A medley for Sunday

Across the road from the bus-stop, there stood this VW Passat:

A dark photo of a dark car. Source: reality

Around the C-pillar I saw a lot of what in the olden days we’d call BMW style. I reflect a lot on how BMW once did some of the work involved in epitomising German design, but it’s been a long time since this :

1987 BMW 518: EZ Biler, Them, Denmark

… was the case. So far, so familiar. Just as Skoda appropriated Volvo’s solid conservatism (less so these days), VW seems to have appropriated BMW’s consistency. Here’s a better image of the Passat:

2017 VW Passat: VW UK

If that was presented as a contemporary iteration of the pre-Bangle 5s, would you struggle to accept it as such? It makes a better fist of Fiveness than the current or previous ones. Does the spirit of German design migrate from car company to car company?


At the international news-stand, on the packed shelf,  lurked the current editions of Top [name of presenter] Magazine and “Car”. The idea entered my head to see if I’d blow 100kr on one of the magazines. A swarm of exclamation marks disfigured the cover of ” ” magazine!

Inside, the contents page yielded not one article I’d want to write! The newcomers rang no bells! In short, better automotive coverage can be found at our friends at Curbside Classics and Carsalesbase and, frankly, here (exclamation points).

The same went for Top [ ] as well. They have all a month to create content and salaries to help sweeten the drudgery. Can’t they write something good? For useful writing Autocropley, has by default become a decent news and comment  source. How odd.


A badgeless Swift. Source: my ‘hood.

No badge. And a huge amount of character removed with it. I don’t know how 1% of a car’s rear can carry so much identification. I also don’t understand why owners remove badges. It’s still a Suzuki (and no bad thing). I never wear branded clothes but I wouldn’t like a brandless car whether it was a Bristol or a Fiat. Which sentence, the last one, made me pause. There aren’t any joke brands any more, are there? Everyone who can buy a new car can rest easy, free of the fear someone may laugh at them. Is that progress, no?


One reason new Opel Insignias are slow to appear here in Denmark is that the centre-right government are discussing lowering the sales tax and buyers are holding off to see how much they might save. New cars are piling up at the import centre near the border. The lost tax earning will be offset by cuts to unemployment benefits.

I could somewhat understand welfare cuts if money was tight generally; in this case the money is there so the transfer of money from the poorly off into the pockets of people able to buy a new car is cruel. What’ll happen is not that customers will buy a Golf for less. They’ll be able to buy an A3 for what they’d have willingly spent under the old tax regime on a Golf.

[Sept 24 2017, 20.25 CET the second image of the Passat was replaced; originally the US version was shown.]

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

4 thoughts on “A medley for Sunday”

  1. Richard,

    The US spec Passat in the second picture has a different (larger) body than the euro version

  2. I believe they followed Honda’s (Accord) strategy in building a larger, simpler, cheaper to build model for the US market, and a smaller yet more sophisticated one for the rest of the world.

    1. Look what happened to the Accord. In the US it is a success. In Europe, was a fine car no-one wanted. I believe the US Passat has a lame reputation while here it is a best-seller. BMW’s 3 on the other hand, is much the same wherever you go and sells well.
      So the data is mixed.
      The BMW is a world car, a success.
      Honda switched to world car with the Accord, a failed (it was failing anyway, you could say). The Passat has adapted to market conditions but is a loser.
      The Corollauris varies from market to market (is there “a” Corollauris?) and thrives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: