Sunday Night Snippets

Remember the vote over at Jalopnik earlier this year, to get the Saab 99Turbo as a potential entry into an update pack for Forza3?

Well, the time has nearly come, and Forza3 players can get the update pack, including the 99Turbo as well as the Delorean DMC12 and a bunch of others.

The update pack will be available from Tuesday, December 14. Details over at Jalopnik (where there’s no 99T photo – boo!)


Saab have dropped their breakeven point from 130,000 cars when GM owned it to around 105,000 cars.

So reports the Detroit Free Press.

Saab are aiming at a breakeven of 85,000 cars when things get fully sorted.


Some numbers from Till, from Jan-Nov in the German market:

Volvo XC60
6723 sold, 6584 diesel, 3218 AWD

21017 sold, 17996 diesel

9385 sold, 8865 diesel

As you can see, and as has been argued exhaustively by many, the majority of potential Saab 9-4x competitors are sold with diesel engines. That’s for sure.

But there’s still room there for some ex-US 9-4x sales with no added cost to Saab’s budget.


Saab Cars North America are sponsoring a New Years Eve event in Royal Oak, the spot in Detroit in which they’re located.

Thanks Jeff!


Two Saab 9-5s have apparently caught fire in similar locations, and in similar circumstances….

Looks like it might be a dealer vehicle. I’m sure they’re investigating.


A little bit of housekeeping, if I may.

I’d like to repeat something I wrote in comments earlier today.

……please cut the “If Saab don’t do [the thing I think is important] then the company is doomed” statements. Saab are doing a million things right at the moment. The thing you think they’re doing wrong might make you wince, but please don’t condemn them for eternity for it – your pessimism can be contagious, whether it’s well founded or unfounded.

Let me add something else to that.

The thing you think they’re doing wrong? There’s probably a pretty good reason for it. Saab don’t talk about obstacles they face. They talk about their products and your item of concern – in the big-picture real-world – shouldn’t overshadow what are a great set of product offerings (and getting better).

This is Saabs United, an enthusiast website. It’s not or

Lift your eyes a little. Saab are doing everything they can.

60 thoughts on “Sunday Night Snippets”

  1. Good housekeeping call mate.
    I’m not sure it will be of much use if the new 9-5s start burning though… No matter how you try to spin that one, its bound to hurt big times. SAAB doesn’t deserve this!

    • There was some talk in comments earlier mentioning that it may relate to the setup of an engine heater. That they’ve both apparently happened in the same location has led to the hint that it might be something to do with the dealership, either setup or advice given.

      We’ll wait and see.

  2. Ooooh, that’s not good news. I would like a confirmation that it’s the SECOND time around. It would also be nice if somebody from Saab bothered to inform Swade, and thus us, of the results of the investigation

    Is/are the, pardon the pun, “Phoenix” 9-5(s) TTiDs? Perhaps Opel was onto something then when they’ve said they have “temperature issues” with the TTiD engine. This brings about the question of how much of the TTiD is a Saab, and how much an Opel (or perhaps Fiat) job. Interestingly, the “old” TTiD has not been reported to have either fire or even temperature issues that I’ve heard of.

    OTOH, it does NOT have to be a manufacturer’s issue. A dealer vehicle might have been improperly used or maintained, somebody might have fuddled the electrics on the way, or mistreated the car the other way. Either way, it would be good if Saab found a remedy, by either removing the possibility for somebody to mishandle the car that way (Audi once simply disabled unauthorized access under the hoods of the A2), retaining technicians or simply adding warnings to the owner’s manuals.

    PS. Swade, I wouldn’t go as far as to say Saab are doing everything they can. Nobody can claim that, everybody has their limitations and nobody is omniprescient to optimize their potential and choose the best possible option. This is why it is always good to be appraised, listen to constructive criticism and advice. Having said which, there sure is a lot of hard work being put into reviving Saab by thousands of people, and on the majority of fronts, the results are absolutely commedable.

  3. I must say I like the info and writting from Swade but I dont generally like the comments from this site so there for I think I have a Christmas Holiday from SU. See u next year and a happy christmas!!

    • And that’s the problem I’m having, Johan. People don’t realise that their pedantry has a negative effect on others and often, the point is either ill-considered or quite minor in the overall scheme of things.

      Have a good vacation but do make sure you visit again.

      • I have to admit that even I have watched the discussions from the sideline lately, and that is partly because of the encreasingly and disturbing whining in here. That said, staying away won’t help this site to grow out of the whining so we all should try to help keeping this site staying with the blue side up and instead seek to be more active in the discussions.

