Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan, and the Datsun Go. The company is aiming for 10 per cent of the Indian auto market.

Calling a car “Go” might seem like a hostage to fortune – any recalls or reliability problems will be leapt on quicker than you can say “Micra” or “Sunny“.

Equally, branding a car as cheap can have it’s pitfalls in a country where 4-wheelers are about moving up as well as from place to place – see Tata’s NanoRead more

They don't make them like this any more

In developed economies the name Datsun has some value, especially among those nostalgic for a vintage jalopy.

But the retro appeal isn’t really the point in India. Will Datsuns take off as low-cost options in a growing economy with a rising middle-class? Read more

The territorial dispute between China and Japan has already given business a jolt between the two nations, especially car sales.

On Thursday, three of the big Japanese carmakers released numbers showing how the spat has hurt production. The numbers are grim, but could have been grimmer. Read more

Japanese carmakers seem to be staring into the abyss in China, with buyers shunning Japanese cars since September, because of the Diaoyu islands dispute.

But AllianceBernstein analysts think this may be a passing phase. If they’re right, it could be an opportunity to buy Japanese car stocks, which are well down on the news from China. Read more

Nissan Motor on Friday announced plans to start manufacturing its luxury Infiniti model in China, in the latest investment news from the car industry in advance of next week’s Beijing motor show.

The Japanese group is hardly the first international maker to launch the assembly of upmarket cars in the Middle Kingdom. BMW and Daimler have been manufacturing in China for years.

But it’s evidence that the industry isn’t discouraged by last year’s slowdown in the Chinese car market or by forecasts of decelerating economic growth, not to mention warnings of a possible hard landing. With all eyes on Auto China 2012, Ford Motor and Volkswagen have also announced new Chinese factories this week. Read more

By Ben Aris of Business New Europe

Avtovaz, the maker of Russia’s Lada cars, is in a race against time to modernise or die.

By agreeing to sell a controlling stake to Renault-Nissan in a deal that is expected to be closed shortly, the Kremlin has tacitly conceded that it has lost the fight to maintain a Russian-owned car producer.

But, with growing competition from other international carmakers, it remains to be seen whether Renault-Nissan can succeed where the Russian state has failed. Read more

Enforced holidays may sound like no bad thing, but they have become an ominous sign of the slowdown in Brazil’s auto market.

Volkswagen was the latest car manufacturer to send its workers home this week, ordering 1700 employees at one of its factories in the southern state of Paraná to take a two-week break. General Motors and Fiat have also recently enforced holidays at their Brazilian factories to help control stock levels as production has started to race ahead of sales.

 Read more