Is the Saab fan NEVS worst enemy?

Today I’ve joined a Volvo-Saab event in Hamburg. It was nice to see both brands on a nice location, as the whole thing has taken place in a petrol station of the ’50s.

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My car was by far the newest of all cars that I’ve seen there, but this is not what made me angry, or should I say sad?

Many times I’ve read on the net, that people like more this or that Saab model, or that some people think that only certain Saab models are true Saab cars. But this is on the net. In real life people was always more or less open to anything Saab, best example for that are the different international meetings I’ve joined in the last years. In those meetings you could see two-strokers side by side to a 9-5 II and nobody said anything wrong about the other.

But the sentence I’ve heard today, from somebody that is rather active in the german Saab world made me sad, and I don’t understand why he said that. For him the real Saab is dead, the true Saab spirit is only alive in the Saab young-timers that you can see on the streets, and if NEVS produce any cars it would only be some Chinese crap.

Maybe he is misinformed, or maybe I misunderstood him, but this is the first time a sentence of a Saab fan has forced me to write a post about it, so something was in that sentence.

NEVS still has to show us their version of Saab, shouldn’t we all wait till NEVS shows the world their vision of a Saab car and then judge them?

I really don’t understand those guys that glorify a certain Saab model and criticise anything different. Sorry, but this is my way of thinking about it. It makes me feel good every time I see something with a Saab badge on it, and because the cars with a Saab badge can be so different, I always search for the special feature of that model and not the flaws.

Thorfinn
Member
3 years 12 days ago

Well said…we should at least give NEVS and the good people of Trollhattan the chance to show us what they can do. I find it hard to believe that anything with a SAAB badge can ever be dull and ordinary. Just look at how the bean-counters at GM were stunned and outwitted when what they thought was their obedient Scandinavian outpost insisted on much, much higher quality than the miserable mediocrity they had decreed.

Troels, Denmark
Member
3 years 12 days ago

++

hans h
Member
3 years 12 days ago

++ 🙂

Joel
Member
3 years 12 days ago

+1
Totally agree… 🙂

xlx
Member
3 years 12 days ago

As in so many aspects of life there are people with conservative and liberal opinion. Saab fan community is not an exception. Some fans will wait what NEVS shows, some not. Imho the most important is, that the opposite sides don’t hate each other but can communicate. If someone can’t, let them be.Luckily, we all have freedom in this choice and nobody dictates you anything, just expresses opinions. It’s normal.

Chris Hansel
Member
3 years 12 days ago

Red J: I have found this attitude is almost universal in the ” Car Club” world. Unfortunately this tends to be true when people age. I would guess this guy is on the far side of 30. Here is the funny thing, 30 years from now, if these guys are still alive, they will love your car. In order words, don’t worry to much, car snobs are
ubiquitous.

Ian Glenday
Member
3 years 12 days ago
I was in attendance at the North American roll out of the 9-5. It was at the Saab Owners Convention in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. There were a great many of the original SAAB 2 stroke aficionados in attendance. At that time SAAB was owned 50% by GM. Well I never heard bad mouthing of GM as much as I heard that weekend. We all have our own opinions of what SAAB is and was. NEVS is just another chapter and we should not let one persons opinion change what our thoughts are. The best of luck to NEVS with… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago
This might surprise many regulars here who have seen my rants against what we’ve seen so far during the NEVS era: My frustration began with the name—-the “Electric” part of the name and the original reports that this new owner of Saab would only produce electric cars. My criticism continued (and continues) because the new owner is silent about their plans to the point of being destructive to any effort of bringing the brand back strongly (in my opinion). But here’s what might be surprising to some of you: Ultimately, I believe NEVS is going to build really good Saabs.… Read more »
SteveW
Member
3 years 12 days ago

Nicely put AV, can’t argue with any of that.

sandborg
Guest
3 years 12 days ago

This sums up my thoughts perfectly. One addition: I just hope the starting key location isn’t moved!

Joel
Member
3 years 12 days ago

+1 Jasper…

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 10 days ago

Agreed!

maanders
Member
3 years 10 days ago

Very well put, Angelo. And Red, the person who said the new Saab would be “Chinese crap” has not been paying attention. It sounds like NEVS has been lining up suppliers in Europe for the ICE model Saabs. (The electric ones have the battery technology from Japan and battery packs manufactured in China.) I suppose this same person thought the Saabs of 2000-2009 were “GM crap”…

