I have been forecasting for quite a while that collaboration and combinations of car companies and brands will be the future for the automotive industry because of the mounting costs of designing, creating and building models exclusive to each brand.
The survivors will be the current giants of the industry and that almost certainly will be led by Toyota and Volkswagen; Groupe PSA; and just maybe groupings like the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
News from Europe that Toyota will build a Yaris Hybrid, badged as the next Mazda 2, in Toyota's factory in Northern France, comes hot on the heels of the news that Toyota will also build Corolla and RAV4 hybrids for Suzuki.
In addition Mazda is getting ready to badge the next Isuzu D-Max utility as the new Mazda BT-50; and although the collaboration between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan-Alliance fizzled out after Carlos Ghosn disappeared from the scene, there was supposed to be a growing collaboration between the two, to keep Infiniti on life-support by building new Infiniti models off the smaller Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA variants.
For example, the Infiniti Q30 and QX30 built off the GLA, was supposed to be followed by a new Infiniti Q50, based on the latest CLA, with all these cars built in the Mercedes-Benz facility in Aguascaliente in Mexico.
The disruption caused by the appearance of brands like Tesla and a range of new offerings from Chinese companies will also fragment the global motor industry. So, get ready for a whole bunch of look-alike cars with different badges not too far down the road.
The costs to the automotive industry of meeting lower emission goals, and the (proposed) death of internal combustion engines, is going to be enormous, and some smaller companies may well disappear.
We are approaching the end of an era.
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