An Auto Entrepreneur Buys Lots of EVs, GM Retools, Gen Z Prefers Search on TikTok

August 12, 2022
Walking into a much cooler Friday than last week for most of the country, we’re covering a move by startup Autonomy to boost EV offerings, GM retooling and simplifying its chip infrastructure, as well as the Gen Z trend of trusting TikTok for search.
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  • EV Subscription Company, Autonomy (formerly NextCar) placed orders for 23K EV’s across 17 Automakers, partnering with Auto Nation for both sales and service
  • “The orders are for 45 different models and are valued at $1.2 billion per an Autonomy press release
  • Will take delivery of all 23,000 vehicles within 18 months, Founder and CEO, Scott Painter told Automotive News.
  • Until now the company only had Tesla Model 3s, and is moving to including the Model Y, several GM models including the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. Also about 1000 vehicles each from Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Rivian and fewer than 500 each from Polestar, Volvo and Canoo
  • Painter founded TrueCar and Fair
  • Take away: We don’t know if the business model will work or not, but it definitely will promote overall EV adoption

  • GM is retooling and significantly reducing the number of ‘chip families’ it’s using to clear backlogs and prevent them in the future
  • Were sitting on 95k assembled vehicles waiting on chips at the end o f Q2 and have cleared more than 20K of them in July
  • Plan  to reduce the number of chip families by 95% in future designs, to prevent future shortage
  • CFO Paul Jacobson said the number of chip families used will drop by 95% down to 3 total. He also noted increased involvement throughout the manufacturing chain
  • Take away: These aren’t flashy announcements, but most nuts and bolts improvements aren’t. That’s a good thing.

  • TikTok is becoming (or maybe IS) the preferred search engine of Gen Z
  • Wanda Pogue, Chief Strategy Officer at VaynerMedia cites a new study that shows 40% of Gen Z users prefer TikTok and Instagram over Google when it comes to search
  • “ Gen Z daughter had a group of friends over. I asked them about their behavior on TikTok, and they agreed: It’s the platform they go to now when searching for anything, from the highest-rated beauty products and clothing trends to the best restaurants in the area or recipes to try”
  • Gen Z prioritizes authenticity and utility which is one of the reasons why they like the visual representation with more real-world application
  • “Social channels have become brands’ digital storefronts, and the content shared on them is the cornerstone of building a modern brand. It’s an always-on game of relevance, where brand channels need to be “alive” to engage existing communities’
  • Take away: What was that you were saying  about “organic content”?


Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:23

Yo, it's Friday we got Nashville, Kyle, I got the tape measure out because we're making lots of print materials. But today we're talking about historic automotive and entrepreneur, buying a lot of EVs, GM retooling and Gen Z searching on tic tac toe.

Kyle Mountsier  00:37

The people really want

Paul Daly  00:40

ID. First we're gonna bounce

Kyle Mountsier  00:46

around how to get the sunglasses inside.

Paul Daly  00:48

I rode the motorcycle to work today.

Kyle Mountsier  00:51

Of course you did. Of course you did.

Paul Daly  00:53

I need it. It's like because it's like 60 degrees. 62 degrees right now in Syracuse. It's been like a human like, it's amazing. It's amazing. And then when you get on a motorcycle going, perhaps the speed limit perhaps above it, it gets a little chillier. And there's something about it that just makes your whole body tingle. Like when you get off of it. And I just feel like I feel like that's what like people that get themselves in, like a cryo bath feels like probably not even close, but I'm not. I hate the cold. I'm not doing that. Let's do that crap. Oh, man, we have so much to talk about today. It's been an amazing week. Others just so much has gone on in the auto industry this week. So many texts, so many LinkedIn, DMS, we got to see a bunch of people in person hands in the dirt in the stores. Gosh, I just remember in your post from last week like this is the most fun industry in the world. You can't believe that you ever wanted to be a soccer player.

Kyle Mountsier  01:46

I know right? I'm so much more happy just watching soccer and being in the automotive industry. It

Paul Daly  01:53

shows longer. I mean all kinds of things.

Kyle Mountsier  01:57

I've known about the money yet maybe

Paul Daly  02:01

depends on what kind of soccer you're playing

Kyle Mountsier  02:03

in Europe or the MLS

Paul Daly  02:05

you got to say I know a lot of soccer players that work a job in the summer you

Kyle Mountsier  02:10

may struggle yeah, there's some I mean, I think the I think the base salary in the MLS just got moved to 80 grand. So you know, it ain't no MLS, American football, Na na na na na na, na na.

