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by RobinM

Swedish Day number 6 in the UK, this Sunday.

May 11, 2013 in Events, Fan Stuff

sdlogosu

Swedish Day in the UK has arrived again, and tomorrow for around six hours there will be a gathering of nearly 200 vehicles who have their routes in Swedish. Take a look at the Swedish Day website for more details.

Over 60% of them will be Saab with Volvo catching up fast, but this year we have around 14 Swedish Trucks coming along as well, both Scania and Volvo. Sadly no Koenigseggs have been in touch, but maybe one year.

Weather forcast is looking good so fingers crossed for a dry sunny show.

Many of the French and Belgium visitors are arriving in England as I type and we will all join together tonight for a meal at the local Sparkford Inn, no dout chatting until past closing time.

Everyone is welcome to take a visit and we look forward to seeing lots of visitors. A few of last years pictures are at my flickr page.

sdtrophies2013

Avatar of till72

by till72

Volvo placed a bid for parts of Saab

February 23, 2012 in News

According to SR/Ekot Volvo has placed a bid for parts of Saab. It seems like the revised bid includes more assets than the original one and is aimed at equipment and tools.

Volvo Cars will have made a bid for a large part of Saab’s bankruptcy estate, said sources of P4 West.
The bid must be extended and go beyond what it had previously been interested in.
- We have already told us that we are interested in parts of Saab. We are in close contact with the administrators, but I can not say anything about a bid. It is up to the administrators to tell about it, says Per-Ake Froberg, at Volvo’s press department.
According to P4 West’s sources, Volvo will buy all the equipment in the factory. Volvo Cars is not interested in having any production in the factory, according to a source familiar with those matters.
Instead, it is likely that the equipment will be moved to China, where Volvo and owner Geely is now building factories or equipment used in the factory in Torslanda, the source said.

Of course it may upset many here that it is Volvo who may want to ship the factory to China but please stay calm. First of all this is something that may only take effect if all parties who want to restart Saab should not get a deal done. The chance that this happens is fairly small as there are indications that some of those have a real desire to get hold of Saab as a whole. Additionally the receivers also want to find the best solution for Saab, the employees and the region. Second, it is a normal thing that any company that is in need of certain machinery shows interest in Saabs assets. This is pure business thinking, not emotional.

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by RobinM

Swedish Day UK 2011.

May 10, 2011 in News

Swedish Day UK 2011.

Swedish Day 2011 was another great success and even though the weather looked like it might be cruel to us and give us some rain, it ended up very dry, warm and sunny with a steady wind blowing through the site

As in 2010 the weekend started on Saturday evening with a successful Carvery at The Sparkford Inn. 33 Swedish Fans sat down and  enjoyed a three course meal followed by lots of chat until closing time.  Many of our friends from Europe were there sharing their love for both Saab and Volvo. Luckily for us, the English language was known by everyone. Chris Hamley, a Saab specialist from Devon, arrived with his whole garage staff and their families and almost took over the pub car park with their six cars including a 9000 Limousine and Saab Astra van.

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by Swade

Automotive innovation doesn’t come cheap

April 1, 2011 in Editorial

I moved this to the front page since it was only up for an hour until Spyker’s press releases started to fly out, including the announcement of JAJ’s retirement. It deserves some time on the front page. -Jeff

____________________________________

 

This isn’t about Saab, per se. I guess you could say it’s more of a perspective piece on the industry as a whole. As I’m about to dip my toes into this industry, I’ve found it interesting to take a wider perspective and try to understand a little more of the ‘why’ – from the company’s point of view.

This article about the Volvo C30 Electric was on Autoblog earlier today:

A trial fleet of around 400 Volvo C30 Electrics is coming, and anyone who wants one had better have an awful big piggy bank. Speaking at a media launch near Indianapolis, IN today, the president of Volvo Car Special Vehicles, Lennart Stegland, said that, while the final price for the car hasn’t been set, Volvo will not sell the EV, but instead offer the car through a three-year lease for around 1,500 Euros. Per month.

I can’t imagine the digital decibels that would reverberate through comments if this were VolvosUnited. I can picture it now – we’d all be pleased as punch in the lead up to the vehicle’s introduction and then Volvo’s PR group would drop the pricing hammer and we’d go nuts.

And I can understand why, too. That’s a bucketload of money for any car, let alone a small 4-seater with a ill-shaped hatch opening.

