Commiserations to those of you who sat through the Eurovision song contest on Saturday, The Annual contest which in recent years has been fought more on the grounds of political alliances than music once again delivered a sickening combination of vacuous, cheesy, bile-inducing Europop. The UK, who have only won the competition once and who traditionally perform diabolically, decided to put forward Blue, a boy-band verging on craggy, exhumed from a grave of pop-mediocrity. Despite Blue’s questionable ability to shine in the pop charts of 2011, they were arguably the most credible act on stage in Dusseldorf, though this was nothing to be proud of when compared to Jedward and their European counterparts.
Azerbaijan, a small Eurasian output not normally noted for producing manufactured pop music, emerged the eventual victor with ‘Running Scared’, a suitably soppy ballard-like duet. Like the majority of entries however I felt more ‘scared’ than ‘scared’ after listening to this, although it did instil a certain sense of fear about the seemingly ever-worsening music tastes of European audiences. The contest did get me thinking however, what country would win if there was a Eurovision contest for the best car manufacturer? It would certainly be interesting and if the wider European consensus reflected a similar taste for cars as it did for music.
With this in mind here is a rundown of what I think would be the top 5 countries if there were such a contest;
The Russians aren’t so much renowned for cheesy cars, as, well, terrible cars! The former Soviet Union are famous for being home to the much-maligned Lada brand. Lada have always been popular in Eastern Europe, and oddly, Cuba but Britons have all but that snubbed the vehicles, which are known for being ugly, unreliable and slow!
Those image-proud French certainly aren’t shy about letting their personalities influence their car designs, some of the most inventive whacky-looking cars have come out of France. Renault are particularly adventurous with their drawing boards, spawning such odd-looking buy strangely alluring (coincidentally, an attribute many Eurovision acts possess!) models as the Vel Satis and Avantime.
You might think that Italy, with its sleek, ultra desirable sports cars from the likes of Ferrari and Maserati would be the last country whose car industry could be likened to a Eurovision entry, but the jewel of the med has produced its fair share of gimmicks. Just look at the Fiat 500, the embodiment of cultural kitsch and the Multipla, commonly referred to as the ugliest car in existence, two qualities common to Eurovision entries.
Again a country that’s more often associated with quality than cheesy, throwaway products, Germany’s motors are known for being efficient, reliable, effortlessly cool and always popular with contract hire and leasing customers. So what warrants their place on the list? Much in the same vein as Fiat with the 500, Germany was responsible for breathing life into the Mini, arguably the cheesiest car to come out the country with its oversized dials and chrome panelling, this one car alone puts Germany in contention for the title.
Yes, while the UK has no hope of ever winning the Eurovision song contest, it easily claims the title of the cheesiest car producing nation. How so? Look at the number of failed UK auto firms –Rover, MG and TVR to name a few. Even worse, the UK more than any other nation likes to play on national stereotypes when it comes to cars. Just look at cars the Bentley Arnage which evokes British charm via use of distasteful wooden panelling on the dash, chrome trimmed dials and cream leather seats. If the UK car industry was an act at Eurovision it would feature a man in a bowler hat strolling around London landmarks eating fish and chips! Worthy winners!