The latest strategy adopted by Ford and GM of bringing smaller fuel efficient cars to the market are a sign that high fuel prices are here to stay. Europe has had a headstart in adopting more efficient transportation methods as compared to the US and has typically had much higher gas prices than the US for several years. GM's been marketing Korean made cars as its own in Europe. Ford sports several compact and small cars models in Europe that have yet to be launched in the US.
Overall, when looking at traffic in Europe, you see the absence of SUVs and other gas guzzlers favored in the US. Today, US roads have a larger percentage of compacts and sub-compact automobiles than ever before but its still going to be a few years for a change in the overall thought process of buying automobiles. Higher oil prices should speed up this change.
Here are a few street shots from Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid