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Last week must have been car week because I was getting news releases that had Tesla last on the latest JD Power survey while the company again became the most valuable car company in the world. That report was pretty interesting because I think it spoke more to expectations than absolute initial quality, but I'll get to that.

上周一定是汽车周,因为我们得到发布消息称特斯拉在最新的JD Power调查中再次成为全球最有价值的汽车。这个报告非常有趣,因为我觉得它比初始质量更能说明问题,下面我会证明这一点。

I also got a press release that talked about how Ferrari was losing less money than the major German brands. The implication being that Ferrari is doing a better job of engaging with its primary audience than the other brands -- and that affluent audience isn't being hit as hard by the pandemic.

我还得到一份新闻稿,里面谈到法拉利的亏损比德国大品牌要少。这意味着法拉利造吸引主要受众方面比其他品牌做得好——而且富人没有受到疫情的太大打击。

Last month Mercedes and Nvidia announced a relationship that could massively improve Mercedes' engagement, could propel the company to out-execute Tesla, and help pivot it to a Cars as a Service (CaaS) model.

上个月,奔驰的英伟达宣布了一项可以大大改善奔驰参与度的关系,这项关系可以推动公司超越特斯拉,同时帮助公司转向汽车即服务(CaaS)模式。

JD Power Survey

JD Power 调查

Now the heading of the JD Power story said it was a ranking of the "most reliable car brands," which once again prompts me to encourage people to read things, because that isn't at all this study did.

现在,JD Power的故事标题说这是“最可靠汽车品牌”的排名,这曾经能促使我鼓励人们读它,但这根本不是这项研究现在在做的事情。

The big clue was that value products were at the top, and premium products were at the bottom, with Tesla last. Now how could a company become the most valuable car company in the world and have the worst quality? The answer is, it couldn't.

最大的证据是,推荐的产品排在第一位而优质的产品却排在末位,特斯拉就排在最后。如果是这样,一家质量最差的公司怎么会成为世界上最有价值的公司?很显然,答案是不可能。

What the survey seemed to do instead measure was expectations. The more you pay for a car, the higher your expectation that it will be trouble-free. But more expensive cars are more complex, they are more often built to order, and there is more opportunity for things to go wrong. If you buy a Dodge, your expectation is low, and the complexity is low; if you buy a Tesla, you think you're buying an advanced appliance -- and as good as Tesla is, the car isn't there yet.

调查似乎在衡量期望。你买车花的钱越多,你就越不希望它出故障。但是,更昂贵的汽车更加复杂,它们更常会按订单生产,并且出现问题的几率也更高。如果你买一辆(Dodge),你的期望值会比较低,车也不复杂;如果你买辆特斯拉,你会认为自己是买了件高级电器——甚至在车还不存在的情况下,你就认为它会和特斯拉一样好。

What I mainly found fascinating is that Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi, and Land Rover were all at the bottom, just above Tesla. Except for Land Rover and Jaguar (which have had historical quality issues) the others typically rank towards the top in terms of customer loyalty, which suggests these brands do some things right -- and Volvo, in particular, is a brand connected to very high durability.

我发现,捷豹,梅赛德斯·奔驰,沃尔沃,奥迪和路虎在这份清单都排在后面,只比特斯拉好点。除了有过质量问题历史的路虎和美洲虎以外,其他品牌在客户忠诚度方面排名都很高,这表明这些品牌在一些方面做得很好-特别是沃尔沃,这个品牌又很好的耐用性。

Tesla's Advantage

特斯拉的优势

So the major premium brands do have an expectation problem, and Tesla, I know, has a considerable quality-control problem. A friend of mine just bought one, and Tesla not only got the build wrong (wrong accessories and he didn't want the white interior he got), the paint had visible defects. But he still loves the car and is very excited about the performance and experience.

因此,高端品牌确实存在期望问题,而我知道,特斯拉存在相当大的质量控制问题。一位朋友刚买了一辆,特斯拉不仅发错了货品(配件错误,而且他说过自己不希望拿到白色内饰的车,特斯拉依然搞错了),油漆也有明显的缺陷。但他仍然爱这辆车,并且对车的性能和体验都非常兴奋。

The ability to manage expectations and maintain loyalty is what I think the car industry is, as a whole, forgetting. Success is tied to customer loyalty and a healthy sales channel. Tesla owns its sales channel, which allows them to manage problems better. However, although those problems make the company less profitable, they don't bubble up to a point where they get addressed in a timely fashion.

