You can add Fiat to the admittedly short list of automakers considering a low-cost brand to rival Dacia. The inexpensive Eastern European brand from Renault-Nissan has performed on the balance sheet like a premium model line, and the money the alliance is taking off the table is encouraging other players to deal themselves in. Pretty soon Nissan's Datsun sub-brand will join the Dacia party, going on sale in Russia, Indonesia and India and will claim even more rubles, rupiahs and rupees for the p
Four years ago, Renault confirmed that it would partner with India's Bajaj Auto to develop a rival to the Tata Nano. At the time, as everyone waited for the Tata Nano to arrive, you could have used a Richter scale to measure the tremors the executive suites of any automaker with an interest in the low end of emerging markets. Then the Nano, still the cheapest car in the world, didn't sell so well – at the end of last year its sales were just six percent of its most conservative projections
According to The Wall Street Journal, Mazda is seriously considering a new plant in an emerging market, with Mexico being mentioned as the most likely target in order to have a base to enter additional markets in South and Central America. Of course, a plant in Mexico might also be used to supply vehicles to the United States by virtue of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Volkswagen and Suzuki won't waste anytime at all in getting started on their assorted joint projects. Well, unless you count the holidays, which we'll let slide. At the launch of the new Suzuki Alto, CEO Osama Suzuki told reporters that the newly tied-at-the-hip automakers will begin "Actual, detailed execution – with our people going there and their people coming here... after January."
Though the minuscule Tata Nano hasn't even been on the market for a complete year, the impact it's had on the automotive world may be exactly inverse to its size and price. In other words, it's had a huge effect, proving to the world that it's possible to build a business plan around selling super cheap cars in rapidly expanding markets.
In the introductory videos for the Bertone Mantide, designer Jason Castriota says "There's a reason we introduced the car here," in Shanghai -- and the performance of the Shanghai Motor Show appears to justify that kind of thinking for nearly every automaker there. The show was physically larger than the last one (two years ago), with 600,000 people arrived to view the gleaming wares of 918 cars (602 of them from China) and 582 component makers from all over the world.
Russia has long been included under the "emerging markets" umbrella that carmakers have been saying would lead to future industry growth. The economic fallout put an end to those predictions, with Russia suffering just as badly – and if you include the oil sector, some would say even worse – as any other economy. But even though sales are down, Frost & Sullivan predicts that Russia could rebound to be the world's 3rd largest auto market by 2012, behind the U.S. and China.
Lost in the jeers following Honda's move to cancel the NSX – a car it could probably sell based solely on its ridiculously wonderful exhaust note – is news that the Big H is planning an A-segment car for markets outside of Japan. Now that the microcar segment is what's cooking, and the smart fortwo isn't doing so bad on its American voyage, cars like the Toyota iQ, Volkswagen up!, and Hyundai i10 are getting lots of attention.
Tata Motors may have some serious competition on its hands if Toyota does indeed enter the low-cost automotive sweepstakes as is currently rumored. Renault's Dacia brand may be the most credible cheap car currently on the market, but this particular segment seems to be booming as emerging markets begin their slow and steady crawl towards... well, emerging. They are going to need wheels, so Toyota is said to be teaming up with Daihatsu, its subsidiary in Japan that specializes in small Kei cars f
Following the approach taken by rival Renault, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is working on an entry-level car set to debut in emerging markets in 2011. The Renault Logan has done well in Russia and Romania, which has prodded this interest and action from PSA. The new five-passenger vehicle will be assembled in Turkey or Poland and sold in eastern and central Europe, Russia, Turkey, and North Africa wearing both Citroen and Peugeot badging. If successful, sales would also expand to include China and South
Russia has just passed Germany as Europe's largest market for new car sales -- for the first half of the year, at least. In fact, Russian consumers managed to snatch up 41% more cars for the first half of this year as compared to the previous year. Not only that, but the vehicles being sold in Russia are more profitable than before as well, with the record $33.8 billion in sales so far an increase of 64%. Top marques are General Motors and Hyundai, which replace last year's first and second plac
Every single major automaker is investing heavily in an attempt to meet the demand of emerging markets such as Eastern Europe and China. The industry has termed this group of developing nations the "BRIC's", which stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China. These markets are currently smaller than other major markets, but they won't be staying that way for long. Obviously, the giants in the automotive industry would like to step in and stake their claim before anybody else does.
According to German magazine Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is working on two parallel low-end car platforms. Both cars are targeted at an entry price-point of €7,000 with one being developed in Germany and the other in Brazil. The Brazilian model would evidently be targeted at emerging markets and could even be built in India.