Automakers will never develop a car that can sell equally well in all global markets, says German supplier Robert Bosch.
Bosch will continue to develop components for vehicles that have regional differences, said Bernd Bohr, head of Bosch's automotive division.
"There's no such thing as a world car," Bohr told a Paris conference co-sponsored by J.D. Power and Associates and Automotive News Europe.
Markets are far too different for a single design to work everywhere, he said. Just the top three developed-country markets -- Europe, North America and Japan -- have wide differences that affect design, Bohr said.
Fuel costs are far lower in the US than in Europe and Japan, which is why small cars are the dominant vehicle segments there while the US prefers SUVs.
In addition, regulatory emphasis is focused on CO2 emissions in Europe, safety in Japan and corporate fuel economy averages in the US.
Automakers' powertrain development is centered on diesels in Europe, gasoline engines in North America and hybrids in Japan.
Even the primary buyer motivations vary by market, Bohr said: cost in the US, tradition in Europe and quality in Japan.