Bye Bye Diesel, Hello AI Movies, Fisker’s Low Prices

March 28, 2024
It’s a throwback Thursday today as we have JC in the house and we reflect on Volvo’s diesel legacy. We’re also talking about Fisker lowering MSRP on its troubled Ocean SUVs and the way AI is changing the video game.
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Show Notes with links:

After 45 years and over 9 million diesel vehicles produced, Volvo bids farewell to diesel, a powertrain that once constituted half of its global sales between 2012 and 2016.

  • The final diesel model, an XC90 SUV, has rolled off the production line in Torslanda, Sweden, destined for the World of Volvo museum as a relic of the past.
  • With the Torslanda factory's transition to electric motor production, Volvo aims to transform into an electric-only automaker by 2030, leading the charge among legacy car manufacturers.
  • Former CEO Håkan Samuelsson highlighted the strategic shift away from diesel towards electric vehicles as a commitment to "invest in the future – electric," amidst a declining diesel market in Europe.

Fisker is making a daring move to slash prices on its 2023 Ocean models in an effort to boost sales and attract more customers to its electric vehicles. Here's what's happening:

  • Fisker reduced the MSRP of its Ocean Extreme trim by 39%, from $61,499 to $37,499, aiming to make it a more attractive option in the competitive EV market.
  • The price cuts extend across the board, with the Ultra and Sport trims seeing reductions of 34% and 36%, respectively, highlighting Fisker's commitment to affordability.
  • This pricing strategy emerges amidst financial challenges, including the collapse of talks with a potential automaker partner and a warning of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange due to the company's low share price, which may trigger debt defaults.

Sora, OpenAI's AI video generator, has swiftly become a focal point in AI-driven content creation, showcasing the vast potential of AI in enhancing artistic expression.

  • Professional creatives, including directors and musicians, have been given early access to Sora and produced content that transcends traditional boundaries, highlighting the technology's role in democratizing high-quality video production.
  • Videos show surrealistic scenes, like robots dancing amidst trash, new breeds of animals like a half fox/half bird and a half whale/half octopus, and the odyssey of the Voyager's golden record through space, showcasing Sora's capability to bring the unimaginable to life.
  • Despite Sora's promising applications, concerns about the source of its training data and the ethical implications of AI-generated content linger, casting a shadow over its widespread adoption.
  • Another question is how much generating AI video with Sora will cost, with some estimating around $100 per 1 minute of generated video
  • "When you're not replicating the old but bringing life to new and impossible ideas, that's when Sora becomes most powerful," shared filmmaker Paul Trillo, emphasizing the innovative spirit that Sora embodies.

Paul J Daly: 0:00

Yo yo is Thursday, March 28. Have Jordan Cox in the studio today we're heading into our fifth Friday and fifth Saturday of the month. But today we're going to talk about a couple of really unique ASOTU CON sessions and some AI video generation. And some saying goodbye to diesels in passenger vehicles from Volvo. A bunch of stuff. Jordan, what's up today, man?

Jordan Cox: 0:40

Happy Thursday, Paul.

Paul J Daly: 0:41

Happy Thursday. What am I hearing? Oh, where's that? Where's that coming from? Is that you? Weird I don't know who trade that I'm like, looked frantically looking at my trigger pad. But that is definitely your walk on music. If I've ever heard it, who's in the house? JC things are going well? Well, yesterday, we made a frantic. A couple things happen yesterday. Number one, we released more than cars episode three. We released at one o'clock LinkedIn had a bunch of people show up to watch it live and in the comments. But now it is out into the world. So you can watch it. By going to more than You can go to our YouTube channel, which so cleverly is a so tube ASOTU dot B E, and we were hanging out with the West, her Auto Group. And Ben, I've seen that a couple times. And I still get teary when I watch it. It's

Jordan Cox: 1:35

great storytelling, I gotta tell you, I really great. It's so cool to share that with the world.

Paul J Daly: 1:39

My wife, my wife was in we had lunch, she came into the office. And so she was here right when the premiere happened. So we just sat sat at my desk and watched it and the part where I won't where there's a reveal of one of the characters, you find out who he actually is in the story. And like what he means to the dealership, she was like, Whoa, so you have to watch it to see if you don't see it.

