Patrick Wilde

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Interesting article about the implications of NAFTA on the automobile industry. Clearly, recent threats from the current administration about dissolving / renegotiating NAFTA can be concerning and GM is in my opinion reacting wisely. However, I personally think that dissolving / renegotiating NAFTA could take a fair amount of time to concretise. If NAFTA happens to dissolve during the next 3 years, I would adivse GM to keep Mexican operations and pay higher tariffs. First, because as fast as NAFTA can dissolve a future administration can easily reestablish a similar agreement and (2) because I would not fear competition from Japanese or European manufacturer given that foreign manufacturers will also be subjected to import tariffs.

Thank you for this nicely written article. Whenever I hear such stories I wonder how such phases of difficulty will improve the economical health of a country. Governments blessed by natural resources sometimes tend to rely too heavily on commodity exports and forget to invest locally by building infrastructure and steering a diversified economy. Even if I agree with @Dietmar that declining oil prices can be a blessing in the long term, the positive impact of protectionist policies will depend on political stability and consequently on what the Nigerian government will be doing once oil price recovers.

Great article. Interesting and well-structured. Specially liked the (quite difficult) open questions at the end. In my opinion, moral implications should be an important issue for Tesla. To me, it seems cynical to talk about creating an “environment-friendly” car while exploring child and subhuman labor. Moreover, I like the idea of recycling but am wondering why Tesla did not (apparently) pursue this strategy more in depth; possible because of the recycling costs and / or quality? Seeking support in governments seems like an inevitable idea. However, when building these partnerships, I would also try to focus on negotiating some type of subsidise to produce recycled Cobalt (more) cost-efficiently.

On December 1, 2017, Patrick Wilde commented on How Supply Chain Improvements are Enabling Growth At Adidas :

Interesting article. Addressing your questions, I do think there is space for creative directors and creative visions because I personally think that customisation can be limited to certain features of the products. For example, the shoe sole can be personalised depending how someone runs/walks while the exterior of the shoe, the fabric, and the colours can still be decisions of a designer. Limiting customisation to certain features also helps the brand to stay true to their core “style” and protect their brand image.

On December 1, 2017, Patrick Wilde commented on Uniqlo: Bridging the physical world of apparel with the digital world :

Interesting article. As pointed out by Michael, I am not entirely sure if the value proposition of both companies are very similar when it comes to their products and customer target. Moreover, customisation is generally accepted as a retail tendency overall but I wonder in how far it applies to Uniqlo, a basic wear supplier. The challenges of their supply chains are however similar in terms of increasing availability of products and shorter lead times. To your question, I would assume that Zara would eventually mimic the transformations of Uniqlo (if Zara is not already doing it). A final question that I am still puzzled about after reading the article is how Uniqlo expects to specifically increase Online sales with increasing supply chain digitalisation (specially if customisation is not part of their customer promise). Maybe someone else can help out.

On December 1, 2017, Patrick Wilde commented on Where in the world will our wine come from? :

Very interesting and entertaining article. I believe that the answer to your questions will also depend on the demand for both types of wine. If there is a reasonable demand for wine produced with mediterranean grapes, small-scale wineries will probably produce such altered products that require less investment in mechanical improvements. Larger producers will adapt their production mechanism to continue producing their traditional wine (of course, depending on the demand and production cost for such wines). I honestly even see the production of altered mediterranean wine in South Africa as an opportunity. Since wine is unique (soil, topography, humidity, etc.) , altered products can end-up being significantly better than their original ones (optimistic assumption) and present new market opportunities.