Here's a dude that agrees with me.
This week's unveiling of the Nano automobile produced in India by the Tata Group is transportation's inflection point. Like Stephen Jobs, Raj Tata and his gigantic conglomerate have come up with a cost-effective game-changer that will flatten all rivals. Like Henry Ford, he has designed a product that the workers on the assembly line can afford to buy, thus creating a perpetual economic growth machine.
Most revolutionary, however, is the Nano business model. These vehicles will be sold from the factory door in local economies, not dealerships. Local manufacturing will reduce costs and enhance buzz, include local partners and help promote successful sales.
The bottom line is that captive markets run by oligopolies -and cars made by people making $70 an hour -- are no longer sustainable economically.
The business model that will work for carmakers is the Dell Computer model. Vehicles must be sold online, the supply chain must be global and assembly plants used to put together all the components and options from colours to bumpers that buyers have selected digitally and fully paid for.
The auto industry will be customized manufacturing, which will eliminate the waste and expense of second-guessing market appetites, consumer biases or discounting and marketing expenses to move inventories.