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Insanely Great: What if Steve Jobs ran one of the Big Three auto companies?

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:03 AM
Original message
Insanely Great: What if Steve Jobs ran one of the Big Three auto companies?
They do need a visionary, and people ( like Jonathan Ives) who can make those ideas work. It seems ford has a good CEO, but GM and Chrysler have a void at the top.

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2008/pulpit_20081207...

By Robert X. Cringely
bob@cringely.com


Looking for improved business models for the personal computer business, Apple CEO Steve Jobs often used to cite automobile makers, though never American car companies. The examples were invariably German. Whether it was the design aesthetic of his Mercedes sedan or Porsche's success at selling high-margin cars as entertainment devices, Jobs could always point to farfegnugen as a way to sell a good car for a great price. So since he thinks about these things anyway, and because the U.S. automobile industry is on the skids and begging for help this week, I find myself wondering what would happen if Steve Jobs were put in charge of any of the Big Three car companies?

It wouldn't be boring, that's for sure, and I'm fairly certain Steve could do a better job than the Detroit executives currently in charge.

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the computer company was in worse shape than some of these car companies. Apple's share price was in the toilet, it had poorly conceived products it couldn't sell, the company was losing money, market share was dismal, and CEOs from John Sculley on had tried without success to find ANY company that would buy Apple. Steve himself had such low expectations for Apple under Gil Amelio that he sold all his new Apple shares shortly after Apple bought his NeXT Computer.

What a difference a decade makes. Today Apple and Jobs are at the top of their game, taking market share from other computer companies while at the same time establishing game-changing new product concepts like the iPod and iPhone. Apple is America's largest music seller (who could have seen that one coming back in '97? Nobody), has no debt, and $22+ billion in the bank. Even at its currently depressed stock price, Apple is worth more than any of the car companies and for good reason: Apple has a future.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. And the cars would be about 30K overpriced
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. the i-Ford!
generic factory parts would not be compatible...
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. And when the battery died you would have to get a new car.
:eyes:
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #7
23. Or pop open the sealed hood and shake the battery around.
:)
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amdezurik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #23
30. no no no you're a CONSUMER
you are too STUPID to open the case! hasn't Steve taught you anything?
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #30
55. Actually, their pro models are easy to access. The consumer models
are not. If you are a power user, you would want the pro model anyway.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
40. You could only drive it on i-roads
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
44. Yeah, because my mac uses all of those proprietary apple hard drives and ram and such...
oh wait. :eyes:
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. Salon: Once and for all, proof that Macs are cheaper than PCs
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. If you buy a desktop, then some models are ...
but most of the regular size laptops are through the roof; unless you think the $2500 I spent on a MacBook Pro is chump change. I take the MAChinist's column with a grain of salt.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. PC World: Mac vs. Windows Laptops
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. What a foolish notion.
This would only apply if you intend to sell your computer after a year or two. I've never sold a computer, I just cannibalize parts for a new build. I upgrade once every 3 years or so and typically pay around $500 or so on new parts. If I was looking at a new Mac every three years, I'd be looking at spending at least 3 times that amount. There's just no way that Macs are anywhere near as cheap as PCs.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. Most people are not computer hobbyists.
You can go dumpster diving for PCs and run Linux and never pay a dime. More power to you.

You're in the minority.


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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #21
35. Most people also don't sell their computers after a couple years.
And the article mentions how most PCs become unusable due to spyware/malware. How many people do you think throw away their computers because of a malware infection when a simple sweep will resolve almost anything? Even in the worst case scenario, you back up, reformat and reinstall the OS and bang you've got a new computer. And pretty much the entire reason that there is comparatively little malware found on Macs is because they make up such a small percentage of the market share. As Mac's market share has gone up, so has the evidence of malware infections on them. Say what you will about Mac vs. PC, but you need to use some incredibly tortured logic to suggest that Macs are cheaper.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
32. !
:rofl:

Unfortunately true.

And the engine would be made in part from the conglomeration that gives away schematics and components for all to use too...

