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Monday, May 21, 2012

Saabism in Ameerica

Long time no update. I was in Silicon Valley, in the headquarters of my new employer (japanese / american). Rather than complaining about jet lag and 26 hours without proper sleep on the way back some thoughts about cars in the californian streets. I've been there last time 8 years ago, some things changed significantly.

Firstly much less V6 and V8 engine cars and much less pick-ups. Of course the crisis and sky-high fuel prices came also to the IT Mecca. The average price per gallon of petrol in California is 4.3$. Last time a friend of a friend was driving us in his wonderful old Cadillac around. I remember the discussion where he stated, that price around 4$ (which we had at that time already) would be a tragedy to him and force him not to drive a car. It's here. The heat map says, that this is the most expensive area, but it's anyway not under 3.15$ anywhere.

Secondly much more hybrid cars. For example the absolute majority cabs on the San Francisco airport were hybrids. After arrival, I was sitting there, smoking and watching, what they use, all japanese and nearly all hybrids. As if they would jump over the diesel generation and stepping right in the electric hybrid era.

Thirdly more subcompact / compact cars and South Korean cars. Last time Hyundai and Kia = zero. This time a lot. The same for small cars. It simply wasn't there.

And lastly less unusual cars. Much more standard "something". Less money ? According to the number of private jets starting every day from San José airport - no way. More probably commoditisation as in everything.

What about Saabs ? Only older Saabs, 9-3 first generation or 900 II and 9-5 first generation. No 900 classic. Saab is dying here :( All together in the week 5 x 9-3, 2 x 9-5, 1x 9-7X and that's it. Sad.

Saabism in a jumbo above Iceland

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