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A Car World Without Borders

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A Car World Without Borders

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
September 23, 2013


Worldwide Cars
Have you ever fancied owning one of those massive American V8 pick-ups or one of the crop of modern muscle cars? Wholly inappropriate for this country of course but that shouldn’t stop you having what you want. Buying any car you like from anywhere in the world is possible but often fraught with difficulties, inconveniences and additional costs but, maybe one day soon, all the boundaries and barriers that control the cross-continental car trade may be lifted and then buyers will be able to have what they want, when they want.

Clearly, this is helped by the cross-pollination of platforms and technology but, importantly, global political trade negotiators may reach a consensus that could bring about free trade treaties between the USA, Europe and Japan. This would bring about the opportunity to lower costs and ease regulation. Obviously, car manufacturers are mad for this and are asking for tariffs and market barriers to be scrapped.

Normally, the unquiet voice of protectionism whispers in the ears of vote-hungry politicians but it does look like this time it could actually happen. In America, the Obama administration has promised a 12-country Pacific Rim trade deal by the end of 2013. Europe will be next, with talks over the "coming months or year, or a year and a half or however long it takes to get to a good deal," according to a U.S. Trade Representative.

It’s early days. Many hurdles are yet to be cleared, in particular Japan’s natural in-built reticence in dealing with the Western world, but the industry is bullish. At this very moment imaginative marketing people throughout the brands are examining ways of ‘globalising’ the showrooms of the world. Ultimately, this could mean that it will be just as easy for Americans to buy a European city car as it would be for us to buy the latest Mustang.

How easy would it be thereafter to bring on board the burgeoning car industries in India, China and Korea? It’s possible - there is already an agreement in place between South Korea and Mexico, for example. It would make sense for all these trade agreements to eventually roll into one giant global car market whereby all brands compete on a level playing field. That’s got to be good news for customers. We'll see.



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