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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26: Cars for India - how low can you go?

Take a close look at this picture. Count those bodies. Six happy family members on a little scooter, along with the family dog, all protected from grievous injury by the hair on their heads or the clothes on their bodies. An accident waiting to happen and since this is India, that shouldn't be too far in the future. I wonder why they all look so darn happy? Anyway, the movers and shakers in the auto industry see these folks as prime candidates to get off of that risky little motor bike and into a new car. But how will they do it?

Maybe an Indian company, like Tata, could produce an inexpensive alternative? Maybe it would sell in the hundreds of thousands to folks, who want to get their families off of that stupid little scooter? Maybe Tata would call it the Nano and make it nice and simple, and win over the hearts and minds of their less fortunate citizens?
Well, you know that, they did most of the above and produced the sparsely equipped little Nano. But who would have thought that an Indian company would misread their fellow citizens and have the Nano fall flat on its cute little face. The problem? They marketed it as a poor man's car, one step up from the scooter. Hey, who wants to be associated with that advertising campaign........."Yes, I happily drive a Nano, because I'm too poor to afford anything else."? You would think that they would have known. So, sales have been in the thousands, a far cry from the hundreds of thousands they envisioned.

But India has millions upon millions of people, who are experiencing a growth in their incomes, so the market is still there and getting bigger. What to do?

Carlos Ghosn, the head of Nissan, knows what to do. He recently introduced the new (with an old name) Datsun line, featuring the Go+. A very inexpensive little car for those masses of scooter drivers. And you can bet, he won't make the mistake that Tata did. Sure, it's a bit more costly, but with the right financing, even the family mutt gets to ride inside.

Where there is gold, there are of course gold diggers and who else do you think has popped up to join the party? Well, the answer would be Renault with their just introduced KWID. I know, the name is just plain strange, but look what it is going to be put on.........

Well, no not quite, that is just the original concept, let's go to the production model.........

Now, that's better. Isn't this a great looking little car? A full foot shorter than the small Ford Fiesta, but it looks like a real car, not quite a work in progress like the Nano. Sure, the price is double the Nano's $2500, but with the proper financing, that scooter riding Indian family can be new owners.

Wait a minute.......this is from Renault, but aren't they owned by Nissan? Sure, so who do you think is behind this new model?

You got it, Carlos Ghosn. If a super smart executive is trying to capture the hearts of millions of Indian drivers, why not give them a choice?

Make no mistake about it, these cars will never see European or North American shores, but with the proper marketing, they will be ubiquitous in the Third World. And there will be fewer families buried along with their motor scooters.

One has to applaud initiative and who would ever have thought that a real car could be sold for $2500 or even $5000? I sure wouldn't have believed it, but being a pet owner and animal lover, I'm happy to see that Fido no longer has to risk his life in a bag on the side of the family scooter.

Until next time.......


  1. In Sturgis, SD, the bike rodeo featured a 'dogpile,' which was how many people could be packed on top of a motorcycle then the machine ridden a specified distance (say, 50 feet). It was interesting enough to see a bunch of crazed scooter tramps do that and then fall off less than 10 feet later. One time the Highway Patrol took a police bike then piled about 8 troopers onto it. They almost made it the required distance.

    1. Those guys should have gotten lessons from the riders in India. Probably would end up with 20 on a police bike.

    2. Those guys should have gotten lessons from the riders in India. Probably would end up with 20 on a police bike.