Drivers in the United States are demanding small, fuel-efficient vehicles. They keep suggesting that automakers just bring over the small vehicles they sell in Europe. Problem solved, right?
Not yet. Ford, for example, is in the process of bringing over some of its European vehicles to sell in the U.S. But Ford has to merge American and European safety regulations, including everything from the color of rear turn signals to the positioning of crash test dummies, reports the AP and USA Today. This means the cars won’t be in U.S. showrooms anytime soon.
Ford is working on bringing its Fiesta to the U.S. from Europe.
Introducing the cars to the U.S. market isn’t as simple as changing speedometers to show miles rather than kilometers. Basically, safety requirements and regulations are different depending on what country you’re in.
Some differences are significant, like the U.S. rule that requires protection for passengers not wearing seat belts, which doesn’t exist in Europe. Others are smaller and not as significant, like the U.S. requirement that vehicles have side lights, which are optional in Europe.
Daimler AG’s Smart car, an ultra-compact two-seater, was sold overseas for nine years, but the car’s body had to be made longer to meet U.S. crash standards before it could come to the U.S.
So if you plan on buying one of the vehicles automakers are bringing over from Europe, be patient.