Paul Daly  02:21

We're talking about a number of things today. But first, let's get some housekeeping out of the way. Look, a soda con sessions are up on the website, go to a soda You can see all the crazy stuff that's going to happen at the event now complete with speakers and panels. Dealers are starting to buy the tickets in in the increasing mode, which isn't COURAGING because we knew that like a month out was when dealers usually make their decisions. What's their going to do? It's fun to watch coming in from all over

Kyle Mountsier  02:47

things happening in North so Hey, London while the getting's good,

Paul Daly  02:50

that's true. That's a good point. Oh, we didn't post the scarf yet. We have the most amazing piece of swag that we're giving away. So to kind of we'll show some more pictures of it soon. But it is just the ticket price might be worth the scarf. Oh, it's so cool. And the bragging rights alone. Have a Good morning, Eric. Good morning, William. Good morning, Larry. A bunch of people showing up on the live stream this morning.

Kyle Mountsier  03:11

Right after you know what, you know what? Yeah, around? Well, first of all, we got all things use cars today, it's going to be stellar, Todd computers coming in with some serious questions, he's going to challenge everybody like he always does. And then if you haven't been catching the live stream during your lunch break, or like sitting with your team during the day of some of the collaborators and speakers that we're going to have it so two cons on our new podcasts, auto collabs the conversations have just been the most fun, dynamic, they are impactful to business. And so you're gonna want to catch those. And you can go back you can search auto collabs, on YouTube, or any podcast spot, or?

Paul Daly  03:49

Well, yeah, it's, they have been some of the most fun, rewarding podcast experiences of my life. And I've done hundreds and hundreds of podcasts over the last five years. And these have been just amazing to be a part of, and the fun part about the auto collabs podcast, you know, you're doing it right when you can tell the other person is really engaged because you're not asking the same old stuff. Right, and everybody gets laughing and you start telling stories and sharing some personal details. I don't think we've gotten to the point where it's been TMI yet, but we'll probably get there. So there'll be streaming at noon, and today, you know, speaking to David, I'm not going to hit the buttons, David Long who hosts the all things use Carter's room are created and hosted. He's actually the guest on today's podcast. So at noon on our LinkedIn channel or LinkedIn page, follow us so too, and you can see the stream there or on our YouTube page as Oh, T u dot B E. So two. So we're doing that. Yeah, we have some news. I also want to give a shout out like Who did we talk about so well, here's

Kyle Mountsier  04:51

this is what I want to talk about today. Oh, good. Had a lot of conversations this week actually, with we've got a few partners coming that are what we're calling activating in the space. So if you don't understand like the difference between like a show booth and an activation and activation, really, the goal is to kind of attenuate you to interactivity. Oh, my gosh,

Paul Daly  05:10

and attenuate you to interactive. That's really good. That's really good, awesome. Birds on a Friday. Go ahead, tell anyway, it's your interactivity. I like it well,

Kyle Mountsier  05:19

and so we've got, I think, six or seven partners that are coming to this that are doing things like literally bringing a showroom experience to the place. VR chairs,

Paul Daly  05:30

the desks, the thing is physical and

Kyle Mountsier  05:33

virtual, right, an iPad that is 55 inches wide, like literally a ginormous iPad. I mean, these are some really cool interactive experiences that you'll get to have at soda con. So when you're there, you actually get to kind of like, there's no booths, there's no like, Come swing by for the pen, you know. And so the idea is to really get get people acclimated and activated. And then a lot of our other activations are, are alongside of the way brands present themselves and act within auto. So I think people are gonna get kind of a new way of approaching that dealer industry partner relationship within the event space. Yes,

Paul Daly  06:15

I love that so much. So cool. And hey, our friends at goober goo and naked lime actually are helping us put on the sick sick show on Monday to talk about an activation. We're expecting 1000s 1000s with an S of everyday folks that work at dealerships all outs all across the Greater Philadelphia region. And if you want to fly in just for the event you can get in if you work at a dealership, we're having evening entertainment, live on open air concert from Nashville's hottest party band and we're inviting everyone that works at a dealership to be a part of it. So we're going to have the technicians lot porters, BDC, rep sales associates, receptionist janitors it folks, that uncle that is still employed because of family business, but no one really knows what he does, he can come to everybody is going to come to this event. So just look, if you haven't got your tickets, yet, if you're a dealer, we want you to come participate in the event and get all your people to come on Monday night for free to get them fired up about the industry that they are in because they should be fired up about it. I don't have a trade. I'm gonna transition so I'm just gonna hit the button. Segway started Friday. No, we already started a Friday. We already started Friday, like three hours ago. So ev subscription company autonomy. Formerly next car placed orders for over 23,000 EVs across 17 automakers primarily partnering with auto nation for sales and service. So if you're not familiar with it, autonomies founded by the serial automotive entrepreneur, Scott painter, if his name sound familiar, it should, he had a couple of small ventures that have kind of affected a space and little one called True car. One called fair member fair, next car, next car, which is now autonomy. And the goal is really to have a subscription model where people can get familiar and have a lower barrier of commitment to an Eevee over time, right? So you can pick up one month, three month, three year like whatever. So you know, painters just always thinking things and always try to love somebody that's always willing to try so he's always trying

