A special thanks to the Swedish police – Axel the stolen and found Saab 90

October 9, 2014 in Classics

Axel Saab 90 '85

A picture of the police officers with Axel the Saab 90 ’85

 

My sister’s (though it’s registered on my mother) Saab 90 was stolen during the night to today in Skara, Västra Götaland Sweden (9th of October). We found out about it this morning at 06:00 when my sister called my mother. And of course we reported the car as stolen shortly after we received this call. My sister was devastated and heartbroken, and it didn’t take long before we arrived in Skara to start the search after the car. Unfortunately we couldn’t find him anywhere and started the trip back home again. On the road halfway between Skara and our home we glanced a cirrus white Saab, stranded right next to a river far out on a crops field. We pulled over and I ran towards the car, belive me, I ran like I’ve never done before. And there he was, – stranded on smaller hill of grass and rosehip bushes, beaten down, dirty and a very sad looking Axel.

The police shortly arrived and started examine the car. They were extremely nice and understanding, handling their job perfectly fine. They also had a great sense of humor which made the whole situation less depressive. After the examination they asked us how we were going to get the car out of there, and since we had no idea if a tow truck would be able to drive in the soaking wet soil, we couldn’t really answer their question. But these two lovely police officers actually offered to drive it home to us if we could get the car to start.
My mother turned the chewed up ignition on, and like a true champion he started right up – wounded but never defeated.

During these few hours we’ve been to a certified Saab dealer who did a full inspection and examination of the car.
It breaks my heart to say this, but the future for our beloved Saab 90 doesn’t look too bright right now.
We’ll have to wait for the insurance company’s verdict and just go from there.
But we will do everything in our power to save this rare and beautiful car, and we will never stop fighting for one of our Saab family member.

I want to thank the police officers who helped us through this heartbreaking journey. For doing a great job and for also helping us to drive Axel home to our house, with a police escort for maximum safety.

I also want to thank each one of my friends who helped me share the stolen report post on Facebook early this morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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by Tim

My take on NEVS plans to bring back SAAB

October 9, 2014 in Editorial

I’ve given the NEVS plans a lot of though as to bringing back a number of new models into the SAAB line-up. Of course if NEVS were to succeed this would be every Saab drivers dream come true and even though I’ve already placed an order for a brand new car from another brand I’d still be very interested in getting a new car from SAAB. This is the extreme Saab enthusiast talking, but what about the rest of the people out there?

To be able to succeed in bringing SAAB back to the market NEVS will have to do a number of things in order for people to actually gain interest, this is my take on whats needed!

  1. A Chief Designer. In order to bring back Saab to the market NEVS can’t just build upon old stuff, which to this date is simply way too old in terms of design elements and materials used. NEVS needs to get hold of a new Chief Designer, preferably one who knows the brand already and can create a brand new line-up of cars with a common design language and who can work with engineers to bring out the technical features expected of a high-end luxury brand which Saab needs to be come in order to be profitable. I’m not gonna make a secret that I think NEVS should have hired my good friend Jason Castriota a long time ago. If NEVS does not do this but relies upon external design firms they’ll lose the soul of the brand, building a brand and getting people to feel connected takes time and people have to get used to the design. Who hasn’t felt that a new car looks like crap compared to the old, but after a while become insanely in love with the new design? Design is controversial and needs time to grow on people.
  2. Build brand new cars. If NEVS decides to just continue the development of the 9-3 and launch a facelift it’ll be a dead end from the start. The company needs brand new models in order to succeed, this costs a shit load of money (~€500M / model) but there can’t be any compromises done on this point. To build cars from generic products with seats purchased from a Volvo supplier won’t work. Everything about these new cars need to be exciting and new in order to attract new customers because in reality there are very few “old” customers left. If I’m to buy a brand new 9-5 in lets say 6 years, it needs to be inspiring and new but without a doubt it also needs to be recognizable as a Saab in terms of design. But the rest needs to be brand new and not something bought from the shelf of a generic supplier. People pay to get exclusive stuff, there is no doubt about that but they don’t want a product that has a radio that could have been bought at any electronics store. Sure component sharing between the models can be used. Both Mercedes and BMW use essentially the same interior parts for all their cars, steering wheel, radio, acc, shift-lever etc are all the same in every model and they’ve proven that this type of component sharing works. What doesn’t work is me spending €50k on a brand new Saab only to find that the seats came from an old Volvo and the shift lever comes from a Mahindra car, that would de-value the product too much and this very fact was the thing that de-valued Saabs for so long since you could find most of Saabs components in almost every other GM product as well. This is the main reason why the 9-5 was regarded by a lot of people as an over-priced Opel Insignia.
  3. Distribution Network. There are people who are great at selling cars out there, who can look customers into the eye and tell what kind of car a person might want to have and what a person might be looking for. These are people who are knowledgeable about the brand and the products and they can answer any type of questions or at least help a person to find it. I’d like to say that the sales guys at ANA in Trollhättan are exactly these kind of people. Read the rest of this entry →
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by Tim

