Certain countries have managed to build an association with certain products, simply by producing a reliable stream of them over a long enough period. France and Italy are known for the quality of their cheeses and wines, for example, while California is inseparable from media and entertainment.
Sweden is a nation with many trademark exports. But among the most impressive of them is its motoring industry. Swedish manufacturers enjoy a reputation that others have found difficult to replicate, thanks largely to the culture and conditions that contribute to Swedish motoring designs.
How does Sweden make such great cars?
The most recognisable Swedish brands are Volvo, Scania and the now-defunct Saab. But we should also consider performance-car specialist Koenigsegg, which was founded in the mid-90s, and Caresto, which is a niche manufacturer of project cars, founded in the 2000s.
For such a small country, it boasts a rich history of innovation in automotive manufacturing and a very diverse industry. This is, in part, due to its landscape.
Why are Swedish cars considered the most reliable cars?
Scandinavian winters can be extremely punishing, which offers manufacturers a natural incentive to push up standards. These standards are then enjoyed by motorists elsewhere in the world. If a car can put up with freezing conditions in the Swedish north, then it can probably stand up to your daily commute.
It’s partly for this reason that many motorists can shop for these cars with confidence, even when they’re buying on the second-hand market. A used Volvo can be picked up for a substantial discount, while still offering virtually the same reliability and safety as a new one.
Reputations for reliability are built up over time. While Volvo might not be all that competitive in polls on the reliability of executive-class cars, it still enjoys a reputation for reliability, thanks to the decades of good results that Volvo drivers have enjoyed.
Swedish cars also tend to be inexpensive to repair and maintain when they do break down. This means that you might keep yours on the road without spending over the odds.
We should also consider the impressive safety record boasted by many Swedish manufacturers. The Volvo XC60 is one of many models to enjoy a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, having secured a 98% rating for adult occupants and a 95% rating for safety assist.
Finally, we should mention the strides that the Swedish motoring industry is tentatively making in the direction of the electric car. Many of the established brands are beginning to roll out electric and hybrid versions of their standard ranges, and we should probably expect to see more of these changes in the coming years.