Toyota Just In Time, Elon Deletes Twitter, and Flying Motorcycles

April 12, 2022
We got a few recommendations for our newest podcast idea and are hunting for more! Today we talk about the future of flying vehicles, the influence of a ‘car guy,’ and Toyota recognizing the need for balanced inventory strategies. Did we mention we hit 10k podcast downloads yesterday!?!?
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Toyota adjusts inventory on hand targets

  1. Target is now 30 days and they don’t plan on going back to 45
  2. 17 days of inventory on March 1
  3. “30 days sounds like nirvana” - CSO Bob Carter
  4. 1st quarter sales down 15%

Elon rejects Twitter board seat

  1. Weekend barrage of suggestions, some of which are now deleted
  2. Did someone say “screenshots live forever?”

No longer can you push something off until “when cars fly”

  1. ALI Technologies Inc. set for IPO
  2. Drone style motorcycle reminiscent of a Star Wars machine
  3. For only $777k, you can have one too!

Kyle Mountsier  0:24  

Good morning. It is Tuesday, April 12. I got Ben with me this morning. Paul's out. Yeah, go. Let's go.  Ben requested a longer bounce this morning.

Ben Hadley  0:44  

I'm gonna slow bounce.

Kyle Mountsier  0:51  

So Ben calls me just a little bit ago. And he's like, Yo, my computer, it's a Windows by the way, my computer. My computer decided that it needed to update 15 things. Everything's happening. My my internet where I work is kaput. So this morning, so I've got my phone literally that far from my face. We're doing the show must go on. And Ben said this, and I want to thank him for it and just shout it out. But he said, rain or shine. The show always goes on in automotive State of the Union world. And wouldn't you know it, but yesterday 10,000 downloads we passed at 140 episodes, which is really, really fun. So yeah,

Ben Hadley  1:41  

dude, and I just appreciate the consistency. I was thinking in my head on my drive. I was like, Yo, I gotta get back there. The show is just so consistent. It's always there. It's like it's so dependable, right? And then technical errors left and right, left and right, left and right.

Kyle Mountsier  1:58  

No, it works. It works. Hey, yesterday, I want to I want to shout this out. We we threw out the idea of a new podcast that a few of our employees are wanting to do Ben, you might not have heard this yet. But essentially, some of our our automotive sales union employees are hoping to interview some like frontline technicians, lot porters salespeople, receptionist in dealerships, and we were struggling coming up with the name we got some submissions yesterday, not sure if we've got one locked yet. We got trouble solvers, automotive crew insider asoto on the road, disrupting the disruptors where the rubber meets the road. We're tossing around some things about chasis this morning. So hopefully, by the end of this week, we'll have a whole new podcast a whole new way to engage the industry, like on the ground level boots on the ground type people in

Ben Hadley  2:48  

the industry. That's huge for everybody else thinking about coming into the industry. Yeah, I love it. Love it. Yeah, all of it.

Kyle Mountsier  2:54  

No, I think it's gonna be really cool. It's gonna be you know, it'll be both for the culture inside. You know, we talk a lot about culture of the industry and perception of the industry. And so I think it'll, it'll, it'll weigh the balance of both of those going, hey, you know, you thinking about joining the industry, check out what people are doing, what they're saying what the what the actual people that are like, diving into the front lines, and, you know, starting out or

Ben Hadley  3:19  

the camaraderie, like people don't even realize how tight knit this family is. And that's like, the, one of the biggest draws, I think of auto is just like, you know, sometimes the family feuds but the family always comes together for Thanksgiving.

Kyle Mountsier  3:33  

Yeah, you and I talk a lot about kind of the and I think we've talked about on the podcast before but this idea that we kind of go to the events in the industry. And it's like the the two guys that were yelling at each other mad about something, you know, LinkedIn typing as fast as they can, like, I hate you, you don't know how to do blah, blah, blah, all of a sudden you find them drinking a beer at together at just kick telling old stories, right? And I think that's the that's the feeling around the industry. And it's not in its top to bottom. It's not it's not just in one space. So I'm excited about the way that's gonna go. But we've got news to get today and enough with all that. Really, really interesting story coming out yesterday in automotive news, that the Toyota Chief Sales Officer for the US has officially said, we're not going back to the way things were from an inventory perspective in inventory holdings. And you and I talk a lot about, you know, they're just in time manufacturing philosophies, right. And so they've they've essentially said that the target will no longer be as as stocking levels and supply chain comes back that the target will no longer be for them to have a 45 day supply on ground. And when we talk about day supply, just for those that may not know, it just means how many cars are in the market and when are they expected to sell so If you've got X amount of cars, and they're expected to sell in 45 days, based on the current demand, that's a 45 day supply. They've moved that target backwards to 30. Now we all know right now i Well, as of March one, they had a 17 day supply. So we haven't we haven't even gotten back up there. But they're saying, hey, look, we're not going back to the old 45 We're gonna get tighter. And I, for me that and I think you would agree, that's really in line with their philosophy already in the manufacturing side of things.

