Chris Moss Online

My Nova

Chevrolet’s introduction of its car, the “Nova” into Latin American countries is the subject of an urban myth about the failure to plan in business. “No va” translates to “doesn’t go” in Spanish and for some reason this has become a tale that is cited in otherwise very credible textbooks about an international business blunder, however it isn’t true.

What is true, is that on last Saturday, our Chrysler would “no va.” As we were returning from Lake Texoma, on the border with Oklahoma, the car decided to stop running in McKinney. It was almost like it ran out of gas. I was able to steer it onto the shoulder, onto the next exit ramp, to the service road and into a strip shopping center, right into a parking space. Although the car did not consult with us before it decided to shut itself off, James and I were very fortunate that the car didn’t make this unilateral decision halway between Sherman and McKinney. So, neither of us got upset, except for me briefly when I wanted to throw my stupid cell phone against a wall because the person I was talking to about a tow truck couldn’t hear me.

A call to AAA was placed and a tow truck dispached, and Jonas was kind enough to come get us and bring us back to Frisco. The car was towed to the dealership from where the car was purchased in the first place, because it was close and AAA will only tow a short distance for free, so it didn’t seem like a good idea to tow it to Frisco. At the dealership, James and I took a look at a Pacifica, which is a “crossover” between car and SUV.

The problem with the car was the fuel pump, and some of you may know I’ve recently been experiencing some problems with the starter, so that was fixed as well. However, the car is coming up on 100,000 miles, which means maintenance: timing chain, drive belts, spark plugs, radiator and transmission service and fuel-injector service. During the week, I was able to negotiate the cost for all this down from $2,200 to $1,700.

I contemplated trading it away, and a call to the sales guy to ask for a trade-in value on my car resulted in a promised call back but no actual call back. So when the car manufacturers lament poor sales, you know who to blame. We also discovered that there are no rental cars available in the Dallas area because they were all in Houston to respond to Katrina (FEMA, Red Cross, insurance adjusters, victims, etc) and this was well before Rita showed up. In theory, we’re still waiting on Enterprise to call as soon as a car becomes available. I inconvenienced James by taking his car, and Brian for having to chauffeur James a bit. Oh, and Bobby and Ian who were kind enough to pick me up to go to dinner at Campisi’s on Monday 🙂 Thanks to all of you (and Jonas) for getting us out of a jam!

We were able to pick the car up on Wednesday, and it does actually run better. I’m actually glad to still have it, because I really like that car and I’m also not excited about having another car payment.

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