page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia My title page contents

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Corona Virus Data by State from CDC

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Powered by Socrata

10 Steps You Can Take in 10 Minutes to Develop Stronger Google Campaigns

10 Steps You Can Take in 10 Minutes to Develop Stronger Google Campaigns

  1. Red Zone Foreign Countries--aka Negative them Out
  2. Eliminate Smart Bidding
  3. Move Settings for Display off of Recommended
  4. Turn off App Ads
  5. Use the same Google My Business login that you use for your My Client Center
  6. Establish In-Store Conversion Tracking for Service Purposes
  7. Ramp or reduce spending to $100 per car
  8. Upload Your Target Audiences--then choose to exclude OR include them from the Advertising. Either way, make the call.
  9. Amplify by 900% on Geography for Dealer Name Campaigns
  10. Extensions, Extensions, Extensions--All for One, One For All
All the best for the industry in its rapid recovery.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory: Detection of Drug-Resistant Meningitis

Health Alert Network (HAN) for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

This is an official CDC Health Advisory

Meningococcal disease, which typically presents as meningitis or meningococcemia, is a life-threatening illness requiring prompt antibiotic treatment for patients and antibiotic prophylaxis for their close contacts. Neisseria meningitidis isolates in the United States have been largely susceptible to the antibiotics recommended for treatment and prophylaxis. However, 11 meningococcal disease cases reported in the United States during 2019–2020 had isolates containing a blaROB-1 β-lactamase gene associated with penicillin resistance, as well as mutations associated with ciprofloxacin resistance. An additional 22 cases reported during 2013–2020 contained a blaROB-1 β-lactamase gene but did not have mutations associated with ciprofloxacin resistance.

Learn More

Connect with Follow on Facebook logo  Follow on Twitter logo   Follow on Linked In logo   Follow on RSS logo 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Rd   Atlanta, GA 30329   1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)   TTY: 888-232-6348

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Auto Industry Evolution ACES: Autonomy, Connectivity, Electrification and Shared Mobility.

Auto Industry Evolution ACES: Autonomy, Connectivity, Electrification and Shared Mobility.
You may have already heard of the acronym “ACES” or “CASE” to describe four areas in which technology and innovation are rapidly changing automotive.
Those four areas being, in whichever order put them, autonomy, connectivity, electrification and shared mobility.

“The way we think about that is basically using IT to help large incumbent corporations to streamline their operations,” Garcia said in a phone interview.
That happens in two different ways, he said. The first is to streamline internal operations

“If you’re a manufacturing company or if you are a parts distribution company, you can use AI and IT to optimize your internal workflows. Industry 4.0 is a term that’s used for that,” Garcia said.

“Then the other way you could use IT to digitize your operations is your external relationship with the world, meaning the way that you interact with and communicate with your suppliers and your customers,” he said. “And that's also known as e-commerce.”
Garcia gives some examples of such “digitization of enterprise” companies within Autotech’s portfolio, which focuses on the “ground transportation” space and building bridges between startups and incumbents.
One of those companies is Frontier Car Group, a startup from Berlin that aims to “develop, launch, and operate used-automotive marketplaces within emerging market economies,” according to the Frontier website.
Frontier Car Group has primarily operated overseas but did recently acquire We Buy Any Car, a buyer of used vehicles from the public with locations in the U.S. and U.K.
“They’re essentially enabling e-commerce in the used-car wholesale and retail world,” Garcia said of Frontier.
Another is Work Truck Solutions.
Within Work Truck Solutions is an online marketplace for new and used work trucks called, which Garcia said is, “the first real marketplace for those types of vehicles.”

Meanwhile, another company in the digitization space within Autotech’s portfolio is Cogniac, which uses AI to “automate visual inspections of vehicles and auto parts.”

Beyond digitization of enterprise, Autotech remains interested in and has made several investments on the “CASE” side of the equation.

