Lightning Is Loose, Retiring On Bitcoin, and Pontiac Is Put Aside

April 27, 2022
Today we talk about the very first Ford Lighting rolling off the production line, the largest retirement plan holder allowing investments in Bitcoin, and we’re talking about Pontiac’s final days. 
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The very first Ford Lightnings have rolled off the assembly line

  1. Pre production began on Sept 21, 2021 (Just over 7 months ago)
  2. Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, “Today we celebrate the Model T moment for the 21st Century at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.” “The stunning anticipation for F-150 Lightning is a credit to the work of our Ford engineers and designers, and the UAW team members who are building these trucks with pride.”
  3. 200k Pre orders, Ford plans on fulfilling 150k this year

Fidelity plans to allow investors to put bitcoin in their 401Ks. The plan will open the 23,000 companies that use Fidelity to bitcoin options later this year.

  1. Fidelity is the US's largest retirement-plan provider, but this move toward the mainstream for crypto will need the endorsement of employers to be complete, which remains to be seen. 
  2. Under the plan, Fidelity would let savers allocate as much as 20% of their nest eggs to bitcoin, though that threshold could be lowered by plan sponsors.
  3. Vanguard Group, a major competitor of Fidelity’s, says it “has no plans to offer a cryptocurrency option within its 401(k) plans,” according to a spokeswoman. On its site, the company says, “since cryptocurrencies are highly speculative in their current state, Vanguard believes their long-term investment case is weak.”
  4. Overheard —  “If I retire right now I can live on my savings for 30 years, now 10 years, now 41 years, now 3 years” 

On April 27th, 2009 GM announces plans to end production of the 80 year old Pontiac brand

  1. Pontiac’s origins date back to the Oakland Motor Car, which was founded in 1907 in Pontiac, Michigan, by Edward Murphy, a horse-drawn carriage manufacturer. In 1909, Oakland became part of General Motors, a conglomerate formed the previous year by another former buggy company executive, William Durant. The first Pontiac model made its debut as part of the Oakland line in the 1920s. The car, which featured a six-cylinder engine, proved so popular that the Oakland name was eventually dropped and Pontiac became its own GM division by the early 1930s.
  2. The New York Times: “More than any other G.M. brand, Pontiac stood for performance, speed and sex appeal.” Pontiacs were featured in such movies as 1977’s “Smokey and the Bandit,” in which actor Burt Reynolds drove a black Pontiac Trans Am, and the 1980s hit TV show “Knight Rider,” which starred a Pontiac Trans Am as KITT, a talking car with artificial intelligence, alongside David Hasselhoff as crime fighter Michael Knight.

Paul Daly  1:04  

What's up everybody is Wednesday, April 27. Lightning Lightning is out of the bottle this morning. I shouldn't be dead the title lightning is out of the bottle. You can now retire by investing in Bitcoin. And remember, Pontiac

Kyle Mountsier  1:16  

There was there was something unique about like when I was a kid at least was like everybody wanted a Pontiac. Right. It was like it was something about like in the 90s. At least there was just this. It felt fast. Right. Every, you know, the like that was kind of the before the Honda Civic. It was. It was like the precursor

Paul Daly  1:43  

there was the Pontiac GTO. Right. Yeah. And then it was like, here's the deal. You're probably wondering why the heck we're talking about Pontiac. Right? I know a lot of you remember that actually have some of you probably don't remember, Pontiac, but on this day in history, I did just came across this today. On this day in history, April 27 2009, is when GM announced their plan to end production of the 80 year old Pontiac brand. So if you remember, let me give you some context. In 2008, it all fell apart. The stock market crashed. We just had a really difficult time OEMs were going out of business. They were about to go bankrupt. GM got a government bailout. Chrysler Ford did not get a government bailout. They made it but their stock price was down to like three bucks. I remember. Yeah. It was like three bucks. You remember that? So I my business at the time. I thought we were done. All our businesses were dealers and it was total mayhem in the automotive industry. So a lot of manufacturers started rolling up brands. Pontiac got rolled up, Oldsmobile got rolled up. Chevy notch Chevy rolled up Saturn was that 100 was

Kyle Mountsier  3:00  

like, it was like a year or two later. Yeah. But it got rolled up for about

Paul Daly  3:04  

Hummer. It was that one Hummer kind of bit the dust to?

Kyle Mountsier  3:07  

No Hummer was like 1413 or 14. So I think right, so So but basically probably a byproduct of the result of like high gas prices or 12, quote unquote, high gas prices were like,

Paul Daly  3:22  

they were higher. I remember higher gas prices than this not much higher. Not much. I remember I remember seeing $5 once. Right, and there's like, I remember thinking it's never going back down. Never ever, ever, ever. No, it did. It went back down like $1.20. But either way, so we're hybrid. So either way, this is when GM announced like Pontiac Stein. If you think about it, like a lot of there are a lot of franchises. They have a plenty of franchise and you hear like we're closing it down. Pontiacs date. So it's like this state in history, we thought would be good to talk about remember that. We have been through a lot of turmoil in the auto industry, like what we're seeing now is just another iteration of it. To talk about it all the time, man, like suckers resilient.

