Automobile monoculture is never good

Scandals shake the foundations of the German auto industry. First Dieselgate, now alleged antitrust violations. The horror never ends, and one of our country's key industries is at a crossroads. But it started many years ago.

The medial state of the auto industry

What we are now experiencing is a result of automotive monoculture. This development was foreseeable because it crept its way slowly. In the 80s and early 90s, the European auto world was still fine. There was diversity and competition. National manufacturers dominated the markets, even if signs of weakness were clearly visible.

The failure of others laid the foundation for automotive monoculture.

First, it had caught the British. Their big brands had been in decline for a long time, and they were an omen for what would come. Back in Italy a thriving grocery store flourished with Lancia, Innocenti, Fiat, Alfa, Maserati, De Tomaso, Lamborghini and Ferrari. They produced cars for every taste, every lifelong life and suitable for every budget. The result varied, depending on the brand, between genius and madness or sloppiness and precision. Italy could do it all, depending on the country and current mood.

Today the Italian auto industry is only a shadow of its former size. Innocenti no longer exists, Lancia has faded in beauty, De Tomaso is just a footnote in history. Fiat is working on small cars, Lamborghini is German, only Maserati and Ferrari score points in the luxury segment. Everything else is difficult, as Alfa Romeo proves. The comeback falls far short of expectations. Perhaps also because the brand is now trying to score with German virtues.

The view back, and this time into the future. Bloggers back mirror

While Italy was slowly going under, German dominance grew. Porsche, Audi, VW, Mercedes and BMW dominate entire market segments today. With that came the great monoculture and competition no longer took place. Anyone who found it strange that innovations could also be found in other German brands after a few months received the explanation last Friday. The Mirrors revealed alleged antitrust violations. In workgroups, the big 5s discussed their innovations and made sure that no brand could move too far from the other technologically.

If the research of the mirror is correct, self-reports by VW and Daimler suggest that, then automobile progress was prevented and prevented for years. At the expense of the customer, in favor of the profits of the corporations. A first-rate scandal, but only made possible by dominance and monoculture.

Automobile monoculture, but hope for the future.

But there is hope. Small manufacturers like Lancia, Saab, Innocenti and the countless British brands will not be celebrating a rebirth anytime soon. And the many new suppliers from China will probably never bring back what was lost. Your vehicles are a collection of components from international suppliers. Nobody should expect an unmistakable character with this blend.

The light of hope flickers across the Rhine. The French are fighting, after all, and they do not want to leave the markets to monoculture. The PSA Group is trying that DS To establish the label as a new premium brand. A difficult, long and rocky road. Back to the size and meaning where you were with Citroen decades ago. In addition, there is the takeover of Opel. It could bring an enrichment - but more likely a cleanup if the PSA group will dispose of the ex-GM brand in the medium term.

Renault revives the brand Alpine. The first edition of the new edition of the A110 was sold out in no time, the 2018 vintage can be pre-ordered against a deposit. An SUV, similar to the Porsche Macan, is on the way. More car culture from France can only do the market good.

For Germany, a lot depends on the future of the auto industry. The antitrust violations and the diesel scandal will keep us busy for a long time. And he will leave traces. They will be reflected in balance sheets and market shares. At best, in small, homeopathic dosages. If it gets bad, then with a long-term decline.

Crises are opportunities and an opportunity to come back to life. On old strengths, brand values, character, innovation and real competition among each other. To the end of monoculture and boredom! Then there is an opportunity to emerge stronger than ever from the crisis.

17 thoughts on "Automobile monoculture is never good"

  • Monoculture is never good, exactly. This also applies in particular to the drive. It is just an exciting and important, soft-setting time, in which one has to think very carefully, which demands must satisfy future drives. The danger that I see at the moment is that by the events and the disclosed fraud around the diesel of the last time, now recklessly and from pure scaremongering a technology is demonized and made senselessly to niece, in which we do not doubt, especially in Germany Have leadership skills. Dumb only that it is just German companies are unfortunately rightly pilloried. Even a green prime minister must confess out of conviction, yes, there is the clean diesel. Keyword urea. Upcoming generations of diesel engines will be quite clean as the industry promises. The problem is that, after all occurrences, who believes or still trust the manufacturers. But that's why you have to be careful not to go into monoculture in the future. Currently practiced ideology is it, it must be driven in the future only electrically with the energy from batteries. I think, for example, in long-distance freight transport, the trucks will have to drive with diesel engines for a long time, because there is practically no economic alternative to this. Electrically nice and good, but you have to rely on batteries, just because the cheap in China can be produced. What will it look like later with all the toxic waste when all just drive e-car and all the broken batteries have to be disposed of all times. Since I hear all the green electro-ideologists already moaning when the time comes. Also electrically there are alternatives to the battery. Keywords hydrogen, fuel cell, energy production from ionized liquids, etc.
    Conclusion: monoculture is never good. One can do one thing and not leave the other. Why sacrifice technologies that are still worth researching and optimizing, especially since we are leaders in Germany and have core competence in Germany? Without, however, discouraging new core competences to emerge and develop.

