While I enjoyed the work, the impact of Japanese imports on the US auto industry revealed to me that the big 3 would be in permanent decline due to entrenched corporate / union / dealer polices, so I decided to work in other industries.
I then moved into the defense industry, and the parallels were disheartening – large corporations with trade unions that wouldn’t / couldn’t adapt. This industry too suffered a great collapse, so fortunately, I was able to apply my military telecommunications experience towards the high-tech commercial industries. It was within the Silicon Valley high tech industry that I eventually learned the product development tools necessary for companies to innovate and thrive. I applied these techniques with great success within an industry that many thought stagnant – antennas – and reaped great rewards.
The US auto industry is now being overturned by Silicon Valley style innovation in the area of alternative fuels / propulsion systems. My experience at the GM Technical Center’s Alternative Fuels Group, and my personal implementation of disruptive technology allows me to identify how new companies are penetrating the incumbent heavy auto markets, and how old companies are transforming themselves to resist this new competition.
My goal with these columns is to give you my foresight into how these various companies are applying these Silicon Valley techniques in an attempt to seize market share and profits. With that knowledge, I hope to help you navigate your own choices into the vehicles you plan to purchase in the future.
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