German automotive engineering has had an indelible impact on the car industry, in such a way that even the average non-driver could recognise a Mercedes, BMW or Audi from 20 paces. Their popularity in the UK and in wider Europe can be attributed to a number of reasons, that trace back to the early days of motoring and look ahead to the future. Here is how German cars continue to appeal to this day.
German Cars and History
In talking about German automotive manufacturers, we are also inevitably talking about the history of automotive transport. Early powered vehicles were in development in both Europe and the US, while inventors of many different stripes sought to contain the explosive power of petroleum. It was Karl Benz, though, that made it to the patent office first with an internal combustion engine design that would pave the way for one of the most influential manufacturers in the industry: Mercedes-Benz.
Germany Manufacturers and Racing
As the internal combustion engine took hold over early iterations of electric vehicle, mass-manufacturing began on both sides of the Atlantic – and with popularity, sport would soon follow. Early Benz and Daimler vehicles participated in the first motorsports events, cross-country affairs in France that were designed to raise the profile of automotive engineering. By 1922, Grand Prix racing had been formally instituted, with BMW a formidable presence on the track.
Today, Germany remains a powerful force in racing. It is home to one of the most famous racing tracks on the planet: the Nürburgring, a 14-mile loop first constructed in the 1920s, and part of which is regularly used in F1 circulation. Further to that, Mercedes-Benz has been a regular fixture in contemporary motorsports, with an F1 team that has won seven championships in as many years. Their continued success on the track maintains their glowing reputation off-track.
Of course, Mercedes’ reputation on the circuit is only part of the equation. Not only are German vehicles renowned for precision engineering under the hood, but also for their luxurious style and interior. German vehicles ooze ‘executive’, with trim seats and sleek consoles that lend themselves well to marketing. Used Mercedes are popular on second-hand markets owing to their luxurious stature, on top of long-term reliability and affordability.
In today’s world, German manufacturers remain at the top of their game. Even with competition on every continent and at every price point, name recognition and a continued commitment to quality engineering has enabled the likes of Audi and BMW to foster a dedicated consumer base. Not only this, but the manufacturers’ heavy investment in research and development has placed them at the front lines of the automotive industry’s next leap: electric vehicles.