Ghosn says car of the future will be zero emission, connected, self-driving, and developed in India

Carlos Ghosn Japan Chamber of Commerce -25- Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Global carmakers need to change their plodding ways, and embrace “massive change of our products,” Renault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said today. “The car has seen rapid change in the past ten years,” Ghosn told leaders of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry today in Tokyo. “Let me tell you, the car five to ten years down the road is going to be much more different from the one today.” [Continue Reading]

Volkswagen’s (not really) low-cost line approved for Chinese market. Branding will hint at Volkswagen’s commitment

Volkswagen’s supervisory board approved plans for a range of low cost models, and they will be launched in 2017 onto the Chinese market, The Nikkei reports from Volkswagen’s shareholder meeting in Hanover, Germany. CEO Martin Winterkorn said the car will be targeted at first-time car buyers. At a rate of around 60 cars per thousand people in China (USA: more than 800), there is no shortage of first-time buyers in the Middle Kingdom. According to the Nikkei, Winterkorn “did not touch on specifics, such as pricing, he hinted a final decision will be soon made.”

Volkswagen has been thinking more or less aloud about a lower priced brand for several years now, so the decision does not come as a big surprise. The Nikkei, along with the better informed parts of the industry, expect Volkswagen “to keep the price under 7,000 euros ($9,643) and to use a different brand name.”

It will be interesting to see what brand name is used, and the choice will indicate how serious the company is about the budget range. From Horch and Wanderer all the way to DKW, Volkswagen has a bunch of storied brands in its portfolio, which it could resurrect like Nissan did with Datsun. As counter-intuitive as it may sound to some, heritage is an important part of car branding. If Volkswagen picks one of those, then their hearts will be behind the plan. [Continue Reading]

Source of teen auto apathy found: “It looks like teens just can’t afford to drive”

Uniqlo - Picture courtesy

“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]