It’s time for the second quarter final of our Motors.co.uk Euro-face off and today, the might of Germany goes up against Sweden. On the pitch, this is a match-up that you’d back the Germans to take, but will that translate into success on the road? Let’s find out.
Sweden’s has a credible history coming into this clash, but the recent form isn’t great. Whilst Volvo continues to go from strength to strength, Sweden comes into this clash having been rocked by the news that its other major manufacturer, SAAB, closed its doors at the start of this year. The former aircraft manufacturer came crashing to the ground with debts estimated at €1.3bn – enough to make its parent company, General Motors, pull the plug. Just last week, SAAB was acquired by a Chinese consortium, so there is some hope for the brand, but the collapse of its second biggest manufacturer isn’t the sort of form that you want for a bout with the mighty Germany.
Of course, Germany can call on the might of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche and others. The country produces 29% of all cars made in Europe, making it the powerhouse of the continent. So how can Sweden compete here? Well, for starters, it can take a worthy advantage when it comes to styling. Think of German cars, and then tell me; how many of them you would consider to be at the cutting edge of style? BMWs are notoriously ugly. Mercs try too hard. VWs are too conservative and Porsche doesn’t even try. Compare with Volvo models such as the C30, S60 and XC90, which also have outstanding interiors (we love the ‘floating’ centre console in many of its models) and we can only back the Swedes on that front. However, everywhere else, the Germans have to take the spoils. When it comes to choice, quality, reliability, residuals and value, Germany has become a by-word for all things good that we look for in our motors.
The Germans march on to the semi-finals, without the need for penalties.