Is V. Antonov the new Ecclestone of WRC?

In an earlier Post I commented that Vladimir Antonov had bought a WRC team.

Saab’s friend and rally enthusiast Vladimir Antonov said to have cleared North One Sport’s (a WRC team) outstanding debt and is providing significant investment for the future.

It seems like I didn’t get the real story. 🙁

North One Sport is not a WRC team but the promoter of WRC, just as the company of Berni Ecclestone is the promoter of F1.

The main problem of WRC now is the lack of participating brands, that is why I think that Antonov will help Saab build a car suitable for WRC, in order to get at least another brand in the competition.

And looking at the cars that are currently competing in WRC (Ford Fiesta, Citroen DS3, maybe Mini Countryman), a Saab entry in WRC must be a 9-2 and not a 9-3.

Time will tell.

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 6 months ago

When I first saw the PhoeniX, the wheelbase reminded me of the &imgrefurl=http://gazautomobili.com/blog/%3Fp%3D94&usg=__rJHizgKYjGp6XK0qNRiScRz_8yo=&h=305&w=440&sz=25&hl=sv&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=eJiG5EyHktghIM:&tbnh=124&tbnw=212&ei=WwdyTZSCG8-Oswbstp2IDg&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dlancia%2Bstratos%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dsv%26sa%3DN%26rlz%3D1I7ADRA_en%26biw%3D1003%26bih%3D428%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=533&vpy=130&dur=2547&hovh=187&hovw=270&tx=162&ty=155&oei=WwdyTZSCG8-Oswbstp2IDg&page=1&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:0″ rel=”nofollow”>Lancia Stratos

But of course, rally-cars has to be produced in great numbers to be aloud to compete. But Phoenix as a rally-car would be really something.

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 6 months ago

hmm, try this instead Lancia Stratos

But this latest Antonov-move, will for sure bring Saab back to rallying sooner than we might think. I read somewhere that he needed to be official owner so he could provide 2.000.000 euro to build the 9-2, but EIB wouldn´t aloue him, so Victor and Him was planning to pay back EIB and get finances elsewhere.

rodmylon
Guest
rodmylon
5 years 6 months ago

200 million euros 😉
EIB requires negotiations and background research and so on. It will take time. They haven’t decided to stop him (yet), nor should they. But if it takes too much time then Muller might search for other solutions, like borrowing money elsewhere and repaying the EIB loans in advance (this might be the case whichever way the EIB decides about Antonov).

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 6 months ago

🙂 the SD mistake!

Eitherway, Antonov and Muller is almost too good to be true!

JH
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JH
5 years 6 months ago

I would love to see Saab come back to rallying, and if they make a street version Saab 9-2 at the same time it would be awesome! 😀

By the way, I am surprised that I haven’t seen an entry about this here at Saabs United:
http://www.teknikensvarld.se/nyheter/110301-saab-antonov-gm/index.xml
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/13/spyker-saab-idUSLDE70C0GL20110113

bass900i
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bass900i
5 years 6 months ago

i was brought up on rallying [circuit of ireland used to be the thing to do at easter], still miss the group b sound, still miss the wrc round that used to be in western australia [colin mc at the bunnings jumps]

J Fan
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J Fan
5 years 6 months ago

I have memories of Austin McHale, Bertie Fisher, Kenny McKinstry and BMW M3”s!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_0T_1QCcVA

Henrik
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Henrik
5 years 6 months ago
OT, but according to “sydsvenskan” the next 9-3 will be called 900! “When 9-3 is replaced next year it will not be as 9-3. New design manager Jason Castriota want a free hand to create a new car. And then Saab dusts of the old model name 900, which Mid-breaker was called from 1978 to 1998, when it changed its name to the 9-3 in the same time as the larger 9000 was replaced by 9-5. It is therefore the new 900, which launched as a five-door hatchback in October next year and the convertible at a later time, we… Read more »
rodmylon
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rodmylon
5 years 6 months ago

Is it really confirmed, or is the paper still speculating a bit?
I’m kinda fine with it, but I’m having a hard time imagining what they will call the other models. the 9-5 will be the 9000 again? (sounds a bit 80’s). What will they call the 9-4x? and 9-2? (saab 90?). That naming scheme is a bit hard to apply to a wider range, so I would perhaps modify it a bit. How about saab 903 (for the 9-3), 905 for the 9-5 and so on. It’s almost like the Porsche 911 🙂

Adam Bower
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Adam Bower
5 years 6 months ago

Can’t do that, Peugeot hold the trademark on car models of 3 numbers with 0 in the middle….

rodmylon
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rodmylon
5 years 6 months ago

I guess you’re right.. Well I hope they go for the 93 & 95 then. Sounds better than 9000, now in modern times

ivo 71
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ivo 71
5 years 6 months ago

I imagine 901 cannot be used either :-(. That was the original designation of what is now known as a 911 but had to be changed due to the Peugeot situation. 9001, on the other and…or would Peugeot also have claimed all combinations with two zeros in between?

Ivo

Edonis
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Edonis
5 years 6 months ago

I really hope this isn’t the case. I really think Saab should stick with the 9-X names as it is modern and can be applied over a whole range of models. 900 sounds really 80’s to me, and although the 900s of the 80s were excellent cars, Saab doesn’t need the public to think of them being too old-school and out of date. Furthermore, it’s difficult to apply this naming across the range. 90, 900, 9000, 90000, and if they made an even bigger car, 900 000? God, I hope not!

zippy
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zippy
5 years 6 months ago

I totally agree. Having spent a ton of money over the last 14 years promoting the 9-X moniker only to ditch it makes no sense at all. The 900 was the car that most people think of as being a true Saab but that was a long time ago. Changing back to said name would be a mistake.

