Erwin Wijman - You Are What You Drive

How car brands drive you crazy


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So you think you choose your new car? You’re wrong. Your job and your neighbors determine what car you drive, and if that is a Toyota Prius or a Porsche.

Of course you can explain why you bought a Peugeot. You buy a car with emotions and can defend its purchase with rational arguments. But there is no choice, you are your car. Your car is auto guide, marketing folder, psychology book, and story book all in one. It doesn’t feature technical specifications, consumption figures, and other horsepower porn. This is also for women!

Published in October 2011 | Paperback | 288 pages | ca. 68,000 words
Over 5,000 copies sold
Dutch edition published by Haystack

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Erwin Wijman has been writing about car marketing in newspapers (NRC Handelsblad, de Volkskrant and the Dutch Financial Times) and magazines (Quote and Adformatie).


‘A useful and hilarious guide book on the last bastion of class society in the low countries, the car.’ – Jort Kelder, journalist, columnist, and television presenter

‘It shows the holy grail for any marketeer.’ – Alfred Levi, marketing guru for 3MO, SWOCC, and NIMA

‘Wijman offers his knowledge and skills with a fresh name dropping and staccato style that will make you laugh out loud.’ – Viola Robbemondt, editor in chief for Carwoman.nl



1. Every car brand has a wonderful story
2. Every car owner adds their own story to their car
3. No one is free in choosing their car: listen to Feuerbach (you are what you drive)
4. A car is shameless exhibitionism
5. Why criminals need to avoid a criminal car
6. How a car brand builds its image and becomes desirable: how advertising really works
7. How a car brand builds its image part two: it’s all in the name of your model
8. How a car brand builds its image part three: sex, how does that work?
9. How a car brand builds its image part four: do you address women different from men?
10. How a car brand builds its image part five: can you sell an electric car using Kim Kardashian?

Afterword: What?!? A Fiat Multipla?!?!?

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