The times, they are a changin’

It was almost six years ago to the day that I first started writing a blog called Trollhattan Saab. That site had 5,431 entries. Saabs United was started in February 2009 and has 3,718 entries, but a few of those are duplicates from TS that I wanted to ensure were part of the new architecture.

Accounting for posts from Eggs, Lance Cole, RedJ and Pierre, I reckon I’ve put together well over 8,500 articles in my Saab blogging career and I’ve read, moderated and managed over 155,000 comments.

You might therefore understand that I’m pretty tired.

Managing SU and juggling a full-time job, family and friends has become an unmanageable task and it’s fair to say that my lifestyle and health (and to some extent, my family) have paid a price as a result. It’s for this reason that things are going to change.

That change means that I’m going to be walking away from writing Saabs United.

I expect that this will happen reasonably soon after the Geneva Motor Show, which takes place on the first few days of March. I don’t have a hard date yet, but I imagine the curtain will fall for me around the 10th of March.

What does this mean for Saabs United?

I guess there are three possible outcomes:

#1 – the site is sold

Not highly likely. I care a lot about the legacy of the site that I’ve worked on for six years so it’ll take a reasonable sum of money to hand that legacy over to just anyone and I’d be picky about who that ‘anyone’ is. This would be a good outcome for my family and I’d like Saab themselves to make an offer for it and continue it on, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for that.

#2 – the site continues with other writers

I don’t expect that any one individual is as nuts as I am in terms of keeping this place ticking over on a daily basis. Maybe a panel could work it out between them, though. RedJ is already on board. Pierre has recently penned a debut post. Maybe there are others out there who are interested in committing to writing a couple of posts a week. It’s a tough ask, though. There has to be a unity of attitude and editorial purpose, and someone’s got to moderate the discussion in comments.

#3 – the site sits inactive, as an archive.

Enough said. No updates, just an historical record of what’s happened here over the last few years.

——

As for me, I don’t think I’ll be off the air forever. I imagine I’ll be back and working just as hard on something before you know it. Maybe that’ll be here. Maybe it’ll be somewhere else.

Right now, though, things need to change and this is the change that must come.

Jr.
Guest
Jr.
5 years 7 months ago

I totally understand. You’ve done a great job, but it must have been very hard to manage a site like this alone. Thanks for the site!

I hope there are a group of people who wants to continue the site, because it definatly has it’s place in the web.

Oistein
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Oistein
5 years 7 months ago

+1

JeremyP
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JeremyP
5 years 7 months ago

I have always wondered how the hell you do it. I read this thing many times every day which is far less consuming than being the man behind the curtain. Between work and family you must never sleep!

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

I’m shocked…….

BTG88
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BTG88
5 years 7 months ago
Thanks Swade. You and this site were instrumental in pulling Saab back from the brink. Enjoy the rest. Saab will need to sink or swim as a company from here on out – and this will require the company to reach beyond the aficionados who frequent this site. While I don’t think they should co-opt this site, they need to make digital media a core function of their marketing program. As such, IMHO, they need to dedicate some professional resources to their own global sites. Those who still would like to chat about Saab and learn more about their cars… Read more »
Ken H
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Ken H
5 years 7 months ago

This will surely produce a lot of coffee stained screens this morning…

You’ve done a heck of a job over the years, and your efforts surely has made a difference for Saab.

Patrik_B
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Patrik_B
5 years 7 months ago

Through this site you have had a i significant influence over Saabs future and the fact that they are still around. So you can step down with the head held high!

If I were you I would let the others keep posting to the site and maybe allow my self to post once a month or so.

Thank you!

Patrik_B
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Patrik_B
5 years 7 months ago
Actually, what I wanted to say is that the first thing I do when I wake up is to visit Saabsunited either on the phone or on a computer. It doesn’t matter if I’m happy, sad, sick or stressed or if the kids are sick, kranky or playful; I have to read SaabsUnited because you knever know when some mindblowing news are presented. So with that said; I’m gonna miss reading your insightful and well balanced blog posts/articles! But I also believe that this decision of yours will be very good for the balance of life for you and your… Read more »
aeroottawa
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aeroottawa
5 years 7 months ago

+1. thank you Swade!