Kyle Mountsier  08:19

something and this is like the new iteration of fair, the subscription model to get used to the Eevee. So I, you know, I think that it's interesting, because I think that there's definitely a space for it and a need for it. But I could see it as being honestly just like a short lived business model, where once there's a general population understanding of the ownership and the drivability and the technology of an Eevee that then assess the long term, what's the long term necessity that to get acclimated to owning or, you know, or leasing an Eevee but I think short term and then you know, he's always gonna pivot find the next opportunity but this could be really interesting way to kind of get people committed to that to that whole environment.

Paul Daly  09:07

Shoot, I would pivot that sucker because you think like, what's the real adoption curve 567 years right when people get familiar infrastructure catch up range anxiety goes away and it just becomes a normal thing. And the pivot that sucker into used Evie marketplace you're going to evolve tons inventory you're gonna have tons of trust people like just do that it's so easy whenever you say just just do

Kyle Mountsier  09:27

that. You know, stop paying. We had a call with a company called recurrent the other day that's that's that's looking at Carfax for batteries and Carfax for batteries Scott painter should so get on the phone with those guys. So good guy, you know Scott and you know the guys that recurrent make that happen?

Paul Daly  09:45

Just matchmaking on a Friday morning, so the company is going to take delivery of all 23,000 vehicles they ordered within 18 months and until now the company is only had Tesla Model threes. However now they've expanded that to model Tesla Model wise Several GM models are gonna be Equinox GMC Hummer EV Cadillac lyric. Also about 1000 vehicles each from VW hot Ford, Hyundai, Kia and rivian and fewer than 500 Each from Paulista pollster, Volvo and canoe. So he's really brought it up and they're looking at why not? There? I actually I think that that subscription trade would probably be higher because people were like, low a low risk try this thing. So, you know, like we said, we don't know if the business model will work or not, but who are we? But we definitely know it is going to help promote evey adoption overall, and kind of move the ball forward in education and you know, as usual we are big big fans of education. Speaking of learning things

Kyle Mountsier  10:47

well, I just if you haven't checked out Steve greenfields LinkedIn profile, I don't know where this guy's at, but he's like founder avian jackpot. And speaking of EVs basically, this cat has found every Amazon rivian truck, and they're all parked in a parking lot. And he's with them right now. Yeah. So So I would say go check that out, just because if you're like, what is this going to look like? He found them. So it's also like a robo tire

Paul Daly  11:15

plant. Like Robo tires that he's, you know, his fund is invested in this is like robot arms change tires, which would have saved me a lot of backache over the years since I took with my room doctor. He's been really nice. Well speaking and learning things. We had a little fun, not a little fun. Oh, well, we always have a lot of fun with whatever we're doing. But you know, I felt like, you know, we we talked about GM quite a bit this week, GM is taking quite a bit of heat across the interwebs. We're throwing some constructive criticism across the across the line at GM to its we said like, Hey, your real friends, like you know, when you got something in your teeth, right. And so Jim got something your teeth however, let's talk about some awesome things that they're doing on the infrastructure, nuts and bolts of the business, because that's actually what drives profitability moves it forward. GM is retooling and significantly reducing the number of, quote, Chip families, that means the different types of chips that it uses to clear backlogs that are in the pipeline, and then prevent them again, in the future. As of June, GM was sitting on I think, 95,000 vehicles that were fully assembled and just waiting for chips waiting. By the end of q2, they cleared 20,000 of them, and they're keep going on that. So that's one little piece of news. The other one is that they're reducing the amount of chip families they use by 95%. Bring it all the way down to just three different types of chips. Wow,

Kyle Mountsier  12:41

that's, that's pretty. This is like, this is the main the car manufacturers version of Aetherium. Right, like so how we found 95%.

Paul Daly  12:52

Right? It's a week at 95. Right,

Kyle Mountsier  12:55

within our business model and reducing the amount of chip families now, it kind of confuses me that this creates a better efficiency because don't you become more beholden to those 5% Those three gene and maybe

Paul Daly  13:08

put Oh, I was thinking about that same thing. And I'm guessing that the types of chips in one vehicle if you have like, say 12 different types of chipsets in one vehicle, you're much more vulnerable to not having a complete vehicle. Right, you know, I'm saying because like, say I have 11 of the 12 Well, guess it's no there it goes.

