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by RobinM

5th Saab Swiss Fondue Meeting, Vallorbe.

February 21, 2015 in News

After the 4 first editions in the Swiss Neuchatel-Jura, were we lived, the 5th Saab Swiss Fondue Meeting moved with us in Vallorbe, still in the Swiss Jura… but Canton de Vaud ! All the people are welcome at our house to share an Apero des region.
Everybody take something to eat or to drink from his area to share with the other people. In the afternoon, we usually moved to Mariette’s Restaurant de la Vieille Fontaine. As this year we would be too far away Mariette and her daughter Pervenche came to make the Swiss cheese fondue in Vallorbe !
We had people from Great-Britain, Netherland, Luxembourg, France, Germany and all parts of Switzerland. About 30 Saabs for more than 60 people.
Thanks our sponsors: Hirsch Performance, Orio/Saab Service, The Saab Farm, Editions Atlas, Banque Cantonale Vaudoise BCV, La Semeuse and Dimini.ch. Thanks also averybody for comming to make this nice event even nicer year after year !

Dimitri and Frederic

Please visit Dimitris Flickr page for more pictures

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by RobinM

SOTW, Saab 9-5 in Istanbul

February 20, 2015 in Sotw

This weeks SOTW comes from Aydin in Turkey, great to see Swedish vehicles enjoying the snow there

Hi Robin,
My name is Aydin, I live in Istanbul and quite a SAAB enthusiast. I have been following SU for a long time and thought it would be good idea to share my SAAB. Correct me if I am wrong, if you publish my photos it will be the first one from Turkey.
This is my 2004 9-5 2.3T Vector. She is with me for a few months and I do love driving her. Having German and Japanese cars in the past, I can easily say that SAAB is by far the best one I have ever driven. The car has a unique design and great build quality. Drives very smooth and fuel consumption is very fair thinking of her performance.
After purchasing the car I changed the DI casette, brake pads and did the regular oil and filter changes and now I can say she is in good condition. SAAB is a rare brand in Turkey, Turkish premium market is dominated by German players. Despite everything, we still can find both authorized services and private garages for maintenance.
The first photo was taken at a weekend trip to a small lake 250. km east of Istanbul. Snow and cold weather is her natural habitat. Travelled about 650. km in two days, driving in hard winter conditions was no problem with her.
I salute every SAAB enthusiast and SU readers around the world with my best SAABish wishes :)
Aydin

Another great Swede enjoying the snow.

A big thank you to Aydin who has some extra and larger pictures which can be found on my Flickr page

Saabs on ice in Norway!

February 20, 2015 in Clubs, Events, Fan Stuff

Last weekend (13th-15th of February) the classic Saab club in Norway, “Gammalsaabens venner” (GSV), had their annual winter-meet on a ice track.
The track is located in southern Norway, at Dagali, approximately 220km Northwest from Oslo. GSV was from the beginning a club for the two-strokes, later all cars older then 21 years were welcome, and for a few years ago all Saabs are welcome in the club.
I got this text and some awesome pictures from one of the attendants, Oscar Emil Lea. Thanks for sharing this with us!

indisk_96_v4_red

The weekend started Friday evening when people start showing up, for a dinner and company into the evening.
Saturday we met at the ice-track at 9:30 in the morning and prepared the cars for driving. Some put special tyres with serious studs like they use in rally, other used their usual road-legal tyres with or without studs. At 10:00 the driving started with the smell of two-strokes and the sound from tuned V4-engines. At this point you could drive as you wanted around the track with no program, and took place in “Øvre Svangtjørni” at the river “Numedalslågen”. The track is a machined ice track that was made a few hours before arrival and had several hairpins, chicanes and some great stretches. The speed was high and the “fun-factor” was at top!

At 12 o’clock was it time for the traditional “Ice-track soup”, rolls, coffee, hot chocolate and a quiz. After a hour break the skill driving started. This was at a different track, and the run consisted of slalom up to a roundabout and round it and park in a “garage”, then we was reversing the same way and end up parking in the “garage”. The cars was divides into three classes; rallystud, stud and studless.

