In Engine Building, Predictions Don't Always Meet Reality - Engine Builder Magazine

In Engine Building, Predictions Don’t Always Meet Reality

Here we go again.

The fax machine will kill the mail system…

TV will kill the radio…

Movie rentals and streaming videos will kill the movie theaters…

The above three statements were cited many times over the years, but strangely, none have them have even been remotely close to coming true. Every year the U.S. Postal System still delivers more than 149 billion pieces of mail. There are still more than 2,000 radio stations in the U.S. accounting for $13.7 billion in over-the-air revenues. And finally, Avengers: Infinity War, broke all box office records with its $257.7 million opening weekend.

I mention the above because in this industry I am bombarded by the doom and gloom brought on by the changes many technologies are making in the automotive market. I frequently hear that electric and hybrid technologies are going to put an end to the reciprocating engine. When I am faced with someone spewing this rhetoric, my eyes tend to glaze over and my mind races on how to respond.

First, there are more than 272.1 million vehicles in the U.S., predominately with fossil fuel burning engines. Where are they going to all go? In the U.S. we produce/sell in a good year about 14-16 million vehicles. Simple math says if we never sold another engine, they would all be gone in 16 years assuming no growth in the total vehicle parq. Actually, this year, U.S. electric vehicle sales eclipsed 1 million units for the first time, but that includes the majority of hybrids that still require/use a reciprocating engine. At these rates, there are going to be plenty of rebuilds around to sustain our business.

The place my mind goes next is what about the power grid? Globally, India, which is one of the fastest growing and potentially largest markets for consumer consumption, is all concerned because their people want air-conditioning. The grid globally can’t currently support India’s need for power just to give their citizens AC. Where are we here in the U.S. going to get all the electric power to charge all these vehicles? From coal plants? Oh, maybe nuclear plants; or maybe we can just dam up a few more rivers and use hydroelectric power to generate the juice.

I think you can see what I am getting at. The demise of the internal combustion engine is not imminent. Do I think it will happen? Sure, over time we will land on the correct technology that is economically feasible, environmentally sustainable and commercially acceptable. Until then, keep on machining and building!

Happy Holidays and see you in 2019.

You May Also Like

It’s Racing Season!

Well folks, racing is officially back! And that means engine builders, tuners, transmission builders, chassis builders, and racers have all been hard at work these past few months getting things ready for the track. . Every year it seems the off season will take forever on paper, but in reality, we’re back racing again in

Well folks, racing is officially back! And that means engine builders, tuners, transmission builders, chassis builders, and racers have all been hard at work these past few months getting things ready for the track. .

Every year it seems the off season will take forever on paper, but in reality, we’re back racing again in the blink of an eye. From the time the industry gears up for PRI in Indy to the time some of the first races of the year take place, that time goes by incredibly fast. And, it seems these past few years have carried much more excitement for racing across the board, which is always a good thing!

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

Happy New Year everyone! I trust you all enjoyed the holiday season and are hitting the gas full throttle now that we’re in a new year and January is already flying by. Personally, I’m not generally big on making resolutions – at least not ones that require tons of effort or ones I know I

Changing the Narrative Surrounding the Automotive Industry

Every now and then, one of my local radio stations in the Cleveland area invites people to call in who recently got ghosted after a first date. For those who need the definition of ghosting, it’s when someone cuts off all communication without explanation. The radio station tricks the ghostee into telling their side of

Brand Loyalty – is it a Thing of the Past?

Well folks, it’s late September and summer has officially come to a close. If you’re like me, you’ll miss those warm weather days and longer hours of daylight, but it’s been a great few months of race events, car shows, seeing customers, visiting shops, and of course, creating tons of content. In fact, one of

Engine Builder Attends SBI’s 40th Anniversary Gala

If there’s anything that these past couple years has demonstrated, it’s that nothing is for certain in life or in business. In these days of such ever-changing environments, economies, consumer habits and the like, it’s more than impressive when a company reaches a major milestone. In July, the team at S.B. International, located in Nashville,

SBI Gala

Other Posts

Ed Iskenderian of Isky Racing Cams Celebrates 100

July 10, 2021 marked the 100th birthday of Isky Racing Cams founder Ed Iskenderian. The man is an icon in the industry.

Start with Engine Basics

This column is for the young folks out there who believe they have passion for automotive performance. You see the people in this industry and you really want to get involved. I get a lot of calls and emails from these younger folks who want to maybe intern or come to the shop to learn.

Science vs. Religion

Something I sometimes take for granted in this industry is the amount of knowledge at our disposal. It comes from all walks of life, different ages, genders, regions, as well as from different areas of manufacturing, development, engine building, racing, you name it. We have some very smart, talented people helping spread information throughout our

Where Have All the Engine Parts Gone?

Does this sound familiar? “We are experiencing issues within the supply chain that has created manufacturing delays, temporary stock-outs, longer lead times and increased cost. You may experience delays in shipment and product shortages. We are committed to working through these challenges and thank you for your patience and support.” Related Articles – Crap Happens