Ten Small Imports Americans Won't Buy

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ten small imports americans won t buy

Automotive News [sub] ain’t committing themselves on this one, using typography to highlight that this is a list of ten small cars that could be coming our way. But they’re right to flag these cars as potential U.S. imports. When the U.S./world economy recovers, the price of gas is sure to ascend. Yes, when. Remember: automakers need to plan on a five-year timeline. To NOT plan for a recovery would be a mistake. And, as Detroit should have learned at least once in the last twenty years, any full-line carmaker worth more than $3b should not place all its eggs in a single vehicular basket. It’s an interesting list, but wouldn’t you really rather have a full-size Honda Accord or Toyota Corolla or, well, anything? And of course, I don’t mean you in the Chervolet Camaro sense. I mean you, as in 100k+ units per year. Or, put another way, how many competitors does the MINI need?

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  • FromBrazil FromBrazil on Dec 30, 2008

    bomber 991: Practical in the sense I think most Americans feel is practical: That it can carry a I-don't-know-how-long piece of plywood plus take 7+ kids and their gear to Little League on Saturday. But, to commute or even go on vacation or cross-country driving with 2 maybe, just maybe 3 people in it, then yeah. Very practical. Remember, even in Europe most of these cars serve "family duties", as the family's second car to those a little more fortunate, or even as its first or only car when the family is small and not so fortunate.

  • 4Banger 4Banger on Feb 13, 2009

    Most of these are not competitors to the Mini, which has a hefty price tag in comparison. These are subcompact, high mpg cars intended for the summer gas prices that are sure to come. They said the beetle would never sell, they laughed at the civic, and then gas prices went up while American quality was struggling. This is a tough time to launch a new vehicle of any type. But, there is a market for small cars. The smart has sold well, and as long as they can keep the price down and sell the value of these tiny cars you will see them move. Lets see now, we had high gas prices last year and American car companies are struggling, what should we be making - you can fill in the blank! Or have a look at car sales history from the 70s.

  • Theflyersfan UX Hybrid, NX, NX Hybrid, NX Plug-In Hybrid EV, RZ, RX, RX Hybrid, RX 500h, GX, LX, and now the TX. (source: the bloated section of the Lexus SUV site) It's looking like the Taco Bell menu over there - the same dozen ingredients mixed around to make a lineup. I'm waiting for something like the WX to compete with the Chevy Trax and maybe the LXXXL to compete with the Hummer EV and maybe a four row crossover in 2025 and a lower-cased line like the rx or nx to compete with the German CUV-"coupes" and their slashed tops and cargo areas. C'mon Lexus, there are more micro-niches to be filled! Gather your boardroom committees together and come up with another plan! And careless parent alert: shouldn't that kid be in a booster seat? I mean in my age, we sat in the way back of station wagons on the flat floor and bounced around with every curve, but these days you gotta deck your kid out in 50 pounds of pads and bubble wrap before they leave the driveway, so get that child seat in the way back right now!
  • 28-Cars-Later Nice minivan, just add the sliding doors and quit living in denial.
  • Zerofoo You will own nothing....
  • MaintenanceCosts "We’d imagine reliability on the hybrid won't be quite so bulletproof as the unaided V6."Why? Toyota hybrid powertrains are typically indestructible.
  • JMII Too late Dodge. After 20 years of Dakota use I went and got a Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited. Great vehicle for 4k miles so far, 700 miles of towing while getting 18 MPG whereas the same boat behind the Dakota could only manage 11. I do welcome more entries in this market. I managed with my Quad Cabs 5 foot bed for decades so the SC's 4 foot bed (same as the Mav and I assume this RAM) is fine, I am not a contractor and don't haul plywood on a daily basis.