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Automotive History: 1958 Argentine Export Packard Pickup Truck – The Last Packard Badged Vehicle? | Curbside Classic



I stumbled upon this 1958 export-model Packard-badged Studebaker pickup truck recently while researching another piece, and figured it was too good not to share.

The story goes that in 1958, a group of Packard dealers in Argentina wanted to start selling trucks, but were licensed by the government to only import Packard vehicles. Unfortunately for them, Packard had not made a pickup truck since 1923. However, these dealers were not going to be deterred so easily.

1958 Studebaker Transtar Pickup – a convenient donor.

At this time, Packard was owned by Studebaker, and Studebaker manufactured a perfectly serviceable pickup truck, albeit one that could not be imported into Argentina for no other reason than the name on the hood. So the dealers convinced Studebaker-Packard to slap the Packard name on the Studebaker Transtar truck for export purposes.

Making it somewhat worthy of the Packard name, these trucks appear to have been very well equipped, at least by the standards of the day. The Packard trucks were all 3/4-ton (750 kg) models with a NAPCO four-wheel-drive system. The only engine offered was the “Packard Star” 170 hp 259 ci Studebaker V8, the top Studebaker truck engine in 1958. The sole transmission was a four-speed manual with a two-speed transfer case. The only option appears to have been the front winch.

Note that the illustration portrays a low riding, half-ton, two-wheel-drive truck, quite different from the actual trucks.

While the above ad proclaims that they were “Totally constructed in the country,” in actuality these would have been CKD kits assembled using imported parts. In any case, sales were slow, and production numbers were correspondingly small – some sources claim 28 units, others say 60. Sales (and production) likely leaked into the 1959 calendar year, giving these trucks the honor of being the last Packard branded vehicles to be produced.

1958 Packard Pickup Truck recently discovered in Argentina

The 1958 Packard Pickup truck has attained somewhat of a mythical status among Studebaker circles. For decades, the only records of these trucks’ existence have been the three factory photos and one period advertisement included in the post above: No other evidence of these truck’s existence has turned up, and none are known to have survived.

At least until very recently, that is. In April 2021, Diego Munoz of Argentina posted several tantalizing photos of a 1958 Packard truck he recently discovered to the Studebaker Drivers Club forums, offering definitive proof of these truck’s existence, and that at least one example still survives.

Unfortunately, the photos he posted are of the front only. But from what we can see, there appear to be minor detail differences between the factory photos and the actual truck in terms of the badging on the front.

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Automotive Tire Market to Develop at a 12.12% CAGR by 2027 | Market Research Future (MRFR) – Travel Industry Today – EIN Presswire




Automotive Tire Market to Develop at a 12.12% CAGR by 2027 | Market Research Future (MRFR) - Travel Industry Today - EIN Presswire

Key companies profiled are Michelin (France), Bridgestone (Japan), Continental AG (Germany), Hankook Tire (South Korea), Pirelli & C. S.p.A. (Italy), Toyo Tire Corporation (Japan), Kumho Tire (South Korea), Giti Tire (Singapore), Maxxis International (Taiwan), Nexen Tire Corporation (South Korea)., among others.

/EIN News/ — Pune, May 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Automotive Tire Market Analysis

Market Research Future (MRFR) projects the global automotive tire market to exhibit a 12.12% CAGR from 2020-2027 (forecast period).

Many automotive tire industry players are currently investing heavily in product development and expanding production capacities. In addition, significant investments are made in the R&D centers of various tire manufacturing companies and universities in order to test groundbreaking prototypes.

Governments have updated more stringent safety regulations progressively in response to rising road accident rates, which is driving business growth. To reduce escalating accident rates, monitoring bodies in developed regions are mandating the installation of advanced automotive tires in automobiles. Furthermore, rising vehicle production and sales drive the market forward. The global rise in car sales has resulted in a strong demand for the automotive tire.

However, price volatility and the demand-supply gap in raw materials needed for tire production are the major factors expected to stymie market development. Furthermore, the need for a duty-free procedure presents commercial and regulatory issues for both vehicle and parts manufacturers.

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COVID-19 Impact on the Global Automotive Tire Market

COVID 19 wreaked havoc on the global automotive tire market, wreaking the entire automotive industry. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a sharp drop in the tire industry, prompting tire producers to cut production at their manufacturing plants. As a result of the epidemic’s destruction, some primary raw material suppliers reduced production in some regions.

While several companies were forced to merge and reduce employees, some tire industry players immediately began working on countermeasures to mitigate the effect. These tire manufacturers expanded their partnerships, building alliances with major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Furthermore, they took risky tactics, such as an active online presence and attentive customer service. This plan to use digital platforms to communicate with prospective buyers is a game-changer. As a result, the automotive tire industry is quickly returning to normal.

