswagen ID. LIFE is a concept – for now.
I agree with you, this little car is epic! It reminds me a little bit of the Volkswagen Thing, which was also a four-door with a removable top. It was also aimed at the youth market to a certain degree. To be honest, I think that the shape and 90% of its design should hit production ASAP. I’m not saying it will, but it should. Especially if they can undercut the Leaf and Bolt’s base price.
Currently, that’s less than $24,000 – the current Nissan Leaf has a base price of $27,400, and the Chevrolet Bolt starts at $31,000.
The Volkswagen ID. LIFE is a logical, economically-minded electric vehicle that is supposed to have an approximate 249 mile range. It has a 62 kWh battery and a 234 horsepower electric motor that powers the front wheels. Many components are made out of recycled plastic, and it sits on the modular MEB platform.
Sure, things like the IP moving to the center of the steering wheel (along with the gear select) may be a stretch, but moist of the setup looks nearly production-ready.
Time will tell if Volkswagen takes this path. We know they understand the wants and needs of consumers, it’s a question of getting the right audience interested. I think this car, and other variants will do well — IF they build it.
The next question comes from a Suzuki fan who thinks that the automaker will return to the United States.
Q (Via YouTube): I noticed how popular the Suzuki Jimny is overseas and I think it will help the company come back to the USA soon!
The Jimny is so popular that they are building a 4 door and a pickup because that is what the people want. I think that they will try to come back to the USA!
— Big Base Jim
A: Hi there.
Sorry to say, it would be remarkably difficult for Suzuki to come back to the United States’ market. The cost and complexity of getting their Jimny federalized is one hell of a hurdle. On top of that, they would have to rebuild their dealership network, or work with a partner – which is costly and time consuming too.
Look, I would love to see the Jimny come to our market, but it’s doubtful that they will find a way to make it happen.
The last question comes from a viewer who finds it irritating that some unscrupulous influencers pay to inflate their numbers. That includes automotive influencers.
Q: (Via: Facebook) Do you guys know that a bunch of YouTubers and social media players buy their “likes” and views?
I look at the amount of feed back a post gets and I can tell when some guys throw cash at something to make it bigger. You guys slowly built everything and I can see you’re cool. But it sickens me because it is dishonest with ——–, ———–, ———, and ———-. Do you guys know of any guys who lie about their numbers?
— Achmed A.
A: Yea, we know it.
There is evidence out there that’s easy to find. If you see a social media post with 50,000 likes and just a few comments – there could be something fishy going on. Bots and fake accounts leave signs, but it can be time consuming to find out what’s real and what’s fake. Generic comments that can be used anywhere, for any topic, tend to be clues as well.
Check out this explanation if you want to be educated about fake influencers and how to spot them.
The automotive journalistic world is very small and, over time, word spreads. More often than not, most of this community is aware of who had to fake it, until they made it – and so on. It’s especially frustrating for those who worked hard, AND for those who are falsely accused. It’s a double-edged sword.
My suggestion is, if you think they are fake – ignore them. That’s the one thing they don’t want you to do.
It’s not “fake,” but it’s not very fast…