The glamour of the car is fading in Germany, home of so many iconic car marques - BMW, Audi, Porsche ... According to this article the car is losing its prestige while gaining rivals and only has its makers to blame. But that doesn't have to be true for small cars or for energy efficient electric vehicles. 'People in most circles are no longer impressed by a Porsche,' says Alfred Kuss of Berlin's Free University, and that goes particularly for the young who go for status-neutral, solid, small cars - or none at all - as confirmed by sales figures. Small cars increasingly have similar equipment to luxury cars and for many people that's enough.
The new credo - 'there's something to be gained from waiving' - is gaining traction in Germany where the option of not buying a car is becoming acceptable. Surveys apparently show that a fashionable bathroom is now hotter than a new car. Taking the view that you have to be in love to buy something on credit and not count the pennies, many German people clearly love their holidays, clothes, health foods and bathrooms, but not cars.
Could it be that car makers have not taken enough interest in their customers' wishes and put too little emphasis on sustainability? After all climate protection is a big issue in Germany and continuous emphasis on horsepower by engineers who have grown up on combustion engines is now risky for car makers.
The advice for carmakers is carmakers to 'build sustainable engines with reduced emission levels, influence road construction on a political level and make innovative cars as indispensable for young people as a smartphone.' So doesn't an electric car with great in-buit technology fit that brief? Absolutely, and I just wish they'd get on with it faster.