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    Mark Fields Is Out As Ford CEO


    • Ford makes a drastic change in terms of their leadership


    This morning, Ford announced that current CEO Mark Fields will be stepping down as CEO. Taking his place is Jim Hackett, former CEO of Steelcase (an office furniture manufacturer) and chairman of Ford's self-driving unit.

    “Mark Fields has been an outstanding leader and deserves a lot of credit for all he has accomplished in his many roles around the globe at Ford. His strong leadership was critical to our North American restructuring, our turnaround at the end of the last decade, and our record profits in the past two years," said Bill Ford in a statement.

    The news was first broke by Forbes last night and later corroborated by the New York Times last night. According to unnamed sources, Ford's Executive Chairman Bill Ford and the board of directors lost confidence in Fields' ability to lead the company as he was unable to rally employees around a common theme or make fast decisions. His predecessor, Alan Mullaly was very good at those things.

    “Without Alan, it’s back to the inmates running the asylum,” a source told Forbes.

    Not helping matters is Ford's stock price dropping 40 percent during Fields' three-year tenure. 

    The New York Times reports that the decision to remove Fields as CEO took place on Friday with The Detroit News reporting that Bill Ford delivering the news to Fields after a board meeting.

    “We need to re-energize our business and sharpen our execution. The good news is we have the financial resources and the talent to get it done. But what we needed is a transformative leader who has done it before. And who not only has the vision, but also knows how to get the organization to move toward that vision," Ford said in an interview with The Detroit News.

    “Jim has done this before. And he’s done it at an industrial company. And he’s done it at a company where he redefined it from what it was to what it could become. Jim will bring speed of decision-making. The world in which we are operating in today is very different from even three years ago.”

    Hackett was the CEO of Steelcase for over 20 years. He joined Ford's board of directors in 2013 and became the chairman of its Smart Mobility division in 2016. Hackett also worked as the interim athletic director of the University of Michigan from 2014-2016.

    “I am so excited to work with Bill Ford and the entire team to create an even more dynamic and vibrant Ford that improves people’s lives around the world, and creates value for all of our stakeholders. I have developed a deep appreciation for Ford’s people, values and heritage during the past four years as part of the company and look forward to working together with everyone tied to Ford during this transformative period,” said Hackett in a statement.

    Ford has also announced other management changes,

    • Jim Farley, currently executive vice president and president, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa since January 2015 will become Ford's executive vice president and president, Global Markets.
    • Joe Hinrichs, Ford's executive vice president and president for the Americas will move up to executive vice president and president, Global Operations.
    • Marcy Klevorn, Ford's CTO will become executive vice president and president, Mobility.

    Source: Forbes, New York Times, (2), The Detroit News
    Press Release is on Page 2


    FORD APPOINTS JIM HACKETT AS CEO TO STRENGTHEN OPERATIONS, TRANSFORM FOR FUTURE; FARLEY, HINRICHS, KLEVORN TAKE ON NEW ROLES

    • Jim Hackett named as Ford Motor Company president and CEO, succeeding Mark Fields, who is retiring. Hackett, who will report to Executive Chairman Bill Ford, is recognized as a transformational business leader  
    • Hackett led Steelcase Inc.’s turnaround to become the world’s No. 1 office furniture maker, served as interim Athletic Director at University of Michigan and has led Ford Smart Mobility LLC since March 2016. He served on Ford’s board from 2013 to 2016
    • Hackett, together with Bill Ford, will focus on three priorities: Sharpening operational execution, modernizing Ford’s present business and transforming the company to meet tomorrow’s challenges
    • Ford also named leaders to three new roles under Hackett. Jim Farley is appointed executive vice president and president, Global Markets, Joe Hinrichs is appointed executive vice president and president, Global Operations, and Marcy Klevorn is appointed executive vice president and president, Mobility
    • Mark Truby is appointed vice president, Communications, and elected a company officer.  He succeeds Ray Day, who plans to retire from the company next year and will provide consulting services until then
    • Paul Ballew is appointed vice president and Chief Data and Analytics Officer

    DEARBORN, May 22, 2017 – Ford Motor Company today named Jim Hackett as its new president and CEO and announced key global leadership changes designed to further strengthen its core automotive business and accelerate a strategic shift to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

    Hackett, 62, has a long track record of innovation and business success as CEO of Steelcase, Interim Athletic Director at the University of Michigan and executive chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC since March 2016.

    Reporting to Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Hackett will lead Ford’s worldwide operations and 202,000 employees globally. He succeeds Mark Fields, 56, who has elected to retire from Ford after a successful 28-year career with the company.

