It used to be that subcompacts were the ideal cars for those who didn’t want to drive regular sized car or didn’t want to pay beyond a certain amount for a car. Today they have many choices. Car makers are coming out with new subcompacts that are trendy and meet the needs of a new generation that is fuel conscious and environmentally friendly. Here are some models that are worth considering.
Nissan Versa Sedan comes in hatchback and sedan. Except for the new option package, 2012 hatchback remains the same as last year. On the other hand, the Sedan has restyled sheet metal and a new platform. The power train has been revamped to a more powerful 1.6-liter engine. It is more stylish than the last year model and claimed to have more headroom, trunk space and more legroom for rear-seats. It is available in 5-speed manual transmission with a city/highway mpg of 30/38. The MSRP ranges from $11,770 for basic to $16,340.
Chevy Sonic Hatchback is built in America and comes with a superior high strength steel platform. New car has been refined to cut street noise and for a smoother ride. It has a 1.4-liter engine and comes in 6-speed manual and automatic.
An excess capacity at European car makers is causing concerns for smaller manufacturers in the region. By various estimates, there will be about two million over capacity of vehicles in 2012. This is a huge problem for smaller car manufacturers such as Italy’s Fiat, PSA Peugeot Citroen and France’s Renault which are fighting to close marginal manufacturing plants in Europe. However, this is not a problem for larger manufacturers such as BMW, VW and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz which are selling more cars outside Europe mainly in the U.S. and China. Larger manufacturers who are running at almost full capacity are resisting closure of marginal plants.
When a company can close down a factory that is making a marginal profit or no profit at all, why smaller companies are fighting with the European Union to close marginal factories? It is because they are concerned about the political ramification of such closures. Politicians in individual countries are reluctant to close even a marginal factory due to very fragile job markets. On the other hand, smaller car makers are just entering the lucrative markets such as the U.S. and China and don’t enjoy the same sales volumes enjoyed by the big car makers. So, the fight to close factories in Europe continues.