Bellberg: The car in crisis? Not really!


The car in crisis? Not really!

Bellberg: The car in crisis? Not really!-auto business never experienced crisis

It is not the car sales figures that are bad, rather the birth rates, at least in Germany

Source: Getty Images / Westend61

For years we have been told that people have had enough of cars, but the sales figures speak a completely different language. Car enthusiasts are particularly pleased with the success of an Italian car manufacturer.

S.For years we have been bombarded with reports that allow only one conclusion: the car is dying out. Infinitely revived main argument: Our youth are no longer interested in having their own car. Really?

The visions are surprisingly clear, at least for visions: in just a few years we will all be enthroned on vegan bamboo bicycles and polishing the membership cards for car sharing-Vendors, while our children sit in electric public transport and are enthusiastically applauded by deer and raccoons on their trip to school.

But the car is dying out because young people are no longer interested in it? Excuse me, what youth?

The birth rates in Germany have been suicidal for decades, so it would not be surprising if fewer people bought fewer cars. The whole thing is more of a biological than a political problem.

But let’s ask specific questions: A good friend of mine teaches young graphic designers in a major West German city, and there it does indeed seem that the young designers identify less and less with a car from year to year. This can be seen in the perplexity with which the boys and girls lift their mobile-phone-plagued heads when a task involves cars, especially classic cars.

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Before the officials of the Greens or the committed fellow men in the various NGOs behead the fair trade sparkling wine and raise their sabers to the sky with an ecstatic rattle, I unfortunately have to restrict my friend’s observation a bit.

These are graphic artists. Many of my friends can largely be assigned to the professional field of “design”, and when it comes to cars, I have always observed that there has always been a clear dichotomy: 90 percent of all graphic artists have never been interested in cars.

The Golf remains number one

They are enthusiastic about shoes from the flea market, indie bands that have never been written about anywhere, and films that have to be at least 30 years old to be found. The other ten percent, on the other hand, are completely crazy about cars. What does that tell us? No idea, probably that one should be careful with forecasts.

So maybe you prefer to look at the numbers, they should be clear. If it is true what is jumping towards us from television screens, lecterns and building society magazines, a clear trend should be recognizable. But no trace of drama.

In 2017, German manufacturers suffered slight losses on average – only Mercedes bucked the trend with a plus of almost five percent – but the overall figures leave a positive impression. Although the new registrations of diesel vehicles broke in brutally, which not everyone regrets, ended the car year on a positive note.

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Old and young timers

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Particularly gratifying: Alfa Romeo, the brand that almost all car enthusiasts have in their hearts, was able to gain a whopping 42 percent. Clear proof that it is worthwhile to go back to rear-wheel drive, emotionality and driving fun instead of boring front-wheel drive standard cars. There are car lovers, you just have to speak to them. Thumbs up, Alfa Romeo, nice to have you back.

Of course, when it comes to cars, not all that glitters is gold. New registrations of small cars are falling significantly, while more and more SUVs populate our streets. That is of course not nice, but absolutely understandable. Anyone who has ever undergone a knee operation, has fun with several children every day or is simply getting older will be happy to have a car that is easy to get in and out of. So life is.

What else? Most of the German manufacturers had to accept slight (!) Losses, but the VW Golf remains top of the class as always. We have already talked about the success of Mercedes, which is also reflected in the fact that the E-Class has once again overtaken the BMW 5 Series for a long time.

The offer has never been greater

The positive car news is not new, by the way: the car market has been growing for years, albeit only slightly. But this is called satiety and is of little concern.

In addition: For petrolheads and people who enjoy driving in general, there has probably never been a greater offer than in recent years and decades. When I think of my youth, for example, I am more than happy.

Nostalgia is a nice thing, especially for graphic artists and urban designers, but apart from a few supercars, most cars from the 70s and 80s may be pretty, but fun-wise, they are rather bland. Exceptions only confirm the rule here.

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Educational measure

Revoke the driver’s license from offenders? Good idea!

Conclusion: everything in butter. Mazda remains an all-time favorite with its excellent MX-5, Alfa Romeo is back, and even Jaguar’s English are raising their eyebrows with one model after another.

The prospects for car enthusiasts are excellent, if it continues like this, we will combine environmental friendliness, quality of life and driving fun better and better year after year. This is then simply called progress.

But how does the American say? “Haters wants to hate.” Exactly, and neither numbers nor facts play a role.

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7 thoughts on “Bellberg: The car in crisis? Not really!”

  1. I find schizophrenia very interesting from a psychological point of view. On the one hand, the Germans say, according to the study, that people would like to have more clean air, protect the environment, preserve nature and everything to do with sustainability is extremely popular, but sales of SUVs are increasing. Recently, in an underground car park, the SUVs hardly stood next to each other. And what the easy boarding is all about. A Hyundai Atos will do the same. Or Opel Agila. Maybe someone can explain to me why we like to preach about wanting to act in a survey xy, but to do something completely different? See private air travel. We live in passive houses etc. but go on vacation twice a year. I’m just saying lol

  2. to the questionnaire xy, nobody asked me. I would answer that suvs are great. Anyone who has ever had a serious traffic accident and survived does not drive anything else. diesel vehicles are not that bad due to their large air flow, they clean the air through their particle filter. (There was only an article about it on the web) and battery-powered cars are very bad, 40% of the electricity is generated with coal power. not good either, right? and they are far too expensive, nobody can afford them. after a few years the battery is dead, has to be disposed of and a new one made, great. And then the range, maybe even as a new car, but after a few years a disaster, I can get upset.
    And the fine dust: it comes from industry, from oil heating, 25% from wood chimneys, tires and brake wear, old construction machinery, and from cars and trucks but not only, and from agriculture

  3. Nice article that I can only underline. In a nutshell! Personally, I can’t necessarily identify with the above-mentioned Italian in terms of design, but at least I have the domestic automotive industry and jobs after many years with the order of a high-performance sedan (not an SUV!) From Ingolstadt "supports" and as Petrolhead I am already looking forward to the delivery in spring. Because of the car market is dead, the car is booming in the USA and Japan too – recently even the diesel. As far as I’m concerned, the others are welcome to take the bus and train, which in summer often smells like a puma cage. Everyone as he / she likes 😉

  4. The "youth" can not afford cars or whoever is in their right mind takes a loan of € 20,000 + if you only have a fixed-term employment contract. "Want", many just want to achieve is something else.

  5. On the contrary, many people between 18 and 25 simply cannot handle the money they have.

    I (28) am a taxi driver and when I see people who are 5-10 years younger throwing money around, it just doesn’t work out. And young people in particular pay by card or PayPal wherever possible, at some point they no longer have an overview of their expenses.

    And then you definitely have to move out at 18, but the facility is then bought again on credit …

  6. Yes, I’m also happy about Alfa Romeo’s success with the new Giulia Super. I used to have some of them myself, wonderful memories. But still I would like to contradict the article. Having your own car is definitely no longer as important as it used to be. Young city dwellers, in particular, are increasingly doing without it

  7. Basically agree with your last sentence. However, the move away from the car does not result, as many mobility gurus believe, from the triumphant advance of the smartphone and the resulting shift in status symbols. Rather, it is the pragmatic aspects of driving / owning a car in the big city: high costs, no free parking spaces, traffic jams and, on the other hand, the advantages of a well-developed and functioning public transport system.


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