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by Swade

Impulse buying the new Saab 9-5

October 11, 2010 in Saabology

It’s a weekend for good Saab stories. First Virginia’s 9-5, then the 120g/km Saab 9-3 TTiD story, and now this.

A friend of mine, one of the mad Dutchies, sent this story over from the Dutch Saabforum. I thought it was so good I just had to share it here.

The visitor to the forum wrote as follows:

OOPS!

My name is Paul, I am 61 years old and have been 39 years married with my wife, Hetty. I live in ‘s-Gravenzande (a small village near the coast, just west of Rotterdam) and recently recieved a newsletter from a local Saab dealer, which mentioned the new 9-5.

From the picture it looked futuristic. I had to run an errand in the neighbourhood and decided just to have a look! There wasn’t any pressure, but I let myself be seduced into getting a quote for the Linear with an Exclusive package.

Another day, I had a second look and finally I left the showroom with an order for an Aero, Exclusive package and full leather interior.

What a beautiful and fine riding car!!

This wasn’t my first Saab. A long time ago I bought the first 900i, a 900 Turbo, a 9000 and just before the takeover the last 900 Turbo, the black only model. After that car (or the takeover) I lost interest in Saab and drove other brands.

This new 9-5 brings me back to Saab and I’m convinced I made a good choice!!

Greetings from ‘s-Gravenzande.

Buyers are out there. You know what they about what happens once someone test drives a Saab – they usually buy a Saab.

Many here will talk down one aspect of the 9-5 or another, but we’re enthusiasts and we have a tendency to nitpick the details. Whilst that’s OK (to an extent), one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the Saab 9-5 is one cracker of a good car. It’s not going to be for everybody, but it’s one impressive unit and no-one should be surprised at hearing stories like this.

Paul – you made me smile, my friend. Enjoy your new ride.

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by Swade

Saab GB sales data – September 2010 (and some smaller markets, too)

October 6, 2010 in News

Sales figures for Great Britain are out in the open and on the surface, it looks like a good month for Saab GB.

Saab sales totalled 1,212 vehicles, which was up 10.89% on the sales in the same month last year (1,093 sales).

Sales for the year to date are still down by 37% compared to last year (4,177 vs 6,656).

This looks like a great result and in many respects, it is. We’ve already been told in comments, however, that these figures included an undiclosed number of pre-registrations, which means dealers making vehicles look like they’re sold, when in fact they aren’t.

Note, the number is undisclosed. Note also, that there were most likely some pre-reg vehicles in last year’s September figures as well, so this year’s rise could well be a genuine rise as the figures suggest.

——

Other markets are still struggling. Really struggling. September sales were as follows in smaller markets:

Germany: 59 vehicles (vs 70 last year)

Holland: 35 vehicles (vs 23 last year)

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by Swade

Stolen Saab 9-5 – recovered!

October 1, 2010 in News

Back at the start of September, a guy took a “test drive” of a Saab 9-5 from a dealership in the Netherlands and conveniently forgot to return it. We had a stolen Saab 9-5 on our collective hands.

Alerts online here and amongst the Dutch Saab community proved fruitless, unfortunately, but there has been a happy ending to the story.

I received this late last night from some of my Mad Dutchie mates:

Just received word…… the nicked 9-5 is alive and well. It was found at a camp site in Italy, where the idiot who “borrowed” it was having a camping holiday with his family.

They were there “to pick olives” it seems. The campsite owner got suspicious due to the somewhat strange stories of the “test driver”. He started looking on the Internet and found the story of the stolen 9-5.

It has since been retrieved by the Italian police.

It seems there’s been some sort of screw-up, though, in that the culprit has been released onto the streets again. No-one’s quite sure why. The most common explanation I received through several emails about this is that it’s a “%$^# up by a very slow Dutch justice system”.

The car is currently being returned to the dealership, which is encouraging. It could have been torched, smashed or the like, I guess.

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by Swade

Monday Night Snippets – Juddy Edition!!!

September 21, 2010 in Saabology

Thanks for your patience today – it’s been a heck of a busy day. Heaps of work, a funeral, the re-commencement of Bootcamp and the biggest award in Australian Football – the Brownlow Medal.

Vale Jans van Goor – grandmother to one of my best friends, graceful and courageous matriarch and maker of the best Dutch almond cakes you’d ever taste.

——

Speaking of Dutchies……

Some car clubs just get together for dinner and chardonnay, others do car stuff. You need both, I guess.

Saab Club Nederland did one of those activities that makes active Saab Clubs great. They organised a testing and inspection day for members. Dutch cars, like many others in Europe, have to undergo an annual inspection. This wasn’t an official inspection. Actually, it was much tougher.

I enjoyed the Tweet about it from yesterday:

Saabclub inspection day has come and gone. Weeping men everywhere. The master technicians were relentless seeing every wrong detail.