That figure – which translates into around US$2,200 per month, by the way – is what first got my attention. Reading further into the article got me feeling a little bit sorry for our much larger Swedish compatriots.

…..so if you stick it out for the full 36 months, you get to spend $76,674 to not buy a car. Even worse, Stegland said that Volvo will lose money on the deal. Ouch. Developing electric vehicles for mass production is more than mildly expensive.

Isn’t that just a little bit amazing?

The company does the work, brings that work to market. They have to charge megabucks just to scrape back some of the cost and despite bringing such an innovative vehicle to market, they’ll still have to take the negative publicity that goes with such a high price as well as taking a loss on the vehicles.

Electrification, despite its prominence at recent motor shows, is still a niche when it comes to actual products for market. Toyota have been the most successful with partial electrification, selling Prius hybrids for over a decade now. Despite the age of their hybrid technology and there dominant market share in the sector, the most recent information I could find suggests that they’re still making a loss on each one the Prius lost around $10K per car and has only recently started to make real money per unit sold (corrected with a more recent source).

In other words, we’ve really only got widespread availability of hybrid Toyotas because the company was massive enough and profitable enough to absorb the cost of producing them for an entire decade or so.

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by Jeff

Competition Corner: BMW 3 GT and Volvo C30e

March 25, 2011 in News

This is the first post I’ll be making in what will hopefully become a regular series. While we’re clearly a Saab blog, every now and then it’s nice to keep one eye out on what the competition is cooking up for those interested in seeing what Saab will be facing off against in the future. As relevant stories come up, you’ll hear about them and get our take on what it impact they have on Saab (or what elements were ripped off from them). For those worried that we’ll be serving more articles with Bavarian cream around here fear not, lingonberries remain the topping of choice for our coverage.

First up is what is surely the most direct competitor (or copy) BMW has ever had to the classic 900, the 3 Series GT.

Photo from leftlanenews.com

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by Red J

Tuesday Snippets by RedJ

February 23, 2011 in Saabology

Tomorrow will be an important day for Saab, not only because of the anniversary, which is already quite important on its own, but because Saab will show what they have been able to do in the first year of independence.

As Saab said in its Paris Auto show invitation:

Discover the power of independence

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Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Volvo throws down gauntlet with V60 plug-in hybrid – can Saab pick it up?

February 23, 2011 in Saabology

Around five years ago now, Saab unveiled a concept car at the Stockholm Motor Show. It was just after the Geneva Salon of 2006, and consequently it got lost in the backwash of the stunning Aero X concept.

That car was the Saab 9-3 BioPower Hybrid – a hybrid car in a Saab 9-3 Convertible body. What wasn’t known widely at the time (and still isn’t) is that that concept car was also intended to be presented as a plug-in hybrid vehicle. GM ordered the press release to be changed and it’s rumoured that the plug cover – the rear badge – was glued shut.

So….. the concept of a plugin hybrid running in concert with environmentally friendly fuel isn’t a totally foreign concept where Saab is concerned. The only thing is, they haven’t actually built one yet.

And apparently Volvo have.

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid combines rear electric motors with a regular diesel engine at the front to consume just 1.9 litres of diesel per 100km, emitting just 49g/km of CO2 when in hybrid mode.

The diesel engine produces 150kW and 440Nm and the electric motors at the back add another 50kW and 200Nm, meaning this car will have the capacity to drive ‘big’ when needed.

It also has three switchable modes – electric, hybrid and diesel, meaning it can run purely off the fuel engine, the electric engine, or a combination of the two.

The car will go on sale in 2012 (they don’t say when in 2012).

——

Saab’s 9-3 replacement vehicle will go on sale in the last quarter of 2012.

Saab’s 9-3 replacement will have a new rear-drive electric propulsion system to work in conjunction with a fossil fuel motor at the front.

Volvo have chosen an existing vehicle for their new groundbreaking drivetrain, which means they can show it now. Saab will be using an all-new vehicle, which means we won’t see it for some time.

The big question is – can Saab do something as compelling as what this Volvo seems to be? Will it offer a plug-in charging capability? Does it need to? Do Saab’s engineers have any more tricks up their sleeve? Can they bring a new dimension to the marketplace in 18 months from now?

I’m pretty sure they can, but it will be very interesting to watch.