Jordan Cox: 1:58

You're like, that's him. That's

Paul J Daly: 2:00

the that's the one. Hey, we really want to talk about the ASOTU CON session agenda. Everybody's been waiting for it asking for it. We know that if you're coming to the event or making the decision to come to an event, or if you're trying to convince your boss to let you go to the event he wants to know or she wants to know one thing and that is what are you going to learn? How is it going to improve our business, I appreciate going to events and having fun with your friends. But I'm not paying you to do that I'm paying you to bring value back to this dealership. We understand that. So you know we very carefully curate the sessions for this, which is why it takes us a little bit longer because there's no like just throw some people on stage together and ask them questions. We painstakingly go through the chemistry of the different people what they're good at what they're not good at. And we put together very unique panels. So I'm gonna read some of them. They're all live now or like 80 90% of them are live now. At ASOTU, you can click on agenda and click and see the agenda by stage by day. And if you scroll through the speakers, I was scrolling through the speakers Jordan and I was like, I can't believe all these people are going to be in one place. We

Jordan Cox: 3:06

get all these people one place in man. It's just great to have the them on stage but also like connect with them afterwards. That's what's so great about a soda con is there's so much that can happen between sessions. Before that starts after it ends go to dinner with someone and just have a great conversation with them

Paul J Daly: 3:20

really is we start a lot of conversations on the stage they carry on into the rest of the event. We have over 50 speakers now live on the site so you can go through see who they are lots of dealers, big dealerships, small dealerships, public groups, industry partners, people that you see on the internet all the time, that if you want to meet them in person, this is the place to do it. We're gonna have a bunch of next gen dealers on the main stage Kayla Cody, Ronnie lowenfield Any Belcher talk about how the next gen dealers are thriving by putting people first we have a bunch of a TAS auto dealer associations on stage from Virginia, Maryland. We're going to have Mike standing there from NADA talking about the latest what's going on. We're gonna have three m&a firms on stage at once to talk about some insights we're going to be have represented Presidio group, Haig partners, Kerrigan, everybody's going to be there and some other sessions I want to how to deploy brand strategy for marketing to the frontlines. We're going to have our man Duran cage Kimberly Barta from group one subi go she's on that panel, real time strategies for fixed ops hiring and training the need to hire some people in fixed ops these days that getting difficult. We're actually gonna have Dan shine the fixed ops editor of automotive news moderating that panel with Liza Borches. Patrice Banks from girls auto clinic there. How about this one how to maximize profits by providing an amazing employee and customer experience. We have some real savvy operators Katie, Katie mares, Phil Gill, Jonathan Dawson, talking about those things, how to build a profitable Mobile Service Division. Ed Roberts fixed ops fix, I'm sorry, mobile service director. He's got to fix the opposite. Service Director and a mobile service directly mobile. Yeah, yeah. So Jeremy Stephens gonna be there. They're trying to build their fleet up to like 50 vehicles. So if you want to get the mobile service or you have it and aren't good at it or you want to grow it, this is the place to be talking about how to time the Evie pivot for your specific market, big conversation. How to big build marketing audiences with more cookies disappearing every day. You have some just absolute killers on that panel. Nathan Hollenbeck, Steve White from Clever boy, David Spees. Zack will be moderating it so literally that was only like a little fraction of the things going on but so many great practical sessions that you can say to your boss, like I'm bringing this back I need to go to the session, learn the secrets bring the back to our store, so we can deploy there's one's gonna be a little bit of a throw down. Sales models on trial single point of contact versus traditional. Yeah, we got we got Scott Simons and Glen Lundy. We got Michael Wood and Erica Tiffany, who are single points of contact is going to be great. So look, go to a soda conduct calm, get your tickets. The hotel is getting very close to booked. Like the main hotel. The other hotels are fine, too. But if you want to be in the venue at the time, thanks 179 A night or something we negotiated the deal. So go to ASOTU Get your tickets. We need you to be there with us. It's going to be unbelievable. All right, great. I wanted to talk about all that. But now we got to talk about some news.

