For all the love and care that Americans invest in their cars—naming them, pampering them, showing them off to friends—we have very little to do with their creation. For the most part, our love objects are factory built. A company called Local Motors is trying to change all that with an open source platform that invites an online community to design, engineer, and ultimately build every car they produce.
Local Motors claims they can go from concept to car about five times faster than the Detroit companies, and they give all the credit to their followers. “It’s faster because as opposed to having six or seven engineers working on a project for four years you have ten thousand experts that aren’t showing up to work for a paycheck. This is a passion for them,” says Justin Fishkin, the chief strategy officer of Local Motors. “Our biggest asset as a company is our global community, and that’s what we feel like we invest in.”