By on April 11, 2013

A U.S. House of Represenatives subcommittee meeting became a forum for Ford to advocate on behalf of harmonized vehicle standards, as the US and EU continue to discuss a possible free trade deal.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President of the Americas, said that harmonized standards would allow Ford to cut costs in areas like design, manufacturing and engineering. Ford is aiming to homogenize its lineup across the globe under its “One Ford” plan, eliminating regional models where necessary. Vehicles like the Edge and Mustang will be engineered for world markets in their next generation, while regional models like the rear-drive Falcon, sold in Australia and select world markets, will be killed off.

Automotive News reports bi-partisan support for the measure. Rep. John Dingell, whose Michigan congressional district encompasses Dearborn, where Ford is based, offered support for the measure, while Rep. Terry Lee, who chairs the subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade noted “positive effects that pursuing a regulatory mutual recognition standard could have on the domestic automotive industry.” Translation: if this goes through, we may just get the Focus RS.

 

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125 Comments on “Ford Pushes Congress For Vehicle Standards Harmonization...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    So we get stuck with the same boring vehicles as the rest of the world?

    Because I’m “sure” they will either kill the F-150 or make it a world vehicle too..

    *rolls eyes*

    And for a little while I actually let Ford woo me over to them….

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Yes because all those sporty Audi’s and Ford’s are just so boring.

      This would be good news. There is no real reason why basic engineering standards should not be harmonised between the US, Canada and the EU. It is done on many other things, like pharmaceuticals.

      Your example of the F-150 is erroneous. Ford would still make that because it is a large seller in a major market. They would be stupid to fiddle with it too much and they know there is no market in the EU for a truck like that.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        And Audi has anything to do with this why? It still is a European vehicle, the Fords however are no longer American-esque, their Japanese or European.

        BMW is more American looking then Fords current lineup

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          You stated “So we get stuck with the same boring vehicles as the rest of the world?” and I merely pointed out that some manufacturers had cars in Europe (Derek mentioned the Focus RS) that most people wouldn`t call boring. I suppose if you are a Hummer driver then you are an exception to many rules.

          The meat of my comment was that this is a long overdue measure and other industries have harmonised rules on things much more complicated than a car.

          • 0 avatar
            CoastieLenn

            This could also stand to benefit the EU market as well since (as told by a Brit freind of mine) a significant reason for not having a large market for trucks like the F150 and Silverado is price and “post-retrofit” build quality. If the engineering standards can be harmonized, it’ll bring cars from the US to EU that they want and cars from the EU that we want over here.

            Side note- my Brit friend moved here to the US 7 years ago and the first thing he did (after moving into his home) was purchase a brand new F150.

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            @CoastieLenn
            You can buy a Chevy Silverado or Ford F X50 in Europe, you just import one from the US or buy one from a grey market importer. They might become slightly cheaper in Europe if the standards become uniform but would still be an awful choice of transportation in the UK due to narrow and often quite curvy roads. So ford will be able to move some units in the EU but I doubt that it will ever be a mass market product, sort of like a diesel wagon manual in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Congratulations on being the first person to miss the 2007 Focus, Ford Five Hundred and Sportrac.

      No one made any money off of your type.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter

      “So we get stuck with the same boring vehicles as the rest of the world?”

      I hope so! Full size pickups have absolutely no interest for me. I’m hoping that adopting worldwide standards will give Americans more choice in the marketplace.

    • 0 avatar
      gessvt

      “Because I’m “sure” they will either kill the F-150 or make it a world vehicle too..”

      Sarcasm detector just went off.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      “So we get stuck with the same boring vehicles as the rest of the world?”

      If they harmonize the world standards, I would hope that we’d get stuck with vehicles without the godawful US lighting standards.

    • 0 avatar
      TW4

      There is no reason we can’t homogenize sedans and hatches with Europe in exchange for them accepting US standards for trucks, SUVs, and maybe CUVs.

      Maybe the US will only harmonize for light-duty passenger cars, but not light-duty trucks. Lots of options. No reason to jump to conclusions

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Hummer,
      Right about that. Alan Mullaly is really pushing “One Ford”. Notice the outstanding way he has made Lincoln a global leader in Luxury cars and the awsome Global Mustang. “One Ford “is about as much fantasy as those two examples.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Harmonized standards might not be too bad if they killed the Flex.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “as the US and EU continue to discuss a possible free trade deal.”

    Soooooo NAFTA with Europe?

