Optimization Mode, or a Going Concern?

optimization

Is it optimization mode, or an admission of failure?

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Guest Post: Product Mix

Please welcome Seth Parks, a long-time contributor to TTAC and other outlets, with his post on product mix and its importance for the future survival of OEMs.

The consumer preference for light trucks, to include pickups, SUV’s, and crossovers, over cars is well known – but it’s impact on auto manufacturers is not well understood.

A common theme among consumers, enthusiasts, and journalists holds that any manufacturer eschewing cars in favor of light trucks is patently myopic, self-destructive, and perhaps even greedy. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) such as Ford, which recently canceled four of its five North American car programs, are sure to alienate customers and bring themselves hardship when the current economic cycle takes its inevitable turn. As the logic goes, the best inoculation against customer defection and economic disruption is a balanced lineup of competitive cars and light trucks. This approach has been a reliable path to profit for decades.

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Bold Moves: Why Ford Is Not Walking Into The 2008 Trap

Ford Street Racing

No matter how many Spring Cleanings I go through, a few relics somehow remain in my possession. The largest, in terms of sheer obsolescence and wasted space, are a series of milk crates full of Car and DriverRoad & Track and Automobile magazines dating from the mid-1980’s until just before the Great Financial Crisis.

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What’s At Stake For The Auto Industry Now That The Iran Deal Is Over

iran

If you need any further evidence of the intellectual rot that has gripped the West, look no further than an obscure auto writer viewing geopolitical events through the banal lens of Chomsky-esque American Imperialism underpinning every single event in the world. Look no further if you want proof of a once radical and subversive ideology becoming utterly commoditized.

But to answer the apparently rhetorical question above, this is very bad for America’s auto industry, and GM in particular.

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The Sputnik-Lada Fallacy: Why Success In Space Travel Has Nothing To Do With Mass Producing Automobiles

As my previous post on homologation explained, there are essentially two sets of regulations for automobiles: one for the United States and Canada, and one for pretty much every other country on earth.

Growing up in Canada, our new vehicle market was roughly identical to the United States, with a few minor exceptions. One of those was Lada.

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Get What You Need: The True Cost of Homologation

swift sport

Car and Driver‘s review of the Euro-spec 2018 Suzuki Swift is notable not so much for the quality of the review, but for the omission of one of the most tired tropes in automotive writing: the pean to import almost any vehicle, no matter how wretched, simply because we cannot buy it.

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