Saabs Coming to a Small Town Near You?

If you live in the US, that might just be the case. In the midst of all this negative press, the day to day operations of selling Saabs continues. I’m confident in Saab’s long term prospects, the products really just need to gain visibility to be sold. Saab has partnered with Rand McNally and USA Today and offered their Best of the Road event 5 Saabs, a mix of 9-3s, 9-5s, and a 9-4X. The winner who writes the best journal entry gets a brand new 9-4X. Teams were selected on the Best of the Road Website and are being judged on how many towns they visit and the quality of the journal entries by the time they all reach LA on July 15.If you’d like to meet each of the teams, you can read about the lucky Saab drivers here. You can see each city that readers of the websites nominated in each category, Most Beautiful, Fun, Patriotic, or Best Food. Full press release after the break.

Just tweeted from team CaptainandClark: Here’s our ride for the next three weeks & hopefully forever if we win!!! #bestoftheroad

And here’s Joanne S. who is part of the McNavigators team. They’re driving their Saab 9-5 in search of the most beautiful small towns in America, and are headed south to Coral Gables, FL, a suburb of Miami.

Rand McNally/USA Today sponsors “Best of the Road” rally to 10 cities 

Five Teams participate and winner to receive a Saab 9-4X crossover

JERSEY CITY, N.J., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Saab announced today its participation in Rand McNally/USA Today’s “Best of the Road” rally across the U.S. Five two-person teams are off in a mix of Saab automobiles, spending the next three weeks experiencing the best small towns in the United States as the final phase of Rand McNally/USA Today’s attempt to find “Best of the Road” ( and the best small towns in the United States.

Driving a unique route from metro New York to Los Angeles in a mix of Saab 9-3s, 9-5s and the new 9-4X crossover, each of the teams will visit some of the towns which were selected online in one of the five “best” categories: most fun, most patriotic, most beautiful, friendliest and best for food.

Along the way from coast to coast, each team will post an online travel journal, combining blogs, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, texts and videos, with the best journal earning a grand prize of a Saab 9-4X crossover and $10,000.

According to Timothy Colbeck, Saab Cars North America President and Chief Operating Officer, Saabs were perfect for the Best of the Road rally.

“What a natural fit – taking the ‘best on the road’ – a new Saab – to find the ‘best of the road,'” he said from the kickoff program today at Liberty State Park.  “The contestants are going to be pleasantly surprised by both the cars and the great towns they will see as they make their way across the country. They may have heard of the Saab 9-5 or Emporia, Kansas, for example, but once they experience them, they will be amazed.”

“The rally contestants are going to spend a lot of time in their Saabs and we are sure they will find safety, comfort, and turbo performance an exciting part of their journey,” said Tim Colbeck.

Traveling the ins and outs of a country is familiar territory for Saabs.  For years, Saab was successful in rallies all around the world.  This adventure should involve some more modest speeds (and a lot more comfort) but there’s no doubt that competitors in the Best of the Road have the best vehicles for the job.

Towns were nominated at the Best of the Road Web site and a panel of travel experts along with public reviews and comments narrowed the selections down to six in each category, including: Baker City, OR; Franklin, TN; Walla Walla, WA; Rapid City, SD;Park City, UT, and Lafayette, LA.

The 10 “rallyists” earned their way into the Saabs by submitting a one-minute video on why they deserved to participate. They will not be competing on a time or distance basis, but on the number of towns visited along their route, the quality and originality of their journal and the quality of their category descriptions, all of which must be completed by July 15, the deadline for arriving in Los Angeles.


19 thoughts on “Saabs Coming to a Small Town Near You?”

  1. I wish I would have known about the competition as I would have applied. It must be fun to drive a Saab across the country, expenses paid, and write about the experience. The folks who are participating are lucky. And to top it off, to possible win a new 9-4X – whatta deal.

  2. Wouldn’t it have been nice if this were done six months to a year ago? I am guessing Saab’s new boss in the US is responsible for this initiative? Better late thannever I guess. 🙂

    Griffin Up!
    Cowboy Up!

