The Monster is dead, indisputably dead: General Motors, maker of the infamous Hummer, has made this clear, and anyone with a set of paired braincells can realize how jarring its big-box image and horrendous gas mileage comes across in this new era of high gas prices and global environmental concern. (Only in the military, one can assume, is its place not under threat.)
Of course, that is not welcome news to many. This includes many Germans, who come from a culture that does appreciate well-engineered motor vehicles, together with their unfettered use. Think of those renowned no-speed-limit Autobahnen. And since when were Germans ever known for their mass use of bicycles, as the Dutch and the Danish – and Chinese, etc. – are known for to this day?
No, through recent history the pride of Germany has been their excellent armored fighting vehicles, and then – once the sheer catastrophe of the Second World War turned them away from things military – their exquisite autos: Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, even Volkswagen. The last few decades, though, they have also taken up the cause of environmentalism in a big way – Germany is the country where you’re asked to sort your street-side trash by Glass/Paper/Packaging/Other, for example – and this has of course at times worked at cross-purposes with their automobile love-affair. (more…)