Volkswagen’s low cost cars: Too much, too late

Match that: Datsun’s Redi-Go concept

 

After many years of soul-searching, Volkswagen finally wants to build a low-cost car. This summer, management will submit a plan to Volkswagen’s supervisory board for as good as assured approval, Germany’s Manager Magazin learned. Under a new brand (which will be Volkswagen Group’s 13th,) Volkswagen plans to sell cars to the undermotorized masses in emerging markets. In the eyes and budgets of said masses, the car won’t be low-cost at all.
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Datsun’s redi-GO CONCEPT is not a concept, and the news aren’t new

It's the real thing

It’s the real thing

Today, Nissan’s Datsun unveiled the Datsun redi-GO CONCEPT at the Delhi Auto Show. Nissan coyly calls  it “a look into Datsun’s possible future” – as if it wouldn’t be clear that this is Nissan’s entry model that will be launched in 2015 at a price sure to disrupt emerging car markets. [Continue Reading]

The Facebook Wars, Detroit vs Detroit, rich against poor: Should Indians be allowed to drive cars, or told to take a walk?

Jamie in a new life, vs. Rachel in a former life

Jamie in a new life, vs. Rachel in a former life

I have been asked repeatedly why the Daily Kanban doesn’t let readers post comments under our articles. Smooth Ed Niedermeyer already gave the diplomatic answer, namely “that tending to a comment section rapidly becomes as much work as writing and research, and both Bertel and I would rather keep focused on our work.” My curmudgeonly answer is that we have our reasons, namely that, after both editing TTAC full time, we are tired of being subverted by clumsy flacks, we no longer want to tell grown men not to behave like children, and that there are better venues to have a discussion than under an article.  A great place is Facebook. And just now on Facebook, there is a prime example of a spirited, yet civilized and high level discussion.  The topic has all the ingredients for a 5 alarm flame war:  Zillions of cars in India, killer smog, pedestrians run over by speeding cars,  squandering of resources, real drop-outs (from Detroit!) against real PR chiefs (in Paris, but from Detroit!) Have at it!
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This little Datsun is the car to watch – ultra low cost car to be shown in Delhi in February for a 2015 market launch

 

Something like that.

Something like that.

Successfully building a small car with big sales is one of the last adventures in the Industrial Age. It needs to be planned, executed and financed better than Magellan’s circumnavigation of the Earth. It is a perilous journey, as many old and new wrecks attest.

Today, Nissan’s reconstituted Datsun brand released a first sketch of an unnamed “new Datsun concept car, which will have its world premiere at Delhi Auto Expo.” That’s about the extent of Datsun’s cryptic communique. So here a little fill-in-the blanks.
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Source of teen auto apathy found: “It looks like teens just can’t afford to drive”

Uniqlo - Picture courtesy shefinds.com

“A recent drop in teen driving likely comes down to simple economics,” says a new report from the Highway Loss Data Institute. “Young people today may want to drive just as much as they did a generation ago, but simply can’t afford it.” [Continue Reading]