Ford’s North American marketing chief, Cisco Codina, quoted in today’s Times, "There will always be early adapters…"
Actually, Cisco, the folks you mean to be talking about are "early adopters." And the distinction is critical and demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what’s happening. An adapter is someone who is able to deal with changing conditions. This sort of person isn’t ruffled by a new policy or an environmental change. Let’s hope that penguins are good adapters.
Adopters, on the other hand, seek out change, want the new stuff. They like it. Big companies with power are used to a person adapting when they exercise their will. Small, nimble companies look for adopters.
On to BMW. Helmut Panke, CEO of BMW, said this week, "We should not try to educate or teach the customer about what he or she wants." Oh.