Monday, August 18, 2008

What is a successful car company?

You would think that this would be a simple answer.... A sustainable car company that consistently and continuously makes profits, pleases customers and is a good steward of the environment.

On the other hand, it might not be so easy to trim down the definition even to such broad platitudes as this....as my conversations over the last several days have proved.

In three separate conversations since Friday, I have had subtle yet thunderous clues into the mind of our customer and their thoughts on success. It has been more than interesting when I total up the tally.

In no particular order:

1) One person told me that a certain car company that has never made a dollar of profit after 15 years of doing business, is a successful company.

2) Another member told me that a world full of Toyota's is a world in which he would never want to live.

3) And a third told me that the British were most successful in the industry because their companies built great looking cars AND because the companies went in and out of bankruptcy and/or being taken over.

I am not certain what final conclusion to make of all of these comments and whether or not they are related, but perhaps a common theme is that "underdog" status is deeply important in judging the success of a new automotive concept.

That is not all bad, but I just want to add in for the record, that in order for us to be sustainable, we will turn a profit. I do not think that profit and success are mutually exclusive.





















(http://www.memphismemories.org/Topics/Radio_TV/1960s_Network_TV/underdog.jpg)

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