I hadn’t heard of a site called Carwinism prior to yesterday, when a guy named Claes in Sweden sent me a link to a recent article there.
I could have done a Googletrans and posted it straight here, but I got the feeling that this article was a little more important than that. So, I pushed the boundaries a little and asked Claes (who’d I’d not met before) if a proper English translation could be made available.
Thankfully, I received that now along with the permission to post it here to share with you non-Swedes (thanks Jonas!). However, I’ve also just discovered that there is a sister site, in English, called Carwinism.com so the posting of the full translation here isn’t needed.
Carwinism.se is a site dedicated to celebrating the car in all aspects, and any brand. 2009 is both the worst year ever for the car, and also, the 200th anniversary of Darwin, hence the pun in the website’s title.
This article was written by a social anthropoligist named Olle Hagman, from Gothenburg. In the article, he goes a long way to explain the good feelings many of us have with regard to Saab’s sale to Koenigsegg.
In the debate concerning Koenigsegg’s financial ability to develop SAAB, the dream perspective has been lost on the way. For, in my opinion, it does hold great value that the manufacturer of the world’s fastest car, designed by a Swedish entrepreneur who since childhood has dreamed of making cars, over night has managed to turn around the perception of SAAB. From being a supplier of American nightmares to Swedish dreams.
The article is entitled The Car’s Journey from Machine to Organism and I guess even just the title is a good explanation for several things:
- Why people develop ‘relationships’ with their cars
- Why blogs like SU exist in the first place
- Why companies that build automotive appliances are not loved.
This article doesn’t deal with the k-Saab transaction in much more depth other than what I’ve posted above.
Rather, it traces the evolution of the automobile from family hauler, to driver’s car, to a look-at-me symbol of indivdual success. Various ages have meant various things for the automobile, they way it’s designed and the way it’s presented to people. The one thing that carries through all of this is the development of the relationship between people and the cars they drive.
For many, cars DO mean more than just adequate transportation. Such is the case with Saab, and it’s in this light that Hagman writes his article.
It’s highly recommended reading. Again, my thanks to Claes and Jonas for the tip.