I like to think that I am fairly well tuned-in to the auto industry, at least to the U.S. auto industry. Just about any time a new model is released I already know about it before it hits the streets, or if one happens to dodge my radar, I can generally spot a new model when I see it drive by.
However, I had no clue how out of touch I am with the European auto industry until I arrived here in Spain. In the last 5 weeks not only have I seen dozens of models that I did not know exist, I have also seen entire brands that I did not know exist. For example, the Seat brand of autos was orginally a Spanish automaker that was launched in 1950 – who knew? – but alas is now owned by Volkswagen, and is cranking out cars here in Spain.
So just for grins, over the last few weeks I have jotted down the make and model of several cars that I have seen, and the list shown below is by no means an exhaustive list.
Also interesting is how few “American” cars that are here, by American I don´t mean only American-based companies but also the other makes we commonly see in the USA. For example, I have not seen a single Subaru here, which are ubiquitous where we live. I have seen two Chevrolets, one Chrysler, and no GMC nada. There are some Toyotas and some Hyundais, and a few Mercedes here and there. The one exception is that there are several Fords here, and it seems to me that Ford has a large presence in much of Europe.
So, here is a list of 8 different car manufactures that includes some of their models. Have you seen any of these vehicles recently on the streets of the USA?
Seat – Leon, Ibiza, Altea, Cordoba, and Toledo.
Opel – Corsa, Vectra, and Astra
Peugeot – 107, 307 and 406
Renault — Clio, Megañe, Kangoo, and Scenic
Citroën – Xsara, Ax, C3, C4, and Jumpy
Fiat – Stilo, Punto, Doblo, and Scudo
Aixam — A741
Skoda – Fabia