If I think of Germany at night,
Then I'm deprived of sleep,
Heinrich Heine writes in his poem Nachtgedanken (Night thoughts). In it, the poet longs with his familiar irony for a better, more beautiful Germany. That was in 1844. He had no idea what negative thoughts the country would evoke 100 years later. When the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in 1949, no one believed in a spectacular success. Not only the cities were destroyed. Germany was devastated in many ways - above all morally. And the country was also divided. For many years, the two halves were to form the direct points of contact between the two blocks of the Cold War.
The so called land of poets and thinkers thus started the second half of the last century with the heaviest baggage through its own fault. Contrary to expectations, however, the happiest epoch in German history followed. First in the West, and since the reunification of the two German states in 1990 also in the East. The generations born after 1940 succeeded in filling the prescribed democracy with life. The socially designed market economy became a successful model with high social binding power. Despite all its conflicting interests, the international community today values Germany as a peaceful country that is active worldwide.
Nevertheless, non-Germans of course have a special view of the country and like to attribute typical characteristics to its inhabitants: they are considered punctual, diligent, overly correct and having a schoolmaster gene. Those Krauts listen to hit music all day long, eat sausage after sausage, preferably with cabbage and potatoes, only tolerate beer, dear garden gnomes, the highway and garbage separation. The men wear lederhosen, the women dirndls, and on Sundays family outings are obligatory.
But as with all clichés, the same applies here: A spark of truth dwells in everyone.
The close relationship of many Germans to the automobile is undoubtedly true. It gives even scientists cause for profound thoughts. Social scientist Konrad Götz of the Frankfurt Institute for Socio-Economic Research writes: "Without me the car can do nothing, but with me much more than I can. The superior thing needs me. It is dependent like a child, and at the same time powerful like an authority. And in the middle - me!
This special relationship needs to be well prepared: according to studies, a German car buyer spends about six months buying a new car. That's usually more time than they spend choosing their partner in life.
This may also be due to the fact that not a few people see the cradle of the automobile in Germany. On July 3, 1886, the Neue Badische Landeszeitung published the following news: "A velocipede to be operated with ligroingas, which was constructed in the Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik by Benz & Cie., was tried out early this morning in the Ringstrasse ...".
The three-wheeled motor car was designed by Carl Benz. Without knowing that, Gottlieb Daimler developed a four-wheeled motor coach in Bad Cannstadt in the same year. However, both of them did not turn the world upside down. Until one August morning in 1888 Bertha Benz set off with the vehicle for the first long-distance journey in automobile history. From Mannheim she drove to Pforzheim, 106 kilometres away, to visit her grandmother. By the way without a driving license.
The maiden voyage brought new momentum to development. Alongside Daimler and Benz, men such as Nicolaus Otto, Rudolf Diesel, Wilhelm Maybach, Adam Opel, Robert Bosch and Ferdinand Porsche developed new ideas. In France, engineers like Armand Peugot and Louis Renault did the same. The first car race took place in 1894 in the neighboring country to the west. On July 22, 21 vehicles started in Paris. 15 of them arrived at their destination Rouen after 126 kilometers. The average speed was 17 km/h.
Too slow for the taste of the Viennese merchant Emil Jellinek. The enthusiastic motorist ordered a racing car from Daimler and Maybach. What he got was a stable vehicle with 35 HP and a top speed of 86 km/h - the pattern of the modern car. Jellinek gave this car the nickname of his daughter: Mercedes. What developed from it is well known.
For several years now, Germany has been one of the most important and influential automobile markets in the world. In Formula 1, on the other hand, great successes were long in coming. It was not until 1994 that Michael Schumacher won his first World Championship title. Since then, German Formula 1 drivers have not been an unusual sight on the podium. With seven triumphs "Schumi" holds pole position in the eternal ranking of champions. Right behind is Sebastian Vettel with currently four titles. Nico Rosberg was the third German to win the top class of motorsport in 2016.
Much earlier, Pirelli settled in the German market. In 1963, the group acquired a majority holding in Veith-Gummiwerke AG. The plant in Breuberg in the Odenwald region has been producing tyres since 1903.
Today, the Pirelli plant in Breuberg produces around six million passenger car and two million motorcycle tyres annually, primarily for premium and prestige vehicles. In order to produce innovative ultra high-performance tyres with high performance, low rolling resistance and correspondingly lower fuel consumption, more than 200 technicians work in the research and development department at the Breuberg site alone. Together with its subsidiaries, Pirelli employs around 3,000 people in Germany, including currently more than 120 trainees and 500 employees of the tyre trade chain Driver Reifen und KFZ-Technik, whose headquarters are also in Breuberg.
Pirelli Germany maintains close development partnerships with German automobile manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen Group with its brands like Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche and thus contributes to Pirelli's leading position in the premium and prestige segments.
So it goes without saying that in car-loving Germany the Pirelli website www.pirelli.com is now also available in German.