I have been reading about current and new cars, and the trends of the automobile industry for over 30 years. I started out in high school with the monthly rag, Motor Trend. In the late eighties I switched to having my car fix available weekly as a loyal AutoWeek subscriber.
Without fail, every time the auto journalists are exposed to (& teased by) a European car model that that we in the USA will not be able to buy in our market, it is always, “the grass is always greener”. These vehicles have always had a more efficient design, and a better performance envelope.
Well, finally, Ford is doing something about it. They realized , at last, that it was costing too much to make multiple versions of the “same” car. For example, the Ford Focus of Europe has already evolved to a next generation model. The one here in the US is simply a warmed over reskin job. The Ford concept, the Verve, has some new cutting edge styling & it looks like that influence, and the future consolidation of Ford car models will favor models of a European flavor. I say ABOUT TIME!
This the Ford Mondeo, which is under consideration…
Here’s the next Ford Fiesta, circa 2009.
Here’s the Verse, to be built in Mexico & marketed in North America, circa 2010.
Here’s a nice looking 2008 European Ford Focus model. Could a 2-door coupe/rally version of this be an autocross contender? We can only hope!
I am sure we will see other manufacturers consolidate their car lines. I hope that they, too, will strongly consder their European offerings. Also, we have seen GM start doing it with the recent Pontiac GTO, the new Pontiac G8 and others from the Holden camp based out of Australia.
So, just as we are starting to enjoy the international cooperation with the 2008 Summer Olympics, we can only hope the automobile industry will spread their international models’ influence in those markets which are lacking – making us able to better enjoy becoming Racing Ready!