Tumbling dice

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Today it was once again time to put the summer wheels on my 9000 and change the oil; I decided it was time to visit my local dealer. This visit was long overdue– I had not seen the guys for at least a week, maybe even two.

I usually try to catch a few words with one of their veteran sales persons there. Anders has held the fort since the mid-90s. He was head hunted by the local Opel dealer as they managed to snap up the Saab franchise following GM’s take-over of Saab. They needed someone on their team with proper Saab knowledge and roots. Who better than a born and raised second generation Saab salesman?

Anders has sold six new 9-5s in our borough. Two linears, two vectors and two aeros– one of these to me. Today he was putting together an offer for a 9-5 SportCombi. The customer in question wants the works: 2.8T, navigation, metallic, etc. “Adaptive cruise control?” I asked.

“Yes, of course” Anders replied. I was impressed. A week ago I was completely unaware that adaptive cruise control would finally feature on the 2012 9-5s, and now someone was already requesting it.

A year ago, in June, Anders and I picked features for for my fjord blue 9-5. Things were very different back then. Saab’s website was incomplete and one of the snags that caught me was the auto-tiltdown action on the side mirrors. You need memory seats for that to work, and I don’t think they corrected their website to reflect that until December. I’m still extremely pleased with the result, and it’s an incredible car and one of the first BioPower versions of the MY11 9-5.

Speaking of the works, recently a reader in Radu, Romania e-mailed the SU team. Last week he took delivery of a fully loaded 9-5 2.8T. He wanted to know if he had made a mistake, trusting Saab. I answered “No.” Actually, what I really answered was:

I think the answer to your question depends on yourself. How long do you plan on keeping this car? As someone who grew up with Saabs, of course I am worried about their future. Fear, uncertainty and doubt is at full play. But Saabs have saved both myself and members of my family several times. We would probably be resting underneath the soil had we chosen any different brand. I am willing to take a potential monetary loss on my new 9-5 — it is the least I could do in return!

Money, although an important factor in many of our lives, isn’t everything. You can’t take it with you to the grave. What you can do is pass your spoils on to the next generation. What better treasure, 20 years from now, than a very rare Saab 9-5? (assuming in the unlikliest case that the worst happens) Remember: all art is cheap and uninteresting until the artist buys the farm. And the 9-5 is one heckuva piece of fine art!

With this idea fresh in mind, I asked Anders what to expect from a worst-case scenario. “Why are you worried? You bought your car from us,” he told me. “It is this dealership’s problem to cover your warranty claims regardless of Saab’s fate.” Good to know. It is safe to buy a Saab in Sweden at least, and given the guarantees in the US Saab customers should feel just as comfortable plunking down the cash for a new one.

The hardest question I have ever faced surfaced back in December 2009 as I felt the last opportunity to order a new Saab was quickly deteriorating in front of my eyes. I put everything on blind faith and decided to wait. That new 9-5 was just too delicious to pass up, even if it meant possibly missing out on one of the last 9-3s to be made. In light of that, Radu’s question found me somewhat unprepared. In case Saab disappears tomorrow, make sure you have at least one new Saab in your garage. This is my advice to all of you.

Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 5 months ago
Why so defetist, Rune? Saabs seem to have far better resales than it would seem around the world, a well-optioned Saab will lose far less than a comparable BMW or Mercedes because of the sheer price of the options (a Mercedes equipped the way my Saab came STANDARD would have cost TWICE as much with an engine with comparable output, but both will cost the same in two year’s time). There is no question the company will survive. Muller has proven the viability of Saab as a business, with good product, internal resilience and eager customers. Even if he is… Read more »
rune
Member
5 years 5 months ago
I too think the current situation will be resolved. My motivation for writing this piece was mainly all those journalists who go on about “consumer confidence” without qualifying their objection. What exactly will happen if Saab disappears from the face of the earth? This is my first attempt at answering that question. Saab’s owner cycle is 20 years. 20 years as a division of the airplane manufacturer. 20 years with Scania. 20 years with GM. So VM has 19 years left on the clock. The average age of Saabs scrapped in Norway also happens to be a little over 20… Read more »
paddan
Member
5 years 5 months ago

@ Bravada +1

Henrik B.
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Even the Saab 9000 had autotiltdown of the right hand mirror, when you put the gearlever into reverse. 😉

The editor of the largest danish motoring magazine, was asked if he believes in Saabs survival. He gives Saab less than 50% chance. I surely hope that he’s proven wrong. He was then asked if he would still buy a Saab. The answer was clear: “Yes, without a doubt!”.

