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by RobinM

sotw, Jacob’s pride and joy.

December 5, 2014 in Sotw

Hi Robin,

My name is Jacob Oyer and I’m attaching some photos of my 2007 Saab 9-5 aero sedan. Hopefully it’ll make the front page!

I love this car so much. I bought it 2 years ago and have done a lot of work on it with a friend of mine. Here a list of some of the stuff we’ve done:

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by Tim

OT: Spyker files for financial restructuring

December 2, 2014 in News, Press-Release, Spyker

Zeewolde, the Netherlands, 2 December 2014. Spyker N.V., together with its wholly owned subsidiary Spyker Automobielen B.V. (collectively “Spyker” or the “Company”), today filed a voluntary petition for financial restructuring in an effort to address certain short-term operational and liquidity challenges. The District Court of Midden-Nederland in Lelystad, the Netherlands (the “Court”) granted Spyker’s voluntary petition for temporary moratorium of payment (“surseance van betaling”), the Dutch equivalent of the American Chapter 11 proceedings, and has appointed an administrator who, together with the Board of Management, bears final responsibility for management of the company as long as the  moratorium of payment status is in force. The Court’s ruling to grant a temporary moratorium of payment protects the Company from its creditors throughout the duration of the moratorium. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary Spyker Events & Branding B.V. entered temporary moratorium of payment a month ago.

The Company’s key operations are expected to continue throughout the temporary moratorium while it executes its reorganisation plan to resolve its temporary operational and liquidity issues.

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by Tim

BREAKING NEWS: OEM signs letter of intent to purchase majority stake in NEVS *UPDATED

December 1, 2014 in News

On November 30th one of the OEM’s currently in negotiation with NEVS, which our sources claim would be Mahindra from India has signed a Term Sheet in which the OEM states that it is willing to step in as majority owner in NEVS AB.

The intention is for NEVS to issue new shares and that Mahindra (unconfirmed) is to purchase enough shares to gain a majority stake hold in NEVS AB.

Due to the secrecy agreement between NEVS and the other partners NEVS refuses to confirm that this is Mahindra.

The Term Sheet specifies the details on how negotiations are to be conducted until finalization of the deal. The finalization of the deal also calls for a direct investment into NEVS by the new majority shareholder, the new shareholder (Mahindra) will also conduct a new due diligence which will act as a complement to the one already conducted.

If a positive outcome is achieved with the board of Mahindra that this deal should be continued to finalization, a bridge loan of 5 million Euros per month is to be paid out to NEVS in order to cover the running costs of the company during the reconstruction and until a finalization of the purchase which should be achieved in February of 2015.

Talks with the other OEM partner (rumored to be DongFeng) is also continuing and until a finalized deal on a Joint Venture can be achieved with this partner, both parties are now preparing a development contract in which NEVS will work to develop technical solutions for this Chinese partner. These contracts will be pre-paid by the Chinese with the intention that this development will evolve to a joint venture later on. This way the partnership can be engaged on a short time-frame while negotiations continue. This deal will also support the continuation of the reconstruction.

NEVS has also continued with its plan be and established a system called NEVS Industrial Services in which NEVS is offering solutions to other companies, several interested parties have entered into talks with NEVS and some offers have been made but no firm deals have yet been signed.

There is also a backside to these good news and it is that the creditors are most likely assumed to cut their claims towards NEVS if a deal is to be finalized, if and how big the cut is to be is not yet discussed but it should be to such a matter that if a claim is below a certain amount, that amount would be repaid in full.

The MOST IMPORTANT part in the document released by NEVS comes last, and that is that the Creditor Committee which is a selected group of the creditors have agreed that this is cause for continued support for NEVS reconstruction. This shows that NEVS have the creditors on their side, whats left is to convince the court.

According to other unconfirmed sources to SU, Mahindra is also talking directly to SAAB AB regarding usage of the brand name.

Read the full report from NEVS here: http://saabcars.com/Global/newsfiles/20141201-Reconstruction-En.pdf

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by Tim

Whats happening today?

