UAW Updates Not Over, EVs Like Phones, Flying Ain’t Fancy Anymore

November 13, 2023
We are coming to you from sunny Palm Beach Florida at The Pasch Group’s Modern Retailing Conference. The day brings news of the UAW votes not going perfectly so far, Foxconn asserting EVs that could be easier to make if they are made like phones, and airlines getting some brutal feedback on the frontlines.
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Show Notes with links:

In a potential turn of events, Ford's Kentucky production workers voted against a proposed UAW contract while skilled trade workers voted for it, highlighting divisions within the workforce.

  • 55% of Ford's Kentucky production workers voted against the tentative UAW contract, while 69% of skilled trades workers approved it, as reported by UAW Local 862.
  • The vote casts doubt on the contract's ratification, previously expected to increase Ford's operational costs significantly as the union has not released the final, combined percentage of the vote
  • So far, 71% of workers across Ford's facilities have voted for the UAW deal, but votes at key plants like Michigan's Dearborn Truck plant are pending.

Foxconn, known for iPhone manufacturing, is aiming to reshape EV manufacturing. Led by Jack Cheng, a Foxconn affiliate is working to implement an outsourcing model similar to that used for products like iPhones, potentially lowering EV production costs and impacting the global EV market.

  • Cheng's strategy involves outsourcing EV production to reduce costs, contrasting with traditional automakers' preference for in-house design and assembly.
  • Foxconn's expansion in the EV sector includes collaborations with Tesla and significant investments in Asia and the U.S.
  • They already have facilities across Asia, India, and started to produce vehicles for Lordstown Motors in an Ohio plant before the company went bankrupt.
  • Cheng points out the disparity between the price of an EV in China and the US and proposes he can help bridge the gap
  • “The world is wasting too much time tooling the same parts and losing money. It doesn’t make sense. What I learned in China in the last 20 years—I can replicate that.”

It seems flying isn’t getting more delightful. Complaints against airlines in the U.S. have surged to 24,965 in the first three months of 2023, with a notable increase in issues related to accessibility.

  • In the first quarter of 2023, airline complaints in the U.S. rose by 88% compared to the same period in 2022.
  • Complaints continued to increase in April and May, with a 32% and 49% rise, respectively.
  • Disability-related complaints, such as problems with wheelchairs, nearly doubled to 636.
  • The Department of Transportation is investigating several airlines for announcing unfeasible flight schedules and may impose fines.

Paul Daly: 0:31

Okay, here we are. It doesn't suck where we're at. Right now. It is Monday, November 13. Today we're talking about UAW updates aren't quite over some of the stuff and the flying fanciness

Kyle Mountsier: 0:47

it ain't so fancy, you know, if you know and flying and

Paul Daly: 0:51

so fancy more well, we have been on a pretty good actually, we can call it a cross country Blitz. I'm telling you what the last in the last 72 hours we have been together in Phoenix, Arizona. And now here we are in Palm, Florida. We both

Kyle Mountsier: 1:04

went to our respective states in the middle.

Paul Daly: 1:06

I stopped at Nashville. For a moment there.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:09

I got a little tour in Cincinnati. It was crazy.

Paul Daly: 1:12

Oh my gosh. Well, I mean, it's just pretty indicative of the auto industry moving around. It's just a little bit of a busy season, which is cool, because we've been with several different groups of dealers and seven different we'll call them micro communities. People greater automotive 300 People would be a micro community. Yeah. But use car week 1500 Here at MRC, how many people you think you 100? Yeah, 100 gets a little over 300. And it's just really fun and encouraging to see the variety of dealers in here the variety of conversations, they're very different between here and use car

Kyle Mountsier: 1:41

week. Yeah, they are very different. And the conversations that I've been having with industry partners and dealers, the last day and a half since I've been here have been like, I mean, nerdy data, and the the things that people are trying right now here at MRC are things that like three years ago, you would if you would have told us someone, this group of people is trying this or is about to try this, no one would have believed you. And so it's really encouraging and then, you know, just some of the like, insights on the way that the industry is because kind of like marketers see things typically a little bit before they happen. Yep. Like in the showroom because of like the traffic and things like that. It's been really cool to grab those insights.

Paul Daly: 2:29

Well, you know, we want to thank Brian Pasch and Glen Pasch, and PCG for inviting us out and having us be a part of the events always great to be with them and the community they build here it's a real community and we just saw some amazing keynote yesterday Alan Krutsch from fuse, literally Oh professional. I will say he blew the doors off the place. But it was so low key, like his his matter of it's literally feel like you're at a dinner conversation. Yeah.

