Automakers are considering proposals to launch cooperative buying groups in other nations where affordability is a barrier. Whether the consorcios will work there is an open question. Ford may set up a consorcio in Russia, and Daewoo evaluated Poland - then backed off.
Ford tried to organize a Russian consorcio in March because banks there 'do not really provide car loans,' said Alain Batty, president of Ford Russia. Initially, Russian consumers were enthusiastic, he said. 'Frankly, the level of interest was absolutely amazing. For four to five months, we had nearly 100 calls per day.'
But when it came time to sign up, Russians balked. Consumers lack confidence in the currency, economy and political system. So they resist long-term commitments, he said. 'I think it boils down to a lack of confidence in the future beyond one to two years. It seems to me that this idea has a lot of potential, but the market is not ready. So we decided to put things on ice until the country comes back.'
Meanwhile, Daewoo considered setting up a consorcio in Poland. The Korean automaker eventually decided it was not necessary. The Polish market was reasonably sophisticated, with established dealerships and finance. In fact, Daewoo invested in a bank there, industry sources said.