It was a pretty strange experience to be overseas, attending the launch of a new car, and to read in the local paper that there’s chance of civil war.
But that, I suppose, is the way things are going to be as the auto industry takes globalisation to its logical conclusion.
Last time a Nissan Micra was launched, it was being made in Sunderland. This time around the first factory to begin making the Micra was in Thailand. So I embarked on a journey from Battersea to Phuket that took twenty hours door to door.
The Micra will also be built at factories in China, India and Mexico as Nissan attempts to push into 160 global markets and exploit the boom for affordable small cars.
Being able to sell the same car to both the emerging middle classes in Thailand and India and the entry-level European motorist is a very tricky task.
The average Thai might spend 18 months wages on a Micra. The average person from Tadcaster might only have to spend four or five months’ wages. Expectations will be different on different sides of the globe, even though the Thai and Tadcaster Micras are 95 per cent common.