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  1. #1
    Dave T.
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    6 years ago: picking up a Saab in Trollhättan, shipping it overseas

    On Monday, May 9, 2005, I picked up my new Saab 9-3 in Trollhättan. This is a multi-part series to trace the events that happened exactly six years ago to the day. Even the day of the week is the same as it was in 2005. Some of the blogs will be timeless information that still applies today. Those blogs may appear as articles, such as describing the European delivery program. Other blogs will remain in the blog section as I commemorate other six year anniversaries, such as the car leaving the port in Sweden and the day it arrived in the United States. The first article is about the European Delivery Program, which appeared on the home page, can be found at this link: http://saabworld.net/content/saab-eu...long-fans-400/

    Monday, May 9, 2005: Having stayed overnight at the Ronnums Herrgård (Ronnum Manor hotel), which is another story for another day, Monica Petersson called me in the morning. She worked with international and diplomatic sales customers at ANA Trollhättan, the largest Saab dealer in Sweden. She said that a car would come to get me and that she was offering another free night at the hotel, which I accepted.

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    House on the grounds of the Ronnums Herrgård where actress Nicole Kidman stayed during the filming of "Dogville".

    After breakfast, a red Saab 9-5 came to pick me up. Little was spoken as the car drove fast to the factory while I was taking pictures of the journey. There, I was met by Johann, Monica's assistant who said that he would meet me again after the factory tour.

    I was the only foreigner in the tour. The others were a local school group on an English lesson. What better way to have an English lesson than to have a tour in English? Despite Saab releasing pictures of the factory, those on the tour are not allowed to take pictures and must leave cameras in lockers.

    The tour was interesting. The tram drove past the stamping machines and past the cars that had come from the paint shop and were mere car skeletons. More and more components were placed on those pieces of metal with the cars rotated on their sides at some stations.

    Johann met me after the tour and we were driven to ANA Trollhättan for the unveiling of the car. He not only went over the car's controls but gave me some of his perspectives, having been a high school exchange student in Pittsburgh years earlier. U.S. Saab buyers got a blanket that year but I did not. Instead, I was treated to what European delivery customers got. I got a European road atlas, a book about Saab history, a Saab key chain, and a very memorable car delivery.

    Everything was completed around lunch time. I drove back to the hotel when it started raining. Rather than run in the rain, I flipped though through my new owner's manual, finishing at about the time it stopped raining. The rest of the day was looking around Trollhättan and Vänersborg. Watch for this blog to see what happened next. The next major entry (new blog post, not just short updates) will be after Wednesday as I track my car traveling across the Atlantic on its way to the United States.

    Short update: Tuesday, May 10, 2005: The second free night at the hotel was nice. There was a free dinner at the hotel, paid for by Saab as part of the European delivery program. On this day, I drove to see the fortress in Kungälv (north of Gothenburg) and also Gothenburg, which I saw on the Friday to Sunday before delivery in an attempt to not have driver fatigue when getting the new car. This isn't a long travelogue because tomorrow, the car is to be returned for shipment to the United States. On this day, I filled up the air on the tires to 40 psi, which is recommended when the car is in long term storage, such as shipping.

    Short update: Wednesday, May 11, 2005: I dropped off the car at the Saab dealer near Gothenburg. I assumed it would be hard to find a car in a big dealer's parking lot so I drew a map. Matts, who accepts cars after European delivery, said it was very helpful that I had a map showing where my car was parked.

    Planning ahead helps because I looked up how to get from the dealer to the airport. Matts offered to hail a taxi but, being economical, I took the bus. If one looks up the Wallenius Wilhelmsen website ( http://www.2wglobal.com/www/wep// ), one can track their car. This website is better for tracking which ports the car is at, not where in the Atlantic the ship is located. One can track the car by entering their car's VIN number. For tracking over the Atlantic, another website is better. On May 11th, I saw that a ship is arriving in Gothenburg on May 12th bound for the United States, but I did not know if this will be the ship carrying my car. I hoped that my car makes that ship and not have to wait 2-3 weeks for the next ship.

    Short update: Thursday, May 12, 2005. I arrived back in the United States. Checking on the Wallenius Wilhelmsen website and entering one's VIN number, I saw that the car has been delivered to the port but I don't know if it will be loaded on the MV Boheme, which is scheduled to arrive in Gothenburg on May 13th and leave on May 15th. I figured that if my car is one of the last to arrive at the port, it may get left behind for the next ship. Will to board that ship? Only time will tell.

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  2. #2
    Jose Luis
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    nice and very interesting article....like an adventure; but it is out of my mind, to go to Sweden, to buy a car and drive the car back to Spain. In especial in nowadays of the gasoline price is so expensive.