There’s some video of it below, which you should watch if only to hear the 900 exhaust at 1:10.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxgtljmRhRE

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The guy who gave me the distinct pleasure of attending Swedish Car Day in Boston last month is Pierre Belperron. His son Pascal likes to drive cars quickly on roads where most of us would exercise quite a bit of caution – rallying.

And of course, he likes to get his rally on in a Saab.

Pascal rallying in Saab 9000

That’s Pascal racing in a hill climb in Ascutney, Vermont, last Saturday. It’s an excellent photo, which you can view in full here. He’s only just bought the car and on his first run, he completed the course a full 3 seconds faster than he’d ever achieved in the 9000 and 900 he’d raced there before.

Unfortunately, on his second run, his header pipe broke off at the turbo, and in the time it took him to get the car off the circuit and stopped, the blow-torch effect coming out of the turbo melted everything in the right front of the engine bay, including the main wiring harness.

Pascal employed a little ingenuity and rigged up a temporary harness with the hope of getting the car back home to New Hampshire. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the full 100 mile journey home, falling short of the garage by 100 feet!

Fast and clever – a winning combination.

Pascal – we hope the car’s back out there soon!

——

OK, to the Brownlow Medal. I can’t miss out on commemorating this occasion (if only just for you, Mr Bitmead!!).

The Brownlow is the highest individual honor that a player can receive in the Australian Football League. The hot favourite for the medal was a thuggish goon player named Dane Swan, from the most hated club in the country, the Collingwood Football Club.

Instead, the surprise winner – one of only 13 men in around 80 years who has won it more than once in his career – was the Captain of the magnificent Carlton Football Club – a warrior by the name of Chris Judd.

The fact that he has the most attractive girlfriend in the AFL doesn’t hurt, either.

chris-judd-10920246a

Congratulations, Juddy!!!!

I was so happy I did a SnoopyDance!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRfmzPZ3Yoc

And if that’s given you a little taste for the greatest game on the entire planet, then watch this.

Tips – a goal is kicked when the ball goes untouched through the two center posts. A ‘mark’ (what you guys would call a catch) allows a player to take a kick without the pressure of being tackled. And remember, there’s no padding on these guys :-)

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIReSJhQor0

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by Swade

Update on the stolen Saab 9-5 from Netherlands

September 4, 2010 in Saabology

Keep looking!

It may not have this plate anymore, but this is the car we’re looking for:

The backstory:

There was a Saab 9-5 stolen from a dealership in the Netherlands late last week. I’ve received some more information about the perp and what might have happened to the car. This info comes from the dealership, via one of our Dutch connections.

——

The car that was left at the garage forecourt by the thief was a French registered Renault Laguna. It’s thought that the guy who did this has been at at for a while but seems to use these cars for personal use. The Laguna had stolen plates on it. Weirdly however, the French authorities did not report the Laguna’s numberplate as stolen in one of the EU systems….. That’s probably why this chap managed to drive that Renault that long.

The dealer thinks (based on intel) that this car is still in the Netherlands, possibly with another set of French plates, or indeed would be used in France, there seems to be a connection there.

——

So please keep an eye out. If you see a Fjord Blue 9-5 in either the Netherlands or France with plates that don’t match a new car, you could be looking at our thief.

Let’s get the sucker and lock him up.

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by Swade

Video: Autoblog.nl, Victor Muller and the Saab 9-5

September 4, 2010 in Saabology

The title says it all.

Autoblog.nl talk with Victor Muller about the Saab acquisition and plans for the future. They also talk to people test driving the new Saab 9-5 to see what they think about it.

It’s great work by Autoblog.nl. There is a quick writeup (in Dutch) and a great gallery of images from the day, available here.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-3_anZjXiE

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by Swade

Saab at SAIL Amsterdam

August 23, 2010 in Saabology

Here’s a promotion I had no idea about….

SAIL Amsterdam is a festival held once every five years. Old boats come from all around the world to participate. According to the Wiki history of the event, there were around 8,000 boats at the festival back in 2000.

It’s obviously a big part of Amsterdam’s events calendar, so it’s good to hear that Saab chose to get some exposure there.

‘MillerMan’ popped along to SAIL Amsterdam and discovered that Saab had a display there, amongst the business area of the festival. They were to later take a few cars out near the water’s edge, but M-Man had headed off home by then.

Considering prices of boats and the kind of people who are interested in them, it seemed like a good place to display the Saab for potential customers.

Click to enlarge…. we have a couple of photos of the display and a few of the cars that were parked out the back.

MillerMan reports there were also a couple of Saab 9-5s out in the public parking area, too, which is very good to see.

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by Swade

Saab 9-5 launch Netherlands, arrival in UK

July 4, 2010 in News

More Saab 9-5 dealer launches were held over the weekend, this time in the Netherlands.

Photo by Nic. More here. Additional photos by Stephan. More here.

