To me, Toyota Land Cruiser is the best car mankind has ever built, and will ever build. Their manufacturing process has the magic touch of Taiichi Ohno himself. But unfortunately, even the best cars need service and spare parts.
My KZJ95 was built in November 1997. First time I recognized a problem with the clutch was back in 2008 when the odometer was showing 242 000 kilometers. It was first just slipping and then suddenly it got a grip.
I thought ‘Well, it is a Land Cruiser and will last for some time.’ Finally, a new clutch was installed as a birthday present on November 2015 with the odometer now showing 472 000 kilometers.
I was thinking whether I should buy a clutch made by the OEM or go with a hara-kiri spare. Would an upgrade to a heavy-duty off-road clutch be an option?
Well, half a million kilometers is heavy duty enough for me – no need for overkill. Also, the almighty internet had sad stories to tell me about hara-kiri clutches. ‘They become heavy to use after one year in operation’, told the gurus at one of the road sites.
So, I decided to go for the OEM spare because they are reliable (twelve times around the earth guaranteed). And the price was basically the same compared to 3rd party spare parts.
But wait a minute, there are other parts that wear off too when the clutch is not working properly. Suddenly I wasn’t buying a clutch disc as a single spare but a whole clutch repair kit.
If you go for a clutch repair you should do it well or you will be doing it soon again. The kit consists of a disc, a pressure assembly and two bearings. A purist can also change the bolts (20 ea). Luckily the flywheel was unharmed.
Then it was time to go to the garage, disassemble the cardan shafts and gearbox with a reduction gear. With probably over 100 kg weight lying on my back, will I be able to put it back? I’m a pen pusher, maybe the OEM is better at replacing the clutch. But are they expensive?
How about the other car repair shops? Could I save some money using them? Replacing a clutch is everyday work for them, too. Finally, I decided to go with the OEM again. A Land Cruiser specialist will do the repair and have all OEM data available.
Even though my beloved Cruiser is back in business I can’t help to look at the newer ones. The expiry date and a baling press are getting closer every day.
Nowadays, there is also the Land Cruiser 200 with a V8 diesel engine available. Ok, a new Land Cruiser costs a reasonably big pile of money but what if I could get my hands on one as a service?
The market for cars as a service is exploding in big cities in Europe and the US. Services like Car2go and Zipcar allows millions of subscribers to unlock a car right off the street using only their smartphone – gas, insurance and parking included in the rate.
Not to mention Uber which revolutionize the entire transportation industry with cheap, accessible cabs. The markets are overlapping each other, now when there are more ways than ever to get from point A to B.
What else will the future bring to the driving experience? Will the whole concept of owning things be replaced by services?
Some manufacturing companies have already stopped talking about products and service products and have replaced everything with plain services. And the guy wearing a suit on TV tells us every day that our western society will turn into a service society. So long capex.
How does all this affect my driving experience? Will my car become a cyborg that can make decisions for me? Will it negotiate with gas stations on diesel price depending on the fuel level in the tank? Can gas stations on my route answer to my car that if it buys 70 liters of diesel at €1.30 the ‘driver’ will get a free coffee and magazine?
The log says that the car hasn’t been in a car wash for two months – get a premium wash for €35. The car can leave the ‘driver’ in our people park meanwhile – we have a special offer for him at our specialty beer section.
Is your company ready to move as fast as all the competitors, now when consumers have options that no longer match the traditional way of buying and the markets are overlapping each other?
Contact me or someone else at TECHNIA to learn more about what knowledge and tools are needed to increase the innovation capacity within your company.