• Sweden's news in English

VW Sweden hit by Fiat Google photo bomb

16 May 2012, 14:01

Published: 16 May 2012 14:01 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A search on Google Maps for Volkswagen's office in Södertälje, south of Stockholm, brings up a picture of a non-descript gray building featuring "Volkswagen" emblazoned over the main entrance.

But what really catches the eye is the compact gleaming red car parked just outside.

While one might at first expect to see a Volkswagen Golf or Beetle, the car hogging the limelight in the Google Street View image is actually a Fiat 500.

The eye-catching juxtaposition of the rival auto brands, first described on Tuesday by Swedish media trade publication Resumé, was quickly praised by

Jalopnik, a major US automotive blog.

"Fiat zinged their rival good," the blog hailed.

"Volkswagen will likely have to deal with that damn Fiat in front of their building for a year or more. The question is, how did Fiat know?"

The answer, at least according to Marcus Thomasfolk, the primary spokesperson for Volkswagen in Sweden, is simple.

"They didn't," he told The Local.

According to Thomasfolk, the fact that the Fiat was there when the Google Maps vehicle snapped a photo of Volkswagen headquarters was "pure coincidence".

"I've spoken with my counterpart at Fiat and he indicated that Fiat didn't have anything to do with putting the car there," he said.

"It's not strange for cars to be there. It's a driveway and people are always driving up and dropping people off."

Thomasfolk downplayed the PR headache that may be caused for Volkswagen by Google users happening across a model from a rival brand, calling the image "kind of a fun little thing".

He went on to suggest that the image may tell somewhat of a different story than that of a renegade PR stunt by Fiat.

Story continues below…

"My guess is that the owner [of the Fiat] was in such a hurry to run in and look at some of the new Volkswagen models inside that they left the car parked in sort of an odd place," he quipped.

The Local's attempts to reach a Fiat spokesperson for confirmation of Thomasfolk's account have so far been unsuccessful.

David Landes

Follow David Landes on Twitter

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:05 May 16, 2012 by muscle
Or perhaps the driver was the manager of the center :D
17:45 May 16, 2012 by spy
Hardly a public relations coup.......
19:13 May 16, 2012 by Rossminster
Tsk. "Alternative" explanation, not "alternate".
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available