Jordan Cox: 6:21

Getting the news. All right after 45

Paul J Daly: 6:24

years and old most 9 million diesel vehicles produced. Volvo is bidding farewell to diesels in passenger cars a power train that once made up half of its global sales between 2012 and 2016. So the final diesel model, the final diesel vehicle and XC 90 SUV has rolled off the production line and Torslanda Sweden and is going right off the assembly line right into the world of Volvo museum as a relic from the past. It's never so funny with the factory transition to evey electric motor production. So they're going you know they've said stated this very cleanly that they're going to be all electric brand by 2030 Former CEO Hakan Sam Samuelson, how do you say his first name

Jordan Cox: 7:09

that's a that's a good guess. Got

Paul J Daly: 7:11

that a with a little circle over I don't know how to read the I'm sorry, Mr. Samuelson. He highlighted the shift away from diesel towards EVs as a commitment to invest in the future electric amidst the declining diesel market in Europe now like diesel never really caught on and passenger vehicles in the US, but this is a really big deal in Europe. Yeah,

Jordan Cox: 7:30

for sure. Actually. You probably don't know this. Do you know that I drive a diesel ascidian I did this Volkswagen. Yeah, I do. I've had one for seven years. What does that pissant Jetta

Paul J Daly: 7:40

a Jetta? Yeah, I mean, people everyone I know that has a diesel Jetta or Passat loves it

Jordan Cox: 7:44

to death. Yeah, it's just been such like a big thing part of part of Volkswagen as a whole. Having the diesel side of it. And it's been for me, it's been great. You get 45 miles per gallon. Now that was back. So it's a 2015. It's an older model. It's the last model year they did that. But having the ability to get the higher mileage back then was a huge deal. I mean, now you get that with a hybrid, right?

Paul J Daly: 8:07

Yeah, yeah, right. There was nothing even close to that. Yeah. Nothing even close to that. Well, I mean, I guess things are transitioning. And this is this kind of big, a big thing. Imagine the I'm sure there's a lot of motion around that last one rolling off the line. And all the people that made those diesel engines are now making electric motors I

Jordan Cox: 8:23

guess. That's right, look at that.

Paul J Daly: 8:25

Speaking of electric vehicles, segway this one's been a roller coaster Fisker is making a daring move to slash prices on all its 2023 ocean models in an effort to boost sales and attract more customers to its electric vehicles. So here's what's happening. They reduced the MSRP of its ocean extreme. So this is the vehicle we've seen. This is the one mark has brown Lee reviewed a lot of the talking controversy around it. They've reduced the price on this extreme trim by almost 40%. So this vehicle just last week was$61,499. Today, it is $37,499 looking to make it a more attractive thing. So across the board the reducing prices from the other trims as well. But basically there have been tons of financial challenges are trying to avoid bankruptcy. There have been talks with a major automaker, which have been kind of falling apart about some kind of like major stock purchase or acquisition and they're trying not to trigger any new debt defaults. The New York Stock Exchange has delisted the stock because it has gotten so low and so they're trying to move some inventory looks like to raise some cash

Jordan Cox: 9:39

it's interesting when they dropped the price that much I mean, Tesla did that too. But think of what

Paul J Daly: 9:43

that doesn't I don't think they dropped it that much though. How much did Tesla drops that did not

Jordan Cox: 9:47

do that? Not even close? Theirs was what I think 10 to 12% on some of the higher trim ones Yeah, and the highest one was like 10 grand Yeah,

Paul J Daly: 9:54

exactly. I mean, I'd maybe they made more drastic cuts on like some of the like the Model X some of the stuff that we was over like it was like 117 New brought down like 98 but it still doesn't feel the same what it's like a vehicle that's that expensive because

Jordan Cox: 10:09

I don't know overnight you change the used car market like that just like just like that. It's I wonder