        As a regular here I want this site to stay and develop further. Off course we cannot agree on everything, but being polite and somewhat verbally modest before opening up the valve will secure a healthy community. Far too many car forums are totally destroyed by people writing without thinking. We both can and should avoid that here in SU.

        Thanks for your great work, Swade, it is highly appreciated!

        I will also grab the opportunity to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

        Cheers from Norway
        Always on the longest road home when out there with my SAAB. Always!

    • If you just want to see the articles and not the comments, just subscribe to the rss feed with the little orange icon in the regbt top corner, you will get the articles delivered in your newsfeed, and don’t need to go to the side to read Swades writings, so no need to be bothered with the comments…

      • The shame of it is that there are often some very well thought out comments that would be missed. Swade still runs a very tight, informative ship here and it is a shame that so many so called Saab followers are so dedicated on always bring up the wrongs of Saab.( the wrongs In their minds anyway)

        Sure, there are some things SCNA could be doing differently. But in the end i sit back and be damn happy to even have a SCNA to think about.

        @ Johan…. If you see this… You’re not alone for taking time away from comments, I have too. Sometimes it gets to be too much, the spin, the innuendos… but please, do come back!

  4. on the plus side I’ve owned 4 Saab cars and have had one breakdown which turned out to be a voltage regulator. all up they build good cars.

  5. I would like to se the comparable numbers of those cars for the US market. How many of the ones sold in the US are diesels or not? The 9-4X is aimed at the US/CA-market at first – NOT the European.

    We all know that there will be no diesel for the 9-4X as it was planned/developed under GM and produced at a GM factory. So why complain then? We also do not know how the agreement is put into words between Spyker/Saab and GM for this car.

    And regarding the whining here sometimes.. yes – it is VERY frustrating. I’m visiting this site because I like Saab. I do not visit this site to complain about why Saab do not do one perfect dream car with all my dream-gadgets in it. Of course there will be no new “Viggen” until everything is sorted out and so on. Come on – Saab almost died less than 12 months ago.. give us a break then. You are welcome do disagree with me on this one – but do not think you will make me change my opinion on this point about what SU is.

    • I would like to se the comparable numbers of those cars for the US market. How many of the ones sold in the US are diesels or not?

      Good point.

      I’ve got an easy answer, ZERO.
      Those CUV’s are not available as Diesels in the USofA. Only the X5,Q7 and ML are offered as diesels.

  6. This site is one of a kind. And it’s developed positive during the years thanks to Swades housekeeping. I do not understand how one man (and occacionly few other) can keep the site so clean and civile. There have been moments where I have felt like Johan. But Swade have sorted it out!
    RESPECT Swade!

    Your site is well known and appreciared not only among the nuts. I hear good things elsewhere.

    • +1. And in the midst of ALL the turmoil.
      I like the honesty about this site. There is no bs or sucking up to anyone. If a new 9-5 catch fire for some reason, lets find out why and not just hide it. Brutal honesty is brutal most of the times.

  7. Generally it’s good for a company – and Saab is no different – if there’s much talk about their products and much less about their internal problems. Every company has it’s own set of problems, but from what I hear, Saab is going the right way, making solutions, while some other car producers are getting depper into trouble (have some on my mind, but won’t mention them).

    About the products. I think Saab cars are having problem with the refference point of reviewers. It’s difficult to write something very negative about any of the big german 3. Everyone knows they are the best in every aspect. Give that a second thought and everyone will laugh at you. Right?

    A test made by some german reviewer years ago comes to my mind. They compared an Audi A4 (1st generation) to Volvo S60 (new back then). Much has been said about how little passangers space the later one offered on the back seats, but nothing about Audi on that matter. I needed a few years to get a chance to experience the back bench of that very Audi model. Less space than VW Polo. Same with the 2nd generation. Useless to me.

    Another example. A 9-5 is a rebaged La Crosse / Insignia? I hear they share about 30% of parts. Haven’t tried it for myself, but people who did generally say a 9-5 doesn’t drive like any of the mentioned. Reading the press, by now I have a strong feeling these comparisons are ill-intensioned. How come noone asks how similar Touareg and Cayenne (Volkswagen = people’s car and Porsche) are? Or an A4 and Seat exeo. I wonder how many parts are shared between Audi and Skoda. Doesn’t seem to bother anyone.

