Is There Really An After Life?

Ok, this title is a little misleading because I have no real info to add at this time. People have asked me many questions about how Saab will emerge out of bankruptcy and all I can say is that I believe that Saab will find a new parent and start producing cars again. This of coarse will take time, but it got me to thinking. I have heard of different ideas about refurbishing used Saabs and companies that will continue to specialize in Saab repairs for a loyal Saab community. I have even heard of start up companies that would bring older Saab’s back to new car condition.

It all got me to thinking of a story I had heard sometime ago about a famed car company that has now started an after life to rebuild their popular 1981 and 82 models as well as restore customer cars. So I went to their website today and I see that they are starting to produce new cars (sort of because they are built with existing VIN plates and considered re-manufactured original cars). They are also bringing them up to date with new technology. If you are of my age group, you will have by now guessed that the company is none other then DMC or Delorean of “Back To The Future” fame.

There are believed to be around 6500 DeLorean’s out there today. When skimming through their website and looking at their business model, it is striking to see some of the similarities to Saab and ideas that I have heard kicked around about different individual adventures with a Saab service model.

Both companies have a fan base and a special place in automotive history. Oddly enough, when Saab ran into money problems sales were looking up and people were waiting for sold orders to be built and when DMC crumbled, they had an extensive waiting list of customers, some willing to pay $10,000 over the list price. I’m drawn to this because of my love for cars and to point out that if you love Saab like I do, then there will always be a reason to buy a Saab. More so there is a very large reason for Saab to be saved through bankruptcy. In 1995 when Texas entrepreneur Stephen Wynne acquired what was left of DeLorean Motor Company that went bankrupt in 1982, he acquired little more than a name and parts with no factory or staff. Saab has much more to offer a perspective buyer and a future that had already started to be visualized. Don’t get me wrong, I love that 1981 style of the DeLoreans and who wouldn’t want a flux capacitor to travel through time? What I really want though is to see Saab come out the other side of bankruptcy with a great owner with the means to succeed and to bring Saab back to glory.

Remember, We Are Many, We are Saab. To any prospective buyer of this great company, you get more than Saab out of this deal. You also get a customer and fan base that will come to life when you show us your commitment as we have shown you ours.

35 thoughts on “Is There Really An After Life?”

  1. As much as “Back to the future” was my “Star wars” and DLorean’s are supercool -they are not, never was and newer will be a Saab. A DLorian is a shitty car with expensive exterior and that is very un-saabish.

    • Mine too about Back to the future. I wasn’t comparing cars though as even the refurbished 1981 models are priced at $45000+ USD and you can get a hell of a lot of Saab for that price. There has been talk about buying old Saabs and basically rebuilding them to new kind of like what DMC is doing, so hence the similarity.

        • Honestly for those of us who have older SAAB’s, there are many of us. A company that refurbished or restored SAAB’s would do very well, if it was offered by SAAB itself, they would have a nice profitable side business! Mercedes not only offers it at it’s Stuttgart Factory, but also has it’s own stae of the art Mercedes Classic Center in California-( long waiting list to have a car restored) Company that restores and rebuilds Jeep Grand Wagoneers- sell for a starting price of $30,000 USD- (long waiting list)- there are more companies doing the same and all have long waiting lists, are all profitable! These are mostly single model businesses except Mercedes. Just imagine SAAB with all the various models that could be rebuild or refurbished.

    • All the community need to do is collect 100 million dollars, get 1.21 gigawatts from somewhere and set the date to March 29th, 2011.

      • hehe + 1 that would be a nice operation indeed and .oh..and of course without influence anything else that is good like when coming back to current date you see that you accidently managed to get GM on a path to swap badges between their SRX and the 9-4X =)

        Somehow you must get to Victor and tell him about was GM is up to and get him on a plane to…i dont know..mabey india.

  2. The Delorean sucked?


    It certainly failed to live up to expectations despite all the great thinking and independent spirit that went into the car. The story of the DMC-12 continues today to “Live the Dream” (as their original adevertising tagline used to say).