Cheers!

lol
Member
5 years 5 months ago

hey ? what happens here ?
I feel a wind of pessimism. Why ?
We’ve got someone just here ready to invest 50 M€ and then 300 M€ for the 9-2, and repay the EIB loan !
Only missing the ok from swedish gvt so that the NDO is ok , so that VA enters
Is there any responsible people in those organisations ?
I’m sur there is!
Waiting for the good news!
SAAB UP !!!!!!!

WD78
Member
5 years 5 months ago
Well, the gvt has already said yes to the loan from VA.. heres a google translate from TTELA “…centrally placed sources within the Debt Office / Government later declared bluntly to TTELA that both the Debt Office and the Government for its part, approved a loan application and that it depended on foreign partners. When TTELA talks with Vladimir Antonov Swedish advisor, Lars Carlstrom, and others with insight into the process the evening becomes clearer picture even more. – Yes, they have given the green light to Vladimir Antonov can lend money, but he wants to come in as a… Read more »
Ruben NL
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Holland’s financial journal FD has quoted Dagens Nyheter, stating that all running costs to operate the Trollhättan site, estimate up to 1 billion dollars per month.
http://www.fd.nl/artikel/21880268/maandelijkse-kosten-saab-bedragen-1-mrd

Suppose these figures were right, break even costs would be $200k per production unit. But it can’t be.

My guess is that -if these are the right figures- mr. Antonov’s U$D 50 mio won’t do the trick.

Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 5 months ago

This is rather b/s, Saab never had that kind of money in the first place, they wouldn’t have even started if it cost a billion to run the site for a month. I guess they might mean a billion Swedish kronor…

sala or bust
Guest
5 years 5 months ago
Yes they do, and this sounds like a very new thing, but….Have those jornos even read the Spyker figures from just 2 weeks ago? They wrote how much they earned, how a big loss they did and so on. Why make this calculation as the DN (Dagens Nyheter) just did? They could easily figure out what they should earn to break even instead of using there own assumptions and make an attractive headline! Well, for the same reason all the Bonnier magazines rant on about the Saab story. They just can’t help them selves to come up with “news” by… Read more »
Seán
Member
5 years 5 months ago
It would be nice to hold onto a “rare piece of art” especially if Saab were to vanish off the face of the earth. But I do hold faith for the company, everytime I doubt, I jump in my 9-3 go for a drive and I remember everything that Saab has achieved in the past year. The progress they’ve made and all the agreements they have signed. Plus the fact that VM JAJ and VA all still have strong belief in the company, and the fact Saab has investors interested to invest, makes me strongly believe that the company has… Read more »
hans h
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I have more than one Saab. But only old ones 🙂
93 -58
96 -61
95V4 -69
96V4 -69
9000CD2.3 -90

But no newer Saab, I’m sorry to say.

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Hans,
With a list like that, you have nothing to be sorry about. Five Saabs in your garage, I bet they all need parts from time to time, you still support the brand and show a definate love for Saab

Juerg_U
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I ordered already a 9-5 BP Aero SC (fully loaded without adaptive cruise control 😉 and I really, really hope it will be delivered, it a heck of a car and I can’t imagine ordering anything else.

SAAB up!

