Makes sense. Could easily work in places without highly-developed auto industries such as China.
Even in places like US and W. Europe, if they were cheap enough people would get over their embarrassment and drive them.
Jacob, Designer - August 27, 2004
I believe a dealer in Phoenix, Arizona has actually contracted to import Chinese cars and market them in the US under quaint sounding names like "deer" and so on, at really low prices. Let us see what response he gets. A good response will mean there is something in the idea of "Great Value" cars.
Hemant Patwardhan - August 29, 2004
Nice idea. but still, you do not only need a distribution network, you also need a service network. Still, cars are pretty much about mechanical engineering and electronics (even worse). Yet I do believe that there is a market for "third world cars" on our streets and in our hearts.
It was not only the first FIAT or the first Volkswagen that did build the brand heritage on very simple and democratic product definition. Also the smart was originally positioned in this part of the market. Yet the overall goal to also greate new ways of mobility and an initial highly innovative technological concept aimed far too high.
There will always be a market for simple, reliable and safe automotive solutions.
Also because for a wide part of the market cars are not an object of purely emotional decissions, for quite some potential customers a car is still a means of transportation and not necessarily a lifestyle statement or a fun-toy.
if you identify the target group for this market in a clear and sharp way, and if you go on to develop a well focussed product without being distracted too much in losing the simple and straight path, it might well be a success. If you need or want the IKEA brand for that, I doubt it. and does IKEA want cars? I doubt it just the same.
What you need is a distribution and service network. It could also be petrol stations, rental car companies - whatever...
start from there.
Jens Hilgenstock - August 30, 2004
Why not imagine the opposite? GM entering the furniture business... After all, interior versatility is part of the GM Brand strategy.
George, Mechanical Engineer, Greece - August 30, 2004
Auto brands encompass years (if not generations) of brand loyalty built upon rudimentary feelings such as safety for family (Volvo), long term depenability (Toyota), and fun and excitement (GM). Cheap newcomers such as Yugo and Haundai have an uphill battle.