Marcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1824 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11357 times:
For those of us who are involved in the automotive industry we know that in the past few years the US car market for large cars and SUV's has shrunk, while the one for small, hybrid, crossover and more fuel efficient vehicles has increased at the expense of the first.
The Detroit based automakers are the ones that have been hit the most by this change, while the Asian manufacturers have benefited the most......the irony in this is that US automakers have very good small vehicles that are NOT sold in the US but are sold in "overseas" markets.
Enclosed please find a list of vehicles from Ford and GM that in my opinion might work in the US with current shift in consumer behaviour........
Ford EcoSport.............cute ute that starts at $16,000
Ford Fiesta sedan..........one market segment below the Focus
Ford Mondeo............could have been a good replacement about 5 years ago to the Taurus while the Fusion was being developed.
Opel Astra....Opel in Europe, Holden in Australia, Chevy in Latin America.....this is rumored to be the replacement of the Saturn Ion in the US
Opel Zafira..............an MPV (minivan) smaller than the current ones sold in the US, think of the Mazda MPV in terms of size
Opel Corsa.........compact vehicle, in size like the MINI.
[Edited 2006-08-14 20:51:16]
Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
Falstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6330 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11328 times:
I drove a ford something or another that was a sedan/minivan thing that was for the European market a few years ago. It had no badges on it so and we were not told what it was. It had a small diesel engine and a manual shift. I thought it was cool. I would consider buying one if I could. That Modeo looks a lot like a Mercury Milan.
GM tried it, it was called and EV1. It was a dud. It was only leased in Southern California and Arizona. The climate conditions there were good for it. When the leases were up GM took all the cars back. Some customers tried to sue GM for the right to buy the cars after the lease ended(which you can due in a regular lease). They lost. GM got the cars back. They claimed that if people still had them they would have to support them with parts, technicians, etc.
DesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7856 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11295 times:
I am not really convinced that there is enough demand in the sub-compact is big enough to warrant every major automaker having a product available in North America. With as inexpensive as a Focus gets these days, there wouldn't be enough of a price advantage to get people into a Fiesta... and the margins on them would likely be tight. If Ford couldn't sell enough of them, the costs of federalizing them would be prohibitive.
The 1st generation Mondeo was too small for the US market, and sales of the Contour/Mystique suffered as such. Also I think the final execution of the product left a bit to be desired... with the exception of the SVT version. I don't know how big the 2nd gen Mondeo is, especially in comparison the newer Mazda6 based vehicles (Fusion/Milan). But most folks at Ford now agree that they neglected the passenger car market pretty badly.... IMHO Ford should have been able to develop a suitable midsized car for the North American market on the Mondeo MkII platform.
As for the Astra, it will be replacing the Ion in 2008, IIRC. But the current Astra/Cobalt/Ion/Pursuit all share the same platform. Its just some of them are executed better than others.
And the Zafria. I think as long as minivans carry the stigma that they do, a smaller MPV will not sell well. Mazda took a risk and brought the Mazda5 to the US. Obviously it won't sell in huge numbers, but I am not certain if it is even meeting its sales projections.
In the end as nice as some of that product might seem, there are considerable costs involved in federalizing/certifying cars for sale in the US. And when it comes to low volume/low margin cars (like many compact and subcompacts) the business case for them is pretty poor.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
Ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13510 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11244 times:
The Honda Fit (Jazz elsewhere), the Toyota Yaris and a Nissan model of the same size class and all made in or for the EC markets are now available in the USA. They are selling quite well (my brother just got a Fit) probably due the $3.00+ gasoline prices, long commutes to jobs encouraging better MPG and relatively cheap prices, in the $12,000-16,000 range. The Civic, Corolla and Stanza all moved up in size over the years and price ranges ($17-20,000), leaving a gap at the smallest USA market classes.
GM markets the Chevy Avro, a S. Korean made ex-Daewoo based model for their low end car, selling for $11,000 - 14,000 range. Ford gave up the small class in the USA, with the Focus their smallest model. One can get one for $14-18,000 after rebates.
Cars for the USA market tend to be wider, longer, 95% with auto transmissions and with larger engines than EC/Japanese cars. Toyota, Honda and Nissan make models in North America that are quite different than those of the same model name elsewhere. Our pollution and safety standards are generally stricter than the EC and Japan, limiting some models that would be considered.
I am quite sure the new high tech diesel engines in EC cars including BMW, M-B, Audi, etc would be highly welcomed here, but our increasing diesel pollution standards for cars will keep them out.
Now if Nissan could make the Skyline model for the USA market....
DeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 11152 times:
That Holden Ute comes with a 6.0L V8 engine. Most definitely not a gas sipper but it sounds great rumbling down the street. I'm going to check out a Holden dealer when I'm in Sydney in a couple of weeks just to enquire about what it would take to get one back to the States. I'm either getting it or an old 1973 El Camino SS.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
Photopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2958 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 11140 times:
Quoting Marcus (Thread starter): we know that in the past few years the US car market for large cars and SUV's has shrunk, while the one for small, hybrid, crossover and more fuel efficient vehicles has increased at the expense of the first.
The Detroit based automakers are the ones that have been hit the most by this change, while the Asian manufacturers have benefited the most......
Isn't this EXACTLY what happened in the 70's during the first oil shock with prices. Only then it was big American V8 muscle cars and full sized sedans. So now it's SUV's. The 70's gave the foreign car manufacturers a chance to showcase what their technology and cars could do and the North American buying public bought foreign cars in droves. And the Honda's, Toyota's, Nissan's, VW's have never stopped since.
You want me to feel sorry for the American auto manufacturers or consumers. Not a chance. They brought it on themselves by shortsighted profit plans that didn't look to the future.
BTW, I drive a Toyota.... built right here in Canada. Great car, great gas mileage, and its my 4th import in a row. I'll NEVER go back to GM, FORD, or Chrysler.
Falstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6330 posts, RR: 30
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 11093 times:
Quoting Photopilot (Reply 17): Oh, and as to cars that are not sold in the USA that would give the planet a chance, how about the Mercedes Smart Car.
I drove a couple of Smarts in 2004 at the Mercedes-Benz Club of America's national convention (StarFest). I liked both of them. I drove the regular model that you show and a low to the ground sporty model that reminded me of a Porsche 914. It was not all that fast, but it wasn't slow compared to some of the lumbering sedans I have owned. I have seen the a Smart or two around Windsor, Ontario. I think it would be a great little car to take back and forth to work.