A Detroit in Gujarat??

Mint has this quick edit on Ford setting up its second car-making plant in Sanand, Gujarat, next to the plot where the Tata Nano is made.

The edit says this Sanand could become India’s Detroit with so car manufacturing companies coming up.

Actually I hope it doesn’t. Detroit is actually an amazing case study on how a great city could bite the dust.

In 2010, the city had a population of 713,777 and ranked as the 18th most populous cityin the United States.[2][14] At its peak in 1950, the city was the fifth-largest in the U.S.A., but has since seen a major shift in its population to the suburbs. Between 2000 and 2010, the city’s population declined by 25%.[14] Among major American cities during the decade, only New Orleans experienced a greater decrease by percentage.

Unlike other cities, Detroit could not move beyond cars. As most if these US car companies like GM, Ford lost market share so did Detroit.

See these great pictures from Time.com. Then there are lots of articles on Detroit decline. This one explains that there were reasons for Detroit decline other than car industry fall.

Though I must add Sanand is still far away from Detroit and is still a small town. But it should be aware of the history of Detroit and choose a more successful global city as its aspiration. Detroit case study is pretty tragic and should not really be applied..

One Response to “A Detroit in Gujarat??”

  1. PB Says:

    The lesson from Detroit is to have a diversified local economy. But at this point of time becoming a Detroit isn’t a bad choice for Sanand.

    Let us assume that Sanand is able to attract more and more car manufacturing facilities. Will the local government be able to take steps to diversify and thus protect Sanand’s economy? My feeling is that the answer is no. That’s because local governments have very little power to do anything in India.

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