Honda on the other hand, has Thought long and hard
about the most innovative digital release in automaking history,
that was unfortunately, followed by a gigantic business loss,
joining the EV-1, RAV-4 EV and Honda EV in terms of profits,
BUT the Honda engineers employed kaizen or continuous improvement
and will be releasing the Insight Revenge on Earth Day.
The 1st Generation Insight still holds the American Record for MPG at 70 miles per gallon for a mass-production vehicle, but in reality it was hand-built by Honda's best engineers and probably sold for half the build costs including all the engineering. Even so, only a few thousand of the world's best marathoner sold for the few short years that the Insight invited the Prius over from Japan to change automaking forever. The Insight project was shut down just like GM's EV-1, Toyota's Rav-4 EV and Honda's EV because the Insight business was bleeding to much.
The 2nd Generation Insight (5 minute video avail at link above) will release to America on Earth day and has pre-sold out around the world. Initial production was targeted at 10x the 1st Generation Insight and if Honda sells over 100,000 of these digital Prius fighers, I would have to declare digital automaking beyond the start-up phase.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Most digital automaking smaller busineses have gone through ownership changes and some have even survived extinction with emotional and political cries saving these treasures from terrible fates like America's most infamous car faced in the crushing of most all of GM's EV-1s.
Think's electric cars actually made it onto American roads and you can still see the first generation digital golf carts running around many college campuses in the West, manufactured during a time when Big 3 Brother Ford bought Think out too early for today's digital revolution.
Apparently, things went South during the Hummer and Explorer era, at which time an idea surfaced to crush, destroy and kill the Think brand... The public reacted fast, furious and in big enough numbers to save the brand, have the prisoners of trade war sent back to Norway, and a local grassroots rebirth sprouted back here in this video on the world stage.
It's great to see one survivor of the first generation of digital vehicles: GM's EV-1 managed by Saturn, Toyota's RAV-4 EV and Honda's EV flanked by Think and other smaller startups like GEM. EV-1s are worth a million if you can find them stock, RAV-4 EV's go for double original price on eBay used when and if the few celebrities and lucky consumers let them go and the Honda EV is like a unicorn, we've heard of it and seen pictures, but have never actually watched one drive on a public road.
Think of the other hand, has come back for revenge, and is still an edangered yet protected species. We can thank educational leaders and futurists for saving the few American Thinks still helping college workers provide American kids cleaner universities.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
For those of you into digital engineering, Daimler, who popularized the analogue explosion engine argues that the battery might be the trick. The interesting about digital automaking is that the first generation energy storage devices like this so-called "advanced" battery are still analogue. Do you think analogue storage devices like nickel or Lithium batteries or even flywheels will be enough to engineer the digital devices that will power the next centuries and millenia? I personally think that we're just at the beginning and may see tremendous advancement in energy storage as digital automaking takes off. Daimler started analogue automaking and better late than never going digital...
It's hard to imagine that the Korean automakers only started a few decades ago and have achieved significant penetration into the Western American market. They've proven that affordability can propel a brand into a large stage. Is the HED a precursor for the low-cost strategy that only one automaker will employ in the analogue to digital conversion? According to Michael Porter, only one firm can succeed in producing products at a lower cost than others. The best example is Wal-Mart vs. bankrupt K-Mart. One focused on low prices and the other focused on moving a pallet of anything anywhere in the world cheaper than any other company on the planet. Who will be able to automake digital at the lowest cost? Probably not the automakers in your garage... Could this design go digital and affordable?
Everyone is coming to the digital party including suppliers who are creating vehicles to showcase Intellectual Property that has been marinating in back office garages for decades! It's about time someone sees that automaking will follow the same path as consumer electronics and computers. A few companies make the chassis and a few more design the package sold by a few more brands. Would you rather make the guts, motors or shell? Magna is offering to let your digital automaker focus on design and branding. Just like opening a Dell, Gateway, HP or Sony laptop and finding only one of two engines and almost identical chassis in several brands. Where did Acer and Asus come from? Maybe the same place Magna is proposing...
Nissan shows one way to get to digital! WOW! Marry old school analogue diesel explosions to the next generation of smooth motors for a ride that can go forever... Diesels don't break and electric motors have two moving parts so expect this Infiniti to live up to it's name when a derivative shows up at your dealership next decade...
Monday, March 2, 2009
The same leader is developing the Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera as GM's Flagship to lead the digital automotive revolution in power-train technology. These amazing and complicated cars are expensive. GM's 1st Digital Bet on the EV-1 cost an estimated billion ($1,000,000,000.00) or more to develop and the Volt doesn't look that far behind with the Ampera makeover costs. How many cars will we have to buy to help GM break even on this digital double-down?
- Digital Insight & Revenge
- Think Digital Revenge
- Mercedes Better Late than Never Digital
- Hyundai Steps up to the Digital Plate
- Affordable Simple Sexy Digital
- Nissan's Old School Analogue New School Digital Ma...
- Edmunds Introduces Mistubishi's Digital Experiment...
- California Digital Geneva Debut
- GM's Digital Flagship Gets European Makeover
- ▼ March (9)
- ► 2007 (25)