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American Owned Car Makers Show European Flair at Detroit Auto Show

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Detroit January 12, 2010; The AIADA newsletter reported that after three decades of looking to Asia for automotive ideas and integrity, the American market is pirouetting toward Europe for inspiration.

According to USA Today, the about-face is driven by Europe's emphasis on smaller vehicles powered by smaller engines that emit little yet make big power. The cars also often manage to combine refinement and driving fun.

Automakers believe such a vehicle formula now will appeal to a profit-generating number of U.S. car buyers. Examples of such coming models are seen throughout Detroit's Cobo Center at the North American International Auto Show.

"Europe is five years — I don't want to say ahead of us, but every car you see" at big European auto shows trumpets low greenhouse-gas emissions, often more boldly than horsepower or price, says John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.

But perhaps no company is so committed to a salute to Europe as Ford Motor. For decades at its European headquarters on Henry Ford Street in Cologne, Ford has designed and developed models that have been rated highly by critics, valued by buyers, embraced by driving enthusiasts — and not sold in the U.S.

Click here for a gallery of European design-inspired vehicles at the Detroit auto show.

For full coverage of Europe’s influence on vehicle design and engineering, Click Here.