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Vehicles like the GT-R and 370Z are powerful products designed for car enthusiasts. They’re favorites here at the Nissan 360 event in Southern California, where journalists from around the world are being given the chance experience all things Nissan, including the opportunity to drive up to 130 different cars.
But not everyone can afford something so nice. Simple transportation is critically important, especially in emerging markets. And it doesn’t get much more basic than the new 2014 Datsun Go.
A public disagreement between Volkswagen and Suzuki in early September left the Japanese automaker wanting to end its partnership, but that might not happen. In a news release Monday, the company said it “will retain its stake in Suzuki Motor Corp. unchanged.”
Suzuki requested its shares be returned in light of what representatives say are numerous violations in the 2009 agreement to develop green cars. Two years ago the companies partnered, agreeing to share VW technology with Suzuki in exchange for insight into emerging markets like India. The agreement disintegrated since then, with both companies citing violations by the other.
Suzuki claims Volkswagen violated the agreement in developing hybrids and electric cars several times thus far. On the other end of the argument, Suzuki also bought diesel engines from VW rival Fiat, something Volkswagen said was contradictory to their agreement.
Volkswagen made an announcement about the issue early last month, leading to a public dispute between then two companies. The fight left Suzuki insisting the companies part ways.
Suzuki owns just under a 1.5 percent stake in Volkswagen.
[Source: The Detroit News]
GM has long intended to bring their Chevrolet Volt over to the Chinese market. It’s both the largest and the fastest growing market for automobiles and only within a few short years smog pollution has increased exponentially among China’s booming cities. To alleviate the headache, China will offer automakers planning to sell electric vehicles in their country a substantial subsidy of as much as $19,300.
But there’s a catch. GM is faced with a negotiation that risks handing the Volt’s proprietary technology over to the Chinese government. In order for GM to be eligible of the subsidy, the automaker is required to disclose one of Volt’s three main innovations — either its electric motors, the control system, or the batteries.
GM is understandably reluctant. Executive director of electrification strategy at GM China, Raymond Bierzynski, intends to have the Chinese officials allow Volt to qualify for the subsidies without the technology transfer and will, “… Bring it up in every conversation we have.” In addition, GM plans to import the Volt from Michigan instead of establishing a factory in China.
An obstacle not faced by GM alone, Nissan Leaf’s unavailability in China is likely rooted from the same problem. Nissan did not confirm nor deny this.
According to international trade experts familiar with the demands, China may be violating World Trade Organization rules, certainly teasing its the boundaries, by imposing this requirement.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Volt
[Source: Autoblog Green]
When dealing with an authoritarian state that exercises substantial government control of the economy, you generally know whose rules you’re playing by – and everyone from automakers to tech companies are happy to capitulate to the demands of the Chinese government, with car companies establishing joint ventures with local automakers for the sake of being able to compete in the world’s largest auto market.
China is stipulating that around 30 percent of additional capacity (as agreed upon in existing contracts) will have to be set aside for the Chinese market and sold under separate, low-cost brands. According to an analyst quoted by the Financial Times, the motive is not so much profit as intellectual property. Chinese car makers are often denied access to the more advanced technologies when they embark on a joint venture process, and the report seems to suggest that auto makers will have to bend to the will of Chinese industry in order to keep getting market access.