The Tom-Tom: Bill Maloney

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In addition to producing his weekly automotive TV magazine, Ohama Road for 255 weeks and still counting and a separate weekly auto review for KITV4 ABC affiliate in Honolulu, Hawaii auto impresario Bill Maloney writes a self-syndicated weekly column, “A Bunch of Maloney” that brings a light touch, insight and a little fun to folks who like to read about cars. Contact him at if you would like to consider his column for your publication..


Rival car company market researchers and their soothsayers have been busy blowing holes in the rationale (and high pricing) for many popular hybrid cars that are enjoying record sales.

Picture: Bill Maloney, Syndicated ColumnistA research firm in Portland, Oregon and an editor of Car And Driver magazine have gone to great strides to seemingly unmask the efficiency fallacy about two prominent import hybrids. These two respected entities call these green cars models that make a fashion statement. They even provided stats.

Would you believe a big Chevy Tahoe SUV has a lower energy cost-per-mile than a small import hybrid. Which is $3.25 cost-per-mile while the Tahoe sports a CPM of $2.94.  The math, they say, is simple.  The Tahoe has a lifetime expectancy of 268,000 miles while the compact import will last 109,000 miles.

The CNW market research firm from the northwest along with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) say the little hybrids are a way for some individuals…can you say Leonardo… to make an environmental statement.

It’s said that a car is no longer a car when it’s a hybrid. It’s a statement. There are high visibility dudes who like to drive statements.

Cameron Diaz, Ed Begley, Jar, and the two guys who own Google, who the CNW study says quote “don’t know ‘dick’ about the environment.”  These are people of the conspicuous consumption class who are into whole foods, wild oats/sprouts and keep Trader Joes extremely profitable. They don’t drink Jim Beam and prefer Grey Goose and of course their home away from home is Starbucks and its designer coffee. Researchers say these folks are willing to pay to display their moral superiority and virtue.

Editor of C&D Patrick Bedard states that the small hybrids don’t save enough gas money to justify their initial high price.  The buyers motivation is largely personal enlightenment re global warming.  A feel good thing.  So that’s the argument from the “have nots”…everybody has an agenda.

So when buying a new car and you’re into saving the Whales and trees do your homework.  Performance or posturing?

 Tom-Tom rants, raves, rambles and ruminations are volunteered and express the opinions of the writer.

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