    “We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Ford for the future,” Bill Ford said. “Jim Hackett is the right CEO to lead Ford during this transformative period for the auto industry and the broader mobility space. He’s a true visionary who brings a unique, human-centered leadership approach to our culture, products and services that will unlock the potential of our people and our business.”

    Added Hackett: “I am so excited to work with Bill Ford and the entire team to create an even more dynamic and vibrant Ford that improves people’s lives around the world, and creates value for all of our stakeholders. I have developed a deep appreciation for Ford’s people, values and heritage during the past four years as part of the company and look forward to working together with everyone tied to Ford during this transformative period.”

    Hackett, together with Bill Ford, will focus on three priorities:

    • Sharpening operational execution across the global business to further enhance quality, go-to-market strategy; product launch, while decisively addressing underperforming parts of the business
    • Modernizing Ford’s business, using new tools and techniques to unleash innovation, speed decision making and improve efficiency. This includes increasingly leveraging big data, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, 3D printing and more
    • Transforming the company to meet future challenges, ensuring the company has the right culture, talent, strategic processes and nimbleness to succeed as society’s needs and consumer behavior change over time

    Bill Ford and Ford’s Board of Directors thanked Fields for his significant contributions to the company.

    “Mark Fields has been an outstanding leader and deserves a lot of credit for all he has accomplished in his many roles around the globe at Ford," Bill Ford said. “His strong leadership was critical to our North American restructuring, our turnaround at the end of the last decade, and our record profits in the past two years."

    Also today, Ford announced a new structure for its operations and named three new leaders reporting to Hackett:

    Jim Farley, 54, is appointed executive vice president and president, Global Markets. In this role, Farley will oversee Ford’s business units, The Americas; Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific. In addition, Farley will oversee Lincoln Motor Company and global Marketing Sales & Service. Farley has served as executive vice president and president, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa since January 2015.  Farley will also oversee the strategy and business model development for electrified vehicles and autonomous vehicles.

    Joe Hinrichs, 50, is appointed executive vice president and president, Global Operations. In this role, Hinrichs will oversee Ford’s global Product Development; Manufacturing and Labor Affairs; Quality; Purchasing; and Sustainability, Environmental and Safety Engineering; Hinrichs has been serving as Ford executive vice president and president, The Americas, since December 2012.

    Marcy Klevorn, 57, is appointed executive vice president and president, Mobility. In this role, Klevorn will oversee Ford Smart Mobility LLC, which was formed last year to accelerate the company’s plans to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services, as well as Information Technology and Global Data, Insight and Analytics. Klevorn has served as group vice president, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer since January 2017.

    All three appointments are effective June 1. New leaders to succeed Hinrichs, Farley and Klevorn will be the subject of a future announcement.

    “We are fortunate to have three dynamic and talented leaders in Jim Farley, Joe Hinrichs and Marcy Klevorn taking on greater responsibility,” Bill Ford said. “Each has a track record of driving innovation, cost efficiency and delivering results around the world. They will work closely with Jim Hackett to lead Ford’s day-to-day operations, build our brand and capitalize on emerging opportunities.”

    In addition, Ford appointed Mark Truby, 47, vice president, Communications, effective immediately, reporting to Bill Ford. He was elected a company officer. Truby has previously led Ford’s Communications teams in Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East & Africa. Truby succeeds Ray Day, who plans to retire from the company next year and will provide consulting services until then.

    Ford also elected Paul Ballew, 52, as Global Chief Data and Analytics Officer, reporting to Klevorn. Ballew has been leading Ford’s global data and analytics teams since December 2014, including development of new capabilities supporting connectivity and smart mobility.



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    30% decline in profitability is a big number of OUCH! 

    Especially telling is when you have the head of one company step down to take a mgmt. job in the technology of the future section at Ford to help them get moving in the right direction as the individual feels Fords CEO was not leading the company to the future.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/ford-motor-is-replacing-mark-fields-as-ceo/ar-BBBnzXJ?li=BBnb7Kz

    Pretty amazing details about this coming out.

    Double OUCH as there are more changes than I realized upon rereading the story. Seems they are really cleaning house to get the company back on track and moving forward.

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    42 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    30% decline in profitability is a big number of OUCH! 

    Especially telling is when you have the head of one company step down to take a mgmt. job in the technology of the future section at Ford to help them get moving in the right direction as the individual feels Fords CEO was not leading the company to the future.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/ford-motor-is-replacing-mark-fields-as-ceo/ar-BBBnzXJ?li=BBnb7Kz

    Pretty amazing details about this coming out.

    Double OUCH as there are more changes than I realized upon rereading the story. Seems they are really cleaning house to get the company back on track and moving forward.

