Improbable as it may seem, an increasing number of Germans are giving up their
elegant Mercedeses, sleek BMWs and ferociously fast Porsches and getting behind
the wheels of imported American models – fro plush Cadillacs to more prosaic
Fords. Unlike the cars produced by Detroit’s European subsidiaries, these cars
are as American as apple pie and watery beer. And thanks to a favorable exchange
rate, they are more affordable than ever Last year Germans bought 12 477 new U.
S. –built cars; sales are expected to double this year.
Like blue jeans, this buy – America fad appeals to Germans from all walks
of life. Once regarded as faulty, flashy, gas – guzzling Goliaths, American
autos are – thanks in large measure to foreign competition –more stylish and
reliable than in years past. Tugged, off- road vehicles like the four-wheel
drive Jeep Cherokee are now the hot wheels to drive among Germany’s thirty-
something set. Owners and Aficionados of American – made care also boast their
cars are cheaper to maintain.
But that’s not the main reason German motorists are choosing U. S. imports
– It’s their price. Even after the cost of overseas shipping is included,
American – made cars offer more value – and deluxe features – for less money
than German models. A Chrysler LeBaron convertible sells for 35 000 marks; a BMW
320i convertible, by comparison, commands 10 000 marks more. And U. S. autos
come with standard equipment – electric windows, automatic locks and sun roofs –
that’s available only as expensive options on German models.
Owning an American car in Germany is not for everybody. But the worst
headaches come form the German bureaucracy. Johann Erben, a Greiburg dental lab
technician, purchased a LeBaron convertible during a U. S. trip in November –
and has yet to drive it one kilometer. First, he waited months for the proper
registration documents to arrive; then he spent more than 1 000 marks to have it
comply with German regulations. Even so, safety inspectors refused to approve it
until he changed the headlights and windows to European Community standards.
“There I was with my supermodern, $ 20,000 car and unable to get it through
inspection,” Erben recalled.
1. Detroit’s European subsidiaries _______.
A. produce the same models as Detroit supplies in the U. S. market
B. provide cars of European styles
C. produce cars that are thought to be un-American by Germans
D. could hardly meet the demand for American cars last year
2. The buy-American fad that appeals to Germans most seems to be _______.
A. blue jeans B. apple pie
C. U. S.-made cars D. watery beer
3. As for Germans, American cars not only are cheaper but _______.
A. endures wear and tear B. are adaptable to road conditions
C. provides greater space D. offers more deluxe features
4. Which of the following statements is true?
A. American cars used to consume a lot of oil.
B. Japanese cars still lead the German market.
C. The U. S. motor industry is now confident to cope with recession.
D. German cars are going to provide the same standard equipment as
5. European Community standards probably are _______.
A. a law to control the amount of imported goods from other continents
B. a set of standards to inspect imported cars
C. a system to regulate measures of manufactured goods
D. a set of standards to control product quality