Trollhattan visit – Day 1 notes

I’ll have some more specific subject-related content for you after dinner, but here are some notes from a rather hectic Day 1 (when I wasn’t even officially here!)

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The started with a rather long walk around 9am. It was meant to be a short walk to an electronics store so that I could buy a tripod and a phone. It turned into a long walk because the shops don’t open around here until 10am!

If Sweden’s economy should falter, I have a quick and easy solution – longer opening hours.

At least I could use the exercise πŸ™‚ and eventually I managed to purchase both items.

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After that little expedition, I walked up to the Saab Museum, where I managed to do a few cool things, both of which will get more air time here in due course.

The first of those was a look around at the Saab Academy:

Training of service personnel has already begun here in Trollhattan and today there were a group of mechanics from around Scandinavia. The class size is around 12 per class and they’re here for three days per group (a more experience technical group get a 2-day class at the end of the week).

That car was photographed directly after lunch and by around 3pm, the front end would be missing from it πŸ™‚

The second cool thing was to have a closer look at more detailed plans for the Saab Festival, which is on next month.

We covered the outline of the Festival a few weeks ago and full plans won’t be revealed for a little while yet, but Peter and the Festival team are doing some extraordinary work getting this together and the program really does look to be fantastic.

If you haven’t booked yet, you really ought to. It’s going to be one heck of a celebration.

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My official participation in the Saab 9-5 drive event isn’t until tomorrow, but that stop me from going up there today and listening in.

Today was for press members from Italy.

I arrived before them and had some quality time with Mikael Jacobsson, who’s the infotainment specialist for the 9-5 presentation (one of the many hats he wears) and he gave me a good run-through the whole system in a 9-5 display car with the top spec equipment in it.

All I can say is that Saab can well and truly back up their claims that they’ve got the technology covered. It’s an absolutely first class system the looks, sounds and works brilliantly.

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The launch center looks fantastic and is a great way to show off to the world press that Saab is here, working and building cars.

This is the actual presentation area…..

Again, more to come later.

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There was one significant disappointment today.

I’ve long been a big fan of the dash panel that was shown in the display cars at Frankfurt, as well as featuring in the initial press photography of this car.

As recently as a few days ago, I talked about this dash as a counterpoint to the description of the interior as ‘gloomy’ by some members of the British press.

I can’t find where I wrote about it, but there was some talk over a month ago that there was a supplier issue with these dash panels. It seems that supplier issue has led to them not being available at this point, which means the 9-5 is going to market without the panel.

It has a flat black surface instead and whilst that doesn’t make it ‘gloomy’, it’s not as nice as the cars I saw with the panel installed, in Frankfurt last year.

The Saab people I spoke to today are working hard with their suppliers to get a solution to this and they hope to offer both this panel and the ice-block panel – sooner rather than later.

The issue is getting large-scale manufacturing of the panel that can produce consistent quality and quantity for the company. They’re not going to do it if it can’t be done right and on the right scale.

Customers who are seeking information about pre-order are made aware of this, so it’s mainly just a surprise for me (and I guess you as well, if SU’s a prime source of info for you).

The interior still looks very good, just not quite as good as what I’ve seen it before.

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Dinner!

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