    The new owners have a working prototype electric model with an updated interior which is supposed to be put in production 2013. Again, we are talking about old VIN numbers 1981-1982s. Here is a link from ABC news about it:

    There are enough parts from unbuilt DMC-12s to last a lifetime of building “new” and rebuilding current vehicles for a lifetime. They aren’t just keeping a early 80’s car with 70’s tech running either. They have improved it every step of the way and the “new” ones come with a new car warranty just like an other car. The current DMC down in Texas that owns all that old parts, ip and trademarks from the original company have service offices throughout the US and in Europe. The have worked out every single failure and have built improved parts and have plenty of methods for making the original Peugeot-Renault-Volvo V6 roar like never before (even if the original was neutered during the height of gas shortages and pollution controls of the early 80’s). Legendary Colin Chapman of Lotus fame engineered the DMC-12. The car was designed by another legend of the automobile world, Giorgetto Giugiaro. Then there is John Delorean himself who was an interesting one to say the least. Colin Chapman, Giorgetto Giugiaro & John Delorean – talk about a car with automotive provenance! Not to mention that the only gullwinged stainless steel car in the world was also a movie star. The problems with the original production of the car and the car itself and the financing of a new independent company are all part of its very interesting history. The fact that an independent company with lofty visions of greatness failed in the end is part of the charm in my opinion. Against all odds, that car lives on now better than ever.

    Sucked? I’ll let you decide, but I think there are a number of cars that “suck” a great deal more than a Delorean DMC-12.

      • Delorean was ahead of it’s time with design, as well as use of stainless steel in a production vehicle- everyone has their own likes and dislikes, but the Deleroean actually for an early 1980’s car was far better than many American and many foreign cars! Give a list of cars that were that much better for the price and technology.

        • I love the Delorian, its a Dreamcar. If i owned one it would comfort me in these sad times. I just men’t that besides Saab is a 70 year old historic brand with millions of built cars and the Delorian is not, a -81 Saab Turbo easily would outperform a Delorian on any track.

    • I chose to write about this to show a couple of similarities between the two companies. I think that DeLorean is another example of a company that didn’t have to die and because of a mans vision, it hasn’t died even after bankruptcy and parts laying dormant for years someone has brought a vision to life and there is still a demand.

    • No, the DeLorean did not suck.
      As meccano writes, it was engineered by the best people, but at the hight (low?) of the era of strangled engines. Cars of the early eighties are seldom especially powerful (except – of course – Saab). Even Ferrari produced cars with less than 200hp.

      Imagine a DeLorean with a 16 valve turbo from Saab. I know I can.

      • I don’t know how many DeLorean cars you have driven but they were SLOW. All looks and awaiting a better engine that never came. All the pounding of an early 59′ Corvette with no power. That little Renault (was it) was a poor choice. Fun to look at though.

        Sadly my buddy who owned it died from heart failure at 27, I miss you Steve.

        Odd that both owners (Saab and DeLorean), get accused of major crimes? John Z was never convicted but they did have him on tape. “Good lawyers” and bent judges make the world turn round?

        • Yes, I know they were slow. A lot of cars were slow during that era, when the engines were strangled at the altar of exhaust cleaning. A more powerful engine was needed, and also some development. But that was not to happen.

          A small turbocharged engine could have been a better choice than the Volvo/Renault/Peugeot V6. 140-something horsepower are a little bit to tiny in a sports car with the visual aggression of the DeLorean.

          • Everything is relative. In 1980 the Corvette 305 V8 was putting out an “amazing” 180hp which was better than the Delorean DMC-12 with its PRV V6, but not much. Despite its stainless steel skin, the Delorean was 700+ lighter than the fiberglass skinned Corvette and 200 lbs heavier than a 900. A 900 of that era was cranking out what? 99-140hp depending on variation? Should we list the specs for a 1980 Saab 600? They once tried to record the 0-60 times on the 600, but it rusted apart before they could get the numbers written down.

            • Are the specs for Saab 600 relevant? It’s not often i hear somebody actually claiming the 600 to be a Saab 😉 But if we for the sake of it call it a Saab the problems with it rusting apart would have been a minor problem if you spent the same amount of $ on Saab 600’s as you would have spent buying a single rust proof Delorian.

              • I was comparing other cars of the era along with the Delorean DMC-12 that you said sucked. In particular, and because of where we are holding this discussion, I compared two Saab’s from 1980. I actually thought I was being fair and giving the full spectrum of Saab’s line up from 1980 by noting a model that many would agree was the best and one that many would agree was the worse from that year. In the case of the 600, it may be the worse Saab period and I would agree that despite the nameplate stating otherwise, most Saab people would lay all blame for the car on Lancia. Interesting as that discussion may be, I don’t really think that was the point of comparing cars of the same era to the Delorean of the same era as it was when it first rolled of the production line.

                The fact that all the 600’s were prone not only to rust, but to completely rusted away, and the DMC-12 has a stainless steel skin is a mere coincidence and not the reason that I brought it up. Despite the material used from her skin, the Delorean isn’t completely rustproof either as there are other parts of the car.

  3. It’s so depressing to think that the money needed to keep this company afloat for a few more years and (hopefully) return to a profit would require LESS THAN 2% of Apple’s (AAPL) cash and cash equivalents. Not too mention with Apple innovation and support, I think Saab would definitely power through a turnaround. I know it would never happen but hey if Apple hadn’t gotten a helping hand in the 90’s they wouldn’t be here today.

    • Yes. And I also know that people have associated Saab and Apple previously as well. But the more i look at the products the more similarity i see. I dont see that with a merc or BMW for instance. Take ANY white Saab in the current product portfolio and you certainly see the minimalistic similiarties.

      Just imagine a car mfgr with a computer science company producing cars fully overloaded with headless tech/webb combined with vehicle dynamic and driver usability. That would be really cool =)

        • Well, i think so yes. Any special concern with this ? (other than the HR-labour-union related stuffs)

          I have never owned a single apple product (i use linux and Sony-Ericsson. though i am not so sure i will continue support SONY w/o ericsson in the future). However i still appricate Apples design and OS.

  4. Does any one want to compare this to Spykers history? Additionally, I am only a college student right now, but I will do my best to revive (or even buy) the company if blessed enough. Lets think of this as a cliff hanger Saab season break leaving us biting our nails for the next season of Saabs history. Hopefully it will not take too long!

  5. “Remember, We Are Many, We are Saab. To any prospective buyer of this great company, you get more than Saab out of this deal.”

    An..may i add that this extra features is real and valuable assets =)

    Nice wordings there Jason. That is worth echo hundreds of times, and it certainly will…. soon =)

  6. If no more new Saab will be produced I think it is a great idea to re-build and update older Saab. At least in Sweden there will be enough old Saab to make a good profit of it.

  7. Wow Jason, we can really relate to the Trollhattan fate as of course the De Lorean was built here in Belfast, in a purpose-constructed stare-of-the-art factory in an area of then great depression and unemployment. The government here pumped millions into attracting John DeLorean and of course subsequently regretted this and the echoes have reverberated for decades since. I hope Trollhattan finds a suitable investor and the company continues to produce the cars we love, but ultimately the cars we already have will be cherished eiher way.

  8. I truly hope the future for Saab is a new owner and more new Saabs—-and that older refurbished Saabs are a niche, not our only choice. I am clinging to my optimisim that a buyer such as Mahnidra can take over and keep the Saab name going—-some new models too—-but realistically, the longer this goes on, the better the chance that there will simply be a wind-down and finally, the end. Latest I read is that the Aviation Saab is not going to let the name go on a car again. I don’t know if that’s true or not—-but if it is, that’s a serious blow. Why do they have a stick in their arse about it? Hey Saab Aviation: Shut up.

  9. The Discovery series Wheeler Dealers recently bought a DeLorean in the US and shipped it back to the UK for a quick restoration.

    The host purchased a number of parts at one of the shops in the US. What I found amazing was that even though only around 9,000 DeLoreans were built, there were parts manufactured sufficient to build 35,000. I guess this was before the days of “just in time” delivery. Not only does the current DeLorean operation have tons of NOS parts (new old stock) they also have the ability to recreate virtually any part as needed. The current DeLorean operation also owns all of the original design specs/templates.

    9,000 units built looks pretty steep relative to the number of 2nd gen 9-5’s built and even steeper relative to the 9-4x, especially in view of the spare parts supply.

    Also on an unrelated note: I’d be very curious to know what current or perhaps final production numbers are/were for the 2nd-gen 9-5 and 9-4x. I’m figuring that slightly fewer than 1,000 9-4x’s have been built thus far.

    I’m also wondering if the current parts situation has allowed the following to happen: There are two new 2001 SAAB’s (a 9-3 and 9-5) listed for sale as salvage/repairable at College Auto Parts in Miami, FL. Both have some pretty extensive damage to the front of each car, the 9-5 much more. These cars were part of the inventory of a dealer in Indianapolis. If they were damaged on the dealer’s lot, is it too far-fetched to think that the dealer just took the insurance money rather than wait for parts and/or continue to pay floor planning costs on both them?

    Both cars can be purchased pretty cheaply but given the repairs needed perhaps not cheaply enough. Here are links for both: for the 9-3 for the 9-5

      • An inadvertent one perhaps. This dealer shows 21 new SAAB’s in stock at present, a mixture of 9-3’s and 9-5’s, as opposed to my local dealer which only has seven 9-3’s in stock. They haven’t had a 9-5 or 9-4x to sell for more than four or five months.

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