Renault 4CVIt was the first French car to sell over a million units.
My automobile collection: www.deviantart.com/organicvisi…
Okay that's a good point! So I was chronological wrong, sorry.
But I think it's fair to say, that both Renault cars, the 4CV and the R4 were the main concurrent to the Citroën 2CV and aimed for the same clients. And the R4 followed the same philosophy as the 2CV: Simplicity and lightweight.
European towns and villages often has very small roads which goes back to medevial times. You really don't want to drive there with an US street cruiser! And of course to find a place to park it would be even more painful. Another reason are the much higher gas prices in Europe. So smaller, lighter cars are much more budget friendly as an huge american car.