Front wheel drive is MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper to produce - no drive train, no rear diffs etc. + the whole thing, engine, gearbox and drive train drops in, in one lump during the manufacturing process saving time and more money.
Also there is much less energy lost from engine to wheels by eliminating the rearwheel drive train and heavy diff (this also sees a massive decrease in weight).
Also front wheel drive is much safer in the wet.
Also front wheel drive is driveable in the snow (You don't end up turning the car round 180 if you apply a little too much gas).
Also front wheel drive (usually) is much better for tyre wear.
That's why most cars produced outside of america are front wheel drive.
However, rearwheelers are built for the likes of me - people who love to drive and drive hard but still be in control, who like to use the power of the car to drive through bends instead of having to lift off and just drive out of them. Were a different breed to the people who just buy a car for transport from a to b.