    This should be interesting…

    • 0 avatar
      Dubbed

      So I guess America we would be Mexico with that analogy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Excluding the whole narco-terror insurgency thing, Mexico does has have one other thing we’d like: jobs.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          Come on down and work here with me. I can guarantee you won’t like it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Oh I believe it, form what I’ve seen it doesn’t look too appealing. Breaking Bad is enough southwest for me.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Manufacturers would rather deal with the narco-terror insurgents than our EPA and labor unions. Who wouldn’t? In US border states, you get to do both anyway under this regime.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            ‘They’ can deal with it as the decision makers sit behind their Detroit desks while my coworkers and I get held up by Federales for money, ruin our personal lives and return to the states with new found addictions.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The negotiations are interesting, since one of the biggest hangups is agricultural protections and subsidies. Apparently, they’ve decided to do nothing about the farm product differences, hoping they can finesse issues as they come up. I wouldn’t be surprised if other areas, including autos, will be like that too, agreeing to disagree and handling issues on a case by case basis. Read some of the UK financial columnists on the negotiations. It has a chance to become the most agreement-free trade agreement in history.

  • avatar
    turbobrick

    Forget the hot rods, this means $7500 brand new Dacias!

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      That brings up another good point, if we were to get harmonized standards, it would allow more automakers into the US lowering the prices of foriegn cars, thus making them more then competitive and hurting Fords bottom line in its home market.

      If you can’t do well in your own home market, it hurts your rep in your other markets
      (Honda excluded)

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        What in the hell are you talking about?

        This is so products can share more parts / calibrations. This has nothing to do with manufacturing footprints. Do you honestly think just because a part no longer has multiple tools that it will affect where it is sourced from? If anything, this may reduce the need for multiple proving grounds and free up engineering resources that are already stretched paper thin.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I’m guessing you meant to post that reply to someone else?

          As it has nothing to do with my post whatsoever

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            It had everything to do with your post. Tell me how this will lower the manufacturing overhead of a European based product?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            If OP is correct, then it would lower the field for all players.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            How? You still have to meet standards. What is this ‘field?’ How does it relate to manufacturing overhead?

            I’ll answer it for you: it has nothing to do with currency, standards of living or workforce culture.

            Edit: all these products are engineered globally. This has everything to do with engineering costs associated with each platform. Each design center bids on product so all are on even playing fields. It reduces costs associated with government waste.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        You have no clue do you.

        This will help ford as they don’t have to design two different cars that are nearly identical.

        They don’t have to design two different headlights and taillights.

        Ford models sold in the us wont be coming from Europe anyway even with free trade. The cost would be too high. It just saves on engineering. Things like the fiesta where we get the new model delayed a year since it wasn’t designed for sale in the us and needs to be modified for our market. Things like lighting, crash structures, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          MeaCulpa

          Well some models will probably come from europe. The ones that are doing well as a mass market vehicle in Europe might be offered as a niche vehicle in the US, like a stick shift diesel mondeo stationwagon might be offered as an a la carte model by US dealers when Ford doesn’t have to adapt it to US regulations but when it still doesn’t make sense to build a US factory for the paltry volume it will sell.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            I agree in that case. Your right niche models will have more of a chance since the local plant doesn’t have to be tooled up to build it.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Engineering design time is only one savings. There’s also manufacturing flexibility. E.g., the plant that makes the Focus may make it for several different countries. The more similar the countries’ regulations, the fewer duplicate parts bins, inventory, tools, assembly processes, etc. They would be more agile at switching production to match demand.

          On one Focus forum, a guy was having a ton of problems with his car. It was discovered that they assembled EU electronics/controls/settings in his US-spec car. If the US & EU shared common requirements, that goof would not be possible.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      a proposition that isn’t quite as attractive as one would imagine when you have actually driven the car. Actually I’m too harsh, it’s an okay car for the money, but it is a very cheap car. Importing an used citroën C6 should be on the top of every francophile’s to do list.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Great news!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The US has to start somewhere removing the layers of protectionism that the vehicle manufacturers have (protecting the Big 3) in the US. One of the first moves should be to join the rest of the globe and build vehicles at the same standards.

    This will aid exports for the US.

    Then remove the Chicken Tax and not at the behest of the vehicle manufacturers. Past US government’s adhering to the whim of the UAW and manufacturers, etc had only hampered competition.

    Most all vehicle manufacturers are global in both production and sales. This is an indication that all government trade barriers and protectionist measure are no longer needed.

    Removing CAFE/EPA targets and regulations should also be looked into and the US should adopt the complete UNECE program.

    The UNECE is a global standard, not just a Eurozone standard.

    At the end of the day every country that has trade barriers in place in the motor vehicle industry have shot themselves in the foot.

    What the use of barriers has done is forced the manufacturers to set up shop globally, defeating the purpose of manufacturing and exporting from a single country.

    Ironic.

