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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > Why Don't U.S. Automakers Sell Their Best Cars in America?


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Why Don't U.S. Automakers Sell Their Best Cars in America?

By motortopia

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GM and Ford make a lot of great cars. Unfortunately, they don't offer most of them in the United States.

Before I dive into the negative, there are some positives going on with GM and Ford lately. The Chevy Malibu is getting rave reviews and seems to be competitive with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Corvette Z06 and ZR1 can compete with the world's best supercars. Cadillac seems to be on a roll with its new CTS. Pontiac is bringing over the Holden Commodore and re-badging it as the G8. Saturn is importing Opels, such as the Vectra (Aura) and the Astra. Ford's Edge is selling well, and their Fusion seems to be getting pretty good reviews.

But they are also screwing a lot up. Pontiac brought over a great car, the Holden Monaro, as the GTO. But the bland styling and poor marketing doomed it. Ford sells the Focus, but the American version doesn't even share the same chassis with the European version, let alone the styling. Instead, we are stuck with a bland, watered-down Focus built on the first-generation chassis. The Ford Taurus is not selling well at all, even after changing the name from the 500. Saturn, while bringing over Opels is a good, start, hasn't brought over any of the "OPC" performance versions. Instead, we only get the plain, boring versions.

And don't even get me started on diesels. Both GM and Ford offer fantastic diesel and turbo-diesel engines in Europe. But they are nowhere to be seen over here. (Of course, you can get diesels in their full-sized pickups, but that's not what I'm talking about.) VW, BMW, and Mercedes all offer diesels now (or will very soon), and even Subaru and Honda say they will be selling diesels here soon.

Linked to this post is a photo gallery of several great cars that GM and Ford sell in other parts of the world that are much better than their similar offerings here. Give us your comments on what you think. Would some of these vehicles sell better over here than what they currently offer us?

Oh, and if there are any vehicles you know of that we didn't include that you think should be sold here, let us know!

- Corsa

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Read comments on this blog post 1 – 7 of 7

Shawnstang67’s Profile Photo
Mar 1, 2008 at 1:13 am
I havent ever seen a cool import for atleast, well I cant remember because I dont think I remember ever seeing one. I dont know why everyone thinks they have a good product because its imported. that crap breaks justr as easy as anything else, they arent WAY sophisticated over anything else. and why would anyone want to spend 3-4 bucks a gallon to have a diesel? which is just going to get more expensive along with huge maintenance fees and repairs. I have several American made vehicles, new and old. worked as a Ford and GM tech for many years. They have some great products. On this board I got guys with funky looking show cars challenging my 2006 F150 rofl. I will never understand why people think this. I guess unless you have worked in a Repair shop the comparisons balance out. Imports kept me busy for several years, both Euro and Asian
I am proud to give my money to USA profited organizations
jebfastlane’s Profile Photo
Feb 28, 2008 at 7:45 am
You are right, I have been looking at this for year's and ask the same question, why. All that I can figure is that they can make more profit selling use cheaper build at more profit margins. If this is all they offer thats what we will buy, because it is American made. The younger generation has the leased American brand loyality, as we can see in tuners market. If we want the best American auto's out there we will pay through the nose for it and the auto makers know this. This is why we are rebuilding the old at a faster rate, the rodder in us will keep horse power alive. If the laws change to were we can only use green engines, beleive me we will have the baddest ones around.
K1M_and_J1M’s Profile Photo
Feb 19, 2008 at 3:23 pm
I have always thought this as well and after looking at the pictures of the European,Australian and Concept models for over the big pond only, I feel Our Big Three are missing the boat in quite a few area's that they really need to be considerd for over here in the States!

It's great there coming out with some mid sized pony cars again but they also need to focus better on the smaller cars like they do in Europe.

In the North America's we have the four seasons with Snow, Sleet, Freezing rain etc...Ford has a AWD car although a mid sized car in there 500 or Taurus and Mercury's Montego,Probably a Lincoln version as well, But still a big car and not all that sporty looking.

