Americans buy German cars.

Germans do not buy American cars.

Can you blame them?

What would you prefer in your garage?

A BMW? A Mercedes? A Porsche? An Audi?

Or A Ford? A GM? A Chrysler?


Chrysler famously launched its famous man-bites-dog paid media campaign for two consecutive Super Bowls, featuring rapper Eminem one year and grizzled movie vet Clint Eastwood the next year, under the oxymoron banner, “Imported from Detroit.”

The clever campaign briefly caught the attention of the nation, but eventually it couldn’t change the basic fact that a Chrysler is a Chrysler. Boring.

Patriotic sentiments aside particularly in Michigan, Americans prefer German cars. In turn, Germans buy vehicles from their own legendary manufacturers. The net result of preferences for these German products and others (e.g., chemicals and heavy machinery): An account deficit for the United States and others, and a record $300 billion or 8.3 percent of GDP account surplus for Germany.

This week, the stately Economist in its cover story pointed to Deutschland’s world-leading account surplus and stated that Germany’s collective impulse for prudent savings (averaging 9.8 percent per household) and export oriented economy is a problem of global proportions.


Let’s see, Germany is an enduring democracy under the calm, measured neoliberal leadership of Kanzlerin Angela Merkel.

In a Pew survey of 37 nations, 42 percent expressed confidence in Merkel leadership and 31 percent no confidence, easily beating Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

Germany is the biggest economy in Europe, and the fourth largest in the world at $3.49 trillion.

The nation’s budget is not only balanced, it reflects a surplus.

Inflation is low at a microscopic 0.4 percent. Personal savings are high.

Employee costs are controlled by management and unions.

Family-run Mittelstand firms thrive (e.g., Faber-Castell). Apprenticeships are plentiful.

Jobs are secure with unemployment at 3.9 percent (e.g., full employment/labor shortage). Nearly 20 percent in Germany are employed in manufacturing, compared to 10 percent in the US and UK.

German engineering is legendary.

Alles ist in Ordnung.

Wonder if Germany would be interested in trading all of the above with America?


A History of German “Problems”

In the last century, there was World War I … check.

There was World War II, the Nazis and the Holocaust … check, check, check.

There was the Occupation, the Division and the Wall … check, check, check.

There was the Reunification — Wiedervereinigung … check.

And now Das Land in der Mitte is the de-facto, reluctant hegemon of the European Union. Merkel does not seek out the spotlight, but is more than happy to share it with France’s Emmanuel Macron. The publicity hounds exist in other locales.

To Almost DailyBrett this sequence of events reflects Germany’s public relations miracle — Öffentlichkeitsarbeitswunder — since zero hour in the spring of 1945.

Donald Trump has castigated Germany as being “very bad,” and when it comes to desirable German automobiles, he states: “… we will stop this.”

Is this a case of no good deed going unpunished?

Your author must ask: If Americans indeed prefer the performance, quality and stature associated with German cars, isn’t the answer for Detroit to start making vehicles that rival German engineering?

And since when is saving and exporting, a problem?

Sure wish the United States had this “problem”.