To speak comparatively, this is funnier than a Steve Martin essay: the 1991-1996 Ford Escort.
The US Ford Escort here occupied showrooms from 1991 to 1996. The EU versions straddled this: 1986 to 1992 and 1990 to 1997 (there’s a year when Ford sold all three). In order to see the redundancy of this consider the dimensions. I’ll do them as US first then EU and compare the 1990-1997 Escort (EU). Length: 4318 mm/4036 mm; Width: 1694 mm/ 1692 mm; Height: 1334 mm/ 1395 mm. The US car has a 2499 mm wheelbase and the EU car a 2525 mm wheelbase.
Not the same, I admit, but not very much not the same. The EU model even rolled off production lines in South America. The US car emerged from plants in Michigan and Mexico. Conceivably NAFTA had as much to do with this arrangement as anything resembling engineering and marketing considerations.
American cars in Europe (this one lives in Basel, Switzerland) are usually unlike anything the Europeans make so one understands the appeal. Quite why one might want a slightly distended US Escort instead of the Mazda 323 it shared bits with is anyone’s guess. My theory is that a US family brought it when one of them was working for one of the many international corporations based in Basel.
Still, did they imagine it might be hard to buy a smallish FWD hatchback on this side of the Atlantic?