VOLVO SHIFTS TO ELECTRIC MODELS!


 

Ever since the economist Joseph Schumpeter immortalized the phrase “creative destruction,” most economists have argued that technology innovation creates both winners and losers — but that the economy as a whole benefits.

Volvo shifts to electric models! That may not appear too significant at first – the company, after all, accounted for just 0.6 percent of global vehicle sales last year. But its plan sums up the challenges faced by Elon Musk’s firm.

CEOs who want to succeed in the business of making and marketing beautiful products or experiences, must first need to be able to discern what’s beautiful. Aesthetics cannot be outsourced to the creative department; it has to start with the leader.

It’s important for senior executives to possess a combination of aesthetic intelligence and aesthetic empathy, good personal taste combined with a good understanding of what pleases others. They need to understand how to engage the senses and elicit delight. People do not need more stuff, but they do need pleasure, and aesthetics is a powerful way to deliver it.

There is a role of aesthetics in strategy, organizational structure, succession planning, and investment allocations. There are ways in which aesthetic value creates financial value. Aesthetics matter. The business of aesthetics is built on storytelling, too. You can have a well-developed sense of what is beautiful and pleasurable, but if you can’t communicate it, you probably can’t execute it, and you definitely can’t scale it.

Granted, Volvo is over-revving its engine by proclaiming it’s going all electric. It has no plans yet to drop existing gasoline vehicles. And it will keep the combustion engine in two of the three options it will introduce starting in two years’ time – a plug-in hybrid, which can use either gasoline or electric power, and what it calls the mild hybrid, like Toyota’s Prius, which converts braking power into electricity.

The industry sells more cars with these engines than pure electric-powered ones. That’s especially true in the fast-growing Chinese market, where around half the world’s electric and hybrid cars are sold and where Volvo’s owner, Geely, is based.

Tesla accounts for just 3 percent of electric vehicle and hybrid sales there, Barclays points out. Local players selling cheaper cars dominate; meanwhile, the likes of Daimler and General Motors are bulking up. That’s likely to bring down the cost of batteries even further, robbing Tesla of one of its major advantages.

It’s emblematic of the growing competition Tesla is facing around the world. Virtually all carmakers have electric and hybrid offerings of their own, whether smaller vehicles like the Nissan Leaf or BMW’s high-end i3 and i8.

That doesn’t mean Musk’s company is driving down a dead-end street. But it once again calls into question his aggressive target of selling 500,000 vehicles by the end of next year – five times this year’s run rate and just shy of what Volvo currently delivers – and 1 million by 2020.

Moreover, Tesla is still suffering from growing pains. The latest slip-up was a lack of batteries, which kept production 40 percent below demand for much of the second quarter, the company said just before the July 4 holiday.

That and Volvo’s news took more than 7 percent off Tesla’s stock on Wednesday. Even so, Musk’s carmaker trades at 25 times estimated 2020 earnings, compared with Toyota’s multiple of just over 10 times 2017 earnings. More pain lies ahead.

Wealthy consumers willing to pay for innovative, customizable, high-performance, technologically advanced vehicles are driving the super luxury vehicles market. Growth is augmented by high demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and crossovers that are both practical and luxurious. As super luxury vehicles are more profitable than their mainstream counterparts, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are maximizing the use of flagship vehicle platforms by offering state-of-the-art luxury features, infotainment, safety, and driving technologies at a premium price.

To gain a competitive advantage, OEMs should focus on building vehicles with significant convenience features in addition to maximum customization options. Super luxury vehicles are expected to be among the first to feature level 4 autonomous technologies by late 2018 and level 5 by 2020 as customers are eager to pay for advanced features that are unique and luxurious.

From a regional perspective, the United States, Middle East and China sell the most super luxury vehicles, with US manufacturers focusing on electric vehicle technology and European manufacturers looking toward improving passenger comfort and autonomous technology adoption.

The world is so full of myths and folk stories that sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between what is true and what is not. Let’s take a look at popular car myths and sort fact from fiction! Your car will thank you for it.

Manual transmissions offer better fuel economy than automatics.

Back in the day when automatic transmissions were new, manual transmission was better for fuel economy. But, technology is of course, always evolving, and now this is not the case. These new advances in technology have allowed automatics to be just as, if not more, advantageous in comparison to manuals.

You should let your car warm up for several minutes before driving.

Yeah absolutely, if you are driving a car made in the 80s. Oh you aren’t? Then maybe not. The U.S. Department of Energy says that most manufacturers recommend driving slowly off after about 30 seconds. When you drive the car the engine warms up faster, reducing emissions and fuel costs.

Your non-premium car will run better on premium fuel.

The word ‘premium’ makes everything sound enticing, but in fact, using premium fuel on a non-premium car is just a plain waste of money. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should only use the fuel that your car manual tells you to. Premium fuel will not offer any benefits for such a car at all.

Modifying your car will void the warranty.

The parts on your car that you have altered won’t be under warranty, but you can find peace knowing that the rest of your vehicle is still protected.

You get more for your money when you fill your gas tanks in the morning.

Some people think that because the mornings are cooler, the gasoline will be able to stay denser and therefore you get more fuel per gallon. Whilst cool temperatures do keep gasoline denser, the fuel is stored underground anyway so the temperature rarely changes.

Hiding behind a car will protect you from gunfire.

Hollywood films have told us that if you hide behind a car, you are protected from gunfire, but this actually isn’t the case. It does, of course, depend on the power of the bullet, however a lot of new model cars do not do well under fire.

Red cars are pulled over for speeding more than non-red cars.

Red is the fastest color, right? Well actually no, color does not make a difference at all. If you have a car which can achieve high speeds rapidly, like the Mercedes Benz SL Class convertible, then you might be more at risk because speeding is easier to achieve.

You need to change your oil every 3000 miles.

If you have a vehicle that was made in the 70s then sure, changing it every 300 miles won’t go astray. Nowadays this is a complete myth. If you want to know when to change your oil simply check your manual.

If you use your cell phone whilst pumping gas, it can trigger an explosion.

We’ve seen it in the movies before, so it must be true! Well, apparently there actually hasn’t ever been a documented incident where the use of wireless phone has been the cause of a fire at a gas station.

A bullet to the gas tank will cause a big explosion.

Mythbusters proved this one to be a myth on an episode where they shot at a gas tank with pistols, shot guns and a 30-06. The gas simply poured onto the ground.

BMW drivers are the biggest jerks on the road

Apparently this myth is supposedly true! A 2012 traffic study suggested that BMW’s were the worst at letting pedestrians cross the road.

Religious charms might protect you from accidents.

There is no God!

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