Saab themselves will be holding some independence celebrations later this month. They’ve included a brief note to this effect on their Saab Media Events site, but with no details available yet. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, others are also getting together to re-enact their Saab Support Convoys from last year, and celebrate a year of independence for Saab.
This is the Saab Support Convoy image from Tolga, Norway, from last year. They had around 20 people there at that time, in 11 vehicles.
They’ve done pretty well to almost match that again this year, with eight car loads turning up to celebrate, including a few of the small town’s youngest residents:
Photos: Ola R
From Svein B, in Tolga……
Some of the Saab-people in Tolga, Norway held a little Saab Independence event on January 20th to celebrate Saab’s being on it’s own feet again.
Tolga is a little place with just 1700 inhabitans, but we still had eight cars meeting up this afternoon. At last years Save Saab event in Tolga, even more people met up with their cars.
As you can see on the pictures, some of the future Saabowners followed the meeting We had a most enjoyable evening at the nostalgia-cofee (Caltex) at the local gas-station.
Amongst the cars we had a 76′ 99 GL, two 9000 A50’s, a former embassy-owned 9000 CDE, three 9-5 estates and a 9-3 SS. Saab is the perfect car for where we live (amongst the coldest places in Norway with a long winter) and the Saab-owners here seem to be very proud of and happy with their cars, as Saab people very often tend to be.
Local media met up and wrote in the newspaper about the event.
It’s always great to see people getting together in different places around the world and I think we might see a bit more of that in February as Saab’s first Independence Day comes around.
Radulf Jetter runs Soonteam, a corporate culture and design business in Germany.
He’s also a big Saab supporter, working with local Saab dealers in his area around Münchwald. As well as SoonTeam, he also runs a Saab support effort called SoonSaab.
Radulf has sent over some brochures his company has put together recently. Click to enlarge:
The soonsaab real life ad campaign: We recently produced 7 highclass tourism catalogs with validities from one up to three years. In each of these catalogs we have integrated an independent Saab ad which leads to soonsaab.com (and soonsaab.com leads to saab.de … etc). These catalogs are published with a total print run of 150,000 copies. They contain absolutely no other third-party advertisements. One of those small steps to bring back Saab into the minds of German buyers. (Saab Germany got info in advance.)
Radulf’s support hasn’t been limited to his field of expertise…..
Each customer of Soonteam cc received a (Brekina scale model) Saab 96 as a Christmas gift and an offer for an extremely cool Saab deal: If he buys a new Saab before the end of March, he gets “Schwacke Listenpreis” (= official German pricelist of used cars) for his used car plus 5,000 Euro in addition + Soonteam work worth 500 Euro.
….and it doesn’t stop there, either. Check out the new addition to the SoonTeam driveway:
Radulf was also very connected into the RescueSaab campaign back in 2009, so this isn’t a one-off thing for him.
That’s what anyone would call going above and beyond the call.
Time for the annual “eat lamb on Australia Day” ad…… and this year, all of Europe is invited to shed it’s UnAustralianism and join us.
The Saab Independence commemoration in Dallas has been run and DONE!
There’s a great photo gallery here. Wonderful to see people getting together to celebrate.
I’ve written before on Bob Lutz’s tirades against beancounters at GM and the need to build the best product a company possibly can.
GM’s most recent products have benefitted from this approach. As much as I dislike Cadillacs, the new CTS range has received rave reviews and much of it is down to this commitment to quality of design and execution.
Autoblog have a great post from John McElroy today, talking about a secret weapon that Lutz employed in developing these cars – a group of motoring journalists.
It’s a very worthwhile read. Maybe Saab should get some British journos on the phone….
This is a great photo, dug up from some US national archives by Hemmings.
I took the car in yesterday for a quick look because there was an unexplained noise in the front end. Turned out to be just a front end brace that needed tightening and the difference it’s made with that brace properly torqued is just fantastic.
The work should be finished on Tuesday and I can’t wait!
Whilst it’s a low-key affair in 2011, Saab clubs and other groups around the world continue to gather. They celebrate the convoys they embarked on a year ago, as well as the re-birth of the brand they enjoy.
One such meeting happened in Israel last weekend, with the Saab Club there remembered last years (absolutely fantastic) convoy, as well as hearing about the future of Saab in general, and in Israel in particular.
The group was a bit smaller than last year’s convoy, but were eager to hear about the new 9-5 SportCombi and Saab’s future. All considered the anniversary an important milestone for Saab.
Great to see the Saab fans in Israel get together again (the pics from the convoy last year are really worth a look). My thanks to Oren for the update.
It’s not often that Victor Muller is upstaged in a video, but I think it’s fair to say it’s happened here. It’s in Dutch, but don’t let that stop you.
