Ranting about the media v2.01…ah!

Attention please!  Nah, this is Not news. 😉

It Is a reflection on the media and some of it´s auto and financial journalists.

At first I was going with a total rant about one journalist in particular that I feel often tend to drift to “Saab hatred” named Håkan Matson of Dagens Industri. But I wont do a full article about him.
I´ll give Håkan that he is sometimes right in his assessments and actually writes something worth pondering about at times. But at the same time he is sooo happy whenever given the chance to give his very biased and negative views on a Saab model. As an example his extremely distasteful report from the NYIAS some years ago when the 9-7X made it´s debut and on live television tried to make Fords Head of Design at the moment agree with him that the 9-7X was a crap car and was truly ugly. Of course he was told that “:-No I think it´s a great looking car and wish Saab all the best”. No matter that Håkan was right in a couple of things… The size of engines and engineering of the car was not true to Saabs philosophy of building cars… he still stood there heaving dirt on the Swedish industry.

The often understated 9-7X

Most newspapers and online magazines have their obligation to fill towards their owners. It being to maximize profit. Saying otherwise would be lying.
All through the Sale of Saab Automobile and through this first year of ownership under Spyker, speculations of the death of Saab have come and gone. Sometimes, we as enthusiasts may be hard on the media, but fact is… We have to. We owe it to the Saab staff, ourselves, dealers and of course Saab Automobile.
Media themselves often say that they are not prejudice towards Saab and only do their work in reporting facts. That we the enthusiasts do not understand that they are only doing their jobs in telling the truth.
Question: Is calling the so called “Expert” Ferdinand “The Dude” Düdenhoffer in times of happiness amongst Saab staff, community, dealers etc called a way of “only telling the truth”.

One word to you journalists: Gezz

What journalists do not understand when it comes to the anger towards some of them is that we Never hear anything Positive from them regarding Saab. Oh sure there are tidbits like:- “The 9-3TTiD is great..” but then they hammer down on an plethora of negatives like “Old construction”, “Fleet sales are bad” etc that make buyers weary about buying what they could instead call “Superb value for money and construction is bulletproof”.
They repeat themselves with mindless blabber about the products and company like “It´s basically a Vauxhall Vectra”, “Perennial loss-making”. Some of them even fell for the quick fix in repeating Minister of Enterprise Maud Olofssons words about “The risk of taxpayers money”. Something they as well as we understand is complete and utter bullocks…. All for the sake of selling their papers.

Some or maybe many journalist (You know who you are) out there are gems and has mostly stayed away from the rant and instead focused on product and the Future for Saab and how much Saab actually has done and Do contribute to technical advancements, design, safety, tax payments etc and how that makes up for gains for both the driver of a Saab, other companies in the automotive sector, universities, taxpayers… well everyone. Even for Minister of Enterprise, Maud Olofsson

So journalists with a penchant for the “dramatic”.. Dig into real Facts about Saab like what actually happened to Saabs money during the GM years. (That would be a wake up moment for many) Write about what Would have been lost in case Saab had actually failed. Be truthful and honest. You know, that Might make you feel happy and sell copies of your papers on the basis of facts of truth.
And for the love of G.. Please stop saying the steering wheel in the 9-5 is an Opel wheel. It is Saab design and Opel, Chevy etc should be so happy to be able to use it… like so many other Saab designs and inovations.

A last bit of info to all journalist and us here:
Saab Will survive AND thrive. SAAB UP!

Cheers/Tom
(No I do not need to attend an anger management class 🙂 )
Ps. I Will stay clear from the rant regarding journalism from now on as I´m more of a product and story telling kinda guy. Next article will be what it´s all about.. namely product.. 9-5 and 9-3X test-drive in Beautiful Umeå, Sweden together with great friend and SU commenter “Rostnes” Ds.

And need I say:- Please behave in comments 😀

 

Tomas TL1000R
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Tompa! great stuff +1

OddJob
Member
5 years 4 months ago

I am totally on your side, Don’t know how many times I have tried to make them wake up for Saabs sake but it’s kind of meeting a Tsunami. One tip though that seem to make journalists listen is to not take the discussion and arguing in public commaents. Instead e-mail your opinion directly to the author (their name and email are usually given in conjunction with the article).

nichell
Guest
5 years 4 months ago
Auto journalists tend to favour the big auto makers. If they say anything negative about BMW, say, they would immediately get a lot of letters from BMWphiles threatening to cancel their subscriptions etc. No magazine wants to get these letters. It’s a human condition. Follow the money… Their jobs depend on this. Their editors will get mad. Secondly, they get a lot of advertising revenue from a big auto maker and it’s ancillary accessories related firms. Saab is very small compared to the others. Probably the smallest company out there. They don’t have as much readership clout as Audi, BMW,… Read more »
JasonPowell
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Auto journalists tend to favour the big auto makers

So true, if you look at your local papers you’ll probably notice that the test drives and vehicle write ups are on cars that are advertised heavily in that paper. I would almost go a step further and say that test drives and vehicle commentary is influenced by advertising dollars too. This may be just my own feeling, but when I open the local paper and see good reviews on cars I’ve driven that drive like crap, one is left to think this way.