Paul J Daly: 10:13

what, you know, it'd be interesting to know how many used Fisker ocean extremes there are out there. That's probably probably not many. But did you see the did you see the review by Marcus Brownlee on autofocus? Yeah. And and when I said all I can think about are the dealers who are signed up to be Fisker dealers, and, like, I still think they can I mean, a partnership with a major automaker would be great. I hope they pull out of this, I love that they adopted a dealer model. They did make a pretty car and some of the materials and some new ideas they had in there seemed like really great, especially the solar panels, like built into the roof of the car. That seems like a very practical addition that it looked prettier. Yeah, I mean, and one of the one of the issues they had Marcus Brownlee had in his review was that you couldn't tell what it was actually generating. He said it's got the solar panels, he said, But oddly, there's nowhere in the interface that I can see what that's actually doing from what it's

Jordan Cox: 11:07

doing for you. Right. Which which feels like does. Oh, does it? Yeah. On the Prius, it does. You can see the regeneration just from the solar panel. See,

Paul J Daly: 11:15

yeah, so I mean, we're gonna keep watching and see what happens. We really are pulling pulling from Team Fisker and hoping that they're able to figure it out and pull that luck if Carvana can pull out what it pulled out of last year. And it's true. I mean, I think Fisker can pull it off. I have a lot of smart people. And they do have a product that that seems really good. It does seem like it needs a little bit of refinement, but a lot of that refinement seems like it could be software too. So yeah,

Jordan Cox: 11:38

well, even if they get acquired by a manufacturer like Nissan or a different manufacturer, they're not going to I don't think they're gonna do it for the brand. I think they're going to do it for the technology.

Paul J Daly: 11:49

Yeah, that'd be it. Yeah. Right. Like, what does the Fisker brand? Like? Does it have any, like brand equity at this point? Well, I mean, it's tough because the brand equity that's building up right now, in the last, you know, 3060 days has been good brand equity. So, I don't know. I don't know. I mean, we'll figure it out, figure out what happens. And talk about what they can put together. Speaking of putting things together, there, yes. This is going to be a fun one. Hey, if you're not watching, you're going to have to come back and watch this episode, because we're going to be talking about some video content Surah, which is actually open AI, the creative chat GPT, their new AI video generator has swiftly become a focal point in AI generated content creation, showcasing the vast potential of video content creation from Ai, they released a little bit of its capabilities like a couple of weeks ago, a few weeks ago, where you see these puppies playing in the snow. And it's like, this is all AI generated. And, and so basically, they gave now for the first time, they've given access to the software to be prompted to some professional filmmaker, some professional creators, including directors, musicians, and they said, let's see what they can make with the tool. Right? So this is more than just like show me puppies playing in the snow, right? Like that's the kind of a low hanging fruit right there. Everyone wants to see button playing in the snow. So the some of these videos show some surrealistic scenes, like robots dancing, this weird Meteor thing will show it. You know, and so people, people have concerns about this level of video production because of ethical concerns, right? Like, can you create video content of things that would be unethical, you know, representing other people representing things that didn't really happen and trying to convince people that the videos are real, you know, so let's see. One of the filmmakers, Phil Trillo. He said, When you're not replicating the old but bringing to life, the new and impossible ideas, that's when soar becomes most powerful. So it's right, but watch the videos Jordan.

Jordan Cox: 14:00

Let's do it.

Paul J Daly: 14:01

Alright, let's let's roll. We have two to share with you. First one, let's share the one about the fake soda brand. So we're going to roll the video will explain to you what we're seeing.

Jordan Cox: 14:13

How do you explain that? Well,

Paul J Daly: 14:15

I mean, what you're seeing is a bunch of I don't know, like very cinematic scenes. Man, a woman in a restaurant. Nostalgic bike shop. Now we're in the water where a what looks like a Porsche slash McLaren comes out of the water. Seeing a sneaker or seeing a can of soda that says salt soda in the middle of what looks like the salt flats. But it's just like a very, I don't know, it's a very cinematic piece that is supposed to I think, evoke an emotion of a brand. I don't know what's your take from that one?