Market Segmentation

The global automotive tire industry has been segmented on the basis of rim size, distribution channel, vehicle type, and season propulsion type.

By rim size, the global automotive tire market has been segmented into 13″–15″, 16″–18″, 19″–21″, and >21″. The 13″–15″ rim size segment holds the largest market share due to the growing use in passenger cars with GVWR <3.0 tons. Automotive tires with rim sizes varying from 16″ to 18″ are used in wheels that require a lower sidewall height to maintain adequate clearance when they go over potholes and bumps and, making the suspension fully compress and rebound. 

By distribution channel, the global automotive tire market has been segmented into OEM and aftermarket. Among these, the OEM segment holds the largest market share, including production, procurement, and installation of automotive tires. Many automotive tire manufacturing companies around the world are working on enhanced safety and comfort using advanced production techniques.

By vehicle type, the global automotive tire market has been segmented into passenger cars, light commercial vehicles (LCV), and heavy commercial vehicles (HCV). Among these, the passenger car holds for the largest segment due to the increasing production of passenger vehicles due to the growing demand and sales of these vehicles. Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) include pickup trucks, minivans, and buses. Continuous development in the manufacturing, processing, logistics, and tourism & hospitality sectors creates a substantial demand for LCVs. On the flip side, growth in heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs) is powered by the increasing use of tractors, heavy trucks, and trailers in the quickly growing transportation & logistics industry across the globe. 

By season propulsion type, the global automotive tire market has been segmented into winter, summer, and all seasons. Of these, the winter tires segment accounts for a substantial market share. Winter/snow tires can endure nerve-wracking winter driving conditions. On the flip side, summer tires with their special tread patterns and tread compounds guarantee a high grip on wet and dry roads. All-season tires are available in a variety of many types/models, load capacities, sizes, and speed ratings and are used in a broad variety of vehicles, from economy cars and sedans to minivans and pickup trucks.

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Region-wise, the global automotive tire market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world. 

The Asia Pacific accounts for the lion’s share of the global automotive tire industry. APAC is home to one of the world’s largest automotive aftermarkets. With a market value of USD 57,932.4 million in 2019, the region held the largest market share in 2019. Factors such as the rapid expansion of the automotive industry and economy, especially in China, India, and Japan, drive the growth of the automotive tire market.

The region’s increased automotive tire market demand can be attributed to increased construction activities, rapid industrial growth, and an increase in demand for fuel-efficient technologies. Furthermore, the involvement of many raw material suppliers, as well as favorable government guidelines, improves the size of the automotive tire industry. Countries with a heavy agricultural emphasis, such as Japan, China, and South Korea, are expected to have a high demand for automotive tires for agricultural vehicles.

Key Players

Michelin (France), Bridgestone (Japan), Continental AG (Germany), Hankook Tire (South Korea), Pirelli & C. S.p.A. (Italy), Toyo Tire Corporation (Japan), Kumho Tire (South Korea), Giti Tire (Singapore), Maxxis International (Taiwan), Nexen Tire Corporation (South Korea).

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January 6, 2021, Michelin North America, Inc., a global tire manufacturing corporation, reported that Purcell Tire & Rubber Company would join the MICHELIN Commercial Service Network (MCSN), Michelin Retread Technologies, Inc. (MRTI), and Oliver Rubber Company, LLC (Oliver) retreading networks. The collaboration will enable Michelin to secure a relationship across our entire line of business-to-business on- and off-road products and services.

October 12, 2020, Continental AG, a German multinational automotive parts manufacturer, has won a tire technology award for its CARE tire concept for electric robotaxis. The European Rubber Journal presented the “Journey to Automation” award (ERJ). The Conti CARE tire concept is cloud-based connectivity that provides fleet operators with especially efficient solutions for managing electric mobility.

September 14, 2020, Telle Tire & Auto Centers Inc., a St. Louis-based auto repair dealership, announced the purchase of J&W Automotive. Telle Tire & Auto Centers made nearly USD 11.3 million in sales in 2018. Telle Tire will have 16 locations in the Americas after the J&W purchase.

September 13, 2020, Alliance Tire Group (ATG), a Yokohama Rubber Manufacturing firm, reported a $ 165 million investment in its third plant in Visakhapatnam (India). The proposed plant would increase rubber production by over 20,000 tonnes per year.

