Automotive Insights & Thoughts

The articles, blogs, and thought pieces below are on topics of concern to the Automotive, Transportation and related industries.

  • A Generation of Change by Ed Wallace

    There are many times in mankind’s history where transitional changes have entered the scene and altered the future for everyone.

    Most start as good if not great ideas; some take hold, while others become passing fads. Over the past two weeks there were even more articles published on self-driving cars.
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  • Analyzing Access: How to Transform Your Innovation and Analytics Strategy to Win in the Subscription Economy by Heather Kluter

    What was your day like today?

    If it was anything like mine, your busy day started off with a bang and you haven’t stopped running. You kissed your kids goodbye as they jumped into their Zum (Uber, but for kids) to go to school, you thawed out tonight’s meal from Home Bistro, digitally ran some errands for toilet paper and dog food on Amazon, put on your newest outfit from Stitch Fix, worked a full day and, if you’re lucky, enjoyed an evening of this month’s Bright Cellars wine delivery and binged something new on Netflix. If you hadn’t noticed, you’re pretty entwined in “the Subscription Economy.”
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  • Car Clinics (The Head-to-Head Contest) by Jerry W. Thomas

    What is a “car clinic”? You might think of it as a beauty contest among cars, with target-market consumers serving as the judges.

    It is a head-to-head comparison of competing brands and/or models. These competitive vehicles (usually ranging from 4 to 8 cars) are assembled in a showroom of some type, typically a facility with one-way viewing rooms, good security, and audio and video recording equipment. Target-market consumers (i.e., potential buyers) are recruited to view the cars or trucks, indicate preferences, and provide ratings and opinions.
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  • Detroit After the Next Collapse by Ed Wallace

    Last week GM CEO Mary Barra was summoned to Washington to explain why she had made the decision to shutter another five factories in Canada and the U.S.

    After all, closing plants in politically sensitive regions, such as Michigan and Ohio, doesn’t play into the Make America Great Again script at all.
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  • Driverless Cars or Safer Cars for Drivers? by Stan Hazen

    It seems like every week you see or hear articles or news items about driverless cars, self-driving cars, autonomous cars.

    Sometimes with a note of skepticism, but more often with a tone of excitement and of amazement with technology, and with the point of view that it’s coming, it’s inevitable, it’s just a matter of time—and isn’t it going to be great and so much better than having people drive cars.
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  • Ford 'Discovers' New Research Technique! by George Peterson, President of AutoPacific, Inc.

    Ford Motor Company has been a leader in traditional automotive research for decades.

    They dedicated tremendous resources to getting the research right. They were rigid and methodologically pure. But their methods in the past did not always yield winners. The Edsel was the most thoroughly researched car of the time. FAIL. Who can forget the rolling bricks that were the 1980 Thunderbird and Cougar. FAIL. Tempo/Topaz FAILED in the early ‘80s as the embodiment of mediocrity.
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  • Helping Legacy Auto Companies Innovate In The New Age by Heather Kluter

    Few product categories are as exciting as the automotive category.

    For decades automobiles have captured the hearts and minds of millions of consumers. But despite the high level of consumer involvement across shopping and ownership experiences, the auto industry is demonstrably absent when it comes to creating a culture of innovation.
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  • Never Own a Car Again by Ed Wallace

    Kara Swisher, who writes for the New York Times as someone who covers technology, started her March 22 column with the line, “I will die before I buy another car.”

    She goes on to clarify that her health is fine; she’s simply at the forefront of the final days of the auto industry, where one need never purchase one’s own new vehicle again because incredible alternatives are already in place and picking up steam.
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  • Rushing From Gas Pumps to Charging Stations? Consider the Consumer by Allan Vivian

    In 2009 the U.S. Congress passed legislation that mandates a corporate average fuel economy standard of 35.5 miles per gallon by the 2016 model year.

    By September 2011, the Obama administration plans to establish new standards that will apply to the 2017 through 2025 model years. These standards will likely increase the pressure on manufacturers to design, build, and market more fuel-efficient vehicles during the remainder of this decade and beyond.
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  • Say What? by Ed Wallace

    Sometime in the near future, say within the next 50 years, scientists will find ways to tame the climate.

    So well that every major city in the world has an average temperature of 69 degrees every day and exactly the right amount of rain to grow crops for all humanity and plants for our landscaping — but without creating mud for our pets to drag into the house.
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  • Upping Your Innovation Game by Heather Kluter

    Innovation means different things to different people, and so the notion of instilling innovation in your company can be vague.

    Are we talking about simply motivating team members to think more creatively, are we considering implementing an entirely new organization-wide development process, or is it something in between? Through working with numerous companies, large and small, I’ve seen that encouraging learning and discovery can often be the best way to start if you want to create a culture of innovation.
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Marketing Research Services

If you would like more information on Automotive Research or Innovation, please contact Heather Kluter, Automotive Research Vice President (, or Bonnie Janzen, Executive Vice President (, or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.