Kyle Mountsier  4:03  

That it is. Yeah, and I think there's ebbs and flows. Right. And I think that Evie is kind of one of those, you know, this kind of like moment in time that we're gonna look back at and see the winners and losers see the people that were able to shift and pivot the right way. The ones that made brand stances that felt really strong that consumers adhered to, and locked on to, and then there'll be some that, you know, just don't just don't make it through that they, that they they're trying to hang on to their, you know, hang on by their bootstraps and pull themselves up or shift and pivot. So I think it's, I think it's key to kind of talk about to look back and to remember that not not everyone makes it all the time, but the automotive industry makes it.

Paul Daly  4:46  

Yeah, I'm not a big I'm not a big believer, and people say never looked back, always look forward because I think we learned a ton. By looking back. We learned a ton of perspective. So for some perspective, Pontiac was founded in 1907 in Pontiac, Michigan, through the name came From by a guy named get this Edward Murphy. So Eddie Murphy founded funny I can 1907 right but it was a it was a horse drawn carriage manufacturer like talking about the transition from like ice vehicles to EVs. Well, it was like horses in two, right? That's a pretty big transition to it and 99 they became part of General Motors, which was this then a conglomerate being formed. And, you know, their big claim to fame was like their first vehicle was a six cylinder engine. And then like you said, the Pontiac started standing for speed and performance. You think of epic Pontiac, like Smokey and the Bandit from Knight Rider. Kit Knight Rider was like the ultimate Pontiac ultimate, you know, exactly. And then Pontiac just became like, just another badging of like, the other GM cars, right. Then they Yeah,

it was like the sell off


Kyle Mountsier  5:52  

It's exactly what it was. Yeah,

Paul Daly  5:53  

it was why they were like, what do we need to vote for?

Kyle Mountsier  5:56  

It was like when, you know, Dodge and Chrysler were basically the same thing. Pontiac was the Dodge of, you know, of the GM world for sure.

Paul Daly  6:06  

So I mean, it's kind of like, kind of like Chevy and GMC. Now,

Kyle Mountsier  6:10  

right? Yeah. Now, that's the new kind of like, you know, just just walk down for sure.

Paul Daly  6:15  

Yeah, I guess there's enough that so we thought it'd be good to look back because it's always good to look back and get some perspective. And speaking of transitions and perspective, so hello,

Kyle Mountsier  6:24  

segway. Alright, that was a softball pitch that was so it was.

Paul Daly  6:32  

So the Pontiac story was actually the last one we want to talk about. We just started talking about it first today. But here's actually we're going to talk about is like Ford yesterday, they rolled the first lightning off,

Kyle Mountsier  6:43  

you know what I'm impressed with, let me just say this. Two weeks ago, they came out and we're like, on the 26th. And we're gonna do the thing. And they did it. That's a big deal. Mike, we're very, very, predicts things two weeks in advance and actually does them they're like, I gotta push it back. Oh, we're moving it up, you know, but they like a two week timeline. And they nailed it great.

Paul Daly  7:07  

Not just in automotive, I was just having breakfast with a friend. And we were talking about how, like, our expectations overall, have just been gone. Like I don't expect things to be in snug. I don't expect things to be on time. Right? I just don't. And so Ford exceeded expectations rolled the first lightning off the assembly line production began just seven months ago in September. Think about that. September, they were like we're gonna start making these things and start outfitting the plant and doing all that stuff. And today, they rolled it off executive chairman Bill Ford said Today we celebrate the Model T moment for the 21st century at the rogue electric vehicle center. The stunning anticipation for f 150. Lightning is a credit to the work of our Ford engineers and designers and the UAW team members who are building these trucks with pride. It's okay, that

Kyle Mountsier  7:54  

celebrating the Model T moment, I don't know if that's that's a pretty bold statement. Like it's a little IPs for a hot minute. That's a little

Paul Daly  8:02  

a little hype. Well, but Ford has it. Yeah, well think about the Model T the Model T was like we figured out a way to mass manufacture of surgical. Yeah. And that type. Everybody figured out how to mass manufacture and Evie already. Yeah,

Kyle Mountsier  8:15  

if you did it in seven months, right? You've executed something that most others haven't been able to in outfitting a plant that was previously that was retrofitted to do something, do something different there. And there's the real celebration. Exactly. Yeah. So I think that there probably is something to be said there because especially for legacy OEMs that kind of like just kind of work and work on and things happen and r&d happens, and then they slightly iterate. But that's a massive iteration on a current process. And to do it in such a tight timeline speaks to the validity of OEMs actually being able to play the game that all of these other Evie manufacturers are coming in and trying to steal the thunder. Yeah, for sure. Threw in lightning, wow.

