Annual redesign was a Faustian bargain

Here is the canonical Prisoners Dilemma setup. If GM and Ford don’t engage in annual model changes, neither has an advantage in the market place (at least for that reason!). For convenience, set the profit of each at 2 and hence total industry profits are 4. Now if Ford engages in annual model changes […]

Spring 2017

This course will be offered Spring 2017, with a trip to Detroit the 3rd week of the term. The cost is penciled in at $700. If the budget runs favorably I pick up more meals “on the road” so as to diminish your out-of-pocket costs.

As in the past, the course is built around on-campus […]

Course over! back to Autos & Economics

The course came to a safe conclusion with the final week including a visit to Metalsa, a heavy truck rail manufacturer in Roanoke, and meetings with W&L alumnus Bill Cosgrove ’67, a retired Ford SVP who sits on Metalsa’s board.

On a personal end, I was off to the airport immediate from the final class […]

VW: Car Company or “Mobility Provider?”

Just today, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller announced that the brand was unrolling a new strategy for summer 2016. Hoping to reinvigorate its appeal to cost-conscious, environmentally-minded customers, the German auto maker has pledged to focus less on selling products en masse and more on designing vehicles that can most efficiently transport drivers/passengers from place to […]

Tesla: Struggling with Model 3 Output?

On Wednesday, Tesla announced that it would sell $2 billion, yes billion, in equity to help finance its Model 3 production. Tesla has accepted about 375,000, $1,000 deposits for customers who want to buy the Model 3, however there is not yet a set date for the release of the Model 3. Tesla CEO Elon […]

UAW to Endorse Presidential Candidate, not Trump

United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams announced today that his union will endorse a Presidential candidate shortly. While declining to comment on who that candidate will be, Williams stated adamantly that the UAW will not endorse Donald Trump. While the UAW has a history of endorsing Democratic candidates, Donald Trump’s rhetoric regarding free trade and […]

The Aloha State Verse Takata

Recently this past Friday, the Aloha state, Hawaii, took yet another shot at the Takata airbag defect by calling the Japanese auto parts maker to court. Accusing Takata of covering up the deadly airbag defect, the state court demanded a $10,000 penalty for every affected car owner residing in Hawaii. Filed by Hawaii’s First Circuit […]

It’s the Drivers, Not the Cars: The Formula E Championship Series

While many blogs have featured topics revolving around self-driving cars, automobile companies, and the industry’s “capital”, Detroit, another interesting aspect of the auto industry is that of automobile racing. Whether it’s Nascar, Formula 1, or the newly created Formula E series, one question that is frequently been asked about automobile racing’s from its avid fans […]

Self-Driving Cars, Sooner Than We Think?

Recently Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) CEO, Sergio Marchionne, announced a partnership with the world’s most valuable company and Silicon Valley giant Alphabet Inc. FCA will provide Alphabet with 100 self-driving Pacifica minivans that Alphabet will outfit with sensors and cameras to test its self-driving software on. The two companies will also have a conjoint team of engineers […]

Detroit Late Night Spots

While visiting the motor city, a group of friends and I decided to make a late night run into the city to try to get a feel for the culture. My first thought when we got in the car at around midnight was “we need to find some food”. I think that the food in […]