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Boston Blatte

Raised in Boston, remade in Sweden

Dodge: Driving Luxuryin Sweden.

When a Dodge is regarded as a exclusive automobile you know you are dealing with  a big time cultural clash. I just saw a Dodge Charger in a parking lot rented from or representing an “exclusive” car service (there was a website advertised on the chassis somewhere.)

Last August I rented a similar one in Boston from Enterprise. No upgrade, nothing flash. Standard full size fleet car (I presume since I didn’t pay extra and it was one of the choices.)Dodge Charger

I picked it because it looked fun and because I knew my 5-year old would associate it with Lightning McQueen from Disney’s movie, Cars

Truthfully I was disappointed by its lack of  “muscle”…and let’s keep in mind…it’s a modern Dodge. The car brand Dodge doesn’t conjure up luxury and exclusivity in the run-of-the-mill American -or Bostonian- (whether merited or not.)

This reminds me of the cultural clash more than a decade ago when my husband I were renting a Pontiac Grand Am. He was all excited because it was a “Pontiac” and all I was thinking was…”Sheesh, all we get is a Pontiac.”

It does go to show that status symbols and quality reputation is both a matter of marketing and propaganda but also of cultural perception.  So here I am straddling the cultural divide ridiculing anyone trying to show off with a Dodge. It reminds me that regardless of culture or national identity  we’re all  potentially idiots.

After all, Volvo is the intellectual elite’s luxury status symbol in the US. Just drive though Wellesley (MA) one day.  Try to tell that to  Lars-Evert from Uddevala and watch him belly chuckle in his wooden clogs.

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8 responses to “Dodge: Driving Luxuryin Sweden.”

  1. alec says:

    Great insight – nicely put.

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  2. Monica says:

    Dodges are so inexpensive here in the States so it is funny to hear that Dodge is considered a luxury car in Sweden. Thanks for the story. :o)

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  3. streja says:

    Lars Evert does not live in Uddevalla; he lives in Dalsland somewhere.

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  4. Boston Blatte says:

    @Monica. From the beginning of my living here I’ve been intrigued by what is “exclusive” in Sweden (and then vice versa). I was in NK (the ritzy department store/galleria of Stockholm) and saw plain white Haines type t-shirts with Ralph Lauren written in very simple text across the chest were selling for 120USD. That stuff would sell for 10 bucks or less at TJ Maxx. And then you start to accept that we’re all caught up in branding and how dumb it is to get suckered into it.

    @streja. Lars-Evert must have forgotten to include me on his adressändring list. 😉

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  5. Monica says:

    @Boston Blatte
    It is amazing how everyone is so hyped up about name brands, I am so glad I was never one of those people. Funciton, and practicality are what I desire when it comes to material items. Does it cover my body properly so I can appear in public and does it get me from point A to point B in a timely matter. Wow a simple T-shirt from Ralph Lauren 120USD that is so crazy. But I bet there are teenagers lining up to buy them though?

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  6. Miriam West says:

    In a world seeking economy it is no surprise to find that your own carefully constructed but transparently false ‘sensible but dull’ image is blown open when the offer of something ostentatious comes your way. The dim mutes of the world now have you as their leader in everything that is self promoting and representative of banal.

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  7. J says:

    Being a Swede myself I don’t consider that Dodge on the picture as a luxurious car at all. It rather looks like they’ve tried to mimic the looks of a BMW pretty badly. Luxurious cars for me are almost all of European brands, like some of the most expensive BMW models, English Rolls Royces, Italian Ferraris or why not a Swedish Koenigsegg, one of absolute the fastest and most beautiful of newer sports cars in the world.
    Sorry, but the great American car era is over since 60-70 years back when 40/50’s Fords, Chevys and Buicks reigned your streets. We’ll never seen cars like those again, considering their thirsty V8 engines drink 238729873 gallons a mile or so. The sad truth is that American cars get uglier and uglier for every year that passes. However, this is and issue that’s subjective to one’s own tastebuds. If I consider this or that is luxurious, good or bad or desirable then it’s just is and I’m aware of it. This is not something new however. Since the the dawn of the industrial revolution in the mid 1800’s we’re living in a consumer economy and buy things we don’t really need all the time. And frankly, I don’t people care either as it gives them some sort meaning and identity.

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  8. Boston Blatte says:

    @J Taste is cultural and exclusivity is down to good marketing. After all, Volvo is a luxury vehicle in the US and it’s just a family wagon here. BB

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