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Recently, I have read several articles that cut Ford at the knees for their perspective on the small car segment in the U.S. and how it differs (or doesn’t) from the European segment. In fact, there are some over at Motor Trend that really have their gears in a grind over this topic, so I though we should give our opinion on the matter, even though we glossed over the Fiesta topic in our recent success or flop story.

Here is the thing, we all recognize that bigger is better doesn’t only apply to Texas when it comes to the car market. American’s have enjoyed the ability to drive mid-size and large cars and trucks for decades without too much penalty or sacrifice. We also have the space for these vehicles on our roads and in our parking lots…unless you are parking in a structure built in the ‘80s and then you might need a healthy coating of lithium grease and shoehorn to get your SUV in and out of a parking space. Urban Assault Vehicles and Land Yachts aside, the fact of the matter is people aren’t going to change there buying habits unless they are given (a. the option and (b. benefits of doing so.

ford fiesta mountune 004

ford fiesta mountune 004

Frankly, over the last 20 years we have seen Japanese and German cars get bigger to meet the demands of the American automotive market. The difference was that their design and quality was far superior to a lot of American cars in the ‘90s, which spurred on new American designs like the original Taurus. However, in today’s “green” conscious society where a Toyota Prius is the new hot Hollywood car, we are starting to see a shift in buying habits—a change in sensibilities if you will. As cities become more crowded and designs improve to give you more room in a smaller car, people will start to find driving these fun, sporty and visual interesting vehicles will be preferable to trying to jam a land yacht into the space the size of a peanut. This is lesson most of Europe and Asia had to learn years ago and some day the same will happen here.

However, don’t despair, those of you living in big open States like Texas, Wyoming, Montana, etc…won’t have to give up your 4x4 or anything else, but those people in Washington D.C., New York, Philadelphia and Boston might find that a Ford Fiesta, Nissan Micra (or its actual replacement) or Toyota Prius is not only easier to drive in the city and for your daily errands, but also more enjoyable.

Bottom line—The MINI Cooper is very successful in the States and it isn’t because of its cavernous interior or boat like stature. Sometimes people need a catalyst for change and maybe offerings like the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Prius are changing people’s minds about how big a car they really need. But either way, Ford has a winning mid-size sedan, so they aren't worried about that market...they are truly looking toward the future while not shorting any other market that they are playing in.