GM faces some bleak trade negotiations ahead. Famous brands that are traditionally considered a symbol of national pride are directly under fire – General Motors included. The high public nature of the company means that Trump will have a very firm stance on this point. The tweets referenced above illustrate how much Trump’s “make America great” campaign hinges on that. I think GM should do everything it can to negotiate with Trump – to come to some kind of compromise: If GM creates x jobs in the US or produces x cars on US soil, they would be permitted to keep x operations in Mexico. I don’t think this is a situation where GM can net a direct win, nor do I think it’s one where GM has to take 100% of the losses (cut all ties to Mexico/take on all the tariffs and additional costs). GM has political power as a high-profile brand that can help push Trump’s approval ratings up/down. They should capitalize on this as I am sure they already are.
Georgia’s politically proactive efforts to address the economics of ‘the chicken feet’ issue, is commendable. To this, I think, ‘more of the same.’ They are on a good track as evidenced by the 2014 showcase at the Qingdao International Horticultural Exposition that you mention. Unfortunately, I believe their efforts will be overshadowed by the politics at a federal level. Under Trump’s tenure, I would be surprised to see another garden invitation! Therefore, my recommendation would be for the Georgian politicians to not only focus their efforts on engaging with the Chinese government but also on convincing the politicians on Capitol Hill. If they can get momentum on a federal level, I think their likelihood of success will rise.
Airbus has a lot to lose if they don’t help Boeing. Their contract with Iran Air will also be void – Airbus requires a US license to trade with Iran due to the aircraft’s reliance on US parts (unless they find parts elsewhere, which may be a solution). If the US sanctions are reinstated, neither Boeing nor Airbus will be able to fulfill their orders under current conditions.
Naming the project “Gigaton” reflects some large ambitions on Walmart’s camp! It is interesting because I think the question you ask (how Walmart can ensure these behaviors continue to drive emission reductions in the long run) is partly answered in the text. To reduce emissions by raising procurement efficiency, eliminating split shipments, expanding the online platform and cutting shipping costs all cause a reduction of costs in their supply chain, thereby boosting profitability. This may be a cynical view, but as long as emission reductions go hand-in-hand with increasing efficiency (and lower costs), Walmart will be incentivized to act “green.”
Sergio, you present a very creative proposal for the new-age bookstore experience! I agree, that Barnes&Nobles is facing an almost existential crises – especially with Amazon book’s first brick and mortar store having opened in NYC this summer. I would recommend B&N take a dramatic turn in business model and invest heavily in both an online store/reading experience: dramatically increase R&D. They tried before with the Nook (not sure how successful that was) but I do think they need to revisit the idea and try again. I don’t think they can rely heavily on their in-store footprint going forward. They need a big online pull. I agree with you that incremental changes are not enough. I see them as similar to Blockbusters, who went out of business because they could not adapt to the changing consumer trend.
This was a very interesting read, thank you Marc. I have always considered EasyJet as the efficient incumbent, threatening the high cost, high priced production chains of flag carrier airlines to rapidly gain market share. In my mind, the central issue they are facing is “how to reduce costs in order to boost profits”. As a low budget airline, they can’t compete on ‘customer experience’ vis-à-vis competitors. They must compete on price. This is the lens through which I am reading your article. When you mention the paperless work and AMOS reducing maintenance time and drones instead of operators to reduce inspection time – I imagine that means more planes can get into the air, increasing the capacity/capability of each aircraft to ultimately (and hopefully) reduce the amount of aircrafts needed to carry out the same number of flights. The data management question you pose is equally stimulating. Again, here I wonder if another element is in play: politics. The airline industry is so competitive and aggressive to one another that the sheer fear of EasyJet data getting into the hands of, say, British Airways, may paralyze any data from leaving the company.
When a product conceived to be so ostentatiously “green” becomes a contributor to the environmental problem, the irony is palpable. As a sometimes-skeptic of technology, I think it is important we question where our technological advances are taking us. Sometimes, technology has advanced so far that we ironically find ourselves one or two steps behind our starting position. Progress isn’t linear. The Tesla S battery is somewhere between 75-100 kwh (I think). As you say, knowing how much CO2 the car has released before being driven could readily outweigh the benefit of being the ‘green’ alternative on the road. Unfortunately, Tesla’s incentives may not be directly aligned to address this issue – because the marketing benefit of having a “green” final product (and not necessarily “green” production process) might be the end goal. That being said, if a more efficient battery results in a decrease in costs, we might find Tesla driving towards a more environmentally friendly outcome. An interesting parallel is the criticism against air dryers. Originally conceived as a tree saving alternative to paper towels, air dryers require so much electricity to function that many argue we are better off using paper towels. This might be the case for Tesla.