Discover More Research Reports on Automobile Industry, By Market Research Future

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Global Commercial Vehicle Telematics Market Research Report: By Type (Solutions and Services), By Provider Type (OEM and Aftermarket), By Vertical (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Utilities, Travel & Tourism, Construction, Education, Healthcare and Others) and Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Rest of the World) – Forecast till 2026

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About Market Research Future:

Market Research Future (MRFR) is a global market research company that takes pride in its services, offering a complete and accurate analysis with regard to diverse markets and consumers worldwide. Market Research Future has the distinguished objective of providing the optimal quality research and granular research to clients. Our market research studies by products, services, technologies, applications, end users, and market players for global, regional, and country level market segments, enable our clients to see more, know more, and do more, which help answer your most important questions.

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Automotive Engineering and Management Methods for Modern Vehicle Development – Addressing Functional Safety




functional safetyMy last blog post covered why and how the automotive sector is changing fast over the last few years – you can find that post here. A common expectation is that our future cars will be connected, automated, shared, and electric. In a current Motional Consumer Mobility report, Americans were asked what is their most important consideration to use a self-driving vehicle. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) say safety is the most important consideration when deciding to use a self-driving vehicle. So let’s take a closer look at automotive functional safety and how to deliver a safe product.

Safety Considerations for Product Design

Modern cars are a complex piece of technology. They are connected, have sophisticated Infotainment Systems (IVI) and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). You will be surprised about the amount of software used in the 30 to 70 electronic control units in a car. There are up to 100 million lines of code deployed in a modern high-end car today. System complexity will increase even more when we move beyond ADAS-supported driving to Automated Driving Systems (ADSs) in the future.

The challenge for the industry is that new potential hazards may arise with the increasing use of electronics and software in cars. Apart from complex technology and consumers’ expectations, we will get regulations covering the safety of future cars. In the U.S., this is the responsibility of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Defined by the Vehicle Safety Act in 1966, the NHTSA has the sole authority to make final decisions on rules and safety standards for future road vehicles. Once the NHTSA establishes a standard, the Agency is required to ensure that manufacturers comply when producing new vehicles.

In 2016 the NHTSA published “Vision for Safety,” a non-regulatory approach to automated vehicle technology safety. “Entities are encouraged to follow a robust design and validation process based on a systems-engineering approach to design ADSs free of unreasonable safety risks. The overall process should adopt and follow industry standards, such as the functional safety process standard for road vehicles…”

Which industry standard is the NHTSA referring to?

The mentioned standard is the ISO 26262 standard. First issued by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2011 and later updated in 2018. The ISO 26262 is titled “Road vehicles – functional safety,” the first comprehensive voluntary industry standard for safety engineering of Electrical and Electronic Systems (E/E) in road vehicles. This standard recognizes that safety is a system attribute and can be addressed using systems engineering methods. ISO 26262 emphasizes the importance of implementing a safety engineering management and fostering a safety culture.

What is functional safety and how to comply?

Functional safety is defined as the “absence of unreasonable risk due to hazards caused by malfunctioning behavior of electrical/electronic systems.” The goal of ISO 26262 is to ensure safety from the earliest concept to the point when the vehicle is retired. To ensure vehicle safety, the standard outlines an automotive safety life cycle that describes the entire production life cycle. 

Specific steps are required in each phase of the safety life cycle. One of the most important steps at the beginning of the safety life cycle is the Hazard & Risk Analysis of potential hazards (HARA). The result is an Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) classification of the hazard and the formulation of an overall safety goal. Safety goals are basically the level of safety required by a system or component to function without posing any threats to the vehicle.

An ASIL is assigned by evaluating three risk parameters, severity, exposure, and controllability. Severity defines the consequences to the life of people due to the failure that may occur.Exposure is the likelihood of the conditions under which a particular failure would result in a safety hazard.Controllability determines the extent to which the driver will be able to control the vehicle should a safety goal be breached due to the failure or malfunctioning. An ISO 26262 method provides guidance on how to assign the ASIL for a hazard once severity, exposure, and controllability are determined. 

In the next step, a functional safety concept is developed for each safety goal. The functional safety concept defines functional safety requirements within the context of the vehicle architecture, including fault detection and failure mitigation mechanisms, to satisfy the safety goals. Then the technical safety concept is developed to specify the technical safety requirements within the system architecture. The technical safety concept is the basis for deriving the hardware and software safety requirements that are used for developing the product. These safety requirements have to be traced, managed and validated through product development to assure the delivery of a safe product.

Why is functional safety important?

Functional Safety describes a risk-based system engineering approach to avoid unreasonable risk. From a business aspect, using ISO 26262 as a guideline helps you to avoid costly product recalls due to safety hazards. Tesla recalled roughly 135,000 Model S and Model X vehicles over Touch-Screen failures in February 2021. The move came after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested a safety recall. NHTSA asked for the recall because the center display in some models can fail when a memory chip runs out of storage capacity, affecting safety functions such as windshield defogging and defrosting controls., exterior turn signal lighting, and rearview backup camera display.

