Question: name the best three car makers in Germany.
In the past that poser would hardly tax even the humblest pub quiz team. But tradition and the power of Teutonic prestige have been turned upside down with Toyota claiming third place in Germany’s top auto survey.
It is the first time in the history of the survey a non-German manufacturer has reached the top three. In motoring terms it’s tantamount to the Toyota-emblazoned towels hitting the poolside loungers long before those with the silver rings or Stuttgart shield design.
The latest AutoMarxX survey by the German national motoring organisation ADAC sees Toyota muscling past Porsche and Audi to join first-placed BMW and Mercedes-Benz on the podium, improving on the fifth place it secured in the last survey six months ago. At that time it succeeded in outranking Volkswagen on home soil.
The study is the most comprehensive of its kind in Germany, analysing the performance of each marque in key areas such as brand image, sales performance, customer satisfaction, vehicle quality, technology and innovation.
In achieving its overall ranking, Toyota had the distinction of being the top manufacturer in terms of technology and brand trend strengths. Toyota also posted significant improvements in sales, product quality and company economic strength.
ADAC is Europe’s largest public motoring organisation with around 15 million members. Its half-yearly survey, produced by the Centre for Automotive Research in Gelsenkirchen, assimilates a vast amount of data. For example, the details of more than half a million vehicle breakdowns are analysed to assess reliability and 6,000 individual car sales are detailed to monitor real-life residual values.