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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Suzuki ships plum of its export business to India

 

Picture courtesy Wikipedia.org

Japan’s Suzuki will shift a large chunk of its export operations to India, R.C. Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India told India’s Mint newspaper, an associate of the Wall Street Journal.  The process should be completed by the end of the next fiscal.  Export headquarters will report to Maruti Suzuki, a joint venture of which Suzuki owns 56 percent. According to the report, exports to the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and South-East Asia will be affected. Let’s see what that means. [Continue Reading]

Emerging markets for Dummies: Why India won’t be the next China anytime soon

Government Car India - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

I met Michael Dunne, emerging market consultant extraordinaire, during the Datsun launch in Chennai India two months ago. At that time, Dunne was still a free agent, and working on a car shopping site in Indonesia. Now, he is head of GM’s Indonesia operations.  We discussed the three essential data points that help automakers  identify a growth market. Then I asked Michael whether the car market in India would grow as fast as that in China, and Michael said: “Probably not.”

Here is why. [Continue Reading]

Emerging markets for Dummies: How to identify a high growth market for cars

India - picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Let’s say you are the CEO of a large multinational OEM, and you want to know which of the world’s regions to target next for expansion.  What you want are large untapped markets that will soak up millions of your cars. How do you find them? We will tell you how.

To identify a growth market, you need only three essential data points: [Continue Reading]