The Mobility Show

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There used to be car shows – annual events at which the car manufacturers would show off their latest designs, to wet the appetite of car buyers.

How about a mobility show, instead?

That’s what the Tokyo Motor Show – which until now was like the Detroit Auto Show and the New York Auto Show – has evolved into. It sounds like a show for the latest devices to assist the handicapped and in a sense, that’s just exactly what they’re showing. Only it’s car ownership – and driving – that’s being handicapped.

“Mobility” is a term that’s increasingly used by what what the car industry was – as it transitions into selling transportation as a service.

As opposed to cars – as a product.

The problem with the latter business model, of course, is that once a product is bought, it’s owned. And the buyer stops paying for it.

That’s a problem for the car industry, paradoxically – because most people don’t need to buy a new car very often anymore, because the car industry learned how to make them run reliably for 15-20 years. This has been so since at least the mid-’90s and it’s why one regularly sees cars from the ’90s still in use today – almost 23 years after the end of the ’90s. It is why it is possible for the average car being driven daily today to be going on 13 years old, which is remarkable if you’re old enough to remember when a ten-year-old car wasn’t just old but looked it and drove like it.

This writer helped his mother get a brand-new Lexus RX300 back in 1998. That Lexus is still being driven – by my niece, my mom’s granddaughter, who is a freshman in college this year. It has more than 200,000 miles on the original engine – and the paint still looks almost new.

This sort of thing is common.

And it’s a problem – for an industry that would like to sell new cars. The problem there, however, is that new cars have become less reliable – due to all the “technology” embedded in them – as well as less affordable, in part because money is less valuable. Everything costs more, so people can afford less. And so they keep what they have already paid for as long as they can.

You see the problem.

Bill Gates pioneered the solution. Don’t sell people a product; sell them a subscription. Over and over and over again. That way, they’re always paying. Microsoft used to sell products, too. You bought the box that contained the disc that had the program – and after you’d paid for it, it was yours. You could give it to someone else – for free.  You could use it on a different computer – without having to pay for it, again.

Bill didn’t like that because there wasn’t enough money in. Or control, the thing Bill likes even more than money. So now you pay serially for a license to use his software, which he controls. 

And that’s what this “mobility” show (and business) is all about.

There are still cars being shown. But that misses the point. There is a reason for the change in name from Tokyo Motor Show to Mobility Show. We use words to convey meaning and by getting us to use different words, they can get us to think differently about things. That’s why they use words such as ask – when they’d rather you not think too much about being told.

You are a customer – which makes you think you’re there to get something you want or need, rather than forced to be there to pay for things you don’t want or need.

Orwell’s 1984 is a valuable book in part because it is a book about etymology – the power of words to shift meaning and thereby, thinking.

Mobility tells you what they’re thinking – if you’re listening.

“Remember that feeling of being excited about what tomorrow holds? The feeling of  dreaming big? We want to recapture that,” the PR release for the Mobility Show reads.

Italics added.

Recapture the feeling? Well, what happened to it? Car people were always excited about the annual car shows; there was no need to recapture anything – because it hadn’t been lost.

Should we be excited about what’s being replaced?

The PR release tries to make the pending transition from owning to renting sound exciting. “In 2023, the Tokyo Motor Show evolves into the Japan Mobility Show, a gateway to experiencing the future . . .”

In italics to emphasize the emphasis on the virtual and ephemeral rather than the physical and actual. One experiences a ride at the amusement park. Each experience costing a certain amount. You do not own the ride and once it’s over, you are left with just the experience – sans what you paid for it.

Transportation as a service – the future of mobility – will work like that. You’ll pay to ride, if you’re allowed.

Are you excited about what tomorrow holds?

. . .

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  1. Mega-Jolt: The Costs & Logistics Of Plugging In EVs Are About To Become Supercharged

    “Rarely has a government, at least the U.S. government, banned specific products or behaviors that are so widely used or undertaken,” the conservative Manhattan Institute said in a recent EV report.

    The report points out that EVs are unlike other emerging technologies that people buy willingly: More than a century ago, “to encourage adoption of the newly invented gasoline-powered cars, governments didn’t have to ban horses.”

