Why Are Imports so Popular in the U.S.?

What Caused The Imports Too Takeover The U.S. Market?

Import cars are very popular in the U.S. despite the Big Three American automakers having previously dominated the market. Have you ever wondered how this came to be the case? What happened that caused a surge in import popularity?

Before the “Import Invasion”

Before the 1970s, the Big Three (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) were immensely popular in the U.S. market. They made bigger cars than foreign manufacturers, which was exactly what American buyers wanted.

Some European manufacturers had made some inroads including Austin Healy, Volkswagen, Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes. However, only a trickle of foreign cars was making it to the U.S., most of which were higher-priced, luxury vehicles.

The 1970s Gas Crisis

In the 1970s, oil shortages shook the world. The most significant were in 1973 and 1979. The skyrocketing prices of gas made the large, American cars with their inefficient motors impractical to own.
Suddenly, Japanese automakers had something that Americans wanted: small, efficient, and reliable cars. They were practical to use even with the high gas practices. Additionally, American brands had a reputation for poor quality. The import car repair bills were significantly more manageable.

Additionally, in the late 1960s and 1970s, the Volkswagen Beetle started to gain popularity. It had already been in the U.S., but a few successful advertising campaigns caused demand to increase rapidly. This helped to bring more accessible European imports to the masses.
Manufacturing in the U.S.

Starting in the 1980s, many foreign automakers built factories in the U.S. today, if you buy an “import” car, chances are it was made in North America. Toyota sometimes imports American-built cars to Japan.

The top automakers today are surprisingly consistent on quality and fuel economy. Certainly, some models are better made than others. However, American brands are easily able to compete in areas where they previously lagged. However, the impact of the Japanese invasion in the 1970s continues to be felt today.

Get Your Import Repairs and Servicing

If you need import auto repair and maintenance in the Englewood, CO area, come to Toy-Auto Masters. We can help you with all your Japanese auto needs. Visit us at our convenient South Broadway location or schedule an appointment online today.

By on February 12th, 2020 in Import Auto Repair