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Car Brands That Never Made It to America

In America, we're used to classic automobile manufacturer names like Ford and Chevrolet. However, there's a world of car brands that most Americans never get to see...

America, if nothing else, is a country that's exceptionally choosy about their cars. We have some of the highest standards when it comes to everything, from safety to emissions to actual luxury amenities. That's why we have so many people who drive Mercedes-Benzes, Chevrolets, and Maseratis. 

Our country is known for loving exotic cars, especially those that are manufactured abroad. However, not all car brands end up making it to the United States market. Check out these unique brands that never quite made it stateside, for one reason or another. 

Geely (China)

Geely, which translates to "lucky" in Mandarin, currently rests as China's most popular car brand. The brand's known for having plenty of amenities, nice design, and low prices. The cars themselves don't look that bad, and in China, they're actually known as a fairly reliable car. 

So, you're probably wondering why this is one of the car brands that never made it to the United States. The answer is that it couldn't compare safety-wise to what we consider the most reliable car brands here in America; in fact, it failed every single crash test it was ever put through. Basically, Geely cars are considered to be too unsafe for American standards—and as such, have been banned for sale stateside. 

Geely is expected to step up standards on safety, and when they do, it will likely become a popular brand in the United States. 

Hindustan Motors (India)

Hindustan Motors is one of India's largest budget car brands and has been in business for over 70 years. Currently, they produce only two vehicles—the Ambassador and the Winner. The Winner is an industrial truck, and the Ambassador is a taxi-like car that has become famous in Asia. 

It's unclear what the emissions tests are like, but the Ambassador remained one of the best taxi cars in the world according to the BBC in 2018. The reason they never made it stateside is probably because Americans don't typically want to drive taxis. 

Daewoo (South Korea)

This South Korean brand is one that a lot of gearheads may have heard about, but never witnessed. Daewoo was known for being decently popular across Asia, Africa, and parts of Eastern Europe. 

The brand offered a variety of different cars ranging from family-friendly sedans, to buses, to more luxurious lines as well. However, a number of quality-related issues caused Daewoo to shut down before they could ever make it to America. 

Sadly, this is now one of many car brands that no longer exist. Why? Well, there are lots of reasons. But still, it makes you wish you could drive one, doesn't it? 

Italdesign (Italy)

If you thought all the car brands on this list would be budget bummers, then you need to think again. Makers of some of the most expensive cars in the world, Italian supercar manufacturer Italdesign is one of the many car brands that hasn't made it to the states quite yet—and trust us, it's not due to a quality problem. 

Italdesign is known as a sports car and supercar manufacturer. The reason why they haven't made it to America is simple: they're that exclusive. Some of their cars, such as the Zerouno, have only been built in batches of FIVE units per run. 

Not 500. Just five. 

Kantanka (Ghana)

Ghana's Kantanka is one of the few car brands that has managed to gain a (rightful) reputation for being able to survive anything. Rugged yet luxurious in their own quirky way, Kantanka has become somewhat of a legend in Africa because of their excellent rapport with media outlets and sturdy build. 

Kantanka is currently working with non-profits to help revive and invigorate Ghana's economy. They are also a leading manufacturer on Africa's continent and have been selling cars and trucks like hotcakes. 

That being said, the reason why Kantanka hasn't quite made it stateside is mostly because they haven't quite gotten the rep among Americans yet. 

Give it time, folks, give it time. 

Daihatsu (Japan)

Okay, admittedly, Daihatsu was sold stateside for a short time. However, what Daihatsu has become is so far away from what it was in the 80s and 90s, it's unfair to actually say that it's the same company anymore. This is one of the oldest Japanese car brands in the world—and it's way different from what you remember. 

In Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Daihatsu has become known as the brand for spacious vans, massive (but amenity-filled) SUVs, and major trucks. They even have an entire line devoted to wheelchair-accessible vehicles. 

To date, there are more Daihatsu cars being made and sold than there are Mitsubishis. They're considered to be one of the most reliable car brands in Japan. Can we please bring this brand back to the United States? 

Automobile Dacia (Romania)

Dacia is a car manufacturer based out of Romania. It's known for being low-budget, relatively reliable, and for having three-star crash ratings on most of its newest vehicles. Around Eastern Europe, Dacia is one of the more popular go-to car brands for people looking for a budget buy. 

The problem with Dacia is its demand. Americans aren't demanding more cars like the ones that Dacia has made. As a result, Dacia probably won't be heading to the US anytime soon.  

Pyeonghwa Motors (North Korea)

If ever there was a company that had a shady background, it's Pyeonghwa Motors. This is one of the only car brands to have ties to a church (the "Moonies" church), and also is the only car brand allowed to advertise in North Korea. 

Uh, we don't really need to say why Pyeonghwa Motors isn't allowed in the US, right? They produce around 10,000 units per year—allegedly. 

Tata Motors (India)

Tata Motors is a name that people throughout India, China, Singapore, and large swaths of the Middle East would instantly recognize. They are known for having sturdy trucks, SUVs, sedans, hatchbacks, and in the past, a couple of sports cars, too. Saying that Tata is one of the largest car brands is an understatement; they're downright massive. 

In the past, Tata Motors had a little bit of headway into the United States. However, due to emissions issues, quality issues, and a lack of demand, the US portion of Tata never took off. Nowadays, the only branch we have of this brand is in defense. 

Recently, Tata announced that they would consider selling the Tata Micro in the US for around $5,000 brand new. However, that still hasn't quite come to fruition yet. Maybe in the future? 


W-Motors is a name that many supercar fans might recognize. They made one of the fastest supercars in recent history: the Lykan HyperSport. Based out of Lebanon, this is one of the only ultra luxury car brands you'll see to never really make it to the US. 

The reason why? Well, like Italdesign, it's just really hard to get your hands on one of these babies. So, if you're in Saudi Arabia or Lebanon, you might want to give a W-Motors car a test drive. 

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