General Motors

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Economy car

Knowledge Identifier: $Economy_car


Economy car

Economy caradd

Category: Business (14)

Launched in 1950.

Countries: Japan (20%), France (13%), Italy (11%)

Main connections: Fiat, Renault, Volkswagen

Linked to: British Motor Corporation, Mini, Fiat, Renault




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During this time, the American auto manufacturers would introduce smaller cars of their own, in 1950 Nash Motors introduced the Rambler designed to be smaller than contemporary cars, yet still accommodate five passengers comfortably add something


In the late 1950s the DDR German Democratic Republic produced its 'peoples car' add something


It used lots of miniaturised late 1950s American-influenced styling, including a sweeping nose line, and on deluxe versions, a full-width slanted chrome grille in between prominent "eye" headlamps, the car sported a backward-slanted rear window and tailfins add something


It was underpowered for the long distance roads of the U.S. and especially the freeways that were starting to spread across the country in the 1950s add something


Later on, Toyota revisited the economic principles exemplified by the Beetle when designing the 1950s successors to the SA and the later Publica and Corolla add something


Meanwhile, from the 1950s Abarth tuned Fiats and Gordini tuned Renaults did the same in Italy and France add something


Next in the 1950 British Ford Consul and Zephyr , which owed more to the Cadet than just the MacPherson strut suspension, and caused a sensation when they were launched add something


The Nano, like the 1950s Fiat 500, has a rear engine and was styled by Italians add something


The Twingo and Cinquecento relaunched the city car market in Europe, for decades the only competitors in this market were the Austin Mini and the Polish built Fiat 126, that had been developed from the 1950s Fiat 500 add something


This failure on the U.S. market in the late 1950s, may have harmed the acceptance of small cars generally in America add something


The styling of 1951 Crosley Super Sport is very similar to the 1958 Frogeye/Bugeye Austin-Healey Sprite add something


In 1953, in Japan Hino entered the private car market, by manufacturing the Renault 4CV under licence add something


When it was relaunched in 1954 it featured a one-piece top-hinged tailgate add something


Fiat had launched the larger 1955 Fiat 600 with a similar layout but with a water-cooled in-line four-cylinder engine, it even had a six-seater people carrier / MPV / mini-van version called the 'Multipla', even though it was about the same size as a modern supermini add something


It wasn't until the 1955 change to 360 cc as the upper limit for two-strokes as well as four-strokes that the class really began taking off, with cars from Suzuki Suzulight and Subaru 360, finally able to fill people's need for basic transportation without being too severely compromised add something


In 1957, Fiat in Italy launched the 479 cc 'Nuovo' Fiat 500 designed by Dante Giacosa add something


Also in 1959 the FR layout DAF 600, with a rear-mounted automatic gearbox, was launched in the Netherlands add something


The first British Motorway did not open until 1959 add something


The next major advance in small car design was the 1959 848 cc FF layout Austin Mini from the British Motor Corporation, designed by Alec Issigonis as a response to the first oil crisis, the 1956 Suez Crisis, and the boom in bubble cars and Microcars that followed add something


Also in that year, Ford of Europe launched their first front-wheel-drive small car, the Ford Fiesta, having gained experience from the Ford of Germany 1960s European mid sized Ford Taunus P4 and Ford of Brazil Ford Corcel add something


By the 1960s a new wave of front-wheel-drive cars with all independent suspension had been launched add something


Chrysler having taken control of Simca in the 1960s, as part of expansion plans to match GM and Ford, turned to their French subsidiary, when they needed to launch an American made sub-compact, to comply with federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations that were being introduced starting with the 1978 model year cars add something


Citroen responded with the 2CV-based 1960 602 cc Citroën Ami and hatchback 1967 Citroën Dyane add something


Customised versions were made by coach-builders like Harold Radford, and were very popular with the rich and famous of 1960s London add something


From the end of the 1960s Keicars switched to front-engined, front-wheel-drive FF layout add something


In the 1960s the semi-monocoque/platform chassis 750 cc Renault 4 was launched in France add something


In the U.S. market, 1960 brought the Chevrolet Corvair, Ford Falcon, and Plymouth Valiant into the market segment dominated by Rambler add something


It was for most of the 1960s, the top selling car in Britain, and was sold until the mid-1970s add something


The 1960s Toyota Corolla, Datsun Sunny refined the conventional small rear-wheel-drive economy cars were widely exported from Japan as postwar international competition and trade increased add something


The CVT was continued through the 1960s and 1970s by DAF with the DAF Daffodil, DAF 33, DAF 44, DAF 46, DAF 66, and later by Volvo after they merged with the Volvo 340 add something


