• Oct 6, 2008

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It's been well documented that we Americans have been growing larger, and if the auto manufacturers thinking of bringing their small cars Stateside follow through, we're going to feel like giants. Toyota and Audi are the latest automakers discussing whether to bring smaller transportation for us portly Americans. Audi, who didn't design the A1 concept for US duty, now believes it's a good idea to rethink its original strategy. Audi marketing boss Peter Schwarzenbauer thinks US customers have made a real shift towards smaller cars and trucks, and that the movement has staying power. Audi brass has made no decisions regarding the A1 in the US, but the fact that they're genuinely looking into the matter is a good thing.

Toyota's cleverly packaged iQ is also being considered for sales in the US. A company insider told Automotive News that Toyota was looking into the viability of the iQ in the US. The sharp looking micro car goes on sale in Europe beginning in early 2009, and we wouldn't be surprised if it arrived Stateside some time after that.



[Source: Automotive News subs req'd]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's so scary to think that they actually thought we didn't need smaller cars. newsflash: we do- bring 'em over.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I doubt it's that they didn't think we needed/wanted small cars, it was probably more about about profit margins.

        Unfortunately, they'll probably mess up again, like BMW did by not bringing the 5 door 1-series hatch along with the coupe. If they really wanted a 'welcome to the brand' car, they'd send us something that could be the solo car, instead of a 2nd car. Additionally, smaller engines and or diesels should be a prerequisite.

        We'll see which car companies make the right call, by also grudgingly offering wagons again along with smaller cars instead of forcing us into crossovers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      While I think it's great these manufacturers are considering bringing their smaller offerings over, I'm not exactly sure they really believe these have staying power. After all, Audi hasn't discontinued it's Q7 and Toyota hasn't discontinued it's Sequoia/Tundra, so that comment, methinks, is a bunch of bullcrap. But as long as they're willing to bring them over, I'd take an A1.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope Audi doesn't use advisers that know as much about Americans as Jeremy Clarkson does. We are not all fat, rednecks, we don't all scream "Gir'r'done!" and drive trucks.
      They (Audi, Toyota, etc.) should have brought small cars here 10 years ago. They would be an established niche in the U.S. by now: big cities on the east and west coasts, including the metropolitan areas.
      Also, even if they make a decision to bring the small cars in the next 5 years, they still won't sell them in, let's say, Idaho, Montana or N/S Dakotas.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Automobile magazine is listing the iQ to come over as a Scion sometime next year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this the SUV craze all over again, only this time with small cars? What is the benefit of these tiny cars? Is the mpg that much better than the Fit, Yaris, etc.. Will the price be better? Look at the current cost (price and mpg) of a Smart car - it isn't that much better than what is currently available from Toyota, Honda, etc...
        Derek
        • 6 Years Ago
        The SUV craze was nothing more than (at the time) cheap gas and people buy vehicle's outside their means. In short, it was stupid.

        Small cars, reasonably priced, will be much better in the long run, provided people don't run out and finance yet another thing they can't afford.

        Here's a crazy idea if you're feeling the pinch with gas - drive less. Carpool with friends. Hang out with your neighbors (try it sometime). But most of all, EVERYBODY STOP FREAKING OUT! Just make it a point from today forward to live a little more frugal, and more community based.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One word: Allroad.

      If the lads in Ingolstadt will sell me an A1 Allroad (ie: just a tiny bit more ground clearance, with just half a teaspoonful more utility), I'll take the cap off my check-writin' pen this minute.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The smaller the exterior the better as long as the car is not too small . Many compact cars look great such as the Citroen C4 coupe , Ford Focus hatchback , the Euro Civic . I personal think all SUVs and SUV-based pick-up trucks are ugly . The only thing wrong with small cars are there interiors are usually small but just look at the Opel zafira .
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bring those at least in Canada, these will be guaranteed hit sellers here, civics and Yaris /echos fit, accent, they are the biggest sellers here for sure. The car demand of Canada VS US has always been different, being liking smaller cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Skip the micro cars and learn to ride a motorcycle. Best fun per dollar vehicle period. Just tore up a few backroads this weekend on my Suzuki Supermoto and only used 1.5 gallons to go the last 100 miles. $5700 brand new, insurance $140 a year maxed out coverage...sweeeeet!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Fix it, I live in the mid atlantic, so the bike does not see much action when it snows. I have gear for cold weather though and rain is no big deal either. My old Civic is my other form of transport and for work, so the bike is for errands and enjoyment. I do know some hard core guys who ride all year and they do make studded tires for bikes...ever heard of ice racing??? I am more of a fair weather biker though. If gas ever hit $10/gal, you would see far more bikes all the time though. Used Civic + new Suzuki is far cheaper than a Micro car too!
        • 6 Years Ago
        How well do motorcycles fair in rainy, icy conditions, in snow, in cold weather, and on hills? Not all of us live in the southwest.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree - more people should learn to ride. If nothing else, that'll help increase awareness of those of us that do. I commute on my Suzuki whenever the weather permits. But here in sunny western NY, that's only about half the year. It's already getting too cold to ride a half hour to work when the sun's not even up yet... So around here, a small car that is inexpensive to own and operate would be quite appreciated.
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