Arguably the most notable of Autotech Ventures’ investments have been in ride-sharing company Lyft, which is now publicly traded. It also included DeepScale, which provides computer vision in autonomy. The firm recently sold that to Tesla.
Portfolio company XNOR.AI was recently purchased by Apple, to be used for both connectivity and autonomy purposes.
Certain elements of “CASE” tend to get the most media attention. Others may be more imminently practical. But which one is getting the most interest from the investment community?
“There continue to be investments in all of these areas,” said Joe Vitale, a global automotive leader at Deloitte. “I think the focus appears to be more around those technologies they can bring to market quickly.“What we’re seeing is a lot of focus around ADAS and those things that are providing technologies that make vehicles safer — collision avoidance and the like,” he said. “They will continue to invest in those things that have a near-term commercial buy-ability associated with them.”

Vitale also points to Deloitte’s 2020 Global Automotive Consumer Study, which shows an increasing interest in and needs for electric vehicles among consumers.
In the U.S., the percent of consumers “actively considering” buying an alternative-powertrain vehicle (including hybrid-electric, batter-electric and other options) during their next purchase has climbed from 29% in 2019 to 41% this year, according to the study.

The numbers are even higher elsewhere in the world. India is at 49% (up from 39% in 2019). Germany is at 51%, up from 37%.

China’s preference for alternative powertrains has dipped from 65% a year ago but is still at 57%. The Republic of Korea is at 58%, up from 43%. Meanwhile, Japan’s interest in these vehicles has climbed from 59% to 63%.

“I think there has been a significant shift in capital allocation towards electric vehicles, partly driven by the demands of consumers and interest in sustainable, safe vehicles and also to maintain compliance with regulations,” Vitale said.
What’s more, in places like Europe, he said, restrictions on the use of internal-combustion-engine vehicles could mean “we'll continue to see a significant focus on investments around electric vehicles.”
In a news release, Craig Giffi, who is vice chairman of Deloitte Insights and global managing principal, Deloitte LLP, said: “Technologies in the alternative powertrain domain appear to be advancing to a point where they have offset some of the concerns we have seen over the past decade.
“However, to encourage the consumer uptake of advanced vehicle technologies, the automotive ecosystem still has some work to do in terms of making EVs as easy and convenient as internal combustion engines, lowering the cost of EVs, and figuring out just who will build and pay for the charging infrastructure,” Giffi said.

On the autonomous side, the Deloitte study found that consumer viewpoints have “stalled” when it comes to the safety of these vehicles. Forty-eight percent of U.S. consumers believe fully autonomous vehicles would not be safe and 68% think fully autonomous commercial vehicles would not be safe enough on highways.

Similar results were found elsewhere in the world, with other countries having close to half of their respondents expressing concerns on AV technology’s safety.
“In fact, in India and China, the percentage of people that think autonomous vehicles will not be safe has increased to 58% and 35%, respectively,” Deloitte said in a news release. “This trend goes hand in hand with consumers' views on testing autonomous vehicles, with over half of consumers in India (57%) and the U.S. (51%) concerned by the idea of autonomous vehicles being tested in areas where they live.”
Over at Fraser McCombs Capital, an investment firm in the auto technology and mobility space, managing partner Chase Fraser said: “You’ve got to choose right with autonomy. It got a bit overheated. Evaluations went crazy for a lot of these autonomous businesses.”
The buzz in mainstream media around fully autonomous vehicles was perhaps a bit premature, if not overstated.

“Think about the big publications love to talk about these Level 4 and 5 cars going to be driving around tomorrow,” Fraser said. “Even when they were doing all that a year and two years ago … it wasn't accurate.

“You had big regulatory hurdles,” he said. “And the challenge at Level 4 and 5 is, it’s 95% there, but it’s that last 5% that’s the problem. And that last 5% takes a long time to get to a place that you’ll see these vehicles.”