    While so-called fast chargers can bring a battery to 80% of capacity in under an hour, most of the new public chargers will be cheaper, Level 2 technology, which provides between 5 miles and 60 miles of range for each hour of charging, and isn’t practical for charging up quickly on a road trip.

    20% of all EV drivers reported visiting a charger that did not or could not charge because it wasn’t working or there were long lines.

    Charging stations were hard to find. Maps that locate stations were not reliable. Paying for a charge with a credit card often proved troublesome, sometimes impossible. Worst of all, way too many chargers were broken or otherwise out of order.”

    Renters and low-income families aren’t as likely to own private chargers, and electricity purchased from public chargers can cost five to 10 times as much as charging privately in a garage at home.

    This year, an exasperated Los Angeles Times columnist declared she’s ready to trade in her EV because charging is such a hassle. She wrote that chargers are sometimes blocked by cars that aren’t charging, exposed to blistering sunlight, charging at lower levels than advertised, or “it may shut off mid-charge with no warning or reason.”

    The frustration seems to have no expiration date. As Jonathan Levy, EVgo chief commercial officer, told the New York Times last year: “Where there’s a screen, there’s a baseball bat.”

  2. Are you excited about what tomorrow holds? – Eric,
    Definitely not, more like a feeling of dread as to how far the PTB will go in pushing their evil plans forward. Two carrier groups in the Persian Gulf just itching to escalate the genocide on behalf of Nuttyyahoo, poking the Russian bear for the grifters of Keeeeeev, and also looking to gin up a war against China. I’m nearing the end of my lifespan but would prefer not to check out in a nuclear blast; if it does come to that I hope to be near ground zero so that it’s quick.

  3. Personally I am very excited at what is to come. Because what is coming is not what most people think is coming.
    What is really coming is the implosion of the federal government and central authority. Its over, done stick a fork in it.
    I’m not sure how long the final phase will last until it is all sucked into a black hole, but we are passing the event horizon very rapidly.
    Once central authority collapses i am firmly convinced we are looking at a golden age.
    An age where without GloboHomo’s DC habd maiden we can rediscover freedom again.
    Yes I know it always darkest before the dawn but dawn in coming.
    The central authority is unsustainable if that word means anything at all. What is unsustainable will not sustain.
    What the final form will be is still up in the air whether it be 50 independent small organized units or 5 or 10 or 15. It doesn’t matter.
    Will it get uglier as we progress, yes. I might not survive it but my grandchildren will.
    When they put me in a hole they won’t be able to wipe the smile off my face because I know a better world for them is coming because I will do my part.
    My fervent hope is to live long enough to pull a few guillotine or gallows levers.
    We will win this and they will have nowhere to run.

    • That is some positively sound reasoning Alex. The key is always in the timing. I agree we are passing, if we haven’t already passed the point of no return. Still, Leviathan could limp along another 10-20 years. I’ve made many bad puts hedging against Fedzilla the last 20 years. Yet I know in my heart, one fine day, their $ Ponzi scheme will collapse, and they’ll face a reckoning for their crimes.

      I will also do my part, knowing that this empire too shall pass. May it come quickly so our descendants will once again know the type of freedoms we knew once upon a time, when we were young.

      • Under normal circumstances yes, another decade would be expected but with the current Junta in DC its all gone exponential.
        Had Clinton taken 2016 and stayed 2 terms then Mitt would have taken 2024, the glide path would have more gentle as the professionals know just how much you steal. But Orange man forced their hand and the over reaction will be their downfall.

        We need to survive the next 12 months of stupidity. I don’t expect a 2024 election because the Junta can’t afford to lose it, and its questionable whether the same tricks they pulled in 2020 will be enough. It is existential to them and in their view they have nothing to lose.
        Keep your powder dry, our time is near. You can see the cracks already.

        • I think we get an election, such as it is. Just so TPTB can steal it again, this time even more egregiously, then rub our faces in it. They seem to like doing that sort of thing. Its sad watching something you love die. I do think they realize the end of the road is fast approaching for them.

          • I think there will be one as well, Martin Armstrong is predicting there will not be one. Not sure. I’m also not sure they can manufacture enough ballots this time, in 2020 they didn’t so they stopped counting until they got them printed up. That might fly quite so easily this time.

