Carmakers Must Be Green to Play Globally
Lest you think the green revolution sweeping the global auto industry -- including the allegedly retrograde Detroit -- is a passing fad, I've got two words for you: the Internet.
Eight years ago, in a suite at the North American International Auto Show, former Chrysler chief Bob Eaton and I got into a shouting match over what the Auburn Hills-based unit of DaimlerChrysler was doing to capitalize on the power of e-commerce -- which was mostly, as Eaton's ire betrayed, not much of anything.
But is there any sentient person out there who could honestly claim that the speed and reach of the Internet hasn't revolutionized the car business, from how vehicles are designed and engineered to how they are ogled, marketed, shopped and sold? E-commerce and almost all its permutations nowadays are deep-dish auto, exactly where the green push for better fuel efficiency, more alternative powertrains and cleaner vehicles is headed. Fast.
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