How to Stand Out in London
While stumbling through one of the Internet’s many tubes this morning I found a press release from a British company called American Car Imports announcing their plans to bring the Dodge Durango Hybrid to the UK. (I guess if you’re going to drive a big SUV around London you’d better get something that swills a bit less petrol.) Turns out they will gladly ship over any of GM’s Two-Mode hybrid SUVs as well.
What other purely-American vehicles are these folks importing? A check of ACI’s site shows all manner of American muscle like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, Cadillac XLR, and Dodge Viper and Charger. These make sense from a collector or enthusiast standpoint; a big, expensive American sports car is a lot of fun wherever it’s laying down rubber.
There are plenty of non-hybrid SUVs as well, including Cadillac Escalades, Toyota Sequoias, Chevy Suburbans, and Ford Explorers. Got an American-sized job to do? Try a Dodge Ram, Ford F-series, GMC Sierra, or Chevy Silverado – even the “imports” are represented with the Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, and Honda Ridgeline. I have a hard time seeing the value in bringing these guzzlers over, especially when there are great diesel-fueled work vehicles available like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Then again, you always want what you can’t have, bigger is better, the more the merrier, and other clichéd phrases.
But wait, what’s this? They also offer the Ford Taurus, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Chrysler Sebring convertible, Chevy HHR, and Pontiac G6. Who’s paying the extra pounds to import these vehicles? Is someone across the pond really lusting after such mundane people movers? We complain about the lack of little euro sedans and hatches Stateside, but I don’t think anyone’s going to the trouble of federalizing a Ford Mondeo or Fiat Panda. Apparently absence makes the heart grow fonder, or something.