Friday Night Snippets

It’s almost Geneva time!!!!

I don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but RedJ did eventually get accreditation and will be joining me at the show. We’re going to cover every darn square inch of the Saab stand 🙂 . I’m also going to do my best to empty Switzerland of its renowned chocolate, too.

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Spyker Cars NV has performed a revaluation of Saab’s assets, an expected move that will actually improve their bottom line for 2010.

AMSTERDAM, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Spyker Cars (SPYKR.AS), the loss-making Dutch sports car maker which acquired much larger Saab last year, on Friday said it had revised the value of its Saab assets to 132.3 million euros ($182.9 million), from 54.4 million euros.

It’d be interesting to know what assets are included in this valuation, given that Saab’s assets were used as a security for the Swedish government guaranteeing the EIB loan.

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Video from Teknikens Varld, featuring an interview with VM on Independence Day.

Hopefully it works (it took so long buffering here that I haven’t actually seen it yet).

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Volvo are dropping station wagons from their US sales range. Other European importers are doing the same. Saab will release their all new 9-5 wagon in a few months from now, which seems like serendipitous timing.

Edmunds.com, the online-car buying site, lists 115 kinds of SUVs and 92 types of crossovers but only 31 varieties of station wagon. Even that count is suspect. It includes a Ford Flex, which is a minivan in disguise, and the bizarre Dodge Caliber.

That quote is from a Yahoo Autos article talking about the demise of the wagon in the US.

I’m a firm believer that a good wagon, like a good car, can find an appreciative audience.

Thanks Peter G!

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Earlier this month I featured a glowing report about the new Saab 9-5 from a Canadian website called Cardriven.

The same site has now had some time behind the wheel of a Saab 9-3 fitted with XWD. And the review is just as glowing, even if it’s slightly perplexing.

The review seems to be of a 9-3 V6 with XWD, which hasn’t been for sale in Canada for a couple of years now. Yet the headline says 2011 Saab 9-3. Maybe Canada are getting something the US aren’t!

It’s confusing. But still a decent read. (The photos aren’t showing up at all for me)

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Speaking of OK reading, Paul Eisenstein has an overview piece on Saab’s situation over at MSNBC.

It looks like he’s been to Kiruna to have a drive on the ice, though he doesn’t talk about that much (might be saving it for another report.

It’s worth 5 minutes of your time.

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55 thoughts on “Friday Night Snippets”

  1. The Teknikensvälrd video is a must see for everyone!! They show the never befor seen Saab 9-6x! That never made it into production. A very well made video!

    • Oh my god, the 9-6x looked hideous :=)
      Im so glad it never went into production. The 9-4x is a killer design and SAAB is much better of with it than it would have been with the 9-6x. IMHO ;=)

  2. Interesting vehicles on display at the factory during the ID1: Saab 900 Safari and the joystick 9000 as well… Worth watching!!!

  3. Had to giggle when I saw the 9-6x.
    Great video.

    Read that Yahoo autos article too… Man it’s written like Volvo has just gone bankrupt.
    I’d like to think that the 9-5 will be shipped to the US just as people will be dumping their SUV’s due to the hike in fuel prices once again hit.

    The 9-5 has to be the best looking wagon of all brands at the moment.

  4. Funny that Volvo would drop wagons altogether. Around the Philly area, they seem to be pretty darn popular! This is good news for the SportCombi’s though…. and maybe for the 9-4x

    • Agree. I see a ton in the Philly burbs. But in the last couple of years I am starting to see fewer Volvo wagons and more Subaru Outbacks. In any case, I do think it is good for Saab to be offering a higher-end wagon at the time when virtually everyone else that used to offer one is dropping theirs.

  5. “I’m also going to do my best to empty Switzerland of its renowned chocolate, too.”

    Hirsch makes chocolate? Didn’t know that. Hmmm. 😉

    Safe trip.

  6. 9-5SC looks great on video.

    Are there any plans for a 9-5X ? I think they should do it. It would look great.

  7. A quote from the Car Driven article: “The rear quad pipes complete the look.”
    Where do the two extra tailpipes come from?

  8. I’ll be there too, I’m 100% certain to land at the correct Airport this time and it’s just a short walk to the front door, can’t wait.
    Robin M

  9. Another online poll for us to trash is at autoweek.nl asking for “your favorite Swedish stationwagon”, offering a choice between the Saab 9-5 SC (they call it ‘Estate’) and the Volvo V70.

