Creators, Consumers and Commenters

I’ve had my YouTube channel going for about 10 months now and the experiment is going well, my goal was to create 1 video a month. For the past 10 years I have been a consumer of videos and I wanted to see what it’s like from a creators perspective what the YouTube platform is all about. I really thought it was about creators and consumers (people that consume the content), but there is a 3rd category…commenters. Let’s talk about these 3 categories of users.

  1. First up are the creators. I thought it would be easy to create content for YouTube but that’s just not the case. Video production is not easy and it’s one of the main reasons I stayed away from having a vlog but as I saw more and more content on video, it was clear that’s the future. Once you get past the video production drama you have to have interesting/compelling content and a style that people like. Now just upload content on a daily basis or every 2 to 3 days and you have a winning formula to monetize your YouTube channel. I would say 5% of the people are creators.
  2. The consumers. As with any property on the internet, you need people to view the content and also to view the ads that are inserted into the videos to get paid. These consumers are fickle, what’s hot one day can be dropped like a hot potato for another YouTube channel. This group makes up 80% of the overall audience and this is what most content creators are focused on.
  3. The commenters. Or as some creators call them…tormentors! This group makes up 15% of the audience and honestly it’s the one group I didn’t really think about till I started my own channel. Luckily my target audience is pretty sane but I’ve seen some channels where the comments section is a complete shit-show.

The comments section is a great way to get feedback and also get user engagement but it can also turn dark very quickly. In India, the YouTube comments section can be boiled down to 3 things that people end up fighting about if it gets heated:

  • BJP vs Congress (politics)
  • Hindu vs. Muslim (religion)
  • India vs. Pakistan (nationalism)

I’ll probably continue my YouTube experiment till the end of the year and then stop. It takes too much time to create quality content and I rather just blog here instead! Oh and I’m pretty sure no one wants to hear me talk about cars since there are 1000’s of channels that do the same thing.

The Newest 911 Launched, the 8th Generation

The first 911 was designed by Ferdinand Porsche and launched in 1963. Over the past 55 years, the 911 has had the same basic design and each new generation is more evolutionary than revolutionary. A couple of days ago Porsche launched their latest 911, the 8th generation of the car and it’s undeniably a 911.

The 8th generation 911 is internally known as “992”. If you want to impress your friends you can refer to the 911s by their internal codenames. I have always liked the overall design of the 911 but I really feel in love with it when I moved to LA…back in 1999. That was around the time when the 5th generation of the 911 was launched.

Porsche has implemented a tick-tock refresh cycle for the 911. The term tick-tock came from Intel for the roadmap on releasing new processors. In Intel’s world, the “tick” is a smaller chip/die size and the “tock” is a new processor microarchitecture. For Porsche, the “tick” is a minor refresh which is usually a small engine bump and enhanced styling and the “tock” is a major generational release. Below, I’ll go through all the tick-tock cycles from 1998 to their recent announcement.

5th Generation
Years: 1999 to 2001
Internal codename: 996.1
Launched: Frankfurt Auto Show
Changes: all-new body and water-cooled engines, 3.4L, 296 hp

Years: 2002 to 2004
Internal codename: 996.2
Launched: Frankfurt Auto Show
Changes: 3.6L engine, 320 hp

6th Generation
Years: 2005 to 2008
Internal codename: 997.1
Launched: Paris Auto Show
Changes: all-new body, 3.6L, 325 hp. S models come with 3.8L, 355 hp

Years: 2009 to 2010
Internal codename: 997.2
Launched: Paris Auto Show
Changes: PDK, 3.6L, 345 hp. S models come with 3.8L, 385 hp

7th Generation
Years: 2011 to 2015
Internal codename: 991.1
Launched: Frankfurt Auto Show
Changes: all new design, 3.4L, 350 hp. 3.8L, 400 hp

Years: 2016 to 2018
Internal codename: 991.2
Launched: Frankfurt Auto Show
Changes: 3.4L, 370 hp. 3.8L, 420 hp. Turbocharged and not naturally aspirated engines.

