All eyes in the car world are on Frankfurt, Germany, this week as the much-anticipated auto show opens to the media Tuesday. Car sales are strong in Europe again, and American automakers are optimistic about squeezing more money out of that market.
“We are on a growth path right now,” says Frank Biller, auto analyst for the German bank LBBW.
Europe’s tricky, though. The dollar’s strength versus the euro is great for American tourists, but rough for American exporters. Also, high fuel taxes mean European drivers pay way more at the pump.
That means Detroit’s profitable SUVs do much better in Paris, Texas, than Paris, France. That’s why American automakers are pushing crossovers, which combine SUV and car features, offering better fuel economy.