NEVS NEWS: Reconstruction continues! =)

October 8, 2014 in News

The decision was taken today that the reconstruction of NEVS is to be continued until November 29th. None of the creditors called for a bankruptcy of NEVS which is indeed very good news. A committee consisting of representatives from the creditors will be formed and will have insight into the progress of the reconstruction.

Mattias Bergman told P4 West that the goal is to have the deal completed with the two partner companies before the 29th of November.

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by Tim

NEVS: Judgement day for the reconstruction

October 8, 2014 in News

Today is the day that will determine if NEVS has a future in the auto industry or not. Its judgement day for the reconstruction and NEVS has to disclose how it intends to remake its business in order to pay its creditors.

In Trollhättans neighbor city Vänersborg lies the district court and town hall and thats where the event will take place, in the same facilities where Victor Muller had to explain to his creditors how he was supposed to save Saab with the help of Youngman and Pang Da. This time there are also two companies who wants to save Saab but as you all know one of them is Indian and one Chinese.

Today NEVS will tell the court and their kreditors about the reconstruction plan, if the creditors continue to believe in the fact that NEVS has a future they will vote for the continued reconstruction of the company if they vote to discontinue the reconstruction the judge of the Vänersborg district court will take over the process and make a decision with the vote as a guideline only.

In normal cases the reconstruction almost always continues since if a bankruptcy would be forced then the creditors would most likely not receive any payments for their outstanding debt at all, all of it would be lost. This has proven to be the case with the still ongoing bankruptcy process of SAAB Automobile AB.

Several experts have given the NEVS plan thumbs down, as Fredrik Sidahl explains to P4 West, it lacks a concrete time-line. It doesn’t give the creditors anything to relate to as to when they might receive payment. Also to consider is that there is no real information in the plan as to how NEVS intends to keep the company running since it does not have any more funds available nor is able to borrow any money. Fredrik Sidahl also explained that the best option for the creditors is of course if the reconstruction continues and becomes a successful one.

So does NEVS have a future or not, according to sources I’ve talked to a new owner would not really matter in the end unless NEVS can start to actually produce something that can create an income to run the company. NEVS needs to get both its deals in place for their plan to work and they’ve been talking with the two partners for almost a year now without reaching a conclusion. They’ve spent more time on this than they did with the official purchase of Saab Automobile ABs bankruptcy estate.

There is no question in my mind that time is running out fast and NEVS needs to find some way to bring money into the company and according to the reconstruction plan NEVS is supposed to build other brands in their facilities but as most people know, there really isn’t a shortage of production capacity in Europe, more like the other way around. However there are a number of brands who would like to build their cars in Europe in order to gain market credibility and a foothold in the region, perhaps Qoros or Dong Feng? Dong Feng is already a major sponsor of events in Europe including sail racing boats and other high-class events.

I still keep all my fingers x’ed for a bright future for Saab and that I one day can buy a new 9-5 with the SAAB badge on it, but I also have no illusions that a bankruptcy can create something new out of this, if it ends now, it ends for good!, there is no coming back! Anyone believing that Mahindra is stalling in order to force a bankruptcy and thus buy the place cheaply is misinformed. That is never going to happen!

