▪ • * BRITISH PRESTIGE IN SWEDEN
Sir, The entry of Britain into the Common Market being possibly imminent, the future of Britigh cars in the face of full Continental competition is open to conjecture. Taking Sweden as_ a test case, being probably the most competitive selling market and most rugged testing ground for cars in Europe, one can find cars from every country in the World being treated eqtially ; not even Swedish cars themselves having preferential treatment. As can be seen from the following 1961 figures for new cars registered in Sweden, the ubiquitous VW tops the list once more :— (1) VoL12 1,44050.. . . 33,244 new units registered (2,) v (3) Saab 93, 96 18 (4) Opel Rekord 1. 2174,:34 4)432r (5) Ford Taunus 8:9cis „ • •
The most popular British car is the Ford New Anglia, hut it has a long way to go to overcome the bad name our vehicles have earned over recent years.
Cars have a tough life in Sweden, most spending their entire lives in the open, being driven hard the whole year round, often on poor roads in sub-zero Conditions. Volvos and Saabs, of course, are built to take it and the inbuilt quality of the German products is a protection in itself; but body-rust and the general deterioration of British cars only three or four years old is painfully evident. The fact that American cars share the same bad reputation is of small consolation, and I only hope the big names in the British automobile industry make an even bigger effort to back up the limited success the new Anglias, Minis (christened ” Hundkojan,” or kennel) and Heralds are gaining.
The fact that a representative of the Swedish R.A.C. equivalent advised some friends of mine, who were interested in buying an English car, to wait a few years in the hope that the quality would improve, shows the prejudice against our products to be surmountable. It is going to take time and effort, however, to boost an English car amongst the first five most popular in such a free and international market…. or to make me change my VW.
Gothenburg. ALAN L. FROOME. • • ” “