Kyle Mountsier: 2:52

And every few minutes, he just gives you this little levity. And everybody in the room laughs Yeah. masterclass. My, the thing that I loved about his conversation I want to talk about a minute is, you know, I've said in the past, like people process technology, and then he said environment, like where people are at. And I never thought of it that deeply like the the way that your people are engaged in the space that they're working in. Yeah, actually means a lot to their ability to serve customers. Yeah. And so I'm glad he challenged the room when he did and you know,

Paul Daly: 3:27

it's a constant. You know, as an entrepreneur, having, you know, experience across a lot of businesses, right, you and I have had the experience of seeing that played out and understand the legit fight that it is every day to try your best in the midst of the hustle and bustle to provide a place where people understand what's going on and feel like they're firing in the right direction. And it's not it's not always like it's like a like a professional, like Football League. Yeah, it's not always a winning scenario. No, not at all. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. And the margin between winning and losing is often much this much like when you have games where like the jets can beat the Eagles. Yeah, right. Why? Because they're both pro ball teams. Exactly. Right. And so sometimes the margin between people feeling like they're in an environment where they can run or in an environment where they have some hindrances is like this. It's it did got me yesterday, I was true. We have some news to talk about today. We have. We have another webinar coming up

Kyle Mountsier: 4:25

Thursday. This one is going to be dialed in Zach Hendricks with invoca talking about revolutionising phone call management. And if you don't know what invoke is doing or you don't know who Zach Hendricks is, you're definitely going to want to check it out. You can go to a right now scroll down just a little bit register for the webinar. If you can't make it live. You can watch the recording after that. But Zach is so smart like the first time I met Zack. Well, I don't have time for the story. But the first time I met ZACK I was just like this guy is thinking at a different level and he brings that to every company that he's been With that I've known him with and so I can't wait to share with him. And this is,

Paul Daly: 5:03

as a reminder, our Quick Shot webinars, so 2030 minutes you're in, you're out you wish it was actually longer, which is the best way to leave a webinar. Yeah, because you know how usually we leave the webinar, exhausted at least 20 minutes in, whereas on the background noise and your desk and deal is in your hands, you got to think that that kind of webinars, so I hope you join us on Thursday for that. Let's get into some news. So here's this, we don't have the trigger passwords today. But if you make it on the production side, like I got your back in a potential turn of events for its conduct Kentucky production workers voted against the proposed UAW contract while the skilled production or the skilled trade workers voted for it. So production line workers voted against it, skilled labor voted for it. So 55% of their production workers voted against it while 69% of the skilled workers voted for it. So if you're following the math, you add all those together, we're assuming there are more production workers than skilled workers, it's feeling a little bit too close this vote casting doubt on the ability for the UAW to actually get the contract ratified and get us out of this whole mess we've been in for the last few months here. So far, overall, 71% of the votes across Ford have gone toward ratifying the contract. However, there are a few there's always a however, right. However, the Dearborn Michigan truck plant has yet to vote in some of the other really big votes. So I don't know it's feeling like a lot of like, nice drama.

Kyle Mountsier: 6:34

This is like this is like, you know, the South Dakota votes are in, but the Virginia, Florida and California votes on it. That's kind of where we're at right now. So not that extreme. But yes, it's not that it gets a great everything's in but we have to hear from them. But we have to hear from them. So they you know, I don't think all hope is lost, but it is I'm surprised at how like how separated it is and that there isn't that much of the there's not like just wholesale adoption, because by the UAW standards, they kind of won. And so like there's there's still this ham, maybe not so we'll keep you updated on it. There's not much to talk about other than it's interesting part fact of like what's happening so it

Paul Daly: 7:15

is going on to another interesting story here about a company called Foxconn, you may or may not know them, you definitely they're a part of your regular life because they are the manufacturing company that Apple uses to manufacture iPhones. So they basically are aiming to reshape the Evie manufacturing. We've heard a little bit about this. But there's a Foxconn affiliate led by a guy named Jack Chang, who is looking to implement an outsourcing model to Evie production that he believes can significantly lower evey production costs like they did with phones, like they do with laptops like they do with PS fives. So his strategy involves outsourcing production, contrasting with what the usual thing is, is like one company stamping out parts, right making everything in one place. He's like, no, no, no, we understand how to get other people to do it and all come together. So there's been some other expansions in the Eevee space that you may or may not know of Tesla, their supplier for Tesla. They also manufactured Lordstown motors, vehicles before Lordstown went bankrupt. They were running the assembly plant in Ohio. They also have a lot of capacity across India. And facilities already up and running Asia, India, they have this one in Ohio. And so basically, Chang points out the disparity in pricing, right between Chinese norm and UC V's. And he says, And he quotes the world is wasting too much time tooling, the same parts and losing money. It doesn't make sense. What I learned in China over the last 20 years, I can replicate that, look, here's the sounds like confidence. Here's the thing. This without a doubt, has to be the way right because we are seeing that the Chinese manufacturers are manufacturing these vehicles for significantly less than what is happening on US soil and with partnerships like Tesla, you see how they're getting it done.

Kyle Mountsier: 9:01

You see how like other like the phones that that Foxconn is is creating how they've figured out how to reduce the price and create volume. So it's a big deal. It's a it's a massive deal. And I was telling you this morning right now currently, because we're seeing Evie adoption when at extremely rapid rates. Actually, I love I love coming to MRC, because last year we were talking about like Toyota or Tesla loyalty after Amber databook she was like, actually 20 allottee. And then this year, she last night was at dinner with her and a few other people. And she was saying no, the crazy thing is nobody's talking about it. How much of a cliff right I'm talking about. Option is falling off.

