page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia: December 2017 My title page contents

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

US Auto Sales Led By Trucks In 2017

Trucks Top US Auto Sales Charts At 2017 Year End


Trucks Top US Auto Sales Charts At 2017 Year End


Sales of sport utility vehicles were particularly strong this year, according to joint research by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.
Total light-vehicle sales are expected to finish out 2017 at 17.2 million units, a decrease of 1.9% from 2016, according to joint research by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, with retail light-vehicle expected to finish the year just below 14 million units – down 1.1% from 2016.

Looking forward to 2018, the firms expects total light-vehicle sales forecast to top out under 17 million units, a decline of 1.2% from 2017, while the forecast for retail light-vehicles is 13.8 million units for 2018, a decline of 1.4% from this year.
The big surprise for 2017 turned out to be the strength of sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales, according to Jeff Schuster, LMC’s senior vice president of forecasting.

“SUV demand has been robust and is expected to finish up 5% in 2017 from 2016 and a market share of 43% of total light-vehicle sales,” he said in a statement. “The SUV reign will continue for the foreseeable future [as] SUVs are expected to  account for 50% of new model activity in 2018, which will help push the share of total sales to 45% and continue the segment's volume growth, even as the total market is projected to contract further in 2018.”
He added that light truck models overall accounted for 68% of new-vehicle retail sales through Dec. 17 – the highest level ever for the month of December, making it the 18th consecutive month above 60%.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Ancira Auto Group Social Marketing Customer Concern Resolution Creates Influencer Raving Fan

Ancira Auto Group Social Marketing Customer Concern Resolution Creates Influencer Raving Fan

April Ancira describes how she discovered an unhappy customer using social media, contacted that customer, resolved his issues and then she learned he was the Director of Operations at San Antonio's Seaworld. This led to promotional tie-ins between the Ancira Group and Seaworld, plus multiple new and used car sales to Seaworld employees. 

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing

Friday, December 22, 2017

How Technology is Changing Our Approach to the DUI Problem

How Technology is Changing Our Approach to the DUI Problem


How Technology is Changing Our Approach to the DUI Problem

In a longstanding tradition, if a police officer suspects a driver of DUI, a field sobriety test will be performed. In such a test, the driver might be asked to walk in a straight line, stand on one leg, or touch finger to nose. Failure at these simple tasks of coordination will lead to a driver breathalyzer test, and failing that test means a DUI charge and a trip to the station followed by rehab.

Technological progress, however, is adding new tools to law enforcement's ability to detect whether a driver is under the influence... 

Stand-Off Detection Methods 

combination flashlight/alcohol detector has been around for years. It uses an electrochemical fuel cell sensor to detect the presence of alcohol vapor. The police officer places the flashlight up to the driver's window and presses a button, and the device not only reports whether alcohol is present within the interior of the vehicle but gives a reading that can be correlated with DUI arrest levels. It doesn't say whether the driver or a passenger has been drinking or someone else has, but it does allow reasonable suspicion for a field sobriety or breathalyzer test.

The technology to use light to detect alcohol vapor is just getting started. Research in optoelectronic remote-sensing technology is being done to enable roadside monitors to detect the presence of alcohol vapor inside moving vehicles. This would constitute reasonable suspicion for the police to stop the car and administer a more definitive test for sobriety.

Someday such scanning technology may become common along roadsides. DUI evaders will likely attempt to thwart detection by tinting their automobile windows or keeping them rolled down, but that will raise red flags too. 

Intercepting at Ignition

Waiting outside a bar or restaurant to make an arrest at the instant the key goes into the ignition will become easier with police departments using computers to correlate blood alcohol content data gathered from DUI stops with days and times. Police officers already know where the problem areas are, but crunching the data will allow refinement.

Such a system stops well short of 'pre-crime' abuse, but there is concern that by encouraging police departments to concentrate resources in a given area, the data will become self-fulfilling prophecy, as more arrests lead to even further concentration at the expense of other areas that won't be a problem because there are no resources there to make DUI stops. 

Detecting Marijuana Still a Problem

While methods to detect drunkeness are improving, progress still lags in detecting whether a driver is high. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, becomes absorbed in body fat and registers high levels in testing even weeks after smoking. Moreover, blood samples have to be sent to a lab and the wait for results can itself take weeks.

Thus the race is on to develop a 'breathalyzer for marijuana.' Venture capital is being raised, and a start-up hopes to have a product on the market within a year. 

Prevention Technology

Super Bowl partygoers may have been surprised in 2017 when their bag of chips warned them that they may have been drinking too much and offered a QR code to call Uber. The breathalyzer-in-bag technology was introduced as part of the Super Bowl marketing buildup and isn't affordable enough to be practical yet. 

According to Casa Nuevo Vida, keeping sober living resolutions is easier than it used to be. Nonetheless, it points to the day when a drinker hears a disembodied voice telling him maybe he's had enough, and it really will be the bottle that's talking. What next? Perhaps a hologram of a dancing pink elephant to provide a distraction while a tiny robot arm hides the car keys.

Monday, December 11, 2017

LIDAR Enables Autonomous Vehicles to Exist

About LIDAR and How It Enables Autonomous Vehicles to Exist

Why did LIDAR take off with self-driving cars? In a word: mapping. LIDAR allows you to generate huge 3D maps (its original application!), which you can then navigate the car or robot predictably within. By using a LIDAR to map and navigate an environment, you can know ahead of time the bounds of a lane, or that there is a stop sign or traffic light 500m ahead. This kind of predictability is exactly what a technology like self-driving cars requires, and has been a big reason for the progress over the last 5 years.

Object Detection

As LIDARs have become higher-resolution and operate at longer ranges, a new use-case has emerged in object detection and tracking. Not only can a LIDAR map enable you to know precisely where you are in the world and help you navigate it, but it can also detect and track obstacles like cars, pedestrians and according to Waymo, football helmets.
Modern LIDAR enables you to differentiate between a person on a bike or a person walking, and even at what speed and which direction they are going in.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Market Research as a Wickedly Successful Biz Dev Tool: 6 Steps to Reach the Decision Maker

Market Research

Market Research as a Wickedly Successful Biz Dev Tool: 6 Steps to Reach the Decision Maker

Kevin Root writes: "This approach has been refined and validated in over 20 years of practice. It’s not theory and has been utilized successfully to win business with several of the industry’s largest firms."

"Background – In winning new clients, one of the biggest challenges is often getting to the senior decision makers. They typically rely on organization structure and gate-keepers to filter out those charged with winning new business."

"The following is a technique that is designed to engage the senior decision makers, as well as  their trusted associates. The secret? Bring something of value to them—and do so in a unique way. Here is a step by step way how to do it."