Ben Hadley  5:31  

I mean, I agree, I think, you know, I think there's more manufacturers that are going to be saying they're doing this wonder if they stick to it, right. You know, it's like a little game agreed. Because it's like, yeah, let's, let's, I mean, supply chain management, whatever. Okay, you have a good excuse now. But then, when you're like, you know, Toyota, just who they crush recently, and they crushed GM.

Kyle Mountsier  6:01  

Yeah, they just took over the number one spot, I think, or so it's

Ben Hadley  6:06  

like, you know, if GM starts creeping up, they're like, oh, yeah, as we're telling you, it's 35 days. 3540. Okay, the 45 is pretty sweet.

Kyle Mountsier  6:17  

Yeah, that was pretty nice. We got a lot of wholesale out of that. Exact. So if you don't know, and I think this is there's kind of two pieces at play here. When you think about the profitability of a manufacturer, right manufacturers get paid when they wholesale, not retail vehicles. So the dealer gets paid on the retail transaction, the the manufacturer gets paid on the wholesale transaction, which means when when it hits the dealer's lot, essentially? Well, I think there's another factor at play that a lot of people aren't talking about here, which is rebates, right? Because the higher the day supply, the more you have to rebate your vehicle to get it into a sellable position. And so I'm out what I'm interested in, and I wish I could kind of like see the PnL of an OEM right now. And dive into has has the wholesale, you know, is wholesaling, more like vehicles in this type of measure, and holding on to those rebates a better, you know, p&l Or is a high level of wholesale and a slightly higher level of rebates, you know, more profitable for the manufacturers,

Ben Hadley  7:26  

its not even like it's like a Dale Pollack velocity mindset question, right. Yeah. You know, whip it out or and try to turn it out? And or do I hold it for a second longer? And, you know, not, not that put as much money into selling it? I think dynamic.

Kyle Mountsier  7:42  

So the question is, is, are they going to be profit time or velocity model manufacturers? I mean, honestly, it's, it's really, it's something that we haven't talked about for so long in inventory from a new car perspective, because it's never really been an issue. I mean, I know manufacturers that are sitting on that we're sitting on 120 day supply in US supply. That's nuts to even, think about now when you're when you're selling 120 day in your pipeline, some orders are right. So you think about that, that's like a that's almost a year difference in available inventory.

Ben Hadley  8:17  

That's like the next make is already your 120 Another 120. Right, you're at 240 You're at like another you're at 2020 threes. Pretty quick.

Kyle Mountsier  8:27  

Yeah, yeah. So you think about all the things that has to happen from an r&d perspective, from a marketing perspective to kind of like, you know, get out in front of man that's

Ben Hadley  8:38  

realized, when Daly is not here, there's no one to like, stop me. And I'm just gonna continue to like, bring you I'm gonna be like, Yo, what about this, and we're never, we're never gonna hit 15 minutes, it's gonna

Kyle Mountsier  8:51  

you know, what's even worse is right now, I'm not logged in to the system. So if you're listening to the pod, typically, we're able to kind of like manage this based on time. And so I can't see the time on my screen, which is dangerous.

Well, I look, let's keep moving it because I'm excited about this next, this next kind of reveal last week, we talked about Elon Musk becoming the largest stakeholder in Twitter at 9.2%. And then literally the next day Twitter being like so you want one of these board spots, because we might as well give it to you. A couple of days later, in true Elon Musk and this is last week I had this question like is this guy really a car guy and now I am absolutely convinced this guy's because he's like, he's like, Oh, board seat on Twitter? Nah, he just like rips out the rips the pull cord and not just that but tweets at them. All of these things they should be doing this weekend, then goes back and DELETES THEM.

Ben Hadley  9:59  

I wonder to like, you know, if you have a board seat, you have a fiduciary responsibility to do what's in the best interest of, of Twitter, which limits really, they went out on this must have been strategic, like they must have been like, here's a board seat, that means you can't really go and say whatever you want anymore. Because our stock moves volatility, the volatility of our stocks gonna be like linked to whatever you say. Yeah, so he probably was like, Wait a second, no, I have like, almost 10% of the company don't need your board seat. I'd rather have freedom of speech. Let's go.

