I have been arguing that US Executives have been missing a)world market opportunities and b)have become too reliant on the fact that North America’s 4% of the World’s population will continue to account for 20-25% of the World’s consumption. I have been watching the US auto industry – one of the most “international” of American industries. The news is not good.And the recent announcement of the Tata’s $2500 Nano is indicative of the problem. True, no European automaker dared to consider the possibilities of a $2500 car. And Tata has yet to show with the Nano that it can deliver reliability and service that is expected in the West; but there is great interest in India and worldwide. But most importantly, the car’s specs – 52mpg/city, 62mpg/highway , 4 passenger, 65mph max speed are geared towards the realities of the fast emerging Indian (and Southeast Asian) markets.
In an era of globalization, Western Executives are just starting to think globally on the sales side. Still they are primarily thinking globally for cost reduction and outsourcing. And so the emerging developing countries will see market after market, including very big ones in the Western developed countries, left to the Asian Tigers to exploit and dominate.
Original article January 10th 2008, updated January 25th for this observation from Time Magazine on The Dozen Most Important Cars of All Time.