    @Hummer
    In my opinion the best chances you guys have to retain your F-150s as they currently are, is to remove the regulations I have mentioned above and in particular remove the Chicken Tax and CAFE. Adopt UNECE standards.

    This will allow a range of very competitive midsizers into the country you don’t recieve now.

    Full size truck sales will drop, yes, by how much I don’t know. But, you will continue to have 1/2 ton pickups like you guys like. Not some CAFE monstrosity.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Doesn’t matter the “Standard” UNECE and CAFE are both terrible standards, both try to accomplish goals by creating laws to curb appeal.
      Mid sized pickups simply don’t sell, the same people that buy fullsize pickups don’t cross-shop or also look at midsize trucks.

      I’m not afraid of fullsize truck sales dropping, if anything they will increase either way.

      Anything that the UN has a hand in doing is automatically bad for the US, because every country wants us to pay for it all while we get shorthanded.

      I you want to make a case for harmonized standards that don’t try to change attitudes toward what people want to buy, more power to you, but as much as I hate CAFE, it is worlds better then UNECE

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      How about dropping mileage standards altogether and focus on safety ones instead…

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        We have LONG reached the point of diminishing returns on passive safety. To the point where I think we are making vehicles LESS safe by making them hard to see out of. The most survivable accident is the one that you avoid having in the first place.

        I am all for harmonizing standards though – the current situation is patently ridiculous.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          +1. The safety issue has gotten ridiculous and there is no reason to mandate mileage, as we do with idiotic CAFE. I also sure as hell hope the UN standards don’t regulate carbon dioxide emissions, although that is just the sort of crap I would expect.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            This isn’t about changing a standard but using a common standard.

            For the people who can remember, sort of like Beta vs VHS.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Good point, Big Al, but Beta was a better video system with a far better picture quality. It’s true VHS could record longer, but the real holdup was that Beta was a proprietary system.

            A single standard runs the risk of giving us the lowest common denominator, and given the Euro-bureaucrats’ penchant for control, the common standard might well be used to protect existing technology, precluding new tech – like video discs replacing cassette tapes. That’s exactly what happened with American standards for sealed beam headlights.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      The fullsize trucks wont go anywhere. There is a bunch of people who would buy nothing else. Truck buyers are the most loyal automotive customer.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The Chicken tax should be killed and its loopholes make it fairly irrelevant anyways, if not comedy. It hasn’t prevented import trucks from coming here and going for broke. It hasn’t affected medium duty trucks because they’re in high demand. The same goes import cars, especially Japanese, vs Detroit, after those “protective” tariffs and all.

      • 0 avatar
        TW4

        More importantly, they need to create another “footprint” formula for compact trucks. The current CAFE 2025 regulations stipulate that small trucks, like the old Toyota T100s and such, will have to reach EPA of 37mpg.

        Those mileage figures are not realistic. They force all truck buyers into full-size behemoths with poor fuel economy, and they hurt small businesses who only need modest sized trucks for light duty commercial activity. CUV’s and compact pickups need separate standards.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          That 37 MPG is a bit absurd, although that’s for a footprint the size of the old Chevy S10 (or smaller). That leaves current mid-size somewhere between that and the ‘magic’ F-150 footprint (or bigger). I’m not sure if their minimum MPG will be prorated when they fall in between or what. But either way, compact pickups never really caught on. They expanded to mid-size and available in crew cabs with 6 ft beds, but the market keeps on shrinking.

          The ’80s mini-truck invasion/craze was just a fad, plain and simple, not unlike the custom vans of the ’70s. Both will be missed by their remaining niche followers, but the US, for the most part, has moved on. And not just to full-size pickups, but also SUVs, cross-overs or simply, back to cars. Some would rather believe it was “protectionism” or whatever conspiracy theories.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Remember, CAFE numbers are not EPA numbers. The current crop of 40 mpg hwy cars are low-50s in CAFE numbers.

          A CAFE requirement of 37 mpg is similar to getting 30 mpg hwy. For a small truck with modern engine+transmission, that seems possible.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @redav
            I’m getting those figure now with my new BT50. It has a 3.2 diesel, comparable to a 1/2 ton in towing capacity and carries a similar load to some F-250s.

            I really think the US should allow these pickups to come onto your market, it will force you pickup manufacturers to made a better product.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @redav – The CAFE requirement is 50 MPG and 37 would be combined EPA MPG (for 2025). That’s really asking too much for a little truck that’s expected to perform work. Even with a diesel. Chevy S10 size (footprint or smaller) trucks don’t exist in the US, so it’s slightly irrelevant. Not enough interest. Besides, little trucks drink too much fuel for their size.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Average_Fuel_Economy

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Your BT50 can tow like a 1/2 ton and carry loads like an F-250 in your dreams. Got links? Mid-size pickups aren’t built for hard work like real trucks and better fit for light duty like the SUVs they’re based on.

