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Micro machines 

One of the most informative comment dialogues on this blog has been between Rohan, a branding expert and designer in India, and me. We were discussing the Indian car market, and covered everything from the Badal and Standard Gazel to the Reva and the .
   What I learned was amazing. Levitt’s theories were strongly impressed on me at B-school, and since I was part of that , I witnessed the . The internet did much the same. So, if the world wants more , then shouldn’t , which has plans for everything from a sub-$2,500 microcar to , electric Revas, take a leadership role?
   I believe it can, but such cars would fail in their home market. According to Rohan, do not want a “sub-car”, which Tata’s $2,500 car would be, and I would envisage Indian manufacturers trying to serve their first. The Reva is a joke, and faces quality issues. What Indians really want is a respectable, proper car, like the Ford Fiesta or Dacia Logan, or the ever-popular Swift. They demand quality, not hand-me-downs that Indian buyers see through pretty quickly.
   Therefore, attempts to unload second-hand, obsolete junk on to the Indian market, as has done over the years with the Ambassador and Contessa (Morris Oxford and the last Vauxhall Victor), will fail today.
   Perhaps the development of a great microcar in the vein of the bambina would be one mission that India may consider as a public–private partnership. If costs can be kept low, then I cannot see why the west would resist a well-built and less tossy challenger to the . India has proven the expertise exists. It can run on something other than . The west wants such a product, but no existing manufacturer wants to give it a go; and the east at least has a clean slate and can conquer an entire should it adopt an -first attitude. And it needs a brand, for it could take the world by storm.

Del.icio.us tags: Reva fossil fuels alternative fuels electric car Smart future cars
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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