True Disruptors Of The Auto Industry: A 118 Year Old Carmaker, A 71 Year Old Man, A $4,100 Car


There has been a lot of talk about disrupting the auto industry. If you want to see disruption in full scale beauty, you must go to Chennai, India. The former Madras has become a veritable hotbed of automotive disruption, and not just because the mercury constantly flirts with the 100 mark. Some 30 dusty, and very nerve-rattling miles south of the airport is the Oragadam Industrial Corridor, and right in the middle of it is Renault’s and Nissan’s joint production site, trying to crank out the $4,100 Renault Kwid as quickly as it is snapped-up, usually by first-time buyers, who finally can afford a real car. 40 years ago, we finally could afford a real computer, 64K and all, now a real car can be bought at a similar price.

For those who think the outrageous price is not low enough, the factory has just started to produce a $3,700 derivative, the Datsun Redi-GO. Both are real cars, on a brand-new platform, and they already disrupted the marketing plans of Maruti-Suzuki, until now a monopolist of the stirring Indian car market, but probably not for a lot longer. (The secret of the cars’ ultra low price is revealed here. But does Renault-Nissan make money with the cars? The answer is here.)

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