FMC is looking at simulation companies that would play in that last 5%, using AI algorithms to simulate both computers and human-generated scenarios “where we can bridge that gap, that last 5% for autonomy,” Fraser said.
But going further back to the basics of autonomy, Fraser points out “you need a connected vehicle in order or it to be autonomous.”
Connectivity, a “baby step” in this process, is “very hot,” and FMC has made several investments in the space, two of which are GuardKnox, an Israel-based company in the vehicle cybersecurity space, and Aurora Labs, which provides over-the-air updates to vehicle computer systems.

Investors “can see a more immediate return” in connectivity, Fraser said.  

And then there is shared mobility, which would include — among other models — the ride-sharing services many of us use on a regular basis.

While the Lyft and Uber initial public offerings “were truly not great” and the stocks were challenged last year, Fraser said analyst reports indicate those companies have “cleaned up the mess a little bit” and perhaps there will be a rebound in their stocks this year.

“We still like shared. I think that model is a little immature and you do need autonomy to make those businesses profitable,” Fraser said. “You can get profitable by cutting a lot of other expenses. But what that essentially means is the fares are more expensive and you pay the drivers less … I just don't know that that's a feasible path for Uber and Lyft.”

Within the shared mobility space, FMC is invested in a company called Via, which provides Software-as-a-Service for municipalities.
For example, a city might have a bus route. The city could use the Via system to streamline the operations and optimize passenger capacity, to where instead of a bus making the route, it is a minivan or small bus, managed by entrepreneurs, making the rounds. The city could, in essence, reduce or eliminate the need for buses, using smaller, less costly vehicles.

“You take a ton of cost out of the system for these cities,” Fraser said. “We think that's going to be a really interesting play. And Via’s doing quite well.”

Edited and Reposted from an article written by:

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Shopping for Used Cars? Here's What You Need to Know

If you're interested in saving money on the purchase of a vehicle, used cars are the way to go.
Part of this has to do with their lower cost when compared to new cars, but the other reason behind buying used is that a new vehicle's value depreciates considerably in the first year of ownership. While you likely aren't buying a car as an investment and instead consider it a necessity to get from one place to the next, the fact remains that nobody wants to lose a portion of the money they've spent on any high-priced item. When you're shopping for a used car, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Be smart about your used car loan

You might think that every car loan for your used vehicle is created equally since the amount of the loan is consistent from lender to lender; however, interest rates can make the total amount you pay over time much different. As a result, it's a good idea to compare used car loans online prior to making a purchase. This can help you calculate how much you'll be paying in the long run on any car you buy, which can help you make the right decision when choosing between lenders. Being smart about your car loan can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on the price of your used vehicle.

Know what to look for during a test drive

Once you've found a vehicle that you're interested in, you'll want to give it a spin before making a purchase. During a test drive, there are a variety of things you'll want to test and inspect once you get behind the wheel. First and foremost, you want to make sure that you're comfortable in the car and can reach all of the necessary controls. If the car has Bluetooth connectivity, make sure your phone can connect to it, too. Drive the car offsite and park it in a public parking lot where you can walk around the vehicle and look for cosmetic damage, too. If you need a test drive checklist, this article from Forbes is a great starting point to help you know what you might miss.

Be ready to repair aspects of the car if it means a good deal

During your test drive, you may find some minor cosmetic issues or other problems that aren't dealbreakers—but they're annoying to deal with. If you know how to fix these issues, though, you may be able to get a better deal on your car purchase since other buyers might be unwilling to overlook these sorts of problems. Knowing where to buy the right headlight restoration kit could give you the tools you need to save money on your car by fixing the problem yourself. If you really want the best deal possible, being flexible about the condition of the car and knowing how to find kits that help you solve problems yourself can be a major money saver.

Negotiate — but not too aggressively

Everybody thinks they're a good negotiator, but when buying a used car, you may need to be a little more tactful. Car dealerships are used to people trying to bargain their way down thousands of dollars on a vehicle, and the last thing you want is to go toe to toe with a car salesman who won't have any patience for your shenanigans. By all means, be firm in your offer—especially if you already have a car loan to cover the purchase. But if the price of the car you're looking at is already a good deal, don't try to haggle the price down too much.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Car Dealers Moving Forward with SEO: Preparing for New Marketing Normals

Moving Forward with SEO: Preparing for New Marketing Normals

Car Dealers have tremendous potential right now to entertain, assist,
educate, and inform automotive consumers. Here are six ways to leverage
SEO in preparing for the new normal...

