We spoke … they listened

January 20, 2012 in News

As of today (or yesterday: depending on your time zone), it has been a month since Saab Automobile has filed for bankruptcy.  The weeks that immediately followed that dreaded day, were absolutely painful.  What originally started as a haphazard cocktail of anger and sadness quickly turned to hopelessness and confusion.  We have just witnessed that ominous moment where Victor Muller stood before the world, announcing the bankruptcy filing, and later found ourselves enveloped in complete silence.  Indeed we may be many, but we are also among others that simply do not understand our obsession.  Yes, they may have took pity in our sorrow.  But, they also expected that we would return to our feet, dust ourselves off and move on to more fashionable pursuits.  Well that’s not what happened.  Not in the slightest.  The reality is, deep down within each of us: something snapped.

What we witnessed during those weeks would be one of the largest grass-roots movements of the automotive industry.  It all started with http://www.outside-saab.com/ and grew into a worldwide phenomenon of 100 events held in 39 countries.  How could it be that from the darkest days of Saab’s history, that the Saab community could valiantly emerge with such awesome power, united as a single voice?  You, me and everyone else here, know the answer to this question. It is the one thing that we can all agree on.  And suddenly: we no longer find ourselves trapped in confusion.  In fact, we are very sure of ourselves and our purpose.  But, do you see what we have done?  We have completely turned the tables.  I can imagine all the leading analysts of the automotive industry doing a double take after witnessing this uprising.  Suddenly, they are the ones that are confused.  In fact, make that: baffled beyond belief.

But, that’s not all.  Notice all the recent activity that we are now hearing about Youngman and Brightwell Holdings?  It is times like these that we are reminded that all of us can and do make a difference.  One does not have to have a degree in marketing to realize that such a large and active fan-base behind Saab points to a vast untapped potential.  Indeed, this has been a roller coaster of an experience, and even though we bore witness to the proverbial roller-coaster flying off its tracks, we could very well be pioneers.  That would be pioneers, leading the way towards a new future for Saab.

We are many, we have spoken and they have listened … for tomorrow: there will be Saab!

33 responses to We spoke … they listened

  1. Cheers! Hell, I’ll drink to a article like that any day, any time!

  2. Wonderfully written. Thanks for the lift.

  3. “The weeks that immediately followed that dreaded day, were absolutely painful.” You got that right!

    But, I would add that my 2 Saabs are still in my garage tonight and they are still going to be there tomorrow.

    So, thank you and everyone for your effort.

    Griffin Up!

  4. Thanks for the well written post! Now is it too much to ask that Mahindra and/or Magna re-enter the picture?

  5. Here’s to the worst of 2012 being behind us.

  6. The Saab spirit most certainly has been on display over the past couple weeks, and I would like to think that it is encouraging to potential buyers, seeing that there will be a strong base of support among owners. In a way, seeing how quickly the cars have been selling post-bankruptcy (with steep discounts) is a very positive sign. These buyers are still spending a good chunk of change for cars that they know are awesome. It would be interesting to know if they are repeat Saab buyers or new. Capping off this week of positive signs (and some tough news, too, like Ally Financial suing Saab Cars North America over loan defaults, sale of the museum cars, and possible destruction of the remaining cars on the line) the Boston/New England area ‘We are Sabb’ event will be held this Saturday, co-hosted by State of Nine and Charles River Saab. Last reports are that over 150 people have registered, making it potentially the biggest event in the US. (I unfortunately have to miss it, as I will be taking my 2011 9-3 up to the wilds of New Hampshire for work). So, we shouldn’t be naïve about the future, but surely is room for some optimism. That’s the upside about hitting rock bottom, afterall. Griffin Up.

    • By the way, I justr on the CharlesRver Saab facebook page thatSCNA President TimColbeck will be attenngt Boston event this Saturday. It should be an awesome event, even in the snow.

      • I got an email from Tim today and he said he has really enjoyed these events. He is the type of leader we need to go forward and continues to impress me. He went to two events on Saturday, who else at any other manufacturer does that?

  7. I still want a java ng 95 sc turbo4 xwd 6spd with parchment interior, GRIFFEN UP!!

  8. Supporters of Saab are lucky to have such a decided team running this website. It is this site, along with Outside-Saab, that has provided a place for Saab’s supporters to gather so that the company’s struggles remain at the forefront. Although I do not own a Saab, as a car guy, I appreciate what Saab has done and hope they are able to make a triumphant return.

  9. Define tomorrow ;)

  10. top article!very well put.thanks for that one in was like music to my ears.

    keep it up take care Harrish(Mauritius)

  11. Well put! I think it’s obvious what has taken place, unique and inspiring events for the potential investors.

  12. What a statement! It gave me goose bumps! Other Marques can only dream of such a supportive community. What is it about SAAB that stirs such emotion in us? Is it the quirky nature? Is it the underdog syndrome? Or is it simply that a brand with such an innovative and purist view on motoring evokes a purist point of view? Anyway we look at it, SAAB will rise (again) like a Phoenix out of the ashes and continue to offer innovation, luxury and the “night panel” with this much support from its loyal customers, lets all focus this support in the future and put our money where our mouths are – buy a new SAAB when the its time to consider a new car purchase. Whether it be a 9-5, a 9-4X or a re jigged 9-3 for that matter. When its time to service your current SAAB, talk to the dealers service centre for servicing. This is what will make the real difference to SAAB at the end of the day.
    GRIFFIN UP PEOPLE!!

  13. What can we do now? Define tomorrow? Easy, buy a Saab! Even if it’s a used Saab. I just did, adding another 9-3
    Aero to my collection. By doing this we can keep the demand and supply situation on the used Saabs stable. I will be retiring the old 9-5 to make room, but I’m not selling it at this time. In fact another way to calm the market and renew faith is, not to sell! Do not sell for any reason. Park the car if you must, but do not sell. Does this sound silly? maybe, but remember the two brothers who tried to corner the silver market about 30 years ago? It almost worked too! There many more than two of us. Remember, it a great time to buy, but a poor time to sell.

  14. great comment, thaks a lot!

  15. I just bought a 78 99 Turbo in honor of SAAB. My dream car! I am sure the 9-5 Aero will be jealous….

    p.s. can’t wait to hear news from SAAB hopefully of a positive nature.

  16. Very well written and encouraging ! Thanks for that! I like the use of the word “pioneers” as Saab – in my eyes – have always been a pioneer-innovator and -manufacturer.
    If the “leading analyst of the auto-industry” will ever admit that they are the ones being confused is another case…. I have my doubts … ;-)

  17. Although this is a very encouraging article, I’ll prefer to patiently wait for the press conference tomorrow.
    We’ve had to many disappointments so far…

    • GM is not only stan. They are ignorant beyond repair…
      So by stating that it is in the interest of their shareholders (aka the American citizens) that the 9-5 ever will be licenced to any buyer of Saab, that can only meam that GM themselves are actively seeking to badge engineer the cars as something else and sell them in China or elsewhere.

      So, with this statement from GM, I can only say:
      RACHEL UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Not a suprising statement. GM does not want that Saab will survive. It is with this kind of statements that they want to kill Saab. Let us hope for Youngmans solution.

  18. Wonderful statement Ryan. You express my feelings exactly.

  19. It isn’t often that I step out of the limelight this way. But having had the now famous cup of coffee here at my place, where Stephan and Roger came to discuss a feeling we three shared, I will never ever forget what you ALL as Saab drivers did. We have not had a chance to work since that memorable evening on December the 29th. Yes, we threw a mere pebble in a pond, but got hit by a very Tsunami of Saabs. We had never ever imagined that the spirit of us all would be that strong. We had never even considered the fact that this Tsunami was lurking in the dark, waiting to strike the rest of the world with its enthusiasm.