  • I think so, but the others should drive their made on MQB basis VW or cobbled together cobbled Mercedes. This competition has nothing to do with the old strength of both brands (Golf 2 or the W124).

    I am also happy to drive a lovingly built SAAB

  • A good thing has all the stuff.

    The more crap that happens in the sector or becomes public, the more comfortable you feel with your SAAB.

  • Since some companies will probably have stomach ache. Or the manufacturer catches the residual value difference?

  • It will be interesting to see how traders can survive the effects of the cartel if all the companies roll leasing diesel boxes with far too much residual value on their farms.

    I see Volvo on a much better track for the next 2-3 years than the German manufacturers.

    Ideology or not, politics must intervene, there are too many jobs in the automotive industry. Only finally has competence on the ministerial chair.

  • An Audi Q7-e-tron runs electrically 20-30Km, then the cabinet really pops fuel and gets - I didn't want to believe it at first - an E license plate and pays no taxes !!?

    These mafia networks extend to the very top.

  • It's like in real life, the customer decides! And apparently the "customers" want that! The (sometimes very good) advertising does the rest and so you buy another “because you know what you have” cart.
    There were alternatives, SAAB, but where are they today? Too bad, just a pity.

  • The Audi A2 3L and Lupo 3L had a small “ECO on / off” switch 17 years ago.
    With “ECO on” 45 HP were activated, consumption and emissions were very low, after which tax was levied.
    You could set “ECO off”, had 60 hp, emissions and consumption were higher. Nevertheless, no taxes had to be paid.
    That made school. Many cars followed with switches “ECO / NORMAL / SPORT”. Consumption / emission measurements and taxation were carried out in ECO mode. However, every driver could choose SPORT himself, thus consuming more, emitting more and paying no taxes for it.
    The software then carried out this change on its own. And finally ECO-ECO ”only switched on on the test bench.
    At what point does the fraud begin with? The small switch before 17 years already, or only the secret software?

  • Sadly, under the pressure of the big 5, the suppliers are suffering too. So far, the prices for parts, components and production machines have been negotiated until vomiting due to the recent allegations made further provisions. Investments are therefore in the future in the stars. And the suppliers are bathing it again. Sad!

  • Beautifully written mountain goat!
    And good examples. If one sees the relevant shipments about the food industry, one gets sick and one hardly knows what to eat without hesitation.
    The cars are easier, you should think. But as Bajuware correctly writes, the customer does not work.
    The German “would like to premium products” are forgiven almost everything, regardless of whether timing chains at VW, oil consumption at VW / AUDI, rusted stars ... most of them still think they have premium. But there are now a large number of private buyers who can no longer be fooled, as the latest registration statistics describe.
    The leasing customers don't care, they get great offers and get rid of the box quickly. If this is how future mobility should look - regardless of whether it is electric or conventional, thank you very much ...

    Before this new scandal, the word “uniformity” takes on a whole new meaning on the streets 🙂
    Maybe you should look under the ugly sheets of the SUVs, if there is not everywhere the same mess?
    Would Simplify Money Printing for the Auto Industry.

  • The customer is certainly not capable of this. See the weak… .. SUV boom. Nobody needs, destroys fuel without end, and is bought like crazy.

  • PSA will exploit Opel and then take it off the market. The duration-loss mark, with the 1000 excuses why the store is not running, will not be fed as patiently by the French as by the Americans. Neumann gets his million premium, the employees so gradually blue letters. That's the world.

  • Because without health everything is nothing.
    (Not a very positive comment… 🙁, but my “pity” for the auto industry is limited…)

    Should be a contribution in itself ... 😉

  • There are negative examples from other areas of life yes enough:
    -industrial meat production with various negative "side effects" ...
    -Poultry production with antibiotic "basic care" ...
    -Grain with resistance to fungal attack is currently "making the rounds" ...
    -SUV instead of fuel-efficient cars ...
    -Water is privatized ...
    Examples where we as humans can act to turn the “market” in a different direction.
    But can we do that ???
    I would like a state intervention in the trading system, in which health is not a side note, but a main purpose!

  • Quote: The customer must be the first to use a rethinking otherwise nothing changes.
    How true!
    How (unfortunately) true ...
    Why only true in this way ???

    Who is interested knows that we humans z. At present, several planetary plots are needed to satisfy all residents in the long term in the same way as we now live in Europe. So that will not work.
    With monopolists z. Currently profit is always more in the foreground than sustainability and environmental compatibility. To change this world of thoughts of the corporate executives ... Currently my doubts. And I also have my doubts whether the “market” is capable of this through the customer ...

  • The German car magazines do the rest. Everything always has to be somehow compared with VW. Whoever wins then we know. There is really nothing boring than a Golf or Passat. All who fall out of line are flattened. The customer must first rethink used otherwise nothing changes.

  • VOLVO announced the departure of the diesel engine at exactly the right moment. Let's see if due to the weakness of the Germans now not someone still alive from the diesel scandal etc unloaded brand SAAB ..

Comments are closed.