The demand for SEO from many business leaders is trending to an all-time
high, with more than 1.5 million searches in the month of April.

Automotive Marketers are searching for the most affordable and
cost-effective ways to understand shifts in consumer behavior and demand
volatility, while optimizing content for all of their digital channels.

SEO has become mission-critical and is the front and center of
digital marketing strategies spanning paid media, local, mobile, video,
email, and across verticals like Amazon and eCommerce.

Car Dealers and OEM's that can activate their search insights with
speed and accuracy are best positioned to recover and make gains, both
during and after COVID-19.

How SEO Paves the Way Forward

Even prior to COVID-19, car dealers were challenged to keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer behavior.

Now, automotive digital marketers – even as they adapt to their own
work-from-home and isolation strategies – are having to rethink their
digital marketing channels and ROI forecasts.

SEO, once considered a simple marketing channel, has grown
over the last decade into a rich, abundant source of business and
consumer intelligence.

SEO has become the most accurate representation of “voice of the
consumer” inside organizations, offering digital marketers from car
dealers of all sizes the opportunity to enhance visibility and expand
their digital footprint while generating that rich, valuable business
data the entire dealership needs.

Search marketers are in a position to really help customers recapture
or transform their dealerships into a more digital-focused marketing
operator, as:
  • People always need products and services.
  • SEO reaches consumers when they are in need and regardless of state of mind.
  • When there is scarcity, people turn to search.
  • SEO is affordable and efficient for ROI.
  • Optimized content helps protect, build, and grow brand equity.
  • SEO is the voice of consumers and provides insight into car buyer behaviors.
  • Search helps future-proof the dealership while providing immediate, midterm, and long-term wins.
With over 53% of website traffic coming from organic search, now is
the time for organizations to leverage SEO in a multitude of ways.

Many companies have halted paid search due to Coronavirus-related
business interruptions and now need to re-evaluate how their paid search
advertising strategy works in synergy with SEO.

How can automotive organizations drive more traffic to the best
content, feeding consumers’ need for media to consume while protecting
and furthering enhanced online brand equity?

SEO Now: Utilizing Insights & Taking Action

As the pandemic situation continues, opportunities will arise for car dealers and car companies to win prime search visibility and dealers who get the first-mover advantage will be quickest to recover, dominating share of voice in-market.

In fact, the conditions generated by COVID-19 present a great opportunity for proactive automotive marketers willing to double down on SEO as consumers crave interactive, engaging content.

Car dealers have unlimited potential right now to entertain, assist, educate, and inform.

Search is the pulse of the market and as recent research from BrightEdge (disclosure: the author's company) has shown, COVID-19 has impacted every industry.

Depending on how the vertical has been affected, strategies will differ.

BrightEdge data on Industry trends – mid-May update

1. Real-Time Data: Leverage to Understand and React to Trends and Consumer Behavior

With demand so volatile across all industries it is important, where
automotive companies can, to utilize real-time research to answer
questions and uncover opportunities as they happen.

This helps account for industry-wide trends but also empowers
marketers to ask specific questions and discover quantitative,
data-driven answers with speed, ease, and accuracy.

Automotive Marketers must take action to understand, in real-time,
how content is performing and ranking across all vertical and global
search engines.

As video consumption increases dramatically, it is important to track rankings there, as well.
This can help you unlock which models, categories, and influencers
are taking off and use that to further promote those videos and inform
future content strategy.

For automotive organizations, it is particularly important to protect the brand on Amazon.

Track how and where makes and models rank, and quickly identify
whether rogue merchandisers are taking away sales and diminishing your
brand equity.

SEO Is Your Best Representation of the Voice of Your Customer

The insights that SEO data gives marketers in terms of understanding
intent, behavioral, and buying patterns has never been so important.

