A couple of weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. announced that it will move Jaguar, Volvo and Aston Martin to California to join siblings Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda.
Maybe it's time we all moved to California.
It has been a long time since Toyota and Datsun set up shop in California and were joined by all the other Japanese automobile companies (except Subaru), plus a few Korean makers.
Now, we're going to have 16 car and/or truck nameplates based in California. Although some will have only part of their operations there, it looks like California is going to give Motown a run for the money.
It just might make a lot of sense. Consider that almost all the transplant design studios are in California and that now may add up to at least a dozen car studios. That includes Lincoln and General Motors, which recently reopened its studio in Burbank.
There is no denying that for many people in marketing, California is where many trends begin.
It has a lot of cutting-edge design and a lifestyle that is copied around the world. Often, you have heard that California tends to lead the nation by as much as a year in trends.
There is an old automotive saying that you can sell an old man a young man's car but you can't sell a young man an old man's car.
Well, maybe that idea can be expanded: You can sell a Midwesterner a California product, but you can't sell a Californian a Midwest product.
If you put the marketing folks in California, they will be a lot closer to their core customers, and what will work in California probably will work in the rest of the nation.
And if it makes sense for marketing, it certainly makes sense for design.
How about engineering? Sure, let's keep the plants wherever it makes sense logistically, but maybe this industry should give a little more thought as to why it is in Detroit. Is it just historical?
I'm not sure that anyone would have thought it possible to relocate Lincoln Mercury to California, but from everything I've heard, it's working quite well. And not many people could argue that Jaguar and Volvo are naturals to be located on the West Coast.
So maybe we should just move all the domestic brands to California.
Last one to leave Detroit, turn out the lights.