The Saab Culture Has To Stay!

Yesterday seemed to rain bad news for Saab once more, and we started once again to get pessimistic. Sure, I understand the frustration right now that the bankruptcy process is going slow, and that someone isn’t jumping right in to buy Saab. We are allowed to be angry at the people that helped cause Saab’s demise. We are allowed to feel bad for what’s going on. But we should not close the coffin on Saab and bury them deep into the ground. Nor, should we let the world get away with it either.

Changes will come. However, change can be a good thing, and can lead to greener pastures. Saab cannot continue down the path that they’ve been on the last several years. It was bumpy, full of man-eating potholes and landmines underneath a partly sunny blue sky. Saabs simply cruise better on empty, smooth roads, with a wide open view to the future. If an investor is able to make a successful bid, we should be ready to embrace their efforts, even if it means only parts of the company are saved. Realistically, its going to take a lot of money to get Saab up and running at this point in time. Not impossible, but the numbers have to make sense for them to take the risk in investing into Saab. Yes, Saab is great and worth saving, but if they’re not going to be making profits and are faced with more debt, they’re not going to see it worth to restart the entire company. It would be a shame, yes. But, it doesn’t mean the Phoenix cannot rise again in the future! That part in itself has a very promising future.

Saab has a rich, strong culture, even without the production of new cars. We like to put our strength and emotion into the factory and museum in Trollhattan. But the fact of the matter is, our Saabs still exist, just as you and I do! This past weekend we all rallied together and had a wonderful time talking Saab. Correct? And there is absolutely no reason in the world why that cannot continue on. Face it, we aren’t the best at buying new cars to support the need for them, right now anyways. I know given half the chance, we would do differently in the future! But we are extremely well at promoting Saab as a group. That will never go away. Until the last Saab is gone and buried in the junkyard in what, 50-100 years?, we can continue to rally together and celebrate what truly is Saab. If the last remnants of the current museum are gone, we can build another. We will miss the heart and soul of the factory, if it is unable to be saved, but let’s be thankful for the many happy years the employees had working there.

My suggestion is think every day as a mini-rally. Let’s show the world how much our cars mean to us, how much our Saab friends mean to us, and take the time out of our busy lives for gatherings. If we are indeed that strong of a group, we can weather this storm too, and move into a beautiful future together. We are Saab’s history. We have written the past, we’re writing the current, and we have the ability to write the future. In our own words. It would be great to have new models to buy, but we have thousands of wonderful Saabs out there already, if this is where it ends, who haven’t told a story yet.

I’m working with a friend to possibly get a new Saab club started. It would focus on preserving the Saab culture for the future. We would love to see you all join us in embracing the future. Here’s to Saab!

43 thoughts on “The Saab Culture Has To Stay!”

  1. TimR’s last post already gave us great hope, I have always been positive on Saab future, and believe in TimR’s message.

    Saab will have long long days to exist and we will enjoy the whole Saab future for long long time. Be SURED.

  2. Saab seems like fantastic value as a business proposition. What do manufacturers spend on an all – new model? 2 – 3 billion? Saab needs 1/2 a billion to keep motoring on according to Mr. Mueller … not bad I say!

    It seems to me that Saab were actually beginning to make cars that looked like Saabs once more … very sad … here’s hoping.

  3. Great post. I fully agree, but let’s all take it day by day.

    On a slightly unrelated note, I wanted to collaborate with some here to get the pictures of Saabs on the site I started doing that last night, and today it’s done. Did someone read our posts? It is really a shame. I had plans to archive everything for Saab’s history.

    Please comment.

    • Damn. I started to download stuff as well, days earlier but I have very limited bandwidth and did not get too far. What do you have? Maybe we can share 🙂

    • I downloaded a bunch of media kits last night … tons of stuff in each of the kits. 9-4X, new 9-5, AeroX (partial … a full kit was not an option via a zip drive), and a few others.

      • Since I am at University, we have an extremely high throughput. I was able to get nearly 2GB of stuff, but unfortunately only the MY10 NEW 9-5 and SportCombi. This is really too bad, I just wish I knew about this part of the site earlier. I had been wanting to get Saab footage for a project but did not know where, and it was there all along!

        Can we somehow collaborate together, maybe in a google doc and list all of what each of us have rather than just throw something in a repository first. This way, we can organize what we have and list them up afterwards. This will be much more organized.

        If you have downloaded media, please contact me at bender dot 64 at gmail dot com and we can create a google doc and take it from there.

        Happy Saabing

    • I plan on downloading as much as I can but I.m reluctant to collaborate because my available time is a little uncertain.
      One caveat though, unless someone knows a better way. After downloading a bunch, I noticed the images only had a numeric file name, no descriptive info. So, I would then download one full displayed page of photos, then save the HTML page also, because it contained the descriptive info for each image. For example, I could open the saved HTML and hover over an image to read what it was, model, name, etc. Of course, with multiple pages, I had to save each page under a different name so I wouldn’t overwrite the previous.
      Anyone know a better way?

