Why are Editions Atlas interested in Saabs?
Over the course of the meeting held in Huy in early November 2013 you got the opportunity to discover the first models belonging to a new collection announced by Editions Atlas: the Saab Car Museum Collection.
The collection is now launched in Scandinavia, followed by Finland, then gradually in other markets in which Editions Atlas already operate. The Saab Farm will be responsible for marketing operations in other countries.
Editions Atlas is a commercial concern whose products are aimed at a wide audience. Its aim is not, therefore, to sell small numbers of very sophisticated models to a handful of enthusiasts who have the necessary means but rather to appeal to as many people as possible by offering a comprehensive and well-structured collection at very affordable prices for the best possible quality.
Atlas has been expanding its operations in the Nordic countries over recent years, launching a collection of 1:43 Volvo models in 2011. So successful was the initiative that of the 30 models that Atlas originally intended to introduce, there are already plans for one or even several extensions, taking the collection up to a potential 60 models.
As a result of this success and of the evident demand, Atlas would like to test the viability of another single-brand collection with Saab. Initial tests have proven positive, meaning that work can now begin on developing a collection. This development will no doubt be boosted by the fact that the new recruit within the new product development department, who happens to specialise in miniature cars, is himself a Saabist – and a collector to boot [Editor’s note: of both miniature and full-scale Saabs]!
A list of around thirty or so models is therefore compiled, taking a number of factors into consideration, including target audience, the popularity of the car, the feasibility of the model and of course what 1:43 scale models are already available on the market. To summarise, then, a well-balanced collection must comprise the following:
• a number of very well known models that are viewed positively by the general public, the sorts of cars everyone remembers (their grandfather’s car or their neighbours’ car, for example);
• models that have become emblematic of the brand, prototypes and other models that have been used on a wide scale to promote the brand;
• models that are brand new to the 1:43 format for the purposes of building loyalty among an audience of experts, since the models meeting the first two are very likely to already exist.
What lies behind the eight models showcased in Huy?
A list of thirty models that meet these criteria has therefore been compiled and submitted to a number of potential suppliers as part of a call for tenders. Following harsh negotiations with four of the largest manufacturers of miniature models, a single manufacturer is chosen, depending on the cost of producing the moulds, the manufacturing costs and the overall quality of the goods they produce. At this stage, it is already clear which manufacturers are more personally invested in this type of development, whereas others view the project as just another product. After all, it is always better when those you are working with are driven by passion! So that’s how the wheels get set in motion.
You have to come up with a title for the collection, contact the necessary people to have the miniature moulds produced and find experts and a writer to produce the corresponding booklets. In the case of Editions Atlas, this is pretty straightforward since a lot of things can be undertaken internally. The project manager therefore visits Trollhättan to discuss the project with the museum.
An enthusiastic welcome awaits them, and it soon becomes apparent that this series will be the Saab Car Museum Collection. The manufacturer then sends their metrologist to the museum to scan the first of the cars.
The museum’s director and curator, Peter Bäckström, together with his team and Dimitri, will therefore choose the first cars to be scanned in accordance with the list drawn up and the cars that are in the museum.
P. Bäcktröm holding a pre-production model
from the Saab Car Museum Collection.
At this stage, it takes around a day or so to scan the car. But what does this involve, exactly?
The story continues next week with the revelation of some of the secrets surrounding the manufacturing of Saab miniatures and illustrations of the technical work that takes place at the Trollhättan Saab Museum… Definitely not to be missed!