The Differences Between German and Japanese Auto Engineering

June 22, 2018 9:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A lot of car enthusiasts tend to have strong opinions about the auto engineering in various countries. Germany and Japan are two countries well known for their automobile exports, but what exactly are the main differences in engineering between the two?

Here’s a brief overview from a German auto mechanic in Albuquerque, NM.

Differing priorities

Germany and Japan both produce many fine vehicles. However, their priorities in their engineering tend to be different, meaning depending on what you’re looking for out of a vehicle, you might align with the priorities of one over the other.

Japanese automakers, for example, tend to prioritize efficiency in their vehicles, and making their cars identical. This is why you so often see Japanese cars winning fuel efficiency awards. The Honda Civic, the Toyota Camry and Corolla and other such vehicles have long been considered efficient economy cars for drivers of all types.

German automakers, meanwhile, tend to prioritize assembly and consistency. Everything should “just work” in German engineering. As an example of this, German cars were very influential in reducing the number of keys that come with a vehicle down to just one, rather than two (one for both the door and the ignition).

Japanese cars also tend to favor longevity more than cars engineered in other countries. Many people report being able to drive their Toyotas or Hondas for decades as long as they keep up with their regular maintenance. It’s not unheard of for many of those vehicles to reach 300,000 miles without experiencing any significant issues.

German cars might not have the longevity of Japanese cars, but they definitely tend to feature much greater technological and engineering prowess. You simply don’t go out and buy a Toyota for advanced, influential engineering. German cars, however, are regularly pushing the envelope, both in terms of how they handle and how they look.

This demonstrates the differing philosophies of Japanese and German automakers. The Japanese vehicles do not change as rapidly—their automakers find what works, focus on making them as long-lasting and efficient as possible and stick with the formula that finds them success. German automakers are constantly upgrading their technology and engineering, in some cases to the point of over-engineering their vehicles, but are always considered to be on the cutting edge of automaking technology.

What’s best for you?

Ultimately, you should approach your choice of German vs. Japanese vehicle the same way you approach any vehicle purchase. Know exactly what it is you want out of a vehicle, then narrow down your selections from there. You should be able to prioritize what’s important for you to have in your car long before you set foot in a dealership.

If you have any additional questions about the differences between Japanese and German vehicles, we encourage you to reach out to a German auto mechanic in Albuquerque, NM at Hans Wittler’s Automotive. We’ve been assisting area drivers for over 40 years, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have for us.

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