The bankruptcy estate would have very little money to operate with so an immediate liquidation of assets would take place and that means the end of it all. I’ve herd through other sources that there are already plans in place to buy the factory and to convert it into a warehouse which will support the Gothenburg & Uddevalla harbors which is in desperate need of space, Trollhättans proximity to the two harbors make it an excellent location.

You could say that NEVS is the last hope of us ever seeing a new car with a Saab badge on it again.

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by RobinM

SOTW on holiday in Spain

October 5, 2014 in Sotw


Hi Robin,

I often visit the SAABSUNITED web site and thought I would send you the attached photo of our SAAB taken during a recent driving holiday to Southern Spain. This SAAB has served us well over the years touring through Europe. As well as the Hirsch 19ins wheels seen in the photo, the car has also a Hirsch 252bhp power upgrade and Hirsch springs. This makes an ideal combination for touring on the continent and in particular through the Alps and Pyrenees.

Best Regards,

Mel Baynham

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by Tim

NEVS Reconstruction plan in English

October 3, 2014 in News

The full version of the reconstruction plan from Lars Eric Gustafsson at Hamilton Law firm responsible for the reconstruction of NEVS can now be found in English here: http://hamilton.sidvisning.se/reorganisationplan/

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by Red J

NEVS Plan A and Plan B

October 3, 2014 in News

The news Yesterday of NEVS approaching third parties although they are still in Talks with the two Assian car manufacturers.

The OEM track

The OEM track

Well later yesterday they sent a preliminary reorganisation plan to their creditors, and helped us understand what this Plan B means.

Read the rest of this entry →

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by Tim

P4 West: Talks with other parties as well

October 2, 2014 in News

According to P4 West, NEVS is also talking to other interested parties on top of the two main figures Mahindra and Dong Feng. Mikael Östlund confirmed to Victor Jenssen at P4 West that the talks with other parties were in progress but that the main track still remained the two auto manufacturers from Asia. Mikael Östlund also states that it would be strange not to look at other solutions as well on top of the two main companies that NEVS has been dealing with for the past 8 months. Main article in Swedish here: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=125&artikel=5980169

Neo Brothers – Virtual Tour Of Neo Brothers HQ

October 1, 2014 in News

Do you fancy taking a walk around Neo Brothers Headquarters?

You can now do so using the Virtual Tour which can be found on our Neo Brothers Homepage.

Neo Brothers Virtual TourImage

Feel free to wander around our call centre, extensive warehouse and Saab workshop!

Enjoy
Charlie
Neo Brothers Ltd

 

Avatar of Tim

by Tim

If we were to make a new Saab, is it a real Saab?

September 30, 2014 in Editorial, News

Today about 200 people at NEVS will be handed their resignation papers, a story that I personally have gone through at Saab back in 2002 when 1200 employees were laid off. I had only been at the company for a year so I had no chance to stay so I know exactly how the people at NEVS feel right now, but when I was handed the papers I decided that I’d get myself an education and I spent 1 year in university and 3 years learning how to fly and so 5 years and 2 months later, on August 17th at 07:51, I had reached my goal of sitting in the right seat in the flight deck of an Airbus A319 departing from Brussels heading for Paris.

Its difficult for most people to be handed a resignation letter, its a blow to once personal life that can not be measured with many other bad things that can happen to a person, but I hope that most people at NEVS who are now forced to leave the company will see this as a message to hit the books and get an education because knowledge is the one thing that nobody can take away from you!

Even though this can be seen as a low point for NEVS, it is for a good cause! Its the main way for NEVS to cut costs and at this stage it is sadly a required thing to do. Even so I do think we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I’m pretty sure that the last Saab has been built for many years we still have to look forward to a new era of Saabs coming out in a couple of years.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by an engineer at NEVS: “if we were to make a brand new Saab, what would it take for people NOT to say that it wasn’t a real Saab”. That question totally baffled me and several weeks later I’ve yet to come up with an answer. I’ve spent countless of sheets of paper writing down things that belongs in a real Saab only to trash them later on realizing that those items weren’t really important in the end…

If you go out and ask Saab fans what is a real Saab, many would probably say, any car that hasn’t got any GM parts in it, some will say that the OG 900 was the only real Saab. But the question is very interesting for the future of the brand, since they obviously cant restart the OG 900 production line again they’d have to make something brand new, but what?

