“Telling my friends and family that I flew to Sweden to pick up a car always makes them scratch their heads – for them it seems mind-boggling! You may be thinking the same thing too if you are looking to get a new car. I was frequently asked “How long did it take to get it? How do you ship it from Europe to the USA? How much extra did it cost? How did you know it was the car you wanted?” For those of you with those same questions, I’d like to tell our story.
Choosing a car
We had the added bonus of already owning a Volvo XC 90 that we purchased in 2016 for the family. When we started looking for a smaller car for just me; there was really no other car out there that had the features and comfort that I wanted in a crossover vehicle. I would encourage you to check out Audi, Ford, BMW, and Mercedes; but I’m certain that once you see the Volvo XC 60 you’ll realize it’s leaps and bounds advanced in comfort, tech features and value.
I saved Park Place for last with my wife because I knew their customer service would make the decision an easy one for my wife. Once I had a good idea of the customization and features I wanted in a car on the Volvo website, I brought those options to Park Place so I could experience the decisions I made.
Booking the trip
From our perspective, there was only one downside to taking the Overseas Delivery Experience (OSD) – the wait. The upsides far outweighed it:
- Fully customized car
- Discounted pricing
- Waived destination fee
- Free trip to Sweden for two
So we placed our order in June for our trip in September!
My wife kindly offered to let me take my dad with me so she could stay and watch the kids. My dad and I were both upgraded to economy plus by Volvo which made the flight a comfortable one. Upon arrival, we were picked up by a professional service in a brand new XC 60. She took us to a very modern hotel in Gothenburg (picked by Volvo).
After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we were picked up this time by a really nice V90 who took us to the Volvo factory welcome center to meet the car. The car was indoors and I was given a thorough overview by a knowledgeable product manager. We then were treated to a fine Swedish meatballs lunch at the center followed by a fascinating factory tour. During the factory tour, you get to see how the Volvos are made from metal to assembled car; my inner 4 year old was giddy with excitement to see powertrains added to bodies – MINUTE by MINUTE! So that’s 60 cars per hour!
We decided to spend the next couple of days exploring various sites around Gothenburg. My drone followed the car around while we visited some parks and other sites in the city. We used the drone activity as an excuse to explore the area – we went downtown, some islands, a castle, the harbor, a beach over some beautiful bridges and even an IKEA. It was a lot of fun scouting out exciting places, setting up the drone and capturing the Bursting Blue color of the XC 60 contrasting against the bright green landscape. Dad and I got better and better with every shot.
Getting the Car
When you drop off the car at the FDC, they give you an estimated date and, of course, your VIN number. So I was able to track it’s shipment from Sweden to US; which took about 6 weeks. Then from the US (Georgia) to Park Place was another 3 weeks which was taken up mostly by customs.
The highlight of the experience was spending all the time with just my dad. Him being a grandfather and me being a father of 2 toddlers means that we only end up seeing each other once or twice a year amongst all the family. But the trip gave an easy excuse to spend time with just the two of us; exploring Europe, playing with the drone, seeing how cars are made, trying Swedish cuisine and…of course driving a sporty XC 60 around the countryside!”
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