Horace Dediu and Jim Zellmer discuss the politics, processes and possibilities of cars in light of: 1. Young people deferring drivers licenses. 2. The growth of car sharing. 3. Practical alternative power trains. 4. Urbanization. 5. Increased Congestion. 6. Driverless cars. 7. Rise of the "App Economy".

Hosted by Horace Dediu and Jim Zellmer.

#27: Titanic

December 8, 2015 at 10:00AM • 55 minutes

We consider the landscape that Apple's purported Titan project will address in a few years time.

Horace discusses the pattern of disruption powered by Moore's law. We turn to the transportation sector and consider the "reimagining" of the car. We further consider scenarios, from sustaining where the current players grow, to new entrant opportunities.

The conversation diverts a bit into the regulatory and taxation regime, specifically US road funding is largely tied to fuel taxes. We note the odd situation where an entry level car driver pays fuel taxes while a luxury Tesla driver does not.

We speculate on Apple's possible "meaningful contribution" to transportation and the required product, customer experience, sales channel, price and financing options.

#26: The iPod

November 6, 2015 at 12:00PM • 54 minutes

We begin a speculative show in Berlin, where a cab driver laments “young people arriving in the city to party and sleep on couches”. Might Berlin’s youthful visitors in 2050 simply crash in their autonomous pods? Horace races forward and muses on a future filled with roving, autonomous Winnebagos. Jim notes that there have been previous attempts at such vehicles, particularly with 1960’s and 1970’s era vans. Big data and algorithms run interference. Will autonomous pod players be naturally limited to those who can create and maintain a global mapping system? Today, those organizations include Google, Apple and a consortium owned by Audi, BMW and Mercedes. TomTom supplies GIS data to many organizations and Uber has begun to collect mapping data as well. We close with a bit of Apple gazing. What might Apple’s first car look like? What is its job to be done? Will it be influenced by the VW Beetle? Asymcar River of News

#25: The Selfie Experience

October 1, 2015 at 12:00PM • 58 minutes

Mathew Desmond joins us to discuss Cars Online 2015 - The Selfie Experience. The evolving power of the connected customer. We begin with the fascinating finding that “One-half of customers are interested in buying a car from a tech company like Apple or Google. This is true even of customers who are satisfied with their current brand and dealer experience. It is particularly true of young customers (65%) and those in growth markets (China: 74%; India: 81%).” Backing up a bit, we discuss the automaker’s dilemma, that is the legacy manufacturing, distribution and support infrastructure and contrast that with the “clean slate” approach an entrant might enjoy. The concept and inherent conflicts of a “Master Customer Record” fuels a deeper dive into “Continuity”, the buyer’s desire for a seamless experience. Finally, we reflect on the perils that may lie ahead as the auto ecosystem attempts to improve the retail experience. Asymcar River of News.

#24: Get Rid of the Model T Men

September 7, 2015 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 51 minutes

We revisit “Antennagate”. Should organizations hire people with industry skills and experience or capable, driven outsiders? Horace shares tales from Henry Ford’s personnel practices during the Model T to Model A transition. The conversation accelerates into a discussion of aesthetics and jobs to be done. We muse on Tesla’s development, supply chain, aesthetics and market position while contrasting that with Toyota’s introduction of the Prius. We close with speculation on what a “meaningful contribution” to the auto ecosystem might look like.

#23: As an Industry Turns to Retro, You Know it's Over

July 25, 2015 at 12:00PM • 54 minutes

Horace and Jim talk with Matthew Gunson, Director of Brand Management at Phoenix based Local Motors. We learn about Local’s business model, their view of automotive jobs to be done and the 3D printing driven micro factory. Automotive nostalgia and a detour into consumer behavior closes our conversation.

#22: The Goddess

March 24, 2015 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 7 minutes

From the moment an idea is worth having no one cares what it costs - Andre Citroen The incomparable Citroen DS (French homophone: déesse), 60 years old this year. Hydropneumatic, self-levelling suspension aerodynamic and interior design efficiency, swiveling headlights, novel construction methods. Ahead of its time even in 1985. Why did this iconic design not endure?

#21: Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads

January 30, 2015 at 12:00PM • 60 minutes

Gartner asserts that “connected cars or smart cars are poised to play a pivotal role in the Internet of Things (IoT)”. We say “Hah!” Also How levies platform taxes. What in the world could “over serving” transportation mean? Using an Automatic App in a Porsche. BMW Sounding the Alarm over tech companies efforts to collect auto data China’s car industry and other unimportant details relative to declining interest in driving among young people.

#20: Iconic Design

December 23, 2014 at 12:00PM • 60 minutes

We consider Uber’s street smarts, “cash on the hood” driver acquisition tactics and their ability to operate over the top, that is above local regulations and norms. The proposed elimination of diesel cars in Paris and London ignites a side trip through today’s regulatory labyrinth. Horace reflects on a recent Tesla test drive while evaluating innovation on jobs to be done, form factor design, production methods and their business model. Jim considers Sandy Munro’s recent BMW i3 teardown, which lead him to conclude that “this car makes money”. Might BMW have leaped ahead of Tesla while pumping out 500,000 traditional 3 series this year? We close with news that Porsche has once again rejected an “entry level” sports car project. This, despite their growing SUV and large car portfolio.

#19: About that Ferrari SUV

November 13, 2014 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 1 minute

What motivates a company to destroy its brand? We start with Mini’s plans to sell 100,000 cars in the States by 2020, nearly double today’s pace and remember how Cadillac destroyed their brand and how Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari et. al. can’t wait to do the same. Also, might retail power in the form of strong dealer regulation limit brand’s ability to improve or address customer experiences? What motivated Warren Buffet to enter the American car dealer business? (With a long aside on what Buffett investment logic is all about and why it’s not contradictory to a growth investor). We detour a bit into the information battle to come and how car makers yearn to be the masters of their own cars.

#18: Cars of the People

September 17, 2014 at 12:00PM • 1 hour 1 minute

Why did the Tata Nano fail? What is the future of low end disruption in the auto industry? What does sharing mean for cars? What are the jobs that spaces in cars are hired for that their makers don’t understand? Is Elon Musk an Industrialist?