SAABfansince14
Member
5 years 4 months ago
I agree. I was thinking about this earlier…there are so many car companies that were in the same position as Saab in terms of parts sharing from a mother company, yet those go unmentioned! It’s kind of angering really. Notably: Nissan/Infinity Honda/Acura Toyota/Lexus VW/Audi– VW is almost if not more of a culprit of global platform sharing than GM. Why doesn’t the press compare the lower priced brands with their expensive counterparts? Its the first thought of many people now, “oh its just a dressed up such and such.” I would say Saab makes a very good effort in distinguishing… Read more »
Aussie Paddan
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Actually the press praise VW for this pointing out how it improves their profit etc and has them heading towards market leadership, yet GM doing it is apparantly poor. With SAAB it doesn’t mattter how much was put on th eVEctra Platform – it still is a Vectra – thi sdoesn’t apply with VW – its great engineering.
ANother complaint I have here in Australia the new 9-5 is criticised because it handles really poorly on rough roads and potholes!!! Well funny that wasn’t taken into account. How many other “western Countries” have roads like us?

Red J
Member
5 years 4 months ago

I always tell people that the Audi TT is nothing but a sportier facelift of the VW NewBettle, because it really is as truth as telling the OG 9-5 was a facelifted Vectra.

Barbapappa
Member
5 years 4 months ago

I have a hard time understanding the motivation part for this article? What is actually the purpose and aim of it?

OddJob
Member
5 years 4 months ago

You are obviously not living in Sweden.

RobinM
Member
5 years 4 months ago

good read and I agree….

Tim OBrien
Member
5 years 4 months ago

talking about the media, it’s not all negative.

I read this over at Inside Saab, has it been on Saabs United, and if not it should have featured.

From Blogger to Saviour – how People-Power saved Saab

http://www.caradvice.com.au/116942/from-blogger-to-saviour-how-people-power-saved-saab/

SVX92
Member
5 years 4 months ago
Gotta say- even now seeing the 9-7x photo, it is a good looking SUV- arguable the best dressed of the many brand iterations of an overused platform. And I’m biased enough to say- yes we have an aero version in the garage that the wife loves to drive w a heavy and I sigh as it fails to hit 15 mpg. I guess when I average that with my convertible’s mpg. it’s not sooo bad It is a shame that most media grab onto gloom and doom for sensationalism rather the gravitate towards speculative “under dog” optimisim.
erikhans
Member
5 years 4 months ago

It is a shame that the 9-7X took so much flack….It is actually a very nice SUV. My parents bought a used 2006 4.2 and just love it and yes it was the best looking one out of all the GM SUV’s of this type. They drive it to the snow, tow their boat and just have a general good time with. Oh! and they are a real steal on the used car market.

SVX92
Member
5 years 4 months ago

True that. When we bought our 08 aero (w Nav) off lease from a chevy dealer, they wanted more for an 07 SS Trailblazer w cloth, higher miles and no sunroof. “Kah-Ray-Zee!”

looking for new car
Member
5 years 4 months ago
I think part of it is that Saab needs to be more proactive with good news. When I was looking at a Lexus RX back in December, I told the dealer that I was deciding b/n another Saab and the Lexus, and he said something like, “I heard that Saab was in trouble again.” (Before they were) I knew enough to ignore the comment and I answered him with facts that made him back off quickly, a little embarrassed at the attempt at salesmanship. But without my research, I would have believed him. I don’t think that’s automotive press. I… Read more »
2natw
Member
5 years 4 months ago

You got the SAAB, right?

looking for new car
Member
5 years 4 months ago

not yet. I’ve been waiting for the SC, but will test drive the sedan tonight with my family. After I read the NHTSA reports on the Lexus, I took it off my list.

ivo 71
Member
5 years 4 months ago
I can imagine how someone would want to vent and can even sympathize with quite a bit of your rant, Tompa. Underbelly feelings need to get out sometimes. But do you think that venting on SU is the right way of doing it? SU needs to maintain a reasonable relationship with the press. You/SU will probably need a favour or two sometimes from some of them. Declaring them collectively guilty of bias towards Saab will not gain SU any friends and may even tend to alienate the good ones. And there are quite a few decent, fair and knowledgeable guys… Read more »
ivo 71
Member
5 years 4 months ago
Tompa, I appreciate your respect and thank you for it. And I applaud your commitment and love for the brand. But by having become a staff writer for SU, you have also become a member of the (online) automotive press. You have even become an opinion leader, so to speak. Okay, so SU isn’t a general-information medium like a daily paper but limits itself to things Saab. But have you realized how many people read your stories? And often derive their opinions on Saab from them? Like three quarters of a million single-page hits per month? SU may have maybe… Read more »
Henrik B.
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Hi Ivo.