Nothing wrong with Macs, but it's still true. Apple moved to Intel chips and used open source to help make OS X. There's no reason Macs should still be priced any higher than they were before.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
51. And their design would be proprietary -- a "closed system."
Outside parts manufacturers would be sued for patent infringement and it'd void the warranty to use them.
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
2. let's make that one of the conditions!!
I'm all for it. Until somebody makes a case why it would be a bad idea.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
3. Steve Jobs shipped a lot of Apple jobs over to China (n/t)
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
25. there weren't any onshore companies making what he needed.
By the time he took over in the 90's, our manufacturing base was in Asia.
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. So as long as it's sleek and sexy-looking product, outsourcing American jobs is ok?
Don't think so. He could have brought the jobs back. He didn't.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. How many chip makers, LCD screen makers, and motherboard makers
are onshore? How many domestic chip makers make their products here?

Even the Pentagon depends on offshore chip makers. They even buy ammo from europe.

Apple is also subject to the tyranny of the market. They have to cut costs because of the persistent myth about them being more expensive.

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/sep2006/...
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. The tyranny of the market? With record earnings most quarters...
...wouldn't you agree that Apple helps MAKE the market?

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Yes, he does, but there is competition that will try to under price them.
Remember, they are battling the myth of high price.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #26
41. Apple uses Intel and other US chip makers. They just bought a US
chipmaker, but some things they can't get here. They are part owners of Samsung, but even then they have to go to others to hold down costs.
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amdezurik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
5. then the cars would cost 2-3 times as much
would go half the speed and look ever so pretty and you would have to bring the car to the dealer to fill the tank so they could send it to Korea and then ship it back to you two weeks or so later
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. Apple has the highest rated customer service and satisfaction.
Also: Salon: Once and for all, proof that Macs are cheaper than PCs

http://machinist.salon.com/feature/2007/11/07/mac_price /


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amdezurik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #13
28. LOL thanks for the joke!
:)
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
53. True, apple cars would have problems
But on the other hand they would never crash and the ditches would be littered with the Gates GM's that had suddenly developed the blue windshield of death and locked up at 60 MPH while ejecting the driver out the window and losing the registration.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. i was roundly criticized for that same reccomendation last week...
in suggesting that apple buy gm.

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #6
31. Jobs knows computers, not cars, but Detroit needs the visionary, the
passionate to design and market their products. Jobs designs the device around the person. He also wanted people to identify with the machine, to bond with the machine. He wants them so simple you don't have to read a manual to use. The existence of the "fanboy" is proof it worked. Detroit needs to build cars that inspire loyalty to the brand.

If you can make a box beautiful.....


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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. they also have the photovoltaic film for powering future laptops/ipods...
that might be something that could have possibilities as far as electric cars are concerned.

it's all about the needed innovation in the auto industry- especially the u.s. auto industry.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. You can't compete if you are too cautious (conservative) You need to
take risks.
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ben_meyers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. Sell cars at Walmart?
Why not, he has already cut a deal to sell I-Phones there.



http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=aiS...
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
50. It's a smart move because more upscale shoppers are going there.
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
9. yeah, but
would you really want your car to crash every day? :silly:
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
10. Apple's business plan is to be the MOST EXPENSIVE option on the market, though...nt
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Salon: Once and for all, proof that Macs are cheaper than PCs
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. If you buy a desktop, then some models are ...
but most of the regular size laptops are through the roof; unless you think the $2500 I spent on a MacBook Pro is chump change. I take the MAChinist's column with a grain of salt.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. I own three Macs, but that article is hard to swallow.
Moreover, one can build a "Hackentosh" for much, much less than any official Mac.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #17
34. Mac owners keep their computers longer than PC owners. I go six to
eight years before needing to upgrade to a new box. Sure some PC users keep their machines a long time, but most don't. I have never seen a Mac in the dumpster near my house, but I've seen several eMachines, HP's, and Dells. I know there are several in my neighborhood because I see the Apple stickers on their cars. Never saw a Dell or HP sticker on a car window.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. That is because Mac users tend to be less demanding on their machines
No computer, Mac or PC, is on the leading edge of technology for 8 years.

I have a 3 year old Macbook, for example, which I have no present plan to replace. I primarily run Logic, Safari, and Mail on it.

If I were a gamer, I would've needed to replace the machine in the first 18 months of ownership.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Macs are for creating content, and have always been designed for
the designer. If you want a toy, get a play station or a Wii.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. Yeah, Mr. Mac Genius. You might want to look up the Apple software called "Logic"
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 12:24 PM by Romulox
I wrote: "I primarily run Logic, Safari, and Mail on it."

