Britain has taken over as the car design capital of the world

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  • #47956 Reply

    There was much to celebrate at the World Car Awards ceremony in New York last week. For example, the gang of four – Britain, Germany, Japan and Sweden – confirmed they are now the top vehicle-producing nations on the planet in terms of quality and desirability.

    And, to be blunt, the chasing pack – America, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Korea and Spain – have to bite the bullet and concede they’re not in the same elite league. For now, at least.

    Another reality is that Britain has taken over as the design capital of the world. I say this because Jaguar won the coveted World Car Design of the Year trophy in 2017 with the F-Pace, while Land Rover grabbed the same prize this year with the Velar.

    So Jag’s Ian Callum and Land Rover’s Gerry McGovern can therefore consider themselves the greatest designers on earth. And the heir apparent is fellow Brit Marek Reichman of Aston Martin. Fair enough? Who’s better?

    High-profile firms such as General Motors and Mercedes should feel embarrassed they didn’t earn so much as a mention at these World Car Awards. After all, little ol’ Suzuki and struggling Chrysler punched well above their weights by making it through to the final stages of the competition. Shame then that a depleted GM and lethargic Merc were conspicuous by their absence.

    But it was hapless Ford I really felt for at the ceremony. It was bad enough the Volkswagen Polo beat the Fiesta to the title of World Urban Car of the Year. But it got worse when the models judged the three finest overall (Velar, Mazda CX-5 and Volvo XC60) proudly sat on stage, under the spotlights as photographers and camera crews from across the globe glared at them in admiration.

    How and why could these three ‘best-on-the-planet’ cars be responsible for drowning Ford in frustration, misery and regret? Because Land Rover, Mazda and Volvo were not so long ago owned or part-owned by Ford which, apparently, couldn’t do a thing with them. They weren’t quite basket cases when in the not-so-steady hands of the Michigan-based empire. But they weren’t far off.

    Now look at ’em! Owned by TATA of India, Land Rover has never been in better shape or produced finer products. Mazda has become stronger yet cooler since returning to its roots as a fully-fledged Japanese manufacturer. And now under direct control from China (Geely) of all places, Volvo can’t put a foot wrong.

    So the 64,000 dollar question is how come these brands and their showroom products were so miserable, ugly and unwanted when owned by America? And the 64 million dollar question has to be why can the Indians, Japanese and Chinese make a go of these marques, when Ford didn’t have a clue what to do with them?

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  • #47986 Reply

    Always considered Britain as the front runners, being a big F1 fan and having Williams Hq just down the road from me, and Mercedes Brackley plant a few miles the other direction, passing Force India’s Hq, i see the area i live as the UK’s automotive technical engineering hub.

    #48029 Reply

    Can you visit the HQ trev, I am a big formula 1 fan as well, gutted at the weekend.

    #48034 Reply

    Tell you what gutting is Brydo, Williams hold an open day each year for the local residents, guess who live one village too far away…. i’ve pleaded but rules are rules, but i can attend on one of their hospitality days for £500+!!! same with Force India, nothing doing at Brackley think they do events at Mercedes World that i’ve been too…. When Brawn won the constructors in 2009, Mercedes held an ‘end of season’ party at mercedes world that i was fortunate to attend, button wasn’t there but ross brawn, hamilton, and kovalainen were. Was a fantastic day, lots of cars, transporters, and hamilton driving his f1 car round the circuit. I have been to Force India Hq at Silverstone… funny story, purchased a dehumidifier 2nd hand, asked where collection was it was there lol.. only got as far as reception though…massive security at these places.

    Oh i’m a big red car fan, so was a good result for me yesterday, was a damn good race all round i think… worrying times for Williams though.


    #48035 Reply

    Nooooooooooooooo Trev, it was all going so well up to that point lol. Mercedes for me would love a trip around that garage, but any of them would do. Your man held on well yesterday but merc are making mistakes at crucial times. Terrible what happened to the mechanic ouch!

    #48041 Reply

    lol Brydo, i think all teams are still ironing out the creases so to speak, but yeah nasty accident there – what hits harder is 1 red car didn’t score any points, but it’s all early days….. what about toro rosso though, that was impressive, but it’s only 1 car in 2 races… mclaren are 3rd in the constructors at the moment, with Alonso 4th in the drivers! A few heads need to roll at Williams, Claire is very good at the commercial side of things but she’s taking the team away from what their main objective … to race competitively…Frank cannot be pleased, this isn’t what Williams is about… they lose their title sponsor, Martini, at the end of the season too.

    #48047 Reply

    Alonso in a competitive car fighting against merc, Ferrari and red bull, especially verstappen, sounds like an interesting season.

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