April Fools
Blog #44 In World War II, Detroit’s automotive manufacturers converted their plants to produce jeeps, trucks, tanks and planes for the U.S. military. Prior to the war, Detroit produced 3 million vehicles per year. During the entire war, they produced a total of 139 cars, as everything was converted to production for the war effort. In the Willow Run plant outside Detroit, Ford produced a B-24 bomber every 63 minutes. The average Ford automobile was comprised of about 15,000 individual parts. Each B-24 required 1.5 million parts. The complexity was staggering. Now the “Detroit 3”, as they are now known, are making ventilators, masks and other PPE items required for the Coronavirus. While this effort is nothing like what was undertaken in WWII, it’s symbolic of America’s need to be able to make things in times of crisis. As we are discovering, many of the raw materials and components that are used to make products are no longer made in the U.S. This has been the case for a considerable time. Chemicals and compounds needed for medicines are supplied by China and other countries. It is only natural that in times of shortage, countries will protect supply for their own population before providing surpluses to other nations. The U.S has always been a leader in innovation and technology. It will be interesting to see how (and if) this pandemic affects where companies choose to source products in the future. All companies are looking at their business models, their core markets, their customers and their supply chains and trying to figure out the best ways forward. Just like in WWII, companies will adapt to what is required to survive and remain viable businesses. But the interesting thing will be to see which companies truly change how they do business. Will automakers forego their dealer networks and embrace online sales? Will they continue to invest in electric vehicles with oil at these historic price levels? Will people continue to use ride sharing services at the growth rates they have shown over the past few years? It will be interesting to see how the “Detroit 3” (and the automotive industry as whole) continue to adapt and evolve after this pandemic has passed. I’ll keep you posted from here in Detroit.

Quotes of the Day from Henry Ford:
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
“If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Today’s Playlist from Motown:
1) What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye
2) Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes
3) My Girl by The Temptations
4) Reach Out and I’ll Be There by The Four Tops
5) Superstition by Stevie Wonder

Books to Read:
1) The Bond by Simon McCartney

Binge Watchable:
1) 8 Days; To the Moon and Back

Yesterday’s Trivia Question: What state has more shoreline than the entire US Atlantic Seaboard? ANSWER: Michigan

Today’s Trivia Question: Before the Jeep brand was acquired by Chrysler, it was a product of what automotive company? (Hint: this company also produced the Pacer which was a great car from which to deliver 6" sub sandwiches)



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