Well, after countless hours in airports and airplanes, it gives me great pleasure to be writing this from my wondowless hotel room right here in Stockholm, Sweden.
I arrived about three hours ago after a gruelling 12 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, where I resisted the urge to by a can of Mecca Cola but did pay $8 for a block of Cadbury’s chocolate that was made in the factory 25 minutes away from own home in Tasmania!! It sells for around $4 at home.
I’ve got to be brief with this post as I’m meeting a guy for dinner (Par B from Auto Motor and Sport magazine) in around an hour. But here’s a few brief observartions from the coalface:
1) If you ever needed some rock hard evidence about why the 9-3 SportCombi is so important to Saab, then spend some time in Sweden. At least half of the cars I’ve seen on the road so far – and this is no exaggeration, I promise – are either wagons or hatchbacks.
The fact that the 9-3 sold pretty well in its home market prior to the SportCombi coming along shows just how good car the sedan is. But this is a wagon country and I’ve already seen a number of them here on the road.
2) Volvos outnumber Saabs on the Stockholm streets I’ve seen by an order of about two to one. If not more. It’s box-city.
3) I saw my first Viggen within 20 minutes of leaving the airport. Woohoo!
4) There’s a lot more Mercs Audis and Beamers here than I expected. A lot more. Saab and Volvo consistenly kick butt in Swedish sales data, but make no mistake the Germans are here in high numbers. But that’s just an observation from my viewpoint here in the city.
5) I’ve probably spent the sum total of an hour (out my three in the country) car-watching. I’ve seen every model Saab from the 96 onwards except for a 99. By far the highest proportion of them have been 9-3s and 9-5s. There’s heaps of 9-5 taxis here but also a lot of 9-5 SportWagons in private hands.
Here’s a few pics taken during a brief 10 minute stroll a few blocks from my hotel. I’ll be back with more later, and I’m on the train to Trollhattan tomorrow!!
After wandering around for 10 minutes or so looking for Saabs in the quite light city traffic, this 9-3 SS was sitting parked right outside of my hotel.