我认为,期望管理和保持忠诚度的能力是整个汽车行业正遗忘的东西。成功与客户忠诚度和健康的销售渠道息息相关。特斯拉有自己的销售渠道,这使他们可以更好地管理问题。尽管这些问题会使公司的利润下降,但它们并没有重要到需要及时解决的程度。

However, because of that direct sales channel, Tesla builds a deep relationship with its customers, and they were the first to explore long-term customer relationships truly. For instance, a Tesla regularly gets software updates with additional capabilities, not just bug fixes. So an update is often kind of a like a birthday or Christmas gift.

因为有了这样的直销渠道,特斯拉与客户之间建立了深厚的感情,他们是尝试与客户建立长期关系的第一人。比如,特斯拉定期会进行附加功能的软件升级,这不仅仅是错误修复,更像是一种类似自行车的生日或圣诞礼物。

Tesla also has rolled out programs that even allow you to update your car or replace it with the loaner you get when your car is in for service. They've had promotions for cool things like bikes and surfboards tied to the brand, and they seem to be willing to explore ways to engage with customers between cars. This behavior is in contrast to most car (and even motorcycle) brands that seem to care about you only when you are in the market for a new vehicle.

特斯拉还推出了一些应用程序,可以让你更新汽车或维修汽车时获得奖励。他们已经推出了周边产品(例如自行车和冲浪板)的促销活动,而且他们似乎愿意在汽车和客户互动的道路上继续探索。这种行为与大多数汽车(甚至摩托车)品牌相反,后者似乎仅在你有买车需求时才关心你。

Tesla is getting very close, particularly if you lease one, to the concept of CaaS.

特斯拉与CaaS的概念非常接近,特别是你租用一辆,你就能感受到它距你非常近。

Mercedes + Nvidia

奔驰+英伟达

What Tesla is doing to Mercedes is somewhat similar to what Apple did to firms like Nokia, in that neither Tesla nor Apple was taken seriously. Even after both firms spun their respective markets, their models of vertical integration through sales and higher engagement were discounted as unsustainable.

特斯拉对奔驰的行为与苹果对诺基亚等公司的行为有些相似,因为特斯拉和苹果在最开始时都没有引起重视。即使两家公司都在各自的市场上大放异彩,他们通过销售和给予用户更高参与度的垂直整合模型仍然被认为是不可持续的。

Now, if you want to beat Apple or Tesla, the model most likely to work is the one that knocked IBM out of their leadership role in the 1980s. In a way, that is how both Microsoft and then Google took their respective markets from IBM and Apple. You partner and gain economies of scale, and a level of innovation, that an integrated company can't match. You see, if you introduce competition within the process, you can, as these firms showcased, better optimize the result in terms of value.

现在,如果你想击败苹果或特斯拉,最有可能奏效的模式就是让IBM脱离1980年代的领导角色。在某种程度上,这就是微软和谷歌从IBM和苹果手中夺回各自市场的方式。你可以与之合作,获得集成公司无法比拟的规模经济和创新水平。你会发现,如果在流程中引入竞争,就可以如这些公司展示的那样,在价值方面更好地优化结果。

It isn't Google fighting Apple's iPhone; it is Google + Samsung + Motorola + Sony, and so on. The effort has to be tightly coordinated, but the result can be potent.

这不是谷歌与苹果的iPhone对抗,这是Google +三星+摩托罗拉+索尼,等等共同的对抗,它们必须抱团取暖,这样结果才有可能会有效。

So if you take the leader of car intelligence, one that understands concepts like PCs as a service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (Saas), you have the potential to redefine the car market with a more engaging solution than Tesla now offers -- and you have the potential increased economies of scale provided by the combined Mercedes/Nvidia partnership.

因此,如果你是汽车智能领域的领导者,并且能够理解PC即服务(PaaS)和软件即服务(Saas)的概念,那么你就有潜力比特斯拉提供更具吸引力的解决方法,并重新定义汽车市场——你也有潜力提高由奔驰和英伟达联合提供的经济规模。

The Results of Intelligence

智力的结果

While we talk about car intelligence in terms of autonomous driving, there are other aspects to the automotive experience that could be significantly enhanced more quickly by making them intelligent.

