Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two Big Stories today on LM - Both about LM, only one knew it and one did not.

The by Jeff Jarvis:

The New Detroit Isn't Detroit

Wired-o-Nomics by Eliot van Buskirk:

What detroit can learn from the apple store.

Jeff details in explicit terms why the Local Motors model is disrupting the status quo industry.

It’s collaborative. .... What’s fascinating is that (as I predicted could happen) they make economic decisions and trade-offs. Some really wanted an incredible taillight and Rogers said, fine, that’d cost a fortune to tool up to make and would raise the price of every car by $1,000. Nevermind, the community said; they took a $99 Honda lens and designed around it so you’d never know where it came from....

The community takes ownership. .... This isn’t anarchy or democracy. Rogers coins a rather high-fallutin’ phrase for what he advocated: bimodal intelligence. That is, everyone has a voice but at the end of the day, the company has a role to guide the process and product; that is the value the company adds but that works only if the company listens well....

It’s small. And small is the new big. That is precisely why GM and Chrysler are at a disadvantage against him, like newspapers against online entrepreneurs: The incumbents are saddled with huge infrastructure costs and have to do everything in big ways, including fail. And this means…

The mass market is dead, replaced by the mass of niches.
I don’t want the same car you want. I want choice. Hundreds of microfactories can give it to me.

It’s a platform. I saw this more than Rogers did, but it’s clear that because Local Motors publishes its design data openly, I could start a company to provide parts and products for its cars. It enables others to build business on top of its platform. This means that…

Business is public. The more openly and collaboratively Local Motors does its business, the better it is for its products, customers, and relationships.

It’s local. I also didn’t understand this at first. But seeing the car being made for Arizona drivers, I get it. A car for New Yorkers will surely be different.

Middlemen are doomed. Local Motors has no dealers. The factory is the showroom. The customers are the salesmen.

And on and on….

Eliot writes a compelling thought piece on dealerships being a thing of the past, building upon the precise theme that Jeff ends with. Only Eliot does not even know that LM exists.

.....To rise from the ashes, automakers must think like Silicon Valley — blow up “stores” in favor of experience centers. Let people buy what they want, when they want and how they want. What would a car industry without dealerships look like? In our dreams, they’d be a lean network of showrooms offering hands-on experience with a range of vehicle.....


I rarely make requests of you, our earnest LM Vision readers, but here is a simple one. Write Eliot and his editor, John, a note, and let's help them to write the story about LM that was already embedded here. America needs to know that automotive is not only alive but coming on strong.


Tell them that you saw the article on What detroit can learn from the apple store. And maybe it should have been "What Local Motors is doing to bring Apple Stores to Automotive - the birth of the Micro-Factory".

.....especially now that Hummer is going to be Chinese....Yikes.


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