Startup & Tech

Paul’s automotive predictions for 2015

With automakers finally regaining pre-recession vitality, 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year in the industry. As tech and auto amalgamate, automakers are forming partnerships with technology companies and vice versa.

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Recently the Mojo marketing team sat down with Paul Nadjarian, our founder and CEO, to discuss what’s in store for our industry this year. We put together a list of the thirteen trends that Paul believes will dictate the automotive storylines of 2015. [keep reading]

Uber’s toughest year yet

There are many ride sharing services that provide an alternative to traditional taxi cabs, but none larger than Uber. With backing from big names like Google Ventures, Goldman Sachs and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Uber has expanded globally and asserted its dominance in cities across the United States. They’re now worth an estimated $40 billion and still growing. But monumental growth does not come without growing pains.

uber-2014-review-final-2014-12-29

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The same aggressive business and marketing strategies that made Uber a success have also got them into trouble several times this year. From shady business tactics, to neglecting passenger safety, to privacy issues, Uber has gotten almost as much bad publicity in 2014 as General Motors, the undisputed recall champ.

That’s why we’ve put together this infographic that shows the company’s public relations missteps throughout 2014. [keep reading]

Driverless Ubers could drop fares over 75%

The driverless car will improve traffic, make roadways safer, reduce fatalities, increase productivity and, one more thing, save people A LOT of money. Chances are, you’ll first see those savings reflected in your Uber bill. Experts predict that you’ll be able to buy a driverless car in the next five years, and Uber plans to be one of the first to sign the paperwork.

If you live anywhere but under a rock, you know that the Uber has repeatedly alienated journalists, customers and its drivers this year.  This month, the tech giant vowed to “become a smarter and more humble company,” but the company is still getting shelled by the media and drivers are protesting around the world. Luckily for them, the company might not need the drivers for much longer, and they might have a solution for customers who are sick of high fares and surge pricing. According to Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, “the reason Uber could be expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car — you’re paying for the other dude in the car.”

In places with heavy traffic, like San Francisco and New York City, the introduction of an autonomous and electric Uber cars could reduce fares by over 75 percent! That ride from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side will go from $20 to $5 and you won’t even have to worry about tipping. A fare from Chinatown to the Financial District could cost less than a gumball.

uber driverless (1)

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So how did we figure that driverless Uber could be so cheap? First we looked at the costs associated with operating an Uber vehicle. The big ticket items include insurance, driver salary and fuel. If Uber were to unleash a fleet of electric and driverless cars on big cities, the major expenses of fuel and driver salary would be wiped clean and the only major costs would be vehicle maintenance and insurance.

[keep reading]

What the CarGurus IPO means for auto startups

CarGurus recently announced they will be expanding their service internationally and going public. I’ve been asked by colleagues and the press for my thoughts and here are three reasons why I couldn’t be more excited.

  1. Finally! Automotive gets to have its share of the public markets.  AutoTrader and Cars.com have been operating profitably for over 15 years, but are still closely held private companies (Cox Enterprises, Inc. owns AutoTrader and Gannett owns Cars.com).
  2. All automotive marketplaces will benefit.  As the Founder of Mojo Motors I’m thrilled our category will get attention the other major verticals (real estate, travel, jobs) have enjoyed for years through multiple IPOs.
  3. International expansion is a bold move.  The challenges are significant and margin for error is very thin.  CarGurus’ strategy to go public, then use proceeds and/or stock to acquire existing players is a great idea with some historical evidence. This is how eBay successfully and quickly expanded internationally in the early to mid 2000’s. This same strategy can work in the automotive space, as well.

As 2014 begins making way for 2015, here’s a recap of some of the developments in automotive tech.

  • January 2, 2014 – Cox Enterprises increases stake in AutoTrader to 98%
  • January 21, 2014 – CarWoo shuts down after $16M in funding
  • May 16, 2014 – TrueCar goes public and trades at $9 a share
  • August 4, 2014 – Gannet buys Cars.com for $1.8B
  • October 11, 2014 – CarGurus announces they are going international and public

Expect the automotive marketplace shakeups to continue in 2015 and beyond…


Written by Paul Nadjarian

Paul is the Founder and CEO of Mojo Motors, an automotive classified website where shoppers Follow cars to get alerts when dealers drop prices.

Will driverless cars ever look normal?

In a Mojo Motors poll, 4 out of 5 people said they would not buy an autonomous car if it were on the market today. Even early adopters might be wary of buying a driverless car. It’s tough looking past the unusual design language and that big do-hicky on the roof that looks like a rotor-less helicopter motor.

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To be fair, Google’s prototype would be blind without that chunky Lidar detector on the roof. In its current form, Lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) may be unsightly, but the technology is critical to autonomous cars. It provides a detailed 3D map of the vehicle’s surroundings in real time. This data is run through algorithms that allow the vehicle to identify and react to minute signals such as when a biker signals a lefthand turn. [keep reading]

Ultimate guide to ridesharing companies

The first car-sharing program originated in Europe in the 1970’s, but only lasted about two years.  It wasn’t until the introduction of Zipcar in 2000 that car-sharing programs began to take off.  Emerging technology has fueled the ridesharing revolution, helping to make companies like Zipcar effective through advances in both software and hardware. Users can reserve a car from home or from their phones and simply walk up, swipe a card and drive it away. In the case of car service alternatives like Uber and Lyft, the ability for drivers to find passengers based on GPS information made it easy to track down a ride to your next destination.

Ridesharing Logo Apps

Considering how ubiquitous they are today, it is hard to believe that Zipcar and Uber didn’t exist five years ago. But they aren’t the only players with skin in the game. Thanks to millions in venture capital funding, there are new ridesharing companies cropping up all the time. Although many services are not available nationwide, or in some cases even outside of the tech-fueled state of California, they all claim to be the future of transportation. If you can’t handle all the ridesharing choices, you can always just buy a car. We can help. [keep reading]

Mojo Motors CEO talks driverless cars on Atlanta News Radio

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Move over Tesla, electric cars aren’t the only technology that is poised to disrupt the auto industry. In May, Google unveiled a prototype for a driverless car and since then, the entire automotive world has been keeping a close eye on the nascent technology. An automotive startup ourselves, everyone at Mojo Motors is paying attention to the phenomenon. [keep reading]

Recap of the first ever Mojackathon

Mojo Motors celebrated the first Mojackathon (Mojo Motors + Hackathon). A hackathon is an event when people work together on a project for a limited amount of time. In the case of the Mojackathon, teams were given about 90 minutes to work together on a project. The three teams of six(ish) people were challenged to find solutions to problems facing Mojo Motors. In addition to serving up ideas to make Mojo Motors better, teams were served pizza and “soda.”

Collage of Mojo Motors Mojackathon

There were a ton of great ideas and questions during the team’s presentations. While a winner wasn’t named, each team’s work directly impacted the product conversation and the insights presented will be incorporated into future product releases. Equally important was the opportunity to share ideas, work across roles and have a damn good time. Here are the ideas from each team.  [keep reading]

Hint For Buying Your Next Car: Use Some Mojo (TheStreet.com)

Article by Bret Kenwell for TheStreetThe Street Logo

NEW YORK — Are you one of those car shoppers who buys a new car every few years or simply leases a car because shopping for a used car makes your brain burst and steam shoot out your ears? Try a visit the more sedate and simple to use MojoMotors.com. [keep reading]

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