Automotive Intelligence Gathering
All the key industry news summarised and neatly organised
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Favourite stories of the past week…?
- Mixed Emotions -- The Tata Nano is no more. What did we all learn from the experience? Was the instinct that people wanted cheap cars wrong? Initial reservations suggested Tata was onto something but the problem was with the execution. That isn’t a criticism of Tata, who took on a challenge so hard no one else has tried anything similar. Perhaps the way forward is cheaply refurbishing existing vehicles? If the industry can’t work out the answer, it runs the risk that the middle class in emerging markets may never opt for car ownership, preferring per mile payments instead (take an Ola cab in India if you aren’t sure of why that might make economic sense from their point of view).
- You Can’t Always Get What You Want -- The UK Government unveiled its white paper for detailed post-Brexit negotiations. If you are an automotive OEM or Tier 1 it pretty much ticks all the boxes: zero tariffs; no border checks; a mysterious “common rulebook”; trusted trader status; a sort of free movement for key talent and even diagonal cumulation of local content. So far so good, but will the EU agree? The Achilles heel of the UK’s plan could be the EU not wanting to give concessions it knows could cause a whole load of other agreements (e.g. EFTA, EEA, Turkey) to be revisited.
- Fortune Teller -- Although we’ve yet to see autonomous cars on the roads, companies are offering parking spaces tailored to their requirements. Although some of this is headline grabbing, it shows that infrastructure providers are starting to think about the opportunities for them. That can only help…
Volkswagen plan to make the MEB platform upgradeable so that used vehicle buyers can get a car with a specification and functionality that is better than when it came out of the factory gate
GM’s Corporate line seems to be growing inexorably -- how much longer investors will agree to hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter being spent without any substantive explanation?