    I think Saab are doing everything to raise their brand, but 9-5 and 9-4X are a legacy of GM era. There was nothing to be done about that. But they are also a legacy of a new acquired understanding of Saab in GM just before it went down the drain with the later one. I’m sure these are great cars and that Saab can only get better with the new 9-3.

    Saab is set on building solid, safe, practical and intelligent cars. It will take some time before people re-recognize that. But the future is bright, I’m not worried.

    • So true about the Audi – Skoda connections and so on.

      And yes, the 9-5 and 9-4X are a legacy from the GM era. And a good legacy – not to forget!

  8. “How come noone asks how similar Touareg and Cayenne (Volkswagen = people’s car and Porsche) are? Or an A4 and Seat exeo. I wonder how many parts are shared between Audi and Skoda. Doesn’t seem to bother anyone.”

    Amen indeed. You’ve hit the nail here; this is the biggest single issue Saab has in my humble opinion. How do I put it now? There is a.. an attitude, or a repeat pattern that runs through much of the reporting on Saab, a vicious circle one might say?

    There is much to be done, and I think SU readers can do a lot just by being acvtive on the net.

    However, never should one let a good crisis go to waste. This situation can be completely turned around, and the mass of negativity can serve as giving a boost to a fascinating story about a revival of a legendary brand, a phoenix from the ashes 🙂

  9. I agree with you, Swade. While it’s very easy for us to condemn Saab for not doing something, we don’t have full information. Saab has competent people, and if it was a really simple solution to that problem, they would have addressed it in no time. As most of us commentors here are industry outsiders, we don’t know all the reasons for why Saab hasn’t done this or that. I’m sure they are doing their best with the funds that are available.

    Regarding the 9-5s catching fire, I really hope this is easily fixed. This would be the last thing Saab needs right now.

  10. Dear Saab enthusiasts,
    I can not imagine buying a company that’s near death… from a corporation (GM) that essentially had been killing it for that last 10+ years. If I were the boss, I can think of a million things I’d need to being doing in the next 12 months. Many of the concerns mentioned in the comments section would be so far down that list.
    My local dealership recently closed its doors after 20+ years. The closest Saab shop is nearly 2400 miles away. Diesel is fine and all (I’d never own one) but when you can’t buy a Saab because no one is selling them… that’s a problem!

    Let’s please keep it positive. I’ll start by saying I just bought my 9th Saab. It’s a 1991 900 4 door. I haven’t had a 4dr since my first Saab, a 1982 900 Turbo. I love it. It brings back a lot of good memories.

    Here’s hoping for a prosperous new year for Saab.

    Happy Holidays everyone!


  11. Well, I must say that I agree in most of the cases with Swade and so it is here. It is also always easier to critizise something than to do something about it. By the way, I did the outmost I could: I ordered a new Saab 9-3 ttid SportCombi on Friday afternoon. Until Wednesday I will just have to make up my mind whether I shall include the “Xenonx/Leather”-premiumpackage or not.

    • Congratulations to the soon-to-be-delivered new car! Which color and rims did you pick? And of course you will ad the premiumpackage. Just get as much out of it when you buy it.. otherwise you might regret it afterwards and then it is too late.

      • Dear Carl-Henrik
        Thx! I was first thinking about Swade’s Java brown colour but I realized that I love also the arctic-white; the Swedish flag does also look much better on the white body work :-). Included are 17” alloy wheels. My dealer estimated a delivery time of 8 weeks but we agreed that the car will be delivered to me on April 5th which will be my 40th birthday…

    • Björn, I am a big fan of xenon lights. Every little bit helps in the dark! 🙂

      Also consider the xenons that can swivel from side to side.

      Congratulations on your new ride! I hope it arrives soon.

    • That’s awesome, Björn. Congratulations on the purchase.

      And thanks to all for your understanding and support. It’s been a tough few weeks but the future is definitely bright (and the present’s pretty darn good, too).

    • Congratulations!

      Xenons really help in the dark months of the year, and I don’t think you’ll regret including them if you do decide to do so!

    • Great Björn! Saab needs people like you who buy a current Saab in stead of whining about the perfect car that will never come.

      Get the xenon if you can afford it. Saab’s xenon lights are among the best on the market and will help you spot the moose before it’s too late!

    • Congratulations, as a 93 SC TTiD owner I can only approve you decision. I’d get the xenon lights, if possible, they do make a difference.