December 1, 2014 in News

NEVS21Its 11:03 CET right now and within a short period of time NEVS is to turn in their application for an extension of the reconstruction of the company. According to other media some suppliers have raised an opinion that if NEVS is to be granted an extension they want to see ink on paper which at least shows something from the potential new owners or if the creditors are to accept any form of cut in debt which was voiced by the manager for NEVS reconstruction Lars Eric Gustafsson.

In reality its not, at least initially, up to the creditors to decided if the reconstruction continues or not, its up to the court to decided and they are strictly abiding by Swedish commercial laws regarding reconstruction. If NEVS can prove to the court that they can manage the financing during the extension and that the work is progressing forward the general opinion of the law is that continued reconstruction shall continue.

The suppliers (creditors) can voice their opinion on the matter but the court doesn’t need to abide by their wishes if it feels that NEVS has a chance to survive this.

The request for the extension is a public document and we’ll return with details from this document as soon as we’ve had a look at it.

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by RobinM

Goldenidol and his 9-3SW

November 29, 2014 in Sotw

Greetings Robin:

I’ve attached photos of my 2009 Aero XWD V6 Sportcombi to perhaps give fellow members some ideas on things you can do to your Saab that make it even more fun to drive.  In my case, I have a Hirsch exhaust and interior, Vtuner Stage 0 remap, amber “angel eyes” around my oem foglights, carbon fiber braced Cibie Oscar+ amber driving lights with body color covers, Kamei winglets (from a VW Jetta kit), 9-5 hatch spoiler, and the rather obvious decals (which seem to evoke a great deal of curiosity from onlookers).  Inside, you can see that I machined a special 5 hole carbon fiber/aluminum instrument display which mounts to the center speaker cover via carbon fiber tubes.

I know this is all very over the top for our Saab culture, but it certainly generates a great deal of positive conversation with all kinds of people, so I feel like I am doing my part to keep the Saab spirit alive!

Regards, Al (aka Goldenidol)

Extra pics,,,,

Greetings Robin:

I’ve attached two photos of my one-off five gauge instrument pod in Raikage.  It is anchored to a highly reinforced center speaker grille (backed with JB Weld and brass plates) to counter-balance the weight of the gauges held forward by two .5″ diameter carbon fiber tubes from Dragonplate.  The .25″ thick aluminum plate sourced from Amazon was drilled for 5 VDO instrument pods with a drill press and shaped with a grinder and sander.  Black wrinkle finish with Dragonplate carbon fiber veneer for the front.  Braided nylon sleeves feed wires back under the speaker grill and terminate with a deutsch connector for easy maintenance and restoration back to OEM without any unsightly holes.  A sorbothane dot absorbs vibration on the left wing, but I may get rid of that to improve the symmetry and floating effect.  LED alerts are machined into the outer edges of the plate face for additional sensory electronics.  Installing the senders for oil psi and temp were big challenges on the V6 (no sandwich adapter possible!).  Am happy to discuss further in other topic fora.  Many thanks for the interest.

You can find larger versions on Flickr

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by RobinM

SOTW, Tally the Turbo4

November 22, 2014 in Sotw

 

Hi Robin,

I’d like to submit my 2009 9-3 Turbo4, nicknamed “Tally” for SOTW. I have owned several SAABs over the years, starting with my first car, a 9000 Aero at age 16. Fast forward six more SAABs and 10 years later, Tally has become my favourite. We are a “strictly SAAB” family and you will only see us driving SAABs as long as possible! Specifications are below. Thanks!

Eric Winchester

Chicago, IL
USA

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by Tim

Next Friday is Judgement day… again…

November 22, 2014 in Editorial

Last week a story was circulated in the media in Sweden that NEVS wanted to cut its debts by 50%, the story originated out of P4 West and the source was no other than the lawyer responsible for managing NEVS reorganization. Using the correct translation from Swedish the suppliers were really pissed off about this and the interesting note, the story was firmly denied by NEVS who have always claimed that the suppliers were to be paid back in full.

