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  #16  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:28 PM
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It's not totally blaming CAFE but what CAFE does do is create a perverse incentive and does distort the market. Also consider that Volvo wagons did sell well. By in large Americans do have a preference for SUVs vs wagons. However, that hasn't stopped companies like Volvo and Subaru (and others) from selling wagons in the US. I mean IF the wagon is already developed for say Europe, the added cost of bringing it to the US is relatively low. The profits might not be huge but the demand is there. The penalties associated with CAFE however, tilt the balance so a car that might have been marginally profitable and worth having if nothing else to have a more complete line up is now a loss leader.

Incidentally, I think the lack of wagons and hatches popularity in the US is at least fairly rational. For family haulers people often prefer the additional space offered by crossovers/SUVs. So if you are only shopping for cargo space a crossover does make more sense (the failings of the crossover are mileage and sporty handling). Most "car" buyers are looking for a 4 door sedan. In the US we are also rather price sensitive. This explains why our Passat is bigger yet not as nice as the one Europe gets (it's also cheaper). Well a wagon/hatch adds cost but many people don't perceive the advantages or don't care. Either way it means that only a few people will want that configuration. Thus the market is small and now CAFE adds a new cost burden. Net result wagon/hatch sales in the US die and people like me are left trying to figure out what's the modern replacement for my 15 year old SAAB 900.
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  #17  
Old 12-11-2012, 03:46 PM
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I agree that regulations do influence the cars regionally. For instance diesel probably wouldn't have been as popular as it is and developed quite a much in Europe if it wasn't for the taxation of fuels and the kei car wouldn't have had so much prevalence in Japan if it wasn't for regulations.

And even so, I think that actual customer demand plays a more important role than those. Not that all is down to free will, the characteristics of a certain geographical are will shape customer demand, but in any case what people decide is very important indeed.

You say that if a certain bodystyle (or version, or model, or etc) is already developped, why not bring it too all markets, more volume with certainly help spread out costs and make those versions more profitable. Again, I agree with that, but the resourced you have devoted to those are resources you have taken out of more profitable models with higher demand, which doesn't make sense from an economic point of view. It's not ony the lack of estate cars but why isn't the Ford Fiesta saloon not offered in Europe for instance? Following your logic it should be available since it would be profitable from the word go, yet perhaps due to the shift in focus and resources for every Fiesta saloon sold Ford would lose the sale of three Fiesta hatchbacks.

So I guess it's not as simple as it sounds.

Oh and by the way, the new Saab is the Audi A5 Sportback.
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2012, 06:04 AM
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I don't think we get the sport back in the US. It also moves up the price ladder from my SAAB which was priced similar to an A4.
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2016, 03:09 AM
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The folks at Ford think this is a (credible) rival to the BMW 340i #1
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2016, 03:10 AM
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The folks in Munich can't stop laughing #2
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  #21  
Old 02-19-2016, 08:55 AM
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I have driven an EcoBoosted one, and it is a good car, but that seems suspect. Having not driven the Bimmer, I am ineligible for comment, however.
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  #22  
Old 02-19-2016, 09:12 AM
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I have driven the BMW, atlhough it was a pre-facelift 328i and wasn't as good as you'd expect it to be. I haven't driven the Ford so am I ineligible for comment too.

This however is the new Sport version, with a six cylinder Ecoboosted engine. Apparently it's plenty fast!
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