May 2016

Changing the gear knob on a Peugeot RCZ

Pimp my gear lever

Enough is enough, it’s time to modify, to pimp, to give my Peugeot RCZ that little touch that makes it unique. Let’s start by changing the stock leather imitation gear knob with an aluminum item. Truth be told, I already did this a year ago, but I have a couple of more modifications in the pipeline I want to show you on YouTube so let’s start with the beginning.

Original gear knob, 2012 Peugeot RCZ
Original gear knob, 2012 Peugeot RCZ

The original gear knob is okay, it’s actually pretty good quality. Okay just doesn’t cut it anymmore when you have a car that looks this good. Given that the RCZ GT-Line, R and many different Peugeot models also have the new aluminum gear knob as standard, I just had to had it!!

I got the new one at my official Peugeot dealer. The part number is 96 738 472 vv and was available within 24 hours. Boy, was I positively surprise. It’s heaver than the original one and fits even better to the gear lever, hence there is no play at all while shifting!

Aluminum gear knob, 2012 Peugeot RCZ
Aluminum gear knob, 2012 Peugeot RCZ

Switching the knobs is actually very straighforward. Just hold the lever with one hand and pull the knob off the level. You must pull strongly until it’s released, so my advice is to put engage 6th gear first, so your hand doesn’t hit the parking brake lever as the knob comes off. Then, just insert the new knob onto the t-shaped lever and push it down until you here a distinct click. This tells you that the gear knob is now safely connected to the lever.

Check out the tutorial video!




The Fast and The Rerun

Milking the cow

So guess what…? The Fast and The Furious will be back on the big screen on June 22 in a couple of movie theaters across the US. Noo, not Fast 8…that one we’re expecting to come in April 2017. This here is the first movie that started the globally successful franchise.

Volkswagen Jetta, Jesse, The Fast and The Furious
Volkswagen Jetta, Jesse, The Fast and The Furious

I can’t believe it’s been 15 years already. I was just about to get 16 when it came out. This means I’m almost 32 years old by now…scary. 😉 I suppose lots of guys who were in there late teens, early twenties were hooked back than to some extend ‘grew up’ with the Fast and Furious sage. It’s incredible how far the “Fast” saga has gone. They have already made 7 and there is an entire trilogy in the pipeline to finalize it all. Although each following iteration has so far been packed with more action and unrealistic stuff than the one it just followed, I quite liked how they made everybody come together from the fourth to the sixth and ending it as a reunited family *Iain’tgotfriendsIgotfamily* at the Toretto house. By the way, this is way I would have liked the saga to stop at six.

Dodge Charger R/T, Dominic Toretto, The Fast and The Furious
Dodge Charger R/T, Dominic Toretto, The Fast and The Furious

However, it is what it is and at the end of the day it’s business. Universal Studios is well aware of that and they are milking the cow. It’s a little too much, but I don’t blame them. They’re doing it because there’s a demand. Hence, it the end it’s down to the consumers to decide whether it’s worth it or not…and apparently it is!

ENJOY the trailer!

“I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters, not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all that bullshit. For those ten seconds or less, I’m free.” – Dominic Toretto, 2001

Groupe PSA – A mobility provider

From Back in the Race to Push to Pass

After the successful implementation of the “Back in the Race” recovery plan by the end of 2015, which was launched in April 2014 and set to be completed in 2018, PSA Peugeot Citroën (who by the way recently changed their official name to Groupe PSA) released its new strategy plan “Push to Pass” on April 5th 2016. Now that the company is in solid financial and structural shape, it’s time to set the goals to the next step.

PSA - Push to Pass
PSA – Push to Pass

So what is this next strategic plan all about? Basically, PSA want to be ready for the so called automobile revolution, that has already started and will probably go on for the coming decade. In short, PSA has realized that they have to focus on their customers, more so than on the cars themselves – from VIN number to the person. In this day and age where everything is getting digital and connected, the companies that will be successful tomorrow are the ones that have access to customer information and know how to get the most out of them. Anyone heard of Big Data before? Obviously, PSA will continue building cars as their core business, but it sees its future as a mobility services provider, more so than just a car manufacturer.

Once again, the focus will shift from ‘just’ building and selling cars through their traditional dealership network, to a customer centered approach. By that PSA means using the the data provided by the customers through whatever connected device they are using. Hence, experience, rather than ownership will be important in the future. Providing mobility services due to their digital transformation.

Connected Life

What exactly does digital transformation mean? It means that most aspects of our life are being integrated into the internet of things: Every object and even living being will soon be connected to the internet in order to make their application more user-friendly and customer tailored. Houses (lighting, heating, access, oven,…), cars, watches, glasses, lawn mower, your dogs localization and even your puls monitor and many more things will be connected to the cloud where many people already have their agenda, photos, videos and social media accounts.

Example of connected lifeLet me give you an example: You go to bed in the evening and set your alarm clock on your smartphone for the following day. The smartphone picks up the traffic news in the morning, knows that the commute to work will be longer due to a traffic jam. It automatically sets the alarm clock earlier for you to have enough time to get ready and get to work on time. Coffee machine and toaster prepare breakfast as you switch off your shower. Your autonomous car will pick you up at the entrance door and drive you to work while you can prepare your meetings.

Granted, this is just an example of what it could look like and who knows when exactly that will be accessible to the broad majority of people. However, it shows that automobile corporations, such as PSA see where the trend is going and how the generations Y and Z will want to live. So far I haven’t said anything about the privacy issues and hacking risks that this technological evolution will bring, but that’s another subject.

Back to PSA

Anyway, let’s focus on PSA. Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board, seems to have set his people in the right direction. Let’s take a more in-depth look at their plan and look at the five core transformation elements.

Customer driven revolution
PSA – A customer driven revolution

By 2021, PSA wants to be transformed into the mobility provider it has now set its strategy for:

  1. From product to customer: Shifting the view from only building cars to the customer and it’s mobility needs.
  2. From ownership to experience: Being a PSA customer doesn’t necessarily restrain it to car owners alone.
  3. From car to mobility: People want the right mobility for any given time, which can mean renting a car, traffic infos, or even having access to carsharing models like Uber or Lyft.
  4. From one business to a portfolio of businesses: In conclusion, putting the customer in the center of attention suddenly opens the door to a variety of businesses connected to mobility that include life facilitating apps and information.

Can PSA make it?

Whereas these new business models would have been unthinkable ten to fifteen years ago, it is now absolutely necessary for the car companies to diversify their activities within the digital and connected world if they want to survive. Technology companies like Alphabet (Google), Apple and Tesla are likely to become serious competitors in the future, as those elements will become the center of development.

But can PSA really make it? Four years ago the corporation was as good as bankrupt. Furthermore, Volkswagen and other major established manufacturers are not sleeping, either. On a contrary, albeit the problems VW is struggling with due to their so called Dieselgate affair, they are likely to be far ahead on that subject. However, as Carlos Tavares pointed it out several times, he doesn’t believe that size is the only way to succeed as an automotive OEM, you need to be profitable and flexible. I believe that they can make it and that this new, customer focused strategy is the only thing PSA has been missing during its entire lifetime. The products have been very good for most of the time, they just had a very bad customer relationship management and didn’t really listen to them.

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