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by Swade

Saturday Morning MADNESS snippets

November 13, 2010 in Saabology

Another day, another sponsor for the Saab (unofficial) ad competition!

With prizes hitting the $1,000 mark, I think we’re going to have to move from a winner-take-all stance to a 1st-2nd-3rd.

More prizes means more winners, so get your entries in!

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It’s going to be a MAD weekend here due to the preparations I’ve got to make prior to the LA trip next week. Posting will be slower as a result and this snippets entry will be link with minimal filler because of it.

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The Saab 9-5 didn’t make the cut in the European Car of the Year finalists. I still think that award was sewn up by the Alfa Giulietta some time ago.

HOWEVER….

The Saab 9-5 has been listed as a finalist in the Motor Trend Car of The Year awards, which is a great achievement and good publicity for the company.

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I might have to buy a PS3 on November 24. Gran Turismo 5 finally has a date.

Unfortunately, there are no Saabs in the lineup.

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The lads over at Saablog-in have found a truly unique Saab 9000 for sale in Sweden.

9000 Wagon, anyone?

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Top Gear pose the Saab 9-5 against an Infiniti something-or-other and decide that you should buy a 5-series.

They like the Saab, by the way.

It’s probably a good read if you’ve got time, but I don’t.

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Thanks for your questions prior to the LA Auto Show. A number of them have already been answered in these pages over recent weeks, so I’ll probably skip those.

To answer a few:

- there’ll be no 9-4x diesel at launch and Saab won’t identify who they might be talking to about a bigger diesel, either, but I believe they’re working on it (quite earnestly) but these things take time.

- detailed customisation options for any vehicle aren’t likely to be around in the next year or so. You’ve got to bed down the basics before you can move to this stuff.

- I will be asking about global website development, but one should note a comment by Seth on this issue as I believe he’s “in the know”

- I believe we’ll see the 9-5 wagon at Geneva prior to it going on sale Q3 of next year.

- We won’t see the successor to the Saab 9-3 until just before it’s scheduled release (end of 2012). Saab will show a concept car at Geneva next year, but it’s more of a ‘dreamscape’ concept that will point to Saab’s future design language.

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From Flickr, Hirsch get all dreamy in Zurich….

Hirsch Saab 9-5 Zurich

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by Swade

Press Release: Victor Muller named Entrepreneur of the Year by Automotive News Europe

September 30, 2010 in News

Congratulations, VM!!!

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  • Recognition for achievements of Saab Automobile Chairman Victor Muller from major European automotive publication
  • Praise for securing Saab’s future and implementing its business plan

Trollhättan, Sweden: The dynamic business acumen of Saab Automobile Chairman Victor Muller was recognized last night when he received an Entrepreneur of the Year award at the 2010 Eurostars Awards ceremony in Paris, staged by trade publication Automotive News Europe. This award was specially created to acknowledge Muller’s outstanding achievements.

The Dutch businessman showed extraordinary tenacity during protracted negotiations to purchase Saab Automobile from General Motors, working closely with Saab’s executive leadership team. The future of Saab Automobile was eventually secured when its takeover by Muller’s company, Spyker Cars NV, was confirmed on February 23.

“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to receive this award,” said Muller, as he was presented with the accolade. “However, this is not just for me, but for all the Saab employees and Saab’s excellent management headed by Jan Åke Jonsson, who have shown tremendous commitment and dedication during a challenging but exciting period in the company’s history.

“Saab has already achieved a great deal in a short space of time. We have strengthened our global organization, successfully launched a new flagship model, forged exciting new business partnerships and ramped up the development of future products and technologies.

“Over the next 12 months Saab will launch two more premium cars, in addition to the new 9-5 sedan, and will enter at least one new market segment. These vehicles will be engineered and designed as true Saabs. All this activity shows Saab is firmly on track to deliver on its business plan.”

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by Swade

Jan-Ake Jonsson wins another management award

September 9, 2010 in News

If you followed the saga of Saab’s sale through 2009 and early 2010, then you might have some appreciation for the difficulty Saab’s head honcho, Jan-Ake Jonsson, had during that time.

It’s fitting, therefore, that he has received more than just a little recognition this year from the Swedish business community. He’s already received recognition from the Western Sweden Chamber of Commerce, for starters.