You(obviously not familiar with Apple Logic,) wrote: "Macs are for creating content, and have always been designed for the designer. If you want a toy, get a play station or a Wii."

:eyes:
:rofl:
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. I am familiar. My wife is a musician, I have friends who have Mac based
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 01:02 PM by alfredo
studios in Nashville and Arizona. My niece is a DTP and runs Macs. http://www.pcusa.org/horizons / She is the art director now and a real, scary smart gal.

Jobs never focused on business, his focus was publishing and the arts: content creation. Apple now has a hand in the product from creation to the end user.

BTW, Apple has helped free the musician from the tyranny of the expensive studios.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #36
52. People tend to hold onto something if it still works well, is not flaky.
The last Mac was a G4 dual 450. It had plenty power to do what I needed done. Photoshop 7 worked well on it. I donated it to our County party a few months back, along with a nice View Sonic monitor. I put a lot of useful open source apps on the computer for them.
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. once and for all, that article is a joke..
resale value?! gimme a break.
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #12
27. Posting this once is more than sufficient
We get your point. Stop spamming.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #12
54. Onehandle
Don't bother. The bottom computer feeders have a blind spot, much like the republicans. The new WinDoze OS, now with Palin screen saver.
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
18. They would have the price of a BMW
and the market share as well

Sorry, Apple makes very expensive, very high quality products for a niche market
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
20. You would have to buy AppleGas from a certified station, and take your iCar to a Genius for service
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
22. An old debunked "email from GM" - If Microsoft built cars
If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason at all, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally, executing a manoeuver such as a left-turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, and you would have to reinstall the engine.

4. When your car died on the freeway for no reason, you would just accept this, restart and drive on.

5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought 'Car95' or 'CarNT', and then added more seats.

6. Apple would make a car powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would run on only five per cent of the roads.

7. Oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single 'general car default' warning light.

8. New seats would force every-one to have the same size butt.

9. The airbag would say 'Are you sure?' before going off.

10. Occasionally, for no reason, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grabbed the radio antenna.

11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of road maps from Rand-McNally (a subsidiary of GM), even though they neither need them nor want them. Trying to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50 percent or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.

12. Every time GM introduced a new model, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

13. You would press the 'start' button to shut off the engine.
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #22
29. would be replaced by a single 'general car default' warning light.
Isn't that the "check engine" light?
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
47. The iCar would cost $100,000 more than MSAuto 2009
but be based on an obscure free car that only mechanics have heard of called OpenCar-nix.

It would have limited cargo and passenger room compared to MSAuto 2009.

It would only come in white, black or silver.

It would be battery powered but the batteries could not be replaced without paying a specialist $8,000 in labor cost and $42,000 in batteries.

You would have to attend special classes at iDriverSchool to know how to drive it because the traditional steering wheel interface would be replaced by something dreamed up by outerspace aliens that makes no sense to normal people.

It would come without an iRadio, iCruiseControl, and iAirConditioning but you could purchase these "upgrades" at the iAutoStore.

The iCar would occasionally crash for no reason whatsoever and have to be returned to the iCarStore to be "reset" using secret methods.

The iCar could only be driven in one state at exorbitant per mile fees on iRoads. Fees would be paid through iTunes.

Hackers would be able to unlock your car to drive it out of that one state and would sell hacked iCars on eBay.

Finally a much improved version of iCar would be released a year after all the initial iCar hype called iCar 2.0 that fixes many of the design flaws of iCar 1.0 . If you bought the original iCar, you're just screwed. Of course they forgot to tell you that you were buying iCar 1.0, they just called it the iCar when you bought it.

:rofl:
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
48. They'd have great design and style...
...as well as excellent manufacturing standards. They'd be as green as it is possible to be. Every car would come loaded with all the essential features without having to pay for add-ons.

Unfortunately, the sticker price would be high. They would also have proprietary batteries, tires and the like so that it would be impossible to get these items at regular auto supply stores, tire companies, etc. There would be specialized auto parts stores for these automobiles, where great-quality stuff would sell at a premium.

And the auto company that he ran would be left wondering why they continued to lose market share.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. good design isn't just looks, it's how well everything works together. It
doesn't have to be expensive. Look at some of the small Toyotas and Hondas.

good design.




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