What Noeth American cars are unavailable and wanted in Europe?

Every now and then I see a thread here where someone bemoans the fact that some interesting/attractive European car is not available in Canada or the USA.

Are there North American cars that are unavailable and desired in Europe? In other parts of the world?

Example: when in Helsinki I sat a bright red classic Ford Mustang parked in front of the train station. (I can link a picture leter when I find it.) Was this car ever officially sold in Finlad or the rest of Europe?

I was also surprised to see a big old ‘tin bin’ Chevy van making its way down one of the narrow streets. Was this vehicle also officially sold there? I heard that there is a subculture there that likes big old US cars, but I never was able to confirm this.

Ford sold the original Mustang in Germany under the name “T5”, mostly to US servicemen.

The Chelsea Cruise demonstrates that there’s an active American car fanciers’ culture in London.

Maybe to some Europeans US cars look cool ,but anyone with functioning brain
would never buy US car for daily use.
American cars are gas guzzlers,very unreliable,too big .
I have friend in Germany who bought old Camaro for a sunday afternoon drive around the town .
Some people are fascinated with American concept of freedom on the road,I believe Harleys-Davidson bikes are loved by Germans.

I suppose that’s why Ford and GM/Opel do such crap business there, eh?
Oh, wait, they don’t.

Ford’s been operating in Britain for over seventy years (and in Europe for longer still). GM have had a separate export arm since 1912, and European manufacture since 1923. They both really should be considered international companies, for the context of this thread.

The important point is that they sell different models in Europe than those in America, to suit the different markets. GM kept Opel (and Vauxhall) as separate brands to make this distinction easier.

What’s been easier more recently for American companies is to buy out European ones.

The market for the typical* Amreican car is very small here in the UK, but it is possible to import them. There is a garage near the USAF air base at Lakenheath that sells American cars, if you drive past the bsae there are loads of big American cars looking rather silly compared to the rest of the cars on the road.

*When I say typical American car, I mean a big 4 door saloon with a big V8 under the bonnet, not a Ford Mondeo.

Forgot to add (for the second post in a row :smack: ) - if you want to know why we don’t want American cars, look here for some UK sports car enthuiast’s views on the subject.

I was looking around a couple of weeks ago to find out if the Ford Focus and the Ford Ka were the save cars, with one being renamed for the UK. It appeared from my brief search (I was at work at the time) that they are different models and both were being sold in the UK. So is there any chance the Ka will come to the U.S.?

Do you think there’d be a market for the Ka? It’s small even by European standards. Fun to drive, though. You might say that it’s closer in spirit to the original Mini than the new BMW version, being more of a utilitarian everyman car. It is indeed a different model to the Focus.

Cars I have owned:

1966 MGB
1977 MGB
1977 MGB
1977½ Porsche 924
1979 Porsche 911SC
1984 Chevrolet Sprint
1988 Chevrolet Sprint Metro
1999 Jeep Cherokee.
1966 MGB (which I haven’t driven because it’s still in restoration! :mad: )
(And two Willys CJ2As, a '46 and a '48)

You’ll note that most of them are small, efficient, fun cars. Not to mention the motorcycles. The Cherokee has been an excellent vehicle. It hauled three heavy trailers up here from L.A. It’s carried my kayak and a friend’s kayak. It’s hauled my boats, and my Willys. It’s been fun offroading in it, and it’s great for car-camping. But it’s too bloody big. (About the length of a Honda saloon.) I would much rather have something tiny and efficient for my everyday car; like a Honda Civic hatchback, a VW Golf TDI, or a Geo Metro. If they weren’t so slow (freeway speed limit here is 70 mph) I’d like a GM Smart. I think a lot of people would buy a Ka or SportKa if they were available here.

First it would have to meet US safety standards, and I think that would be a big hurdle. Second, almost no manufacturer has made money on small cars in the US in the past 20 years due to lack of demand, although there are many great cars in that segment.

M-B may be bringing the A-class to the US, as well as the Smart car. If they do well you might see others. The Japanese have many microcars in their home market that would have the same safety concerns, but they could be overcome if the demand is there. The new Scions are pretty small.

What’s are the major differentials between US and EU safety standards?

The first place I saw a Ford Ka was Phoenix… though I only got a glance and it may have had Mexico plates. I saw them again in Germany where I spent nearly all of August.

One only needs to look at gas prices in Europe to know why truly American cars aren’t popular there. If the situation were reverses no one in American would laugh at anyone driving a smart car.

The most bizarre thing I saw was op a street in Langen, south of Frankfurt, a full size '70s vingtage Chevy conversion van. All it lacked was heart shape bubble windows. And that’s alright with me. :smiley:

I went out for an evening with a co-worker. He intended to rent the sport model smart car - I kid you not, a stretched version - but someone wrecked it so they gave him an Audi TT cabrio. I found it quite uncomfortable… mainly due to the severe cramps in my grin muscles. It made me miss all the German cars I’ve owned so when it comes time to trade my truck I may get a Golf GTI t1.8.

Why do you think that this is a typical American car? Because it’s not and it hasn’t been since the '70s.

Not sure of the differences, but start here for the list of US safety standards. Here’s the general info page.

So what’s left? None of the Big Three count? All that’s left then are things like the three wheeled things reviewed by Car and Driver mostly as a joke.

If nothing by the 3 apply here, then it’s a matter of defining the problem so as to get the answer you want.

So I guess I don’t have a functioning brain because I drive a Caprice. Damn. I guess I’ll get myself a Kia and arm myself with the best value, plus I’ll be educated. Please… And the only new big car on the road being sold in the U.S. today is a Ford Crown Victoria/Marquis, and the mileage is pretty decent considering it’s size, with a V8 and all…

  • Patiently waits for the, “…what about your SUV’s?” *

I forgot that all Americans are redneck, Budweiser-swilling, V-8 gunning, cousin-marrying idiots.

And that all Europeans are wussy psuedo-intellectuals with bad hygene and cars made of aluminum foil.

Oh, please remember that Japanese have big front teeth and big glasses. Please reference WWII era cartoons for further reminders.

Nah, there’s the Chrysler C300 and Dodge Magnum, too.

The big 3 are successful here precisely because they don’t sell their ‘American’ models, but different ones tailored to European markets.