Tuesday, March 10, 2020

If North Carolina wants to invest $1 billion plus, why not design and build cars in the Piedmont Triad?

North Carolina could create more than 10,000 jobs by designing and manufacturing a high quality, simply designed, inexpensive, fuel efficient, modifiable category killer automobile with easily interchangeable parts between different model years, like Jeep CJ’s, vintage VW Beetles, Toyota Camry's or Kia Souls, turning the global auto manufacturing industry business model upside-down and changing the future of our communities.

The current auto industry's business model, infrastructure and baked in legacy costs could not adapt or compete with an end user oriented, relatively lower cost model, located within easy reach of the rest of the world.

If North Carolina wants an new auto plant even as car sales decline, why not also have a new corporate headquarters as well offering thousands more jobs than a plant owned by an out of state entity?  As economic times get tough and manufacturers with headquarters elsewhere are more likely to idle or shut down plants farther from home, the best way to preserve locally created jobs is to have more company headquarters located in North Carolina, especially if the state wants to invest hundreds of millions in automotive manufacturing.  Why not make sure the corporate headquarters of the company is also located here as an insurance policy on the likelihood of the best paying jobs staying here over the long term?

If taxpayer monies are involved, why not limit executive pay to not exceed 10-20 times the average hourly wage, creating consumer goodwill by maximizing employee income as much as possible to create higher rates of state wide economic growth and employment.  With a business model that would overtly fight income and wealth inequality, brand loyalty, which should be easily generated among the consuming public, could sell more cars than any start up in history.

Employee pay based on performance, productivity, quality and profitability could make North Carolina the center of the next era of the auto industry, by simply paying employees as much as possible within the metrics of a profitable company, and less if profit falls, while eliminating top heavy executive compensation.

A high quality, easily maintained vehicle should cost at least half as much over the auto's life compared to what's currently offered by manufacturers who rely on planned obsolescence and monopolistic business practices.  Essentially the entire global auto industry's profit margins are dependent on a non-consumer friendly business model that can be attacked by an upcoming competitor from a non-union oriented state which prioritizes the best interests of its workforce.

If the global auto industry's revenues are dependent on relatively protective business practices that can be negatively compared to an upcoming lower cost, higher quality American competitor from North Carolina with pre-owned equipment purchased at discounts as auto manufacturing contracts in the near future, we can create high paying employment within an industry hamstrung by unsustainable legacy costs and bloated balance sheets.

As we enter what very much looks like a global economic downturn after ten years of global central bank intervention, auto manufacturing equipment should be relatively inexpensively acquired in the near term future, as some auto makers succumb to the actual realities of our current unstable, artificially sustained global economy dependent on central bank intervention.

If North Carolinian taxpayers invest, they should own shares along with the public.  If any taxpayer monies are utilized to create jobs via a automobile company, then individual taxpayers should literally own shares of the company.  Citizens who've never owned equity in an entrepreneurial enterprise would have a better understanding of how to create wealth in our community, thereby teaching as many in our area how to "fish".  Millions in financial backing from municipalities and the state can be leveraged into billions in equity offerings to exponentially generate debt free capital funding opportunities and interested, willing and qualified consumers, easily repaying taxpayer funded capital investment as soon as practicable.

A category killer like Apple's smartphone, Google's search engine or Amazon's business model could dramatically increase North Carolina's standard of living if workers, taxpayers, those involved or with a stake can own shares of a company who's value could exponentially increase in the near to long term.

If Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering and raised $226 million, we can raise exponential multiples as much for an automotive company that could sell 100 times more in quantity, which would employ thousands with less automation involved, specifically to increase incomes, brand recognition, loyalty, employment and economic growth in our state by changing the future of the global auto manufacturing industry.  North Carolina can create somewhere between $5 and $15 billion of direct investment into our state with this strategy, while not increasing outstanding debt.

The current auto industry's infrastructure and baked in union related legacy pension costs etc..., could not adapt and compete with an end user and employee focused start up producing lower cost, higher quality products.

An easily repairable/modifiable automobile produced by employees who have a stake in a high quality product should create an active aftermarket for enthusiasts, sparking small businesses to create alternative parts for trending modifications.

Lowering carrying costs means lower consumer payments for insurance and maintenance.  With easily acquired and inexpensively obtainable replacement parts over the auto's longer lifespan, vehicle owners should fair well financially, increasing state wide discretionary income.  If parts were made to be easily replaced and widely available without prohibitively expensive specialized proprietary tools and diagnostic equipment, they should cost much less, which would dramatically lower warranty and long term carrying costs to consumers, building brand loyalty.

If a bumper gets scratched in an accident, a modern automobile's replacement is relatively very much more expensive than 30 years ago.  Modern replacement costs are most likely only available at a premium as consumers have become dependent on the industry's exclusivity of non-aftermarket parts and labor for profitability.

By designing and producing an easily up-gradable and/or modifiable automobile, which would create an active aftermarket for enthusiasts as imagination and enjoyment kick in on something that is relatively the same, but can be made different, catering to individual styles of diverse owners, we can create thousands of high paying domestic jobs.

Include a Smartphone/tablet instead of installed, overpriced in-dash components;

Cars with easily replaceable smartphones and tablets for on board computers instead of expensive to replace installed systems could revolutionize the auto manufacturing industry by clearly saving consumers money over time.

Owners can save big money with high level diagnostics at their fingertips,  Imagine the long term cost savings of engine lights not just alerting drivers of relatively unknown or unknowable issues, but an inexpensive app informing much more about what an actual problem may likely be earlier, with easily replaceable, lower cost ubiquitous parts.

Higher levels of reliability and economy should lead to lower insurance premiums and increased resell values relative to competitors.  A global economic downturn should provide a once in a generation opportunity to create a large market share quickly by producing relatively lower cost, reliable, longer lasting cars.