Automobile manufacturers are going out of their way to promote new technology like adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, forward collision mitigation, etc. The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has been rating cars with such features and pressing hard to see them adopted.
So why is it so hard to find cars to test drive and buy that are so equipped. Examples: Subaru’s eyesight system, Chevy Impala Forward Collision braking, Ford Fusion driver assist package. I’ve tried to test drive all of these so-equipped cars at dozens of Southeastern Michigan dealers and haven’t had a single success. The same thing is true for cars with plug-in hybrid technology.
Here’s what one Ford dealer told me: “There are rarely any available for us to have in stock. In general, they are “special order” vehicles due to the limited amount of production that is available locally. I will be fortunate to be able to locate a vehicle for you to test drive.”
A Chevy dealer said they never order Impala’s with forward collision mitigation for inventory because “it makes the cars too expensive and they can’t sell them.” Really?
Subaru Corporate told me that cars with Eyesight will “eventually” get here but they are not manufacturing many yet.
I’ve been shopping for a Ford Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid with all the driver assistance goodies and would love to test drive one before committing. No luck.
What a shame that the manufacturers are creating and promoting these amazing features but limit their availability to purchasers. Why would they do that?
Has anyone else noticed this problem?
(PS: I also posted this question in the Newspaper Section of this site. I probably should have come here first.)