Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance develops new car platform for emerging markets

Peyman Kargar in Yokohama (c) Bertel Schmitt

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is developing a new platform at its Chennai, India, engineering center, a Nissan senior executive disclosed today in Yokohama Japan. In presenting his mid-term plan for the region, Peyman Kargar, responsible for Nissan’s Africa Middle East and India region, said “what’s  under development now is a little higher than the current platform we are using for Redi Go and Kwid.” Kargar refused  to “disclose more at the moment,”  and Nissan spokespeople likewise maintained cover.

Renault’s very successful $4,000 Kwid, and its Datsun cousin Redi-Go, are built upon the Alliance’s CMF-A common modular family architecture. (See here for an article I wrote years ago about the platform.)

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Got a #dieselgate TDI? VW may take it back

Urea production also will have to be increased

Urea production also will have to be increased

A day after Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal (U.S. edition) hit, my former charges at Thetruthaboutcars started to add-up the possible cost of bringing an affected VW in compliance – a frivolous undertaking, given the fact that back on September 22, nobody except a couple of rogue coders had heard of a defeat device, not to mention the fact that the BOM list and number of work-hours remain a mystery to this day. Then, TTAC wrote that “any sort of recall repair work would need to be weighed against the cost for VW to buy back its own cars.” With that, they hit pay-dirt. Buy back is what Volkswagen is going to do. [Continue Reading]

What car market is dominated by Toyota? Try Africa

Johan_van_Zyl-3-picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Global automakers look for untapped growth markets, and with Antarctica looking less than promising, Africa is the last continent left that is worthwhile to be put on four wheels. Africa as a whole has more than a billion people, which puts it in the same league as China or India. As a new car market, however, Africa shrinks to the size of France. About 1.7 million new automobiles change hands in Africa annually. But then, that was the size of the Chinese market only some two or three model cycles ago, and look at it now. No wonder that automakers with a longer horizon than the next quarter are setting their sights on Africa – only to find out that it has been taken over by Toyota, and that for more than 50 years already.
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