The German auto giants have sort of gotten lost in all the hype and hoopla of the auto show season beginning here in North America. Jerry Flint, columnist of the Backseat Driver for Forbes, returns readers to the heart of the Continent's auto industry where he gives his views on:
  • BMW: “Even when the whole world screams at BMW about its iDrive electronic controls, or the "Bangle Bustle"--named for BMW Design Director Chris Bangle--on the trunk of its sedans, the company stands firm.”
  • Porsche: “The challenge for Porsche has been how to expand its lineup.”
  • DaimlerChrysler: “I am confident that DaimlerChrysler's new head, Zetsche, will return to the basic Mercedes philosophy: gorgeous and powerful luxury cars.”
  • Volkswagen: “Volkswagen's previous leader, Ferdinand Piech, tried to go upscale, where the money is, but diverted crucial resources to this part of the business.”
Flint also points out that, in general, the German automakers are more resistant to change in their leadership (especially compared to domestic automakers) and have maintained focus on their vehicles. As he writes, If you want one, fine. If you don't, then you are dumkopf schwinen and don't deserve to drive one.

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