All Articles Tagged "automotive industry"
New data from University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute shows more women in the US have drivers licenses, compared to men: 105.7 million women versus 104.3 million men in 2010.
Younger drivers ages 25 to 29 are declining overall, with young male drivers declining at a faster rate than young female drivers. For those over the age of 45, women drivers outnumber the men.
“The changing gender demographics will have major implications on the extent and nature of vehicle demand, energy consumption, and road safety,” Michael Sivak, co-author of the study, told the Washington Post.
He also told Automotive News, “Females are more likely than males to purchase smaller, safer and more fuel-efficient vehicles, they drive less and tend to have a lower fatality rate per distance driven.”
Additionally, the study found that African-American and Hispanic drivers were also on the rise. This is in line with a 2011 report from R.L. Polk & Co. that found that African-American, Asian, and Hispanic women were leading the way when it comes to purchasing cars as well. Looking specifically at these ethnic groups, vehicle purchase share for women was 45.4 percent in 2010, an increase from 40.7 percent in 2006. Overall vehicle purchase share for all women was 38.5 percent in 2010.
In a blog post about the findings, Marc Bland, product strategist and multicultural marketing lead at Polk wrote, “women as a collective group are a force to be recognized when it comes to auto purchases. Special attention should be applied to Asian and African American women as they are nearly on par with their male peers when it comes to auto purchase decisions.”
As women take a larger role in driving and car ownership, it will impact the way automotive companies not only advertise, but also the types of cars and features they produce. Media reports have gone so far to say these preferences could change the face of the auto market. We are women, hear our engines roar!
Consumer Reports’ annual auto reliability report came out this week, and Detroit-based Ford dropped in the rankings, while Japan-based Toyota brands claimed the top three spots. Meanwhile, General Motors’ brands also moved up the list.
The Toyota Scion was the top most reliable car, according to Consumer Reports, followed by the Toyota brand and Lexus. Mazda and Subaru rounded out the top five. Ford’s namesake brand dropped to the second worst reliable car, second only to Jaguar. Ford’s Lincoln brand was the next worst on the list.
In an interview with Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, said a lot of Ford’s problems were based on new technologies in the cars that just didn’t meet expectations, such as MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch Audio.
“They’re taking that system and putting it in more and more vehicles, so there’s really not an indication that even next year things are going to get better,” he also told Bloomberg/BusinessWeek. Additionally, some of the newer lines — the Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus — “came out of the gate with more problems than normal,” according to Consumer Reports.
This drop is new for Ford, which two years ago had 90 percent of its brands perform above average in terms of predicted reliability. Now, Consumer Reports said, 60 percent of its brands are below average.
This year, General Motors has the highest-ranking domestic brand, Cadillac, and its other brands—Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC—also rose. Jeep, which was the top domestic brand in 2011, dropped seven spots.
Consumer Reports noted this: “As is the case every year, there is much movement across the industry, underscoring the importance of not making assumptions simply based on brand reputation. Within a brand’s portfolio, there are models that are better than others.”
What auto brands do you trust? Do you agree with the rankings?
As if there wasn’t already a shortage of job opportunities in America right now, futurist Thomas Frey predicts that as many as 2 billion jobs could disappear by 2030.
Noting that the United States has already lost much of its manual labor force because of outsourcing to other countries, Frey says technology will likely be the culprit in the next wave of depleted jobs in the next 18 years. There are five industries that are expected to take the biggest hit: the power industry, Automotive Transportation, Education, 3D Printing, and Bots, but with the changing infrastructure, new jobs—thankfully–will be created as well.
The most interesting of these areas is education. Online classes have become a common offering from most colleges and the University of Phoenix allows thousands of students to earn degrees virtually each year. The rise of iTunes U and the Khan Academy are expected to lead the way in this digital education. iTunes U offers more than 500,000 courses from 1,000 universities that have been downloaded more than 700 million times and they are absolutely free. Khan specializes in math and science, offering more than 2,400 courses that have been downloaded 116 million times. This trend has interesting implications for the future of education as classroom teachers get replaced by downloadable learning modules, not to mention the elimination of horrifically expensive student loans to get a degree. It’s not unfathomable that self-education by way of online training could become the norm, especially now that iTunes U is moving into the K-12 space and MIT is currently looking into developing similar education models.
