Why do different countries produce different cars?
It all depends on who made it
Why do various countries around the world produce cars that are so incredibly different? You would think that after over 100 years of doing this, humans as a species would have figured out how to make one of these things properly.
Apparently not though, As American, Japanese, and European cars are all vastly different from each other. Even then, there are difference between regions and individual countries. For example, British cars like Jaguars and Aston Martins are vastly different from BMWs and Audis.
In short, the answer is that cars reflect the cultural values and general attitudes of the people that make them.
American cars, in my opinion, are the worse of the three. This is because us yanks, at least the ones that head the auto industry, seem to care more about profits than they do about making a good product. Most American cars are designed to sell millions and millions of times, not actually be good. You may be thinking “how do you sell millions of cars that are not any good?”
The answer is that American car manufactures cater to American values, and one of those values is size. We are hung up on this outdated and, in my opinion, downright false idea that bigger is better. Which is the reason a typical $30,000 American car will generally be larger than a typical $30,000 European or Japanese car. Again, just because it is thicker, does not mean it is better.
Does this mean America has only produced bad cars? Not at all! The Ford Fiesta ST, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet SS, and Tesla Model 3 are a few examples of great cars from each of the big auto manufactures in America.
Not to mention, American cars are usually pretty cheap and if all you need is something big to carry stuff, then there are some decent options. Used Chevy Suburban anyone?
Europeans have had their fair share of greats and failures as well. The Germans do seem to be a bit ahead of the game though. At least for a bit. German cars are not usually regarded as super reliable, at least not the ones that are now affordable on the secondhand market. This may also have to do with Americans attitude towards cars.
We think German cars to be a luxury item, which they are. However, we can have the habit of thinking that also means we do not have to service it as often as we probably should, as it is a luxury item and getting your car serviced is anything but luxurious. As a result, they are not always as well maintained as the manufactures may have thought they would be, and they can tend to break because of that.
Also, the German attitude towards manufacturing cars is to make them the best, regardless of cost. That is why Audis, BMWs and Mercs are so expensive-on paper, they are objectively the best car available.
This is in contrast to the Italian's approach to cars, which seems to be to make them as cool and stylish as possible. Alfa Romeo, Maserati, lamborghini, Ferrari, all carry an undeniable sense of style and cool in their own special ways.
British cars seem to be a cross between Italian and German cars. Range Rovers, Jaguars, and Aston Martins are all incredibly cool, but they all have their flaws.
The Japanese seem to make the best cars in the world, all things considered, of course. They have managed to make cars that are near-as-makes-no-difference just as good as German cars while being able to sell them at similar prices as American cars.
They also have as sense of humor when developing cars that nobody else does. The new Toyota Yaris GR is an excellent example. I hope that I will ever see one, let alone drive one. It just exudes excitement and fun, yet it is a Toyota, so it should be as reliable as the sun coming up in the morning.
The Japanese way of car manufacturing seems to be like the Germans, in that they try to make the best product available but manage to keep the costs down. Also, reliability has been the Japanese auto industry’s bread and butter for decades, so they got that down to a tee.