Wednesday Night Snippets – 2nd Wed edition!

Two lots of snippets on the same day?

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Spiegel has a good article on Saab’s revival, which is very encouraging coming from a German publication.

“We went through hell,” Muller says of the period of negotiations with the former Saab owner General Motors. Gradually, however, business is back – at least in the first three quarters of 2010 almost 20,000 cars were sold by year end it will be about 30,000.

They also tested the Saab 9-5 recently, which they seemed to like quite a lot, aside from the 2.0T fuel consumption (remember, fuel economy is of the devil 🙂 )

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Saab should bring back the Saab Way training course.

Very interesting reading from a guy who probably write the book for it (I’m quite sure he didn’t, actually, but he’s qualified to).

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Congratulations to Jason M for picking up a new (to him) Saab 9-3 recently. Just his second Saab….

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And finally, here’s another dealer-generated advertisement, this time for a combined Saab-Spyker dealership (oh, what fun it would be!)

Note: I’ve converted it from PDF and reduced the size, so the image quality isn’t as good as the original.

40 thoughts on “Wednesday Night Snippets – 2nd Wed edition!”

  1. Lovely ad. Not that there is anything wrong with Norway and Denmark, but I would say that Saab is Swedish, not Scandinavian.

  2. “Saab should bring back the Saab Way training course.”

    Absolutely SAAB should. I attended several in Orange, Connecticut years ago (known then as “Ride & Drives”), and they made a huge difference for sales and management types, who had no familiarity with SAAB. We got to drive all the new models, and got detailed info on the line for the coming year.

    Believe it or not…it really makes a difference if sales people know what they are talking about when with a customer. 😀

    Even though I had already been a SAAB owner for over ten years the first time I attended a session, I still learned a lot more about the brand.

  3. Thanks for the post Swade and ALL THAT YOU DO! Been a lil busy lately with family and work.

    “Congrats, Jason. May you have thousands upon thousands of rewarding and carefree miles!”

    Goodwill,
    Neil
    *9-3 owner since 2008*

  4. For those of you following the ‘Rune almost driving empty’-saga, yesterday I stopped at a gas station in Norway and bought 70.4 liters of E85. The fuel tank is (still) only supposed to hold 70 liters.

    What I want for yule is a webcam installed into the gas tank, so I can see how much fuel is _really_ left. 😀

    • Rune, the capacity of your tank is only an indication, furthermore in the funnel to the tank you can always put 2-3 litres.
      And in Europe, I mean the European Union, the allowed mistake is +- 1% (0.7 litres in your case).

      BTW, does the New 9-5 show your range below 30 km? My 1999 9-3 did, but Redna doesn’t 🙁

      • DTE seems to go offline around 40-45 km I think. So no, it doesn’t show the range.

        My dealer told me the fuel warning is very conservative on BioPower models. Given the lack of E85 availability, they probably like to push us to refuel sooner.

        I thought the pump would stop before you put fuel in the funnel? (I know you can put in about a liter or so after the first stop)

        • I once managed to arrive at the gas station with 0km DTE (no risk no fun), but now it’s impossible to do so 🙁

          When the funnel starts filling the pressure in the funnel rises, and the the pistol stops, but you can still get some fuel in the funnel.

          • I can only suggest that you gdrive asap to the gas station when your display says: “Refil with fuel”
            In my 9-3 (MY2007) even if this indication is showed on the display the needle moves always a little bit from the red area when I start the engine.
            That’s why I thought last Thursday that I could make it to the gas station, which proved to be wrong, because I ran out of fuel…
            The first car that stoped to help me was (of course) another Saab (9-5 Estate). A few others stoped too (Volvo VW, Opel) BUT not an Audi nor a BMW did stop…

          • Alexandros,
            with my OG 9-3 the opposite was the case, I never managed to get 65 l (I think the tank capacity was 65l) in the tank till I went to the my dealer and asked why, and they told me, that although my DTE said 0 km I still had some Petrol in the tank just in case, but they reprogrammed my 9-3 so I could use all those 65l of petrol. After that I still managed to get the DTE value down to 0. 🙂

  5. My current workhorse is a 2001 9-3 2.2 TiD which is excellent at showing 25-30 miles left just as I run out of fuel on the motorway.

