Western Europe: Almost Like Detroit


In Italy, Fiat Chairman Vittorio Valletta calls it "un certo snobismo"—a touch of snobbism. Other European auto executives describe it in terms of sophistication or selectivity. Whatever words they use, all agree that their business is being reshaped by a significant switch: in size and tempo, Europe's auto market is following the American way. Not only are Europeans buying more cars, but they are moving up to larger, costlier, more powerful models. Says John Andrews, Detroit-trained president of West Germany's Ford Taunus: "A few years ago, Europeans were primarily interested...

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