Blog

  • Why Do German Cars Enjoy Such Perennial Popularity?

    Posted on 01, April, 2018

    According to World’s Top Exports (www.worldstopexports.com), an independent education and research website, the United States imported $173.3 billion in automobiles in 2016. The top 10 countries that sent cars to the US, with the total dollar amount and percentage change from 2015 were:

    1.   Canada: $45.9 billion (up 0.5%)

    2.   Japan: $40 billion (up 3.1%)

    3.   Mexico: $24.1 billion (up 35.5%)

    4.   Germany: $22.3 billion (down -6.4%)

    5.   South Korea: $16.4 billion (up 49.9%)

    6.   United Kingdom: $8.9 billion (up 95.3%)

    7.   Italy: $4.2 billion (up 320.1%)

    8.   Sweden: $1.8 billion (up 123.2%)

    9.   Slovakia: $1.6 billion (up 79.6%)

    10. South Africa: $1.5 billion (down -20.5%)

    Sitting solidly at number four, German imports enjoy a large following among American automotive enthusiasts. That country’s flagship makes -- which are BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche -- have legions of fanatical devotees. Why is that? Let’s take a look.

    While nearly all those manufacturers have been exporting to the US since World War II, it’s safe to say that it was Volkswagen that put German imports firmly in the minds of Americans. Starting in the 1950s, those iconic bugs began buzzing around US roadways, gathering up thousands of rabid fans along the way. Followed by the Type 2, or Transporter—commonly known as the microbus—Volkswagen’s utilitarian offerings owned the German import market for many years, selling millions of units.

    The others -- BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and Audi -- all addressed a more upscale market, and until the arrival of Japanese competition from Infiniti, Lexus and Acura (divisions of Nissan, Toyota, and Honda, respectively) defined the import luxury segment.

    But what is it about German cars that capture American’s loyalty? In 2012, Fortune Magazine posed that question and came up with ten reasons, Here are the top five:

    1. They’ve been doing it longer. Germans have been making cars longer than anyone else. In fact, the internal combustion engine was first patented by Karl Benz in 1879 and seven years later got a patent for his first automobile.

     

    2. They’re racy. From their very inception, companies like Mercedes, Porsche and BMW have been heavily involved in racing, both as a proving ground for their machines and as a way to promote their brands.

     

    3. They’ve got amazing roads. Germany is known for its Autobahn, that famous road network with its famous one-time lack of a speed limit. That pushed manufacturers to design cars that could keep up.

     

    4. Strong branding. Fortune concluded that one reason is that German car makers have worked tirelessly to build their images. The magazine specifically cites their “clarity, commitment, authenticity and relevance.”

     

    5. Well, they make ‘em better. Simply put, “German Engineering” has become a buzz phrase that means high tech, high design, and high quality. That all adds up to a perception that cars from Germany are superior to those from other countries, including the US.

    Sure, there are plenty of drivers who remain loyal to Italian, Japanese, Swedish, American and English automobiles. But there’s a certain cache to German cars that resonates with quality- and performance-minded American drivers.

  • Top Spring Cleaning Ideas for Your Car

    Posted on 01, March, 2018

    Here in South Carolina, we don’t typically experience the harsh winter weather conditions our neighbors to the north endure. But with the fewer daylight hours, it seems like there isn’t enough time in the day to do a lot of the stuff we seem to be able to accomplish in the summer. And one of those chores that often gets neglected is cleaning our cars.

     

    Now that spring is upon us, it’s time to start thinking about those summer road trips to the beach and other destinations. We all strive for that “beach body” to parade around the sand, but what our car looks like in the parking lot is just as important. It doesn’t take much to bring your vehicle back to looking like it just rolled off the showroom lot.

     

    If you’re on a budget, just spending a few hours with a bucket, hose, a sponge, and a chamois can make your pride and joy sparkle again. This is also a good time to apply a nice coat of wax, possibly one with UV protection to keep the paint from fading in the hot summer sun. It’s also not a bad idea to pay some attention to the undercarriage. While we don’t have to contend with road salt, there’s still lots of mud and other grime that can accumulate on the bottom. Cleaning it off can help to prevent rust by removing any hiding places for trapped water.

     

    Over time, tires can lose their shiny black sheen, and wheels can become dull, due to brake dust and road gunk. A cleaning with a good tire cleaning product will have them looking like new.

     

    After you’ve been tracking in water and mud all winter, your car’s interior can start to look a little grungy too. A good vacuuming and shampooing of the carpeting, coupled with some new floor mats will give your car or truck a nice facelift. While you’re at it, giving all the glass a good cleaning with some Windex and paper towels will not only help the car sparkle, it will improve visibility...and safety. Don’t neglect the upholstery, either. If it’s cloth, shampoo it. If it’s leather, treat it to a good quality conditioner. Applying a product such as Armor All to plastic surfaces such as the dashboard, door interiors, and the console will not only get them looking shiny new again but will protect against the harmful rays of the summer sun.

     

    So you see, spring cleaning isn’t just for the house. Resolve to spend a little time each spring to bring your car back to its former glory. You’ll be glad you did.