Kyle Mountsier  13:31

Yep, rear seat. Here's a question. We've been talking about chips so much. I'm kind of over it at this point. But why has any dealership done like an advertising campaign? Nowhere they're just sitting around eating like Lay's and Pringles eating chips, eating chips being like, Oh, we got your chips. Partly laser Pringles have they done it? And like Brian Ortega

Paul Daly  13:54

probably has unity right now. These are so she like tried to like put the chips in the card and make it work. Right just like putting it back when there were CD drives right? Like just put some chips in there. Like that car set that up. Siculus videos segue. Yeah, you're like we're going to pull up, pull up. So Tik Tok is becoming or maybe is already the preferred search engine of Gen Z wanna post Chief Strategy Officer at VaynerMedia had a great article in Adweek, citing a new study that shows 40% of Gen Z users prefer Tik Tok and Instagram over Google. When it comes to search. She had some anecdotal evidence as well. Quote in the article she says my Gen Z daughter had a group of friends over I asked them about their behavior on Tik Tok and they agreed about their search behavior and it's the platform they go to now in searching for anything from the highest rated beauty products and clothing trends to the best restaurants in the area or recipes to try

Kyle Mountsier  14:56

out. You so it's interesting like I'm In the millennial generation, right? But even a lot of the people that I interface with my friends, the conversation sometimes goes to, oh, you know what, on, on tick tock, I saw how to write. And you think about the words how to, and that was a YouTube theme, you know, and still is, right. But it was definitely a YouTube thing. But I'm starting to see that how to theme move over to tick tock and people are recognizing then that how to video the, you know, that short, shorter form of like, interesting ways or interesting things to approach are definitely becoming more search engine ish, and less just content feed. So

Paul Daly  15:43

it's very interesting now that you mentioned it just brought up like, so my kids are at camp this week, or three of my four while we were our two year old. So my wife Sarah and I have had a little bit more time to like, she's like, I have to make dinner for two people and not, you know, seven people. It's a different thing. Right? But she made she made this Italian dish, and she said, I made this from like, a 15 second Instagram reel. So I wonder if she searched it, I have to ask her. I mean, my wife tech, whether it just came off or C shirts it Yeah, she probably searched it, she probably searched it was pretty good, you know. And she made that from the fact that you can get a whole recipe into 15 seconds on an Instagram reel is actually pretty efficient. And then you can automate a

Kyle Mountsier  16:20

ton of photoshop skills from Instagram reels. So

Paul Daly  16:24

I learned how to start as I learned how to start just about everything I do from the internet. No, actually, it's not true. When I first got into business, there was really not much of an internet. I bought small business for Dummies, and literally started page one, right? I had to download I had to buy a QuickBooks business CD ROM, put it in a computer. And it was like company name in the early 2000s. It was like company name. I was like, I got this. And then it was like ein I was like, I know what that is doo doo doo. And then it was like chart of accounts. And I was like, customers.

Kyle Mountsier  17:04

That's it literally, how do I set up a chart of accounts? Right?

Paul Daly  17:08

I wish I had it open right now we could actually try that. That's amazing. But the article goes on to say like social channels have become brands, digital storefronts, and the content shared is the cornerstone of building a modern brand. It's an always on Game of relevance where Brand Channels need to be, quote, unquote, alive, to engage existing community. So our takeaway from this one was, what was that you were saying about organic social media content? It doesn't give you any ROI. Well, if you don't care about Gen Z buyers, then I guess it doesn't matter to you. We don't need any Gen Z buyers. We could just live off our Gen X and boomers and stuff, right?

Kyle Mountsier  17:44

Yeah. Well, I would say if you're not telling and selling, and rather you're sharing, then you might actually have some value to provide organic content and algorithm and that might help. Yeah, so my gosh,

Paul Daly  17:58

it's that is gonna be the game like the the dealers that building brands that know organic content are absolutely going to be the ones that are going to win in this education knowledge seeking world not, you know, like, you know, 2022 Honda Civic, that kind of search, you know, strategy has its place, but it is a portion of the overall strategy, not the entire strategy. Speaking of the entire strategy. Now, I'm not going to hit it again. Everybody heard it in their ear, though, what I said that is our strategy this Friday is to absolutely keep running as hard as we can to help and serve as many dealers as we can. And I know that you're out there doing the same on the front lines, bringing this industry to what it should be so keep walking that