SU on AOL on Saab

Occasionally, things move in such a way that you don’t notice that your relationship to them has become stale. That your views on them, whilst still valid in some quaint, old fashioned way, have now become – well – irrelevant.

Take my views on music, for example. I still hold on to that old-fashioned notion that artists should be paid for the music they produce when people acquire that music for playing on their personal music players. The emergence of digital has challenged that old-fashioned notion quite a bit in recent years. People passed music around to one another as if it were theirs to give and whilst the system is righting itself to some degree now, there will be a whole generation of artists who never got paid, never really got supported and thus, never got the chance to develop properly.

But those are just my views. You can take them or leave them.

Last night, I saw this piece on AOL motors. It contains the views of one William Jeanes on the continuing existence of Saab and the seemingly obsessive nature of we “quirkophiles” who were either once connected to it, or continue to follow the brand.

I saw the article, but I didn’t cover it last night. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to make of it. Now that I’ve read it again this morning, I’m inclined to tell Mr Jeanes to get stuffed.

I find his views to be patronising, short-sighted and dismissive. Like my views on music, he seems to be adhering to an old-fashioned notion….. that soooooooo-2009 view that the only way you can run a car company is to make millions of the same thing, homogenising every element so as to ensure the one thing that keeps the world turning – a profit.

The larger world, save for the aforementioned Swedish workforce, will not care greatly whether future newspaper editors can write, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Saab (or Volvo)”,

Mr Jeanes – we tend to think they should care. We tend to think that someone daring to do things differently is an important thing that should be applauded rather than mocked. We tend to think that the great melting pot of big business has a tendency to suck the personality out of the car business and if there’s one thing modern cars could use a bit more of – it’s personality.

Perhaps you’d care more if the only thing available to drive was a Hybrid Camry. That’s the way things are going, you know. Maybe you just won’t realise it until the interesting cars and interesting companies are actually gone?

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