While Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi displayed futuristic concepts in their areas, there was nothing of that sort going on around the German manufacturers. Perhaps unwittingly playing to the national stereotype, the Germans decided to approach PIMS 2014 firmly from the present, eschewing fanciful concepts in favour of fully-loaded versions of their showroom offerings. Here we take a look at Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
(Warning, slightly long read ahead.)
We’ll start with Volkswagen, since they had the most people milling about. Continue reading →
While many Volkswagens lined the parade grounds, I was also a little surprised – although in retrospect this should have been expected – to find that there were also Volkswagens up on one side of the grandstands.
When it was conceptualised, the KdF-Wagen – now better known as the Beetle – was set to sell for 990 Reich Marks. While this was little more than what a motorcycle sold for in those days, it was still pretty serious change for the average German wage-earner. To further complicate matters, one could not simply hand over 990 Reich Marks and drive away with a new KdF-Wagen. One was required to join a savings scheme involving stamps run by Kraft durch Freude, the Nazi leisure/propaganda organisation from which the car took its name. Still, with the new Autobahns beckoning, people signed up for the scheme, eagerly awaiting for the day they could take their shiny new KdF-Wagen home.
It was a simple enough idea: a car that was cheap to buy and operate and could carry a family of five across Germany’s new roadways. The idea was promoted by a man named Adolf Hitler; he was eager to get the people of Germany moving, apparently inspired by the exploits of Henry Ford. The task of engineering the new “people’s car” went to an engineer by the name of Ferdinand Porsche, while naming the car fell to Adolf. Thus came the “Volkswagen”, literally translated to “people’s car”.
We last cut off our TSS 2014 coverage of a European group of cars with the Michel Seven, which takes its inspiration from the classic Lotus Seven of 1953. Today we start with the last two cars in that group.
In the last installment of our TransSport 2014 coverage, we ended with a couple of exciting prototypes from Factor Aurelio, as they set out on a journey to build the first all-Filipino supercar. Today we start off with an American automotive institution: the Ford Mustang, and there were a lot of them at TransSport 2014.
In part one of our MIAS 2014 coverage, we went through the opulent minimalism of Rolls-Royce’s exhibit, the extravagant fiesta that is the Ford area, and the surprisingly simple Tire Guard. Now we’ll go through the two other big exhibitors at the show.