I’ll try to keep it short. 😉

I think that you’re wrong in one respect: Tompa (and SU) isn’t the motoring press – on the contrary! SU is a private site, without any obligations to shareholders, payroles and alike. THAT is the huge difference, and gives Tompa – a.o. – the “right” to critizice and even rant.

Just my few cents.

Cheers!

ivo 71
Member
5 years 4 months ago

I agree with you that, legally, SU is not the press. But in terms of effective stature and influence it is, in my opinion. That’s why I believe that SU writers should adhere to the same ethical standards the press does. Or ought to 😉 . If they don’t then SU may well soon loose the position of authority and dependability it now enjoys where Saab and Saab things are concerned.

Ivo

jens
Member
5 years 4 months ago
The fun part about Håkan Matson is the fact that he grew up with Saabs. At a interview with TV4 in december 2009, he told the reporter (or something like that) that his father had a lot of Saabs when he grew up. And Håkan has always seemed to like Volvo more than Saab (take a look at this clip for instance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ7njk-iI0A), The clip where Håkan told TV4 about his father: http://www.tv4play.se/nyheter_och_debatt/nyhetsmorgon?title=experterna_diskuterar_saab-affaren_i_nyhetsmorgon&videoid=898882 So it’s rather hard to understand sometimes why he “hates” Saabs as much as he seems to. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that… Read more »
nichell
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Another thing with journalists is that they copy what each other says. Stereotyping with regard to a certain topic …quirkiness, saabilac, things about the interior etc. Also in journalism, the New York Times sets the trend and newspapers around America copies what they say.

mike saunders
Member
5 years 4 months ago

From experience, I can say that you really have a failed view of journalism. 😉

ivo 71
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Concur with Mike. Your ideas about how serious journalism works couldn’t be further from the truth. Also speaking from experience gathered in over 25 years in that both overrated and underrated profession.

Ivo

michaelb
Member
5 years 4 months ago
This is a complicated issue, and not so one-sided. I really do not know the Swedish press situation, but I can judge about the Anglo-saxon and German press coverage of Saab. First of all, Saab’s new business model is unusual, not similar to anything existing. A small, financially feeble upper middle class/ premium niche manufacturer with a history of a relative decline under GM ownership. Volvo or Jaguar have much stronger backing and did much better develop under Ford ownership. Other similar brands are under the umbrella of huge groups with apparent economies of scale. Such a situation raises questions… Read more »
till72
Member
5 years 4 months ago

+1

nils
Member
5 years 4 months ago
I fully agree with Michael on the general press and how Saab should react. Regarding automotive journalists: The German 3 always wins comparative tests by points. When I am reading such tests, I always read carefully the text and look for details like, comfortable seats, good handling, “quirky ergonomics”, which may actually mean that I will like the car…;-) All the rants about the quality of the Saab interiour: The 9-3 interiour is excellent in terms of ergonomics and just became better as the chrome rim on the dash was removed with the Griffin update. Ok, the Audio could be… Read more »
till72
Member
5 years 4 months ago
I get your point Tom. Watching all this from Germany where the (motor) press is overly positive on the products of the local car makers I’d say the Swedish press was in some cases overly harsh regarding Saab. Some of the suspects who like to pour this doom on Saab are well known to us since the sales process in 2009/10 and I personally think it’s not worth loosing too much words about them. They like to pick the bad facts out and present them. You just won’t turn them around in a moment. And venting may be nessesary every… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
5 years 4 months ago
I don’t like the press on anything at the moment. Period If Saab had died this time the Media would have been all over Maud, NDO and EIB demanding explanations why they let a Swedish Crown jewel die. This is just the media. Bad news and sensationalism. It sells Apart from that the worst part of the media at the moment is that they have to keep their web presence updated, so they copy/paste whatever thay can find without fact checking. That means that incorrect news just spreads at the same speed as computer virus. And is just as hard… Read more »
Henrik B.
Member
5 years 4 months ago

+1

Cheers!

marq101
Member
5 years 4 months ago
@Ivo71 Have to disagree with you on some parts. First I do not think Tompa is ranting. I think It’s criticism with a litlle edge. Nothing wrong with that. Second, about favours. That is exactly what stands in the way of excellent journalism, favourism, the tit for tat thing. Which relationship is more important, the one with the press or the one with the people you write for. I would lean to the latter ofcourse not discarding the first. On the whole journalists are a fairly intelligent bunch who are well capable of putting things in perspective. I don’t think… Read more »
Red J
Member
5 years 4 months ago

…. and how much Saab actually has done and Do contribute to technical advancements, design, safety, tax payments ….

LOL

Tompa, you made my day. =)

Belfast_Saab
Member
5 years 4 months ago

I suppose staff taxes anyway…….long time before company tax is arising I suspect 😉

martinsaab
Member
5 years 4 months ago

It is all about “Good news is no news”. Positive stories don’t sell… that’s all.
(And to be honest, it’s the readers who expect bad news…)

900 classic cab
Guest
5 years 4 months ago

liked 🙂

rask
Member
5 years 4 months ago

Great writing, very good Tompa!

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