At a time when consumers are making both rational and irrational
decisions based on emotion and the formation of new habits, it is
essential to make sure you have technology and systems in place to
identify and action “in the moment.”

Search data is valuable not just to the SEO team, but for
marketing, product, and PR teams who are all looking to understand new
types of customer journeys and what drives people on their journey.

2. Benchmarking Competition: Know Your Share of Voice and Work to Capture Market Share

As the shift to digital accelerates, the online landscape becomes increasingly more competitive.

With new content being published every second, organizations must
understand who is outranking them for the topics they want to own in
dynamic SERPs.

Understanding share of voice helps marketers increase SEO authority by identifying sites that canhelp the brand reach the target audience with paid ads or otherpartnership opportunities such as co-authorship or backlinking.

Competition in search results can vary widely by search topic or user device.

This is very important as working from home has consumers using both
desktop and mobile devices in different ways than they did as commuters.

Content strategies must be informed by insights on how aggressively
competitors are targeting search topics and how their content performs
in smartphone, tablet, or desktop searches.

Share of voice accurately maps key competitors to help marketers prioritize competitive content marketing work plans.

The more informed decisions marketers make based on understanding the
brand’s share of voice, the better they can maximize return on spend
and increase revenue from all digital marketing efforts.

3. Website Optimization: Enhance User Experiences and Create New Experiences

In order to get ahead and stay ahead, regardless of your vertical, is to ensure your website is primed to convert traffic.

That means ensuring every aspect of your site, including content, is optimized and easy to navigate.

Consumers are looking for an experience that informs and gives them the best experience possible.

Configure site audits for the site health issues that matter most.

Audit on-page elements such as page title and H1 tag, and off-page
factors including page loading speed, redirects, and 404 errors.

Tailor site audits to support specific business needs. It is also important to monitor and detect anomalies such as:
  • Loading issues.
  • Changes in performance.
  • Drops in conversion.
  • Decreases in traffic or revenue from content.
Detecting these issues as they happen and fixing them rapidly will
mitigate any revenue loss and keep websites clean, healthy, relevant,
and informative.

It is important to run ad-hoc audits to ensure website performance is
not affected when and if organizations are taking on large projects
such as:
  • Site migration.
  • Regulatory and accessibility projects.
  • Penalty recovery.
  • International expansion.
  • Pricing management.
  • Social media integration.

4. Content: Create & Optimize Content in Synergy to Ensure Relevance & Performance

At a time where so much content is being produced, it is vital to make sure the content you produce is of quality.

Content needs to be authored with usefulness and trustworthiness and in line with Google E-A-T guidelines.

Systematically review all of the content you have on your site.

Look closely at your optimization efforts to see how well you are meeting your current COVID-19 business objectives.

Find any gaps in your content and adjust your process to better serve your (old and new) intended audiences.

This allows marketers to align content with the buyer’s journey and measure the impact it is having on the growth of the business.

With consumers’ media needs so high due to COVID-19, it’s a great time for marketers to fill gaps in the customer journey with quality content.

Depending on the type of business and the extent to which operations have been affected, this may not even be the time to convert prospects to a sale.

However, opportunities are still there to re-optimize to convert to another action that will deepen relationships and keep the brand top of mind until sales pick up once again.

5. Global, Local & Mobile: Manage, Pivot & Optimize for People, Places, Content & Devices

Digital media continues to create global interconnections.

Many brands want to expand or pivot focus beyond their borders and engage with new prospective customers in foreign countries.

From store closures through to store reopenings, local search is intrinsically linked to SEO.

Now is time to look at your strategies and opening plans and ensure
your site and content is optimized for local and hyper-local search.

This is especially true for brick and mortar stores hard hit by the initial impact of COVID-19.

Trust is a big part of recovery so it will be important to analyze search volume and ranking data on key store target locations.

Evaluating the searches conducted in the areas surrounding locations
will help you build content to drive traffic to re-opened locations.