Yesterday, TTELA and others reported another award being presented to JAJ. The translation of that article on Google wasn’t particularly print-worthy, but thankfully, a friend named Anders has stepped into the breach and provided a great summary from another source and with a good English translation.

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Swedish Managers Association’s (a union for Managers) Distinguished Directors Award was awarded Jan Åke Jonsson today, Managing Director of Saab Automobile AB.

The Prize was awarded at Managers Days (a conference organized by the association) in Helsingborg.

The prize is awarded to a director who in his leadership have excelled in challenging times, managed to get the staff with him/her and developed the business with an extraordinary performance as a result.

This year’s prize goes to Jan Ake Jonsson, CEO of Saab. The jury’s motivation:

Jonsson Jan Åke is a manager who has distinguished himself for his unwavering faith in the employees and the company. When the storm was at its worst – and Saab was counted out by many – he showed power, commitment and cooperation. He showed leadership at a tough time.

In connection to the award Jan Åke Jonsson will give a speech with the theme “What type of leadership is needed to lead an organization through the storm and in a crisis?”

Other nominees were Margareta Widell, head of environmental management in Stockholm, Lars Påhlson, MD and Roy Leaf Canada Bergwall, HR Manager Southern Älvsborgsbron Hospital.

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Congratulations once again to Jan-Ake Jonsson. You didn’t get this welcome at the gate from employees just because of your pretty face….

Jan-Ake Jonsson greeted at the gate

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by Swade

Wednesday Night Snippets – SOC2010 Edition

July 22, 2010 in Saabology

Greetings all from Dulwich, in London, where I’ll be for most of the next week except for when I pop on over to Bath for the Saab Owners Club GB gathering.

Geez, this is a big city. We are still trying to find our bearings after a full day, but hopefully we’ll get busy tomorrow.

Lots of Saabs around here. I saw my first within two minutes of leaving Heathrow and have seen more than a dozen in my brief wanderings today. Lots of potential here, too.

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The big event – starting tomorrow in the US, in fact, is the Saab Owners Convention for 2010. It’s being held in Aurora, Ohio and with VM and JAJ attending, it’s sure to be a great meeting for all you US Saabers.

Please do hit me up with some emails as things progress as I’d love to post on how it’s going. I wish I could be there.

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I posted a few entries full of photos from the Saab Festival car show (part one and two), but for those who would like a fuller view of the whole event, check out these galleries on Flickr.

Golfhunter’s gallery…….

And Robin M’s gallery……

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Candidates for the 2011 European Car of the Year have been announced and there’s a Saab in the running!

The full list of candidates is as follows:

Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Audi A1
Audi A8
BMW 5-serie
BMW X3
Chevrolet Spark
Citroën C3
Citroën DS3
Citroën C4
Dacia Duster
Fiat Doblò
Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max
Honda CR-Z
Hyundai ix35
Jaguar XJ
Kia Sportage
Kia Venga
Lexus CT200h
Mazda 5
Mini Countryman
Mitsubishi ASX
Nissan Juke
Nissan Micra
Opel Meriva
Renault Wind
Saab 9-5
Seat Alhambra
Suzuki Kizashi
Suzuki Swift
Volkswagen Touareg
Volkswagen Sharan
Volvo S60
Volvo V60

Whilst I’d naturally prefer that the Saab wins the award, my bet is that it’s either the Jaguar XJ or the Alfa Romeo Giulietta that takes home the chocolates.

Voting is done by journalists from the seven organising magazines, which are from seven different countries in Europe.

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Whilst history will teach that I most likely will, there’s no use pretending that Saab Talk doesn’t exist. Another year, another Saab blog.

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One of the guys I met and chatted quite a bit with at the Saab Festival last week was Jim Smart, a Saab tech who runs an indy Saab shop called Smart Motors in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

And check out one of his cars!

Safe travels, Jim! It was a pleasure.

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by Swade

Vote for Saab in the Internet Auto Awards 2010

May 28, 2010 in Saabology

It’d be a nice little achievement if Saab could place well in the Auto Scout 2010 Internet Auto Awards.

Note: the front page is in German but there’s a language selector to the right.

Votes are cast in various categories, three of which feature Saabs. You can also vote for an over-all favourite from all categories (Saab 9-5 for me).

Here are the selections that I made (click):

There’s a little bit of information exchange involved, but I’ll likely unsubscribe from future emails received. A small price to pay to put Saab just a little more on the map in the eyes of a some award viewers.

Thanks to Michael J for the tip.