Ingvar
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Ingvar
5 years 7 months ago

Thank you Swade! You have done something great!
I have visit your site daily at least a year.
You have my respect!
I hope that the site will continued in some form.

zippy
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zippy
5 years 7 months ago

I too have never truly understood how you managed to keep your full time job, your family and your Saab ‘family’ running. I totally respect your decision but I sure as hell am going to miss your insight, your passion and your contribution to saving Saab.

I salute you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

+1 speechless.

turbokalle
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turbokalle
5 years 7 months ago

+1 ๐Ÿ™

bejaks
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bejaks
5 years 7 months ago

Agree completely.

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 7 months ago

Perfectly stated. Thank you SW for everything.

maanders
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maanders
5 years 7 months ago

Nothing really more to add, Swade, as zippy summed it up perfectly! Thank you!

Meg Haviland
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Meg Haviland
5 years 7 months ago

+1

Swade , Thanks for everything you have done for Saab and pulling us all together as “saabsunited” minded people. A shocker it may be, but you have to do what’s best for you. I’m sure this was not an easy task to decide and tell. I do hope that our paths cross again for any of the upcoming Saab events. You are a man of many talents and no one could ever replace you in our hearts, and I know this won’t be forever ๐Ÿ™‚
You are what SAAB is ๐Ÿ™‚

Sombrero
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Sombrero
5 years 7 months ago

Exactly my thoughts

Curtis
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Curtis
5 years 7 months ago

Saab wouldn’t be alive right now had it not been for you. Cheers Swade. Thanks for all you’ve done to keep the Saab community together.

Bravada
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

You’ll be back in a week, Swade. We know it, you know it!

It’s great you now have both Eggs and RedJ to cover for you when you’re away, and they are doing every bit as magnificent, but you ARE SaabsUnited.

Ryan McLean
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Ryan McLean
5 years 7 months ago

Mr. Swade, you’ve threatened this before and then you came back a rip-roaring with more posts than ever. If you’re going to pull this off…you need a good exit strategy. May I suggest:

#4 – Swade continues to run the site as chief editor; with Pierre, RedJ, and others doing the bulk of the writing…whilst you just oversee things but drop down to writing 1-2 posts per month.

or

#5 – Combinarion of #1 and #4 — somebody buys the site and provides the financial incentive for #4 to happen.

Just…ponder it.

Alexandros
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Alexandros
5 years 7 months ago

+1

After recovering from the first shock and fully understanding the motives of Swade, I think this would be the (second) best way to keep this wonderful community alive.

Rune
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Rune
5 years 7 months ago

My thoughts echo those of Ryan’s exactly.

With an editor in place, SU could perhaps hand out assignments to less experienced writers. Adding a few more writers might take the load off.

Also worth considering: Add more ads on the pages… Could enough revenue be generated so that Steven could take a longer sabbatical from his day job?

Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 7 months ago

There could also be designated “writers” from all continents and major markets about latest news. Someone head-responsible for Europe – with people reporting from say UK, Sweden and so on.

montahue
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montahue
5 years 7 months ago
As obvious this was to come it still comes as chock. Since i started reading this blog, around the time GM first spoke the unspeakable words, this has to me been THE SAAB site. This place is more official then any SAAB official website. I have always kinda doubted Swade when he claimed he has a “real full time job” and thought that “full time” in Tasmania must be about 2h /day. Anyhow.. I also think Ryan here has some really, really good points. And shouldn’t SAAB start take some responsibility from now on? I mean i cant imagine it’s… Read more »
Anders
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Anders
5 years 7 months ago
I knew this day was coming, but I didn’t think it was this close in the future.. Im going to miss this site as hell, always visiting here the first thing in the morning. But I understand, my girl gets frustrated at me for visiting here all too often, of course your wife is a hundred times more frustrated. Saabsunited has tightened the Saab community, it has made me more passionate for my brand and been a great source of information 24/7. You can’t sell this to just anyone. I’m sure most people would let us down as your successor,… Read more »
Nikolay Rusanov
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

what do we read then?… I don’t see any source of information about Saab, which is close to SU

I can say, that I didn’t know that I love Saab until I started to read this site

saabken
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saabken
5 years 7 months ago
Swade, whatever you decide I respect you for. You’ve single-handedly propelled the global Saabers community to levels never done before, and I believe your site alone had a critical role in the successful rescue of SAAB from the brink of extinction. I’m sure you’ll be back, but I also hope you’ll be back in a manner that maintains balance to your personal life, career life and the “needs” of the SU community. Maybe you can take up the role of a “spiritual advisor” to SU, with a cadre of contributing editors keeping the day-to-day momentum going. I’m certain without a… Read more »
TurboLover
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TurboLover
5 years 7 months ago

