audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Munich, Germany, to visit BMW’s headquarters for a showcase of the company’s various projects.

This included a presentation on the sustainable materials the automaker is now sourcing for use in its vehicle interiors, a chance to test drive the new CE 04 electric motorbike, and a visit to BMW’s automotive museum.

I also had time to check out the city of Munich itself and was smacked in the face by just how far apart Germany’s car scene is from our own back in South Africa.

Local loyalty

Emerging from the airport, the very first thing you’ll notice is the sheer prevalence of German-made cars from the likes of Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Porsche.

Admittedly, it’s not all that surprising to see a high number of German cars in a German city, but even so, it was interesting that even within the European Union many people stick to vehicles produced within their own countries.

Speaking to the locals, most of whom could speak fluent English, I asked whether there was any sort of tax incentive for buying domestic brands, or whether your typical Audi was cheaper in Germany than it was elsewhere in Europe.

The simple answer, was no. The high number of locally made cars on the streets is patriotism, he said.

audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen

Worlds apart

Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t see cars from other countries and, in Munich at least, the second most prevalent country to feature on the roads was Italy.

Since Munich is located in southern Germany, Italy is not too far away, and the result is a not insignificant number of Fiats, a handful of Alfa Romeos, and even a Ferrari or two parked outside a pavement café.

As a South African, the most noticeable absence I found was the lack of Japanese branded cars, especially from Toyota.

Coming from the dusty winter streets of Johannesburg, it felt unusual to look in every direction without spotting a Toyota Hilux or a Corolla Cross.

In fact, there is a noticeable lack of South Africa’s favourite body types across the board, as SUVs, crossovers, and bakkies account for but a tiny fraction of Munich’s traffic.

Naturally, bakkies don’t lend themselves to high-density urban environments like you’ll find in many European cities, but the relative lack of SUVs was also apparent.

Even the likes of the BMW X and Audi Q models are a somewhat rare occurrence, drowned out by the sea of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes sedans.

audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen

Curiously, one common practice in Germany is that many people de-badge their cars, removing the insignia on the back bumper designating which model they’re driving.

I asked a local about it, who explained, in his words, that there is “a lack of a bragging culture in Germany.”

People don’t feel the need to show off what model they own, and so they remove their badges so that their 7 Series, to the untrained eye, becomes just one of many BMWs on the streets of Munich, he said.

The prevalence of high-value models, meanwhile, is attributed to the living situation in Munich.

Most citizens live in apartments rather than houses and therefore end up spending a large portion of their income on their car, and the result is that the average vehicle in Munich appears to be less than five years old.

Many cars are valued somewhere in the range of a VW Golf GTI or a BMW 3 Series, with one such illustration being the fact that most taxis are a Mercedes-Benz  C-Class – which only becomes available in South Africa from R896,956.

audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen

Electric takeover

Even though the EU’s ban on internal combustion engines is still more than a decade away, the electric revolution is in full swing in Germany.

My transport from the airport to the hotel took the form of a BMW iX, as hybrid and electric vehicles account for a large portion of Munich’s service fleet.

Every road had at least one electric car, too, ranging from Teslas and Polestars to a Volvo XC40, BMW i4, and a Porshe Taycan, and almost every street had a reserved parking and charge bay for EVs.

Other electric options ranged from a Fiat 500e and Peugeot e-208, to the Toyota BZ4X and Cupra Born, none of which are available locally, and electric scooters are available for hire on every block.


A day on the streets of Munich

audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen
audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen
audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen
audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen
audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen
audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen
audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen
audi, bmw, mercedes-benz, volkswagen


TECH NEWS RELATED

6 Reasons the 2023 Honda CR-V Is One You Need to Consider

The 2023 Honda CR-V is the brand-new version of the popular Honda compact SUV, and it’s still as good as ever. In fact, the 2023 model year is the first model year of the sixth generation of the CR-V, and as such, Honda gave it some major updates. Here’s a ...

View more: 6 Reasons the 2023 Honda CR-V Is One You Need to Consider

1967 Holman-Moody Ford Honker II

The Holman & Moody Ford Honker II is part of the forgotten CanAm cars and funny is that everyone actually remembers its sister, the Ford F3L or P68 that was seen racing on the other side of the globe, in Europe during 1968 and 1969. Both cars were actually ...

View more: 1967 Holman-Moody Ford Honker II

1951 Allard J2X

The J2X was a limited production racing / touring car. Although only 83 were produced between 1951 and 1954, these were the most successful racers of the Allard collection. The Allard Motor Company never produced its own engines, instead successfully integrating existing American power plants into its cars to ...

View more: 1951 Allard J2X

Agency, Mercedes-Benz sign deal to promote EVs

Mercedes-Benz AG all-electric EQE SUV. (Photo: Bloomberg) The Excise Department and Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing (Thailand) on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) under the government's subsidy scheme. Excise Department director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas said the signing reflects the company’s interest in supporting EV ...

View more: Agency, Mercedes-Benz sign deal to promote EVs

Owner review: Camry to Camry, Toyota is my way. My 2022 Toyota Camry 2.5V

** This article is published on WapCar Community, representing the opinion of users. Click the link below to enter the community for car enthusiasts in Malaysiahttps://forum.wapcar.my/ Basic information of my car: 2.5V 2022 Reasons why I bought this car Good Looking interior and exterior Good engine performance Low maintenance cost ...

View more: Owner review: Camry to Camry, Toyota is my way. My 2022 Toyota Camry 2.5V

SUVs launching in Malaysia in 2023; from Omoda 5, to the new CR-V, and all the way to the Proton X90

So, another year older, another year marked with interesting (or forgettable) cars, and we’ll be doing it all over again next year. SUVs will undoubtedly continue to play a greater focus here, so in this article – part one of three – we’ll look at the possible non-luxury, non-EV ...

View more: SUVs launching in Malaysia in 2023; from Omoda 5, to the new CR-V, and all the way to the Proton X90

2 of the Most Unreliable Ford Trucks According to TopSpeed

As a truck manufacturer, Ford has long been one of the leading brands in the eyes of consumers. Its F-series pickups have often been some of the hottest vehicles on the market. But not every brand gets it right 100% of the time, and Ford is no different. According to ...

View more: 2 of the Most Unreliable Ford Trucks According to TopSpeed

What the Heck Is a New Edge Mustang?

The Ford Mustang has cruised American streets for nearly 60 years. In that time, the pony car evolved from a simple coupe and convertible into a sharpened GT car with a library of engines. Before the S550 and S197 generation cars we see so often, the SN-95 New Edge Ford ...

View more: What the Heck Is a New Edge Mustang?

Watch the New 2024 Chevy Trax in Chevy’s Latest Video

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

Binance and Crypto.com Publish Proof-of-Reserve Audits Conducted by Global Auditor Mazars Group

Jeep Cherokee's Future Hangs in the Balance after Reports of Plant Closure

1976 Ford XB Falcon streeter - BFAT

Chrysler 300 SRT: Is the SRT8 a Worthy Mopar?

3 Things to Learn From the Million-Mile Toyota Tacoma

3 Reasons You May Want to Avoid the 2022 Ford Bronco

2022 Land Rover Range Rover

Ram HD Pickup Brake Failures Being Investigated By NHTSA

40 Tesla Megapacks replace WW2 turbojet generator in Belgium

How Did Elon Musk Get the Name Tesla? — It’s a Weird Story

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News