The first 1960s air-cooled two-stroke in-line twin-engined generation of the 360 cc Keicar class - the 1958 Subaru 360, Mitsubishi 360 1961, Mazda Carol 1962, Daihatsu Fellow 1966, Honda N360 and the Suzuki Fronte 1967 along with the non Keicar, Renault based Hino Motors 4CV was replaced by the 1961 Contessa - Japan add something


The introduction of newly available computers for structural analysis from the 1960s, with computers like the IBM 360, the thickness of sheet metal in bodyshells was reduced to the minimum needed for structural integrity add something


The launch in the 1960s of the Mini Cooper to exploit the exceptional grip and handling of the Austin Mini, along with its success in rallying, and circuit racing, first showed that economy cars could be effective sports cars add something


The sales of imported economy cars had continued to rise from the 1960s add something


In 1962 Chevrolet introduced the Chevy II line of conventional compacts first offered with 4- and six-cylinder engines add something


In 1962 Fiat introduced the third generation FR layout Fiat 1100, called the 1100D. It was restyled into the 1100R from 1966 add something


From 1964 a Jeep like version , of the Mini, the Mini Moke was popular with the King's Road / Carnaby Street, Swinging London set add something


In 1964 Fiat under the engineering leadership of Dante Giacosa designed the first car with a transverse engine and an end on gearbox and a hatchback - the Autobianchi Primula, It had Pininfarina styling that bore a resemblance to the Austin 1100 add something


The Corvair Monza was followed by the Ford Mustang, introduced in 1964, establishing the "pony car" class which included Corvair's replacement, the Chevrolet Camaro in 1967, expanding the domestic pony car market segment started in mid-1960s add something


It was built in Italy by & Innocenti as well as in the UK. For 1965 Innocenti designed a new single-piece rear door for their Combinata version of the Countryman add something


Also in France, in 1966 Renault launched the midrange Renault 16 - although it was not an economy car, it is widely recognised as the first non-commercial mass-market hatchback car add something


In 1968 Ford replaced the outmoded Anglia with the Ford Escort which was sold across Western Europe add something


It was sold as the Austin America in the U.S., Canada, and Switzerland between 1968 and 1972 add something


AMC was determined to have the first subcompact offering and 1970 AMC Gremlin sales began six months ahead of the all-new 1971 models from GM and Ford add something


By 1970, Nissan released their first front-wheel-drive car that was originally developed by Prince Motor Company which had merged with Nissan in 1966 add something


By the 1970s the hatchback had become the standard body type for new economy car models add something


Captive imports were the other response by U.S. car makers to the increase in popularity of imported economy cars in the 1970s and 1980s add something


Engine size increased over time; from 1970 it was a still tiny 602 cc add something


It replaced the first & Fiat Panda and the aged rear engined 1970s Fiat 126 add something


It was originally designed to be produced in China at its 1970s level of industrialisation add something


Primula production ceased in 1970, by which time 74,858 had been built add something


The most successful market was the UK. The Escort's success was greatly helped by its numerous rallying successes in the 1970s, and the performance versions that traded on that success, and provided a halo effect for the lesser models add something


This was introduced in 1970 as the Datsun/Nissan Cherry add something


The Chevrolet Vega, introduced in September 1970, was GM's first subcompact, economy car add something


In 1972 Renault introduced the monocoque Renault 5 supermini hatchback, that used the proven and successful Renault 4 mechanicals and suspension add something


In 1972, the Honda Civic was launched, the CVCC Stratified charge engine engine debuted in 1975 and was offered alongside the standard Civic engine add something


Its production surpassed The Ford Model T on February 17, 1972 add something


In 1973 it was named the Premier President add something


In 1973, the Energy Crisis started, which made small fuel efficient cars more desirable, and the North American driver began exchanging their large cars for the smaller, imported compacts that cost less to fill up and were inexpensive to maintain add something


Pontiac's lowest-priced car was a re-badged Vega variant exclusively available in Canada for the 1973-'74 model years, and introduced in the U.S. the following year add something


The 1973 oil crisis , emphasised the importance of fuel economy worldwide, as an increasing proportion of the cost of vehicle operation add something


Ford had sold 2 million Escorts across Europe by 1974 add something


From 1974 onwards until it was finally discontinued in 2000, it was known as the Premier Padmini add something


It had a squarer flatter panel body re-style in 1974 add something


This led to cars such as the 1974 Mk 1 Volkswagen Golf designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, Fiat 128 and 1972 Honda Civic add something


The Chevrolet Chevette was introduced in September 1975 and produced through to 1987 add something