What also leaked out in the story was the fact that NEVS won’t be done with the negotiations by the 29th of November which is the new deadline for the reorganization, which can be extended to yet another period NEVS can prove funding over that period of time and the suppliers agree to be away from their money a bit longer. In reality if the company was to be declared bankrupt the suppliers were to go away empty handed since there is next to nothing within the company that a bankruptcy administrator is able to sell.

So whats taking so long? A lot of people are unwilling to accept the fact that negotiations are still going on and that “it can’t possible take this long to make such kind of a deal”. And no, they’re probably right but what people need to understand that since November-December 2013 when these talks begun, a lot has changed. Back then NEVS was a healthy company with a production that had just restarted, things were going the right way, since then a lot of deteriorations have occurred at NEVS, the worst: they lost the rights to the brand name.

And according to SU sources the name is the key factor through this whole mess. Back in 2012 it took NEVS almost 6 months to negotiate the rights to the name and neither Scania nor SAAB AB were actually willing to allow them to use it and when they finally got the rights they were extremely limited compared to when Saab Automobile AB had its rights. Back then NEVS was loaded with money and had “all the time in the world”.

SAAB AB has just sold 108 Gripen aircraft to Brazil, a deal worth more than what Sweden is spending on defense over a 2 year period (more than Saab Automobile AB earned on making cars for roughly a 20 year period) and due to the tense situation in eastern Europe with the Russian Air Force constantly engaging our borders, SAAB AB is getting requests from several other countries to either acquire more Gripen fighters or become Gripen customers. SAAB AB has also made a huge deal in the Submarine business taking over a Swedish submarine plant from its German owners. SAAB AB is now gearing up to start production of one of the worlds most silent diesel electric submarines that a lot of countries have shown interest in.

So there is a lot at stake for SAAB AB Read the rest of this entry →

DIY Saabs (Yes you can too!)

November 19, 2014 in Fan Stuff

This is probably something different from what you think when you read the headline of this article, but this is Saabs you all can make at home, that’s for sure!

saab_ice_cube_trays

After making ice cubes all summer in my 92.001 ice cube tray from Saab expressions, I realized that I could use the tray for other things too. So what’s better then make some chocolate-Saabs?
To be honest I did this for a few years ago too, but since I have very limited cooking-skills the result was discouraging. To explain what level I’m on when coming to making food - if I manage to boil some water without burning it it have been a great day in the kitchen…  After some debriefing I came to that that I heat up the chocolate too fast and maybe to a far too high temperature, and it ended up very dry, hard and after a few hours it had a white shell.

92001_icecube

But shame on those who give up – to continue making 92.001 chocolate I have to buy some special tools. And one day, I saw a heater for making chocolate fondue in a gadget-shop. Since it was cheap (like 100 SEK / ~USD13) I thought it was worth checking out, so I bought it. So yesterday was the big day for some Saab candy production, and of course I don’t remember how much chocolate I needed for making to full trays, so I started with a 300g plate of milk-chocolate.
The process matched my skills very well, simply break the plate into small pieces so they melt faster and put them in the 25W heaters pot and wait. When its ready I started filling the ice cube trays but as the pictures show I have to get something that can remove the leftovers to make a smooth finish. As you can see its not only at the Stallbacka factory they get short of materials – I simply ran out of chocolate after car no 16!!! ;) So if you are planning to make some chocolate-Ursaabs, you will need about 20g of chocolate pr Saab.

chocolate_lineup2

After this it was time to allow the Saabs to cool down, I let them stay in the refrigerator over the night, but I think 3-4 hours will be enough.
The result was over all expectations but there was one small problem; a few small air-bubbles in the cars when I release them from the trays. So if you have a good solution here, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Place also a comment if you have ideas of other things to melt in those trays, I guess that it’s not only ice cubes and chocolate this is suitable for? And next time I meet up with local Saabers it will be some samples to taste for those who dare… ;)

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by Rune

Inspector Rebus and more (review snippets)

November 16, 2014 in Off-Topic

Good whisky. Proper music. An interesting car. And solving crimes. We all know what ingredients are required for a proper detective novel of this century.