            I’m backwards in that I hope they do. I don’t want the conservatives to go back to sleep. If a conservative wins so what, the implosion is way past the point of being able to stop it short of very extreme measures. Then the conservatives will be blamed for the catastrophe, the Dems get back in and usher in a world that makes Orwellian seem quaint.

            It has to go and the sooner it does the better we will all be.

            • I agree with ya, at this point they own it. I don’t want liberty minded people to get the blame. I hope Joey Shitzhispantz gets four more years. The tards who voted for him should never be allowed to walk it back, or live it down.

              A Trump/Biden rematch might be entertaining. Maybe they can beat each other over the heads with their canes as they yell at each other to ‘get off my lawn.’ The world has to see it by now, how hopelessly corrupt we’ve become.

  4. Firstly, Microsoft can go to hell, along with Apple and their software rental schemes. I only use Windows on my work laptop these days, and I still won’t use Office, what with it making you “log in” to use any of the programs.

    I was using LibreOffice, but that must’ve gotten popular with people constantly being fucked with, so all-of-a-sudden, LibreOffice began to be automatically removed as soon as I would go back to company headquarters.

    So I’ve switched to FreeOffice.

    I still use nothing but Linux at home, this being for many years now.

    Regarding “mobility” as a “service”: Bite me. There will never be such a service where I live, and I don’t want it. People out here want their 4-wheel-drives and I can tell they like to keep them for as long as possible. 😉 As do I.

  5. I don’t remember Microsoft ever selling software as a product in the traditional sense. Use of their operating system and other programs has always been under a license granted to the end user.

    The core of the BillG problem the world faces is that Gates was never the smartest person in the room, but he was always lawyered up and hyper-competitive. Now he wants to be Richard Feynman … or Ernst Blofield — take your pick.

    • I purchased “Microsoft windows 2.1, 3.0, 3.1” right after Bill stole Netscape, “Windows Vista and Me” “Microsoft Windows XP Professional” full versions and still have them. Businesses purchased NT for networking.

      A really nice operating system called Lindows came out but Bill sued,,, paid off a few judges and ended it.

      It was a great time to be alive. Everyone really was enthused and thought it a major human advancement.
      In my opinion Microsoft was the culprit designing computer viruses in order to sell various virus prevention programs. Had to convert to Linux for a ‘slightly more’ secure platform.

      Then .gov came in with all their crap monitoring everything we do and all our enthusiasm was quenched.
      Out come the Iphone and its peers and any kind of privacy was doomed.

      I know now this digital revolution was the end of learning and evolving. Today we have EULAs a hundred pages long. Digital is long past its fun stage. It is camouflaged leg irons and handcuffs. The internet is compromised and has been totally ‘cleaned’, it’s a disaster.

      Here’s to McAfee who fought it (them) all the way until the Spaniards killed him a couple of years ago.

      • Microsoft in the 1990s had the “least bad option.” Apple was rutterless without a strong CEO so the company fell into sectarian violence. AT&T was trying to put the Unix genie back in the bottle after letting SUN, DEC and SGI have it for nothing. IBM was shooting itself in the foot trying to put their own genie back in the bottle trying to force MCA. The 8-bit kings, Atari and Commodore, were relegated to extreme niche applications. Novel… had a nice option for sharing printers and files, but once you wanted to connect offices together it was a nightmare -but good for Cisco. And Novel didn’t notice TCP/IP was a thing until it was too late.

        Meanwhile, Mary Gates’ boy cleaned up by selling licenses to anyone with a pulse. And lightly enforced copyright to the point I knew of a repair shop that printed out a Windows 95 key on a big banner in their workbench. If you took your computer in it came back with a new key no matter if you had a legit one or not.

        Out of all that fighting came Windows dominance and GNU-Linux. Linux got better, Windows got more complicated. Apple got cheap enough that no one but Jobs wanted it, so he basically bought the logo and fan base to push NextStep out of beta (after stealing a billion dollars from Big Brother Bill in exchange for some old patents)

      • Few really understand what kluged together garbage MS Windows really is. Widespread adoption by the idiots in the executive suites has held back true technical innovation by st least 30 years.