Following the standard minimizes the risk of harm to people and non-acceptance of your products by the market. In particular, automobile manufacturers have a legal responsibility to design their vehicles to guarantee driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety. As a consequence, automobile manufacturers can be named as defendants in a product liability suit. For example, Toyota Motors agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into whether the company hid safety defects related to unintended acceleration in


Functional safety is an essential part of product development and needs to be addressed early in the concept phase and considered through the full product life-cycle. ISO 26262 offers an engineering guideline and methods to avoid or at least mitigate systematic failures and random hardware failures of Electrical and Electronic Systems. The derived functional safety requirements have to be implemented at the lowest level up to the system level, both from a hardware and software perspective. This offers the ability to prove that the added E/E-systems are free of unreasonable safety risks.

The pragmatic engineering approach is to use existing knowledge, or how I call it, to use the industry’s memory. You should look at the ISO 26262 series as the framework, and set of guidelines and methods. ISO 26262 can help you with system engineering methods for a safe product and still give you some flexibility in the development process. This is especially helpful for newcomers to the automotive industry, who may lack specific automotive safety engineering experience.

Let’s put it that way, using existing engineering methods and knowledge is like standing on the shoulders of a giant – you can see further. This is even more true for automotive product safety because there is no room for trial and error.

Stay tuned: The next blog post in this series will give real-life advice on how to implement functional safety in your organization and products, and a glance at the evolution of functional safety for autonomous driving.

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Live Chat vs. Chatbots vs. Intelligent & Automated Chat and Messaging For Automotive Service Center Websites (Auto Repair)




Live Chat vs. Chatbots vs. Intelligent & Automated Chat and Messaging For Automotive Service Center Websites (Auto Repair)
Which chat platform is right for your auto repair business website?

There are several types of chat platforms available on the market today. From general live chat offerings to “chatbots” to fully automated AI powered chat (Intelligent chat). Which platform is right for your auto repair business depends on your needs and available resources to manage the platform.

The chart below summarizes different types of chat platforms. Here we highlight intelligent, automated chat because of the advantages it offers auto repair businesses.

An intelligent chat platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand how to respond to questions by website visitors and to deliver information to satisfy their needs as it relates to automotive services. All communication happens automatically with little to no effort on the part of the automotive service center. It’s like having a virtual service advisor working for you around the clock.

If your automotive service center is considering a Chat platform for its website, it’s important to know how each platform compares and the resources required to support your choice.

Businesses Need to be Available After Hours – the World has Changed

In a post pandemic world, consumers expect businesses to be available online and communicate with them around the clock. However, having a staff members on-call after hours is not a viable option for most small businesses due to cost and finding available resources in a tight job market. Having intelligent, automated chat to handle basic questions or process a request allows a trust relationship to build between the consumer and the business. This relationship will help drive revenue for the shop.

Chat Platforms Get Personal and Deliver Meaningful Digital Engagements

The beauty of intelligent chat is its ability to deliver personalized information via a digital platform. Consumers expect answers to questions about THEIR vehicle; Does your shop service THEIR make of vehicle? Can you perform a specific service on THEIR vehicle? Get the picture? The more personalized the response, the better the consumer feels about getting their vehicle serviced at your shop.

Live Chat vs. Chatbots vs. Intelligent, Automated Chat and Messaging
for Automotive Repair and Service Businesses

The best approach to understanding the differences in each platform is to start with the leftmost column, Live Chat and read it from top to bottom. Then move to the next column on right, and repeat.

Live Chat Chatbot Intelligent & Automated Chat and Messaging Platform: Openbay Otis
Requires a human to communicate.
Visitors type questions, staff members respond.
Pre-defined flow with canned responses Understands natural language and responds in same using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP)
Availability – based on human coverage times Static information – requires human to intervene Deeply integrated with dynamic data sources – all things automotive
Potential delays & mis-information due to operator intervention and error Programing may be required Real-time learning & delivery of personalized information
Costly to implement Internal resource required for management Access to millions of automotive services (mechanical, tires, etc.)
Response times may vary when number of simultaneous conversations increase Isolated operation – no integration with external data sources Delivers relevant information to visitors (all things automotive)
One dimensional – unable to adjust to different conversations Understands user – history of previous conversations
Proven results, alignment with modern day consumer
Automotive specific modules – service pricing, tire catalog, service appointments, 2-way texting, analytics dashboard
Managed service for custom service price estimates 
Live Chat (Optional): supports conversation handoff to a member of your staff 
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