"Germany’s number one when it comes to designing and building the best cars”

As Mike Rutherford has voted in 2015’s World Car Awards, he thinks the Germans have the market cornered, but Brits aren’t far behind

Opinion World Car Awards

Looks like Germany has done it again – demonstrated to dozens of rival nations that it is THE designer, builder and seller of cars that qualify as best overall. 

Whether it’s sub-£20,000 family workhorses, prestige motors costing nearer £200,000, or all the sports car and premium metal in between, the Germans have got the entire market at worst covered and at best cornered.

World Car of the Year 2015: the finalists

As a Brit it’s not easy to admit all this. But the fact is that more than one-third of the best new luxury, performance or run-of- the mill cars that have just gone on sale wear Audi, BMW, Mercedes or VW badges.

Who says? 75 independent, hard to impress motoring journalists from 22 countries on every continent. Collectively, we (Steve Fowler and I are two of the 75) have driven thousands of new cars while serving as World Car Awards jurors. 

We’ve just voted in the first round of the 2015 WCAs. And after accountancy firm KPMG tabulated our ballots, it was clear that we rate American, British, French, Japanese, Korean and Swedish cars – but rate German cars even higher.

Driver Power 2015: rate your car!

For example, in the World Performance Car category of the WCAs, 50 per cent of the finalists are German. Not that the UK and its world- class car workers need be embarrassed by any of the above. 

We’re only a comparatively small car-producing nation, yet we have four models – the Bentley Continental GT Speed, Jaguar F-Type R Coupé, MINI and Range Rover Autobiography Black LWB in the WCA finals. 

And it would have been five had the Jag XE gone into production and on sale around the globe a little earlier. Worry not – it’s a 2016 WCA contender.

True, at the minute, Germany’s the number one when it comes to designing and building the best. And the revitalised Americans and Japanese are in a battle for the runner’s-up spot. That leaves Britain in fourth place, ahead of France, Korea, Sweden and countless others.

It’s fair to say that Blighty (with a little help from German and Indian investors) is punching well above its weight. And don’t be surprised if the Brits pick up a gong or two at the WCA ceremony in New York this April. After all, Bentleys, MINIs, Jags and Land Rovers are, like the people who make them, world class.

Which nation builds the best cars? Let us know what you think in the comments below...

Chief columnist

Mike was one of the founding fathers of Auto Express in 1988. He's been motoring editor on four tabloid newspapers - London Evening News, The Sun, News of the World & Daily Mirror. He was also a weekly columnist on the Daily Telegraph, The Independent and The Sunday Times. 

Most Popular

New MG2 will beat Volkswagen to the baby electric car market
MG badge
News

New MG2 will beat Volkswagen to the baby electric car market

MG has confirmed it is working on an entry-level electric car to rival Citroen e-C3 and new Fiat Panda
29 Feb 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Tesla Model 3 ownership can be a reality from just £238 a month
Used Tesla Model 3 - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Tesla Model 3 ownership can be a reality from just £238 a month

This hugely desirable used Tesla Model 3 looks great value at this bargain price, and is our Deal of the Day for 27 February
27 Feb 2024
Car Deal of the Day: new razor-sharp Toyota C-HR hybrid SUV for £257 a month
Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid GR Sport front corner static shot
News

Car Deal of the Day: new razor-sharp Toyota C-HR hybrid SUV for £257 a month

The recently-launched second generation of Toyota’s funky hybrid SUV is our Deal of the Day for 29th February
29 Feb 2024