Why January 14th could be very important for Saab and Saab owners

NOTE: I’ve just been reminded that some gatherings will be on the 15th rather than on the 14th. Check outside-saab.com for when a gathering will be on in your area (or start one yerself!). Obviously, what’s written here is applicable to all, regardless of the date.

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Greetings from the dark side of bankruptcy. It’s been a difficult week for everyone, I’m sure. Personally speaking, I’ve spent most of it responding to email and figuring out the same question that’s probably on many sets of lips right now – what next?

The immediate future of Saab as a car company is in the hands of those with the authority and the resources to make decisions about it. The sad fact about that situation is that their intentions when it comes to Saab’s facilities may not be the same as what you or I would hope them to be.

I’ve written numerous times about the incredible talent and product that’s been locked up within the fences there in Trollhattan. Like others, I still find it hard to believe that the stuff on the drawing board may never see the light of day with the name ‘Saab’ emblazoned across it.

Plans are afoot to make January 14 a day when the fans of the brand can add their voice to the conversation. Meetings are being planned around the world right now. Saab fans will gather and at the very least, celebrate a car company that means something special to them.

From my perspective, January 14th offers a couple of different opportunities.

If Saab is still a chance to be sold as a whole company, January 14 offers a simliar opportunity to what we were presented with the Saab Support Convoys back in January 2010. It’s a chance to keep the sale in the spotlight, and perhaps more importantly, it’s a chance to let any potential buyers know that there’s a significant community supporting this brand’s continued existence.

If the worst happens, and Saab is broken up by then (or a decision is made to do so), then the Saab community needs to consider it’s own future. This is a chance to not only celebrate the brand’s 64 years, but also a chance for people to get together and see just how big the global Saab family is.

I’m not sure what direction Tim has planned for SaabsUnited in the event Saab is no more, but I think the site can have a vital role to play in continuing to celebrate the culture of the company, as well as providing an important global portal for connections between clubs and enthusiasts. There will still be great opportunities for many years to come in terms of the community and I think SU has a great base to take a role in that.

Whichever way things work – and we all truly hope that someone recognises the value in this company and things work out well – January 14 can, and should, be a red letter day for Saab enthusiasts around the world.

If you want to get a gathering going where you live, I believe things are all being centrally coordinated through the Mad Dutchies ™ over at outside-saab.com. In January 2010, we had around 10,000 people, in 6,000 vehicles driving in 60 cities around the world.

That ought to be a decent benchmark, eh? Get on board.

32 thoughts on “Why January 14th could be very important for Saab and Saab owners”

  1. When the Saab Support Convoys took place in 2010 I wanted to attend but unfortunately couldn’t since I didn’t have a driver license, but now I do and will do what I can to participate at the 14th and 15th of January.

    I hope it will be a day of joy, but if we get sad news before then, we’ll have to live with it. It’s not like all existing, wonderful Saabs will disappear, but if it is definite then that no more Saabs will be built, it will be hard to prevent the tears from coming. I, however, do not think that will be the case.

    By the way, Swade, are we going to see you more around here henceforth?

  2. Hey guys,

    Can someone help me with this? I was in an accident with my Saab and most of the parts I need are special order and the dealership is telling me that because of the bankruptcy, all special orders are backordered or delayed. I’d really like to get my Aero fixed! Does anyone know what I should do?

    • I suggest you contact RBM Performance, MapTun, NeoBrothers or State of Nine. They have access to a lot of parts that are not otherwise available! They are all advertisers here on SU as well! =)

      • For used parts try E-bay and car-part. In the USA, english-swedish and goldwing. New parts, eeuroparts.com and rmeuropean. Also ask on saabnet. and nysoc on facebook.

  3. Hi Swade and Merry Xmas!
    It’s heart warming to see your “alien-like blue head” πŸ™‚ avatar here around while inside.saab keeps being freezed at your goodbye.

    As we did a couple of years ago, we’ll gather together and we’ll try to scream with as loud voice as we can to decision makers “we are here!”.
    I hope they can hear us and they can consider our voice, as fans and as potential future buyers.

    As I told two years ago, I’d like to drive Saab for the rest of my life.
    So I did what I was able to do, I joined to SSC and then I was able to buy a new Saab.
    Now I’ll do what I can do and on Jan 14th, I’ll be there.

  4. Count me in. If my wife follows me in her Saab, at least there will be two. I’m going to say something to our dealer, too. Any one in Lubbock let me know of your interest.

  5. We are planning on having a gathering on January 14th at our shop in Charlotte, NC. The Carolina Saab Club is doing most of the planning. We will put some hot dogs on the grill, have a meet and greet, then make a few laps around the city in a convoy. I hope to have some friends who are studying video production/graphic design film it, edit it and put it on youtube. We hope to get 50 or so cars to participate. Hope to have a photographer and writer from the local paper there as well. If you are in the Charlotte area get the details at outsidesaab.com or follow the Carolina Saab Club on facebook.

    • Awesome. I guess the details are still being worked as I haven’t seen specifics yet. Yeah, yeah, it’s Christmas. πŸ™‚

      Looking forward to seeing your place on Jan 14!

  6. Hi guys and Merry Xmas to you all!
    This is the moment for us to show how big the family we are.We are waiting for the upcoming days! Hope to see a big convey worldwide then.

  7. “The sad fact about that situation is that their intentions when it comes to Saab’s facilities may not be the same as what you or I would hope them to be”
    Are you saying this just because you are realistic or because you have better insight than the rest of us?
    I pray to Jeebus (and of course to his colleagues) for a miracle. It’s nice to read your writings here again Swade. Merry miserable X-mas to you and everybody.

  8. Glad to hear from you Swade! Hope your doing well and your family is having a great holiday despite the whole news surrounding the obvious. As for these events, I was overseas last time they started happening and I do not want to miss this round. I do not see anything between Boston and NC (Washington DC Area) so hopefully we can have something. I think last time they made it to the Swedish embassy.

    If not I will find my way up to Boston some how for the event πŸ™‚

  9. A little something I don’t understand. Of all the people who have shown interest in Saab, VM has been the utmost serious one and we are lucky for him. Unfortunately things were super close, but had to end in bankruptcy. Is he done? Everyone keeps saying that *now* things are as attractive as they could ever be with the bankruptcy laws in Sweden. Then, why can VM not come back from another angle and do something if he is the best man for the job?

    I honestly don’t see anyone as good as him. Why can he not continue? Is it a matter of not wanting to take any further risk? I understand he has no more power given the bankruptcy, but a buyer can come in and buy Saab, so what’s to stop him from doing it?

    I am here for Saab and I trust all of you are too. I hope for the best and I’m here showing my support. Saab is a part of my life and I cannot live without it! As crazy as that might sound to outsiders, you Saabers know. Support and stay positive! This beautiful company like no other *must* survive this. We just *have* to be able to look back in a few years from now and recall how close things were to the end. Let’s not let it get there. Let’s show our support.

    Bender

    • I believe that VM’s intentions for Saab has been very good, the problem for him was that he didn’t have sufficient funding. That is why it ended up in a bankruptcy and that is why he cannot do much now, except helping to communicate between the administrators and possible buyers of the bankruptcy estate.

  10. I haven’t seen anything yet, and if there isn’t anything in the plans after the holidays I’m going to make sure something happens here in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City/Eastern Iowa area. I’ve only had my Saab for a couple months but it’s been a long time coming, and the plan was to continue driving Saab’s into the future (which I will do!) but I had always hoped to get a new hatchback… so we gotta make this work!

    • The Minnesota Saab club is the closest one so far. I am in Madison, so I am looking at that one. You guys have a good Saab shop in Iowa City, so they might know of something. Keep me posted, maybe we’ll road trip over.

  11. How in the [cursing] did it come to this. I am furious. This is not happening – as they say in the movie.
    I want to wake up from this nightmare.

    Take care everybody. I need some sleep.

    • Hans ….pure and simple slow SALES due to poor marketing….marketing is responsible for Pricing…in US sticker shock $40,000. for a base SAAB which does not come with Navigation system or backup camera. except for Safety which was class leading…I pushed SAABs marketing to lose the moose…get back to the born from Jets ad campaign and was told no…the US debut of the 9-5 shows an Ant holding a leaf(power) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp4ZksSnDdY watch and see if your excited by the debut..snore.
      what the…Moose ..in the background means ….what Alaska from crying out loud has Moose everywhere..again dismal advertising…hell GM sold 60,000 units in 2008….what about the high paid car designer …how ever buys SAAB technology …geez please for $40,000 selll style and excitement …again for SAAB

  12. It is true the role of the administrators is not what we would hope it to be. It is quite simple. Their role is to try and get as much money for the creditors of SAAB as possible. All the other stakeholders are secondary and have no standing in the outcome. If the creditors can get the most money by the sale of the entire company, then that is the path they will take. Of course the use of the brand is another complex issue. First the creditors need to know the approx break up value, and then the bidders can decide if they want to bid the same or more. Or they can bid the same, plus an additional incentive to resume supply to the going concern. Of course this is against a backdrop of a loudly ticking clock as the essential employees of SAAB rush to secure the futures of their families. They have 2-3 weeks more to conclude the sale IMHO if not a breakup becomes almost certain.

  13. The clock is indeed ticking. In addition to the the employee and brand concerns noted by mnztr in the previous post, a news article about the local SAAB dealer stated that he would be selling his remaining cars and moving on. Meanwhile, the 14th is almost 3 weeks away. Do administrative proceedings like this have a reputation for proceeding with any sense of urgency in Sweden?

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