Vehicle manufacturers sell cars and trucks…. products developed in the Western World, to meet Western needs and Western aspirations.
When we move into new markets, the vehicles are modified for local conditions… If the market is large enough, Products are designed specifically for that market. India IKON
All auto companies are competing to get into the Chinese market… they see billions of new customers in an untapped market. Yes but,
This woman will not be a customer of Ford Motor Company. This woman will not be a customer of Toyota. This woman will not be a customer of Honda. This woman will not be a customer of Daimler Chrysler. This woman will not be a customer of Renault. This woman will not be a customer of Fiat. This woman will not be a customer of Hyundai. This woman will not be a customer of Nissan. This woman will not be a customer of Lada. This woman will not be a customer of Skoda. This woman won’t even be a customer of GM, the largest car company in the world.
Does this woman need mobility? Does this woman need access? Does this woman have a family? Does her family need access? To what? The market… Health services… Education… Yes but,
She is poor. She can’t afford our products. Yes but,
There are millions like her…
And they all need mobility… They all need access.
We talk of sustainable mobility. We say sustainability should challenge us to innovate.
An vehicle manufacturer dedicated to sustainable development would find a way to meet her needs. Yes but, how?
“Solar vehicles are heavy. You can’t generate enough energy to move the vehicle very far. You need a 1000 lb. of steel just for the body.” Yes but,
Why so much steel? “You need this for safety.” Yes but,
1000 lb. of steel is needed to protect you if you are going to get hit by another car.
Look closely… Can you even imagine another car on this route?
Today vehicle manufacturers Develop products in the western world, to meet western needs…. Yes but,
We need to develop a product to meet her needs. Not what we think she needs.
Idea: Bring together a small group of engineers. “Engineers turn dreams into reality.” (My favorite definition of engineering.)
1 powertrain engineer who knows solar energy. 1 materials engineer. 1 body engineer. 1 chassis engineer. 1 local manufacturing engineer. 1 local who can listen to understand the life of this woman. + Innovation.
Send these people to live with this woman for a week… a month… a year. Where does she need to go? How many people go with her? What does she carry? What is the terrain like? What is the weather like?
Resources + Knowledge + Understanding.
Apply new business model… tiny margins that accumulate profits through volume. (ck Prahalad.) Millions of sales at $1 profit per vehicle.
Result: 1 vehicle built from local materials, produced locally, to meet her needs at a price she can afford.
Ford Mobility Company where sustainable development is Job #1.