An adventure begins (for real)

Hi all. Swade here.

I’m writing to you from Melbourne airport, on my way to Sweden. I officially started my work with Saab at the beginning of this week, but the “real” work will start next week, you could say. We’re aiming to launch the new site around April 16 or 17, just before the NY show.

I’m on a public computer so I don’t have USB access. If I did, I’d upload a photo of a new Saab 9-5 driving around the countryside with gum trees in the background. That would hopefully be a heartening sight for the Aussies visiting here.

The Aussie Saab 9-5 launch has been going on this week. Saab dealers and support staff occupied most of the week and the Aussie motoring press are driving the cars on the country roads surrounding Daylesford as I write this. Reports should start filtering through in the next week or so.

That’s a side note to the main story of the last few weeks, though. I’ve been trying to keep tabs on the reports coming out of Sweden amidst all of the busy-ness I’ve been encountering on the ground here. It sounds serious and I’m quite sure it is serious. The truth of the situation probably lies somewhere between the extremes of the reports and soundbites we’ve heard over the last week.

I know that Saab are working their tails off to solve this situation. I know that dealers are hurting in the meantime. I know that some customers are still walking through the doors regardless, too. A good friend of mine in the north-east US just paid his deposit on an Independence Edition 9-3 Convertible, which is a huge show of support. And there’ll be plenty of others I don’t know about because I’ve been out of the loop (March sales were quite encouraging).

I’ve heard some rumours circulating, too. Rumours that were quite troubling. These rumours weren’t troubling because they were true. They’re troubling because I’m 100% sure they’re false and if a reporter were to print those rumours as assumed fact, the effects could be quite devastating. SU Crew – beware of Djup Strupes bearing gifts.

To all the doomsayers out there, remember that this is a website that helped to support the company in a time of need. It doesn’t mean we bury our heads in the sand. But it doesn’t mean we run like mice at the first shadows, either.

We’ve seen this company go through a heck of a lot in the last 18 months or so and every time, the people at Saab have come out swinging. I’m 200% confident that they’re doing everything they can right now and we know from Saab’s executive team pulling the company through the biggest reeconstruction in Sweden’s corporate history that they’ve got exceptional people on board.

Me? I’ll be at the main gate at 9am on Monday. I’d be there earlier if I had a pass to get through. I’m champing at the bit to get to work and looking forward to doing it for a long time.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

47 thoughts on “An adventure begins (for real)”

  1. I’m glad to be #1 to welcome Steve to his new job. Boy, is it great to hear a voice of sanity come wirelessly on to my laptop. He didn’t say it so I will say it for him. Keep calm and carry on.

  2. Have a good trip. When you get to Trollhattan sleuth around and see if you see any 9-3 orange body parts would you please? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Very excited to be reporting by your side in NYC Steven ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t worry about us taking the bait, there’s more you haven’t heard I’m sure that would make your head spin. It’s beyond me why some people feel the need to create that sort of misinformation, but that’s life.

    At least the flight from Sweden to NYC will be easier than the ones you’re about to embark on. Safe travels, mate!

  4. Hi swade! Working for the man now, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m never gonna trust a word you say from now and i hope it will stay that way for a very long time. Damn this last week of seemingly unnecessary contra productive stuff!!

  5. I finally got my deposit in to my local dealer this week for my 9-3 Independence cabrio… even as I’ve been wringing my hands reading the news coming out of Trollhattan. The car can’t get delivered quickly enough!

    Travel safely Swade… those long flights are SO FUN! Good luck next week.