I feel two things: Absolute shock and sadness :…….(
and at the same time enourmus grattitude for all the great work you’ve done Swade. What ever you do from now, you will always be a true Hero of the Saab world! :……)

William
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William
5 years 7 months ago
Well, color me sad, but certainly understanding. Used to comment routinely back in the old GM pre-sale days, and gladly slacked off to other interests once Saab continued under new management. In fact, one thing I wanted to do was make amends for the last post I made on SU when I registered disappoint with the V-6 offerings in the new 9-4x’s, figuring I would switch allegiance to a certain American car company that was developing a line of direct injection 4-cylinder turbos for their crossover SUV’s. Turns out that after much research, and disappoint with the video game interfaces… Read more »
Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 7 months ago
First of all: Thank you Steven! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You’ve been working amazingly with this site and as several others – I do not understand how you’ve been able to keep up. I will join Ryan McLean with his #4-option. But my mind spins further on. IF you, SW, can’t have any connection with this site – how will you hand on your Djup Strupe connections to the ones taking over after you? My mind is spinning around that you perhaps are about to change work and maybe start working for Saab Australia.. so then I do understand that you can’t have… Read more »
MarkoA
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I totally understand. Every day when I read your blog (I read it Every day!) I wonder how you do it?! You keep up with all those professional auto websites but keep it Saab only. You write more than those who employ several writers.

This is shocking news, but not supprise. Do you think Saab could already go on without you??

Thomas Clausen
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Thomas Clausen
5 years 7 months ago

I feel sad, but I can understand..

baltic motors saab gent Belgium
Guest

thx Steve for Saabsunited and saving Saab! We’ll miss it.

Per
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Per
5 years 7 months ago

Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts for so many years. The sacriface is tremendous, can’t imagine the hours you have spent on research for all of us. I totally undersand your choice, but have to say not having this site to read will be a major bummer. And you probably will have to wear boxing gloves for the next period, to prevent tapping on the keyboard.
You’re # 1, period…

Chris hansel
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Chris hansel
5 years 7 months ago
Yes, of course, as a young man you can not allow yourself to be tied down to this masive time eating monster. Take a break, have Eggs and Grits and Zippy, and others, fill in for you on a set schelude. Organize a concil of elders to support the website, guys in their 50′ and 60’s who are retired but young enough to work for Saab and SU. That step will take only one fifth of your current time, but will leave you open to return to your job. Do not burn your bridges on this idea. It as worked… Read more »
Ying
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Ying
5 years 7 months ago

All I want to say is Thank you!

bk-aero
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bk-aero
5 years 7 months ago

I’m speechless but I can totally understand your decision and wish you the best of luck for whatever you will do in post-SU time. You, your family, and your friends deserve that time.
So I can just say Thank you for all the exciting news, fascinating stories, and incredible insights into our beloved Saab.
I’d be glad to see you return and I’m sure, SU will still be there.

Cheers from Germany

matsvbg
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matsvbg
5 years 7 months ago

Thank you Swade, for all you’ve done for Saab and by that all the people that live and breathe Saab to one extent or another. I totally understand your decision and back you up 100% even if it will be wierd not reading my daily dose of Swade-isms here any longer.

Hope to see you back in Sweden soon, you’ve got a car to testdrive as soon as the weather permits…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

//Mats

Saabluster
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Saabluster
5 years 7 months ago
Can’t say I’m shocked. Clearly you have been frustrated with having to babysit us so much recently. The group here has without doubt changed from the early days. Since the last (withdraw induced) threat to stop blogging I have hoped that you would pace yourself better but it seems you can’t help yourself. Don’t get me wrong I love when you post more but I’d rather have you long-term. Your analytics on all things SAAB cannot be replaced intirely by anyone. Before TS I would visit several different Saab sites but this one replaced them all years ago. This site… Read more »
Troll96
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Troll96
5 years 7 months ago

However this plays out, you have our heartfelt thanks for the work you’ve done on behalf of Saab lovers everywhere. Cheers, mate.