  10. Interesting article about the wagons. Acura just brought the TSX wagon to the US market so I am glad to see they are surviving with the addition of the 9-5 SC. I would not have considered a 9-3 sedan when I bought my ’07 SportCombi as there is simply not enough trunk space to load any larger cargo.

    Crossovers like Volvo’s XC60 and Saab’s 9-4x are nice but with gas creeping up to $3.50 a gallon again people might think twice about buying a larger vehicle like that.

  11. From the Car Driven article:

    “But what’s even more interesting is that 9-3 Turbos in Europe get a message that reads “Ready for take-off”. We apparently get a different message here in North America because we are so stupid that it actually might lead us to think the car is capable of flying. No, seriously. American lawyers had quite the time making sure the original message was changed”…
    I laughed so hard when I read that 🙂

        • I’m thinking you’re right. With the mention of the tailpipes and the wheels, one has to wonder. We have a TurboX sitting here right now and it definitely says “Ready for takeoff” when you turn on the key where the regular 9-3 does not. Once again, the fact -checking abilities of the so-called automotive press amazes me… AAARRRGGHH! 🙂

    • Hahahaha very funny indeed.

      Loved that video from teknikens värld.

      From the MSNBC article I liked this:

      Saab’s plan is “do-able,” suggested Aaron Bragman, an automotive analyst with the consulting firm IHS, but there are plenty of skeptics.

      Maybe Aaron need to have a word with that Danish ‘professor’ 🙂

      Could some accountant or something explain to me what the higher value of Saab assets means for 2010’s results?

  12. One of the reasons for my Chicago Auto Show Report last week was to take a serious look at practicality for the family. Even though the 95 was only in sedan mode, it was still a good gauge of ergonomics. In my opinion the 95 Combi will be a formidable crossover-like vehicle.

    My insight on the turmoil in the Middle East is that gas prices Worldwide will not be going down anytime soon and will only rise further. This is where Saab right-sizing and functionality come to the top of the pyramid (no pun intended. Even in 2007 the 95 Combi was the number one selling vehicle, in Sweden.

    When other manufactures drop out of the wagon market Saab with the right advertising can
    become a mainstream niche

  13. Saab Safari. What an ugly vehicle! Makes the Pontiac Aztec look like a design Icon…
    Happy it never came into production… 🙂

    • Auuugh! You had to mention the Aztec. I had just about erased that hideous picture from my mind as you hardly see any on the road any more.

      Must go look at pictures of the 9-5 SportCombi again to clear the brain/palette….

  14. Re: the demise of the wagon …
    I can’t quite shake the feeling that Volvo is exactly out of phase on this.
    A combi gives fuel economy and handling of a car, but with space for junk.
    A CUV has about the same space, but gives up FE and handling …
    The 9-5C might just have perfect timing in North America.

  15. That’s the first time I’ve seen the 9-6x in the wild 🙂 never thought that’d be the sort of thing they’d show publicly! It does look nice, though: could have had its place in Saab’s range, a few years ago..

    • I should have been more patient with the video. It was slower than a wet week on my computer.

      Interesting they showed it. I’m going to have to pull out an old photo from the TS days now.

  16. Cool, has anybody made more pictures of that 9-6X?
    Would be intresting how it looks from the back etc. 🙂

  17. Word of caution about the Cardriven website: I tried right-clicking on an image area to see if I could open the image in another tab, and it took me to Gmail. They all did. Some phishing going on here?

    However, I have to agree with their complaint about Saab seats: “While the 9-3′s XWD system might be doing all it can to make sure you stay on the road, the seats do everything they can to make sure you fall out of them. I’m not sure why Saab didn’t fit the 9-3 Turbo XWD with sport seats – bigger bolsters would make all the difference in the world and that leather seating surface is especially slippery for some reason. As a result, when pushed hard under aggressive driving, it gives the illusion that the 9-3 isn’t stable and that it has quite a bit of body roll. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t, it’s just those slippery unsupportive seats. It’s quite a shame because they are immensely comfortable under normal driving conditions and unfortunately they do the 9-3 Turbo XWD a bit of a disservice for aggressive driving. But rest assured the 9-3 can hold its own in the bends.”
    It really takes away from an otherwise enjoyable driving experience.

  18. OT: Interesting, a Saab-driving Aussie ex-MP calls for Swedish boycott:
    http://www.westender.com.au/news/995
    “SAAB driving ex-Queensland MP calls for a boycott of Sweden in support of Julian Assange
    An Australian former Queensland MP who drives a Swedish-made SAAB has called for a worldwide social and economic ban on Sweden over its role in the Assange extradition proceedings.”