Dagen Runt
Member
3 years 12 days ago
Nothing is written in stone, not even that guy’s opinion. If Nevs produce a worthwhile car he is free to turn around. Nevs’ main market will be in China and in a sense Saab fans are free to feel disappointed that a Chinese company took over the brand and are able to do what they want with it. I’m at a point where I don’t expect to see an interesting model from Saab enter my home market… Ever again. If I’m wrong, great… but I’m not getting caught up in any anticipation either. Let Nevs win me over if they’re… Read more »
jouni72
Member
3 years 12 days ago
Well, I’m going to reply on behalf of my grandfather: Some of those guys might have been around back in 1947 when Saab started. They remember a small firm building cars, but from an entirely different thinking – a thinking based on their experience building aircraft – something to do after the war. Perhaps they were just little boys, teenagers or even adults, but *that* is why they admired Saab and the funny little cars they made. Their imaginations had been captured. As the years went on and some compromises were made to those funny little cars, of course some… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago
Your Grandfather’s evaluation is right on in many ways. The original mission—-unique cars with surprising function—-at a value price—-was hijacked BEFORE GM stepped in though. They abandoned the lower end of the market to try to be a luxury marque before GM even owned them. And actually, I think the GM era 9-5 was a very nice looking car, especially the sedan—-even if it wasn’t as unique as the past. But I think the key phrase in your post is about time marching on. Time has marched on for all of us. The spirit of the gang of 1947 didn’t… Read more »
jouni72
Member
3 years 11 days ago
I recently got a 9-5, I like it a lot. I just don’t understand the point of the original post. Of course there are going to be people like my grandfather who remember the ‘golden days’. As sure as the sun will rise, there will be such people. But it’s got nothing to do with NEVS or Saab’s future….unless NEVS is relying on these people to buy their cars. Which I hope they aren’t. With Tim saying not so long ago that the only ‘real’ fans of Saab are those who bought new Saabs in the last few years, and… Read more »
saabboy1
Member
3 years 12 days ago

NEVS has already stated tbat in order for the to be a profitable car company they will need to sell 130000 to 150000 cars per year. I dont see how they could achieve that number without offering sales globaly including the united states. Time will tell, and even though I am eager to see the new Saab I will reserve judgement until we see the final product.

Patrik H
Member
3 years 12 days ago

“NEVS Saabs not being true Saabs” is just a sad continuation of the “GM Saabs are not true Saabs” nonsense. People, the name of the site is SaabsUnited and if you cannot accept that, then I am not sure if Saab is the brand for you. I have yet to meet a Saab that I have not liked. Some people are just plain grumpy.

Aero1
Member
3 years 10 days ago

Except the Saabaru and the poor excuse Saablazer. Those were and are not real SAAB’s

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 10 days ago
Aero: Have you been in either of those vehicles? I’ve been in both of them. They are Saabs. Platform sharing is a reality of the automotive times in which live. In the future, it wouldn’t surprise me if NEVS must partner with another manufacturer to make a go of this venture. The 9-2 was a good car—in fact, rated higher than any other Saab of its era for reliability (Consumer Reports). It was a trouble-free little car that was quick, handled well, went in snow, was safe for its size, etc. A Saab. The 9-7 was the best of the… Read more »
phermansson
Member
3 years 10 days ago

I’ve driven both as well and I think that they had a lot of Saab feeling in them, there could have been a lot more but still, it felt like a Saab!

James Laman
Member
3 years 12 days ago
I’ve had Saabs for 30 years and read all of the issues of NINES, the US newsletter, since the early 70s. When the 96 V4 replaced the strokers, die-hards hollered “not a REAL Saab!”, and the same happened when the 99 came along, the C900 (now referred to as classic btw!), the 9000, etc. We seem to want to cling on the heritage and unusual features of a Saab, but we have to let the brand progress and improve, so I for one am not going to have a fit over “who owns Saab”, but I may draw the line… Read more »
nordican
Member
3 years 12 days ago
I think we should keep an open mind about future NEVS Saabs; let’s just wait and see… But I do understand the critical attitude of long-time Saab owners; they’ve seen the slow but steady decline under GM: Opel switchgear, mediocre GM stereos, Opel-based engines, declining quality, lower grade interior materials etc. Coming from a 9000 Aero one might be truly dissappointed with a GM 9-3, for example. What we hope to see again soon is the return of the true Saab Spirit; high quality materials, superb aviation inspired ergonomics, intelligent engineering etc. So lets all just wait and see if… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago
But think about it—-a 9000 Aero, in modern dollars/euros, would be far, far more expensive than a GM 9-3. That is really an unfair comparison. It’s not comparing apples to apples. A closer comparison would be the 9-5. Was the 9000 better in many ways? Probably so, but not as dramatic as 9000 vs. 9-3. And if you are a hatchback fan—-GM screwed up there. But I still believe GM had some good Saab products available. As for that really high quality, superb materials, etc.—-they can offer the best of the best. If they don’t have a starter car to… Read more »
JerseySaab
Member
3 years 12 days ago

But think about it—-a 9000 Aero, in modern dollars/euros, would be far, far more expensive than a GM 9-3.

