I’ve had quite a few people emailing me about the floods, some asking if we’re OK.
We are absolutely OK. Australia’s a big place and whilst there has been a lot of rain here in Tasmania and some flooding in the north of the state, there’s nothing at all that effects us here in the south. Thanks to all for your concern.
Of course, the big floods are in Queensland, the northernmost state on the east coast of Australia. We’ve all been glued to our TV’s here and there has been plenty to see, around 95% of it quite tragic.
Image from Grantham, the town probably worst hit by the floods, which claimed houses, vehicles and lives in just minutes.
Everyone in southern Australia knows someone who’s moved to Queensland in the last 10 years or so, quite a few of them to Brisbane. We all feel like we’ve got someone involved in this in some way.
If you’ve never seen how a flash flood progresses, watch this video from Toowoomba, which was hit without warning by a flash flood earlier this week (much of this is the water that’s effecting Brisbane now). Amazing.
Personally speaking, one of my good friends will have to find somewhere else to live. Her house (a rental, so it’s not hers to rebuild) was overcome very early in the Brisbane flood. Thankfully, she got most of her stuff out and of course, the best news is that she’s safe.
I have a few semi-regular Saab contacts up there, as well, one of whom (Simon L) owns a Saab 99 Turbo that I used to own. Simon lives on high ground and was never in any trouble from the water.
Some of you might be familiar with a bloke named AussieLars, who comments here occasionally. Lars got his Viggen on to high ground before the water came, but there was some concern about the Saab 96 V4 that’s he had stripped and part-way through restoration. Obviously, it wasn’t as portable as the Viggen and time was very short.
As it happens, the water level wasn’t quite as high as people feared and for Lars, that means that the 96 will just need some mild cleanup. Nothing too major. He and Mrs AussieLars will be just fine, which is great to hear.
There are plenty of harrowing stories, however, the most striking and heartbreaking of which is probably that of Jordan Rice and his mother, Donna. Click here.
If you feel moved to support flood victims, many of whom will not be covered by insurance because of their proximity to the river (and because insurers can be bastards sometimes), then I invite you to donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal, the primary fundraising effort run by the Queensland government.
Again, thanks for your concern, not just personally, but for all the people in Queensland who have done it so tough in the last few weeks.
On to some more Saab-specific things……
Beijing Automotive, who were looking to buy Saab back in 2009 but settled for $200m worth of older-generation tooling, are trialling 30 electric cars with the local government in Beijing.
A number of them are based on the Saab 9-3.
Beijing Auto has started production of electric ‘Saab’ 9-3’s. The car is called Q60FB and is part of a trial project for electric cars with the Beijing city government. They will make 30 cars in total, including a number of electric BC301Z’s, called the C30DB and a number of electric minivans called MR30DB.
The full story is over at thetycho.com.
BAIC were always pretty serious about doing electric vehicles and using the Saab tooling they bought as part of the project. It’s good to see them progressing on this and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that they’ve used Saab’s bodies instead of their own for such a project.
I wrote about a new Saab dealership popping up in Seattle a few months ago, but they weren’t online at the time.
It’s good to see Saab of Bellevue are now up and running.
The Saab 9-5 won a Car of the Year vote in Finland, and I’m pretty sure SU had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Not sounding surprised there, just happy. The Finns love their Saabs, as they should