  12. Remember when Ferrari’s 458 Italia started catching fire this spring….I think Saab should treat this the same way they did…. Ferrari claimed it was a “thermal incident” not a fire… 😉

  13. Were they not having issues with the Cadillac SRX engines or just GM motors in general “not very tuner friendly”? We all cringe when we think of the kind of engines put in our SAABs, those engines were not ment to compete with anything in GMs line up, You can defend SAAB all you want but you know those motors are Complete garbage….Sabatoge IMHO, GM does not want to see SAAB make it….thus Another good reason SAAB must develop there own engines. I do not mind BMW engines for the short term and would like to lease one. There was nothing wrong with the B series H engines produced by SAAB! Work with what you know and what is good. I want more than anything to see SAAB and VM make it! They deserve it after years of neglect.
    Another point is that the advertising campaign shown here in the US is beyond weak. Seeing a moose eat some leaves then crap on the ground and then show a lady throw a paper plane and some guy hit his head on a light bulb does not make ANYONE want to get in a SAAB! That is the only commercial shown in abundance, Sorry, Needs to be more aggressive, I Want to see SAABs not general ideas and thinking put on media….it’s community college material at best! I really dislike GM but learn from the nurburgring CTS-V commercial……People want to buy those! I have very High hopes for the new 93! As I said before if there is to be a new Viggen it must compete with RS-4 AMG and M3 Absolutly Nothing less! as the old Viggen competed with those cars Road and track “rare breed” 2001
    I want to be proud of SAAB, we all do.

  14. I’ve had my fair share of negative comments myself. Its easy to be pessimistic and cynical about the world. So in the spirit of Christmas, here is what I am thankful for:

    – So many people noticing how truly special and iconic SAAB is.
    – The innovative spirit and resiliance of the employees of SAAB to get things up and running.
    – The dealers that have stuck by SAAB when it seemed there was little hope.
    – Each new person that discovers joys of a new SAAB and shares there experience with others.
    – The new 9-5, the new innovations, and stunning yet simply designed choice it has brought to the marketplace.
    – This community that is welcoming no matter what the conversation and is looking for ways to address shortcomings.

    And finally for Swade for being probably the single most person responsible for making me want to go out and buy a SAAB!

  15. Swade,

    I just read through the comments that I think you are referring to. The lack of diesel in the 9-4X issue is now playing like a broken record, as are a few other topics which I’ve probably whined about too (website etc.). I know you always do your best to explain the situation, often replying to comments – to myself included – and will often follow up with a new post to explain further.

    While I usually take a break from this site at weekends etc., I realise that it must be a 24/7 thing for you – so if I’m seeing things like a broken record, it must be infinitely worse for you! So, with that in mind, to save yourself the time and effort when replying to people’s comments, I wonder should you have a prominent section on the site that deals with the topics or questions that keep coming up. A sort of reference point.

    You could call them, “Why doesn’t Saab have a diesel engine in the 9-4X?”, or “Why does SaabUSA not have a better website?”, or “Why did Saab sell x amount of cars in 2010?” etc. etc. It would literally be a reference point for us all – and if someone writes something in comments that has been discussed umpteen times, you or indeed any of us could simply tell them to read the appropriate section, which might give that person something to think about. You could update these sections every now and then to keep them up to date.

    I spoke to the Volvo MD of Ireland back in 2008, and he explained to me a lot of the things that you talk about. Even the tiniest detail of a car can mean hours and hours of meetings and designs etc. At the time he was referring to a tiny lip beside the electric window switch of the Volvo S80 that was there to prevent small children from stepping on the switch. Now, if a tiny plastic thing like that can take so long to decide, it’s fair to say that an entire engine installation is going to take a while, too – and that’s before whatever agreements are/might be in place between Saab and its partners, be it GM or someone else. I’m sure there’s a lot of red tape.

    Anyway, that’s just an idea. I would find it useful, perhaps if I’ve missed something, I would save myself from asking a question or making a comment. So, having written a section once you could save yourself a lot of time and effort having to give everyone a bespoke answer for something that has been talked to death already.

    To those who are saying that they are going to take a break from the site, I think that’s a shame. Personally I think the more the merrier. I know I’ve been offended before, and have probably accidently caused offence to others. But it’s just the internet, and there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t agree. I don’t think anyone here has any ‘agenda’ against Saab, it’s just that everyone is different and what I might see as helpful, others will see as patronising or perhaps just plain wrong – like this post for example!!!

    Oh well! Thanks for the site, I really enjoy it. 🙂

  16. SAAB needs to pay great attention on how they handle this. Volvo got some beating a few years back due to burning cars but I am not sure how it affected the sales.

