Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 11

* MARCH 2020

11

Musk might be the monster to scare the industry straight
FOR CENTURIES, PARENTS
around the world have used
the threat of the bogeyman or
another monster to get their
kids to quit behaving badly.
To hear Hyundai Canada
CEO Don Romano tell it, Tesla
Inc. CEO Elon Musk is the
auto industry's bogeyman. And
like the threat of the bogeyman coming for misbehaving
children, the emergence of
Tesla could wake the industry
to the need to change in the
digital age, Romano hopes.
"We have to continue to
invest in those areas, but we
also have to realize that there
are barbarians at the gate,"
said Romano, speaking at the
Automotive News Canada
Congress in February.
"Elon is climbing up the
mountain, and it's time to
push him down, and we'll do it
together."
FROM TORONTO

JOHN IRWIN
COMMENT
It's a dramatic metaphor,
but he has a point.
Tesla's stock price had
been trading well above its
historical average through the
first two months of 2020, and
its market cap was larger than
all but only a few of automakers.
A company's stock price is
far from the best or the only
measure of its success, and
high stock prices certainly do
not guarantee any sort of success in the future. And to be
sure, long-term questions
about Tesla remain, namely
whether it can continue to
scale and
maintain the
Instead of
profitability it
dismissing or
reported in
the third and
ignoring
quarnontraditional fourth
ters of
2019.
automotive
But
companies,
despite
learn why they those quesit
exist and apply tions,
would be
that knowledge. silly for anyone in the
industry to dismiss Tesla or
other startups making names
for themselves in North
America, such as online usedcar retailer Carvana and vehicle-pricing company Unhaggle.
That these companies generate as much buzz as they do
is, at least in part, a reflection
of the fact that they provide
something new in an industry
that is not quick to change, as
Romano acknowledged.
"Why do they exist? They
exist because we didn't do it,"
Romano said. "So let's do it."
For Hyundai Canada, that
meant launching Genesis as a
luxury brand that primarily sells
its vehicles online, with cars
being delivered to customers
for test drives and deliveries.
Romano said it was a way for
Genesis to go up against

Tesla's direct-sales model while allowing
the brand to take advantage of Hyundai's
dealer network.
"We can go online. We can sell cars
online," he said. "We can be better than
Tesla because we have the high ground.
Our dealers are in their communities.
They're part of their communities. They can
service customers better than anybody
else.
"If we put those things together, byebye, Tesla."
It remains to be seen, of course, whether that will be the case. But Romano's outlook strikes me as one the industry as a
whole should emulate. It's easy to dismiss
Tesla and other companies that have

In terms of the business model, is Tesla's
Elon Musk really doing anything that any
other automaker cannot do, and do better?
PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

emerged in recent years. Many of them
don't even make money, after all.
But they exist for a reason. And people
who work at an automaker, supplier or
dealership should pay attention to these
companies and those reasons instead of
dismissing or ignoring them. Tap into why
they are making waves and what their
offerings say about the industry's blind
spots.
And then experiment. Make changes
while building on the foundations of a
century-old industry.
Understanding a company such as
Tesla - and why people like it - is perhaps the best starting point to beating it.

- ANC


http://kintzgroup.com

Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2

Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 28
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