Yes — in 1997 the 9000 Aero retailed for about $41,500 US. The equivalent today would be over $60,000.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago
And there just aren’t enough people who can afford 60K on a new car who are willing to buy a Saab with that money. I guess anything can be debated—-but I see no evidence at all that there is enough demand around the world for a 60K Saab to make that the bread and butter of the company. Meanwhile, I see plenty of evidence that a Saab that offered pricey high end cars and nothing at the entry level—-couldn’t compete. Hopefully, NEVS is looking backward as they look forward. You can learn a lot of valuable lessons from history. NEVS… Read more »
3cyl
Member
3 years 12 days ago

It will be interesting to see what group of traditional SAAB buyers NEVS will target with its initial ICE offering. Will it be the affordable car many feel is essential or a return to the higher quality others desire? It will be quite an accomplishment if NEVS can satisfy both with the one basic model they will be offering, especially at the relatively low volume they will be producing.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago
Ultimately, they can’t do it with one, or even two model lines. I think starting with the 9-3 gives them some flexibility to have a lower priced trim level and a performance model that costs a lot more—-with creature comforts and even styling that the lower model might not have. That can carry them for a little while. Eventually though, I think the way Saab can come all the way back is probably if they manufacture cars in China AND Sweden—-possibly even partnering with others to make this a broader line of cars. We will be giving up some pure… Read more »
Joel
Member
3 years 12 days ago

@ Angelo V… Absolutely right, I don’t mind admitting that whilst I love SAAB and would love to have several different ones or perhaps a newer one as-well the reality is I CAN’T… Not everyone who loves this marque is made of money.
So if cars are priced out of “Mr Average’s” budget then they won’t sell, that said they still need to have a reasonable level of trim and comfort to set them apart.

DangerousAl
Member
3 years 12 days ago

Well said… Unfortunately, the world is full of opinionated people and most of them don’t have a clue what they are talking about. The “Newer Saabs are not true Saabs” is a nonsense.

Allan
Member
3 years 12 days ago
I totally agree it is not fair to pass judgment on NEVS without first seeing and studying what they have to offer. However, personally, it takes a whole lot more than simply putting a “SAAB” badge on “something” to win me over. I am much more demanding than that. Even though BAIC’s Senova D series is derived from a SAAB 9-5 platform and engine technology, I would not simply jump on the bandwagon because of this. If we all, as lovers and enthusiasts of SAAB, do not expect and demand more from NEVS—we are simply doing a disservice to NEVS… Read more »
zippy
Member
3 years 12 days ago

I, for one, would never buy a Chinese car ina billion years. They are ok at putting together iPhones but actually designing something and building it are two totally dfferent things.

baas900i
Member
3 years 12 days ago
great wall motors entered the aussie market a few years ago with single and dual cab ute’s. by doing this they avoided the aussie crash test regime as commercial vehicles are excluded. later on they were found to have asbestos in certain components and there is talk of a class action from mechanics, a panel beater i spoke with said that when they are in a minor crash just about every panel appears to move and realignment is near on impossible. i have seen a few that had rolled in accidents and they provide a very soft safety cell. i… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago
The cars that will come off the assembly line late this year or perhaps early next year, won’t be “Chinese” cars. I’m not accusing you of this—-but I think some people are so anti-China, they are going to grasp at anything to see that this fails. I’m really disturbed by that. This next car is going to be a 9-3—-a car developed long before China had anything to do with Saab. The refinements/modifications of the car are a collaborative effort and there are still Swedes involved in the engineering and I’m sure the styling too. I’m giving NEVS the benefit… Read more »
saaburban
Member
3 years 12 days ago
If Nevs let Saabs strategic -technical development be run / managed by the engineers in Trollhättan, with a secure chinese cash flow for the next 8-10 years, there might be à possibility that Saab might stop being àn neglected Scania / GM business unit..,, and finally have the chance in to design cars ‘the saab-way’. Saab might be more Saab now than any saab has been over the last 30 years. If half the production or batterypack manufacturing is based in china, it won’t change Saab to the worse, it might free up resources to make more intelligent cars, with… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago
I tried to say this in a couple comments above—-but you just said if far better. This is an irony that is being lost on a lot of people—-this might end up giving us at least SOME new Saabs that are more like Saab than the ones we have been able to buy the last couple decades. Later, there might be some models that lack “pure Saabness” but I think those are going to be critical to the mission to restore profitability/positive cash flow to the company. Some “compromises” might have to exist in order to save Saab and continue… Read more »
aus715
Member
3 years 12 days ago
The simple fact is that we love our cars. We really do. Some ‘other brands’ do not have the same sense of soul or expectation. But we do. As MB said very clearly in his few press releases, ‘we won’t be making announcements and promises before we do anything’, or something to that effect. Which means to the outsider that things seem to be silent and nothing is going on, as the wheels turn behind closed doors. If they made a major announcement right now, the Automotive world will not even blink. But they would be sceptical and possibly derisive.… Read more »
phermansson
Member
3 years 12 days ago

Well said!!!