It is important to also do this at a global and local level across multiple geographies, locations, and languages.

And as consumers interact on multiple devices, from desktop to
mobile, marketers must track mobile demand, mobile searches, and mobile
rankings changes.

Focusing on key areas related to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP),
mobile site structure and page speed will help further enhance user
experience, conversion, and revenue.

6. Technology & Innovation: Scale Performance With Additional & Valuable Automated Resource

Real-time research powered by deep learning is already helping marketers get the information and insights they need, right when they need it.

Advancements in these areas are opening key opportunities for all types of digital marketers (a trend BrightEdge has seen directly withinits platform over recent months).

The ability to ask questions and find answers on demand reduces time and increases revenue performance.

Utilizing the power of a one-stop solution platform also brings instant impact, since marketers do not have to struggle with disparate and unconnected data silos and the inflexibility of narrow point solutions.

Advancements in the fields of AI and machine learning have already proven successful in being the “extra SEO person,” that additional data scientist and digital marketing Sherpa needed to help with time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks.

From an SEO perspective, intelligent automation can improve many of the auditing and optimization tasks that will help brands stay on top of Coronavirus-related shifts in demand and consumer behavior.

It is especially important to save time and maximize output in these times of resource scarcity when marketers are being asked to accomplish more (and faster) during COVID-19.

In its most simplistic form, automation gives marketing capabilities the gift of scale. Technology does the

It frees up time for human marketers to focus on more creative and impactful work.

Utilizing advanced automation is already helping many marketers simplify complex and time-consuming tasks, even while drastically improving their impact on business outcomes and helping them make smarter and better-informed decisions.


In this time of uncertainty, search is the best option for responding to ongoing COVID-19-related business interruptions with speed and agility.

SEO, in particular, is critical not only for discovery but as the channel that provides the greatest insight into consumer behavior in real-time.

Search insights can inform every stage of COVID-19 brand response through to post-pandemic success.

There will be business winners and losers in this new digital economy, and search insights will inform every stage of a proactive COVID-19 brand response.

Understanding the challenges of COVID-19 and resulting consumer behavior is key in the path to evolving in sustainable and even profitable ways.

SEO insights will uncover opportunities and provide key insights foroperations, customer service, product development, R&D, the C-suite, and businesses as a whole.

As a result, the relationship between SEO and business strategy is set to become even more tightly intertwined.

Edited and reposted from the original article: Paving the Path Forward with SEO: Preparing for New Normalities that appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Illustra Flex Security Cameras (2) 3MP Outdoor Rated ($350)

I am selling a Illustra Flex Security Cameras (2) 3MP Outdoor Rated for $350 on OfferUp. Check it out.

Two Illustra Flex Mini-Domes (2) These versatile Illustra Mini-Dome IP Cameras, Indoor or Outdoor, is a True Day/Night network camera that provides 3MP full HD resolution for high quality images. H.264 and MJPEG video compression provides excellent image clarity, and efficient bandwidth and video storage. With PoE supported, the Illustra mini-dome cameras are easy to set up and reduce complicated cabling. With an IP66-rated enclosure, this outdoor mini-dome is ideal in situations where dust or water could damage the camera – a loading dock, parking lot or off-site warehouse. Features Documents Resources 3MP resolution for true HD quality images Operating temperature to -50°C using PoE (Outdoor only) True Day/Night (TDN) functionality for a true color image IR illumination for clear images in low light conditions on the indoor and outdoor models Motion detection for instant alerts of intruders IK10 vandal-resistant housing ONVIF Profile S * Camera available in some regions. Please contact your local sales representative for further details Product offerings and specifications are subject to change without notice. Actual products may vary from photos. Not all products include all features. Availability varies by region; contact your Regional Sales Manager. Accessible Service Policy
more details…

(via Ralph's iPhone X)

Ralph Paglia
IG @RalphPaglia

Thursday, March 26, 2020

CoronaVirus Manifesto

The aim of this manifesto from Ted McGrath is to instill confidence, power, and possibility throughout the world, EVEN in the face of the virus.