虽然我们在自动驾驶方面谈论汽车智能,但通过使汽车智能化,可以大大加快汽车体验的其他方面。

Nvidia's solution is, by most measures, a small supercomputer, and it has been designed to make autonomous decisions. The car could emulate a personality, it could learn about you, and it could better customize itself to your unique needs. It won't get tired or angry, it won't get drunk or abuse drugs (you might want to watch that racing fuel), and the upgradeable nature of the result will better allow for future upgrades by the owner.

在大多数情况下,Nvidia的解决方案是使用一台为做自主决策而设计的小型超级计算机。该汽车可以模仿个性,可以了解你,并且可以更好地根据个人需求而自定义设置。它不会感到疲劳或生气,不会醉酒或滥用毒品(你可能想看到它燃油),并且结果的可升级性也允许使用者更好地进行升级。

Downloadable apps could include improvements to the autonomous vehicle system, updated targeted entertainment for those not driving, in-car coaching (your car could teach you to be a better driver, or give you advice on how to improve your track times). It could sense if you are impaired and either call for help if there was a medical emergency, such as a heart attack; or refuse to start in the event of substance abuse. The vehicle could better entertain your kids with location-tied games and activities on a long or short trip, do better automatic routing, and help you discover new places to eat when you are hungry.

供下载的app可能包括自动驾驶系统的改进,针对不开车的人的娱乐更新,车内教练(开车教程,或供你参考的改善骑行时间的建议)。它可以感觉到你的车是否有障碍;如果出现紧急医疗情况(例如心脏病发作),它也可以寻求帮助;或在滥用药物的情况下拒绝发动。在长途旅行或短途旅行时,该车辆可以更好地提供与地点相关的游戏和活动来娱乐你的孩子;它能提供更好的自动路线安排,当你饥饿时,它也能帮你发现新的用餐场所。

It could change the lights and music automatically based on your mood, or the nature of your guest (think date mode). It could provide you with what you need to fight a wrong traffic ticket, call for help if you are in trouble, and shock you out of doing something road rage related that could put you in jail.

它可以根据心情或客人的性质自动更改灯光和音乐(想想日期模式)。在你订错票时,它能给你提供你需要的东西;如果你遇到麻烦,它能寻求帮助;它还能震慑你,让你不会做些会致使你入狱的事情。

In short, with this combination, the car could begin to evolve from something we artificially anthropomorphize into something that is more like a pet, or even a friend.

简而言之,通过这种组合,汽车开始从我们的物件演变成像宠物甚至是朋友的东西。

Wrapping Up

总结

When I was young, I read the book "The Number of the Beast" by Robert Heinlein. In it, there was a car named "the Gay Deceiver" (clearly a name that means something very different now), but what the car had was an AI, and kind of like KITT in Knightrider, rather than being a prop, it was a main character in the story. The car had a Continua Drive that let it explore the worlds of Star Trek, Barsoom, and other fictional universes, which probably won't be a Mercedes option any time soon. But even there, an AI could, with smart display glass windows that transform into displays, make you feel like you were in those worlds once it was self-driving. Imagine on a long trip looking out those virtual windows and seeing the real or fictional Mars landscape.

小时候,我读过罗伯特·海因莱因(Robert Heinlein)写的《野兽的数目》。里面有一辆名为“ 同性恋骗子 ” 的汽车(显然,这个名字现在的意思大不相同),但这辆车有的是一台AI,就像Knightrider中的KITT一样,这不是个道具,而是故事里的主要人物。该车具有Continua驱动器,可用于探索《星际迷航》,《巴尔索姆》和其他虚构的世界,这在不久的将来可能不会成为奔驰的选择。但即使在那儿,人工智能也可以通过将智能显示屏的玻璃窗转换成显示器,让你仿佛置身于自动驾驶中。想象一段从虚拟窗口看出来,看见真实或虚拟火星景观的漫长旅程。

The potential for Mercedes and Nvidia to change the very nature of personal transportation is carried within this partnership. This combination could be magical, both in terms of creating a better alternative to Tesla, and a deeper relationship between you and the company providing your CaaS.

奔驰和英伟达之间的合作关系带有改变个人交通本质的潜力。从创建更好的特斯拉替代方案以及在你与提供CaaS的公司之间建立更深层次的关系这两方面而言,这种组合可能是神奇的。