EnG Snippets – Saab Independence Day edition

Updated to placate take care of Ken (ha!):

OK, so it’s not the best time of year for most of us with the winter weather and general malaise that comes after the beginning of the new year, but can I nominate second Ken’s nomination of January 26 as a recurring Saab holiday of sorts? Saab Independence Day, if you will. We can celebrate each year with Aquavit, ice racing and a fresh oil change. It’s a concept. Please elaborate in comments on what you’d propose.

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On a more serious note, our celebratory mood may lead us to purchase Saab trinkets, T-shirts and the like to commemorate Saab’s rebirth. I will likely do that myself; I “need” (ha!) something.

I ask that you consider where your money is going when you do. There are likely to be opportunistic vendors that jump on this bandwagon for a quick buck and then they are off to the next opportunity. Keep your Saab dollars in the family. Buy your mementos from reputable Saab suppliers — your local dealer, service center or our site sponsors. Someone that you trust to be around for a while and to support Saab for the long haul.

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Swade will never make mention of this, ever, but his peers in the automotive journalistic community are taking notice of his work here at SaabsUnited, and I, for one, will not let these mentions go unnoticed and unappreciated.

Mr. Hilton Holloway at Autocar.co.uk writes this:

But that’s for the future – today’s story is the incredible way that Saab was saved from certain death by a global alliance of enthusiasts and web site activism.

Anybody who’s glad to see Saab survive should be thanking Steven Wade, a local government employee from Tasmania. His enthusiasts website Saabs United (nee Trollhattan Saab) has been the notice board for Saab enthusiasts the world over.

From this website had come a daily feed of inside information and, latterly, the foundation for the global ‘Saab Support Convoys’ demonstrations.

If you think that’s an overstatement, check this. When Victor Muller signed the documents, the first thing he did was call Steven in Australia and tell him that Saab had been sold.

Apparently, Muller said that site’s concentration of global support from Saab enthusiasts had made all the difference to him when he was struggling to get GM to do a deal.

What we’ve seen today is just how much the Internet has changed the world. You’ve heard all the e-buzzwords about ‘the wisdom of crowds’ and the power of the ‘nudge’.

Today, a chap in a house on a small island about far away from Sweden as its possible to get has corralled the support of the world’s Saab enthusiasts, helping force the world’s largest car maker to sell, rather than close, Saab.

There are certainly others who’ve participated and even lead portions of this struggle, but our own Steven Wade deserves the kudos that he gets and will continue to get.

(Thanks to site sponsor Elkparts for the tweet.)

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Jan Åke Jonsson addressed Saab employees in Trollhättan at noon CET today, and I will allow Swade to write about that. It is about 1:30 PM there now, and I’m assuming that some of you reading this were there. If you were, we want to know your reaction! Please let us know in comments.

For those of you not in attendance (like me), a huge crowd was there despite the fact that employees were given the day off (misreported on di.se) a break in production to celebrate (I’m back to the “Saab Independence Day” motif, aren’t I?). A sound bite:

“I’m stunned to see so many here today, it only confirms that we have done right,” said Victor Muller who was rewarded with great applause.

More to come about this, for sure.

As always, thanks for reading!

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