John Acheson On Dreaming Of A New Chrysler
It's impossible to out-innovate competitors when you're back peddling, shrinking, downsizing, reorganizing, rolling 80,000 American jobs or pursuing any of the other tactics the Big Three are today.
The output of innovation is patents from R&D cost centers. Writers often assume there can be more innovation with less dollars going to cost centers. How can this be?
The most innovative vehicles in terms of patents and sales growth cost a $1 billion or more to develop. For example, 1,000 engineers making good salaries, and a plant running triple shifts developed the Toyota Prius, which has seen more than 2,000% sales growth over the past decade.
How? Innovation in a tornado not a vacuum, and the ability to be able to steer the ship through oceans of red ink.
Back to geriatric Chrysler/Jeep building the same models for decades: How many of those ideas are products you want to innovate from the ground up?
How many patents and engineers do you want to pay for? How many cost centers do you want to run in the red before your new idea becomes a concept or showroom hit?
Where is the billion dollars per idea available for any shrinking company to pay 1,000 engineers to develop 650 patents before a car even arrives at the dealership?
And where is the time or three to five years of cash to burn into new ideas?
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