If you haven't been keeping your television locked on the latest bracket busting games happening this past week, you may have heard well-known businessman Mark Cuban weighing in on the state of the National Football League (NFL).
Though he makes a pretty interesting case for the NFL's self-created implosion in approximately 10 years, we were doing some thinking tonight and were curious: can the same be said about the automotive industry?
Essentially, the gist of Cuban's remarks boils down to this:
It's the same thing I tell my businesses and would tell every business. You shouldn't try to get every last second of a person's attention or every last penny that you can squeeze from them.
There is a big difference between optimizing the relationship you have with your customers and maximizing short term revenue. Building customers for life is about building relationships and anticipating customer wants and needs.
Customers/Fans/Advertisers know when they are being pushed. They know when they are being squeezed. It always ends up costing the business in the end.To put this into context, Cuban was really commenting on the NFL's recent decision to increase its television programming presence. In other words, provide more games for viewing.
For us, there's a couple of ways to apply this thinking to the automotive industry.
1) Product portfolios are really starting to overlap as automakers — particularly the Germans — are getting highly niche-y. Does BMW really need to offer a 3-Series wagon, 3-Series GT, 4-Series Gran Coupe, X1 and X3? I guess the market will decide if there's enough room for all of them to make a business case.
2) It seems that cars have been, generally speaking, getting better over the years; however, if you haven't noticed there's been some serious problems that have cost lives as of late. The latest scandal emerging is the General Motors ignition issue that is tremendously widespread. Though it seems this may be a gnarly beast of a scandal, assuming the ignitions had been engineered correctly and assuming a short cut wasn't taken, wouldn't we all have been better off?
Hell, I even have a bonus for you:
3) We've all seen and heard about Tesla's frustration in trying to run a direct sales model in the auto space. Clearly, dealership associations are fighting this through previously implemented legislation. BUT, when you really think about it, who's best interest is really FOR the consumer? Dealers have reputations for squeezing every last penny out of buyers and repair shops are even thought to be worse. Could Tesla's ongoing battle with states be setting a precursor to a BIG SHIFT in the automotive space, say, 10 years down the road?
All of these things considered, is the automotive industry 10 years away from self immolation? What say you, Spies?