      • I guess your question is too late as the site is shut down. Can you share what you have saved? I could create a website, upload all images and create a database with the descriptions.

  4. My US dealer is sending out email stating the ability to PURCHASE warranties will soon be available. Should I be reading into this action or are they just trying to make money without knowing anything?

    • Did they say that you could purchase a Saab warranty? There are a number of companies that sell warranties for used cars. I know that some dealers are negotiating special deals to cover new cars that they still have on their lots and cars that they;ve sold since Feb 2010. The warranties for new and almost new cars are substantially less expensive than for typical used cars.

    • My dealer told me yesterday that some cars could get a warrentty via GMAC, if the purchaser financed with GMAC. I’m not sure this it true, but I think one of the new 9-5 on ebay last week made the same statement.

  5. I live pretty close to Saabs old design department in Pixbo. My son and I drove past the old facilities today. He is only four years old, but he understands that I feel sad about the current state of Saab. He told me in swedish “Men pappa, det går nog bra. Dom kanske lägger upp Saab igen”. Basically he said that it should be all right and that they cold “close up” saab again (as the reverse of closing down). I really hope he is right. At least it gave me some childish hope 🙂

  6. Even if parts become more difficult to find, it will not be impossible. If half of Saab owners, the ones that aren’t that interested in Saab, scrap their cars, the other half will have plenty of parts cars! That’s not as good as a healthy Saab factory building cars, but parts will be mostly available for another 15 years easily. Around that time, some Saabs will have to be a weekend car.

  7. A great post and an important message. Even though these are hard times we need to keep thinking, preferably positive even though it might be very hard sometimes. We cannot afford to lose our unique Saab culture, the backbone of the Saab community. In times like these the need to unite and stand up for everything that is Saab as we know it is greater than ever. Don’t ever lose faith, at least not until it’s completely over which it isn’t yet.
    We are Saab, and as long as we stand up for that we will remain Saab, always, no matter what!

    • “I really don’t understand why the Swedish government remains silent while its industrial heritage gets torn apart”
      I agree… politics I guess. Sad though, how cold they are. Would they let that happen to IKEA?

  8. Just read on Autocar (UK) that Peter Backstrom at the Saab museum said that ‘Municipality of Trollhättan has already put a bid on the museum’…… We shall see.. Griffin Up!

  9. “If SAAB lasts for a Thousand Years then this was our finest Hour!” This is so inspirational. Britain was so alone without hope in the Summer of 1940 and the last day of the last Battle of Britain there were no more planes left on the ground in reserve. They won.

    This is a much better scene than the burial scene from “Amadeus.”

  10. Maybe we all should realize how unique it was that there ever was SAAB. If (as in a science fiction movie) history could repeat itself, there would probably not be a car brand as special as Saab. It seems in hindsight that some events in history (like the Apollo Moon landings for example) were much more meaningful than most people realize…

    • Sadly and ironically a lot of the aeronautical engineers were from Canada, where they had a very similar and eerie situation with the best aircraft in the world (in the early 60s) the Arrow. Their Army was sent in on Black Friday to destroy the planes on the production line and the blueprints.

      • Ah yes; the legendary Arrow… It realy showed what Canadian engineers were capable of; even the Americans were stunned by this aircraft…
        But indeed here politics got in the way as well. At least many of those engineers got to work on an even more ambitious project and played crucial roles in making the Moon landings possible.

        Maybe NASA ought to hire the best Saab engineers to help design new lunar or Mars rover vehicles; Saab Up… 😉

      • The movie suggests that one Arrow escaped and several people Avro said this actually happened. If an Arrow escaped, I wonder where it is now? Unfortunately no lesson was learned with the Arrow and Britain managed to make almost the same mistake with the TSR2 a few years later.

        • Indeed one Arrow escaped.. With some clandestine help from unknown US sources it ended up at a US Air Force base in the southwest (maybe Edwards, or the one in Area 51..). An American friend of mine even took pictures of it (illegaly); they painted it a different color, but it seemed to be in an airworthy condition…

  11. Saab certainly has to survive and the buyer needs to find Saab’s niche. Just trying to be another premium brand like Audi, BMW and Mercedes isn’t going to work. Saab also needs the right products too. Unfortunately the legacy GM products it has at the moment are probably not what what it really needs to succeed. That would start to change with the 9-3’s Phoenix platformed replacement, but this will only be the beginning of what is needed.

    • Indeed, a ‘newSaab’ should forget the GM-Saabs asap and continue on with cars like the 9000 in its days; a powerful, hi-quality pratical hatchback, with an aviation inspired cockpit, superb seats and safe handling, and a friendly Nordic character instead of the ‘overbearingness’ of all those German cars.

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