Today, Germany is still known as the country of premium cars and car culture.
In 2016 over half of the passenger vehicles destined for Europe and two thirds of all the luxury cars sold worldwide were German. But why?
Something other than agriculture.
Back in the 19th Century, countries like Britain and France were embracing mechanisation for agriculture. Complex inheritance laws in Germany however, were making agriculture unprofitable for farming families.
Future generations of mechanical engineers began to put agriculture aside, instead looking to channel their talents in more creative directions.
By 1886, Dr Carl Benz, a mechanical engineer from Mannheim had invented the world’s first automobile but, for a number of reasons, nobody wanted to buy it.
As the story goes, a few years later in 1888 his wife Bertha Benz famously ‘borrowed’ her husband’s prototype. The 194km round-trip drive was a last ditch attempt to prove to him that the petrol-powered horseless coach was suitable for daily use. This gave Benz the encouragement he needed, and after a lot of hard work his horseless coach soon became a huge success, jumpstarting the era of the automobile.
If it hadn’t been for Bertha, this now mass-market, essential means of transport may have been relegated to the history books.
Bertha Benz and her two sons set out on the world’s first road trip. (Credit: Hi-Story/Alamy)
‘Leidenschaft’ and ‘Detailverliebtheit’.
Part of Germany’s success also comes from cultural qualities such as Leidenschaft (passionate fervour) and Detailverliebtheit (attention to detail).
Add into this mix a strong competition between rival German manufacturers, ingenuity and an industrious attitude and one can soon see why the Germans tend to build exceptionally good motor cars!
Pride and tradition.
German people share a pride for their country’s automotive history and tradition. Their passion for cars, whether it’s making them, improving them or simply driving them, the enjoyment is entire.
Germany also has a well-built road infrastructure with efficient Autobahns and secondary carriageways, jetting through a landscape that seems tailor-made for road tripping and enjoyment of the drive.
In Germany, it’s seems everything is catered for the motorist and in return their love for the automobile shines through!