Does the collapse of the automotive GIANTS effect your Bizz?
- No, not at all.
- We are gaining business. (We are lawyers.)
- We increased business this year. (Non legal)
- The Detroit struggle hurts us, too.
- The housing collapse was worse.
- My retirement plan went bust. ( I am Bob Lutz)
When I saw the first signs of Detroit and there vassalls going down some
mere 3 or 4 years ago I said “Yeah, serves them right, dinosours.”
But nowadays it doesnÂ´t feel so funny anymore. The economy in Germany has taken the deepest postwar hit with sales of industrial goods down 40%- 50% so far this year.
But I didnÂ´t start this thread to cry and heal my wounds.
The next question is.: How do we start automotive 2.0 ? Flanked by. How can we have a healthy economy and a healthy environment at the same time.
How can we as designers help the world to adapt more quickly?
All the best.
Great questions. I think it might actually be Autos 4.0.
1.0 where regional and national concerns as the world figured out the assembly line and part standardization.
2.0 happened post WW2 and regional concerns grew merged or failed… creating mega companies with cradle to grave employment. Daimler and Mercedes, The formation of Caddilac, Chevrolet, and Pontiac in General Mortors.
3.0 occurred in the 70’s as globalization hit full bore. The VW bug and Japanese cars take over the US during the gas crunch in the late 70’s through to Toyota being the largest car company. VW, Toyota, Honda all emerge with multi brand strategies.
4.0 is off to a rough start with governments giving the people’s money to companies that he people have decided not to give money to. How will Ford be able to give the same financing as GM and Chrysler without government loans. How will Tesla, Aptera, and Fisker ever compete with companies that get this money? Our we eliminating innovation and creative thinking through government distribution of money? If my grand children’s money is going to pay for cars… give it to Aptera.
Do we, the world, actually need Automotive 2.0 (as it currently exists); in particular, vehicles that correctly fall into the “industrial” category; trucks (most notably pickup trucks, which many Americans apparently consider as a fashion statement)? Twenty years ago no self-respecting housewife would be seen driving a pickup truck.
It’s all marketing hype now. In particular, GMC’s market statement; “GMC Defines Professional Grade” is laughable.
In 2007 I had just started what was to end up being a 22 month job as an HDR (heavy duty repairman) on a large construction project. Part of the job involved keeping a fleet of ten 1/2 - 1 ton work trucks going. What a pain in the ass; three manufacturers, 3 weight classes, six different model years … fabric upholstered interiors, broken mirrors (with remote adjusters requiring the dismantlement of half the door to get at), crushed taillights and headlights, tire sizes, batteries and air filters (buried under plastic shrouding), oil filters (I can’t remember how many different ones), broken door handles (requiring the removal of mystically adhered interior panels to replace), dented body panels, crushed tail gates (never intended to support a real load), etc. All of it would have been easier to maintain if the “design” actually addressed “industrial” use, instead of “style”.
Modern “comfort” is needed, but are the myriad versions of the same machine needed in a commercial vehicle? Were I a business owner (one-man or more) and had my wish, I would purchase a truck that I (or my mechanic) could personally maintain and repair; something with slab sides that could be touched up with a $5 rattle-can, and a bullet-proof interior. A universal platform (1/2 ton, and 1 ton models only) easily custom(er)ized for specific use. The key: a war time concept; build the same vehicle, year after year. Simply redefine “cool” as a true, bare-bones, “work-truck” and let the public assimilate it. Or not.
Dodge Power Wagon
The Dodge M80 project was off to a good start, but even it was too extravagant for a true “truck” (in my opinion) but was killed for other reasons; the underlying story: The Dodge M80 Blows Up
good article - could go into a book: “how great ideas get squashed”.
just landed a big automaker as a freelance client
I agree with you. I grew up in a family with a lot of blue-collar workers and farmers. They did not care what kind of luxury items went into their truck and I even remember my grand father buying a new F250 and the same day he drove it off the lot he also drove it through a cow pasture and trough the woods. That was ten years ago. Now he is looking for a new work truck and can’t find one to fit his needs because 1) a good heavy duty truck is $30,000 and above and 2) they are not built nearly the same as they used to be and can’t take the same punishment they used too.
A truck is meant to be used for work and perform tasks. Not to carry groceries. They should be the simplest machines with a little bit of comfort and a lot of performance. There is no need for heated seats, leather, flashy rims, chrome, and all the other crap that Detroit has put into these things now a days.
Okay I am done with my rant.
“Basic” seems to be lost on us today, that’s all I saying … cars and trucks.
Vinyl upholstery, rubber floor mats, hand crank windows, heater/defroster, windshield wipers, headlights, brake and turn lights, and an AM-FM radio.
$12,000 ought to be enough to get anyone behind the wheel.
Yeah, dream on… … .
we want it all… buy now… pay later…