The future of the past – Lada, Dacia and their like by Peter Sägesser

"A model for the future?

Thanks to cooperation with Western companies, competitive prices and the scrappage allowance, a few Eastern European car manufacturers have managed to break into Western Europe of late. Eastern European car manufacturers owned by Western capital continue to bring their models more and more into line with Western brands in terms of equipment, comfort, size and price. Perhaps the reverse path, or rather, the path "back to the roots" would be the better one to follow: the production of small, uncomplicated cars, whose equipment and performance were reduced to the basic necessities.

After all: the fewer the number of components the less that can go wrong. And the less equipment, the less weight; no electric motors to open the windows, to adjust the external mirrors or for the central locking; no air-conditioning system - the additional energy used to run air-conditioning in German cars is enough for the energy needs of several small towns - and no on-board computer. A car like that would be cheap to buy and to maintain and, thanks to today's technology, would also be more eco-friendly. The technology would be simple and hence durable and could be repaired by owners themselves without their needing a lot of technical knowledge. Cars from Eastern Europe already came close to this ideal. And so their simplicity and robust build - combined with today's technology - really could become a model for the automobile sector in the future. At least as far as small cars and specific markets are concerned."

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