Jordan Cox: 14:50

I don't know. It was very montage, right? It's like there's a lot of different scenes that aren't really directly connected. But just like you said, it's trying to get a certain emotion out of that and it's been I think it's nostalgia is what they were going for other than the car submarine everything else seemed to be very nostalgic. That's

Paul J Daly: 15:05

it and that one I felt like felt still like kind of very a I mean it looks great if you look at footage there's nothing like a lot of it looks like absolutely real footage real Bureau people we didn't see anyone with seven fingers. No weird Will Smith to and pasta. Right? We weren't we weren't there at all right. But one of the things, the cohesive elements of that video that held it together was definitely the track the piano music now. Yeah, all of these videos that you're seeing, were generated by AI, the track the music, and this next one, the script in the storyboard are obviously created by the filmmaker and they use AI to generate the images and one of the key components of soar AI that's different is now you can take a consistent character and create different scenes with the same character which as you know, if you've used any image generation, you can't have like a consistent character element through multiple iterations of the same thing. Right? You have like starts over every time. So let's roll this one. This one will be fun, even if you're just listening, because it tells the story. It will It will tell you will tell you the visual at the end because it'll maybe be a little surprise for you if you're just listening. But go ahead. Let's roll the second the second one. We're looking at a man walking through the grass toward a bike right now can't see his head.

Unknown: 16:24

The title is air has something unique about something that sets him apart. It's just in my case, you know, it's quite obvious what that thing is. I am literally filled with hot air. Yeah, living like this has its challenges. windy days, for one are particularly troublesome. Or there was a one time my girlfriend insists that I go to the cactus store to get my uncle Jerry a wedding present.

Paul J Daly: 16:50

This man has a boil over our head about my predicament.

Unknown: 16:53

With a perspective it gives me You know, I get to see the world differently. I float above the mundane and the ordinary I see things a different way from everyone else. Yet I feel like it's because of that perspective. I'm reminded every day that life is fragile. We're all just a pinprick away from deflation. So I try to live life with a lightness of buoyancy. Joie de vie. I got a lot of ideas, keeping us thankful. Without any luck, I'll find a way to share them with everyone else.

Paul J Daly: 17:28

say Yo, it was a man walking through life with a balloon for ahead. So good. And that one actually was the of all the five or six that we saw that one kept me interested. And I think it's because a human wrote the story.

Jordan Cox: 17:42

Yeah, storytelling is what holds that together. So well. So you know, I guess when I when I hear this type of story, when we when we talk about the story topic as a whole with surah. I think of all of the name, image, name, image and likeness that can come from this, especially the people are concerned with ethically. And then also, can I really create a video of Paul J. Daly committing a crime? And then those are the two things I think of? No,

Paul J Daly: 18:11

I believe you on that one, Jordan? All right, let's tie this back down. Right, because I know like sometimes we you know, taking the liberty today to go a little bit deeper on something that's not specifically directly tied to the auto industry. But if you think about the implications of what this has, obviously you go marketing first, right content creation first. And, you know, the question on whether AI is good or bad. I think in the marketing world, it's like this gives you the opportunity to unlock a lot more potential to unlock more people to do more with less. And it still comes back to can you tie human emotions? Can you tie human desires? What do we want? What we want out of life? What makes us tick? What would make us move to or from a brand? Can you still have the creative impetus to do that in a way that helps you sell car service vehicles? Have people take a step closer to who you are want to work at your dealership want to stay at your industry partner, you know, company? Like I think it's just still going to be the Wild West. But I think that the core elements of it are still the same.

Jordan Cox: 19:15

Yeah, I think it's the wild west in a good way. People are concerned about this taking over Hollywood. That's not the case. It's going to be small creators on YouTube, on Instagram, places like that. Smaller places like linear TV marketing that dealers use. It's going to be those spaces where the new creative minds can really take advantage of resources like this. Yeah,

Paul J Daly: 19:35

I agree with you. Well, there you go. We'll give you a few things to think about. The one thing we really want you to leave thinking about is how you're going to get to a soda con in May 15 and 16th. Go to a soda Check out the agenda. You won't want to miss it.

Unknown: 20:00


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