vehicles

India’s Ambassador taxis may have been displaced by models made by Peugeot, Hyundai and Fiat. They may rumble uncomfortably along the country’s roads, their roofs may leak in the monsoon, and it goes without saying that they rarely if ever have four functioning doors. But the Ambassador is as much a part of Indian roadside nostalgia as the palm tree and the pothole.

Now Top Gear, a British television show, has labelled the Ambassador, made by Hindustan Motors, as the world’s best taxi – beating the classic black cabs of London and the iconic yellow cabs of New York. Read more

At a ceremony in front of India Gate in the heart of downtown New Delhi, Mahindra & Mahindra on Monday became the latest in a lengthening line of auto manufacturers to attempt to crack the market for electric cars.

But while their oddly-named e2o certainly looks distinctive, India’s slow progress matching the type of generous renewables subsidies now common in China means the company faces an uphill drive to win customers. Read more

In slapping fresh import duties on car imports, Kiev may achieve its short-term goal of partially reducing Ukraine’s trade deficit while simultaneously providing a boost to slumping domestic car output.

But the protectionist move — announced on Thursday by a cash-strapped government in talks with the IMF on a $15bn bailout — could carry costlier long-term consequences. It may infuriate fellow WTO member countries already shocked by Ukraine’s plans announced in September to renegotiate 371 tariffs just five years after becoming a member of the international trade organization. Read more

BMW and Volkswagen are still both German carmakers. But, as announcements from both companies on Thursday confirmed, their futures are increasingly dependent on emerging markets.

BMW, which published annual results for 2012, eked out a 3.5 per cent increase in ebitda, thanks to strong China sales, which helped offset a 17-year low in the European market. VW set out a development programme which highlighted plans for another new Chinese factory. CEO Martin Winterkorn said: “VW’s future is increasingly being decided in China, Russia, India, the Americas and Southeast Asia.” He couldn’t have been clearer. Read more

General Motors’ South Korean subsidiary, acquired in 2002, has become one of the US company’s most successful foreign operations. But it has been a difficult ride, with the company plagued by strikes and speculation that it may reduce its presence in Korea, or pull out altogether.

These concerns may be eased by GM’s announcement on Friday of a Won8tn ($7.3bn) five-year investment plan, aimed at expanding research and production. Read more