How it all began
At that time Volkswagen was a big player in the US, Mercedes-Benz was trying to figure out how to get a foothold in the market and BMW was wrestling with its distributor.
There also were a lot of small European companies doing business in the Americas.
Saab and Volvo were selling cars in the US as were Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Renault and Peugeot. Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover represented Great Britain in the US and even UK carmaker Sterling was poised for entry.
There was plenty going on in Europe in those days, too. The competition between brands and nations was heating up. It wasn’t too long before Automotive News hired its first full-time correspondent to cover Europe. After that we established greatrelationships with many correspondents, who would do a darn good job representing us in all of Europe’s major auto capitals. It was an exciting time.
As I got to know more auto executives in Europe, they kept asking me: When will Automotive News come to Europe?
VW’s Carl Hahn and BMW’s Eberhard von Kuenheim were among the first who realized the benefits that could come from having a publication that covered the entire European market so they kept prodding me to start something.
Because of their experiences in the US, they were familiar with Automotive News and thought I could do something in Europe.
They were right.
It just took a little bit longer than any of us imagined.
The early 1990s seemed to be the right time to get started. Europe’s economies were growing and there was a strong drive to strengthen the ties among the countries in western Europe as well as expand into eastern Europe.
We didn’t have to do a study of the market. We knew it quite well and decided to plunge in a decade ago.
Although publishing in English always has been a problem, most of our target readers have a strong enough command of the language to understand Automotive News Europe.
It has been a fast decade in the automobile business in Europe and it has been a great source of pride to have been there to cover all the big stories.
Automotive News Europe is now a decade old. And for us, this is just the beginning.
Keith Crain is the publisher and editorial director of Automotive News Europe.
You can reach Keith Crain at email@example.com.