    My 9-5s have been pretty darned accurate though

    • Where have the good old times gone when a red light switched itself on next to the little gas pump symbol once the contents of the gas tank reached like the last 5 or 10 liters. My trusty old 9000 still has that oh so low tech but oh so reliable 50 km-to-your-final -destination-if-you-don’t- pump-some-fuel-into-me-soon-you-idiot indicator 😉 . I mean, what is the need for a hi-tech range-to-dead-engine measuring device when it stops measuring exactly when you have reached the critical point??? Beats me.

      Ivo

      • Going back even further Ivo, whatever was wrong with just keeping an eye on the fuel gauge and not letting it get empty 😀 It seemed to work at the time too!

        • Guess we are getting old, Talladegan 😉 . Non-appreciation of gadgets, widgets, apps and I don’t know what other unnecessary and/or useless high-tech inventions is something which, I fear, no-one of the younger generations will ever understand. Actually,I will have you believe that I still carry road maps in the car. The Dark Age of road travel, or what?

          Ivo

          • Oh dear, looks like we’ll soon have enough old farts to start a Saab pensioners club. I too hate old the gadgetry that obscures the driving. And yeah, I’ve got the road maps too, no GPS. And I keep an eye on the fuel gauge.
            Have to check the fluids on my walker now.

        • FWIW: it has been said that there is a tendancy for gunk to build up in the fuel tank. My thinking is that if I drive the car empty on regular intervals, the gunk won’t build up to catastrophic proportions.

          That said, having clocked in 8000+ km since the end of September, the fuel tank should be in no immediate danger of collecting dust (or gunk).

  6. I read the SAAB 95 Spiegel car review. If that was a positive minded review, then I must be from another planet.

  7. 2 km and was still going. Shere terror :-). Since then, I started trusting my car like I trust my horse 🙂

  8. Hey Swade

    I’m following your blog for some time now, thanks for your Work. It’s time to contribute…

    What the German publication “Spiegel” wrote about the 9-5 is not at all charming, they end with “it’s technically not a good car, but a good sign that Saab still on”. They critizise the following:

    -The car is too thirsty, German rivals consume 2-3 Liters less in the same class
    -The size inside does not reflect the size outside
    -The driver does not see outside properly, even in the front
    -They don’t like the motor, again th power/consumption ratio is in question
    -The platform Epsilon-II is too old

    They do like some stuff though:
    -They like that the car is different to the others
    -The car is very relaxed and quiet
    -For the price you get a lot of goodies for the driver (but again not for a low fuel consumption)
    -They liked that this is something new from Saab

    It was interesting for me that they didn’t really mentioned the design, I think they liked it, but opposed to the slightly boring German rivals, this would have been a too big advantage for the 9-5 in the eyes of the writer. It’s a bit a Achilles’ heel in the germans car-heart.
    On the other hand, that’s surprising for a German mag, they don’t rumble along the old “this-is-really-an-opel” story, they just mentioned shortly that it’s Epsilon, but thats all.

    The other report about Saab is very good, again I think they like Saab (it’s a left wing, slightly green and very high regarded weekly magazine)

    • Hey all, now I found another interesting article in a well read swiss newspaper about Saab.
      http://www.derbund.ch/auto/gelaendewagen/Zurueck-aus-dem-Tal-der-Traenen/story/15383930

      The article is a rip-off from the one at autoblog.com several days ago, so the content is the same (the title is: Back from the valley of tears) exept the last bit where they compare the sale numbers of Switzerland.

      According to them, Saab Switzerland sold in 2010 (Jan-Nov) 521 cars, that’s minus 21,4% from 2009 (only 21.4%, considering the fuzz about Saab early this year, although the writer calls it “free fall”, just because it sounds more sensational I guess) and quite a lot less than the 2202 cars they sold in 2007.

      But, after all it’s a press article, with nice Photos…

      • My third contribution so far, I keep finding new stuff (but I’m not shure if it is new to you) that I will share.

        I wrote that in the period Jan-Nov the Sales went down 21.4%, which seems bad, but Saab is keeping up! Look at older numbers from 2010 compared to 2009:

        Jan-Jul -33%
        Jan – Sept: -26%
        Jan – Nov: -21.4%

        That means that Saab sales in Switzerland are still low, but growing fast, so fast that within 3-5 Months sales could easy be over 2009.

    • I do have my problems whith the fuel consumption numbers given in the Spiegel review.