            No trucks have been banned from or not allowed into the US. It’s equal and easy enough for all pickup truck OEMs that want to be here. You seem to think that they DO want to be here, but I guarantee you they’ve done the research, talked to Mitsu, Mazda and Isuzu and thought better.

  • avatar
    Dubbed

    About time this happened. What justifiable reason do we have to maintain the status quo. The big three would benefit. The Japanese tranplants would benefit. European companies benefits. People who buy cars would probably get a benefit via having more buying options..

    The FMVSS is no longer “necessary” as it is with business and manufacturing changing due globialization.. It is nothing more than a albatross around the neck.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Finally, someone who gets it. (and Big Al from Oz)

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        I do think that most people get it, the ones posting seems to be the regular assortment of cranks thou, but this is the internet after all. I’m a staunch believer in the US adopting the global standard, for the sake of the US consumer and others, nobody benefits by building basically the same car but adapting it to suit local standards. That doesn’t mean that car companies won’t have to adapt to local taste and conditions just that it will be cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Yes… and since this actually makes sense that means its guaranteed to never happen.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      Yes, thank you.

      Lower tariffs would increase the number of US exports AS WELL as Imports. Standardization would lower development costs all-around too. Ultimately, the consumers would win because there would be more choice, competition, and possibly savings passed on from streamlined development budgets (more likely shareholders would benefit from that). Ultimately, the dead weight loss associated from the current regulatory regime would decrease and everybody wins.

      The details of exactly who has what to gain in which market is not particlarly clear. It seems like Ford believes it would be a winner.

      Also, why hasn’t anybody mentioned Koenigsegg, Pagani? I also assume that Renault, Citroen, and Peugot could be real possibilities.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I, for one, pushed Ford (directly and through endless online posts) about the need to standardize to save themselves, but also in order to bring the “good” Fusion and Focus and C-Max here…most of which has happened.

    But this sounds like a major overcorrection to me. While standardizing the mainstream unibody vehicles will go a long way towards cost savings, you can’t do it across the board.

    Kill the Aussie Falcon? How about F-150, Ford’s mainstay in the North American market?

    At some point, you’re just going too far. Not everyone can be VW and sell the same basic cars everywhere — because even VW realized it doesn’t work forever, so they introduced a cheaper and larger US-built Passat last year (albeit based on the same platform as Jetta/Golf).

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      The Falcon is dying because no one buys it. The F150 stays because people buy it. I’m not sure how the B&B got on this strange tangent that is apparent in half of the replies above. Derek was only pointing out the direction of the company, not that somehow regulations killed the Falcon, regional Focus, Taurus, whatever.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @tresmonos
        The Falcon is not competitive.

        The F-150 is also protected from imports (vehicles made overseas) through the Chicken Tax, technical barriers like CAFE and differeing designs regs like this UNECE Vehicle Harmonisation.

        The F-150 would sell even if the barriers weren’t in place, but in reduced numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          It would be interesting to see the export mix for the F series should something like this go through. It already exists, just in small quantities.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @tresmonos
            If they made them in RH drive Australia would buy more.

            But the Ranger and other mid sizers are very competitive.

            It would be interesting.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The grey market for full-size trucks in Europe should tell you something. The 22% tariff Europe hits them with (and no loopholes to make it virtually irrelevant) should tell you the rest. Even though they might not see the same obscene, up to 2 million sales the US sees, not everyone in Europe is forced to drive a penalty box.

          • 0 avatar
            OliverTwist

            Yes, Ford did manufacture the UN-ECE version of some F-Series variation for sale in the markets where the UN-ECE regulations are mandatory, namely Argentina, Brazil, Norway, etc.

            From 2001 to 2008, Ford Australia imported the right-hand-drive F-Series from Ford subsidiary in Brazil.

            http://www.motoring.com.au/advice/2012/ford/f100/buying-used-ford-f-series-pickup-2001-2008-31383

            To help you appreciate the complexity of right-hand-drive conversion for the Ford Mustang to be sold in Australia through Ford Australia sales channel, here’s this fascinating documentation:

            http://www.autospeed.com/cms/article.html?&A=1211

            This called the strong need for the world harmonisation of standards. Australia and Japan have more or less harmonised their standards closer to UN-ECE in the recent years. Australians have more choices of vehicles, motors, gearboxes, and trim levels than Americans despite the smaller automobile market.