    • Office 365 is usually sold by subscription, although I think you can still “buy” it. It was Adobe who was the first big name to sell software as a subscription.

      BTW Libre Office is way better than Microsoft Office.

      Now he wants to be Richard Feynman … or Ernst Blofield — take your pick.

      He’ll never be a Richard Feynman. so Blofeld it is.

  6. Here’s an idea: If a manufacturer is going to offer “transport as a service,” then include fuel, maintenance, insurance, registration, everything. I’d pay $500/month for that. Espeically if I was able to select different vehicles for the task, like an RV for a road trip or pickup for hauling scrap to the landfill, and a econobox for the daily commute. Heck, have a car waiting for me when I fly somewhere… just like the elites. I’d even walk to a parking lot, no need to have it waiting on the apron by the GA terminal.

    And TAAS might work out to be a good deal too. It would even out the fluxuations in fuel cost. Airlines buy fuel via contracts in order to better manage their costs. Usually it works out to be about the spot price, but every so often (such as the big spike in oil back in 2008-2012) it works out very well for the airline -Southwest locked in pre-spike prices in a long term contract that allowed them to seriously undercut the other discount carriers. Same thing could happen with a manufacturer.

    But that would be hard! Easier to get you to pay for something you’ve already bought and continue having all the drudgery of ownership without actually owning anything.

  7. ‘How about a mobility show, instead?’ — eric

    Lucky me swimming in my ability
    Dancing down on life with agility
    Come and drink it up from my fertility
    Blessed with a bucket of lucky mobility

    — Red Hot Chili Peppers, Give It Away (1991)

    Mobility show = a bucket of spunk in the eye, courtesy of our depraved elite.

    The Japanese have their own technical term for this act.

    On your feet, or on your knees.

  8. Eric, you often use Volvo as and example of the safety mindset car that now all cars have begun. I recall a Volvo ad that didn’t tout safety but, durability. It was the the effect that the average age of a Volvo on the road was 12 years old which was way beyond all other makes on average at the time.

    I almost bought a 2 door 240DL in ’81 but went with a diesel Rabbit instead. Right now I wish I had that rabbit…

    • I owned a Mk2 diesel and a M4 diesel….wish I had one still…there is a big problem with old gas ice cars and ethanol in the gas…at least the diesel fuel hasn’t been entirely ruined yet….but….. diesels are banned in some Euro cities already….

    • I thought those durable old Volvos represented a wonderful business model based on “Hey, why not just sell them the same car over and over?”

  9. Eric: Are you excited about what tomorrow holds?

    Oh Hell no!!! The Mobility Show is just another way of keeping you poor. When will people figure out that if you own nothing, how will you ever own anything? I can afford to retire because all my cars, possessions are paid for along with my house. If I lived in the own nothing segment I would not have been able to resist the demands to get the “Shot”.

    Remember when the WEF said “It’s 2030 you’ll own nothing and be happy” I do and I suspect people won’t be happy but angry to boot.

    If people actually cared about being green they would live within their means and maintain what they own so it lasts longer allowing them to accumulate capital to invest in their future wants and needs. As that old saying goes: “The debtor is a slave of the lender” just wait until you own nothing. It’s not to late to learn to be frugal; start today!

    • Exactly, Landru!

      The question begged by “You will own nothing – and be happy” – is rarely asked: Well, if we own nothing, who will own everything?

      • Alex; I’ll take what is Blackrock for $100.00. As most people don’t own very much other than junk fit only for a tag sale it won’t be them.

      • The original plan was everyone owned/got to use… while here…. one share of the country they live in…but the marxist control group…through trickery… figured out how to own everything….and the slaves own nothing….

        and the slaves will own nothing…. they already own almost nothing, but soon it will be obvious….

        see……..THE PERFECT CRIME by the Rome/Vatican Criminals – Romley Stewart

        Slaves tricked into being enslaved in the globalist/marxist corporate matrix….—Romley-Stewart:2

        • You have a trust account….maybe worth a million dollars or more….that the marxist control group took control of and will confiscate when you croak…..

          why not try to get control of it again?