Some of the cars got minor damages from the driving at the ice-track, one broke a driveshaft, another damaged the tow hitch, some plastic and a bumper, but all took it with a smile…

Later this evening there was a common gathering a the local hotel with dinner, prizes for the winners from the quiz and the skill-driving and good company into the evening. In total there was approximately 20 cars on the track during the weekend, all from two-stroke to a 2010 9-3.

Sunday is as always a day for breakup and departure after breakfast, but it isn’t more then a year until next time!

For more pictures, visit Oscars Flickr page – there is about 1100 pictures from this event…

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by till72

My Take On The Press Release

February 20, 2015 in Editorial

Yesterday NEVS went public with a plan to exit reconstruction. The core of the plan is that NEVS fully pays its debt to creditors with claims below SEK 500.000 while creditors with higher claims are paid half. Payment shall be executed in two steps. The first one sixty days after the agreement and the second one six months after. This is not really a new plan, they suggested this already six months ago but it was turned down by the creditors.

This of course turns up a few questions. Here is the most obvious ones for me.

- Why are they trying to exit reconstruction now?
In the press release they state that being in reconstruction makes it harder to negotiate with the two OEMs. There is of course quite a bit of truth in that. In reconstruction they are overlooked by the reconstructor who can have a lot of say in how things are done. This may not nessesarily ease negotiations with a future investor, of course depending on how that reconstructor sees things and how well he knows the business. Another point is that this extended reconstruction period is over soon. For another extension NEVS needs the approval of the creditors. If you are not 100% confident to get that you might look for a way out that keeps you alive. Which one is the bigger reason here – I don’t know. But I think that both things playing a role here.

- How does being in reconstruction affect negotiations?
Besides the issue I mentioned above it may also be that the investor wants NEVS to clean up their debt before they are willing to step in. From the point of an investor you want the money you bring in to start future business rather than to cover old claims. Any investment needed to start up development and then later production of cars is big enough and you won’t to add even more on that. It would only raise the risk level and push the point where you get your return on investment further away.
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by RobinM

Press Release from Nevs

February 19, 2015 in NEVS, Press Releasse

A composition to get Nevs out of reorganisation

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, Nevs, provides unsecured creditors a composition proposal in order to exit the reorganisation. It creates the conditions for completion of ongoing negotiations with two major OEMs and the implementation of a new business plan together with partners and owners. Nevs’ owners and management has noted the difficulty of completing this type of complex negotiations during a reorganisation and the risk premium it implies. The current negotiations, together with two major OEMs, are mainly focused on two tracks that are complementing each other. One is to form a technical joint venture company in Trollhättan and the other is to introduce a new majority owner in Nevs, with the plan of making Saab cars a global premium product.

-     The negotiations are progressing but we also see the complication of reaching an agreement when we are in a state of reorganisation. Our main owner has single-handedly financed the reorganisation and intends to get us out of it. In order for this to be possible financially, we need to reach a composition arrangement with the creditors, says Nevs CEO, Mattias Bergman.

The composition proposal includes a composition of 50 percent for unsecured creditors on claims over 500’000 SEK. Meaning that from a total of 573 creditors 469 will get their full claim paid, and 104 creditors will have their claims above 500’000 SEK reduced by 50 percent.

-     Provided that Nevs’ composition proposal is accepted, it is my judgment that the prerequisites are favorable to also reach an agreement with a financially strong OEM, and thereby enabling a continued business potential for the creditors. With this said, it is my opinion that accepting the composition proposal is advantageous for the creditors. The alternative of a liquidation would likely result in a lower dividend several years later, says the Administrator, Attorney Lars Eric Gustafsson, Hamilton Law Firm.

All creditors are invited to an information meeting at Nevs in Trollhättan on 26 February.

Attached is the Administrator Report. Click here to read it on Hamilton law firm’s website. 