      They don’t say which model they’ve been testing exactly, but Saab.de ranges the 220 hp gasoline (I guess they didn’t test drive a diesel) 2.0 litres (no XWD, no Bio, but manual transmission) between 8.2 and 9.1 l/100km for mixed driving. The Spiegel says they’ve been driving a big part on motorways at the “recommended” speed (which is 130 km/h). Therefore, I would expect numbers near or even below that range.

      Yet they read 9.7 l/100km “off their car computer display”. That may mean

      1) Saab ist not giving the “real” numbers on their web page. This would bring them in trouble because of unfair competition. Sounds unlikely to me.
      2) The Spiegel deliberately worked the accelerator whenever possible. They seem to indicate that, complaining about the little effect of it.
      3) The Spiegel didn’t reset the car computer before embarking. The method they’ve been using for “measurement” was simply looking at the digits on the car computer. Now on my Saab 9-3, that number does react very slowly over time. So, if I drive in an urban region during some time, and the enter a motorway, displayed fuel consumption doesn’t go down in the beginning.

      What I find most unbelievable is their flat statement that a comparable (?) BMW or Mercedes would need 2 to 3 litres less. Now that would be a huge difference, meaning that Saab motors are some 20-30 years behind. Is that likely? Of course, I don’t know the Beamer and Merc numbers, and I don’t know how their fuel saving devices – which Spiegel claims Saab doesn’t have – affects motorway driving, but I know that engine manufacturers are very proud if they can show a reduction of 10%, which would mean some 1 l/100km.

      Summing up, I doubt that the article is sound. Yet it is read by many people in Germany. I can only hope that the current 9-3 models prove the contrary, i.e. prove that Saab cars are not more thirsty that their competitor’s.

      • The 220hp 2.0T engine is thirsty, my average over 15,000km is 10.4l/100km

        This is an XWD car though so would be expected to have worse consumption than the FWD.

        • The Spiegel does not mention XWD. Maybe they had a XWD machine, but then how would the numbers be with BMW or Mercedes for a XWD.

          According to the Saab configurator, the difference between means roughly 0.5 litres.

          Sure, the 9-5 is a big car, it is heavy and that means it will be thirsty. But that’s simply physics, so the others should lie somewhere there as well.

          All I’m saying is that their comparison, which makes the overall tone of the review, is not sound.

  9. That Kentucky Saab / Spyker ad is really well done. The German 9-5 review had some typical unattributed German centricity. They say the 9-5 fuel consumption is high: “a comparable BMW or Mercedes would be two or three liters less [per 100km]”…. Really? Was this determined scientifically? Surely there are official European fuel economy ratings to consult… is the 2.0T Saab not the most efficient gasoline sedan in the E-class / 5series / A6 segment? How could it not be…

  10. Well… that was a pretty boring review. He just went on and on about the fuel consumption. Even the bold introduction had to mention what a mediocre car this is because of the fuel consumption. Maybe this guy needs to learn some eco-driving!

        • The problem with those statistics is that a summary of Saab searches also includes “the other Saab”, the defence company. And possibly also Elie Saab, the fashion designer…

          • I already thought of that, the same applies to Volvo… but if you try different searches you can see that the Volvo position looks ok and one would think that in the case of Saab there is far more searches related to the car than the defense systems. In the case of Volvo my guess is that the trucks has a bigger part of the total Volvo searches. If you look at the spikes, they come when there has been big news concerning Saab Automobile.

  11. @ swade. what do you mean with ‘oh, what fun would it be’? You mean if an australian Saab/Spyker dealer would open up or what?? 😉

  12. Swade-
    I’m getting nervous, ever since the US Nov. sales figures were released. I’m noticing that I’m not casually checking out this web-site and that I’ve started hitting the F5 button again. Everything is gonna be OK , right?

    • As far as I know, it is. Saab have a bunch of new product to release and talk about and when you’ve got that, you’ve got a future. As far as NA goes, it’s up to SCNA to make sure they’re talked about the right way in US terms. As you can tell from the comments to those posts, NA issues are not being talked about the right way at the moment.

  13. A new red color spotted on a new 9-5 in Trollhättan!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/saabflickr/5143119300/

    I think it looks really nice. 🙂 Maybe someone has posted it before since it’s about a month old, and I’m sorry if that is the case. I hope it’s a new color that will be available soon, but maybe it is one of the old test cars with the Rüsselsheim-colors?

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