Why are German cars considered so reliable
From the moment that the prospect of buying a first car crosses each individual’s mind, we’re reminded of the message that our grandfathers and the media have drummed into us ever since we were playing with toy cars: if you want a reliable vehicle, go German.
That’s right – we’re never told to support what’s left of the British automobile industry, or to choose a car from the nation across the Channel. Instead we’re told that – if we can afford it – we should always choose to drive an Audi, a BMW or even a car that was borne out of war-struck Germany – a Volkswagen.
But why is this? And are German cars really as reliable as their reputation suggests?
German reliability is associated with much more than just cars. Their public transport is considered amongst the most efficient in the world, and anyone working in a multinational company will surely know of their German counterparts’ efficiency and reliability. But automobiles? Surely a car is a car is a car – aren’t German cars just the same as any other?
The reputation of German car manufacturers for making reliable cars is almost certain to never change. However, there are signs that the tide is finally turning. Consider the evidence: In its 2012 survey, the consumer group Which? singled out the BMW 3 Series convertible as being the car that spends more time in the garage than any other. An anomaly, surely? There’s no way a German car could ever come bottom of such a survey?
But the trend has continued. Only last year, a survey run by a Car Warranty provider highlighted German cars as being among the worst for engine failure – with newspaper sub editors having an absolute field day writing headlines mocking the Germans as a result.
The fact remains, of course, that Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen produce vehicles which, for the most part, are at the higher end of the market. As such, they cost a fair bit more than your average car and you would expect, as a result, to be able to rely on them when you need them. Germany is a very reliable nation when it comes to a number of aspects, such as transport and manufacturing (not to mention being England on penalties, chortle chortle). It seems to me – as someone who is admittedly a big fan of Germany and the Germans, but in no way German himself – that there is a little bit of jealousy on the part of us Brits when it comes to Germany’s superb automobile industry, and who could blame us?
Here’s the facts – Germany is the largest car manufacturer in the EU, closely followed by Spain. Predictable, but you might be surprised by what comes in at third place – and that is Great Britain! Yes, British brands aren’t what they used to be, but the fact that so many car manufacturers from overseas choose to run factories in the UK is telling – and with 4 out of every 5 cars manufactured in the UK exported, perhaps it’s time for us to give some other nations fair consideration when choosing our cars.
published: 28/02/2014 12:06:02