Thanks Jeff, for the Volvtip

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

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Monday Night Snippets

November 15, 2010 in Saabology

BIG thanks to Jeff P for the LA Auto Show banner featuring at the top of the website all this week!

Outstanding stuff. I know a few people have commented on it already, so Jeff – it’s put smiles on people’s faces already……. job done!

——

This might be the final entry on SU before I hit LA, so there’s a bit of stuff to cover.

——

People and cars.

That’s what this stuff is all about. People and cars.

——

One of Finland’s former parliamentarians, Riitta Uosukainen, is doing some free promotional work for Saab after she and her husband had a collision with a moose on the weekend:

“We were driving with my husband at 17.00 (this time of the year it’s really dark outside in Finland at five O’clock), when suddenly a giant moose jumped out from the dark straight on to our car.”

The impact was so severe that Mrs. Uosukainen thanks the rugged build of the car, and thanks to that nothing bad happened to the people inside it:
“The car was totaled. If it hadn’t been a Saab we both (She and Her husband) would of been dead.”

Then she thanks all the officials who arrived to the scene and gives compliments to the Police, ambulance staff, tow-car company and the hospital. Everything worked flawlessly. “I think it’s good for everybody to know”.

The she gives a warning to all drivers out there: “It’s unbelievable how this situation could surprise us all. The way it came (the moose, translators clarification), there are no words to describe it. It’s such a noise that it felt as if it fell from the sky.”

Thanks to Pekko for the translation.

Assuming they’ll order a new 9-5 to replace the one the moose just totalled, perhaps VM could deliver it personally to keep the story rolling?

——

I had a great catch-up dinner with a couple of Sydney Saab friends this evening. OK, Richo’s moved over to the dark side, but I still sense good in him, as does Princess Lea [sic]. Brendan B was there with his Viggen convertible, too.

The other members of the Sydney Saab clan that I usually catch up with were probably sick of seeing each other’s faces as they had what looks like a great meet-and-drive event on the weekend.

I had to put two shots of the Viggen in there – because it used to be mine! It’s now owned by a guy named Wayne G, who tells me it’s purring like a cat.

Great job, NSW Saab nuts!

——

The Guardian had a short review of the Saab 9-5 over the weekend.

No urgency. Not much of huge interest there.

——

It’s interesting that Volvo’s new Chinese owners want to move into places Volvo hadn’t planned on going….

…. and then their main product development guy leaves.

Saab might be struggling onwards, but I still think we got the better deal.

——

LA – here we come!

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Reports: Something Nothing going on between Saab and Volvo

October 7, 2010 in News

It all started with a report at Dagens Industri (who’ve been eerily quiet since being told to stick their bottom lip up over their head and swallow).

The two Swedish car manufacturers may be heading for a collaboration, at least if one of them has his way.

According to DI want to Saab Automobile happy to start cooperation with Volvo Cars and it’s CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, who runs the idea. That cooperation could become a reality confirmed by Volvo Car Corporation’s communications director Olle Axelsson.

It is primarily convertible models would be the focal point for cooperation. Volvo has begun to review the company’s cabtillverkning in Uddevalla, something that can open for an interaction between Saab and Volvo in models C70 and 9-3 Cab.

Sales of the C70 has halved since the peak year of 2007 when 21 000 cars were sold and now is the production of the car stopped for five weeks. In Uddevalla, it is possible to produce 40 000 cars a year, Volvo is very keen to fill the plant with other brands in order to prevent a closure.

Sounds like a plan that’s in motion.

However, when contacted by other news agencies, things get a little muddy….

Swedish car brand Saab said on Thursday it was too early to talk about a possible co-operation with Volvo Car Corp. on producing a new model, pouring cold water on reported interest from its domestic rival.

Swedish business daily Dagens Industri had earlier reported that carmaker Volvo, recently bought by China’s Zhejiang Geely, was interested in cooperating with domestic rival Saab in softtop model cars.

The newspaper had cited Volvo spokesman Olle Axelson, who later told Reuters that Volvo had had no actual discussions with Saab over product development, though the firm was always open to discussions with other carmakers.

“Our priority number one … is China operations right now,” Axelson said.

“There are absolutely no discussions and have never been any discussions on the executive level at Volvo to cooperate around product development with Saab.”

Saab Nederland spokesman Dick Braakhekke said it was too early to talk about whether Saab and Volvo would work on a new model together.