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago
I agree with much of what you say—-but six months, or longer—-don’t assume that won’t erode support. And I don’t mean that we can’t wait six months for them to get things in order—-but if they aren’t saying a word and also aren’t producing cars, six months SEEMS like an eternity and people move on. People who might very well wait six months for a new Saab—–will buy something else if there’s stone silence and no messages that products are on the way. That’s the short term affect. The long term effect is that fans of the brand feel disconnected.… Read more »
Romac
Member
3 years 12 days ago
I’ve just totted up – I’m on my 12th Saab in 32 yrs and have had 7 different models: 2×99, 2×900 classic, 2x900gm, 1×9000, 1x1st9-3, 3×9-5 and the current 9-3. I’ve loved every one. I too cannot understand the die-hards that bemoan Saab’s fate yet boldly state that model “x” was the last “real” Saab. Spyker/VM should open a law suite against all so-called Saab aficionados who said all modern Saabs are rubbish! 😉 VM wore his heart on his sleeve and shared too much, NEVS may be the opposite extreme, but along with AngeloV I think NEVS will do… Read more »
Marque
Member
3 years 12 days ago
I think many of the readers could have a bit overlooked the real underlying problem, this message carried. Because the problem’s not with the liberty of opinions, the problem lies with the fact that many Saab fans and most importantly, some of the good old club-functionaries and advocates have significantly lost interest or enthusiasm in Saab as a living brand. Red J, you’re not the only enthusiast facing with and having been saddened by this phenomenon. It’s been around for quite a few years now, most of which evolved in the wake of Saab losing the momentum by the second… Read more »
Ed Lorenz
Member
3 years 12 days ago
Every one knows that the REAL Saab died with the end of the two-stroke. What is a four-stroke engine? Or was it when they came out with the 99. And certainly when they started “cheating” by using a turbo. No…, I think it was when they came out with the 900 without a two-stroke engine. No…., it was with the 9000 that did not have the key in the right place. No, wait, it was when that new 900 came out that was not even the same as the old 900. Etc. Etc. It is progress. And I hope to… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago

+1

JerseySaab
Member
3 years 12 days ago
Back in the mid-1980s when the 9000 first came out a lot of C900 drivers (myself included) looked at the transverse engine, strut suspension, bolt-on front fenders, nearly flat windscreen (compared to the 900), key next to the steering wheel, etc., and wondered, “is this really a Saab?” At the time there was an independent Saab service shop in Lititz, PA here in the US called Parrformance run by one Rick Parr. These guys were true Saab fanatics and I used to take my 900 there to be serviced for work I didn’t do myself. To make a long story… Read more »
Bernard
Member
3 years 12 days ago

It’s a common psychological reaction. These people are longing for their youth. When they were young, music was better, girls were prettier, candy was sweeter, etc, etc.

It’s difficult to look beyond the social/cultural conditioning that you receive in your formative years. We all have some part of us that wants to be 18 again, with unlimited possibilities. We associate that feeling with the music of that era, the cars, fashion, even the video games.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 12 days ago

Well…The girls weren’t prettier. The candy wasn’t sweeter. But Bernard, seriously—-the music REALLY WAS better!!! I have worked with a lot of 20-somethings and even they hate a lot of today’s “sounds” that are being passed off as music. Some of the younger people I know listen to classic rock stations—-one of the biggest Beatles fans I know is in his 20s.

Bernard
Member
3 years 11 days ago

One of the big reasons for that is the fact that “classic rock” is only a tiny part of what was popular. We’ve selectively edited-out most of the crap that we (as a society) used to listen to.

Nobody fondly remembers Donny and Marie, MOR radio, “me too” Disco, and all that dreadful stuff that was popular back in the day. I bet you that today’s music will seem pretty good when we look back at it in 2040. It won’t sound anything like what most are listening to now, but it will be pretty good.

Angelo V.
Member
3 years 11 days ago

But take Chic for example—-they were popular disco—-and I’d take them over most of what we’re hearing now. Yes, every era has clunkers that somehow get popular—-but I’d say we’re packed with that stuff today, the rule rather than the exception!

Ed Lorenz
Member
3 years 11 days ago

+1

ohansen
Member
3 years 11 days ago

In the mid 90’s, I was meant to buy a new 900. It looked like a Saab, but after testing it for a couple of days, I delivered it back to the dealer. It doesn’t matters what you say, there are some Saabs that don’t give you the “Saab feeling”.

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