Subaru's are All Wheel Drive and pretty much our only choice if we want a small economic car with AWD,
Leaving out the pricey Mitsubishi Evo.

GM,Chrysler and Ford would be smart to have a smaller All Wheel Drive car in there line ups as well.

Europe has the Citroen C4,The Ford Division has a AWD Focus,All we have are trucks and the pricey Mitsubishi EVO and Subaru WRX STi

If we had that WTCC Concept and AWD that could be a fun car. Now add a Turbo option for the performance minded and I think they will have a hit on there hands

AWD or not,I do believe our North American Auto manufacturers really need to produce the European Models and make them over here as well!
Just keep the steering Wheel on the left side of the car for us though! wink image
blubyu’s Profile Photo
Feb 16, 2008 at 11:45 pm
I think everyone has a very good point. I would love to see an exciting car on the U.S. market that is made by a U.S. company. The way I see things, the U.S. auto makers are trying too hard to introduce technology that they know nothing about and it is killing them. I read an article saying that in 1964/65 one could buy a Ford Mustang equipped with a 289 hi-po and 4 speed tranny for about $3000, and it would get 20+ MPG. Jump ahead with 40 years of computer technology. A 2007 Ford Mustang equipped with a 281 3V SOHC, 5 speed tranny and enough computer crap that it takes a rocket scientist to work on it for around $30,000, gets 20 MPH. My question here is: What did they gain other than all the money I would have to spend at the dealership to have it repaired? Try making something simple that the average guy could repair an make it exciting. Remember That Henry Ford built a simple car at a simple price and it sold like hotcakes.
Please don't fault me for talking about Ford's, that is just what I prefer. My comment applies to all auto makers. (I think)
SINISTERGN’s Profile Photo
Feb 16, 2008 at 6:40 pm
alwaysakid-you should have read my post alittle closer. I didn't say that RWD cars were harder to control. I said that most of the average drivers today have grown up driving FWD cars and therefor have no experience driving RWD cars. Let's face it most of the drivers today have VERY poor driving skills, because of lack of driver training.
GoMango2606’s Profile Photo
Feb 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm
Having driven alot of those imports I can say that alot of the import hype is driven by the advertising market and the magazines like motortrend who love to bash American made cars. I lived in Germany for a few years and I hated the smoking deisel cars with the cheap euro trash interior. Other than the GTO there was nothing even listed in the article that I would drive! A Euro focus? A taurus? No thank you..........
SINISTERGN’s Profile Photo
Feb 15, 2008 at 9:19 pm
I’ll probably get roasted for this, but here goes. In my humble opinion there are many reasons GM and Ford don’t bring some of their best product here to the U.S.

1.) A lot of these cars are small, too small for us FAT Americans. Small cars are un-American right? That’s why we all drive Giant, SUV’s and Trucks. I mean which is more American a gas sipping Smart ForTwo or a Hummer H-2. Ask yourself this, why is the F-150 the best selling vehicle in the U.S.?

2.) Many of these cars are basic, not a lot of gadgets to sell to us gadget crazy Americans.

3.) The rear-wheel drive cars, wouldn’t sell well in the areas of the country that see snow. Plus many people don’t even know how to control a RWD, because they have grown up on FWD cars.

4.) The performance cars would have limited sales as well. Let’s face it, there are far more people out there that see cars as “transportation” or “status symbols” than there are “enthusiasts”.
5.) Diesel’s are a whole other subject. For one, most Americans still picture diesels as the black soot belching machines of the early 80’s. Also in some areas of the in the U.S. where you would expect it to be cheaper (because of volume used) it is actually more expensive than regular.

But don’t get me wrong I think a few of these cars could make it, like the Ford Focus and which ever model is big enough to be a cop-car, since the Crown Vic is long in the tooth. As far as GM goes we’ll have to see how the G-8 does. The BLS will never come here, to close to the CTS size wise.

But like I said all this is just my opinion….I could be wrong!

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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > Why Don't U.S. Automakers Sell Their Best Cars in America?

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