Paul Daly  9:03  

The speech, the speech writer got a little excited, or it's the speech writer got a little excited. They did the speech. He's high five and like they were high five, and they were having a good time over the Model T Moment thing. So they put I've read in the article that we link, we always link up the articles in the show notes if you don't know. So what they did was they put I think it was just under a billion dollars into the plant. Right to make it able to. And so here's what I was thinking. I was like, okay, they put a billion dollars. There's like 945 million into this plant and outcomes. This beautiful electric vehicle, right? You have a tangible vehicle 200,000 pre orders. Good morning, Larry. Good morning, Jennifer. It's so good to see you all here. We like to give you some love when you show us some love. And so look at this. The Good Mornings are rolling in Bobby Rossa on the West Coast. He's up early this morning. Follow Bob on LinkedIn because he does custom pull design and it's so much fun to watch these things going up. So here's the deal. Now a fortnight or 45 million on the plant and outcomes, this full electric vehicle 200,000 People were about to buy it, it's going to really change the game. And Twitter costs 44 billion, and that only was 945 million. I was like, I just thought about that for a second. I was like, wow,

Kyle Mountsier  10:18  

yeah. Wow. Okay, if we're gonna go to the Twitter thing, I've seen people being you know, like, posts like, Oh, guess what, I just bought a whole city bought the whole city out every business in it $44 billion. Congratulations to me. Right? Isn't that amazing? There is this like scope and scale of attention and, and whether or not the validity of you know, progress and all that is happening? I think there's a lot more to be had here, especially if dealers are, you know, given the capacity to serve the customer base, which is still you know, a question mark, because we're, we're seeing a lot of manufacturers come in with these EVs and, and, and bring them out with a matching invoice to MSRP. So I think the question mark is on dealers minds, even with the lightning rolling off the excitement, hey, we did it we got there. The question mark is still, what does it look like for the OEM dealer and customer to interact in this space?

Paul Daly  11:16  

Yeah, that's right. There's so many unanswered questions with this, it's easy to sit in a studio and talk about like, look at all these changes isn't an exciting the bottom line is, as an industry, there are a whole lot of things to figure out. Right. And I, you know, I believe, and I know, we both believe that this is going to fundamentally change the business. But it doesn't have to fundamentally kill the best parts of the business, right? This can be the moment, this can be the moment where it's kind of like vision realized in the sense that we figure out a way to do business that the consumers love, not just tolerate, we can find a way to be valuable as a dealer franchise network that gets to further lean into community further lean into being a great place to work further, you know, lean into changing the culture and the perception of this industry at large.

Kyle Mountsier  12:04  

Yeah, you know, I actually I saw this morning, David speak, Zack posted kind of like a podcast post on LinkedIn. And speaking of David's visa, he's going to be at the Tampa Family reunion here in just a couple of weeks. Yeah, that was gonna segue want to say nobody

Paul Daly  12:18  

say speaking up, I just might just reach for the Reach for the trigger. So he's

Kyle Mountsier  12:22  

gonna be there. So you can you can jam with him and chop and chop it up and talk shop with David. But, you know, he was just he was leaning into that, especially a lot of this Carvana conversation and OEMs conversation. And, you know, his belief, and our belief is that the retail automotive industry is predicated on relationships, and people and community impact. And I think if the manufacturers are smart, they're gonna figure out a way to make that the best part about what their dealerships are doing. Right, it's even if it is, like more direct to consumer or more like invoice to MSRP, how we do ordering cars, but maybe what that actually does, and I'm just thinking out loud, here, maybe that what that actually does is start to free up the dealer to think outside the box about how they are engaging with the community, instead of being so dug into the nuts and bolts of profitability, they actually are freed up to do more of that we see this with marketing budgets a lot. It's like, when you start to free up resources to go and put it back into the community or put it back into your people, you're freed up from a mentality perspective to do that. And this could be that that pivotal moment moment to like, actually get back to the roots of why the franchise dealer system was set up in the beginning, Gosh, gosh, we need

Paul Daly  13:35  

to, we need to make it that the reason the asotu exists, the reason automotive State of the Union has traction is because I think that no one else has really celebrated dealers and focused on it to this level in this way. Because the OEMs have all the leverage and all the money and all the stories they need to do it. Yep, they really do. I mean, can you imagine if, if Ford or GM or Toyota, like really just put a lot of time and energy and money into focusing on the community impact of their dealers, not just the dealers, not just in like some like super? Oh, my goodness,

