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Americans buy big but relatively unsophisticated cars, while Europe's consumers prefer sophisticated small cars. That truism is about to be rewritten in Europe as vehicle manufacturers start to question their small- car strategy in response to costly new legislation covering safety and tailpipe emissions, in particular carbon dioxide output.

The regulations are about to wreak havoc among automakers with a stake in Europe, forecasters believe. Many say the age-old tradition of the European market — the dominance of the small car — is now in question.

Opel will drop its Karl and Adam minicars, while fellow PSA Group brands Peugeot and Citroen said their 108 and C1 minicars are unlikely to survive.

A source at Ford confirmed it will stop exporting the Indian-built Ka+ small car to Europe. Volkswagen executives have said privately that the automaker is preparing to drop combustion-engine versions of the Up minicar, which would almost certainly mean the gasoline-powered Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo also will disappear.

Daimler, meanwhile, has begun shifting production and development of its Smart brand to China, where the small cars will be built exclusively starting in 2022 as part of a joint venture with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. That decision also puts a question mark over Renault's Twingo minicar, which was developed alongside the current Smart model range.

The fundamental problem? The technology required to meet the new regulations will price small cars out of the market.

"New CO2 rules will require automakers to fit thousands of euros of tech to each car," Max Warburton, an analyst at research and brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein wrote in a report this spring. "Big cars have the price points and margins to cover these costs. Small cars simply do not. These segments may soon be abandoned by many manufacturers."

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https://www.autonews.com/automakers-suppliers/europes-small-cars-endangered-species
 

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Sounds like Europe is plotting to create more CO2 by incenting bigger cars with a lower percentage of CO2 output. Is this correct?

And maybe, just maybe, used small cars may begin to hold their values in the used car market?

Personally, I'm not all that interested in new cars with all of their technology, black boxes, and other tracking features. I'm quite happy with the tech in both of my turn-of-the-millennium Benzes. ('01 SLK230 and '99 C280 Sport).

Cheers,

Kim G
Redding, CA
Where I seem to be turning into an old fogey. Viva the old fogeys!!!
 

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Smoke and mirrors.
Our car parks are set up for small cars.
Europe likewise.
You get fined for parking outside of the bay lines.

Some villages, particularly in Italy and France can only cope with small cars.

These models are at the smaller end of the scale.
 
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