    Wonder how some of his employees feel about this, since supposedly they were his biggest fans. Seems like some wholesale house cleaning is about to go down at Ford. If it makes them better though, it should be seen as a positive in the long run though.

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    Mullaly was a great CEO, he would have been a tough act to follow for anyone.  We'll see how the new guy does.  The big challenge facing every car company is the shift to EV and Self driving cars and ride sharing.  The car industry is going to go through a huge change, almost like how CD and DVD stores and Blockbuster video etc have disappeared because it is all streaming now.  Netflix was smart enough to shift from dvds to digital stream ahead of the curve.  

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    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/ap-source-ford-replaces-ceo-in-push-to-transform-business/

    The story broke locally and I like some of the info that I did not see elsewhere.

    Smaller upper mgmt. Quick changing decisions. Field was a product of Ford bureaucracy. Hackett is known as a turnaround specialist who likes small teams, quick decisions based on solid research and calculated risk. Some very interesting changes and kudos to GM CEO for her decisions that many are saying are the right things such as pulling out of profitless markets.

    One of the few stories I enjoyed reading.

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    Seems this is part of the strategy to become learner. Let go of a lot of people, and give the remaining employees more work and responsibilities. I’m guessing for some,  the same pay as they were previously making. I’ve seen other companies do that. Especially to salaried employees. They can increase work on salaried employees, causing them to work longer hours and not worry about overtime. Good for the company, not always so good for the workers. Have to wait and see how this plays out.

     

    As for keeping up with technology. We have seen the truck market change leaps and bounds over the last 10 years. I believe mostly because of the profits to be madeon trucks and SUVs.  Meanwhile many cars have been largely ignored. Hopefully, when gas prices go up again, the industry doesn't get cought with its pants down like last time. 

     

    Guess wee just have to wait and see how the new leaner management shakes out. 

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    I read a study a week ago that believes 95% of driving will be autonomous in 2030.  Seems a bit aggressive for me, but if that happens, they also said that there would be 50 million cars in the USA, not 250 million right now.  This would basically put most car dealerships out of business, and car companies would be selling a fraction of what they sell now in retail.  

    If robot cars take over to where you can pay $100 a month for example for a robot car to pick you up and take you anywhere at anytime, people will stop buying cars.  However, someone still has to build and service and maintain the robot cars, so that is the shift that the car makers will have to do.  The ones that can't make that shift will go out of business.

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    2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    I read a study a week ago that believes 95% of driving will be autonomous in 2030.  Seems a bit aggressive for me, but if that happens, they also said that there would be 50 million cars in the USA, not 250 million right now.  This would basically put most car dealerships out of business, and car companies would be selling a fraction of what they sell now in retail.  

    If robot cars take over to where you can pay $100 a month for example for a robot car to pick you up and take you anywhere at anytime, people will stop buying cars.  However, someone still has to build and service and maintain the robot cars, so that is the shift that the car makers will have to do.  The ones that can't make that shift will go out of business.

    Somehow....I dont see the manufacturers of the robot cars doing the maintenance....

    You see, these robot cars will be  manufactured and sold....the manufactures will HAPPILY BUILD THEM AND SELL them to people or entities that will RENT them out to users of these services...

    Nothing new...just the same way this business has conducted business the last 120 years...

    In fact....some STATES keep respecting the wishes of DEALERSHIPS and keep on blocking Tesla for selling DIRECTLY to customers and keep on saying that Tesla NEEDS to have a DEALERSHIP NETWORK for FRANCHISORS to OWN so MAINTENANCE  could be done...by the OWNER of the vehicle and NOT the manufacturer...and GM spearheads that blockade in Michigan....so....

     

    Like I have been always saying....ride sharing/ride renting is a pipe dream.

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    15 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

    Somehow....I dont see the manufacturers of the robot cars doing the maintenance....

    You see, these robot cars will be  manufactured and sold....the manufactures will HAPPILY BUILD THEM AND SELL them to people or entities that will RENT them out to users of these services...

    Nothing new...just the same way this business has conducted business the last 120 years...

    In fact....some STATES keep respecting the wishes of DEALERSHIPS and keep on blocking Tesla for selling DIRECTLY to customers and keep on saying that Tesla NEEDS to have a DEALERSHIP NETWORK for FRANCHISORS to OWN so MAINTENANCE  could be done...by the OWNER of the vehicle and NOT the manufacturer...and GM spearheads that blockade in Michigan....so....

     

    Like I have been always saying....ride sharing/ride renting is a pipe dream.