In times of challenge how do you naturally respond?

Do you shrink or do you stand tall ready for whatever the environment brings about?

First off, be safe, take precaution and protect your health. This is a given and the obvious.

Next, right now there is an opportunity despite the chaos happening around YOU.

This opportunity is based on how one views the world and sees the future.

The facts are the facts, but people actually perceive the facts differently and then make choices based on perspective of the facts.

My natural inclination during rough times is to handle the situation, and then rise above, coming out the other side stronger and more able.

To be more able one requires skill sets, relationships, and most of all their own powerful, piercing perspective.

Yes piercing, you're the problems of the now for a look into the future.

These times will pass, and the question remains, what will you do with your time right now?

I am getting ready for the new economy, which I see as the skill economy.

Those who possess the skills like online marketing, will control their future and will create businesses that flourish from home, while injecting opportunity, money, and possibility into the economy. Those who don't join the skill economy will be more a part of the problem than the solution. 

Reach people from your home with a message, a product, a service that can serve people during difficult times and prepare them for the skill economy.

When the internet came alive, it destroyed old antiquated businesses.

And as the virus has come out I believe it's time for the internet to help us rise above these challenging times.

Now, I am not saying that the internet is the solution to this virus.

I'm saying the internet, and online marketing skills allow us to survive, and for some even flourish during this time.

We can allow the media to reach people with mostly fear or we can BE the media and reach people with empowerment. Even though some of the reporting we see on media is substantiated by facts, some of it is to make people more afraid. We can change that.

So I say, YOU become the media.

YOU become the voice.

And YOU help others with your gift, your message, your products, and services NOW.

If you don't have one, invent one. People need help so help them.

Either join the fear or join the solution that gets people out of fear.

And when this passes you will have helped the economy rebound, you will have saved jobs, changed lives, and perhaps be the stabilizing influence that influenced someone positively.

Marshall Faulk, legendary football player and I interviewed each other a while back and what I gathered from him, (again this is my perspective), is that he knew his WHY at 6 years old and it was SO real and true for him that he stayed the course and nothing allowed him to waiver from his dream of the NFL.

When you know your WHY you bring truth, stability, and leadership to those around you, and this makes the world better.

What's YOUR WHY for helping others now, not later? For each one of us it is genuinely unique and authentic.


So let's dream together and wake people from this nightmare. The facts are the facts, and I say ACT don't REACT!

Keep yourself and your family safe, and while you're doing that, don't forget about mankind as well. He and she needs YOU.

Don't be silent, take precaution, but BE BOLD.

I believe in YOU.

And perhaps, we can create our own reality and our own future.

You may be thinking that this statement is just something inspirational people throw around to sound like they are in Control. Well, I don't know, cause I don't walk around saying it all the time, I just go do it.

It starts with YOU. Be bigger than the times, and define them!

Courtesy of Mr. Ted McGrath

Ralph Paglia
IG @RalphPaglia

Friday, March 20, 2020

Automaker Responses to Coronavirus Pandemic

Automakers have shuttered plants in the U.S. for at least a week, and in most cases two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruptions across the U.S. for automakers and the lives of those working for car companies not to mention those who own or are seeking to own vehicles.

Thus far, automakers have taken a two-pronged attack when it comes to their employees. General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, etc. have all required anyone who can work from home do so until further notice.

However, this doesn't work for those churning out vehicles and components. After some initial resistance, every automaker – Tesla being the last – has shut down plants for at least two weeks. Some have already implemented a shutdown, while others will begin March 23.

(Silver Lining? Coronavirus pandemic slashes traffic, sends gas prices tumbling.)

"GM and the UAW have always put the health and safety of the people entering GM plants first, and we have agreed to a systematic, orderly suspension of production to aid in fighting COVID-19/coronavirus," GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

Many of the automakers plan to use the down time at the plans to clean and sanitize those facilities.