Aniraz
Member
5 years 5 months ago
I am new on this site. I have driven Saab all my life starting with a V4 in the 60s. I am convinced that Saab deserves to live. I think that Saab lovers should go from commitment to action. We are a small group with the potential to safe Saab. We need to use this potential. I believe we could raise ten million dollars from Saab lovers in no time. This will be sufficient to fuel a social epidemic and boost up the brand worldwide. It will open the gate for many to believe in Saab and this in turn… Read more »
rune
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Good afternoon Aniraz, and welcome to this site.

Rather than raise money, I believe it is better we keep buying Saabs and encourage other people to do the same thing.

No 9
Member
5 years 5 months ago

+1Rune. My thought exactly.
*Welcome Pierre, from another Pierre

janke
Member
5 years 5 months ago

lite för pessimistisk klart det ordnar sig kolla på ttelia

Lars S
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Keep voting everyone, we can do this!

Chicago Swede
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I talked to my Sales Associate at True Saab this week. They are all hanging on for the 9-4x. He said each of them have waiting lists of SAAB clients that are interested in the vehicle, (myself included). It should be delivered in June is the last official word he received. i say, June cannot come fast enough. Maybe it is time for me to step up to the plate and order now.

sala or bust
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Well, if you already have made up your mind, then why not? I mean, it will give management one more thing to tell the bank to pove the business is sound. But, regardless of this, if you do order, you will be amongst the first.
I know, cause I did just that with the TTiD XWD.

74StingSaab
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I agree, the 9-4X cannot arrive soon enough in the US. I firmly believe that the 9-4X will be a sales miracle for Saab . Even as gas prices rise… people here still love the SUV/XUV and the versatility of that style of automobile.

paddan
Member
5 years 5 months ago

My only caution is that it will have to lease aggressively which could be a challenge because it will likely have a low residual in no small part due to the past 2 weeks events and the “uncertainty” about Saab.

74StingSaab
Member
5 years 5 months ago

I agree…. they must make this work… and give some dang good advertising to promote the 9-4X. I’ll gladly drive one around for SAAB like Till72 did, with decals all over it promoting it’s arrival.

Wife and I are looking at the 9-3X…. The 9-4x is great looking, just bigger than what we need.

paddan
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Reinertsen Motors in Denville, NJ has the 9-4x on their showroom floor today. It’s the same one that will be at the NY Auto Show. They have a nice event today to show it. Dropping my 9-3 off for a spring detail then going to see it. Hopefully some VA money can be used to prop up residuals or lower lease payments below competitors cars just to get new Saabs out the door and on the roads.

74StingSaab
Member
5 years 5 months ago

@ paddan… then we must be “neighbors” since I’m just north of Philly. Reinertsen seems to have a nice inventory… how are they as a dealership?

Chicago Swede
Member
5 years 5 months ago
I am also considering either a 9-3X or 9-4X as my next purchase. My Sales Associate says he is hearing that comment from many other SAAB loyalista. I said, “I am not surprised. We all seem to love anything that contains the words, SAAB, Turbo and hatchback.” I actually love the US version of the 9-3X SC but would simply like to compare the two in person before making my final decision. I think the Cadillac SRX is a good platform and size for the US market. I am really looking forward to test driving the new SAAB 9-4X. Hopefully… Read more »
Trollblazer
Member
5 years 5 months ago
sala or bust
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Once again http://www.ttela.se gives a better picture of what’s going on than this article. This article also is just repesting the words of the usually very “objective” wording from DI. A site with the same quality of news as the glossy tabloids

Trollblazer
Member
5 years 5 months ago
I agree. However I do like this comment below the article: ‘” Saab is much to valuable to go under; its quite unique in the otherwise bland automotive world. Or are we going downhill to a world where there is no more room for individualistic and intelligent designs…? Do you wanna drive in a reliable but oh so very boring Toyota, or some other mindless trendy crappy vehicle that people forget about the instant a new model comes out.. Everybody remembers the pioneering 99 turbo, the iconic 900 and the superb 9000…, Saab deserves a chance to show the world… Read more »
alex
Member
5 years 5 months ago
I am from England and recently took delivery of a new 9-3 sportwagon ttid. My wife and I really love the car and have no regrets in choosing another Saab to replace our 15 year old 900. It is a fine car and I cannot understand why the motoring press in my view seem determined to destroy the Saab brand with all their negative comments about the cars. Its time the press took responsability for the damage they do to any manufacturers products with their somewhat ‘blinkered’ findings and comments about a car and realise we all buy cars with… Read more »
w3c validator
Guest
5 years 5 months ago