    If this reaches the main stream media SAAB will must handle this in a better way than how they “handled” the oil-sludge issue with the 9-5!

  17. I do not understand, can´t we criticize Saab anymore on this blog?

    We know that people at Saab read this blog, and I would not be surprised if they also become influenced by our criticism. I would also like to say that the criticism which we have mentioned are balanced and usually have a suggested solution.
    And thats a good thing, i think!

    • Muppen,

      People can still critique things about Saab here. That’s fine. But it also has to make sense. It has to be rational. Lately, people have been more and more irrational. The case I’ve highlighted in this post – Saab must [do the thing I think is important] or they are doomed – has been coming up more and more lately and it’s just wrong, irrational and in some cases, downright crazy.

      As a site publisher and Saab enthusiast, I get concerned about people who visit here for the first time. What are they going to think about a whole comments section based around criticism? They’re going to think that either the company or the car has nothing going for it, which isn’t true whatsoever.

      This is a great company with a history that I love and a future that I want to see blossom. 50 comments about how people are unhappy about door handles (not a real example, but not completely atypical of what happens sometimes) aren’t a real reflection about what’s going on there.

      I just want to see some balance and perspective restored to the site.

      • There’s a pretty well-defined line between irrational and rational criticism.
        In proportion to what people really know, it’s all a charade sometimes.

        Saab’s management are doing their best.

        (Now let’s hear some more about those burning vehicles)

  18. Some news from Saab Ireland – extended line up now with petrol cars:
    NEW 9-5 SALOON

    Linear 2.0 TID €36,500
    Vector 2.0 TID €39,500
    Linear 2.0 TTID (190) €40,500
    Vector 2.0 TTID (190) €43,500
    Aero 1.9 TTID (190) €48,770

    Linear 2.0 TID €39,300
    Vector 2.0 TID €42,300

    Linear 2.0 T (220) €42,000
    Vector 2.0T (220) €45,000

    Linear 2.0 T (220) €44,800
    Vector 2.0 T (220) €47,800

  19. I’d just like to apologize. I’ve made several comments here, and so far they have been predominantly negative. But obviously, if I didn’t believe in the cars’ true positive merits, I would not be posting here at all. My concerns are largely to do with my own, personal, local dealership experiences. Which are a reflection on those dealerships, and them alone. I’m sure there are better ones out there (heck, some of you work for them). I lament the fact that they are not closer.

    I think the cars are fantastic. I have yet to drive a Saab that doesn’t amaze me. I even admire the 92x. Heck, there’s one in my driveway. And that’s just a slightly re-engineered Subaru. But what little Saab engineers did to it was good – no – amazing. I have a 92x, my neighbour has an identical model Imprezza. My car is clearly more attractive than his. And quieter to ride in. A fact I rub in every chance I get. 😉

    My 2007 9-3 is *amazing*. I love it. Whether it’s a “true” Saab or not. It has been nothing but enjoyable, and this week I got my first taste of how wonderfully stable it is on (deeply!) snow drifted highways. Leaps and bounds better than any other car I have owned.

    In short, I have no lack of faith in the product whatsoever. It has drawn compliments from colleagues of mine, who usually consider anything other than large trucks or SUV’s as pointless, or “toy cars”. I have my father convinced to at least visit the Saab dealership before his next vehicle purchase. And if I could afford it, I would immediately buy a new 9-5.

    If Saab can straighten out it’s perception in the media (and I have faith in their ability to do this as well), I imagine they will live to fight many more days.

      • Unfortunately, I don’t think they’d be interested. When I say trucks, I mean ridiculously impractical, almost comical trucks, like this. Unfortunately, being a tradesman outside the city, I work with a lot of farmers/hunters/rednecks. (Please do not count me amongst them by affiliation).

        But, that makes their admiration of my ‘ride’ all the more impressive, if you ask me. These are not people who normally like any sort of car. Unless it races in Daytona, or is an American muscle car.

        • Do not worry, I will not count you in amongst them.. and yes it is impressive that they like your ride then. Keep it up.. even the highest mountain can be climbed.. 😉

    • Re: Forza 3, have they gotten the physics right? Does the 99 feel and handle like a FWD car?

      (I’m just curious — I don’t even own a XBOX)

  20. Has anyone seen the Forza 3 upgrade with the 99 Turbo?
    I have tried to find it through the x-box connected to the net.
    SUHRT needs to practice!!!!

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