            I live in Germany and have seen the grey import of American pick-up trucks here. The most popular is Dodge Ram and Cadillac Escalade. Anyone can buy them with understanding that there is no official warranty coverage for those grey import as well as no guarantee of retrofit or modification quality.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – The F-150 is not any more protected than Detroit cars are from imports. After 1991, CAFE only helped compact trucks by loosening their requirements and letting them grow to mid-size and the crew cabs that the rest of the world had.

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            @DenverMike

            Don’t expect the full size pickups to sell like hot cake in Europe. They do hold some appeal for a subsection of the population, most often due to tax reasons, but generally speaking they are a bit too thirsty and a bit too big. The most popular models are generally the most expensive in the lineup and the usual customer is some kind of contractor/plumber/electrician with his own business that wishes to buy a vehicle with untaxed money that is comfortable.

            The custom duties on a car is 10% of the value of the car, shipping and insurance.
            The 22% percent duty applies to trucks, some trucks might be able to avoid it by having a short bed. Apparently the swedish customs agency (among others) applies a rule of thumb that says “if the bed is shorter than 50% of the wheelbase the vehicle is not considered a truck”, so there is some wiggle room.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @MeaCulpa – I wouldn’t expect full-size trucks to sell like crazy in Europe, but even at a tiny fraction of US sales, they could be absolute winners. Consider them an ‘add-on’ like the Ford Raptor. The Raptor couldn’t stand alone at just 14,000 annual sales, but the F-150 line makes it more than doable. In theory, and after harmonization, Euro F-150s would be 100% the same as US F-150s and all gravy.

            There’s too many Euro luxury, sports cars and SUVs that get similar MPG to F-150s. The outgoing BMW M3 had equal MPG to a full boat F-150 4X4 at approx 16-17 MPG combined.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Changing tastes away from large Sedans to SUV’s/CUV’s and Pickups is what is killing Sedans including small ones in Australia.
        This is an article published to day on the Falcon Xr6. very favourable indeed, but it is still a sedan not a SUV.
        http://www.caradvice.com.au/225314/ford-falcon-g6e-turbo-review/
        Read comments to the article.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Ford is milking all four teats of the F-150 cash cow. Will be as long as they sell.

  • avatar

    Derek, I know this is not really the subject of the article, but any news on the sub-Fiesta? In Brazil the small line up is Ka, Fiesta (old), New Fiesta. Roughly the Ka costs 12.5k, Fiesta 15 and New Fiesta 20k USD. If the One Ford thing goes on, or Ford cuts price of New Fiesta by almost 50% or they forfeit the meat of the Brazilian market to others.

    While vehicle standardization is all fine and well, I fear that it’ll make cars too expensive for people who want to buy cars but can manage numbers closer to 10k USD rather than 20.

    Thanks for any word.

    • 0 avatar

      Marcelo,

      Nao se

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      Is there a big enough market for that many A segment vehicles? Fiat and Mini are doing fine but the Scion iQ and Smart sales suggest that the market size for the segment as a whole is limited (or that the Smart is just a bad car…)

      If Europe’s automotive goodie box gets opened, my votes for a Citroen DS3.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        The DS3 isn’t much to rejoice at looks “cool” and no go the C5, on the other hand, is a nice riding car with hydropneumatic suspension aka a proper citroën.

        • 0 avatar

          @Mea Culpa

          The DS3 has the 160hp version. Plenty of go for such a small car. I would also venture to say that the car is more about the handling than the power.

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            The no go part wasn’t about power. The car is based on a cheap chassis, the handling is nothing special, it is just a tarted up budget car IMO. Basically it isn’t a proper Citroën.

          • 0 avatar

            Based on a cheap chassis, I’d agree, but they’ve been able to put some Galiic magic in the suspension. It certainly does not go down the road or the attack the curves in that tank like Teuto purposefulness (which I think is a good thing), but I find it very tossable and enjoyable.

            I’m curious, why is not a proper Citröen in your opinion? Just the hydropneumatic suspension? I could be wrong but many small Citroesn have not had that over the years. I think the DS3 could be considered a modern version of a Saxo, car that in its time was plenty fun (according to reports). 2CV, I think Citroen has had plenty of budget cars over the years.

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            The Saxo was cheap sh*t and badge engineered on a 70s GM level. You could just buy the lightweight 106 rally instead of the chavy Saxo that only really was popular in the UK with scumbags.
            But the real kick in the nuts is naming the car DS while all DS models now rides on cheap and shitty platforms, the DS badge used to carry some panache and ride on HP suspension.