Inspector Rebus taking a nap in the 9-3's comfy seats. Rude colleague interrupting (I had a colleague like that once, she kept poking my sides during meetings. I lost countless hours of sleep because of her).

Inspector Rebus taking a nap in the 9-3′s comfy seats. Rude colleague interrupting (I had a colleague like that once, she kept poking my sides during meetings. I lost countless hours of sleep because of her).

Enter Ian Rankin’s character Inspector John Rebus. Rebus enjoys a good Scotch, he listens to The Rolling Stones and he drives …a Saab.

No wonder then that a dear colleague (who shares my love of Saabs, but not the Stones) of mine suggested I should acquaint myself with the Inspector.

The first few books start off lightly. He notices a 900 parked on a street, or a fancy 9000 parked in some politician’s driveway (“Strip Jack”), but eventually his old car packs it in and Rebus finds himself driving a Saab.

The novels have been adapted to TV and two actors have so far portrayed Rebus. The first series overplayed the melancholy part a bit and the second series delayed the introduction of the Saab too long (episode 7), but the exit given to his previous car underlined the significance of switching to a proper car. Unlike Commander Bond, the transition from books to film kept the Saab (although, in “Strip Jack” the politician no longer drives a Saab).

Rebus drives a OG900 in the book as well as the first TV show, and a OG9-3 in the second.

All in all, the series provides lots of pleasant reading (or watching if you prefer the TV show) for Saab fans of all ages. I give it 4 griffins out of 5.

–––––

The Goodmans and their 9-5. Stereo blasting at full tilt.

The Goodmans and their 9-5. Stereo blasting at full tilt.

Next, in a completely different genre, is the TV show Friday Night Dinner. The action mostly takes place in the family home of the Goodmans. Their two adult sons turn up for a family dinner every Friday, and inevitably something always goes sideways. Lots of good comedy ensues, but the head of the family drives a OG9-5. In the second episode the family tries to figure out the 9-5’s stereo (I swear I could hear Tim shouting “read the manual!” in the background) and later they performed an impromptu crash test backing into a friend’s Mercedes.

It is a funny and well executed TV show, but the 9-5 clearly deserves more exposure (with regards, signed Captain Obvious). So only 3 griffins on this.

–––––

If that fails to quench your thirst for Saab-related fictional literature, I would also like to point out my earlier review of “A Man Called Ove”. The book has since been translated to several languages and does a remarkable job of exploring the psyche of an average Saab driver. A 5 griffin rated book. Not bad, considering the book’s author drives a ToyotaHyundai.

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by Tim

Did the lack of a good diesel engine kill Saab?

November 15, 2014 in Editorial

1159758

There is no doubt that the Saab management made a number of bad decisions in the past decade and that the chain of errors started many years ago, most likely around the launch of the car that was supposed to save Saab, the NG 9-3. To better understand why certain decisions were taken its important to understand the mentality of the management at the time. The place to be, back in 1990-2000 was the US market, it was the market that everyone was fighting over, pretty similar to the Chinese market today.

Saab had a well established presence in the north american markets and the american influence management of Saab was highly focused on configuring Saab cars for the american market.

About ten years earlier the european market had really started live its own life. In the 60′s and 70′s the EU market was heavily influenced by the american market, the standards for premium cars built in Europe were highly influenced by what was popular across the pond. But in the 80′s, the Euro market really started to established its own way in terms of premium cars with one serious significant difference compared to the rest of the world, it relied heavily on diesel engines.

Diesel has always been very popular in Europe and its origins can be tranced back all the way to world war two, when german aircraft engines ran on a variant of Coal-diesel and Russian tanks had massive diesel engines. This made them more resistant to enemy fire than equivalent allied tanks which ran on flammable gasoline.

In 1998 selling a gasoline powered premium car in Europe was like trying to sell ice people in northern Sweden in the middle of winter worst winter they’ve ever experienced. If it didn’t have a 6-cylinder powered diesel engine or another type of diesel engine with equivalent power, it simply wasn’t interesting to anyone. The Euro market is that it is big, really big! With over 750 million people living in a condensed area, the majority household having a high economic standard and the majority of this population is focused to 4 countries in close proximity to each other. This was the market that made Mercedes, VW, BMW and Audi into the biggest players of the world in the 1990-2005, they have ruled this market since the early 90′s and it was done by selling premium cars with a powerful diesel engine.