    You beat me to it. If the major dealers and their lobiests don't produce the cars. You can bet they will put up road blocks for any newcomer, making it near impossible for a startup to have any chance. That goes for Google also. Google may have the technology, and financial means, but they don't have the network. Breaking through the politics will prove very hard for anyone not already in the Bro club. 

     

    I think the day may come when personal vehicle ownership is not common, and 'robo cars' may be the norm. But not until the already established can make it mainstream.  Too much back room back scratching going on for a startup to compete with. 

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    The dealers and auto makers have power now, and the Auto makers will still be making the cars.  But the distribution channel will change.  If ride sharing and robo-cars take over, it could come to be that only 20% of the population owns a car.  Plus these will be electric cars with no need for fluid and filter changes, and re-gen brakes that last 100,000 miles, so the service departments will become ghost towns.  

    Tesla hits roadblocks because they are trying to sell direct to consumer.  But suppose Tesla, Mercedes, Uber, Google, Ford or whoever say for $100 a month subscription you get 100 hours of use of a robot car.  They aren't selling cars then, they are selling a bus pass, albeit for a private car and it picks you up at your door.

    The shift will eventually happen, because cost will dictate it.  It will be so much cheaper to buy into a ride share, no car payments, no insurance payments, no gas in your take, no maintenance, etc.  The trick for auto makers is to be ready when the shift happens.

    15 years ago Amazon was just selling books online, now they are about to put Sears, Macy's and a lot of other icons of retail out of business.  Industry can change fast.

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    3 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    I read a study a week ago that believes 95% of driving will be autonomous in 2030.

    But that's completely baseless and frankly, patently ridiculous.
    18 years to go from 0% to 95%?? I'll bet you 1 billion dollars it won't even reach 25% in 18 years.

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    Then there is also this from Auto Extremist

     

    Quote

    Mark Truby. Editor-In-Chief's Note: In the management shakeup at Ford, Mark Truby, who once upon a time was a journalist covering the auto beat for The Detroit News, got promoted to replace Ray Day, the company's PR chief, who will exit the company at the end of the year. Day was Mark Fields' PR guy and unfortunately for Ford, considered by many in the media to be one of the most universally despised PR hacks in the business. I spoke to some members of the media who insisted that Day contributed to Fields' downfall by never articulating a strategy that Wall Street could understand or believe in. Day also drove away many talented people who went on to work for other car companies, turning their talents against Ford with a large dollop of resentment thrown in for good measure. Never a strategic PR person by any stretch of the imagination, Day exhorted his troops to crank out press releases to keep Ford in the news and to drive up the stock price. When that failed, and the collective media stopped buying what he was selling, Day tried out different tactics to keep Ford in the news. One memorable example of this was when Ford tried - and failed miserably - to abscond with the buzz at the Detroit Auto Show last January by staging a bogus press conference away from Cobo Hall. That particularly ugly episode was the last straw for many in the media. I personally never felt Mark Fields was properly served by Day. Truby needs to clean house if he is to succeed in his new gig, and that means jettisoning some holdovers from Day's staff who relished treating the media with utter disdain and condescension as a matter of course. Will Truby step up to the plate? Another giant "we'll see" as far as I'm concerned. -PMD 

    I bolded the significant parts.  These are things that I have mentioned here before about Ford PR.  

    Signing up for the Ford Media site emails was like standing in front of a fire hose trying to get a glass of water. Every day, all day, there was a constant barrage of largely irrelevant press releases. Do you care that the Fiesta will now have 3-blink turn signals for passing? No? Well here's your press release on it anyway.  I deleted or ignored so many Ford emails that Google decided on its own that they were spam and started sending them to junk mail. 

    I know a number of former for PR people who have left for other manufacturers. The ones that left were generally the good ones whom I enjoyed working with and have maintained a relationship with in their new positions. My interactions with the mid-west Lincoln rep were so bad that I actively avoid talking to him now when we're both at the same event.... when Lincoln even bothers to show up for an event. 

    The stunt at Detroit this year was especially bad.  Ford had their own press conference in the arena at Cobo already, but they didn't actually show anything of value.  Then later in the day, they try to get journalists to leave the Cobo and head to Dearborn for another press conference.  Not that I was invited, but had I fallen for it, it would have put a huge dent in the coverage we did get out of Detroit. 

    This firing of Day may make just as large an impact on Ford as firing Fields will. 

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    15 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    The dealers and auto makers have power now, and the Auto makers will still be making the cars.  But the distribution channel will change.  If ride sharing and robo-cars take over, it could come to be that only 20% of the population owns a car.  Plus these will be electric cars with no need for fluid and filter changes, and re-gen brakes that last 100,000 miles, so the service departments will become ghost towns.  