Saab Up!

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

This would just make confusion.
Nothing wrong with the current names.

MarkoA
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MarkoA
5 years 6 months ago

I know it´s childish and somewhat foolish, but I´d love to see new 900. It really means a lot to me and I guess to many others. Think of it, big bold letters on the trunk of a hatch “SAAB 900 turbo”. That would be just awesome.

Smithy
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Time to update with some new posts?

Saab has updated their Apple application with details covering the whole model range, check it out!

Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 6 months ago

Noticed that as well yesterday. Only miss the Spin 360 for the 9-5 SC. But it’s still a good step forward! 🙂

Smithy
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah that’s right! It’s missing but I’m guessing that they will add it sooner or later.

Hogge
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Hogge
5 years 6 months ago

I’m hoping for Saab to make a car that will be reminiscent of the old Subaru Impreza and Lancer Evo. Hence I want Saab to produce the Turbo X Evolution I, with yearly improvements.
Either that or a tiny two seater XWD reminiscent of the Stratos.

Arild
Guest
5 years 6 months ago
Off topic: Norwegian newspaper VG had a talk with Castriota at the Geneva motor show, and there is actually some exciting news here: This smart is the new Saab The grille on the new Saab 9-3 will look very similar to this polished sports coupe concept. The new Saab 9-3 is expected in about eighteen months. – The car you see here is a provocation, a sporty car in which we have further developed the aero inspired design, but at the same time have pushed the limits. But yes, much of the front on the concept car, including the round… Read more »
Peter, Sweden
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Peter, Sweden
5 years 6 months ago

Looking at Jason’s “we’re not doing Russian doll cars”- comment, maybe it isn’t necessary to have the “bigger car, bigger number”-approach to the cars either. Jason really emphasized that there will be _completely_ different models, and that could very well mean that there will be completely different names as well.

We might have a 9-5, a 900 and a Sonett simultaneously.

MarkoA
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MarkoA
5 years 6 months ago

That would be just the opposite what for example VW us doing. All of their cars look exactly the same. Only the size is different. I really really loathe it.

hh1b9816
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hh1b9816
5 years 6 months ago

on the 900, 9000 etc. What would the 9-4X and a future 9-6/7X be called?  on the seats, paint and front/grille.

Jesper

JeremyP
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JeremyP
5 years 6 months ago
Where there is smoke, there is uaually fire. My guess is VM, JAJ, and VA have more audacious plans than any of us may have previously thought. Thay are making a tremendous push to make Saab ‘happen’ in a very big way. While I am sure VM and VA’s motives are in the right place, think of the potential financial windfall coming their way over the next few years if Saab gets back to a sustainable level with long term growth. Thay paid less to buy SAAB (the company, the IP, the bricks and mortar, the history, the brand, the… Read more »
Talladegan
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Talladegan
5 years 6 months ago

+ Several!

Lasse
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Lasse
5 years 6 months ago

+1

GM might be fine with the solution in the end too. We should not forget that they continue to be the largest Saab shareholder in financial terms.

lala
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lala
5 years 6 months ago

Yes and no: their 375m in shares represents a voting right of less than 1%

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
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Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 6 months ago
SUHRT are now working on getting Vladimir Antonovs 99 TURBO Sedan 1980 ready for paint and final preparation. The styling of the exterior is not decided yet but it stands between the black 1979 Swedish Rally, the red 1979 RAC Rally or the 1980 Clarion Black with white and orange design. The teams blue (RAL 5005) ä99 TURBO Sedan Replica “Stig Blomqvist, Publimmo Venere. has been painted and shall now be completed with RP Glasfibre fender extenders. — Vladimirs involvement in WRC is that SUHRT´s fault 🙂 Guess we gave him a great time last summer in his favorite car… Read more »
Tompa
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Tompa
5 years 6 months ago

Doing a great job there Jörgen!

Cheers/Tom

Pat h
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Pat h
5 years 6 months ago

I wonder how much people would be willing to pay for Saab now?

Golfhunter
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Mr K.Simonsson during my interview told me that there’s nothing previoused by Saab for the WRC .It’s just not the priority for Saab currently
http://saab.skynetblogs.be/archive/2011/03/05/we-have-met-mr-knut-simonsson-at-geneva-video.html

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Yes really a nice and interesting interview! 🙂
Knut Simonsson appears to be a very sympathetic man. He´s answers are so friendly and informative!

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 6 months ago

I did not see the interview until now, great work Golfhunter! You´re a true saab-hero. Excellent! I also like Mr Simonssons attitude and answers.

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
Guest
Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 6 months ago

Rally and Racing has never been Knuts cup of tea. He came to Saab when it was a completely different company then it is today. My 2 cents is that the OWNERS like motorsport a lot.
People around the world associate SAAB with rally and Turbos. Remember that SAAB 99 Turbo was the very first WRC car with a turbo engine to win an international rally.

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 6 months ago

I think we can be pretty confident that Antonov and Muller will get Saab into Rally, but as Red J points out, they´ll need a Fiesta-sized car, and that won´t happen before 2014 if at all. (But I think it will.)

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