Domestic items seen as "luxury" in other countries?

So in reading this thread: How do American ideas of luxury compare to European ones? - In My Humble Opinion - Straight Dope Message Board

I ran across this quote which started me thinking:

What domestic brands (from wherever you are) are considered luxury or high-status in other countries, but working-class or everyday at home?

Marlboro Cigarettes

While you can get cheaper cigarettes in the US, the various types of Marlboros are pretty standard fare and are widely smoked here in the US (and are available at every single gas station and convenience store, and most pharmacies), so much that Marlboros seem to be the “default” cigarette to smoke and people who smoke something else are “different”.

I don’t smoke so I am basing this off of observation.

It seems like the cool people in anime from the 80’s and early 90’s are always drinking Budweiser. From a can.

Well, not luxury, exactly, but Gato Negro is sold as a decent table wine here in Canada.

My Chilean friends laugh and laugh as it’s considered a barely passible cooking wine there.

I have been in taxis on hundreds of different occasions (I NEVER rent a car when travelling in Europe) in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland etc. etc. and I would wager that 80%+ were Mercedes makes…

Mercedes are seemingly THE default cab choice in most of Western Europe.

I think this is true of some alcoholic beverages - in the US, Heineken Lager is considered to be premium, which I understand not to be the case in the Netherlands (and possibly elsewhere in Europe). Guinness is treated as premium as well.

Any non-us dopers want to comment on how US beer, wine, and liquor is treated where you live?

Levi jeans are only the first step above store brands in the US, but prized in many other countries.

Not a different country, but:
I grew up in Colorado, and we typically referred to Coors beer as Pure Rocky Mountain Goat Piss. In some other states it seemed to be highly thought of. Wasn’t “Smokey and the Bandit” about bootlegging Coors?

Back in the day, Coors had a higher alcohol content than the beers we could get in MS. That had something to do with it.

When I was in college on the East Coast (mid 70s), we all assumed it was this awesome stuff simply because it was unavailable. When I finally tasted it, it was like… wtf?

It’s funny how this kind of thing works—In the Netherlands, Heineken is a pilsner (and certainly NOT the same lager recipie sold in North America) and just another popular brand of beer, though not really a particularly premium, upscale brand like it is marketed as around here.

The Dutch Heineken (pilsner) is excellent beer, light years better tasting than the Heineken sold throughout the rest of the world, and yet over there it is just another beer (kind of like the Budwieser of the Netherlands) where the Heineken sold in the US is a so-so beer (with an off-putting aftertaste) that is sold as a luxury brand, marketed to wanna be high rollers and budding sophisticates…

These Mercedes that are considered ordinary cars in Europe, are they the same models that are sold as luxury and sports cars in the USA?

No. Mercedes does not sell their plebian <2l diesel taxicabs in the US, there is no particular demand for them. The luxury models sold in the US are also luxury models in Europe and are usually quite a bit more expensive than they are in the US.

I once ate in a restaurant in England where the most expensive beer they had was Budweiser. It’s an import, y’know.

o/ We import each drink that you buy, so your Perrier is Canada Dry o/

Actually, no. It’s made in the UK in Mortlake, South London. I’m told that the British variety is very different to the American variety. The British one is pretty bad, I’m told the American one is worse.

(Unless you meant the real Budweiser, which comes from the Czech Republic.)

This is common in China.

Budweiser is indeed a premium brand- complete with girls in tight outfits at bars trying to promote it.

Tupperware is unholy expensive, and Avon and Mary Kay are expensive brands. Lots of drug store brands- Revlon, Nivea, etc. are department store counter brands.

Even McDonalds and KFC are often considered the kind of hip place you’d take a first date.

Actually they are both “real” in fact the American version predates the Czech version by 19 years. In 1911 the two companies mutually agreed that Anhauser/Busch would not sell Budweiser in Europe, and Budvar would not sell in North America. Later, numerous trade and trademark disputes arose.

Britain is the only nation where “Budweiser” can be used by both companies.

Marlboro became the most popular brand at some point in the 70s and has held its place ever since. It’s also now a cheap brand…always on sale. Not as cheap as a generic like Basic or Doral or GPC, but the days of fixed cigarette prices are over. You’ll find Camels, Winstons, Kools and Marlboros all on sale, all for different prices, but Marlboro is always the cheapest of those four.

Are you saying that Marlboros are considered a premium or a luxury brand in other countries? You can’t even get them in Canada. I’ve never been to Europe, so I couldn’t tell you.

In the U.S., Benson & Hedges is a premium brand. It’s never on sale. No brand of standard domestic tobacco cigarettes costs more than Benson & Hedges. You can’t get them for under about $6.00 a pack, whereas Marlboro still sells for $3.50 a pack here (this might all seem cheap depending on where in the U.S. you are…if you’re in New York, double those prices).

Benson & Hedges seems to be the default cigarette brand in the U.K. and maybe even other parts of Europe.

In the places I worked that sold alcohol, Heineken was never considered to be a premium, just an import. And because it was an import, you could sell it for 75¢ higher than a Bud or a Miller.

Some New Zealand and Australian wine brands are better considered overseas than they are in country of origin - Cloudy Bay, Montana, Hardy’s and Jacob’s Creek for example. This is perhaps because many of the really good vineyards simply don’t have the scale of production to be successful exporters except in small volumes to specialist.

Otherwise…Ugg boots? I don’t think they are considered high end here at all.

It’s interesting that Honda seems to be in the opposite situation from Mercedes. In the US, Honda is mainly known as a manufacturer of inexpensive little cars; so much so that when they started luxury cars and performance sports cars in the US, they created a whole new brand (Acura) for these. In Japan, Honda is highly respected as an innovative company with a long history in motor sports. All Acura models are/were sold in Japan under the Honda brand, even the NSX.