Paul Daly: 9:47

But the real real time data is showing it's like way more substantial. Dropping off a cliff which is the way they're gonna get people back is by throwing bigger piles of cash. Right it's already seems like it's getting pretty recent. Well, now these Evie leases Oh yeah. But imagine when there's another 20 530 500 going into a lease. And this is kind of the problem that is solved by affordability or we just we think could be cheap enough people are going to try,

Kyle Mountsier: 10:12

they're gonna at least try there's still an education gap. Yeah, right. And and I think it's up to dealers and OEMs to fill the education gap into the next subset of people that would potentially be in the adoption curve. But that gets a lot easier when affordability isn't one of the questions, really,

Paul Daly: 10:28

I mean, we're willing to take a lot of risks when the price is right infrastructure is going to start catching up, the further we get into it. There was another story about a study that showed that Eevee owners drive significantly less miles than ice vehicle owners, I saw that again, indicating that like there is a certain lifestyle segment where people are willing to try and Evie were probably the or

Kyle Mountsier: 10:50

it's a third vehicle in the garage. And so that's why they're driving it less to it again. Yes, yeah, absolutely. So

Paul Daly: 10:56

I mean, obviously, pricing affordability. We'll see real time data on the ground, according to dinner at the Italian restaurant last night, says that the Evie cliff is a lot steeper than most people were

Kyle Mountsier: 11:06

thinking. And there's a lot of work to do to get it to get it right. So

Paul Daly: 11:09

speaking of doing some work to get things right sided, whoa.

Kyle Mountsier: 11:13

All right. So it seems like flying for a lot of people actually isn't getting more delightful, which you know, only 30,000 feet over the ground should feel some sort of delight. But complaints against airlines in the first half of the year in the US, and particularly in the first quarter surge to just under 25,000 with a notable increase in issues related to accessibility. So here's the data in the first quarter of 2023, airline complaints in the US Rose 88%, compared to the same time in 2022. So people are now real frustrated. Here's the other thing, complaints continue to increase in April, May with a 32% and a 49% rise in complaints. And that's only to the Department of Transportation. So that's not direct to the airline complaints about what did it say? So there was a few things one is just like general flight times or cancellations. But then there was a lot of complaints actually, they doubled in accessibility. So like access to wheelchairs getting on and off the plane. Yep. You know, like how that that customer base is getting served. So I think well, and you and I know like we're flying all the time at this point. And it's getting harder and harder. Because there's so many people coming back to fly.

Paul Daly: 12:34

It does seem like it's often kind of a, I don't know, a rigmarole might be the right word between booking expensive flights, just moving parts around. Now I have the impression that it feels like it's getting better. And I don't know if I've just been used to it being so bad. Like, I wonder if part of the rising complaint is the fact that like they're the past is gone now. Right? Like everyone kind of gave the airlines a pass or most businesses a pass as COVID era things are phasing out. And now that it's like, you know what? Now I actually expect better service. I expect better accessibility. I expect attentiveness. So this is an interesting one, I think. I think it's a combination of more people going back and also people being willing to tolerate less and be like, You know what, I'm gonna say something about it. Yeah. We just had a really nice flight. I brought the family to Palm Beach for this. And we were getting on an American Airlines flight and we had a little four year old Jaden and the flight attendant on my way in, just looked down and saw a little guy. He was like, does he want to meet the pilots? I know Dad wants to be

Kyle Mountsier: 13:40

your like me because

Paul Daly: 13:42

he just turned four. So he's not really like him. He was a year older. But we're like, Yeah, and so we went up to the cockpit. Both pilots were all smiles. One of the pilots got out of his seat and the seat he didn't because he was too shy. I wanted to sit at the seat, but I felt weird asking so I didn't. But then we just got this beautiful little picture. I posted it on LinkedIn of Jaden being all shy and two pilots just smiling. And I felt like there was some magic back and flying from it. You

Kyle Mountsier: 14:08

know, I will say like, and historically Southwest has been known for their flight attendants. Yep. Having kind of that kind of joking personality about him. Yeah, but I'm starting to notice that in you know, I sit in the exit row a lot. I got long legs, and I'm starting to even notice that they come forward and they're like, Hey, y'all, you're in an exit row. Are you sure you're gonna take care of this, you know, and they just kind of so I appreciate there's a lot of flight attendants and other and other so, you know, it seems like at this point, you know, obviously there's more but the anecdotal evidence in our state is there's there's really it's good to fly and it's fun to fly. And but you know, hey, this is this points to you can never be satisfied for listening to with listening to your customer and serving them in in the greatest way. Having radical hospitality at every sing We'll move and putting the customer first like Alan crutch said, Come on, man. Like if you miss out on crutches just call him because they'll tell you all about he will he

Paul Daly: 15:10

will roll the outro music that kind of comes back around. So the first thing we are one of the first things we were talking about, like you said, environment for the people that work there. So whatever you're doing craft your environment for the people that work around you serve somebody loves them people more than you love cars. We're going to head back in and talk to some dealers.

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