    -I saw my car in the parking of my work (Opel-Figueruelas, Spain), I liked and in three days the car was at my home as owner.

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  3. #3
    Frank
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    Very cool report indeed and it brings back so many good memories. Note to Saab: Bring back EDP!


    Too bad you didn't stay longer in Europe to enjoy your new Saab. I stayed about 3 weeks. The bad part about that was that I must have spent more than US$ 1000 in fuel. But it was all worth it.

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  4. #4
    Jay
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    Good story, reminds me of my own ED experience. Scandinavia in May can give your four seasons of weather in one day! I had mine for about a month in Europe. I didn't keep track of how much I spent on fuel, but I know that every time I filled up in Germany or Italy it cost between 70-80 Euros.


    Like Wulf said: Bring back EDP!!

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  5. #5
    Dave T.
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    Synopsis: 6 years ago, I picked up my new Saab in Trollhättan with the intent of driving it in Sweden for a short while and having it shipped to the United States for daily use. These are the events of 6 years ago to the day. Even the day of the week is the same as it was!

    Friday, May 13, 2005: The MV Boheme left Bremerhaven, Germany and arrived in Gothenburg the same day, May 13th. I hoped that my car would be loaded to this ship otherwise it will be about a 3 week wait for the next ship.

    I did not hope too much but kept a neutral attitude. This is because on rare occasions, car carrying ships have sunk. If I really hoped that it would be on that ship, maybe that would be a doomed ship? In 2002, the Tricolor carrying Saabs sank in the English Channel after a collision. (see http://stevesmaritime.com/tricolor.html) In 2006, the Cougar Ace capsized in shallow waters off Alaska. The Mazda cars were saved but later destroyed to reduce liability from unknown effects of long term storage of cars on their sides. (See http://www.wired.com/science/discove.../ff_seacowboys )

    Only time would tell if my car would meet the MV Boheme, which was approaching Gothenburg.

    Short update: Saturday, May 14, 2005. Checking the shipper's website and entering my car's VIN number it appears that the car has been loaded to the ship! It is scheduled to leave Gothenburg tomorrow to go to Zeebruge, Belgium. Unless the information is wrong, the car is on its way! I know of a website that will track the ship in the open ocean but that website doesn't track ships close to the coast. The website is really for ships to report the weather condition in the middle of the Atlantic because there are no weather stations there. For those who have listened to the shipping report on BBC radio, the wind direction and speed is more important information than the temperature. On land, people are probably more interested in the temperature.

    Short update: Sunday, May 15. The Boheme was scheduled to leave Gothenburg today. I didn't know what time. It's supposed to be heading to Belgium. I didn't have any reason to doubt the schedule, but the schedule is just a plan. When the ship is in the open ocean, then I'll know that its location (latitude and longitude) a confirmed fact, not just a projected plan. As you can see, daily checking just adds anticipation!

    Short update: Monday, May 16, 2005. According to the schedule, the Boheme was between Gothenburg and Zeebrugge, Belgium. It's scheduled to arrive in Belgium tomorrow. It will also stop in Southampton, England.

    Short update: Tuesday, May 17, 2005. The Boheme arrived in Zeebrugge, presumably to pick up some Volvos. It is scheduled to leave tomorrow.

    Short update: Wednesday, May 18, 2005. The Boheme has left Zeebrugge and headed for Southampton, probably to pick up some MINIs, maybe Jaguars and Land Rovers. Soon, it will probably pass the point where some Saabs were lost when the Tricolor sank after a collision in 2002. Hope history doesn't repeat itself.

    Short update: Thursday, May 19, 2005. The Boheme arrived in Southampton and left the same day. After this, hopefully, it will be possible to track the ship in the open ocean. Many ships voluntarily submit their location and the weather at the location. This helps other ships decide on the exact route to take.

    Short update: Friday, May 20, 2005. No information! The Boheme left Southampton yesterday. I don't know where it is now. There is a website that tracks ships but ships which are close to the coast do not submit weather information or their location. Only when the ship is in the open ocean will there be a possibility of a report of its location. Reporting is voluntary. Maybe some information tomorrow?

    Short update: Saturday, May 21, 2005. The daily wait is painful. However, there is news. Yippeeeee! As you can see, the Boheme is finally being tracked in the Atlantic, southwest of Ireland. Before, the shipping company's website just tracked when the ship had arrived or departed a specific port. Now, I know where the ship actually is located.

