The first Euro Car 2012 semi-final is upon us, in which we bid to find out just who can claim the title of Best European Car Manufacturer. Having disposed of their respective opponents Ukraine and Sweden pretty handily in the quarter-finals, England and Germany meet in a grudge match that’s got more history behind it than merely a World Cup final and a couple of penalty shoot-outs. Who will book a place in the final?

If there’s one thing we learned from their quarter-final displays, it’s that both teams boast a world-class history and reputation for delivering consistently high-quality vehicles. While Germany produces almost a third of all cars made in Europe, England can rely on its bouncebackability from tough economic times to confirm its status as the perennial underdog.

It’s a sad fact though that two of the biggest names in British car manufacturing are now owned by a German company; the Mini brand was bought out by BMW AG in 1994 after struggling to make ends meet, while the same year also did for the Rover brand as both were purchased from British Aerospace. The latter company is now considered dormant, while Mini continues to enjoy a renaissance thanks to their value for money cars. A recent survey by What Car? found that in terms of retaining value, seven out of ten car categories were topped by a German effort. Taking into account each competing car’s running costs, tax and resale value, as well as the opinion that German cars are generally lauded for their design and engineering nous, the fact that German products can now comfortably top such lists by mixing the two to such great effect is a clear sign of danger for the English team. It’s this which sees the Germans take victory within the 90 minutes, and a place in the final.