>Fiat reintroduces itself to U.S. with 500 model – USATODAY.com

>Fiat reintroduces itself to U.S. with 500 model – USATODAY.com: “

I completely understand why Americans are so reticent to divest themselves of large cars and trucks. Our country has been built on individuality, on attempting to keep governments in check, individual freedoms, being able to set our own course. How dare anyone come and interfere with my Life, we say.

Selfish, yes, and to make ourselves feel better about our own selfish nature we donate money. Some of us actually do have a benevolent nature, altruistic, and good-hearted.

Americans do not really look around the world to see how others are living. They (we) give lip service, suggesting that we do understand, but by-and-large, we don’t. Americans do not travel abroad as much as we should, not when compared to other people, Germans, Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans.

Our natural barriers, called the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, have historically provided an impediment to travel. Not only a barrier for travel, but also a barrier for attack. The United States has not had any significant foreign-based assault upon its borders in its history, chiefly as a result of the great distances any invading force would have to cross to get here.

We have become spoiled and ignorant, and soft.

We now do not want small fuel-efficient cars or trucks. We do not want our government telling us, or encouraging us, to better use natural resources. We, meaning consumers, will not make choices that use natural resources in efficient ways. Therefore, the Federal Government has to step in and help us change our ways.

And to help us change our ways, Fiat gets to sell cars in the United States, through Chrysler (who is being run by Fiat.)

The Fiat 500 is already popular in Europe. United States highway mileage comes in at 38mpg, and starts for about $17,000. That price point puts it a little higher than that of its rivals that already have a market presence in the United States, the Honda Fit, the Chevy Aveo, the Toyota Yaris, or the Volkswagon Beetle.

Automakers have to make adjustments to cars sold in the U.S. market. We like to have large beverages at hand, so drink holders large enough to hold a Super Big Gulp are necessary. We need larger gas tanks because we drive long distances. We get more insulation to buffer against noise, and a softer suspension.

American carmakers often have issues in foreign markets. Our carmakers tend not to make adjustments to their cars. Europeans like to have stiffer suspensions; they handle more like sport cars. The British want steering wheels on the opposite side of the dash. The Europeans like different color schemes, and smaller cars. Parking space is tight in most European countries.

Hopefully, though, Fiat will have a better time of selling vehicles than their previous efforts of three decades ago. While Fiat is an Italian carmaker, the engines for the Fiat 500 are made in the United States, and the car is assembled in Mexico.

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