I am in the US and own, for all intents and purposes, a European car. My 1996 Ford Contour differs little from the Mondeo they sold at the time in Europe. So the manufacturers could, and did sell the same car in multiple locations. VW did this with the beetle for ages.
It's a good thing for me too. Because my "ancient" car gets 33+MPG on the highway, is well maintained and in good shape, I wouldn't consider trading it in. Most new cars I've looked aren't nearly as efficient. Even as my maintenance costs rise with the age of the vehicle, I'm still paying less than I would for a new car, even with some freshly printed government credit.
Ford did a great job with that car. If/when I have finally run this car to the end of it's life, I'll be looking for another car that was designed to be sold worldwide. I'll avoid cars that are created to squeak by a single governments restrictions.
Rather than changing the "styling" of their models every year, manufacturers should get lean and efficient. Changes should only be made to advance the state of the art, to improve safety and efficiency. Manufacturers would then cut their costs. Consumers would have to pay less, if they can learn to quit buying based on style. I believe there are environmental benefits to this as well.
That said, Ford should bring back the Mondeo/Contour. VW should make a few improvements to that little air cooled four banger and bring back the beetle.