Author Archives: Jim Zellmer

Asymcar 37: Dark Matter Innovations

Does place matter?

We consider geography, the hype cycle and S curves while reflecting on what is perhaps, at present a “phoney war”(1).

Does geography play a role in disruption? Are “hyped” optics necessary for the new new thing?

What skills are required for disruptive innovation in and around the auto ecosystem? How do cycle times (2) color our outlook?

A good conversation.

1. The Phoney War.

2. Cycle Time.

29mb mp3, about 60 minutes.

Detroit must rediscover the cutting edge: Tony Fadell.

Zetsche sees Mercedes’ late arrival to EV race as an advantage – Christiaan Hetzner.

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Asymcar 36: New, or Better?

Cycle times loom larger in the clash of the automotive and smartphone eco-systems. We reflect on BMW’s i brand again, while the company appears to retrench and focus on their legacy facilities and cars.

We divert a bit into a discussion of new vs better and the business strategy supporting such choices.

Finally, financialization looms, perhaps an opening during the next downturn.

29mb mp3, about 60 minutes.

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Asymcar 35: We are all Germans

Can utility companies be recruited to help sell Electric Vehicles when they reward their customers for using less electricity?

This plus the paradoxes of innovations in distribution, sales, regulation and the 1959/1960 Henney Kilowatt.

30mb mp3, about 64 minutes.

Henney Kilowatt, Autoroundup

Winton Motor Carriage Company

C. Russell Feldman Obituary

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Asymcar 34: The Empire Strikes Back

Joe Rosmann shares his experience and perspective on our changing transportation system – “the most regulated industry we have”.

Joe begins with three points:

Car costs continue to grow

Smartphones. Consumers can make dynamic real time choices about the best way to go from a to b 24 hours per day, 7 days per week (see the City Mapper app).

Autonomous vehicles can make lives safer and faster.

We close and reflect on Joe’s assertion that “Algorithms are going to become regulatory mandated standards”.

30mb mp3, about 62 minutes.

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Asymcar 33: Concept, Outcome and Pivot

Sam Abuelsamid reflects on the origins of BMW’s i program, today’s economics and the application of lessons learned.

We veer into supply chain details and consider the path that the legacy automakers have chosen.

The show closes with a discussion of Apple’s entry assets, supply chain power and business model evolution.

34mb mp3, about 77 minutes.

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Asymcar 32: Running the Numbers

Anton Wahlman joins us as we dive into numbers, production curves and the clash between reality, vision and hubris over autonomous cars

Tesla’s “financial equation” merits much discussion interspersed with reflections on an EV landscape littered with government subsidies.

We close with accounting, including a dissertation on variable costs and the burden of “dealerless” car sales.

26mb mp3, about 60 minutes.

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Asymcar 31: Better to Go Slow

We dive into the new thing. Can a well known brand do something new? Must the new thing stand alone? Must it have a new name, a new distribution model?

We evaluate BMW’s “i” initiative from both a strategic and tactical perspective. BMW, Ford and the other automakers have not a small number of new products and services, apart from traditional cars.

Jobs to be done appears again, as Horace expresses his single pedal “serenity” in traffic.

We close with a few quotes from Ford CEO Mark Fields.

26mb mp3, about 58 minutes.

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Notes:

Ford Credit Link Pilot

Ford Smart Mobility

BMW ReachNow

BMW DriveNow

GM Express Drive

Ford CEO Mark Fields interview, including “Today, the future goes to the company that makes the best products and collects the best data to turn into services.”

Apple heuert deutsche Autoexperten für iCar-Labor in Berlin.

Asymcar 30: The Big Bang Theory

We talk finance and other curiosities with Sviatoslav Rosov PhD, CFA, Analyst.

Beginning with Henry Ford’s “Old Fashioned Layaway Plan” followed by the launch of General Motors Acceptance Corporation, the Certified Pre-Owned sleight of hand and today’s auto sales finance and reporting controversies all shaped the industry. Finance is one of many vectors which tie the system together into what its is.

We once again explore the other vectors that might open disruptive opportunities for an entrant. Wide ranging discussion touching all the big points ultimately asking whether Big Bang change is coming. Or will it the big whimper?

31mb mp3, about 64 minutes.

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Notes:
The American Dream and Consumer Credit

Sviatoslav Rosov @ CFA Institute

twitter.com/srosov

Asymcar 29: Atmospherics

Horace and Jim begin with the industry’s rhetorical bubble. We consider the auto eco-system’s atmospherics on auto companions and quickly revert back to the reality of today’s manufacturing practices and industry lead times.

Horace notes the early development of steam, electric and internal combustion engine cars. We discuss the external assets that sustained the engines we use today and what might change in the near term to support significant electric vehicle (EV) growth.

We close in contemplation of Uber’s purported 100,000 unit S-Class purchase.

26mb mp3, about 56 minutes.

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Notes:

Uber seeking to buy self-driving cars.

Toyota’s Motomachi factory.

Building Cars Live: Episode one two

The Machine that Changed the World.

GM Buys Self Driving Tech Startup.

Cars will become personal companions.

Asymcar 28: Meaningful

Announcements arrive with regularity. Ford and Google reveal plans to cooperate on autonomous cars. Toyota’s aims to begin “precision mapping” roads. Ford zigs in another direction and eyes CityMapper’s terrain with its proposed “Dynamic Shuttle” service.

So much slideware.

Horace dives into the data. EV and hybrid cars currently represent a tiny fraction of the market. OPEC recently forecast that by 2040, 94 percent of the vehicles on the world’s roads will still be powered by fossil fuels. Bullish, Horace sees greater EV penetration, with modularity powering double digit market share.

Current auto business models trade a few points of marginal cost in return for double digit marginal revenue, resulting in brand explosion.

We await the Lamborghini SUV.

26mb mp3, about 58 minutes.

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