Kyle Mountsier  14:11  

the brand message was the dealer. Well, they waited Yeah, but they can't do it. It would be so smart though. Because their competitive advantage honestly, it's their only competitive advantage to Tesla is like building a better Tesla better, whatever, Evie out there, like yes, you might be able to iterate on that. But at some point everybody's going to be doing the same thing that they do with the with the current vehicles, it's just like one slightly new feature one slightly new this couple more miles, you know, per the per charge. And so the competitive advantage is the dealer and think about all the rich stories that all these dealerships have. And if they drew that out, all of a sudden the biggest thing that they're trying to solve, which is retention, they're actually branding into retention. Oh,

Paul Daly  14:56  

good. Well, you're welcome OEM for Trying to do your work for you. That's somebody's got to do it. Somebody's gotta do it. Let's go. Here's the thing, too. I think there's probably a big power struggle on like, how can we compete with Tesla by being like Tesla, right and the corporate standpoint, there's always this conflicting, conflicting interests with dealers and OEMs. OEM is like, I want Mac's control this brand as they should, right? Like is if you just think of it pragmatically for a second, an OEM is like, I want full control over the product, its delivery method, right? Because I want to own the end consumer. And a dealer, on the other hand is like, well, I have all this liability, investment responsibility, I want control for my brand, because I can't control what you do, I can control what I do, right. So they should also be like, I want to own the customer loyalty I was. So that's why this industry is one of the most unique from a brand standpoint, one of the unique relationships in modern business.

Kyle Mountsier  15:53  

Everyone leads with product marketing first, instead of relationship marketing, golly, but everyone says they lead with relationship marketing, everyone, I think everyone thinks they rarely I think they think they do. I think you're right, too.

Paul Daly  16:07  

I really think they do. Right. So you have them, you have a marketing department, you have a CMO, you have a community outreach team to like, Look at, look at all the stuff we're doing here, right, they're gonna show that to the board, the board is going to feel when the board is gonna get back to work. All right, how are we going to make a lot of money on doing this? Right? I think that most people feel that they are. Right. And so that's

Kyle Mountsier  16:27  

scary. Because then if if you see no reason for change, then you don't change. Well, that's why we got a lot to think about here on a Wednesday for you, I think

Paul Daly  16:36  

we're getting deep, but that's why we have a job. And that's why we have this community of amazing dealers and industry partners that believe what we're saying, and are taking tangible action to make it reality. So I hope that we never think we're doing it hope we're always doing it. And I guess in the history and time and the community, we'll be able to judge that last story today. If you ever have a retirement account or have a retirement account, you are now if you have fidelity, which is the largest, the largest retirement plan provider in the US, you can now invest in Bitcoin. It's crazy. And so you can now allocate up to 20% of your portfolio to Bitcoin, other Kryptos will probably follow up for first for now, it's Bitcoin, and the employer still has to approve the plan. But basically, under the plan fidelity with let's sell savers get as much as 20% of their nest eggs in Bitcoin, though the threshold could be lower by plan sponsors, their major competitor of fidelity Vanguard said, it has no plans offer cryptocurrency option and 401 K plans, according to a spokeswoman on the company site on the site, company site, it says since cryptocurrencies are highly speculative, in their current state Vanguard believes in their long term investment case is weak. There go every Gen Z and Millennial out of those retirement plans, but like, Can we get a

Kyle Mountsier  17:55  

fidelity plan? Yeah, over here to Fidelity, right. Yeah, I do think I mean, there's still so much volatility in that and it is full on it is like the new blue chip. Right. It is. It's a high yield, high risk, participatory plan. But I think that the younger participants are willing to withstand the high risk short term, and they can't because because they can and the reward is probably there. So

Paul Daly  18:20  

yeah, not a good. Yeah, not not a great. Yeah, you don't have to choose it. Not a great not a great selection. If you're probably within five or 10 years of retirement, not an article in an article we had in our email. We always have a little telling it like it is if you're not on the email list, please do it a so as ot We have a lot of fun with it everyday, try to keep you informed in five minutes. And after every article, we give a little commentary, and today's commentary on this article. Is this overheard, right? This is something we overheard if I retire right now I can live on my savings for 30 years. I mean, 10 years, I mean 41 years I mean three years from that. Commercial the kids like I'm a millionaire

Kyle Mountsier  19:03  

I'm not h&r Block commercial.

Paul Daly  19:06  

I'm not a millionaire, right? So we're not telling you what to invest. This is not investment advice. Obviously, if you're taking investment advice from us. You just need to rethink your life and a lot more ways than just that. Thank you for spending some time with us this morning. We hope we broaden your horizons a little more. Share something that you learned and remember get your tickets to our event in Tampa on May 9 of We will see you there. We'll see you tomorrow too.

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