  3. How come we are only hearing of this Rally now. This should have been promoted a month ago to build up the interest. and get people involved.

    This is part of the problem–lack of publicity. We need to explain all the good stuff instead of defending the negative.

    • +1

      This promotion was a day late, and several hundred million krona short. Next up: a cross-country tour in various beloved models such as Cord, Rambler, Borgward and Pontiac.

    • I’m trying my best Peter 😉 Little bogged down with work, getting things moving as soon as I can. For instance, I have a complete recording of interviews I did with Tim Colbeck earlier in the month. They’re coming, but it’s a matter of timing and balancing real life. Saving it for when Saab is on surer footing. Don’t want it getting lost in the shuffle.

      FYI, this is more Saab giving the cars to the USA Today event vs. USA Today sponsoring SCNA’s event. The brand of the cars was kept secret until today, a choice made by USA Today, not Saab. I found out about it yesterday from SCNA, and waited for the okay to write about it after the press release was formally out. So really, don’t criticize Saab for this, criticize USA Today. If you need more evidence of this, here’s a post from Captain and Clark’s own website today:

      Today is the day! In a few short hours we’ll be ripping open an envelope that will reveal exactly which towns we’ll be visiting. We can jump in our brand new cars (the brand will be revealed soon) and then start a road trip of a lifetime. We’re so excited to finally know which category we have and which small town we’ll get to explore.

      • Ah, don’t criticize at all, at least the 9-4X will get some coverage now. Weather we knew a month ago or not wouldn’t have changed a thing and I think it’s an honer for the Saab’s to have been chosen. Says a lot about the product.

    • Might want to hold fire there, folks. The deal to be involved with this was only finalised early this week. A month ago, there was no BestOfTheRoad that Saab were involved in. We held off on the press release for a few hours today because we didn’t want to be seen as glossing over the current situation.

      This is a great initiative organised in very quick time. It’s quite inexpensive compared to the very widespread coverage it’s going to generate and it’s going to show the cars off in great settings. I’ve heard from a few of the groups already and they’re absolutely loving the cars.

      • Steve, Thanks for clarifying. I am so frustrated that present Saab owners have no clue that there is a new 9-5. Some think the company died in December 2009. Because so many Americans have a short memory hopefully we can save Saab again and we can press the reset button.

        It is everything like stupid Google lost my YouTube of the SPG (I will not give up) and I will find a way to re-do the upload. Right now I have to enter captur letter to do a Google Search!

        The key is getting out the word, advertising, publicity. I wish I could help more. I have been in combat, so I am used to doing whatever it takes to survive.

  4. Just saw this at

    Google translation:

    Saab’s sales of the properties will actually be in port and be able to give the company money by early next week. It said sources familiar with the process.

    Saab’s sales of properties have been delayed, but the recent announcement to TTELA is that the deal will be completed, although it is still legal formalities that could be accomplished over the weekend. A reservation in this context is, however, that the date when you thought the transaction would be in port all the time postponed. The money – it can involve up to 300 million to Saab’s cash – will more than cover the salary costs. This would Saab could eliminate the immediate threat of bankruptcy but still find itself in a continuing very difficult position.

    • Perhaps I could explain “in port”, which is a direct translation of the Swedish expression “i hamn”, which figurative describes something as finished.

  5. I have to say it is not looking good here in the USA.

    We just lost another dealership here in New York, and the remaining two dealerships are running very low on 9-3 units. They do however, have plenty of 9-5 sedans, and we know how they are selling. Even if the factory is up and running soon, it will be months before new 9-3 and 9-5SC units are delivered. I hope they can sell the 9-4x with the current publicity. Saab is a cat with 21 lives. Sounds good, but we must be getting close. I really hope things will work out.

    Perian – GMI

  6. It’s “Swedish Days” celebration event this week in the town of Geneva, Illinois, USA. I guess a lot of Swedes settled there many years ago. Maybe I might go out there and have a few beers and pick up some lingonberry jam. Saab USA should be out there with some cars on the town square..

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.