Asymcar 12: Cycle Times

Model Car1

Jim shares the joys of two recent rural road trips. The changing landscape, from discarded bank buildings and big box stores to a lack of traffic on these roads offers an opportunity to reflect on the atrophying auto eco-system.

Horace notes the behavior changes leading to reduced use of autos. Alternatives, including bicycles, public transport, walking and car sharing services can be used to move atoms in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

Jim reflects on Ford’s $1,500,000 facility subsidy to a small town car dealership – in a community that lacks a grocery or clothing store. Perhaps the growing American use of “subprime” auto loans to “move the metal” explains the bricks and mortar strategy.

Horace counters that people are figuring out ways to get things done without moving atoms.

We marvel – again – at the industry’s glacial pace of change and contrast the auto industry’s tiny volumes to smartphones and personal computers.

We conclude with a look at today’s youth culture and consider the sense that driving is for old people.

30mb mp3 about 62 minutes.

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Why do we need a new gas tax? Wisconsin DOT Counter DOT

Small towns may have no grocery or clothing store but a car dealership

American subprime lending is back on the road

Asymcar 7: The Transportationist

The End of the French Car


  • Bruce_Mc

    When Jim speaks, the volume of his voice moves up and down instead of staying steady. I don’t know if it’s the microphone or the bandwidth, but it’s very distracting. Maybe he’s doing sit-ups next to his computer?

    • jim_zellmer

      Indeed. I apologize. I will have a more consistent speaking location in future episodes. And, regarding sit-ups, those occurred earlier at the gym 🙂 Thanks for listening and writing.

      • Bruce_Mc

        That’s great, I look forward to the sound quality matching the quality of information and insight.

        For those in the automotive industry, “with gasoline in their veins,” I think the Rome is burning analogy may be right.

        The way the (now nearly useless) independent car dealers are fighting may be a small preview of what the big manufacturers will be doing in a few years, as they become less and less important to how society functions, and consequently less and less deserving of favorable legislation, subsidies, bailouts, and the like.

  • Shane Kramps


    There was some reference to a specific article about istream. Any chance it could be added to the notes?