Enjoy your car! And please feel free to send in some photos if you want to share! 🙂

alex
Member
Chicago Swede
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Dear Alex,

I just wanted to thank you for sharing your lovely SAAB photos. It is obvious from reading your comments and viewing your photos that you exude the true spirit of SAAB! Best Wishes to you and your family!

alex
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Thanks Chicago Swede, I do have a great love for all things SAAB, old and new.
My wife and I think that the 9-3 is an excellent car and certainly has that ‘SAAB’ feel to it. There is still something quite special about driving a new SAAB today, and standing out from the ‘mainstream’ crowd.
Thanks for your best wishes, lets hope we get good news next week.

74StingSaab
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Welcome to the “combi” family… you’ll love it! We have had ours for just over 2 years now and are considering adding a second one to the family.

best of luck!

Romac
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Me too! 93 SC 1.9TiD 120 VS (06) – It’s a great all-rounder and attracts unsolicited complementary compliments from strangers!

Lars S
Member
StefanH STHLM
Member
5 years 5 months ago

A couple of positive articles. Wunderful! 🙂

RMinNJ
Member
5 years 5 months ago
I posted the following comment on saabnet (below) I would like to add that the internet these days lets the car buying public be educated in ways never thought of in the past.. I would like the new 900 with BMW motor, Toyota Transmission, Brembo brakes and Hirsch wing please.. It is difficult. But I know as a consumer I have seem many small manufacturers make a superior product albeit at a higher retail cost to the consumer. I still think Saab is in a unique situation where they can build vehicles that use best of bread components from different… Read more »
Uddo
Member
5 years 5 months ago
sala or bust
Guest
5 years 5 months ago
VM have loans, you think that is free? * 10% sound high, but do we know anything about it? * Do we know what interest he is paying? * Do we know when he must pay of his loans used to buy saab? Well, I don’t have sufficient information to judge, so I don’t. Why do like the Swedish media and presume it’s all bad? Stay tuned and watch instead. I’m sure there must be a cash flow going to the owner. And I am certain that this flow isn’t higher than it need to be. Why risk the hole… Read more »
Jeff
Member
5 years 5 months ago

🙂 Good points TT

OddJob
Member
5 years 5 months ago
This looks more freightening than it is. I saw the big black headline on the front page of GP paper issue today and was really scared, it said: ‘CEO takes out money of Saab – 60 million in rates to Victor Mullers private company’. Inside the paper there is a full spread article on the same theme. They have also made a fairly thorough investigation about Saabs financing, however they do not go all the way to the bottom line. You get the impression that VM puts the 60 million in his own pocket. If your memory serves you well… Read more »
Albert
Member
5 years 5 months ago
happy to go to the RAI and buy an 9-5 estate after I failed to buy a Saab cab automatic as it was to dirty to comply with company rules…… I see the present situation as a angerous game played by VM and Antonov forcing with the threat of bankruptcy the loan providers and to release securities and to accept A. The only risk is that the money providers lose trust and will take their losses now. How ever good it was to get the factory rolling again businessplans with 80 K cars this year are simply not realistic and… Read more »
paddan
Member
5 years 5 months ago

@ 74 StingSaab – I’ve been buying Saabs from Reinertsen Motors for over 30 years and wont go anywhere else. This is a great place with great people from the top on thru the personnel. Very fair, honest and enthusiastic dealer.

74StingSaab
Member
5 years 5 months ago

Good to hear that! I may just have to pay them a visit sometime to snoop around. My local dealer has been nothing but great with me but I always enjoy the new sights of a unknown (to me) showroom.

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