    Tesla hits roadblocks because they are trying to sell direct to consumer.  But suppose Tesla, Mercedes, Uber, Google, Ford or whoever say for $100 a month subscription you get 100 hours of use of a robot car.  They aren't selling cars then, they are selling a bus pass, albeit for a private car and it picks you up at your door.

    The shift will eventually happen, because cost will dictate it.  It will be so much cheaper to buy into a ride share, no car payments, no insurance payments, no gas in your take, no maintenance, etc.  The trick for auto makers is to be ready when the shift happens.

    15 years ago Amazon was just selling books online, now they are about to put Sears, Macy's and a lot of other icons of retail out of business.  Industry can change fast.

    The economy, and auto industry as a whole, is heading for another major slowdown.  I wonder if the time estimate for autonomous driving takes that into account.  The setback for autonomous driving is going to be our infrastructure.  We're not going to get that all fixed up in 18 years.

    Still, if you have a link to the study you're referencing, I'd like to read it.

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    45 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The economy, and auto industry as a whole, is heading for another major slowdown.  I wonder if the time estimate for autonomous driving takes that into account.  The setback for autonomous driving is going to be our infrastructure.  We're not going to get that all fixed up in 18 years.

    Still, if you have a link to the study you're referencing, I'd like to read it.

    Yea, I would like to read the study too.

    I have read these and found them interesting:

    http://orfe.princeton.edu/~alaink/SmartDrivingCars/PDFs/Kelley+Blue+Book+Future+Autonomous+Vehicle+Driver+Study+-+FINAL.pdf

    https://vista.today/2016/12/driverless-cars-future-now-says-princeton-professor-tmacc-luncheon/

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/election-2017-what-do-main-parties-have-planned-electric-autonomous-cars-1622622

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/goldman-autonomous-vehicles-will-cause-substantial-job-losses-in-trucking/ar-BBBoWmk

    These were all the most recent writing on the subject and I found some of the facts to be valid and others to be head scratchers.

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The economy, and auto industry as a whole, is heading for another major slowdown.  I wonder if the time estimate for autonomous driving takes that into account.  The setback for autonomous driving is going to be our infrastructure.  We're not going to get that all fixed up in 18 years.

    Still, if you have a link to the study you're referencing, I'd like to read it.

    It was from RethinkX, whose site is linked in this article.  

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/self-driving/rethinkx-selfdriving-electric-cars-will-dominate-roads-by-2030

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    20 hours ago, balthazar said:

    But that's completely baseless and frankly, patently ridiculous.
    18 years to go from 0% to 95%?? I'll bet you 1 billion dollars it won't even reach 25% in 18 years.

    0 of Americans had a smart phone in 2006, and 220 Americans have a smart phone today.  

    I think 2030 is aggressive to get to almost all autonomy, but they estimate that car sharing will save people $5-6,000 a year.  $500 a month is a big impact for a lot of people.

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    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    0 of Americans had a smart phone in 2006, and 220 Americans have a smart phone today.  

    I think 2030 is aggressive to get to almost all autonomy, but they estimate that car sharing will save people $5-6,000 a year.  $500 a month is a big impact for a lot of people.

    I can see self-driving taxis taking over a significant portion of that business -- literally, I see the Uber self-driving Volvos around all the time -- in the near future. However, that only covers a portion of the traffic in most cities and much less in suburbs.

    I wonder if the wiggle room is going to be semi-autonomous driving.  I could see that coming on much sooner. 

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    One other thing I thought of while having dinner.  The average age of vehicles on the road was 11.4 years back in 2014. That age has crept up since then.  With the very likely impending slow down in the economy, that age will likely increase further. 

    There are 263 million vehicles in the US. In order for most vehicles to become autonomous driving in 2030, of the 17.5 million vehicles per year sold every year, 15 million every year for the next 13 years would have to be autonomous.*  The manufacturers better get rolling to update their cars so that 85% of all cars sold in 2017 are capable of autonomy. 

    *back of the napkin calculation assuming no overall fleet growth or average age growth. 263m * 0.75 (most) = 195.25m; 195.25m / 13 years till 2030 = 15m

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    11 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    In 2006, 0% of Americans had Google glasses. In 2017, it's still 0%.

    Supposedly there were about 40,000 units sold by the end of 2013...  I know two developers that had them in 2013 here in AZ..(one of whom drives a Chevy Volt)...probably gathering dust now...so it's a bit more than 0% :)

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    No: in order to be 1% of Americans, it'd have to be about 3,200,000 units.
    Or at least 1,600,000 to round up to 1% (mathematically).

    Point was, some tech inevitably fails regardless of the initial hype.

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