This is the second entry in a short series focused on remembering December 18, 2009. That was the day that Saab nearly died, with GM vowing to close the company.
Of course, that didn’t happen, but it’s worthwhile to share a few thoughts about what happened.
This second entry is from Till72, from Germany. The third (and final) entry will be published tomorrow – you don’t want to miss it.
Thanks to Till for sending this through.
Dec. 18th 2009
Do you remember? I’m pretty sure you do. To me it’s one of the moments I can even remember what I did the moment the news popped up. I was talking to my dealer on the phone about that 9-3x he had in stock and as I read that “wind down” stuff in a mixture of stubbornness and fear that it might be my last new Saab I told him that I’d take the car. But most of you know that story.
Deep inside I and many, if not most, of us never lost the faith that Saab was worth saving. And we showed that. In many many posts here at SU, in some 70 convoys, in the “I-won’t-buy-from-GM“ campaign…
If I should name the good part of these dark times I’d say it’s from a very personal point of view that I discovered how big my love for Saab really is. And on a broader range the fact that the community got even closer together and with help from Steven at SU central managed to get those events together. And that SU and the fans played quite a role in the successful sales process has been openly admitted by Victor.
So we have proven that Saab has definetely the most loyal following in the automotive industry and we have been rewarded by Spyker’s aquisition of Saab in February. In those ten months of hard work Saab have made many archievements. I won’t list the all again as Steven did that before.
Sure there are also some issues like sales organizations in some markets, the lack of a performance model, the 9-4x launch without a diesel…
Not ideal. But the best you can do with the existing product and limited financial ressources. Dreams are ok, but right now reality counts. Saab just can’t spent a buck on something that doesn’t bring at least three bucks in return.
Saab just can’t please everyone. They never could and they never will. In reality, no-one can. But if you always wait for your personal perfect Saab to come along you may have to wait eternally. If I read the comments on some of Steve’s posts I could get the impression that Saab have a disasterous lineup with absolutely no highlights. And that’s just not the case. We have a brand new 9-5 and 9-4x and a 9-3 that admittedly is a few years old, but still is not old fashioned.
We’re just on the first anniversary of the extinction day. Not even the first anniversary of independence day. A year ago many of us would have sold a kidney for being able to buy anything with four wheels and a Saab badge on the hood in 2010. From that point of view many of our complaints seem to be out of range.
Sure we have the right and maybe even the duty to take a critical look at things. But always keep in mind that independent Saab has just begun and a lot of time in the recent ten months had to be spent on internal organisation issues due to the carve out from GM we don’t even see from outside.
Saab survived the the end of the hatchback, 20 years of GM ownership, even the announcement of a wind-down process. So don’t call Saab doomed because they lack some colors or engine choices. The only thing that could doom Saab is if that loyal following stops believing. And I, personally, hope that will never happen.
That we are very eager to see Saab develop is surely an expression of our love for our quirky little car company. But we have to be patient, too. I’m pretty sure if we could take a look at the wish list of Saabs management we would find most of the things we ask for. But if we could take a look at the cashflow and regular costs we might understand why things take time.
Thanks again to Victor, Jan-Ake and all who were involved in the sales process, to Steven, and to all who rallied in the convoys and ran or supported other campaigns and all of you at SU. You rock!