It's the year 1887. Karl Benz has presented his famous tricycle a year earlier. It demonstrated its abilities on the long-distance journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim (180 km), but except a gold medal and positive newspaper articles, no one is interested with serious intentions to buy it.
There Monsieur Emile Roger from Paris appears at Benz and first buys one car and a bit later more. He had just previously obtained the two-stroke engines from Benz and was also convinced of the quality of the newproduct. Surprising that the products of a German inventor first are so well received in France that the manufacturer barely comply with the production.
Gottlieb Daimler, too has such experiences as he negotiates with Panhard & Levassor on his boat in Paris. And since one also can not deliver enough is taken license and granted. Not Germany and certainly not England with its Red Flag Act are the driving forces of the automotive development but rather France and America much later.
Are the Germans perhaps not only in that time, something too skeptical? The bicycle originating from England in any case, they have taken up relatively quickly. The Germans have perhaps therefore reservations because the inventors come from Germany. Is that nothing that is created in the own country?
Unaffected, without reservation and easily to enthuse the French react on this new opportunity to explore individually a wider area. They print in their newspapers not just driving reports but rather also experiences of buyers of the cars. August Horch reported page by page in his memoirs about the obstacles of the first motorists by the German authorities.
If Karl Benz the Germans puts on the 'old-fogyish stocking cap' in his memoirs, he is at the same time full of praise for the French. According to his research import and export keep broadly balanced in Germany 1906 with good 20 million Swiss francs, whereas France seventeen times as much exports as imports with 133 million francs.
And this, although in the of the French (!) invented races first, at least the German engines are successfully. After the turn of the century the victories of the Daimler, from Maybach constructed are legendary. And yet Renault and Citroen mainly, manage to compete with an enormous production rate still before the boom in America. And as this is by far surpassed by Henry Ford, as a matter of course they tag along this process.
French engineers are apparently more open to different ideas than German. Is the average Frenchman perhaps more Romanesque imprinting than the German? Are more likely be carried away to enthusiasm French capitalists than German, do they more likely invest in new ideas and demand not quite as fast their money back as rate of return? Affects the behavior also in advertising and more likely enthusiastic the rest of the population?
Perhaps, German working meticulously and French quickness exclude each other when reacting to the markets at that time. The Germans have to rely on the entrepreneurial Prince Henry of Prussia to do something for the reputation of German cars. The French remains the glory of having made popular the car with combustion engine.
However, an attempt must be repelled, them to stylize highly to the relevant inventors, too. This may, in the case of Lenoir 1860, are true with his gas engine but the lack of practical suitability of his invention seems to be no doubt. Other French accomplishments can be noted perhaps at the hot air balloon (Montgolfier), in chemistry (Lavoisier), at current ( Ampère) and at the loom (Jacquard) but not in the car sector. 09/12