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by Swade

Drive COTY awards

November 28, 2009 in Editorial

A little distraction to pass the time…….
DRIVE is a motoring section attached to one of our larger media groups here in Australia, a group called Fairfax.
Like many motoring publications, DRIVE has an annual Car of The Year award and they’ve just announced their winners for 2009. No, Saab does not feature anywhere here, but I thought I’d cover this out of curiosity and as an extension to my comments about over-capacity and diversity from earlier today.
Here are the various categories and winners:

  • Drive Car of the Year: VW Golf 118TSI
  • Small car under $20,000: Ford Fiesta
  • Small car over $20,000: VW Golf 118TSI
  • Medium car: Mazda6 Classic
  • Large car: Nissan Maxima 250 ST-L
  • Convertible: Porsche Boxster
  • People-mover: Honda Odyssey
  • 4WD: Land Rover Discovery
  • Performance car under $60,000: Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • Performance car over $60,000: BMW 135i
  • Luxury car under $60,000: Volkswagen Passat
  • Luxury car over $60,000: Jaguar XF
  • SUV under $40,000: Subaru Outback
  • SUV over $40,000: Volvo XC60
  • Utility: Holden Commodore SS ute

Now bear in mind as you read this list that Toyota are – by a large margin – the #1 seller here in Australia. Holden and Ford take up the next two spots.
And yet despite those three having the top three sales numbers for the last few decades, they only manage two awards between them. And neither of those awards were won by Toyota, the #1 seller.
The other curiosity here is that the vast majority of awards were won by European manufacturers. Only four of the awards came from Asian based companies and none of those companies took home more than one award.
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These awards are just the thoughts of the motoring press at DRIVE. But they do go some way to showing the strengths of various companies and the diversity of what’s out there on offer.
And this is the parallel I’d like to draw with my argument against killing Saab off merely because of over-capacity in the market place.
Toyota show that having a variety of affordable and reliable vehicles can mean a lot in terms of sales, but this is just one small pointer towards the main thing everyone knows about Toyota – that they are far from aspirational or inspirational.
There are plenty of car buyers out there who want more than just adequate transportation and in a world market place of XX million vehicles per year, there’s definitely room for Saab to make 100,000 to 150,000 of those vehicles – as long as they’re good.
If the world’s manufacturing capacity has to shrink a little, I’d much rather see it shrink from the bloated volumes that companies like Toyota (lexus), Hyundai, Ford and GM put out into the market. Not from interesting marques like Saab, Jaguar and Porsche.
Just a thought.

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by Swade

Intellichoice credit Saab CPO program – again!

November 16, 2009 in News

A few years ago, we were all quite impressed when Intellichoice names Saab’s CPO program in the Top 10 of pre-owned vehicle programs in the US.
This year, they’ve placed a little better then the Top 10. Try being in the Top 2!!
Saab placed second after Volvo (who also won back in 2007) in the Luxury category of the Intellichoice awards. They also scored another award, noted below.
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Luxury Brand
Overall Winner: Volvo
Best Warranty: Porsche
100% Inspection Score: Audi, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo
Strongest Brand Value: Saab
Rankings:
1. Volvo
2. Saab
3. Cadillac
4. Jaguar
5. Hummer, Audi, Lincoln (tie)
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CPO programs have been all the more important this year as new car sales of all brands (except Hyundai and Subaru, perhaps) have plummeted. Used car prices have risen as a result, so to be able to offer greater value for the dollar by way of an excellent CPO program has likely been a great bonus.
Details about Saab’s CPO program in the US:

  • 6 years/100,000-Mile Certified Pre-Owned Limited warranty1
  • $0 Deductible
  • Fully Transferable (No charge)
  • 117-Point Inspection and Reconditioning process by our trained technicians
  • 24 Hour Roadside Assistance2
  • Courtesy Transportation3
  • A clean Vehicle History Report on every vehicle
  • 24 Hour Customer Assistance Hotline
  • OnStar® digitally-equipped vehicles are eligible for three trial months of OnStar4 Safe & Sound service plus 30 minutes of Hands-Free Calling5 good for two months
  • XM6 equipped vehicles come with three trial months7 of the XM Everything Package. Get over 170 channels, including commercial-free music plus the best sports, news, talk and entertainment

The big question, of course, is whether there’ll be a CPO program after Saab’s sale to Koenigsegg Group.