      • 0 avatar

        In Brazil, from about about 12k USD to 22k car makers offer several cars. From bigger makers to smaller:
        Fiat: Uno Mille, Novo Uno, Palio, Strada (single, extended and double cab!) Siena, Grand Siena, Palio Weekend and sometimes Idea and Punto dip down into this segment.
        VW: Gol IV, Gol V, Voyage, Fox, SpaceFox, Saveiro, Polo (just about fits here in price) and soon up!.
        GM: Celta, Classic, Onix, Prisma, Cobalt, Montana, Agile
        Ford: Ka, old Fiesta (hatch and sedan) and New Fiesta, Courier
        Renault: Clio, Sandero, Logan
        Peugeot: 207
        Toyota: Etios
        Hyundai: HB20 (hatch and sedan)
        Nissan: Versa and March
        There are also some Chinese.

        Of course, many of the cars mentioned are just sedans or SWs or PUs developed from the original hatch. About 70-75% of Brazilian car sales are concentrated in these cars. Lots of choices that they sell so much that almost any of them are easy to see on the streets. There are even subsegments: from about 12,5 to 15k USD is one then from about 15k to 22k is another one. Generally the cheaper ones have 1.0L engines but the more expensive ones have 1.4, 1.6 or even 1.8.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    This was bound to happen sometime, when the tipping point of cost savings from a unified standard exceeded the perceived benefit of a trade barrier. In the long term, this would also make private imports much easier for the three Americans who lust for AWD manual diesel wagons.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      I doubt it. I have a feeling this wont change emissions standards which would still be a import requirement. But, maybe they will recognize the euro emissions standards as a equivalent which they pretty much are these days.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Harmonization would be good, but I’m afraid it can’t be accomplished by politicians in a subcommittee. There will be very complex technical, political, and possibly cultural challenges to work out.

    As for EVs, how about some harmonization on a quick charge connector? Right now it’s every mfr for himself, which kills market expansion.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Hell yes harmonize.

    It’s literally impossible to build a vehicle that satisfies both FMVSS and ECE regulations at the same time.

    With the reality of globalization, that’s foolish and needlessly expensive.

    This is one of those FEW times when I think that America should do things as the rest of the world does them.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      @OneAlpha “needlessly expensive”

      With the feds desparately trying to unshackled themselves from defit budgets, it would be an easy money saver. As usual, weird political bedfellows will slow the process to a crawl. I see it changing one standard at a time. Might I recommend the lighting standard first.

      Oh, and everybody should drive on the right.
      ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        ExPatBrit

        “Oh, and everybody should drive on the right.”

        In the past, almost everybody travelled on the left side of the road because that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies. Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent and their scabbard further from him. Moreover, it reduced the chance of the scabbard (worn on the left) hitting other people.

        Furthermore, a right-handed person finds it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse, and it would be very difficult to do otherwise if wearing a sword (which would be worn on the left). It is safer to mount and dismount towards the side of the road, rather than in the middle of traffic, so if one mounts on the left, then the horse should be ridden on the left side of the road.

        How am I to protect my family if I have to drive on the left? ;-| Actually I am left handed but that’s beside the point.

        FreeDumb etc!!

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Some reports state that people who use RHD cars have slightly less accidents than those who drive on the the Left.Dominance of the RHD pert of the brain I suppose.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Pig_Iron,

        I agree – we SHOULD drive on the right.

        That way, if I have to shoot my way out of Los Angeles or Detroit, I can aim with my strong hand!

        To say nothing of not having to convert the eventual R34 project to left-hand drive – if there are any left by then…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Europe’s tariffs are approx 400% more than US’, so guess who has more to lose?. All or most of their cars and trucks are already here or have been here and done that.

  • avatar
    RS

    How are they going to Harmonize with the EU? The US can’t even Harmonize all it’s States.

    This has little chance of happening, and if it does, Ford and others may not like what they get.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    There is so little difference between cars from Europe, Japan, Korea and the USA these days. The differences really are in some pretty lame regulations. Any one who does not think so is living in the past and needs to get out more.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    I’d rather think 4th dimensionally and harmonize standards with the past.

    I want a shiny new copy of my Dad’s ’73 F-100.

  • avatar
    360joules

    Awesome! When can I put down my deposit for a Skoda Superb Estate with the big diesel?

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @MeaCulpa
    They only sold 600 Cadillacs in Europe two years ago. FSeries Pickups would a extremely unprofitable venture at best. Maybe 200? per year.I saw only 7 US Pickups when I went to Europe in 2010
    Ford ,GM and Chrysler/Fiat should sell a Cut away(Cab Chassis)variant of Vans that could use the Cummins, Ford 6.7 and GM 6.6litre Duramax diesels The Cab Chassis could be used as a Motorhome, Light Truck, Armoured Car, Bus or heavier Ambiulance, Fire Brigade or Police Tenders in Europe and Asia.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Robert Ryan – Cutaway F-series are nothing new, even in Australia.

