There are more rules for cars in the American automotive world than any other. This has caused us to be without some of the brands that come from around the world.
You might feel that you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to the vehicles you can drive, but the fact is, there are more cars out there that just don’t adhere to the regulatory guidelines we have in the US. Let’s take a look at ten brands that are great but you simply can’t have right now.
One of the most amazing bands in Europe is the Alpine brand and its one that allows you to find some incredibly-tuned models that can give you the power and performance that will blow your mind. The Alpine A110 Berlinette offers classic European design as a car that has taken the checkered flag in many races. Alpine was founded in the 1950s by a Renault race driver to offer the dynamic drive and power desired on the track while bringing it to the roads that we drive every day.
Every car company wants to have vehicles that can be considered iconic and Citroen has two of them. The 2CV which was the “people’s car” and the DS, gave us many features that are still options on models that we see in the market today. There may not be models in the market from the brand, but its still a distinct brand that we admire. Citroen has been around since the 1940s and it continues to be part of the Peugeot family. We haven’t seen a Citroen car sold in the US since the 1970s; sad for us.
Dacia is a brand that’s featured in one of the most popular video games in the market, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG. The small Dacia sedans litter the landscape in this game. The Dacia brand was founded in Romania in the 1960s with an agreement to build Renault sedans under license. Renault took over Dacia in 2003 and has been offering the Duster crossover SUV for several years. The Dacia Duster SUV is a vehicle that you might want to drive but can’t.
A brand that you’ve heard of and might see on some vehicles on the road is the Datsun name. Why then is this brand on this list? The Datsun brand was used for the Nissan vehicles in the 1960s to give us the 510 sedans, 620 pickup trucks, and the iconic 240/260/280Z sports coupes. This brand was phased out in the middle of the 1980s but is back as a brand selling small sedans, hatchbacks, and crossovers in India, Indonesia, and Russia. We can’t get a new Datsun in the US right now.
You might not think of Lada as an“amazing” brand, but it is one that’s been around a long time and a brand we can’t get in the US. There are tons of small Lada sedans around Russia but the model that gave us something to enjoy is the Lada Niva. This 4WD SUV was developed with Renault in the middle of the 1970s to give us a great off-road SUV to get things done. Although Lada is a brand many of us scoff at, this SUV is one of the most reliable offered.
Lancia has a strong and proud history of capturing world-champion rally performances with the Stratos and Delta models. We used to be able to enjoy a Lancia model in the US, but this brand left North America in 1982 and hasn’t returned. The Lancia brand does fall under the FCA umbrella but very few of the Lancia models are sold outside Italy right now. You could find a Thema sedan or a supermini car called the Ypsilon with the Lancia badges in Europe.
We’ve admired the MG name for a long time including the T-series since the 1950s. Eventually, the MGB and Midget took over and were part of the foundation of the modern sports car market in the US. Unfortunately, the MG brand was no longer offered in the US after 1980 because of the rising cost of American regulation. Today, MGis owned by China’s SAIC and models that wear the badge are sports-car themed hatchbacks and crossovers that are offered in several countries; just not ours.
For many years, the Opel brand was part of the GM family in Europe. This brand is best known for the compact cars that were developed for the Buick brand in the 1960s and 1970s. Eventually, the Opel team came up with a sporty GT coupe which is a car that we loved to see and drive. The last Opel-badged car in the US was sold in 1980. This brand is now part of Peugeot and doesn’t seem to be destined to make its way back to the US.
Skoda is a brand that comes from the Czech Republic and it happens to be one of the only car companies in the country to survive and innovate during the oppression of the economic and political turmoil of the country. One car that came out of the Skoda brand is the 110R coupe of the 1970s. In 1987, Skoda worked with Porsche to create the Bertone and the Favorit, giving us a pair of cars we love to see. Today, Skoda is part of the VW Group line of brands, but still not offered in the US.
Most of the brands listed are on this list because of their focus on automobile production and development. Tata is the brand in South Asia that offers a bit of everything with interests in aerospace, telecommunications, hospitality, along with food and beverages. The Tata Nano minicar was designed and offered in 2008 to give us an inexpensive model that you could drive, but it isn’t offered in the US at all. Currently, Tata owns Jaguar and Land Rover, which it bought from Ford in 2008 during the last recession.