The car lighting industry in America is very much not what it was in the past. For a very long time, the North American approach to vehicle lighting was to treat it as a commodity. Headlamps of standard size, shape, and construction were required on all vehicles for over four decades. Even after that constraint was struck down in the early 1980s, car lights continued to be viewed as a commodity; most research and development focused on cost reduction rather than technical advancement, and North American makers tended to be followers, doing "me-too" work with the least costly fruits of European innovation. That meant American drivers didn't enjoy the same level or pace of technical and technological improvement in their car lights, but it also meant European and Asian automakers viewed themselves, with fair justification, as being out of the league of the American vehicle lighting industry.