  6. Hejsan Swade and Saab in Trollhattan. I am eagerly awaiting my 9-3X wagon that you guys in Sweden have finished for me a few weeks back, BIG THANK YOU from the West Coast. Due date here in Seattle April 24, that will be our 14th Saab! Trading in my E500 wagon.
    My wife drives a 1993 9-5 Aero Wagon, and cant wait to see the new 9-5 Wagon live.
    Keep up the good spirit and sort out the logistics. The best I can do is to continue supporting Saab by buying your new wheels again and again.
    Thanks to everybody in Trollhattan

  7. A hero returns.

    We were wondering a while if you really were “down under” as you have been so quiet. Now that you have emerged as the Red October from the calm waters of this down under, you will see the “perfect storm” around you. A ride in a Saab on any road in Aussie land will be regarded less bumpy compared to what lies ahead of you. Therefore I wish you and the Saab team all the best of luck to come conquering out of this battle yet again.
    From all of us who believe and hope!


  8. Good journey Swade.

    9-5 was launched this week in Australia???!!!
    There’s the fan fare and announcement?

    As someone who has been keeping his eye on the new 9-5 for his next car, I’m a little taken aback I have had zero contact from Saab nor did I see any news regarding this.

    Timing might be bad, but the fact a real potential buyer is not even aware the ‘on sale’ sign, it means Saab has got a LOT of work to do to promote itself.


  9. Go Swade ๐Ÿ™‚

    On a side note. Saab Australia now has the 9-5 added to its build a Saab function. It appears that we will only get an automatic transmission which is a wee bit of a shame. And we also don’t appear to have access to the TTID model

    But none the less, the important thing is that it is now available here in Australia. The models available are as follows:

    Vector TID4- 118kW Automatic
    Vector Turbo4- 162kW Automatic
    Aero Turbo6- 221kW Automatic

    All information including the build function can be found on the Saab Australia website.

    • Unfortunately most Aussies love slushboxes. The turbo 4 and the diesels should have manual options. Perhaps the Aeros will get them?

    • lack of TTiD is a bit of a mystery [thought the TiD would be consigned to history due to its well documented niggles], autotragic only transmissions is keeping up with GM/Holden distribution, aero turbo6 is heading for a list of $100k AUD, Independent Saab Australia need to get real if sales are to build and they want to have a job , [the landrover freelander 2 diesel manual is currently available under $50k], My solution = focus on vector TTiD & Turbo4, manual transmission option is a must, Hirsch ecu upgrade option,

  10. On my comment about “slushboxes”, there is a widely held perception here in Australia that if you pay a certain amount for a car, you aren’t going to want to shift gears for yourself. Well that may well apply to many brands and models, but it shouldn’t apply to drivers cars. Just imagine if in Australia you could only buy automatic Porsches!

    For a number of years Volvo decided to only sell automatics in Australia. That probably didn’t matter for 240s, 260s, 740s and 760s, but when the 850 arrived Volvo Australia had to change it’s way of thinking. I think the OG9-5 was only available in automatic form downunder in ti’s latter years. Hopefully Saab will let some manual NG9-5s slip through eventually?

  11. Good luck Swade. And thanks for sharing your thoughts here as weยดre obviously just about to go nuts with all the (false) information.

    Iยดm looking forward to see the new site! Great to have you there as a part of the Saab team finally. Keep up the good work.

  12. Not looking good for a manaul option in OZ….

    In fact I was looking at Alfa as an alternative and What’s this? AUTOMATIC Alfa Remeo?That is JUST WRONG. They told me if I wanted a manaul they will have to order it in from Italy as they don;t keep any in stock.

    • As the guy Swade mentioned who was confident enough to put down a depost (a very refundable one) on the 9-3 Independence Edition – I ordered mine instead of taking my chances of eventually finding one in dealer stock because I was told only about 1/3 of the total run would make it to the US and just 10% of the 366 cars would be built with the six speed manual. I have no interest at all in an automatic and also didn’t want to pay $3,000 for NAV / parking assist. So I didn’t have much choice other than placing a buy order. It’s going to be a great car – especially when Hirsch’d!

  13. All the best in your new job, Swade! Changing jobs is always a big thing, but half-way round the world? You must want each other! ๐Ÿ˜€

    p.s. It’s been a fortnight since anything was posted on SAAB Newsroom. What a long 14 days it’s been!

