Blog: You pays your money, takes your choice
Dave Leggett | 3 March 2005
The '€5,000' Renault Logan is certainly an intriguing concept. A basic utility model for emerging markets that can maybe serve a niche in some developed markets too. But it is not quite that simple in reality. Standards and regulations are different in developed markets and consumer expectations are higher too. In fact, the Logan appears to need some fairly extensive modifications - that add to price - before it is suitable for western Europe. These modifications make the car quite a bit safer and are needed so that it meets crash standards.
It just makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable to think that consumers in eastern Europe get a product that the manufacturer know is less safe than the ones heading for the richer countries to the west. That's not actually a strong criticism of Renault, which has merely developed a product appropriate for different market needs and parameters. That's what companies do (though some do opt for a different approach that means the basic model is the same everywhere). And a new Logan is probably still a lot better than the cars in the parc that it replaces in places like Romania. But there's just something a little morally unsettling about different specs when they concern things like a vehicle's crash performance. Same insurance Group as a Porsche 911 due to its poor crash performance? That is a little bit shocking.
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