American Motors marketed a version with sealed-beam headlamps and reinforced bumpers as the 'Le Car' in the U.S. from 1976 to 1983 add something


Some previously exotic technology, electronic fuel injection, became affordable, which allowed the production of high-performance hot hatch sport compacts like the 1976 Volkswagen Golf GTI. This car combined economy of use and a practical hatchback body, with the performance and driving fun that kicked off the hot hatchback boom add something


The 1976 Vega had extensive engine and body durability improvements and a five-year/ engine warranty add something


After a three-year sales decline, the Vega and its aluminium engine were discontinued at the end of the 1977 model year add something


The final 1977 models featured the first use of Pontiac's Iron Duke inline-4 engine add something


Chrysler Europe was sold to Peugeot in 1978, due to mounting operating losses in Europe and the U.S. that required a U.S. government bailout add something


It was withdrawn from the European market in 1978 add something


Their first European market front-wheel-drive car, the Vauxhall Astra/Opel Kadett D, Golf-sized car was introduced in 1979 add something


Also in 1980, the third generation Ford Escort was launched changing to front wheel drive from rear wheel drive add something


CVT application to economy cars was pioneered by Fiat, Ford, and Van Doorne in the 1980s add something


In 1980, Fiat introduced the Giugiaro designed Mk 1 Fiat Panda add something


It is an updated version of the 1980s VW 'Formel E' system that was developed into the 1990s VW 'Ecomatic' system add something


They were only sold in mainland Europe, where they were popular into the 1980s , but unknown in the UK. The French 1967 Simca 1100 , the 1969 Fiat 128, and the 1971 Fiat 127 regarded as the first 'super-mini' brought this development to a wider audience add something


In 1982 GM launched their first front-wheel-drive small economy car, the Opel Corsa/Vauxhall Nova in Europe add something


Also in 1983 Peugeot launched the Pininfarina-styled Peugeot 205 add something


In 1983 Fiat launched the next step forward in small car design, the Fiat Uno add something


It was voted Car of the Year in 1984 add something


A total of 2,2 million cars were produced by 1985 add something


It was made until 1985, when it was replaced by the 'Super Cinq' add something


The first car of this kind was a limited success, the 1985 Lancia Y10, because it had been hampered by its poor ride, from being based on the original utilitarian Fiat Panda add something


Since the 1990s, the automotive industry has become extensively globalized, with all major manufacturers being multinational corporations using globally sourced raw materials and components, with a trend for moving assembly to the lowest labour cost countries add something


The 205 was named "Car of the Decade" in the UK, by CAR magazine in 1990 add something


The City car market in Europe from the 1990s has seen increased competition, with the market split between standard and 'designer' city cars that are sold for a premium add something


The 'designer' city car became increasingly popular in Europe in the 1990s add something


This layout gradually superseded the gearbox in the engine's sump of BMC Austin Morris and later Peugeot PSA X engine, until the only car in production with this transmission layout by the 1990s, was the long obsolescent Austin Mini add something


But the real breakthrough in small car design was the 1993 Renault Twingo which was a revolution in styling by being the first 'one box' small car to reach production add something


In 1993, Fiat launched the conservatively styled Fiat Cinquecento add something


The 1993 Renault Twingo and Ford Ka in 1996, marked an upsurge in sales for this niche add something


The niche first emerged in Japan with the 1993 Suzuki Wagon R Keicar class car add something


The Ford Model T was voted Car of the Century on December 18, 1999 in Las Vegas, Nevada add something


This was sold by GM in Europe from 2000 as the Vauxhall/Opel Agila add something


The supermini 2002 Volkswagen Polo Mk4 was longer and wider than the 1970s Volkswagen Golf Mk1 add something


The 2003 Volkswagen Golf Mk5 had put on so much weight, that some models weigh the same as a Volvo 200 Series add something


The Tata Nano launched in January 2008, in India by Tata Motors, may mark the beginning of the return of so-called "people's cars" because of its low announced price - claimed by Tata as the world's cheapest car at add something


The Toyota iQ, designed in France, went on sale in January 2009 in the UK. It is a competitor for the Smart ForTwo but with occasional rear seats add something


In March 2010 at Chennai, the Renault-Nissan Alliance opened a plant to produce 400,000 units per year at full production add something


In 2011, the plant will start production of the Renault Koleos and Fluence, for the Indian market based on the same platform add something


Standard city cars include the Toyota Yaris, Citroën C1/Peugeot 107/Toyota Aygo , Fiat Panda, Kia Picanto, Chevrolet Matiz, Volkswagen Fox, Mitsubishi Colt, Volkswagen Lupo, and 2011 Volkswagen Up add something


The T25 and T27 are expected to be available in 2016 add something