In an exercise of German fastidiousness, Die Zeit put together a little map at the end of last year illustrating what cars German mayors of cities of 100,000+ residents use as their official vehicles. The article (click here to view it) points out that it comes as little surprise that Wolfsburg’s mayor drives a VW and the Cologne mayor drives a Ford, but I just love the excessive car-related statistics of the article for its own nerdiness. It’s hard to draw many conclusions from the map, other than a tendency of eastern states to not choose Mercedes-Benz as their representative vehicle, which Die Zeit attributes to the three-pointed star’s role as the great symbol of capitalism.
Whether I have found just another piece of academic justification of auto-obsession, or if there really is something to be said for using automobiles as social, economic, and cultural barometers is hard to tell from this fun, yet data-thin image.
Block, Jörg, “Deutschlandkarte: In Amt und Würden und Dienstwagen.” Die Zeit. December 8, 2010. http://www.zeit.de/2010/50/Deutschlandkarte-Dienstwagen (accessed July 12, 2011).