  • Things To Do on Valentine’s Day in Columbia, South Carolina

    Posted on 01, February, 2018

    Looking for something perhaps a little different to do this Valentine’s Day? Sure, flowers, chocolates, and cards are nice, but how about giving your love an experience instead? Here are a few suggestions:

     

    Valentine's Cinema: Sabrina

    Once again, Midlands Technical College presents its annual screening of this 1954 Billy Wilder classic. The film stars Humphrey Bogart and William Holden as two very different brothers who fall for the same woman, played by Audrey Hepburn. It’s a mix of comedy, drama, and romance featuring stellar performances from three of the biggest box office draws the time in an interesting and amusing love triangle. The fun begins at 7 pm in the theater lobby for dessert, champagne, and dancing before the film. Tickets are $17; Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, 7300 College Street, Irmo, SC 29063. Click here for ticket information.

     

    Yoga and Beer at Conquest Brewery

    Honestly, what says “I love you” more than a glass of hoppy Sacred Heart IPA from Conquest Brewery? Add yoga and you’ve got the perfect recipe for Valentine’s Day…$10 includes a one-hour yoga session and a pint after. Mats are available. Conquest Brewery, 947 S. Stadium Rd., Columbia, SC 29201. Visit www.conquestbrewing.com for tickets and more information.


    Broadway in Columbia Presents “Cabaret”

    Join the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a wild and crazy ensemble at the infamous Kit Kat Klub in pre-WWII Berlin. The cast of this Tony-award-winning musical takes the audience on a musical journey every night as they leave their troubles at the door. It’s an amusing look at the decadent allure of pre-war Germany. Memorable songs include “Cabaret,” “Wilkommen,” and “Maybe This Time.” Life is a Cabaret! Ticket prices vary. Presented at the Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene Street, Columbia, SC 29201. Visit www.broadwayincolumbia.com for more information.

     

    If you plan to drive to these events, be sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. You won’t want to deal with the hassle of a car repair issue on Valentine’s Day. That would kill the mood, for sure. Schedule an appointment for auto maintenance with Brown Motor Works online or call (803) 551-0991. You’ll be glad you did. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • New Year’s Resolutions For Your Car

    Posted on 01, January, 2018

    Brown Motor Works wishes you and yours a very Happy New Year. The holidays have come and gone, so it’s back to the grind. We’ve made several 2018 New Year resolutions to improve our daily routines, even if that means giving up some of our favorite bad habits.

     

    This year, why not take those New Year resolutions a step further? We invite you to include your vehicle in your pursuit of good habits. To help you take better care of your vehicle, here are some ideas for you and your car:

     

    Set service appointments in advance Call Browns Motor Works and schedule your maintenance for the year. Think of it like dental checkups. Most of us go twice a year, and our appointments are scheduled way in advance, so we don’t have to worry about keeping up.

    1. Keep your car cleaner this year. Resolve to keep your car clean on the inside and out, including fluids and filters.
    2. Start a vehicle savings account. Set aside a percentage each month to deposit into a separate account. Having dedicated funds for auto repair will ensure your vehicles regular maintenance is not overlooked, and help to ease the sting of a “not-so-regular” maintenance visit.
    3. Put the phone down and make this New Year a safe one. Without the electronic distraction, this will give you the power of being aware and help keep you from making costly mistakes. Your family will thank you for it.
    4. Go for a long drive with your family. Go ahead you’ve earned it! You have kept up with those maintenance appointments, kept it clean, and now your vehicle has a bank account of its own! We believe your car is ready for a nice road trip, so go and enjoy yourself.

    Contact Brown Motor Works today, or stop by our shop at 520 Clemson Rd., Columbia, SC 29229. For best service, schedule an appointment online. We specialize in BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Mini Cooper vehicles. Let Brown Motor Works take the worry out of winter driving. You'll be glad you did.

  • How to Protect Your Car in Cold Weather

    Posted on 18, December, 2017

    It’s winter, and that means a change in road conditions. Are you and your vehicle ready? Brown Motor Works in Columbia, SC, offers this cold weather vehicle safety checklist:

    • Tire Tread: Be sure you have the proper tires for the weather and be sure they’re correctly inflated. If you live in higher elevations, you may want to consider installing snow tires.
    • Belts and Hoses: Harsh weather, coupled with normal wear and tear, can make belts and hose brittle causing them to crack and break. Be sure their flexible and are not leaking.
    • Oil and other Fluids: Your Vehicle is full of fluid. These fluids include engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid and others that may need to be refilled or replaced to keep you up and running. For example, engines need different weights of motor oil in the winter. Be sure to have yours professionally checked to protect your engine from the cold.
    • Brakes: Be sure your brake pads and rotors are in tip-top condition and while you’re at it, have your FWD system checked, too.
    • Suspension: Your suspension affects your steering and ensures your vehicle goes in the direction you turn. Faulty suspension, especially in snow and ice could cause you to crash into a snowbank or worse yet, another vehicle.
    • Headlamps: Be sure your headlamps are bright, shiny and properly aligned. If you can’t see it, you can’t avoid hitting it. Sounds simple, but it’s true.

    The best way to ensure your vehicle is ready for the cold weather is to take it to Brown Motor Works for a comprehensive preventative maintenance inspection. We’ll give it a complete bumper-to-bumper inspection, let you know what we find and, with your permission, fix it before it becomes a major issue.

     

    Call us at 803-788-7028, stop by our shop at 520 Clemson Rd., Columbia, SC 29229 or schedule an appointment online. We specialize in BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Mini Coopers.

    Come see us and let Brown Motor Works take the worry out of winter driving.