Sunday, January 12, 2014

Follow the Money

It's a changing world out there.  The internet is rife with sites suggesting the US is in decline and it's possible that we are.  I've found however to discern real truth in any political assertion we have to follow the money.  Recently I'm seeing annecdotes that support the assertion of a US that is no longer a growing world power, manufacturers of high end goods focusing on markets other than the US and Europe.  Today I am making note of the automotive market.

China is becoming the largest market for cars in the world.  Let that sink in for a moment.  30 years ago China was a bit player in the automotive market, they didn't manufacture any automobiles worth owning no matter how cheap they were.  Lots of automotive brands didn't even have operations in China. 

The other emerging market for high end cars, the middle east, while in constant turmoil, also has a lion's share of the worlds billionaires.  There are stories of wealthy men buying a $100k SUV and using it to jump dunes, leaving it behind when it becomes stuck or breaks down.  The wealthy in the society are becoming the worlds premier consumers.  They are already the place to go for high end hotels and resorts.

We now have brands like Porsche and Audi introducing new models specifically designed for the middle east and China where the roads are not up to par with the first world standard.  In fact, Porsche even debuted their new off-road 911 in Bejing rather than Europe, Japan or the US.  We are going to start seeing sports cars with all wheel drive and heavy duty suspension that sits the car higher to sustain potholes and roadless areas.  Heck, even VW is getting in on the action.

If you want to be in a fast growing industry, look to the ones that serve China or the middle east, because that's where the money is increasingly going.

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