Choosing Your Next Car with Confidence

40 million used cars are sold in the United States, every year. Outside of dense cities like New York and San Francisco, people still need cars to get around. While we work to make our world greener, safer, and more walkable, cars aren’t going anywhere, whether gas-powered today or electric-powered tomorrow.

People will still need to buy cars, too, even if the process of researching and buying cars is painful for many. 61% of buyers find the process stressful. More than half are uncertain about key decisions during their research. …


…and Four More Automotive Observations

2018 US automotive sales data reveals significant trends and changes in the American market:

  1. Crossovers are King, Sedans are Dead
  2. A Few Models Deliver Most Sales for Many Brands
  3. American Brands Own Trucks
  4. Tesla Did Better than You Might Think
  5. Strong Brands Had a Great Year

Crossovers are King, Sedans are Dead

The rise of crossovers isn’t news — and 2018 sales data suggests that these vehicles are here to stay.


Twenty-first-century prospects for twentieth-century vehicles

Although large, private cars dominated mobility in the twentieth century, cars didn’t win the contest completely. Here and there, especially when resources were scarce after the Second World War, designers, engineers, and companies experimented with smaller, lighter, and more focused vehicles to help move people and goods.

Today, there’s a wide gulf between scooters and private cars. Advancements in batteries, software, manufacturing, and sharing are creating new opportunities for innovative vehicle types that address both timeless and new transportation needs. Cities and citizens, meanwhile, are questioning and reallocating the design of streets in unprecedented ways. …


Predicting the market for privately-owned cars in 2038

2018 has been an exciting year for the future of transportation. How will we get around in twenty years, after all? Will autonomous vehicles take over our streets with hundreds of millions of robots roaming our cities and land without human intervention? Maybe all our cars will be replaced by scooters and other forms of micromobility? Perhaps we’ll all just give up on this “technology” thing and walk everywhere.

Car dealerships: a thing of the past?

Extremes aside, it seems likely that the future holds some combination of personal car-like vehicles, smaller, battery-powered devices, and probably a typology or two that’s not even on our radar today.


All you have to do is move to Tulsa (Part 2 of 19,351)

Tulsa, Oklahoma, has invested in an innovative tactic to encourage people to move to the city: pay them $10,000.

The program, called Tulsa Remote, seeks to relocate 20–25 individuals with location-flexible jobs to the Tulsa area. If you make it through the selection process (which includes an application, an interview, and then a visit), you’ll be the beneficiary of $2,500 to cover your moving costs, $500 each month for housing, and a final $1,500 bonus at the end of your twelve-month stay in Tulsa. …


Finding tomorrow’s favored cities with today’s data

The year is 2038. President Ocasio-Cortez is two years into her first term. Hurricanes regularly strafe the Eastern Seaboard while fires and droughts ravage the West. You’re ready to move somewhere safe and new, one of those popular cities that everyone’s moving to: Joliet, Newburgh, Eugene, or maybe even Iowa City. Cleveland was at the top of your list — everyone’s moving to Cleveland, after all — but… it’s just too popular.

Cleveland, Ohio — hey, it could happen!

It may sound implausible — and no, I’m not talking about a bartender becoming President of the United States — but someday, you might be moving to an…


On the recent GM plant closures

While Ford CEO Jim Hackett waffles on his “mysterious ‘fitness’ plan”, GM CEO Mary Barra showed him how to do layoffs: with no prologue, 15,000 jobs gone, six models axed, and five factories closed.

These closures may seem odd given GM’s recent financial successes — strong sales of crossovers have helped the company report profits and beat Wall Street expectations for several of the past quarters. Why would GM close plants now?

Because the writing is on the wall. Many are forecasting an imminent downturn in passenger car sales after a stellar eight years of sustained growth. Buyers are taking…


Part 1 of a 19,351-Part Series

In 1942, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra (“the most popular and commercially successful dance orchestra of the Swing era”) recorded the number one song “(I’ve Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo”—the best selling single in the US that year.

This post isn’t about Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.

Downtown Kalamazoo by way of Google Earth

Kalamazoo is a small city in southwest Michigan. The city’s unusual name a Potawatomi word that purportedly refers to boiling water, a mirage, or a footrace run by the native Americans that once called the area home. …


What 1,841 bookstores tell us about the character of 896 cities

You can’t judge a book by its cover. You might, however, be able to judge a city by its bookstores.

I recently wrote about the increasing need to escape from New York and San Francisco to other cities in America. Of the thousands of ways to search for substitute cities with similar characteristics, why not start with bookstores, or rather, the quantity and quality of bookstores in a city?

With data from Foursquare and the US Census, along with the usual caveats (e.g., Foursquare is not used at the same rate everywhere; Census data is segmented by administrative borders, not…


Is It Time to Move On?

Some people will never leave New York and San Francisco.

These two cultural capitals will always attract the attention of investors, entrepreneurs, newcomers, tourists, and storytellers, across the country and around the world. I wish them all the best, truly.

However, plenty of us are thinking of leaving and going somewhere away from these two cities, away from the sky-high rents and miserable commutes, away from the dissonance of stratospheric wealth next door to subterranean levels of poverty. The New York Times writes that the gap between the rich and the poor in Manhattan is the widest in the United…

Karl Sluis

Cities, mobility, and product leadership in New York City

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