NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For the next 50 years, one business I don't want to be in is the car service business. Why? Because with the conversion to electric cars, there will be very little to service.This is what we call a secular shift, in this case of Olympian proportions. How many hard disk drives do you repair in the iPad and iPhone world? None, of course. They don't exist.
With a regular gasoline/diesel-only car, those 300 million miles would have been a gold mine for the auto service business. With the Chevy Volt, not so much. This is one reason the Chevy Volt, for the second year in a row, has obtained the highest customer rating of any car in Consumer Reports. Ninety-one percent of owners recommend it to their friends, neighbors, colleagues and relatives. In other words, the Chevy Volt basically sells itself. No need for expensive advertising, so GM (GM - Get Report) is clearly wasting some money here. The most effective sales method is the enthusiastic owners. Why pay $100 million a year to magazines and TV channels, when existing owners will promote the car for free? During the first four months of 2013, sales of Chevy Volt inside the U.S. are only barely up from the equivalent four months of 2012. Still, this is a reduction in sales momentum. It is no catastrophe to be up only 3% year over year, but in previous months the increase was often over 100%.