      http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5460/7155301166_ccf77a2ee0_z.jpg

      http://www.losangelesexoticlimo.com/fleets/Ford-550-3.jpg

      Anyplace that already sells mid-size trucks in decent numbers would benefit from a full-size option. We’re not talking Cadillacs that don’t sell in huge numbers in the US. The up to 2 million US truck sales might mean nothing to you, but even a 10th of that would make US trucks in Europe a tremendous success. Pure profit. F-150s are already the most profitable in the world before even selling there. Similarly, the BMW 3-series don’t need to sell in tremendous numbers in the US. Ford dealers are already in place in Europe where as BMW had to start from scratch in the US. That was a long shot where as F-series in Europe would be an natural.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Denvermike,
        Not what I had in mind.They are not Cabover.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Robert Ryan – Did you mean like these?

          http://battlefieldrv.com/images/catalogimages/dsc01227.jpg

          http://battlefieldrv.com/images/catalogimages/2008host270-pic1.jpg

          http://thormotorcoach.com/super-c/Super-C-Motorhome-Ford-F550-Diesel-RV.png

          http://changingears.com/images/earthroamer-xv-outside.jpg

          http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/315334_385914831462861_2040199921_n.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike
            No. Cab Chassis variants of Vans. They are Cabovers not Pickups. Europe already has a lot of them, but the depreciated diesels from the US factories could be good engines for larger and heavier versions.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – What’s the point of the van cab and not the pickup cab? Once you drive both for extended periods, you’ll prefer the pickup cab. Ask me how I know.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            That is what the market wants in Europe, Asia and outside NA. Huge opportunities for OEM’s to supply that market , a lot of money to be made. A Nice Cab Chassis Cabover with a 6-6.5 Diesel would sell like hotcakes.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – Why not let European consumers decide for themselves? Aren’t you all about available choices for the truck buyer? We’ve never denied mini and mid-size trucks from coming to American to sink or swim. It remains to be seen if Europe’s OEMs can stand the Heat form US full-size trucks, but if what you say is true, what have the got to Fear? They’re the “Chickens”!

            Europe should at least “harmonize” the loopholes.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Robert Ryan,
      Europe has essentially no market for US style pickups, maybe the grey import market for enthusiasts.

      It irks me that some of our US commentors are so blind to the rest of the world. I wonder if they have every left the towns they were born in. Some claim to have travelled to Spain several dozens times and are Spanish, but it is becoming very apparent that some are full of shit.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – This is just like high school. You say things you can’t substantiate with facts, you scamper off when asked about it, and then talk crap behind my back. Excellent.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Big Al From Oz,
        They do have some US HD Pickups for the small Truck Camper market in Europe. but the rest of the tiny number they sell over there are for enthusiasts. 100-150 year would be maximum as they do have very tiny numbers of large Caravans or 5th Wheelers compared to Australia. They do like large US Pusher motorhomes though and there is a market for that in primarily the UK.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Robert Ryan
          Where I live I have the best exposure to RV, Campers, Caravans etc in the world. I see everything from massive HDT bus styled campers towing a 200 Series on trailers to HD and midsizer 5th wheelers, I even saw a 2.2 Sorento towing a 20′ caravan.

          From what I’m seeing in our free market is the Euro Fiats, Transits, Mercs, Iveco’s etc taking a larger foothold as each year goes by.

          The people buying these products aren’t stupid as they are pensioners.

          When in Europe I saw only one US Ford HD pickup and that was in Paris of all places, tight. In the south of France I saw mainly Mitsubishi Tritons around farms. But not many as vans are used.

          Don’t worry DenverMike hasn’t got a clue.

          He might know the vehicle market in “Hicksville, USA”, but outside of that he should listen and appreciate people’s views from around the world.

          I don’t think he’s Spanish, not by his writings.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Si no ofrecen trocas grandes de venta, la gente va forzar trocas medianas para hacer grande trabajos y meter se en problemas grandes o enormes. Usa la ramentia correcta para no tener problemas con el motor, transmission or simplemente chocar la troca.

            English is my 2nd language, but I’m basically saying there is no reason to overload a mid-size truck with a 20 ft RV even if it can do it legally. Get a smaller RV or a bigger truck. For safety sake alone! I realize they don’t sell full-size trucks everywhere, but I guarantee you, where there’s work to be done, there’s a market for full-size pickups.

            Yes an Iveco or other commercial trucks are an option and that’s where full-size pickups come in. They’re commercial grade for when you need to perform heavy work or recreation on holiday. But still stylish and contented with enough available luxury to match any everyday car or SUV.

            Or if you want, you can get a complete stripper crew cab 4X4 with rubber floors & crank windows and still get any upgrade V8, diesel or twin turbo V6 with whatever heavy/max payload or tow package you need.