The video also features the wonderful Sofie from Saab, which is a surprise as she’s usually a behind-the-scenes type. Wonderful to see her out and about as she does so much hard work there in Belgium.
Speaking of VM, Saabworld has come across a great story about his little dinghy, which you can hire if you’ve got some spare change and want to drift around the Caribbean during the winter.
Click here for more pictures of The Highlander (there can be only one VM, right).
And whilst we’re covering VM and extravagant things, let’s move sideways to Spyker. It seems the rumours were true: they’re ditching the Audi powerplant for a 6.2litre LS9 engine out of the Corvette for the C8 Aileron Spyder.
Grunty, with craftsmanship.
Congratulations to Till72, another one of our regulars here at SU, who’ll be off to the Ice Hotel at Saab Germany’s invitation for the Saab Ice Experience.
Rumour has it that another occasional SU contributor might be heading up there, too.
Add those to Sappy who won a trip from SaabGB last week and it’s going to be a regular SU party up there!
Saab Support Convoys started in earnest on Sunday, January 17th. I’m sure anyone who participated in one of these gatherings can remember the incredible feeling of solidarity that existed that day and in the weeks that followed.
I thought it appropriate to take a quick look at how it all happened.
Early December, 2009 – a couple of Dutch Saab fans have the idea of holding a Saab Support Convoy in January. At that time, everyone thought that Saab’s fate would have been determined by mid-January. This event was going to be either a celebration of Saab’s sale, or a wake to remember a great company gone too soon. No-one thought Saab’s fate would still be in the balance.
18 December, 2009 – GM cut off all negotiations with Spyker, saying they’ll wind Saab up. Spyker refuse to accept this and revise their offer, removing all the obstacles that GM had identified as being in the way. We all spend Christmas waiting and wondering and the number of prospective convoys continues to grow.
5 January 2010 – With a GM Board meeting due on the 7th (and a decision expected on Saab’s fate at that time), Ryan from Saabhistory.com questioned why people were waiting until the 17th to show their support. Jalopnik.com picked up on this and before you could say “Damn it’s cold in Detroit in January” the first Saab Support Convoy is held in Detroit on the 5th with Ryan leading the gathering, just down the street from GM’s headquarters. With around 28 cars and a few more people in attendance, it’s a small convoy but the effect is significant. A number of big news services cover the story and imagery of Saab people waving signs at GM’s offices. Seeing the effect that a convoy can have inspires others to set up gatherings of their own and the growth
17th January 2010 – D-Day for Saab Support Convoys around the world – and I think it was bigger than anyone actually envisaged.
If I recall correctly, the Dutchies thought their initial plans would attract between 150-200 cars. Those plans had to be altered several times as the campaign gathered momentum and they ended up with an estimated 800 cars at the actual event.
An estimated 2,000 cars came to Trollhattan and the ceremonial drive from the Museum to the Factory ended up as a continuous line of Saabs linking one to the other.
Convoys were being held in places where I didn’t even know an organised Saab following existed. Places like Taiwan and Malaysia stunned us all with their passion for the brand. St Petersburg stunned us all with the beauty of the images that came from their gathering. Poland stunned us all by the size of their gathering and heartfelt warmth of their people.
It was amazing. I was here at home manning the computer as emails and images came pouring in from all around the world. It’s no over-statement to say I couldn’t keep up.
From the records kept on the Saab Campaigns site set up at the time, Saab Support Convoys were held in the following places that first weekend:
Bulgaria, Brisbane, Kansas City, Vienna, Linz, Stockholm, Taiwan, Frankfurt, Brno, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Beijing, Vilnius, Melbourne, Italy, Hungary, Belarus, St Petersburg, Slovakia, Netherlands, Southern California, New Mexico, Prague, Brookline MA, Helsinki, Adelaide, Shanghai, Moscow, Trollhattan, Atlanta, Warsaw, Lodz, Poznan, Montreal, UK, Ningbo (China), Ekaterinburg, Bodoe, Tolga, Sandes, Kristiansand, Malaysia, Denmark, Umea, Paris, Denver, Toronto, Singapore.
Apologies if I’ve missed anyone but the dates get a little confusing after that.
All of those convoys in one day with a bunch more in the following weeks. An amazing show of support and it generated plenty of news coverage for Saab, which developed into one of the objectives of the excercise: make sure GM couldn’t get away from the spotlight surrounding the sale of Saab.
To those who participated in these convoys, as well as the ones that followed, I’m quite sure that Saab is grateful. I hope you have fond memories of the days you spent fighting for this company together with your fellow Saab enthusiasts.
And to Saab and the Saab dealers out there, I hope you remember what you nearly lost and continue to build and service cars for the people who stood up for you.