Fast cars, known for their reliability and technology, were on display at the Frankfurt car show.
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Germany’s top carmakers have built up an international reputation, says David Fitzgerald, an analyst at PFPR Communications.
“The German focus on engineering quality has built up their reputation over [the] years for instilling confidence in consumers who choose their products, and that’s a real lasting impression for their customers.”
This is now paying dividends for the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche.
They’ve had a record 2011 so far, thanks to demand in emerging markets, especially China.
VW has 10 auto brands including Porsche and Audi – and Volkswagen Group CEO, Martin Winterkorn, says there’s a reason their products sell well at home and abroad.
“The German car industry, and especially Volkswagen, have done their homework. We’ve invested a lot of money in new technology, in lightweight design, in electronics, electric motors, hybrid motors, fuel cell vehicles[…] and that’s why I think we’re the global benchmark.”
Driving around in smart a BMW or being chauffeured around in a Mercedes is a way of showing wealth and status in China.
China’s now the world’s top car market and it’s also increasing car production. But analysts say the South Koreans are now entering the fast lane.
Hyundai’s premiering its i30 in Frankfurt. In fact, the Korean carmaker recently said it expects to beat its 2011 global sales target as the eurozone debt crisis gives the opportunity for its lower cost models to gain more marketshare.
Korea’s top automaker, Hyundai, and its affiliate, Kia Motors, have shaken off their old image as makers of cheap, low-quality cars, says Christoph Stuermer, an auto analyst at IHS Global Insight.
“Even VW has acknowledged that Hyundai and Kia together are one of the most important contenders in the global automotive market now. They’re growing quite rapidly, they’re producing new models at an incredible cadence.”
In the saturated European car market, there could be a fierce battle on the horizon, as Hyundai and Kia try to steal drivers away from homegrown carmakers.
Bottom line: Germany’s top carmakers are riding high with their international reputation for powerful and reliable cars, which are selling well in China. And in Europe, homegrown producers may face competition from Korean brands, Hyundai and Kia.