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    Short update: Sunday, May 22, 2005. Tracking is better as the ship is in the open ocean. The Boheme transmitted its location 4 times a day, at least today. As you can see, it is making its way across the Atlantic. Have a report every 6 hours resulted in frequent checking compared to earlier when the ship was at a port and the company reported its location only when it docked or left port.

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  6. #6
    Jeff
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    I really regret that this is not possible anymore .That must have been a fantastic experience !!

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  7. #7
    Frank
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    That's the least exciting and bit frustrating part of EDP. Dropping it off in Europe and waiting to receive a call from the dealer took forever. Well, in my mind at least.

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  8. #8
    Dave T.
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    Today, Monday, May 23, the Boheme, which is carrying my car made some progressing crossing the Atlantic. It voluntarily reported its location and the weather at that location. The reports came in every 6 hours. Of course, that frequent reporting caused me to check its location several times a day.

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    Short update: Tuesday, May 24, 2005. Progress! See for yourself on the map

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    Short update: Wednesday, May 25, 2005. Land, ho! OK, not quite, but in the map it looks like it is off the coast of Nova Scotia and near Maine, the most northeasterly American state.

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    Short update: Thursday, May 26, 2005. For some reason, the Boheme slowed down and did not make much progress. It is due south of the eastern part of Maine. The last reported position was at 0600.

    Short update: Thursday, May 26, 2005. After having reported its position four times a day, there was just one reported position, at 6 a.m. The optimism has been replaced with unknown and uncertainty as the Boheme's position is not being reported. Somehow the excitement of seeing the ship move forward has been replaced with anxiety! (A map will be added soon as I don't have it now)

    Short update: Friday, May 27, 2005. No news! The schedule has the Boheme arriving today at the port of Newark but that is just a schedule.

    Short update: Saturday, May 28, 2005. No news, no ship tracking information. Stop the pain! Stop the agony!

    Short update: late Saturday, May 28, 2005. The shipper's website now has listed the ship as arrived in Newark, near New York.

    Short update: Sunday, May 29, 2005: The Boheme has arrived in Baltimore. Charleston, South Carolina is next followed by Brunswick, Georgia.

    Short update: Monday, May 30, 2005: The Boheme is scheduled to leave Baltimore today and arrive in Charleston, South Carolina on June 1.

    Short update: Tuesday, May 31, 2005: No news. My guess is that the Boheme is somewhere near the coast of North Carolina. There are no hurricanes in the area.

    Short update: Wednesday, June 1, 2005. The Boheme arrived in Charleston, South Carolina. Probably there to pick up some BMW X5s to ship to Europe.

    Short update: Thursday, June 2, 2005. The Boheme arrived in Brunswick, Georgia! I didn't know anything more but in retrospect, I learned that the customs documents were processed at 12:32 p.m. I got the receipt for duty paid (paid by Saab) several weeks later.

    Short update: Monday, June 6, 2005: No news. I haven't a clue where the car is. I presume either in Brunswick, Georgia or on its way to West Palm Beach, Florida, which is not that far away.

    Short update: Friday, June 10, 2005: No news. Hmm. Where is the car? Brunswick, Georgia to West Palm Beach, Florida isn't too far apart. I designated that my car was to go to Schumacher Saab even though I bought it through Carter Saab/Volkswagen in Seattle. However, I'm not too worried that they'll ship the car to Seattle because Seattle bound cars are shipped to Port Hueneme, north of Los Angeles.

    Short update: Thursday, June 16, 2005: The dealer called. The car arrived. It's possible that they called earlier in the week but I did not record the exact day they called six years ago. I was moving to Florida, where the dealer was, but hadn't arrived yet so I didn't take delivery of the car until after the July 4th holiday weekend.

    Not the end of the story but just the beginning of a new saga:, Sunday, July 3, 2005. The dealer is closed but I have arrived in Florida. I went to the dealer and see that the car was parked in one of the side parking lots that is not fenced, just the driveway blocked. I got into my car and drove around the parking lot hoping that I wouldn't be arrested for breaking into my own car! After a few circles, I left. I returned two days later to formally take re-delivery of my car on Tuesday, July 5th. Even though I came in the late morning, they presumably washed the car that morning, made the tires shiny, and added a full tank of gas. The manager gave me a key ring and was relieved to know that I had one key. He was initially concerned since the dealer received the car from the shipper with one less key than is usual.

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  9. #9
    Frank
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    I haven't been checking a few days of updates but it seems it's moving along nicely. I didn't follow my EDP Saab daily but mine had to go all the way through the Panama Canal and then north to Port Hueneme. I had a very difficult time waiting for news from the dealer as it seemed it took forever.

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