There are two types of news out there right now regarding Saab: the very positive and upbeat, and then you have the very negative. What can be perceived as negative is sometimes just stating the reality of the situation, and what must happen in order for Saab to make a comeback. Saab is in deep trouble, we must not ignore that. However, we need to remember all the positives and that where there’s a will, there will always be a Saab!
Saab is like a plant. It will flourish when it is out of its constraining pot, has deep roots, and can grow broad and green. For many years it has stayed in a small pot, not being able to grow and has slowly turned brown. Victor Muller came along and tried to revive it by taking it out of its pot, putting it shallow soil, and tried to get it to grow using a restricted amount of funds, hoping the dirt would appear and grow deep around it while the plant would continue to grow. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and the plant was left dried up, brown and drooping. It is not Victor’s fault, it was just going to take a lot more than he had expected and could offer, to revive Saab. But we have a great opportunity for this plant now, with the right owner! The right owner will firmly plant the Saab plant into the ground with deep rich soil, and with proper attention, love, and nutrients, this plant will broaden its roots and grow into a very beautiful green plant. I have no doubts this can happen, and we can be there to witness it. There is no need to think Saab is dead, and no reason to spread negativity. Saab has a strong history of survival against the odds, and they may once again come out on top!
With that being said, the biggest struggle for a Saab comeback will be its reputation. Through the last couple of years alone, Saab has really taken some hard blows, and now the company is in bankruptcy. It has done its damage. The soft core Saab fans are slowly leaving the family, and there will be fewer and fewer people willing to take the risk of buying a new Saab (or even the current ones out there).
But why should that stop us? We can help get Saab their image back. For every Saab we drive, we are representing the brand in a small way already. Do we show our love for our cars? I’m sure we do! How do we talk to other car owners about Saab? We need to keep positive and upbeat, and also keep it realistic. By accepting what got Saab in trouble is step one, but its step two- how they get out of the problems- is most important. People are very interested in hearing there are investors out there wanting to buy Saab and revive it. They do care. Its cheering for the small people in the crowd of big people. People love that sort of thing.
This is just the start. We need to liven up our culture and really take it out there on the road! One suggestion would be to use our clubs. We need more clubs, and we need better attendance to the clubs already in place. We need to announce the fact that these clubs exist, and we need to gain new members continuously. Saab clubs give you a chance to connect with other Saab owners in a relaxed atmosphere where you can engage in good conversation. They can help host events! Through these events, we can show the public that Saab is very much still a viable brand, no matter what is going on right now with the parent company. Please stay tuned for more information about clubs and events in the near future!
We can keep our cars in great shape inside and out, and that will really impress people. For instance, I was driving a beautiful but older car several years back. A lady approached me while I was refueling at a gas station, because my car caught her eye and she wanted to see it up close. I told her the age and her jaw dropped. I almost had to show her proof! After talking about what a wonderful car its been for me, she was set to go out and buy one! (Unfortunately for her the model was no longer in production). But it will definitely work with our Saabs. They can be traveling advertisements for the brand’s survival. I know some of us already practice this, but I’d love to see more!
A second thought is to start giving Saab a name in our communities. As an example, the club I’m part of, the Minnesota Saab Club, sponsors a stretch of road that we keep clean. In exchange for our time, we get our name on a sign. Now, when people drive that stretch of road, they can see that Saab does good will in the community. They’re not going to think of us at stuck up wannabe BMW drivers any more. It helps get the name out there to those who don’t really know what a Saab is (and yes, there are still many people that will go, “that’s a car brand?!”). The more exposure Saab has, the better. And right now taking part in the community and showing goodwill are on the top of people’s lists. With all the bad out there, why not do some good?
Third, we can use the internet to help the Saab image. I wanted to take this short break to ask everyone to stay off the GM Facebook page, please do not post anything there. Instead, we would be more than happy to see your positive Saab posts on the Saab Cars Facebook page, and also on the Saabs United Facebook page. Its interesting when I’ve visited other car makers Facebook pages, I’ve seen a variety of complaints on their wall. Sure, people post their photos and all, but its the negative comments that really stand out. Social media is such a powerful tool, that it can help make or break a company, regardless of what the company is doing/not doing. But, that is the cool thing about Saab’s social media. We love our new models as well as our old models, and each car tells its own unique story. We share these stories everyday with thousands of people. And we need to continue it. But please keep it to the Saab pages.
Finally, we can welcome people to the family when they do something as small as join a Saab group online, or a Saab club, or as big as buying a new/used Saab. Whatever it is, let’s welcome them in! Its going to take as many people as we can get, to help Saab get a positive image in the future. This is our job now. The administrators have their job, and us fans have ours. Let’s get to it, and see what we can do for Saab’s image!