These photos were taken by several Dutch Saab nuts who attended the dealership in Tilburg, where a great crowd turned out to look over the car.

I’m told the order books were closed during the launch day, but that perhaps as many as 10 orders were received in the days leading up to the launch.

Fantastic news!

Other photos from Joep via email. Thanks!

——

The Dutch aren’t the only ones getting a look at the new 9-5.

Robin M headed down to his local dealership in Yeovil, where they unloaded this new 9-5 from the trailer over the weekend.

The UK dealer launch events are commencing later this week, on July 8.

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by Swade

Saab ad blitz in Netherlands this weekend

July 3, 2010 in News

With dealer events apparently scheduled in the Netherlands quite soon (this weekend?) and their new Saab Challenge website now live, it seems the Dutch Saab crew are planning a Shock and Awe ad blitz in one newspaper this weekend.

Dutch newspaper Adformatie says the following (Googletrans)

Saab is back. That seems to be the message of the kick-off of the new Saab campaign. All ads in the FD of Saturday, July 3 from Saab. There is no other advertiser.

FD.nl is a Dutch daily financial paper and it seems that the ad campaign has already begun, with this popup gracing the front page right now.

I hope you Saabisti in the Netherlands have a good weekend checking out the new 9-5.

Thanks to John C for the tip!

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by Swade

Saab 9-5 arriving in Netherlands

July 2, 2010 in News

The Saab 9-5s are rolling out!

These photos just arrived from a dealer in Tilburg, in the Netherlands (home of the groovy Saab Challenge website).

Looking good from the back (what a great angle!)

And for those who were wondering what the key looks like…..

More images available here.

It’s good to see these cars arriving at new dealerships. The UK dealer event will happen next week and I’m sure we’ll see some cars hitting US shores by the end of the month.

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by Swade

Thursday Snippets

July 1, 2010 in Saabology

Saab Netherlands are being a little cheeky…..

That’s a new website they’ve set up, called Saab challenges everyone. Those little squares you can see each have a different scenario in them. You click the scenario that you’d like to read and they offer a solution that most commonly involves either driving a Saab or visiting a Saab dealer.

Some examples:

Q: I am an Audi dealer
A: There’s a fair chance that your buiness will be slow the coming months. To find out why visit your SAAB dealer

Q: I drive a Volkwagen
A: That happens in the best of families. Speaking of Families, the 9-5 is the latest addition to the SAAB family

It’s all in Dutch, except for “I am the Stig”. It’s a must read for all who can. The rest of us will have to hope they do a version in English (or insert your appropriate language) soon.

UPDATE: Saab Belgium have similar concepts in both Dutch and French (and I apologise in advance if the one I’ve called Dutch is actually Flemish or something else specific to the region, but it has an “nl” callout in the URL).

Thanks to Jos for the tip.

——

Jeremy Clarkson makes a great point in a recent Top Gear column.

Simple. I wish car companies would behave a bit more like Quentin Tarantino and a bit less like Michael Bay, the slap-happy madman who foisted Armageddon on the cinema-going public.

The trouble is that, like Bay, car companies are obsessed with the big-money special effects. They think that what we want are automatic windscreen wipers and what Michael McIntyre called the “little people” in the bumpers who shriek and wail when we reverse too close to a wall…..

……I think this is an approach that should be favoured by the people behind Spyker as they wrestle with the next Saab. Since it will be bought, mainly, by architects and since architects favour a minimalist, crisp, no-nonsense approach, why not give them a modern-day incarnation of that old W123. No bells. No whistles. And please, no idiotic claims that it’s a jet fighter with an ashtray.

I don’t mean to brag, but it’s a point that I’ve made myself on the odd occasion, too.

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Saab spent $25 million on advertising in 2008 and $8 million in 2009.

Hang on. They spent $8mil in 2009???? On what?

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One of my favourite pieces of writing in 2010. Completely non-Saab related. I’ve never made claims at being a good writer, but I like to make sure it’s not difficult for people to come here and read what I’ve got to say.

Some of you have listened to me complain about bad writing every now and then. This piece attacks bad writing with a fine-tooth comb :-)

——

I don’t think I’ve ever moralised on this site about the various ways people might choose to spend their money.

But this? Commissioned by a client? Someone, please think of the starving children!!

——

I’d like to extend my apologies for the disruption caused by the new comments system yesterday. I mentioned in the post that it would be a trial system and that the trial would run for a month. I think we’ll get a fair idea of how well it works within a week, however.

It does offer some features that I really like. Comment voting, for example, whereby you can self-moderate a little. Spellchecking and smilies are good, too.

What I don’t like, however, is the admin interface I have to deal with (funny how they don’t tell you about that beforehand) and it there’s no doubt that the comments section looks a lot more cluttered than it used to. In some respects, that’s inevitable when you add more functions, but still……

Thanks again for your patience. I’ll be monitoring how well this works and will look for alternative solutions in the meantime.