8th Generation
Years: 2019 to
Internal codename: 992
Launched: Los Angeles Auto Show
Changes: all new design, 3.0L twin-turbocharged Flat-6, 443 hp.

The Podcast is dead, the Vlog emerges


If you have been following my blog you know I started a podcast about 6 months ago. Even before I started the Performalux podcast I secretly knew it wasn’t going to last. Podcasting is a great medium for many topics like financial information, news, and talk shows. But a podcast about cars is not one of them. All the cool kids are vlogging because people want to hear the exhaust, see the inside of the car and see how fast objects go by while speeding on a street.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks with podcasts is the distribution of the content, people just don’t know how to listen to podcasts. 5-year-olds know how to use YouTube and skip the intro commercials but listening to podcasts required a Ph.D. Spotify and the other streaming audio providers are trying to change that by having better discovery mechanisms in their app. Will it reach mass adoption is yet to be determined. So long to the podcast format…enter the vlog.

The vlog is hosted on my YouTube channel. I don’t really have a name yet, I’m toying with “The Garage Guy” or my username “mrjain”. I have some time to think about the name, in the meantime I’ll be focusing on getting some great content on the channel. I will not be reviewing Maruti’s and Hyundai’s as there are already a ton of those YouTube channels. The channel will focus on cars I really like and would love to buy. And also talk to the owners of these cars and get their take on what drives them…yes, a horrible pun gone wrong. I’ll stop now.


Taxes, Tariffs, and Testarossas

Ferrari Testarossa

A couple of days ago there was an article in the DNA newspaper, an Indian daily, discussing how the high import tariffs/duties on luxury vehicles are killing the growth of high-end car sales. Well, I can’t argue with that!

But, that’s not the point of this blog post, it’s to review why there are tariffs/duties on certain products/markets and the thinking behind it. The basic idea of a tariff on imported goods is to protect the local market and give them an edge. Some may call this protectionist or nationalist but, pretty much every country does this to protect certain industries in that country. India is no different in that regard.

India has import duties on mobile phones so that local brands like Micromax have a price competitive edge over Chinese brands like Oppo and Vivo. To be price competitive, the next logical step would be for a foreign company like Oppo or Vivo to set up a manufacturing facility on the ground in India and avoid the import duties on fully assembled phones. The premise is that even if Oppo or Vivo send a large chunk of their profits back to their mother country of China, at least Indian workers have jobs. Not only are jobs created but all the other ancillary businesses would benefit from a manufacturing facility such as retail stores, restaurants, logistics companies, construction companies, etc.

Another market that India puts heavy import duties on is the automotive industry. Again the idea is to have the local companies like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and other local players benefit. My issue is that I don’t see Maruti Suzuki competing in the same space as Mercedes, Ferrari or a Lamborghini.

This is where the Indian government’s logic is flawed. Imagine you bring down the import duty to 50% then the sales of these high-end cars will increase. Again, consumers that are buying a Mercedes-AMG G63 are definitely NOT looking at a Maruti Vitara Brezza as a viable option. So there is no chance of Mercedes cannibalizing the sales of Maruti. In fact, you will be creating a larger ecosystem for these brands which will mean more salespeople, more mechanics, more spare parts, more locations, etc.


The import duties are around 240% of the cost of the car. As you can see from the above example, if the cost of the car is imported at $100,000 then you will pay $240,400 in duties. For a total of $340,400 not including registration, transportation, insurance costs and the customary flower garland that is put on new cars! And of course, don’t forget about the manufacturer and dealer margin as well.

According to the article, Lamborghini sold 26 new cars last year across India…that is pathetic for a country with a population of 1.3 billion people. I’m guessing if the duties were cut to 50%, they would sell 10x more cars and would need more infrastructure to handle it. Which would generate more jobs and taxes for the Indian government. Looking at the raw revenue numbers from the import duties is misleading since you miss out on the entire ecosystem that is created in the process.

