I’m a car guy, born in Detroit to a family who worked in the business. These days I drive a Toyota Prius plug-in and a Honda Odyssey minivan (I have kids). But I cut my automotive teeth on the Nissan Z cars, and I still wield a wrench every now and then.
With my background and years of experience, I consider myself something of an industry historian. And what I see now is nothing less than a complete overhaul of the industry’s century-old business model, the result of which will change how we think about what a car is and how we use it.
I had a boss many years ago who used to say “Automotive is 100 years of tradition unhampered by change.” He didn’t mean that cars hadn’t changed, of course. He meant that the industry itself, its approach to design and manufacturing, and its overall business structure, had stayed pretty much the same since the early 1900s, driven from the inside out.
What’s unique about what’s happening today, right now, is that automotive is being forced to change by external factors—from the outside in.