It's an observation that I made this week. There are numerous British faces that come and spark up a positive image or a "sale" on the UK. But for Germany? The blunt truth is that Steffi Graff and Boris Becker are likely the only two Germans besides Chancellor Merkel, who most Americans will recognize. A sales pitch or positive image for Germany? It's kinda limited.
So where does the typical American get the German image?
Well....it's ironic in some ways....but it's the American who goes to the BMW or Mercedes dealer, who finds this German image and gets the sales pitch of Germany.
You walk into a BMW dealer, and they want to talk German technology. They want to make you weep over German engineering, which they explain is light-years ahead of Ford or GM. They want to give you the pitch over the absolute craftsmanship of each and every car....challenging you to find a single flaw or a minute bit of difference between one car and another.
As you sip fine brewed German coffee at the Mercedes dealer....the dealer is commenting over the little sensor that feels a bit of rain on the windshield....and activates the wiper automatically. They want you to settle back in the driver's seat and feel absolute comfort.
After an hour with the dealer.....your heart races and you feel like these Germans are sealing the deal, but they aren't even in the room. They sit three thousand miles away. Their car, and this dealer....are what represents Germany....to an American who has never been to Germany.
I realize that Britian has the Queen, Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Kate Winslett, and Ringo Starr to sell the empire to Americans. But the Germans are crafty individuals. Car by car.....they sell Germany, and Americans sense some kind of pride in each German car they buy.
Forget BBC America, or that Piers dude on CNN....bring on the BMW dealer.