Thursday, April 01, 2004

Nissan will try for Europe

The Detroit News is reporting that Nissan is going to follow its own American strategy in Europe. Lower costs, flood the market with decent products. Sounds like a good strategy except for one small problem: Nissan if it succeeds will be competing against itself. Renault is the corporate owner of Nissan, and for Nissan to succeed in Europe it will undoubtedly take away marketshare from Renault, since both brands sell to the same demographic, that is, the middle class. Renault played it smart and didn't reintroduce itself over here to the American market, though hip Angelenos would undoubtedly buy most of the cars sold. Here's a tip: Use the Nissan strategy in America, for Renault ITSELF in Europe.

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Monday, March 29, 2004

LA leads the way in Hybrid Cars

A great article by the Detroit News on hybrids and their popularity. Ford will be the first domestic manufacturer with a hybrid, and they craftily put it in a small SUV. It will sell like hotcakes in California. The article details how California is leading in sales of hybrids.

My initial thought was that to make a successful hybrid, you have to make it apparent that it is a hybrid. Not so. The hybrid Civic, which looks almost identical to the normal Civic, is selling as well if not slightly better than the Prius.

The article pokes fun at the believed mileage levels of hybrids, but the fact remains, if everyone drove a hybrid, as a whole, we'd be using a lot less gas. If you want just a regular car or SUV, and power isn't an issue, as it isn't for most people, you should just get a hybrid. The fuel savings won't make up for the added cost, but they will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and they do help the environment, albeit not as much as advertised.

I know I promised that this blog would concentrate on LA's influence on the American auto industry, and here's part of that promise fulfilled. Expect hybrids to become a much larger part of landscape, due in no small part to LA drivers.

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