The automobiles of French and Japanese make were smaller, more fuel efficient as well as more stylish yet cheaper than those manufactured by the big three US automobile manufactures. As a result the consumers opted for purchasing the imported cars instead of those manufactured by the Unites States manufacturers. The recession of the 1970s also further reduced the disposal income and the propensity to save for the people in the United States which made purchasing the imported European and Japanese models of automobiles much more attractive to the consumers instead of opting for those models manufactured by the big three US automobile manufacturers.
In the same period the perception of the consumers also significantly changed as was marked by the baby boomer generation and the hippy era. In this period, the consumer became more aware of the environment, the increasing pollution and the contribution that automobiles made towards adding to the pollution levels. As a result the consumers started to look for cheaper alternatives of travel and those which were more environmental friendly that the vehicles manufactured by the big three US automobile manufacturers.