Saab supermarket

For the beginning of the SAAB passion there is one or more key moments for each of us, from which we suddenly developed a hopeless emotional connection to this small car manufacturer from the North. Sometimes, however, this fetish creeps into us, barely discernible, even subtly.

Saab supermarket 1967. Photo: Hamburger Genossenschaftsmuseum
Saab supermarket 1967. Photo: Hamburger Genossenschaftsmuseum

It's the year 2002 and at that time I was not aware that I would end up as a passionate 900 rider. For some reason I was fascinated by a series of pictures with old 96ers, so much so that I had to research the old article and my still unrecognized SAAB fascination took its course until it became incurable.

The article is about a "supermarket of automobiles."

This SAAB supermarket was actually Stockholm's Bilvarahus AB, BIVA in factory 45 and did not trade only with SAAB. It was opened to 1961 and had a retail space of 15.000 sqm and a 5000 sqm parking lot on the roof of the building.

The special feature of the BIVA was that the customers were offered cars at a fixed price. There were new and used for sale. The purchase of new cars was not easy for the operators of the BIVA, however, as the manufacturers did not make direct deliveries in order not to weaken their own dealers. However, the BIVA managers bought overcapacities across the country from dealers who had to downsize their inventory.

Good used ones received a "factory reconditioning" even before the sale. All cars also got a BIVA warranty which meant the customer could exchange their car within 10 days. If at that time something on the car would need repair, which was not normal wear, BIVA carried the repair for free.

In the huge sales garage, the vehicles were grouped by brand.

The buyer could choose his car there. If more information was desired, or the buyer wanted to find out more about the condition, he pressed the next pillar a button and then a seller came. It could be carried out a test drive or the car to be inspected on a lift.

In Germany at that time the car purchase took place under completely different conditions. And so commented the original author as follows: "The high car prices in the Scandinavian countries make the used car trade for buyers and sellers in contrast to the conditions in the Federal Republic quite attractive."

For the picture series the SAABBLOG would like to thank the cooperative museum in Hamburg.

Thanks to JFK for looking at the Saab history! Do you also have something to tell about Saab?

The story of an unforgettable holiday, a restoration, the first contact with the brand from Trollhättan or simply why Saab is part of the automotive life. Whatever it is, write us. We are looking forward to it!

4 thoughts on "Saab supermarket"

  • Nice time document. I looked at the site of interest on Street View and the building is still there (as of June 2014). Only as a one-sided supermarket of a rather strange brand.

  • Very charming photos. If there were a poster from the supermarket, I would hang it in the office.

  • Unusual story, photos and source - a bit strange, beautiful!
    And also a photo from 1967 with left-hand traffic, before the conversion - the “Dagen H” - in the same year to right-hand traffic - somehow looks as if the last photo print was the wrong way round, but the lettering is all the right way around - that does it still a bit strange 🙂

  • Thank you very much for this great insight into “automobile history”! Nostalgia arises, I was able to discover my first car, a Fiat 600 and my first SAAB 96 which I drove in 1968 in the first picture :-)!

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