30 August 2015

My Favourite National/Regional Car Marques

We all have preferred brands. It may be based on reputation, personal preference or even some sort of bias. Whatever our reasons, companies jealously protect and strive to enhance the reputation of their products. The car make counts! So where do marques stand in relation to my august opinion?

The Qashqai has been phenomenally successful in Europe

Japan: Nissan. I like what Nissan are doing. For a large car maker they are not as conservative as Toyota or Honda for example. Their range is a mix of conservative (Pulsar), trend setting (Qashqai) and even radical (Juke). Perhaps the Renault connection has helped too.

Asia others: Kia. Nothing from China could remotely interest me, which leaves Korea. I think Kia is practical, sensible and reasonably well priced. Hyundai looks like it's trying too hard to be special and it isn't working for me.

Not a bad effort, first up

USA: Tesla. I have to say I was sceptical that Tesla could come up with a quality product first time up and survive for more than a few years. It has done both and even had to fight what I would describe as self interest paraded under the guise of consumer protection in some US states. The USA has long since lost its way when it comes to promoting private enterprise and initiative.

UK: Land Rover. Every car looks fabulous, and they have the presence too. All models they have ever made have been successful. They have to watch over their shoulder as a fast improving Jaguar brand is one to look out for.

Régie captured in the wild 

France: Renault. Régie has come a long way in the last few years. It's range is improving and it's connections with Nissan and Dacia have helped, adding up to a brand going places. The PSA brands were left behind and are now playing catch up.

Germany: BMW. I can follow the proliferation of models (just), the emphasis on driving pleasure and the general direction of the marque is all good. Mercedes' range confuses me and is at times the design is plain ugly, while all Audis look the same. Porsche are poor value and VW is ordinary with some models.

"The long & winding road"...showing my age in music choice.
The California model

Italy: Ferrari. A nation known for fine design has lost its way in the auto industry, except the 'Prancing Horse' brand. It keeps on delivering.

Other Europe: Volvo. styling is better than ever (not hard admittedly) and are a car company that does things sensibly well. They also believe safety goes beyond getting five stars. Škoda are improving and ran Volvo close.

Summary. I am sure you all have an opinion of your own and there is no right and wrong about an individuals choice. If anyone wants to add a personal favourite, just leave a comment.

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