    A small website, a logo that I fumbled together, the rest is history. The phones have been ringing off the hook, we have never had so much press coverage in this small country for what basically is a group of brand lovers.

    From all walks of life, from all 4 corners of this place, including from abroad, about 1600 cars came together in the Netherlands alone. A massive crowd of 3800 people came and joined us in celebrating Saab. The slogan (We are many, we are SAAB) was proven to be absolutely right. We did speak with the Turkish delegation at our event and made him very much aware of the fact we are not people only driving the older cars, but we are eager AND hungry for new ones. I did state at one point to him that I was wondering what was keeping them from restarting the fire.

    We ALL, and that not just means us three, or even better stated, the crew of 20 volunteers that worked their backsides off for 2 weeks, ARE SAAB, we are the owners, we are the lovers, but we also are the ones who will keep that candle lit, come hell or high water. We will see to it that our brand rises from the ashes. Never EVER has a brand been supported by its consumers, no where and never. And that, dear reader is the magical ingredient we all share, we all have been introduced to.

    I am humbled by the attention that has come our way. We never started this to place ourselves on a stage. As I for one am but a mere cog in the huge network of wheels worldwide, the network of turbos perhaps that keep spinning to keep SAAB alive. All I can express is our deepest thank you to all who got in their car, all over the world, in those 110 events in I think 42 countries worldwide.

    SAAB drivers are the most loyal to a brand worldwide. I think we all knew that. It just took some doing to show the rest of the world ;-)

    Again, from Roger, Stephan and myself, from the crew, we owe you all a very heartfelt thank you very much for responding with such vigour. Thank you for being their for SAAB.

    With the greatest of respect to all who participated in whatever form
    Roger, Stephan and Nic

    and ofcourse: http://www.saabforum.nl, www. saabclub.nl and last but not least http://www.saabsunited.com

    We salute you all!

  20. “What we witnessed during those weeks would be one of the largest grass-roots movements of the automotive industry. It all started with http://www.outside-saab.com/ and grew into a worldwide phenomenon of 100 events held in 39 countries. ”

    …With all due respect, boys, I dare say these amazing events we witnessed in the past weeks did not start with Outside Saab. They very well started through Saabs United when run by SWADE back in 2009. I certainly acknowledge that teh first idea for a Saab Support Convoy came from the Netherlands and they also had one of the largest convoys then, but the fact that the idea spread around the world in no time and all those convoys happened around 17 January 2010 was certainly due to the support, encouragement and information provided thanks to Swade’s website. I don’t know how about other countries, but our ‘We are Saab’ event in the Czech Republic last weekend was quite easily put together, because we have already done it before. (Twice, I may add, because we also held a SSC+1 commemoration convoy last year, when Saab was not in that much trouble yet, but we nevertheless chose to manifest our support and love of our favourite brand and share it together. Photos are at http://www.saabunderground.cz)

    I noticed that Swade has been laying low these past weeks and I dare say he certainly deserved some rest and time with his family after those tumultuous months and weeks he spent with Saab in 2011. And in a way what YOU did, also represents something – the Saab spirit is out there, and when some brave and inspired people decide to do something good, be it in Tasmania, Netherlands or anywhere, many people with the same spirit join them. THANK YOU for lifting the torch once again, enabling us all around the world to show our support for Saab. Let us hope that expression will not go unnoticed by those who have the means to resurrect Saab and have it live and produce those wonderful cars again in the future.

    • You are correct on certain things, and wrong on other, but the people involved know who did what part, and that will do. It’s is not about us, Swade, or who has the longest.

      It’s about the community, and all those people who did their part to make it a huge success.
      That includes the local clubs, but more important the individual Saab enthousiast who joined in. They made the statement, we’ve just set the wheels in motion. Be it quite effectively.

  21. Very well written! This text really started my day in a good way =)

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