What would it take for all Saab fans to embrace a brand new car as one that everyone could say is a REAL SAAB?

Follow Up: A very special day at Castle Coombe.

September 29, 2014 in Events, Fan Stuff

Some of you may recall a post I put up a few weeks ago entitled “Lets all try to make this a very special day for one true SAAB enthusiast.” http://www.saabsunited.com/?s=Castle+Coombe

Well the day of the event came with six of our Dragon Saab members driving in convoy from Wales to the venue at Castle Coombe. We arrived early morning with great anticipation about how many Saab’s would turn up on the day. The morning saw a steady flow of cars arriving from all over the UK until it’s climax where we had a fantastic display comprising of 51 SAABS!!!

During the morning the sole person this gathering was organised for, Mark, arrived and was totally overwhelmed by the incredible turnout. The weather during the week leading up to the event had been truly awful with continuous rain, even through the night prior to the big day. But even that worked out well for us with sunshine and a few clouds but other than that a completely dry day.

Despite this  being a previously arranged track day at Castle Coombe organised by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club, when the organisers heard of our story and what we were trying to do they accommodated us extremely well by not just giving us a fantastic display area for all our cars but even finding time to halt the days’ track events and allowing us to have a SAAB parade around the track for our dear friend Mark Ovens aka Parish for whom the whole day was dedicated. Mark rode up front with David Dallimore in his concours 99 Turbo 2 door. Expecting to maybe being allowed two laps of the circuit we were given time to have FIVE full laps! At one point with each car being spaced out we had the spectacle of the entire track from start line to finish being occupied by the amazing sight of nothing but SAABS!!!!!

During my many years working at SAAB dealerships I had acquired two bottles of champagne specially bottled for SAAB to commemorate both the launch of the second generation 900 and also a Lauren Perrier bottle marking 50 years of SAAB in the UK. These had been hidden away at home since the nineties while I often wondered what to do with them. This day seemed to be the perfect opportunity to make good use of them. I gave one to Mark and his wife to take home and decided to try a raffle for the Lauren Perrier. I thought if we could raise somewhere nearing £50 I would be delighted with all proceeds going to the Forever Friends Appeal. We decided to not put a price on the ticket but instead for people to buy one for whatever they felt they could manage. From the sale of the very first ticket we knew the success of this raffle was going to far exceed £50. The generosity of our gathered friends raised a staggering £241!!! All of which went to Mark and Karen to donate to the Forever Friends Appeal, the hospice who are providing cancer care for Mark.

Parish at Castle Coombe

The winner of the raffle, our great friend and well known Dr Oz Reid has since decided to once again raffle that bottle of champagne at the forthcoming Neo Bros open day, again, with all proceeds going to the same appeal. I think that gesture alone sums up what a wonderful spirit of camaraderie still exists within our family.

To summarise, the entire day went perfectly, one could sense the feeling of warmth and sensitivity surrounding it. I can tell you that Mark and Karen were staggered by the turnout and Karen told me that thankfully Mark just happened to have one of his better days and so was able to see the entire day out to the end.

On behalf of Mark & Karen, I would like to say a huge thank you to the organisers at Castle Coombe and all who turned up on the day with their many beautiful SAABS. A great and very memorable day was had by all. Our continued best wishes go out to Mark, Karen and their family.

Please check out the links below for some great pictures and videos.

http://gallery.bristolpegasus.com/2014/Castle-Combe-Track-Day/i-sVGWfNG
http://s653.photobucket.com/user/Naranto/slideshow/Parishs%20Day%20Out?sort=6
https://www.flickr.com/photos/27487434@N04/sets/72157646640502519/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g2f5x7SkcM
Click here to view Castle Combe 2014 Edits_