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Big Interest in Autonomous Vehicles in Asia

Improving transportation networks driving appeal.

by on Nov.04, 2014

Research shows that Asia is a hotbed for interest in autonomous vehicles to help with improve the efficiency of transportation.

Despite safety concerns about the potential for equipment failure, drivers in the developing automotive markets of Asia have high expectations for autonomous vehicles.

“Recent advances in autonomous vehicle technology have helped bring self-driving vehicles to the forefront of public interest,” said Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

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“Self-driving vehicles are commonly envisioned to be the ultimate, full embodiment of connected-vehicle technology, an area that is currently the focus of several large research projects and government support,” he said. (more…)

Barra Leads GM Trip Exploring Growth in India

Maker searching for ways to avoid pitfalls.

by on Sep.12, 2014

General Motors CEO Mary Barra and GM India Managing Director Arvind Saxena roll out the first Chevrolet Beat for export from the GM Talegaon manufacturing facility in India.

For the world’s automakers, India is a land of unlimited potential. It has a large, well-educated and growing middle-class with an entrepreneurial tradition and a dynamic culture that has spread its influence around the world.

General Motors certainly is no exception when it comes to its interest in India. In fact, Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, and several board members traveled to the country to gain more insight into how the automaker can avoid the pitfalls other automakers have experienced.

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The auto industry in India has been hobbled by seeming intractable infrastructure problems that have limited the attraction of automobiles despite the rising incomes from India’s proficient tech culture. (more…)

Nissan Begins Re-Launch of Datsun Brand

by on May.24, 2013

Datsun is set to make its return with a launch in India next March.

Nissan will launch five new models as part of an ambitious plans to bring back the Datsun brand – which will make its debut in India, starting in March of 2014.

The re-introduction of the Datsun brand, which Nissan shelved in the early 1980s, is a key part of an effort by Nissan to boost its market share in South Asia, company officials said in Mumbai.  Nissan plans to expand its Indian dealer network from 95 to 145 outlets to coincide with the Datsun launch – and hopes to increase its market share there fivefold.

“Datsun is an important part of the heritage of Nissan,” said Ashwani Gupta, program director of Nissan’s newly-created Datsun Business Unit.

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“We will offer our customers in India modern and spirited cars that they will be happy and proud to own—at an affordable price,” added Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who has said the Datsun brand’s launch plans will focus on “optimistic,” up-and-coming customers in high-growth emerging markets.

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India Ready to Overtake Japan in Car Sales

But can infrastructure keep up?

by on Mar.15, 2012

Hoping to tap into the booming Indian market, Ford recently went to Delhi to reveal the new Figo.

Already humbled by years of economic stagnation and last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Japan’s continuing decline as one of the world’s leading auto markets is likely to be taken down another peg.

A new study by IHS Automotive predicts that sales in India will reach 4.88 million by 2016, which would move that emerging nation past Japan, which the consulting firm forecasts will see automotive sales of just 4.51 million that year.

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Japanese auto sales have been running at barely half their peak rate during the Asian nation’s bubble economy and show little sign of recovery.  In fact, IHS expects the market’s sales to again taper off to just 4.25 million by 2020.  Japan recorded 4.87 million new vehicle sales in 2010 but saw that number dip to 4.13 million the following year, much of that due to lost production and other problems caused by the March 2011 natural disaster.

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India Likely to Become World’s Third-Largest Car Market by 2020

Overcoming the "three deficits" still a challenge.

by on Jun.14, 2011

Toyota is one of many foreign makers hoping to gain ground as the Indian automotive market expands.

India is expected to grow into one of the auto industry’s superpowers during the next decade, according to a new report by J.D. Power & Associates – and is likely to become the world’s third-largest automotive market by 2020.

The new study, “India Automotive 2020: The Next Giant from Asia,” noted that the vast subcontinental market already surpassed France, the United Kingdom and Italy to become the sixth-largest automotive market in the world in 2010. More than 2.7 million light vehicles were sold in India in 2010, up from just 700,000 a decade earlier.

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By 2020, the report projected, India’s automotive volume will grow to 11 million, positioning the nation of 1.2 billion just behind China, with projected annual sales of 35 million units in 2020, and the U.S., where light vehicles sales are pegged to reach 17.4 million.

“India has quickly become one of the largest and fastest-growing automotive markets in the world,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates.

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Building BRICs: The Four Markets That Could Soon Dominate the Automotive World

New study looks at how to succeed in a rapidly evolving automotive market.

by on Jan.21, 2010

Nano-nano, as Mork might say, these days. The $3,000 Tata Nano is an example of the challenges faced by makers trying to succeed in the BRIC markets.

They may still be considered “emerging” markets, but China alone hs already laid claim to being the world’s largest automotive market and, according to a new report, just the four so-called “BRIC” countries alone will soon account for a full one of every three global car sales.

Competing in Brazil, Russia, India and China won’t be easy, warns the study, by he Boston Consulting Group, but carmakers and suppliers who try to survive in only the major industrialized markets will find it increasingly difficult to survive.

“This is a radical shift,” said Xavier Mosquet, head of BCG’s Detroit-based automotive practice.  “By 2014, one-third of the world (demand) will be in those four markets.”

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In 2007, those four countries generate sales of 15 million passenger cars.  The number srged to 19 million last year, even as the developed markets of North America, Europe and Japan saw sales tumble.  By 2014, the BCG study anticipates BRIC volumes will rise to a collective 25 million, while the industrialized markets will barely recover to pre-crisis levels of around 55 million.

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