A big thanks to Gautam Madnani of Lamborghini Mumbai who patiently answered my 754 questions on pricing! He also was the first guest on the Performalux Podcast.

Record Pace for New Car Sales in India

The Indian automotive scene has changed immensely from when I used to visit India in the 80’s. Back then you could count the different models of cars you could buy on one hand and it really came down to two options – Hindustan Motor’s Ambassador or the Premier Padmini (which was a design licensed from Fiat).top-10-car-sales-half-year

Today, it’s like a firehouse of new car launches almost on a weekly basis. The latest numbers for the first half of 2018 are in and India is just killing it right now in sales. India is currently ranked #4 in new car sales and at this pace, it will be the best year ever for India at close to 4 million units sold. If you compare the retail dollar value of the Indian cars vs the German cars you can guess there will be a large delta between the two.

Having said that, car companies are still focused on India as the last big market to make a name for it. Kia which is partly owned by Hyundai is looking at entering the Indian market. Kia would be a great fit as their cars are viewed as inexpensive and giving you great bang for the buck. The VW Group came to India 10 years ago and talked about owning 20% of the market, that is laughable as they are just under 3% market share as of now. (I wrote about the VW Group back in July 2011). The VW Group recently handed over the India operations to their Skoda brand in a reboot for them titled India 2.0 Project.


I believe for Indian car sales to grow it will have to be more innovative and not go down the path of the internal combustion engine (ICE). That’s where I feel some of the startups in the electric vehicle (EV) space may end up doing very well in India. And, I don’t mean a coal-powered plant that is delivering electricity but an EV that is completely off the grid and powered via solar panels. Yes, that is ambitious but that’s the ultimate goal.

On a side note, it’s breathtaking to see China so far ahead of everyone. Almost 30% larger than the US car market which historically has been the largest passenger vehicle market for decades.

Source: India set to surpass Japan

Living for Today


Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO of Ferrari

It was all planned that Sergio Marchionne would retire in April 2019, and then become Vice Chairman of Ferrari. What a cushy way to retire.

Who is Sergio? He’s the guy that saved thousands of jobs in Italy and North America as the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and saved both companies from going bankrupt. Sergio was brought in to fix Fiat in 2004 and turned it around and made it profitable. Then he decided to work his magic on Detroit based Chrysler, which was on the verge of bankruptcy during the financial crisis of 2008. He bought Chrysler in 2009 and by 2014 he merged the profitable Chrysler with Fiat and renamed the company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

Along the way, he also became the Chairman and CEO of Ferrari since Fiat owned a stake in the legendary sports car company. Ferrari makes under 10,000 cars a year so the idea was to oversee this “small car company” during his retirement. That never happened. Unexpectedly, he died from complications due to a should surgery over the weekend, he was 66 years old.

When I heard the news, I was stunned. Not because I personally knew Sergio but I had been watching and reading about him in the press as he turned around Chrysler. Then taking the reins at Ferrari which led to an IPO on the NYSE for Ferrari, their ticker symbol is RACE (haha, nice touch). It makes you pause and realize it’s good to plan for the future, but you absolutely have to live for today.

Floor Mats and Ferraris


Ferrari 250 GTO

This past week the most money ever paid for a car took place, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO was reportedly sold for between $70 to $80 million. Yes, that is millions. Since the sale did not take place through an auction house the amount is just an estimate. When I heard the amount paid, I was dumbstruck…but that was only half the story.

I grew up reading every car magazine I could get my hands on – Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track and Automobile Magazine. Since my dad was a big believer in public libraries I had to goto the local Carnegie Public Library to drool over those magazines. I would read them front to back and back to front, one company that always advertised was WeatherTech for their floor mats and their ads always struck me as odd. I always wondered who in the hell would buy those overpriced floor mats. I mean come on, floor mats…who really gives a fuck.

Uhh…apparently a lot of people care about having high quality floor mats. David MacNeil of WeatherTech is the guy that bought the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO.