Is there still a market for small, basic, economical cars?

We bought our 1998 Fiat Panda 0.9-litre for 1400 Euros six years ago. It has now covered over 150,000km, and we have done 54,000km of those. It will comfortably cruise at 70 mph on a motorway. It is running on a seven-year-old battery and original clutch and discs, and starts first time even after being left out for three months on an open driveway each winter. It does over 50mpg, uses absolutely no oil, is very reliable, acceptably comfortable, cheap as chips to run and both Fiat and aftermarket spares are very cheap and plentiful. I am sure that there must be a market for such vehicles, if it's still possible to legally build such a car within current European legislation.
I’ve also done thousands of miles in Mk1 Pandas. But now the cheapest, simplest, Euro Type-Approved cars are the Nissan Pixo and Suzuki Alto, which are built in India and are often on offer for £6000.

Fiat tried to come up with a super-cheap, super-simple, 2CV-like car called the Ecobasic, but it did not meet crash legislation. Its two-cylinder engine lives on in the 500 TwinAir, Panda TwinAir, Mito TwinAir and Punto TwinAir. The Tata Nano doesn’t seem to have made it to Europe yet.
Answered by Honest John on

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