Kyle Mountsier  10:31  

Well, and that's what a lot of his a lot of his tweet activity is, is like, how do how would Twitter bring a more free speech, a more edit ability, the more capacity for content creators to be flexible within the program within the platform. And so I think you're exactly right. As far as what that looks, I, what I really think is funny about this is one of my favorite things about Twitter is this this line, that's like, you know, Twitter's may be deleted, bisque, or tweets may be deleted the screenshots forever. And he actually deleted but people got screenshots of a ton of his tweets this weekend, which is, it's just right on par for what he's saying about the platform. And I think what people are saying a lot about social media platforms, as you know, well, we talked about Instagram giving you this like new ability to have a different algorithm in your feed, because we're starting to be so inundated and so curated by the algorithms that happen. And now you know, people are wanting to like take some take some claim back to the way that their content is

Ben Hadley  11:42  

a future state. Dude, I bet we get sort of like open source algorithms, but also like, like, influencer based algorithms, like so if I want to like view Twitter, the way Elon views it. So like, maybe Elon sets it up to be like, hey, I want to see timeline. But I also want to see like, you know, oldest tweet first, or like, you know, like, I bet, I bet those type of things start happening, that you're actually like choosing a templated sort of algorithm based on someone that you really like. So like, oh, like, I want to, I don't want to miss news stories. Prioritize. Yeah,

Kyle Mountsier  12:19  

yeah, well, and you know, we actually talk about this for automotive state of the union, because we actually care about this kind of curation. Because like, for instance, with the email, and if you're not signed up for the email, asotu.com, sign up for the email. But the idea is that it is hard to capture all of the content in a given day. And to curate that in a unique way that makes sense for you, instead of, you know, being based on an algorithm, but something that you actually grab is really important to a lot of people. And so, you know, that's what we're trying to do with the email is go, Hey, here's that curated list of things that you should be paying attention to, in, you know, the automotive industry. And then like, you know, touch points of related fields. And I think the more that we, the more that content, I mean, we I think I saw a stat two years ago, where essentially, at that point, every five days, we were creating as much content as the, the, than we were in a year, five years prior. So, you know, now and that was two years ago. So you think about, like, the volume of content that's being stored, that's being consumed that's being created. It's just hard to grab all of that. And so, you know, figuring out where that I want to I want to bring that home from an automotive perspective, right? Yeah, is an especially from a retail automotive perspective. For me, especially in the marketing persona, is you actually have the ability to create such a community with your brand, that you can be the curator of community content. So the curator of best places to eat best companies do business with sports team, you know, engagement within your city, and thinking about that as like, Okay, if I could be the best place to get the content that's most relevant to my daily life. There actually might be more stickiness to social media profiles from an automotive perspective

Ben Hadley  14:19  

to this I mean, this is all to me, I mean, to just I'm giving you a heads up where 14 minutes but I got

Kyle Mountsier  14:24  

it, I realized it's over here. So but

Ben Hadley  14:27  

I will say this, this is ideal customer profile stuff. This is this is the concept of homophily this is like you know, homophily love of the same people that are in to similar things tend to hang out with each other, right? But if they if you have two f150 buyers that you know, both got FX fours, because I guess within terms of the F 150. They there's probably some variation. We have two f 150 f x for buyers. likely they're very similar personas, likely they could be buddies, right that adapt And so what what's crazy to me is like that action of community, which is just like, Let's link those two people together is something that like auto retail could be leveraging to a huge degree.

Kyle Mountsier  15:12  

Well, this is where a lot of a lot of cities have this, like cars and coffee idea, right? We're on a Saturday morning, you bring all the cars out to a parking lot, everybody's out there, they got their souped up cars. And some dealerships do a really good job at attaching themselves or actually curating that content. And I think figuring out where to, especially whatever your niche is, right? Maybe your niche is, you know, soccer moms or people with souped up cars or truck lovers or whatever it is, like find that niche for your store and then curate that community. And that community will will naturally expand itself and attach itself to your store as the brand and Content Curator for that, so boom, we just connected Elon and Twitter to automotive retail marketing. Let's go Alright, we got one more man I'm gonna miss all segways this morning. It's killing me but but

Ben Hadley  16:09  

isn't it like a there's a segue thing like the

Kyle Mountsier  16:12  

I know the Segway thing, but I don't have a Segway so good on mobile. Oh, no, I know. I can't I don't even know but here's what's really cool is I saw this Steve Greenfield shared this yesterday. There is an IPO coming in Japan for a flying motorcycle you heard me write a flying motorcycle and it can be yours been for the low low price of $777,000 It looks like one of the speeders it literally it looks like one of those speeders in in Star Wars? Yes. It's like a motorcycle. It's a drone company that has now made a an A like fly a drone shoot that That's crazy to me. Isn't that nuts really

Ben Hadley  16:58  

crazy to me that we're like, Star Wars level tech right now? Yeah, I don't know. That literally happening.

Kyle Mountsier  17:06  

They are going to go IPO and you know, hopefully like develop the tech that the creator of it is essentially like said that. Nathan, Nathan, if you're not watching the video said as a Star Wars fan.  I'm offended By that comparison, the motorcycle looks something more like a matrix or Blade Runner it actually okay Blade Runner? Absolutely. It does look very similar to that. But the creator of this actually said that probably where you're gonna see more of this used is places where harder to find good roads, desert areas, small bodies of water crossing, because it can cross all of those different terrains without needing car. Yeah. Yeah, like tattooing. Right. All right. Well, that's all we have time for today. Ben, thank you so much for joining us. We talked about flying things just in time, inventory, and some really cool things you can do today. So get started build community curated Go Go

Transcribed by https://otter.ai