I wrote this article for Custom PC Magazine in the U.K and thought I would include it on the blog.
In this industry there are quite a few of us who appreciate cars. I appreciate them so much that we built a strategy around a direct parallel in the car industry. In 1997 Audi acquired Lamborghini. Back then Audi cars had some of the coolest ground breaking technologies in them including the highly regarded Quattro all wheel drive system. Although the design of Audi vehicles was somewhat “boxy”, they were incredibly good - and more importantly they had unique innovations that Mercedes or BMW did not. Audi made quality cars packed with incredible innovations, and I think if there was one thing that was obvious it was that their style was somewhat conservative.
In 1997 Lamborghini shipped a little over 200 vehicles for the year. Their cars featured aggressive design, no compromise service, and great performance, but the quality was somewhat inconsistent. Believe me I know, imagine getting stuck inside the car with no way to open the door. Yes, it’s true, the cars had many problems, not least of which was the fact that the door latch would get stuck – and in the event of a vehicle fire you were basically screwed. So you would end up dropping well over a hundred G’s on a car and sometimes you would catch yourself in a very embarrassing situation. That was over ten years ago, mind, and a lot has changed since then.
Since the acquisition of Lamborghini, Audi invested a great deal of resources into the company to get them moving in a positive with profitable growth direction. Not only are new Lamborghini cars such as the Gallardo and Murcielago amazing, but they leverage innovations from Audi such as the Quattro AWD system. All Lamborghini’s now feature all wheel drive! The quality of their cars has never been better – if you ask anyone now with a Lamborghini what they hate most about the car it’s likely the attention they get from driving it around (and we know how much they really love the attention).
2007 Lamborghini Murcielago
On the flipside, Audi has completely changed their outlook. Their designs are more aggressive, and their vehicles continue to raise the bars of innovation and engineering. Take for example the Audi R8, one of the best cars ever released by any car manufacturer. Audi has certainly come a long way – and while ten years ago they struggled to position themselves as an alternative to BMW or Mercedes, they have now put themselves ahead of both companies in many aspects.
2008 Audi R8
I always tend to borrow analogies from the car industry to get people to understand parallels between what they’re doing to what we’re doing. It also sets an attainable vision for all of us to consider as we go forward.
Pay attention to this blog, because soon we’ll have a huge announcement. We look forward to sharing it with all of you!