As we all know, Saab are indeed looking for deals that will help them bring their breakeven down to around 85,000 vehicles per year. The Saab deal with BMW for engines is part of that. The deal with AAM is part of that. They give Saab the opportunity to bring new technologies to market without having to bear the full costs of investment.

It has been mentioned before that Saab may look to produce the next generation of the Saab 9-4x on the Phoenix platform, in Trollhattan. By that stage, it’ll mean production of the 9-5 (sedan and combi) as well as the full next-gen 9-3 range will be taking place in Sweden. Perhaps a new compact Saab 92 as well.

If it got to that stage, maybe some outsourcing to the Volvo/Pininfarina plant in Uddavalla would make sense. But that looks to be a long way down the road.

Thanks to Per and others for the tip!

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Monday Morning Snippets – follow-up edition

September 27, 2010 in Saabology

Here we go again. Another week, but there’s the Paris Auto Show at the end of this one.

It’ll be interesting to see what Saab have got to show (if there’s nothing we don’t already know about).

——

Tobias A has spotted some timber panelling for the new 9-5 on what I think might be the Saab Sweden website….

Saab 9-5 wood dekor

Very nice for those who like woody stuff.

——

Earlier this year, Volvo had trouble getting their demo vehicles to not hit other cars.

Now they’re having trouble getting their demo vehicles to not hit pedestrians.

In total, 12 attempts to trigger the Pedestrian Avoidance Technology resulted in three failures – two in which the system deployed too late and one, not at all. Ironically, ours was the final demonstration of the four week-long launch event, in which around 650 journalists from around the world had driven at Bob (a dummy used for the test) with what Volvo says was a 99.7 per cent success rate. It has not quantified what types of failure comprised the remaining 0.3 per cent.

It’s good technology and I’m sure Volvo will work out the bugs from this demonstration, but once again, I worry about people coming to rely on stuff like this instead of using their own skills as a driver.

——

And another follow up piece……

Last year I wrote an open letter to a young guy named Isaac S Yoder. His father is a writer with the Wall Street Journal and they’d been doing a father-son tag team series covering Isaac’s progressions through teenage life and into college life. One of those articles included machinations from the father and some excitement from the son about the purchase of a Saab 900 Convertible – this was the subject of my open letter.

Young Isaac’s had a good time in the convertible….

More than 13,000 miles and 21 states later — and after weeks of living out of it, an infestation of Africanized (killer) bees, bizarre engine noises on remote roads, dozens of long drives through the night and one blown tire — we’ve had enough adventures together that I feel like we’re more than just old friends.

…. but the potential costs are mounting and he’s considering the inevitability of having to let it go. The latest article in this saga is here at the WSJ.

With college fees mounting, I can understand the theory behind this. I’d still like to offer young Master Yoder (I couldn’t resist that one) a token suggestion: pay it forward.

Isaac, age 19, has a younger brother named Levi, age 15. I’m sure Dad would love to help young Levi maintain the car for a year or so, until he’s of an age to enjoy it just as much.

——

And a final piece of follow-up…..

Regular readers will recall Saabrobz’s personal moose test, which left his Saab 9000 in the graveyard.

Via Flickr, it looks like his story’s getting it’s happy ending just now with the acquisition of an early 9-3 Aero Coupe. Nice pickup, Saabrobz!

SaabRobz 9-3 Aero

Avatar of Swade

by Swade

Swedespeed and the Saab 9-5

August 12, 2010 in Saabology

This is just a quick one.

Swedespeed is generally concerned with Volvos, so when they write up the new Saab 9-5, there’s a fair bit of Volvo comparative work going on.

This is a good writeup and they evaluate the other Swede quite favourably and very fairly. But this bit made me giggle:

In short, the 9-5 feels a bit like every Volvo sedan. It has a lightweight feeling (but it isn’t at about 4300 pounds) of an S40, the performance of an S60, and the passenger space of an S80.

That was the V6 Aero they were driving. If they felt it was as light as an S40, then they should drive the 2.0T. They’ll feel like they’re on one of those old Husqvarna mopeds!

And if the S40 is as ‘light’ as the V6 Aero Saab, then the S80 must be like driving a barge!

btw, this isn’t to say that the V6 doesn’t drive light, it just doesn’t drive nearly as light as the 2.0T.

Thanks to Basas for the link, via comments.