Chris
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Chris
5 years 7 months ago
If Steven steps down from this blog then we will definitely miss him for sure! It will be a great great loss for the Saab community. This guy has a charisma in writing that few people possess. Steven, we read you every day. But that’s not enough to make life easier for you. We understand. You have dedicated half of your life to this blog. And this alone is a tremendous achievement and effort on your behalf. We really thank you for that. I respect the work you have done in keeping the Saab community united and alive. What else… Read more »
North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Woke to the news –in Stockholm no less– and Skype chats building already!

Needless to say it’s one of the first things checked in morning and before bed (with more than a few refreshes in-between!) on any given day.

How to find somebody(ies) who shares your Dedication? Will take a (several?) special type(s) to occupy clogs of this enormity.

With SaabHistory mothballed it’s important there remains an independent outlet for our hopes –and occassional frustrations. Something other than Saab Central…

Personal and collective Thanks and I know this is not the end of your Saab road.

MM

Tompa
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Tompa
5 years 7 months ago

You are in Stockholm?!

Darndest thing I did not know that. I would have come and bought you a brew if had known. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cheers/Tom

TuuSaR
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TuuSaR
5 years 7 months ago

Very good idea to take some holiday. But like I have said on previous cases, there should be less material in here and even that material should be mostly about news.

BaRa
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BaRa
5 years 7 months ago

I think it’s time to start a new series of Saab Convoys. It helped to pursuade GM. Perhaps it could also help Steve to reconsider. If not, then a warm-hearted “thank you” for you energy an dedication, Steven!

Erik D
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Erik D
5 years 7 months ago

Sad to hear it, but it’s fully understandable.

It’s been truly magnificent to follow this site over the last few years.

One final question however: How about putting up the “support a blogger” sign for one final time?

It’s a chance for us to say thx and it just might put you a little closer to keeping the site accessible as an archive and nudging you towards your 9-3X.

Just a thougt…

laurent
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laurent
5 years 7 months ago

+1

Anders
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Anders
5 years 7 months ago

+2

Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 7 months ago

+3

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

+4

Henrik
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Henrik
5 years 7 months ago

+1

TorboLover
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TorboLover
5 years 7 months ago

+5

spidaman
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spidaman
5 years 7 months ago

+6

TTAero
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TTAero
5 years 7 months ago

Yea!
Let me support the blogger. I will send you my thanks, best wishes and with no obligation at all.

rodmylon
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rodmylon
5 years 7 months ago

+1k
You’ve earned that much!

Few people write with the charisma, honesty, balance and passion as you (especially for an enthusiast site!) It’s been a true honor to read your blogg (multiple times daily) for the past few years! You’ve truly accomplished something and made a real difference in life!

Hopefully everything turns out for your best!

dmk
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dmk
5 years 7 months ago

+5

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Swade! Since I came to this site for the first time – in late 2009, during the crisis for Saab – I have been following the site regularly. Because itยดs, without doubt, the best place to follow what’s happening around Saab. I am also sure that the blog played a main-role in the positive outcome off the struggle for Saab’s survival. We are all here very grateful for Your big effort, your competence and steadiness in keeping the site, always interesting and updated. I hope, in some way, the site will continue, but your decision is fully understandable. Thank you… Read more »
Ralph
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Ralph
5 years 7 months ago

@Swade: Often, I’ve wondered how one man can keep up all that work for such a long time. While hoping you’d keep it up, I also knew that would be impossible. We (and of course Saab) are very fortunate that you went on with SU (in the way that you did) during the crucial period of Saab’s transition. You fully deserve your rest and balance, as much as you deserve a shipload of praise from us and Saab!

B
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B
5 years 7 months ago

I totally understand and respect your decision but it’s a sad one for the SAAB community for which you have done so much, not to mention to be a driving force behind the SAVESAAB movement.
Health and wellbeing is always prioritized above anything, no matter what.

Tobbe
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Tobbe
5 years 7 months ago

Saab Automobile should pay you for doing this, then you could maybe work just 50% of your regular work… =)

Sappy
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Sappy
5 years 7 months ago
There is a huge benefit to SAAB to keep this blog alive. Whilst there are many owners club websites they are focused on older models, this is perfectly understandable, SAABs last well, tune well and become a part of peoples families for years. SAAB needs something other than its official Facebook to reach supporters and buyers, feed the desire for information, supply the data, spyshots and rumours. For an international company in 2011 SU should form part of an overall media strategy, they’ll miss a trick if it goes down. On another note why not put SU behind a paywall,… Read more »
T. M.
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T. M.
5 years 7 months ago

I just want to say thank you. I’ve really enjoyed this site and hope to enjoy it in the future. I totally understand that you’d need more than just a break from it. I hope you get mondo bucks from somebody, and I wish you all the best.

