December 11, 2018

For most of the 20th century, the AM radio band served as the country’s main source for mass media. And while broadcasters eventually moved on to higher quality options like FM and satellite radio, the AM dial remains packed with all sorts of talk, sports, and music programs. And just like in the early days, anybody can tune in as long as they own a radio. That is unless you want to listen while riding in your Tesla or Chevrolet Continue reading

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November 22, 2017

With airports and roads both packed with people, traveling during Thanksgiving week can be an unpleasant experience to say the least. And unfortunately 2017 won’t be any easier on weary holiday travelers: AAA estimates that nearly 51 million Americans will journey more than 50 miles over the course of the four-day weekend. That’s 1.6 million more people on the road than in 2016, a 3.3 percent increase that will make this year’s Turkey Day traffic the busiest since 2005.

This Continue reading

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chevroletFor the past few years, Chevrolet has ran a series of ads that feature “real people, not actors” staring in awe as they look at and listen to facts about Chevy cars. These televised focus groups are filmed on sets outfitted with enormous doors and spinning elevators that reveal the vehicles in grand fashion. All the while a friendly host tells the onlookers about how many J.D. Power awards Chevy has won along with other details about the brand. Whenever Continue reading

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February 14, 2017

For decades U.S. automakers designed boxy cars that looked slick but lacked any aerodynamic abilities. Then the Ford Taurus came around and changed America’s roads forever. This video chronicles how rising gas prices and European influences caused this gradual switch from rectangular to round vehicles.

Questions:

 

  1. Why did curvy car designs take so long to catch on in the U.S. market?
  2. How did the Ford Taurus change the American auto industry?

 

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November 22, 2016

With 43.5 million Americans expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year, drivers will likely have to deal with more traffic jams and slowdowns than usual. Then again, at least these dedicated travelers will be making their journey by car rather than on horseback. But while this preference for pedals seems like a no-brainer today, the situation was much different a century ago when automobiles were new and confusing to many consumers. This video shows how carmakers marketed these Continue reading

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November 21, 2016

CurranKelleherThe end of November is always a trying time for travelers. Each year millions of Americans crisscross the country to reach their loved ones for Thanksgiving, leading to congested roads and crowded airports. And for those who hoped this year might be easier, think again. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), nearly 49 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday and Sunday. That amounts to an increase of 1 million people compared to last Continue reading

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This week we looked at the startups that have tried to follow in the disruptive footsteps of the on-demand car service Uber. The following video explores how small companies can disrupt large firms and the ways that the big boys respond.

 

 

Questions:

  1. Why can it be dangerous for companies to focus on small but lucrative customer bases?
  1. Will startups like the parking service Luxe or even the gasoline delivery company Filld become disruptors like Uber?
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In our previous post, we explored the new crop of startups that are applying Uber’s on-demand business model to other markets. Although these spinoff services aren’t nearly as successful as the original, a number of entrepreneurs remain convinced that they can develop an Uber for everything. We already took a look at the parking service Luxe and grocery delivery app Instacart, both fairly straightforward and simple adaptations of the concept. But startups like Filld and WeFuel take the idea Continue reading

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When Uber launched in 2009, its founders didn’t expect to revolutionize the car service industry. The company initially targeted a more upscale clientele by charging steep fees for its on-demand rides. As Uber expanded, however, its growing revenue allowed them to drop prices and offer their services to a broader base of consumers. Now valued at more than $60 billion, Uber has become a powerful competitor to taxis throughout the country as well as an increasingly credible alternative to car Continue reading

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January 20, 2016

Last year we featured a post about the unfortunate case of Texas plumber Mark Oberholtzer. In need of a better truck for his business, he took his old Ford F-250 to a local dealership and traded it in for a newer model. The plumber didn’t give the transaction a second thought until about a year later when the complaints started rolling in. Due to the extraordinarily complicated nature of the global auto resale market, Oberholtzer’s truck somehow ended up in Continue reading

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