  14. Hi Swade
    first of all, best of luck with your new adventure.
    I keep my fingers crossed for all of you in Trollhattan.
    Bye for now

    Griffin Up !

  15. All the best, Swade! Keep up your great work and SAAB will be saved ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

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

  16. @ Swade,

    Best of luck with the new job, Daylesford is very scenic and with all the rain it must look so green, got to see the 9-5 yesterday and it looks A1,

  17. Swade,

    If the rumours you’re referring to are the ones about you taking over from JAJ then you shouldn’t talk yourself down like that – I’m sure it wouldn’t be that devastating ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good luck. Looking forward to seeing the new site.

  18. Speaking of putting money down when you can….I just stopped by the local Saab of Edmonton dealer a couple days ago. The new Saabs are here! These are the first new Saabs in Edmonton in almost a year and a half. Saab of Edmonton are getting their full stock order of some 40 cars over the next week or so, but there is already a fully loaded 2011 9-5 Aero (you really do have to see the 9-5 in the metal…wow), a couple 9-3 sedans and a smart looking SportCombi on the floor. Spring is here and the roads are now mostly bare and dry. If you are in the envious position of being able to lay some money down, I know the great guys at Saab of Edmonton would be more than happy to help you out. As was announced in a post a while back, there are some fantastic leasing and financing rates available to entice us all.

    • Richard,
      40 cars coming in the next week or so? Are they all 2012 models? I think they had 10 2011’s in stock last I checked and I know they had ordered an Independence model as well which will be a 2012 model. I’d really be surprised though if they had just ordered another 40 cars. That being said, anyone in Edmonton interested in a Saab should run out there because dealers will order more cars when they sell the ones they have and the more cars dealers order, the better it is for Saab and all of us.

      • Jason,
        I’m fairly certain these were all 2011 models and that they were simply waiting for them to get delivered to the site from a city waypoint. From what I understand, this is the delivery of their original first order that had been delayed a couple months. There were four 2011’s on the floor on Wednesday with more trickling in over the next little while. I asked about availability of the 9-4X and was told they should be able to order them soon – though not yet.

        I didn’t realize that Saab was even building 2012 models yet. I thought the new model year builds didn’t start until mid to late summer for availability and sale in the fall.

        • Richard,
          The Independence Models are scheduled to start being built for us next week, by us, I think that means the Canadian dealers and they are 2012 models. The 9-4X when it’s built will be a 2012 and the 9-5 SC will be a 2012 as well. The fact that they have started 2012 production, I’m not sure if it means they have switched to 2012 for everything or not, I sent an email today to see but haven’t heard back yet. The reason I questioned the 40 car number is that I have a list of dealer stock and it showed 10. I have 15 new Saabs in stock myself and am now looking at ordering some convertibles, as I said though, I’m not sure yet if they will be 2011 or 2012.

          • All in – there is certainly now plenty for potential Saab customers to check out. There’s been a Saab drought in Canada for far too long, so having 2011 and 2012 models available this year combined with some very attractive financing options should make some of that stock move soon. I’m not sure about the conflicting dealer stock numbers you’re seeing, but you’re obviously in a better position to know than I am. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            I’m not in a position to buy a new Saab yet (house comes first), but perhaps next year we can. Until then, I’m just spreading the good word. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Ah come on Richard, throw the extra $30-40000 into your mortgage and drive the car you want lol. Keep spreading the good word and let everyone you know, know about Saab too.

  19. Swade the always charismatic and inspiring Swade!
    Nice to hear from you pal.
    Good luck to your new assignment.
    But to make it worthwhile you must do everything you can to help the company staying alive.
    You know where to start and how to achieve that.
    So good start on Monday!

  20. Best of luck, Swade. Most of us here would give our eye teeth to be in your shoes. What a great journey you’re beginning. Have fun. We’re all very proud of you.

  21. Have a safe trip SW, always good to hear from you! Best of luck on the new job, we all know you will do well and SAAB will be that much better with you involved.

    “see” you soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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