Hey, if the shoe fits…
For many automotive enthusiasts, the idea of driving an electronic device down the road – or even worse, being driven down the road by a device – sounds absolutely horrible. Some normies seem to not understand why the connection between man and machine, similar to the connection between rider and horse, is attractive to gearheads. After all, they’re of the opinion the more insulation can be put between the driver and the actual operation of the vehicle, the better.
Check out the rare, valuable muscle car abandoned in a house here.
The fact Barron’s earlier this month argued “GM and Ford are tech companies now” isn’t going to help one bit. However, this development is hardly surprising. Seeing the stock market success of Tesla, even if it hasn’t translated into huge sales volumes, has been tempting to many legacy automakers. For this reason alone, companies like Ford, GM, BMW, and many others have been talking for a while about how they’re no longer automakers. Instead, they’re “personal mobility companies” or something similar.
Most enthusiasts get chills running up their spine to hear this kind of talk, especially from automakers responsible for the Mustang, GT, Raptor, Corvette, Camaro, and more performance machines. For the companies’ executives, this is probably an exciting time. After all, they’re beholden to investors, which means in their minds pumping up stock prices as much as possible.
One could argue serving investors also means making customers happy, ensuring they return for more products and services. And there surely are people inside GM and Ford who feel that’s a top priority. But the pursuit of both automakers to transform into tech firms or “personal mobility providers” or whatever you want to call it should be troubling.
Even more alarming is the fact it’s next to impossible for rival automakers to jump in and provide for enthusiasts what the big dogs in the industry won’t. The barriers to entry for the auto industry are notoriously steep, thanks in no small part to the government regulations automakers often petition to be put in place.
In other words, classic cars might be the only way in the future for anyone who wants an active, connected driving experience to get such a thing. Everyone else will be rolling around in tech-advanced toasters on wheels, which probably sounds great to a lot of people.
However, there’s a silver lining. Ark Invest CEO and CIO Catherine Wood has voiced concerns about GM and Ford stocks rallying recently. She believes this is being driven by news of both automakers launching all-electric pickup trucks, a view held by many. However, Wood also thinks both Ford and GM will post surprise losses next year, all thanks to the steep cost of transitioning to EV production.
Photos via Ford and GM