            They’re the last full-line vehicle you get completely ‘ala carte’. A base “Muscle Car” if you want.

            What market would reject such options???

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Big Al from Oz,
            Very much in agreement there it is a “wake up call” as @krhodes1 mentioned in his post, what REALLY happens outside the US.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Robert Ryan
          I do think the major manufacturers of US pickup would be watching the sale of grey market vehicles in the Eurozone.

          If they came to the conclusion there is a market for a vehicle they would try and get a foothold.

          But there is such a small market in Europe the manufacturers will live with grey market pickups going over.

          Why buy a full size pickup if an Iveco, Transit can do the job, but much cheaper.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Correct. I think Ford’s problem now is the new US built Transits(which Ford’s makes considerable profit on) cannot be exported to Europe as ironically the 3.2 Diesel Litre engine does not meet EuroVI certification. Ford would love to have for that reason alone to have one standard.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The Iveco and Transit can do the work of full-size pickups, but these vans or cutaways aren’t exactly suited for everyday civilian use. They can’t compare to the versatility or full-size pickups. Never mind the endless ways you can spec full-size trucks. And let’s not even mention 4X4 availability. Or high luxury. We’re talking one vehicle that does it all. And of course, stylish enough for any occasion.

            Or why not replace mid-size trucks with mini-vans???

            You guys love mid-size trucks so I don’t get all the hate of full-size. Is it some kind of inferiority complex?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Given 85% of Americans have no passport, this is not surprising.

        Anyone who has spent even a week driving around Europe would know that the very idea of selling any quantity of domestic US full-size pickup trucks in Europe is simply laughable. The Europeans already have vehicles that inhabit that niche that are actually suitable to the local conditions. And they are now even being sold here – Sprinter, Transit, Dublo, etc. They cost more to buy, but they are FAR more efficient in running costs and usable space vs. size. Work vehicles that are reasonably close to the ground that you can stand up inside of – what a concept! They can’t tow 10Klbs, but neither can the majority of pickup trucks.

        The idea of using a pickup as a giant car is even more laughable in a region where fuel costs 3X as much, parking is hard to come by, and people actually drive at high speeds. I had to fold the mirrors on my little 3-series to park it most places from France to Sweden, you would spend MONTHS looking for a place to stash an F150.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Robert Ryan – Regardless of your opinion of the viability of US full-size pickups (and SUVs) in Europe, you are not the spokesman for all of Europe. Grey market vehicles are not cheap and they point to pent up demand. There’s only one way to find out how the F-series would do in Europe and would cost Ford next to nothing to sell them on a limited basis through existing Ford of Europe dealers, if_and_when the 22% EU truck tariffs are dropped, along with US/EU harmonization. It would be foolish and irresponsible not to test market the F-series in Europe at that point. The gains would be tremendous even if only a moderate niche market was captured.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DenverDike
        It appears you get confused when writing. Don’t confuse yourself with what you would like to ‘see’ occur with what is actually occuring.

        Step back, take a breath then look at what you are going to post analytically. It must make sense and have some logic.

        Your overall contributions to any debate are outlandish and ill considered.

        It is great to have an opinion, but opinions have to have a logical basis. If you can’t produce information to support a view, then it is likely incorrect.

        Please, research before submitting a comment to ensure it’s credibility.

        The comment like we hate full size trucks has nothing to do with the European vehicle market, does it?

        You have made these kind of remarks plus calling people anti American because they don’t support your UAW training.

        It’s quite simple not to make a fool of yourself all of the time.

        You can get angry with me and multipost on PUTC again under my name if it makes your feel better. Then submit comment under other URLs/names putting me down also.

        If you deny what I have written above then you are trolling.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – If you have nothing but vulgarity to add to the topic or conversation, please have the decency and self respect to quit.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Big Al From Oz. A good summing up.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Robert Ryan – Just for the record, what’s with the full on jihad on full-size trucks from a couple truck loving guys? They’re what, 10% bigger than what you drive? Personally I love trucks of all shapes, sizes and OEMs. But I can’t help but feel it’s less about trucks and really all about their country of origin. Which is it?

  • avatar
    car_guy2010

    I don’t think our Aussie pals will appreciate the premeditated murder of rear wheel drive Falcons.

    I don’t blame them.

    Perhaps a compromise could be worked out where those Falcons could become American icons once again?

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Meaculpa
    “Don’t expect the full size pickups to sell like hot cake in Europe. They do hold some appeal for a subsection of the population, most often due to tax reasons, but generally speaking they are a bit too thirsty and a bit too big”

    I agree. My question what US vehicle will sell in largish enough numbers. My feeling Jeep is holding all the cards?


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