In 1995, the GM / SAAB management realized that the new 9-5 which was about to be introduced was not going to create the sales numbers they needed on the american market alone and european market had turned into a different direction than they had first thought. This is the issue that I have recently discussed at great length with several people who used to work at management level of Saab and these talks is the main source of this article.

According to several dealers in Europe that I’ve talked to, geting people interested in a Saab in 1998 wasn’t the problem, people who walked through the doors of the dealerships loved the looks of the new 9-5 and Saab had everything these customers wanted, but in the end people didn’t buy the car. When I asked why, the answer to that question was so obvious to the dealers: “we couldn’t offer them a competitive diesel engine option”.

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by RobinM

sotw Rare 9-5 in Housten

November 15, 2014 in News, Sotw

Phil’s passion for Saabs follows him across the Atlantic.

Hi Robin,
Please find attached a picture of my current SAAB collection, comprising a 2003 9-5 Aero Combi, a 2011 9-5 NG BioPower and a 2002 9-3 SE HOT Convertible. SAABs are rare in Texas in general and Houston is no exception, compared to states on the Eastern and Western seaboards and the mountain states. While the high heats of our summer seasons can affect the car’s interior, there are no issues with salt corrosion so the cars’ paintwork and general condition remain great even after many years. My history (addiction?) with SAAB started while i was still in Europe in the eighties and nineties, and continued after my work took me to the USA in 2002. My 14th SAAB, the 9-5 NG, is amazing, there are less than 10 of them in the whole Houston area (over 5 million inhabitants) so it gets many looks and wows for roomy interior, remote start and of course the HUD feature.
The 2002 9-3 SE Convertible was my first car bought on arriving in the USA, new off the lot of a struggling dealership. I had owned 8 SAABs from 82 through 2002 in Europe, so the salesman did not have to make a big effort to get me in the car. It is still going strong today with 154,000 miles. My wife bought the 2003 Aero Wagon from my SAAB shop in Houston in 2010, and 40,000 miles later it still goes like a bomb.

My history with SAAB:
Europe:
1) 900 Turbo 1979 (82-86)
2) 900 GLi 1982 (86-90)
3) 9000i16 1988 (90-00)
4) 900I16 1990 (93-02)
5) 900 SE Sensonic 1998 (98-02)
6) 9-3 t 1999 (99-00)
7) 9-3 Convertible 1999 (01-02)
8) 9-3 1999 (01-02)
USA:
9) 9-3 SE Convertible 2002 (02-present)
10) 9000 Turbo 1988 (04-08)
11) 9000 CSE 1994 (05-09)
12) 9-5 Aero 2002 (09-12)
13) 9-5 Aero combi 2003 (10 – present)
14) 9-5 Biopower 2011 (12 – present)

The search for Saab number 14 in the summer of 2012 took almost 3 months. The few ex-GM dealerships in Houston with some relation to past SAAB business did not sell many if any 2010-2011 9-5s, and this car was certainly never seen on the roads around here. I wanted a model with HUD, the most defining aeronautical feature of this most remarkable car, and numerous candidate vehicles were considered as far as New Hampshire (2,000 miles away) without success, before finding on sale in Minnesota cars, including this one, that had been company vehicles for SAAB USA employees, and thus taken off the road in 2011 when the bankruptcy was concluded. This model had less than 6,000 miles, a 4-cylinder BioPower dual fuel engine and all the technology options except the DVD package. The car has 35,000 miles today, impeccably maintained by Swedish mechanic Tomas Larson at Texas Automotive Performance. The car gets compliments from many car aficionados driving German and Japanese premium brands, and there are clear signs of envy when the HUD is lit up.

A line up I’d like outside my house. Thank you for sharing. A few more pictures can be found on my flickr page