    • If anyone think it´s okay to rape Swedish girls and don´t think it´s fair to be prosecuted in the country it happened in. They can boycott Sweden but they come out more stupid and not worth a shit!

      “Jag blir så trött” It´s totally fine with me that he revealing secrets but don´t mix that up with rape.

      • Tomas, the case, as presented abroad, does not paint a favorable picture of the two women involved. Complaining about Julian’s choice of prophylactic (the leaky kind, no pun intended) is a pretty weak rape charge IMO. If the case is more serious than that, then the Swedish police should properly charge him with the crime, rather than say he is wanted for ‘questioning’.

    • Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion about Assange, WikiLeaks, Swedish law and conspiracy theories. But, please, don’t start that discussion here, it will lead to nothing!

    • I actually had that story about the former Aussie MP scheduled to go in this snippets entry, then just thought “Naaaah”. Too contentious and not particularly relevant.

      OK for it to come up in comments, but didn’t want to focus on it on the front page.

  19. brrr, a fellow countryman wrote this under the MSNBC-piece:

    “SAAB is dead meat even here in Sweden now. With an owner who has never made a profit, has been convicted of tax fraud and conned formula one out of a gazillion dollers what else whould you expect. SAAB used to be a proud name, we just laugh at it now unfortunately.”

    I had to respond, hope my english went ok.

    • I´m sorry but I must ask why you spread such negative and useless information? This is in fact what you do by quoting it here. Not a good idea at all if you ask me (unless you are actually the one behind that silly message and have an urge to spread it).

      • ??
        This is not anything unusual in comments-sections in sweden, the fact that a swede wrote this at an american page makes me upset, if you had clicked the link and read the comments, you would have seen my response too.
        I´m going to let your last allegation by out of courtesy to this blog.

  20. Like in Philly, there are *many* European wagons here in Providence. I’d even bet there are as many Saab and Audi A4 wagons as sedans, and most Volvos here are wagons. I saw 3 MB wagons driving home today. They must sell really poorly everywhere else in the US to balance out how well they do in the northeast. Volvo and BMW dropping them here in the US is a huge opportunity for Saab.

    I still can’t believe how Volvo is so willing to drop their loyal wagon owners. I know people (whole families even) who have only owned Volvo wagons. It’s gutsy (suicidal?) to walk away from such devoted buyers…

  21. Regarding the 9-3 XWD review . . . only the summary at the end mentioned a V6; I think that wasan error. The text is explicit: “The 2.0. litre turbo 4 cylinder is quite happy to give you 210 horsepower.”
    (I guess this isn’t one of the couple of Canucks who raise Swade’s ire! )

    Still waiting to see new SAABs on the road here in Montreal, but wagons in general are quite popular. I wonder if Volvo’s decision applies here? In any case, dealers and SAAB should make the case for the two that will be available.

  22. Great video,

    living with Swedes in uni paid off somehow. The 9-5 combi looks a lot nicer in the videos than in the photo’s, if that makes sense. Victor is such a good public speaker, and his passion comes through during each interview. The trip into the vault was cool, god is a nice guy for not letting the 9-6x be made. This coming from a guy who owned a 9-2x.

    Dave

  23. Cons for the 9-3 XWD review – torque steer?? With power going to all 4 wheels under power, I seriously doubt this could happen, especially with the 2.0T

    • Just because a car has all-wheel drive, doesn’t mean torque steer is eliminated. Torque steer used to plague older Subaru WRX’s for instance.

      • I have sensed no torque steer in my 9-3 XWD 2.0T (Hirsch tuned). The harder the throttle is hit, the more power is directed to the back wheels. That may explain lack of torque steer. If it is there, I am not sensitive enough to detect it. Could easily detect it in my tuned 9000 Aero, though.

  24. Speaking of the demise of the wagon, automotorsport.se seem very certain that the next 9-3 will not have a wagon version, nor a sedan, but only a hatchback (and eventually a convertible). Are they correct? Last I heard, the talk was to scrap only the sedan, i.e. have hatchback and wagon versions.

    • They talk about 4 versions; hatch, cab, 9-3X and possibly a 2 door coupé (Sonett). Seems like the 9-3X will be based on the hatch, then. If I remember it correctly Castriota, in the Swade interview, said that there will be 3 versions.

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