Charlee Smith said he sees Toyota Motor Corp.
's Camry and Honda Motor Co.'s Accord all over California and their styling makes him think "appliance." To stand out, he picked a gas-electric hybrid with a grille that evokes British sports cars, buying a Ford Motor Co. Fusion.
"I know it's an ego or a vanity thing, but I'll admit: I like it when people turn their head," said Smith, 63, who works for an adhesive manufacturer between Los Angeles and San Jose. The Fusion "has proven to be everything I wanted in a car."
Americans are snapping up U.S. cars spanning from Chrysler Group LLC's Dodge value brand to General Motors Co.'s Cadillac luxury line, highlighting the newfound breadth of offerings in the automakers' showrooms.