Here is each automaker's U.S. manufacturing shutdown plan:

  • General Motors plants are closed until March 30. It will review its plan at that point.
  • Ford plants are down until March 30 for cleaning. Plans will be reviewed then.
  • Fiat Chrysler plants are down until March 30. Plans will be reviewed then.
  • Tesla is closing its California and New York plants on March 23 until further notice. It will clean and sanitize the facilities.
  • Toyota plants will close March 23 and reopen April 6. Service depots and vehicle logistics centers will continue to operate.
  • Honda will suspend operations March 23-31.
  • Subaru's Indiana plant will be closed March 23-29.
  • Nissan plants are closed until April 6. Areas deemed business-essential will operate with enhanced safety measures.
  • Hyundai's Alabama plant is closed until further notice. It is being cleaned and sanitized during the down time.
  • Kia's plant in Georgia is closed until March 23. It's working with the state about future plans.
  • BMW's South Carolina plant will be closed until April 19.
  • Mercedes-Benz USA's plant in Alabama remains open.
  • Volkswagen is suspending operations at its Chattanooga plant March 21-29. It will be cleaned and sanitized during that time.

While that accounts for all of the plans to make sure employees are safe for the time being, the companies have also focused on other areas as well. Many of them are offering those with auto loans or leases some form of relief.

Many automakers are offering strong incentives, hoping to draw buyers to purchase a new vehicle.

(U.S. car sales on verge of Great Recession-level collapse – or worse.)

These efforts are crucial as even before the coronavirus outbreak, financial trackers like Experian were warning of an increase in the number of owners falling behind on payments – about 7 million at least 90 days delinquent. And that number is expected to skyrocket along with pandemic-related job cuts. Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a national employment tracking firm, on Friday reported that it had already recorded more than 9,000 COVID-19-related job losses, with another 14 million U.S. jobs "threatened."

BMW Group, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Toyota are all offering to help owners through repayment plan flexibility and deferrals. Additionally, those same companies are also offering special financing offers for new vehicle buyers, including 0% financing as well as payment deferrals for as much as 120 days on new purchases.

The pandemic has created such discord, but out of those issues some bright spots have emerged. Not that many places are open, but if you do need to go somewhere, drivers can get there cheaper and more quickly than at any time in recent memory.

Detroit had anything but a rush hour on Thursday evening.

Across the country, traffic jams have all but vanished, even on some of the traditional most overcrowded highways, such as I-405 in Los Angeles and I-85 in Atlanta.

In Los Angeles, real-time monitoring by mapping service TomTom showed that traffic levels were off fully 51% as the rush hour got underway in earnest Friday morning. The previous night it was down fully 87%. San Francisco, at the center of the first region in California with a stay-at-home order, saw as much as a 76% decline in normal rush-hour traffic Thursday evening, according to TomTom's tracker

In New York, where there's been a surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – both mass transit use and highway traffic have come tumbling. On Thursday evening rush hour, TomTom reported, roadways saw a 75% decline in traffic.

Even in cities that have not seen major outbreaks of COVID-19, traffic is down sharply as more and more Americans work from home or simply minimize normal errands and other travel. Chicago's Thursday rush hour saw a 61% decline, notoriously traffic-snarled roads like the Kennedy Expressway, Interstate 90, moving almost entirely at speed limit.

A GasBuddy chart from 3/20/20 on the latest fuel prices.

Adding to the good news for those still needing to drive, fuel prices continue plunging, the U.S. average now down to $2.17, according to tracking service

Both GasBuddy and AAA now anticipate prices for unleaded regular at self-serve pumps will drop below $2 a gallon for cash payment before the end of the month. As of Friday morning, the average was at or below $2.00 in 17 states, having fallen an average 1.8 cents nationally overnight. Prices were lowest in Oklahoma, at an average $1.82, though some individual stations across the country were priced below $1.40.

(Detroit automakers, others temporarily shutter North American production.)

There are few experts who anticipate the situation with traffic situation, as well as with fuel prices, to reverse anytime soon.

(via Ralph's iPhone X)

Ralph Paglia
IG @RalphPaglia