Thursday, January 21, 2010
Too much marketing and not enough engineering?
Having criticized the lack of innovation in car design and engineering, maybe one reason for this could be marketing. If a car manufacturer has to decide whether to add a feature or not, then it's about "can I ask 80 Bucks more for the car if I spend 60 Bucks on the technology? And it's marketing answering that question and how should they know? Well they probably have asked customers, have done focus groups, have organized large surveys and blind tests and what else. But they typically are not visionaries. Maybe this explains how the US car industry went down the tube. While the Japanese invested in modern technology the US car industry built the cars they thought the people want to buy. And it worked quite well until the system parameters completely changed. And now they are surprised that Hummers don't sell any more. It's complicated of course, to get it right. But maybe we should have more manufacturers like Aptera, Tesla, Artega or Fisker. They seem to have some engineering vision, they seem to build something they really believe in. They don't seem to maintain decision processes taking longer than the development of a full car and they take risks for the benefit of the car buyer. Well, yes, of course, they still have to prove the pudding, but I hope they can do that.