One of the most closely watched quality indicators in Europe and especially in Germany is the annual TÜV-Report. With German thoroughness, the report tells exactly which cars were naughty or nice. It’s the law: Three years after you buy a new car in Germany, it must be inspected by the Technischer Überwachungsverein. Thereafter, every two years. This is not your run-of-the-mill drive-to-the-gas-station-get-a-sticker exercise. At the TÜV, each car undergoes a thorough and invasive physical. Fail the physical, and it’s back to the shop. Fail again: No inspection sticker, get that POS off the road. No wonder that a date with the TÜV is considered as even less attractive than a meeting with the proctologist. One out of 5 cars fail the test on the first attempt.
Once a year, the TÜV compiles its TÜV-Report, using the actual results of the check. This is no J.D.Power CSI. This is the real world, a report compiled with screwdrivers, flashlights, emission probes, brake testers. Executives at automakers await the report with high anxiety. Bad positions on the list can be career-ending.
The TÜV-Report 2012 will be published on December 16. Some results are already dribbling out, but the list itself remains under wraps. We twisted some arms and finagled an advance copy (your Teutonic old boys network at work.) Let’s see who will be promoted and who should polish his resume. (Read More…)