ร–rjan
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ร–rjan
5 years 7 months ago

@Swade: I’m very sad to hear this but at the same time I fully understand.

I’m totally convinced that without you and SU there wouldn’t be any SAAB today.

Isn’t there some russian guy that loves SAAB that could give you a “small” (for him) donation to make it possible for you to take a time-out from your job? ๐Ÿ˜‰

andha
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andha
5 years 7 months ago

You have given me and all other readers of SU many hours of high quality reading, thank you! Hopefully you will find a solution to keep the blog runnin even if you dont put in that many hours anymore.. Thanks again!

StefanH STHLM
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StefanH STHLM
5 years 7 months ago

Finally! Iยดll get my life back! Starting the day with SU and ending the day with SU. Between that regularly checking it out for news during the day. That isnยดt a life, Iยดll tell You. ๐Ÿ˜‰
But will I survive without it? Nope!
You egoist! ๐Ÿ™‚ Shutting it down! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Would it be possible to let the responsibility for SU be itinerant between the world wide spread convoy groups, or Saab Clubs? One year at a time or so?

Mikaik
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Mikaik
5 years 7 months ago
Just like the others, I often wondered how is it possible to invest so much time in SU while also having a regular job. So I’d say it’s not really unexpected that you feel you can no longer carry on… I’ve discovered TS short after ordering my first Saab, back in 2007. Since then, TS and then SU became some sort of family…I just can’t imagine SU as merely an archive. Even worse, I cannot imagine Saab without SaabsUnited. It’s part of Saab’s soul, since we talked so much about cars with a soul. There are only very few websites… Read more »
Robin
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Robin
5 years 7 months ago
@Swade: Thank you very much for the good work you have kept up the last years! Without doubt you have managed to put in place a Headquarters, a Home Base for Saab addicts. And not in a negative way! Your posts have always been characterised by a tremendous knowledge level, and you, yourself, have always been able to interpret the news in an intelligent way. I guess that there are not many people in the world who have the complete overview of what’s going on in the Saab world. I would like to thank you for your efforts, and hope… Read more »
Arild
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
I started to read Trollhattan Saab in 2005 and followed over to Saabs United in 2009. In the beginning I visited the blog maybe once each day, but the last two years I have visited the blog several times each day. Now I can’t imagine the life as a Saab enthusiast without Saabs United. For me Saabs United is the number one source of news, insight and sensible thoughts about the car company I love. Of the alternatives lined up, I would prefer #2. Keep ownership to the site, act as a top editor, write an editorial now and then… Read more »
Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 7 months ago
Arild: I was just thinking the exact same thing now when I came here to read more comments. I would love to see Swade as head editorial that some times, perhaps maximum of once a month writes an longer entry, while the rest of the site is being kept alive through others involved. A division of responsibility is A and O (as we say in Swedish). Someone responsible for moderation of comments, someone as RedJ (perhaps) responsible for stats and numbers. Someone responsible for rumors. Someone responsible for news (with extra for needed markets). I’m ready to help with what… Read more »
Cardoso
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Cardoso
5 years 7 months ago

I’m quite new to the community, but I’m quite worried about my future now. Where will I know what’s about Saab in the future?
Hope we’ll see you again soon, here, there or everywhere…
Congratulations and thanks a lot for your job.

andyb
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andyb
5 years 7 months ago

Ive been reading this site since trollhattan saab days ,its going to leave quite a hole but I am sure you will be back .

Peeceepeh
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Peeceepeh
5 years 7 months ago

A Big Thank You for your work, Swade. I began to visit SU in Late 2009, when things looked quite bad for SAAB and I wanted to have information about the brand. Not only did I apreciate the information I received from your site, but I really enjoyed your style of writing. Entertaing to read yet full of profund facts and thorough thoughts.

You site

Peeceepeh
Guest
Peeceepeh
5 years 7 months ago

(continued from above)
Your site help me to identify with my 9-3 and with me beeing a SAAB nut.

Thank you for that!
Good luck to you from Freiburg, Germany
Cornelius

Gripen
Guest
Gripen
5 years 7 months ago

why not selling SU to SAAB/SPYKER and why not a job at the key?
Good luck to you !! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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