Many countries have had a crack at automotive manufacture. Some are vastly more superior than others. Companies fail and are forgotten. British Leyland is a notable victim of its own failures- ingenious ideas let down by poor execution. Germany is now feeling the effects of a flaw – but one purposely built into the design. Even with Volkswagen’s global troubles, the reputation of Germany should remain more-or-less unaffected.
A History of Quality
Some time when cars started being the next big thing, a collective decision was made for every German product to scream quality. Each make being as reliable as another made the nation’s name itself a byword for high standards. Even the age of a car does not matter. An old Golf is either a well-loved family car or a classic. An Audi is kept running by its build-quality. Mercedes Benz stay in families because of the associated class. BMW managed to retain an air of ‘out there’ design (look at the 3 series from the 80s) to certain models which are still commonplace on modern roads.
With the comfort, reliability and performance comes satisfaction. In a 2014 poll, 7 out of the top 10 most satisfying cars to own were German, voted by British owners. The UK’s love for all cars German is disproportionate. Worldwide, they’re applauded and shipped in. However, more cars are exported to these shores than anywhere else in the world. We crave that pinnacle of engineering
Dedication All Round
It’s not just cars they’re known for. The Volkswagen Transporter van has become more of a fashion statement than commercial vehicle. It’s slightly aggressive styling appeals to young men looking for something that suits their outdoor lifestyle and advertises a level of success.
Mercedes’ dared to rival the Ford Transit and came out with a true rival to Goliath. Sprinters manage to hold on to their value longer, the reputation serving better than a built up legacy.
The Choice for the Professional
Performance aside, German cars look the part. This why companies such as Crown Executive Cars chose Mercedes Benz as their vehicles of choice. It is why the British public abandoned vehicle patriotism and saved up their pennies. It’s why getting a job as a BMW salesman is a solid career path.
When given the option of a company car, there are reasons Audis barely have time to park in the showroom. A delicate balance of performance and relative economy
Nobody is Innocent
Should Volkswagen survive the blow to their profits from the emissions scandal, their reputation in other aspects will survive. Ford managed to come out smiling after a very dangerous with their Pinto and a publicly leaked lack of concern for the consumer.
Though mistakes are documented forever, the reality is that the public memory is short-term. When’s the last time you heard someone chastise a friend about the Vauxhall Astra recall? Cars decided they preferred being on fire. That was a pretty big deal.