What motivates a company to destroy its brand?
We start with Mini’s plans to sell 100,000 cars in the States by 2020, nearly double today’s pace and remember how Cadillac destroyed their brand and how Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari et. al. can’t wait to do the same.
Also, might retail power in the form of strong dealer regulation limit brand’s ability to improve or address customer experiences? What motivated Warren Buffet to enter the American car dealer business? (With a long aside on what Buffett investment logic is all about and why it’s not contradictory to a growth investor).
via Asymcar 19: About that Ferrari SUV… | Asymcar.
Why did the Tata Nano fail? What is the future of low end disruption in the auto industry?
What does sharing mean for cars? What are the jobs that spaces in cars are hired for that their makers don’t understand?
Is Elon Musk an Industrialist?
via Asymcar 18: Cars of the People | Asymcar.
Part I is a review of the “automotive stack” and note how there is no singular event that seems to affect disruptive change. From changing jobs to be done, modular design and manufacturing processes, powertrain evolution, urbanization, environmental interests, regulation and taxation.
Part II is a review of a framework of analysis based on sources and uses of energy. Inputs, efficiency/losses, network effects and inertia, what can change and what can’t change.
For a shot of theory, Horace reflects on the dichotomy of efficiency vs. efficacy when it comes to predicting change in the sector.
via Asymcar 17: 27 Quadrillion BTUs | Asymcar.
Matt Grantham joins us to discuss electric vehicles, renewable energy, smarter software, solar opportunities and economics. Matt introduces us to Solar X, the solar car challenge. He reflects on these emerging technologies in light of Australia’s nearly extinct auto manufacturing sector.
We explore the concept of a car as the home power source and consider possible EV disruption of traditional power generation and distribution concerns. The potential business models arising from these emerging technologies makes us pause in light of solar firm’s stock performance.
via Asymcar 15: Sunray Sedan | Asymcar.
An interview with Ossi Oikarinen, Technical Director at Team Rosberg, a 30-year veteran of motorsport, Formula One TV presenter and deep insider.
We cover Grand Prix racing and DTM touring cars from the point of view of business models, jobs to be done and technical innovations. We touch on many other fine points.
This is a good one.
via Asymcar 14: Grand Prix. An interview with Ossi Oikarinen | Asymcar.
On continental trips, diesel engines and autobahn speeds, pilgrimages to Porsche and BMW’s brand meccas.
How to understand the world through toy cars, from Matchbox to Hot Wheels, Siku, Majorette to Tomica.
On the business of car distribution, “channel stuffing” and the origins of state franchise regulation.
Reflections on Apple’s routing around now-defunct computer retail channels via its highly successful stores.
via Asymcar 13: Pilgrimages and Fundamental Evil | Asymcar.
We discuss the zeitgeist of automotive decline.
We marvel – again – at the industry’s glacial pace of change and contrast the auto industry’s tiny volumes to smartphones and personal computers.
via Asymcar 12: Cycle Times | Asymcar.
We explore the strategic and tactical considerations behind BMW’s i sub-brand. Why did BMW attach a new BMW sub-brand to a new powertrain rather than using another brand, like Mini? The answer helps explain how innovations and brands inter-relate and how incumbents can attempt to absorb what is potentially non-sustaining.
We consider the pros and cons of innovation within an operating business – “intrepreneurship” – compared with creating an autonomous enterprise for the “new new thing”. I contrast BMW i with General Motors’ failed Saturn experiment.
We consider the burden that regulation, girth, cycle times, legacy practices, financialization and strategy taxes place on incumbents.
Finally, we look at what it takes to cross over the line which separates the device-based nice-to-have infotainment options from the must-have driver and ownership assistants that will inevitably find home in these devices.
via The Thin Red Line | Asymcar.
The orthodox vs. the unorthodox: Tata, Tesla and Toyota. Why might an asymmetric competitor lose and a symmetric competitor win?
We begin with Tesla and Apple. We continue with aluminum vehicles and re-visit information asymmetry as Horace exploits it to buy a Mercedes on eBay.
We talk about car APIs (Aux input jack and ODBII) and much, much more.
A brief discussion considers the perils of endless line extension up and down the market, perhaps fueled by financialization.
This is a good one.
Asymcar 10: Asleep at the switch | Asymcar.
Horace and Jim discuss shopping online for used cars and how and why the value of cars disappears so quickly. The conversation drifts into information asymmetry, the declining interest in auto maintenance and the perpetual closed-loop auto information model. We hypothesize on the impact of the coming self-monitoring and awareness of the lives of vehicles. Finally we ask whether the dysfunction in the industry is the cause or the effect of the ancient integrated factory model and the sustaining auto eco-system incentives that impede transformation.
Asymcar 9. Stasis: Depreciation, Brands, Information Intransigence | Asymcar.