Again with the Vikings!


If you haven’t watched the Vikings series, start immediatley.  It is great drama, lots of juicy battles and a very interesting lead character, Ragnar Lodbrok.

I used to play soccer in my 20s with a Ragnar, a holding midfielder who used to scream at everyone in his blunt Icelandic accent.  But I digress.

The Vikings were amazing voyagers.  Leif Erickson visited North America five centuries before Columbus.  He was not the last Viking to come ashore on our continent.  Viking raids were known for their brutality.  Few Viking sorties in the Middle Ages in Europe were greeted with welcoming garden parties.  From everything I have read and seen, the Vikings were thoroughly scary.  So I was a bit frightened to read that a new Viking invasion of America was about to begin. I ran out and stocked up on shields and pointed sticks, but I needn’t have bothered.  As it turns out, the Vikings that are arriving in America aren’t here to plunder, but rather to manufacture automobiles.

It was reported last week that Volvo, the favorite auto brand of so many aging hippies and hip soccer moms, has decided to join BMW, Mercedes, VWHonda, Toyota, Subaru, Hundai, and Kia and produce cars in America.  No word yet on where Volvo plans to site the $500 million factory.  I am of course pulling for Washington State where I live.  In fact, I plan to let Volvo management know about the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard where Viking decendents are thick as theives.  Volvos produced in Ballard.  I love the idea.

Volvo is hoping that it can transplant its Viking spirit from Sweden to the U.S. and become very successful.  Volvo should hire a spokesman for their American cars who has already achieved what Volvo aspires to do.  I nominate Mads Mikkelsen.

While Volvo is from Sweden and Mikkelsen is from Denmark, I say close enough.  And you got to admit the guy is photogenic.  Volvo could really emphasis it’s Viking roots with images of Mikkelsen in its ad campaign.

But it needs to make sure it uses the right images.

Hey, nobody’s perfect.


About John Briggs

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at
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