It’s scary to think about the American workforce changing so rapidly within a short period of time but it’s really not unlike other times in our country’s past like the industrial period. Still, the effects of so much dependency on technology have yet to be seen.
What do you think about the idea of strictly virtual education or driverless cars like the one Google has already created? Will technology lead to a positive work force shift or a negative one?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Meet Valerie Coleman: For more than a decade Valerie Coleman earned an attractive salary working at one of Ohio’s prominent companies. She’d seen the highs of the automobile industry until the 2007 recession hit. The final blow was a hard one, but Valerie was ready. Find out how she became the bestselling author of Blended Families An Anthology and The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box. Keep reading to learn why Valerie Coleman is on a mission to restore stepfamilies, empower women and equip writers to greater success. This expert problem solver uses personal experiences and proven techniques to re-engineer lives.
MN: You worked at Delphi, a leading automotive supplier, for several years. What role did you fill at Delphi?
VC: I was a senior industrial engineer responsible for implementing cost-savings initiatives relative to manpower, machine processes and material delivery. I saved the company millions of dollars by implementing systems that got the job done faster, easier and cheaper without compromising quality or safety.
MN: Was it your intention to remain at Delphi until you retired? If so, what was your vision for your business career at the time?
VC: Yes, I fully expected to serve the company for thirty-plus years and then retire. However, a few years before the facility closed, it became apparent that retirement was no longer an option. Decreased sales, layoffs and downsizings were the hand-writing-on-the-wall indicators that a change was soon to come.
MN: Valerie, you experienced an event millions lived through after the recession of 2007 reared its head: you were laid off. How did you manage this career shift?
VC: As was the case for most of the salaried co-workers, I was severed from the company with no opportunity for future employment versus laid off. The hourly associates had a layoff option to return to active status if the industry became viable again.
People offered condolences for the “loss” of my job. I replied, “I didn’t lose my job. I know where it is, Mexico.” I had a plan to transition my problem-solving expertise to help restore stepfamilies, empower women and equip writers. With that in mind, I positioned myself as an expert, developed relationships and launched my crusade.
Since 1995, I have been a math adjunct at Sinclair Community College, so I increased my class load and joined the roster at Central State University and Strayer University to offset the earnings deficit.
MN: How soon after you were severed from Delphi did you found Pen of the Writer?
VC: Because I acknowledged the inevitable, I started the ground work for Pen of the Writer several years before the plant closed. In 2004, I hosted the first Pen to Paper Literary Symposium, and by 2006 I published Blended Families An Anthology.
MN: What is the mission of Pen of the Writer, and how do you keep the conferences related to the company viable in today’s changing virtual and brick-and-mortar literary markets?
VC: Pen of the Writer’s mission is to take writers from pen to paper to published by helping experts master self-publishing to make money. To keep my literary conferences relevant, I include topics like e-books, social networking and Internet marketing. I am also conducting webinars and will launch a publishing blog and e-course soon.
(Houston Chronicle) — Hip-hop superproducer Swizz Beatz is behind the wheel of a speedy new endeavour – he has been appointed vice president of creative design at British sports car manufacturers Lotus. The business savvy star has already shown his design credentials with his own watch collection for Audemars Piguet and as creative director at sneaker brand Reebok Classics. The beatmaker, real name Kasseem Dean, is now moving into the motor industry by teaming up with Lotus.
(Washington Informer) — President Barack Obama reached another significant milestone on the long difficult road toward economic recovery of the economy in the United States when General Motors (G.M.) recently launched one of the largest initial public offerings (IPO) in American history. I believe that the proper stimulus investment in the African American business community will also bring a much-needed economic recovery. To the astounded pseudo-economists and near-sighted politicians who vociferously criticized President Obama for using federal stimulus funds to reorganize and stabilize G.M., the fact is the stimulus worked. The investment of taxpayers’ dollars worked to save G.M. jobs and to catalyze a financial rebirth of G.M.
(New York Times) — Toyota said Wednesday it roared to a net profit of 190.4 billion yen, or $2.2. billion, in the April-June quarter, as sales in emerging markets and aggressive cost-cutting offset a strong Japanese currency and the lingering effects of recalls on North American and European sales.