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Why Are Cheap American Sports Cars Not Popular In Europe?

Why Are Cheap American Sports Cars Not Popular In Europe?

In the late 1960s, early 1970, “Beetlemania” swept the world off its feet. The Beetle’s unique and quirky design combined with its technical dependability quickly diffused the car’s popularity throughout the world, including the United States. Even if you weren’t born back then, today, you can still hear the reverberating echo of the Bettle’s success.

Can American Sports cars boast the same kind of popularity in Europe? Not really. Many inexpensive American sports cars like Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Dodge Charger never managed to get even close to the Beetle’s international success.


Why Are Cheap American Sports Cars Not Popular In Europe?

1. Importing American cars to Europe is expensive

Buying an American sports car in the United States is not quite the same as buying the same muscle car in Europe. While various American sports cars were originally built to be affordable, their price can increase significantly when you add the import cost to bring them to Europe.

2.European and American roads are not the same

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Image Source:

At first, this reason may not seem important, but if you take a closer look at how American Sports cars are designed and imagine driving them on small European roads, you’ll understand why they aren’t so popular among the European citizens.

Most of the Old Continent’s infrastructure was built way before cars existed, while in the United States, they say, the roads were built for cars. Hence, that is why there is a huge difference between wide American roads and narrow European ones, and why American sports cars are built quite differently compared to their European counterparts.

Besides, American cars take up a lot of parking space. Therefore, Europeans avoid buying American gas guzzlers that will make them drive around in search of a good parking spot.

3. American cars cost more in the long run

Although at first, an American sports car may seem cheap to buy, in the long run, any European who, let’s say, chooses to buy a Chevrolet Camaro or a Ford Mustang, will end up spending more money, because American muscle cars use more fuel compared to European sports cars.

In addition, fuel prices in Europe are higher than in the US. And that is another reason why these kind of cars are “not worth it” in the eyes of Europeans.

4. European cars have higher MPG than the American ones

To understand why this happens, one needs to get more information about imperial and US gallons.

“Imperial gallons are different than US gallons. 1 US gallon = .83 Imperial gallons. 45 US MPG = 54 Imp MPG. Or, 65 Imp MPG = 54 US MPG,” according to

Moreover, American sports cars go through different tests than the European ones, which leads to a lot of confusion about why European cars can easily get higher MPG.

5. Patriotism stands in the way

As with any imported product, there is prejudice and misconception that surrounds it. Add the European patriotism and the strong mindset that domestic cars are better, cheaper, stronger, and more practical, and you get the idea.

As Emma Goldman said, “Patriotism … is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs a man of his self-respect and dignity and increases his arrogance and conceit.”

These are just some of the reasons why cheap American sports cars are not very popular in Europe. Do you have any other reasons in mind besides the ones mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!

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