Why low-cost car projects failed, except Dacia

Making low cost cars? It’s not that easy. Almost everyone failed … except Renault. “To build a project like this you need a dedicated team, in boot mode, completely independent of the rest of the engineering,” insists a former Renault employee who participated in the launch of the Dacia Logan in 2004. Take a existing car to try to simplify and remove content is doomed to failure, ”he adds! Also, you have to sell it differently to drastically reduce distribution costs. In short, square the circle, which explains the long list of Italian, American, German and Japanese fiascos.

Fiat, GM, Volkswagen on the attack

As early as the 1990s, Fiat had been working on a less expensive world car (“Worldcar”), around what would become the Palio, launched in 1997. One million copies a year are expected. Unfortunately, the car only really won Brazil and the volumes only increased by less than half, and it’s still the best year! So we were very far from the concept of a universal range. In the late 2000s, GM in turn announced a $ 4,000 compact model in Asia. At that time, the American giant was fascinated by the new … Indian Tata Nano, sold for 1,500 euros in its basic version. Tata hoped it would be true to sell between 250,000 and 500,000 copies a year of its microcar, even with a marketing project in Europe. The ace. The Tata Nano has proven to be one of the biggest failures in recent automotive world history. This minimalist car, which served as the car of the poor, never attracted the Indian middle class concerned with social recognition … Suddenly, General Motors buried its own project.

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