      • I don’t think these cretins have thought their cunning plan all the way through.

        If “they” own everything, how can they kick someone out for non-payment?

        If “they” live off in a bunker somewhere, who’s going to show up to collect the rent? How long can they keep their flunkies in line, really? If no one owns anything, and never will, what incentive is there to cooperate with the system? Without flunkies, “they” will surely be lynched in short order.

        Honestly, as a student of history, I am quite surprised that a) they haven’t been dragged out into the streets already and b) there has not been a diapered-vs-undisputed mass murder incident.

        People must have gotten tamer, perhaps they are stupefied by pharmaceuticals or something in the food.

          • dropped interest to near zero so people got a $100,000 to ? gain on their house…plus the fake government corporation sent out checks….renters got a rent holiday…businesses were sent cash…a lot of people sat at home for 2 years and took drugs or drank while netflix binging….all while injections, masking, lockdown took place….this prevented a slave revolt….

            next case….now with real estate and stocks closer to the cliff/dropping…interest rates way higher….inflation out of control….is UBI next….15 min city/prisons soon?…..

    • Amen, Landru. I was taught by my father to avoid debt like a plague. It’s served me well.
      “Don’t spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need”. I haven’t had any debt since I was 40, 28 years ago. Now SS is a saving wage for me.

      • Nope. No saving! If you save you’re an evil Scrooge, hording your gold instead of releasing it into the economy to help your fellow man. 🤡🌎

        “Like… You can’t eat gold, man…”
        Precisely! That’s the point! Its precious and useless other than for making pretty jewelry.

        • gold has gone up 7.3% a year since 1972…not too bad….real estate and stocks were better though….

          since july…gold flat…stocks down 7%…real estate in some areas down…san francisco down 10%….

    • Ask people who live in New York City. My relatives who live in the “Big Apple” were offended when I pointed out that they pretty much own nothing, but pay exorbitant “rent” to some jewish shylock landlord, $3500 a month to live in a sixth-floor 350 square-foot “walkup” with a mostly nonfunctioning elevator. Add to that, they are denied the human right of self-defense, New York City officials making it near impossible to obtain a firearm. You can bet that their jewish shylock landlord has the right to carry a firearm. After the initial shock of me pointing that out, they have come to the realization that I am right…
      P. S.: I’ve been to New York City once and will never go back. I go out of my way to avoid the environs…

  10. We have a name for animals and plants that do this. We call them parasites.
    I’ve owned exactly one new car in my life. Looks like it was the last one as well. Partly because of all the crap on them I don’t want, and partly because there are few, if any, I would spend that kind of money on, and none I would go in debt for. Also a parasite.

    • Hi John. You’re one up on me as I’ve never owned a new car but I’ve bought a few new motorcycles which in the case of the last one I’ve been riding for over 20 years now. I agree with you on all the crap on new cars as I don’t want any of it either.

      • The new car was an 06 Miata, that I bought with a windfall from a real estate deal. The only tech it had was a drive by wire throttle. Which I discovered several years later.

        • Morning, John!

          My last (and only) new vehicle purchase was my 2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200 – which I still have. I bought it because I knew it would be among my last chances to buy a new bike with carburetors and no catalytic converter. Plus, it reminds me a lot of my ’76 Kz900!

          • Much like my purchase of the 06 Miata. I had been driving them for several years, and in 06 they were bigger, faster, and got better gas mileage. I discovered the throttle by wire when I attempted to stretch the throttle return spring to lighten it, and discovered it didn’t have one.
            Lost it in my divorce proceedings.

          • My last (and only) brand new vehicle purchase was a 2005 Honda VTX 1300. Rode it for 10 years problem free. The close calls on the roads around here were seemingly getting more frequent, so I sold it in 2015.

            Our “newest” vehicle is a 2011 Honda Pilot 4×4 we bought from a relative in 2012 with only a handful of miles on it. Basically new. It’s the most reliable vehicle I’ve ever owned. It now has close to 200,000 miles on it. You can tell they are superb vehicles by the number of them you still see on the road and in good shape over 10 years later. Just had it repainted to keep the wife happy so she won’t want to sell it and get something new. LOL


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