Living in the United States we grow up not knowing much about other countries. We buy new cars, sometimes not even thinking where they were built, unless it might be one of the expensive brand names. There are some very good cars that are built in Europe, and they aren’t the ones everybody thinks of. Rolls Royce, Mercedes, and BMW are exceptional cars, as well as Lamborghini or perhaps a Jaguar, but these are beyond the reach of a typical car buyer. But there are three additional automakers that make excellent automobiles. This article will focus on Volvo, Volkswagen and Audi.
It is amazing to think of a country of only nine million people, having one automaker, but to have two is unthinkable. Sweden is that special country containing both Volvo and Saab. The auto industry has been greatly influenced by Volvo, which is now part of the Ford Motor Company. When safety standards were low pretty much everywhere, it was Volvo and their desire for higher standards that changed the industry. Some of the things that had their origins with Volvo, are reinforced roofs, front end crumple zones, and specifically designed interiors. Through the high safety standards of Volvo, they started a long line of the best built cars on the road, and also the safest. It was through their leadership that caused automakers around the world to raise their standards, also.
There is a car that everyone knows about, even if they don’t know its history, and that is the Volkswagen Beetle. The Beetle was the first people’s car, and it was first designed during the 1930s in Germany. It survived World War II to become not only one of the most loved cars, but was also the most mass-produced. The Beetle allowed people from every walk of life to own a car. This included college students, to migrant workers, to Irish farmlands, owning a car became affordable. The Beetle was no longer imported to the Us during the 1970s, but was produced in Mexico for another generation.
Now it is common on vehicles, but back when Audi first introduced its Quattro all wheel drive and its superior handling, it was a leap in technology. Audi threw down the gauntlet, and let the auto world know that Quattro was now the standard to judge all luxury sedans from then on. For years, their company had a huge advantage over the competition, because of the Quattro technology. Their traction went beyond where other road handling schematics had reached their pinnacle, and was so superior, they were even banned from some types of racing.
There you have a little bit of the history of three automobile companies from Europe that were exceptional. With all they did for the auto industry as a whole, maybe extraordinary is the proper word..