Mikael Östlund Director Communications and Public Affairs

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by till72

RBM Performance Launches Webshop For NA

February 19, 2015 in RBM Performance

rbmusa

French RBM Performance have launched a dedicated webshop for Saab owners in the USA and Canada. Being the leading independent used and new Saab parts supplier in France Romain and his team have 11 years of experience in the parts business and offer dedicated customer service.

From the RBM press release:

    RBM Performance offers new genuine and aftermarket saab parts at afordable prices, tested second-hand saab part as lots of SAAB accessories and high value tuning enhancement parts for all saabs.

    To be able to do so the company relies on more than thirty international suppliers including Swedish saab’s specialists like Maptun Performance and the english one Abbott Racing. We also have our own range of exclusive and specific saab products.

    The reason of our success?

    Customer service provided by passionate, an exemplary reactivity (95% of all e-mails answered within 24 hours) and a pricing policy which makes the company one of the most competitive in the saab parts market.

    Launches of RBMperformance.us illustrate the will of its director to continue its openness to international on a larger market. The product offering and pricing were considered to fit perfectly to north america customers’ needs.

    « Rates negotiated through this deployment allows us to provide really attractive prices, stresses Romain Mariani our CEO
    We also sign a deal with Fedex who will handle our shipments for United States and Canada negotiated at the lowest possible rates ».

So if you are from North America make sure to check it out.

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by till72

60 Employees To Leave ORIO

February 16, 2015 in News

As P4 Väst reports today 60 of the 74 employees that were given notice of redundancy last November will be laid off. This is part of the restructuring program that ORIO started at the end of 2013.

While this is sad for those who have to leave it is not such a big surprise. Since there are no cars produced at Saab the business has changed and can’t be compared with the times when the factory was in full swing. Apart from the Saab business ORIO has also acquired other parts to distribute but that can not compensate the lack of Saab business.

But apart from that I would see that as a nessesary move to retain a profitable organization and not as a warning signal of any kind.

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by Jeff

Fantasy Land – Saab by Apple

February 14, 2015 in Editorial

Some of you might have read by now that Apple has a secret program named Project Titan to build an electric car. As a few curious photographers witnessed, they’ve leased Chrysler minivans driving all around Silicon Valley with advanced sensors. Several top auto industry personnel from Mercedes and Tesla have already been poached, not to mention visits by Apple executive visits to Austria– think Magna Steyr where they built all those 9-3 Convertibles. This may not mean Apple is 100% absolutely surely going to be coming out with a car, and even if they did it would be years away. They might just be investigating technologies that could end up in future personal electronics, or software interfaces for OEMs to integrate like their CarPlay system. But what if they were, and what if they could leapfrog ahead by aquiring the bankrupt assets of a certain automobile company in Sweden with a rich history of intelligent design and innovation, coupled with a huge factory capable of supplying the Euro Zone with 200,000 plus units?

appletestcar

One of the vans registered to Apple currently in testing around Silicon Valley.

Follow me here– what would an Apple car look like? Would people want a car designed by their computer company? I’ve seen it work in reverse, Porsche designed phones, but I don’t see the reverse ever truly working. The other silicon valley auto company producing electric cars, Tesla has made a name for themselves by launching an exclusive high end brand that is first and foremost about the core product, autos. While they might end up moving more into home power or grid power backup systems or other different fields, when you hear Tesla, you visualize a Model S. The same can’t be said for Apple.

Just like Mahindra sees the potential value in a prestigious brand with cache, Apple should see the advantages of acquiring such a dirt cheap and storied brand with such similar brand values. It wasn’t so long ago that Saab’s Global brand director Knut Simonsson told Autocar that they were trying to position themselves as the Apple of car brands. Before their demise, Saab was not about blending in, “We don’t want to be another Audi,” Simonsson said. In fact, Audi has been tying themselves to Google, not only through their MMI, but their self driving car experiments. Even if Apple wanted to start completely fresh with design and do something all new and different to what Saab had done before, just having the engineering chops, the crash facilities, the testing and state of the art production labs, the proximity to northern Sweden for winter testing, and most of all the bonafide legacy of well engineered Scandinavian design, it just makes sense.

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