Friday, August 22, 2008

Big Three rev up European small car cavalcade

The sudden demand for 'econo boxes' has eclipsed the size bias mistakenly attached to them
Keith Morgan,The Province
A wider selection of gas-sipping compact and sub-compact cars -- with smaller carbon tireprints -- is set to roll into a dealership near you.Demand is clearly growing by the day for cheaper alternatives to the typically larger, fuel-gulping North American vehicles.
Sadly, their arrival won't be tomorrow or even next week, but the race is on among the Big Three to get their successful European products on this side of the Atlantic.
It's not just a matter of commandeering the products as they roll off the assembly lines in such places as the U.K. and Germany because those cars are spoken for domestically.
Besides, even if it were possible, there has to be a guarantee of supply once they are launched here and that is best served by local production.The industry here has been reluctant to introduce these so-called world cars in the past because it's never been clear if there is sufficient demand to make it truly worthwhile.To date, manufacturers have also found it very difficult to turn a profit on econo-boxes while they have made plenty on big sedans, trucks and SUVs.And there has always been a strongly-publicized bias against smaller vehicles, fuelled by the likes of the U.S. insurance industry, which for years has been something of a fear monger about the safety of small cars. Read full article here

No comments: