We are SAAB: San Francisco Bay Area

It’s here folks: some pictures from the “We are SAAB” event in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Please forgive my delay in sharing these with you, as I was out with a nasty cold the last several days.  On Saturday, January 14th, 2012, it was actually an unseasonably warm day (especially by Swedish standards).   The We are many, We are SAAB event of San Francisco started off with a strong start as we all gathered at the Swedish Auto Factory in Santa Clara.  There was definitely much to see here, with some beautiful vintage Saabs on display.  The variety of cars that folks have brought to the party was impressive: We saw Sonnets, Saab 93s, 900s, 9-3s (sedans as well as convertibles), 9-5s, Viggens, a Turbo X SC (which I had a privilege to drive) and a brand-new 9-4X. After spending some time putting signs on our cars and having a bit of a late start, we hit the road.  Don Young, of the Bay Area Saab Club was at the head of the pack, in the lead car (adorned with “Follow Me” signs).  I was at the end of the pack in the tail car (adorned with “Lead Me” signs).  Roger Wapner, the President of the Bay Area Saab Club, rode shotgun with me armed with a “walkie-talkie” radio so he can communicate with Don.  Despite a few hiccups regarding the route and keeping folks together, I would say that the convoy went quite well.  Between the Swedish Auto Factory in Santa Clara and our final stop at Dirito Brothers Walnut Creek Saab, we had a few stopping points a long the way:  one in Fremont and another in San Ramon.  Both of which gave us a chance to stop , stretch our legs and regroup the convoy.  At 11:30 AM (only 15 minutes behind schedule) we all arrive to Dirito Brothers Walnut Creek Saab.  Everyone parked their cars in a circle within the back parking lot, many opening their hoods.  At this point we had over 20 folks present, with the scene looking not much unlike the October Fest of last year.  As promised, I showed off MapTun to some folks who have been considering making the upgrade.  I actually shot some video of my demo as well as some test-drives of my car, but you will have to wait for my post on MapTun before those will be unveiled!  Yes, folks were upset and saddened to see the current situation that Saab is in, but I would say that this event was both cheerful an exciting.  It was without a doubt a testament of how strong the Saab community is, and that no matter what happens, we will still be here, fighting for the cars that we know and love because we are many, and we are SAAB.   [More Photos after the break]













21 thoughts on “We are SAAB: San Francisco Bay Area”

  1. Not a single NG 9-5 on your pictures? So much for brand support….. Sonnet is awesome but the only way for so called strong community to save SAAB in 2011 was to buy a new SAAB!!! Dealers still have new SAABs in inventory that so called “loyal” SAAB people did not want to buy in 2010 and 2011. They instead bought AUDIs and VOLVOs and BMWs.

    • You nailed it! This IS the premier reason, people stopped buying the right quantities of NEW Saabs. How can someone driving an old 96 say that he/she Save Saab. To late, they should have added New Saabs to their collections.

      • To be fair, some of these owners of older models might also have something else in their garage, an ng9-5 for example.. But yes, the fact people stopped buying them has been Saab’s major issue, and it’s all due to lack of consumer faith since the buyout, and just as crucially, an overpriced product line that couldn’t quite cut it against the competition over the last 5+ years.

        The right steps were being taken and I think the ng9-5 and 9-4X could have made a difference, priced right. Personally, the new Saab I would have bought (and hopefully may still have chance to buy) is the ng9-3.. until then I’ll keep my old 9-3..

    • I can not afford a new 9-5.
      Nor can I afford a new Volvo, Audi or BMW.
      If the 9-5 is overpriced, then so are they.

      There are different types of buyers, some are always buying new cars, some are using company cars, which are always also new cars, and some people always buys used cars. I am one of them.
      A new car, whatever brand, always drops in price as soon as it is driven. Some more than others. Expensive and unusual cars more than others.
      Saabs dropped a lot because of the ongoing liquidation, restructuring and rumour mongering.

      The problems started when GM put Saab in liquidation. That’s when the ordinary consumer started to look at other cars, due to Saabs “lack of future” as it was percieved.

    • No hatch or SC of the NG 9-5, all the looming uncertainty regarding Spyker/SWAN’s financial muscles, too much dark GM (OG 9-5) interior feel to begin with -for the journalists especially, GM’s engine restrictions and poorly executed marketing were the ”only” reasons why the new 9-5 didn’t sell from the start.
      The car itself is fantastic especially on the highway and was getting better all the time i.e. chassis setup, fuel consumption, interior etc. Costing several thousand USD less than a equally equipped A or B it was even price competitive IMHO until the floor dropped with the factory stoppage.

  2. There were NG 9-3s and a 9-4X.

    So, I wouldn’t be so quick as to claim that none of us have been buying brand-new Saabs. The lack of an NG 9-5, though is unfortunate, I agree. I honestly do not understand why they are so rare on the roads.

  3. first of all NG9-3 does not exist. I think you meant 9440 body style 9-3 ryanonsrc wich is by no means NG because it is 9 years old.
    Second look at sales numbers, those will tell you the story. Some people bought 2010 and 2011 but if you compare those numbers to 2006 ….. I personally know long time SAAB drivers who switched to AUDI and other German and Swedish brands. And to Martin – no I don’t own a NG 9-5, I can not afford it. i fix SAABs for life, I am a SAAB technician. I know SAABs inside out. I love them, I wanted SAAB to be alive and thriving probably more than any SAAB owner, because my life depends on SAAB. But now i am sad. Good buy SAAB. And I will say it again – You wanted to save SAAB? You should have garaged your 900 or 9000 and go to the dealer and buy new 9-3 or 9-5.

    • Sorry to hear that but most people don’t drop 50k on a car they don’t want to save a brand. The problem with the 9-5 was the 9-5, for most Saab owners its the exact opposite of why they came to Saab in the first place. It’s expensive, it’s big, it’s an average interior that smells of GM with touch screens rather than usable buttons and knobs. You want to blame someone, blame the brand for not making the cars that brought people to them in the first place.

    • Well, Saab spent 150 million Euro’s on promoting the NG 9-5 in 2010, it was in fact more than they could afford… for a small brand that is a astronomical amount of money!…

      Does it matter if a model is 9 years old, it is still an amazing car! Porsche’s 911 design btw is a lot older than that! oh an in 2010, the 9-3 SS model was 7 years old, the 9-3 SC was only 4… and that is not old!

      • 7 years is old for the car. The 9440 9-3 car is good but not amazing. 9-3 sc was still a 7 years old car if you know what the platform means, not just the body. Consumer in US don’t care much for wagons. US is, Sorry, WAS the major market for SAAB. Porsche 911 can not be compaired with SAAB and PORSCHE redesignes it very often in case you don’t know.

  4. I live in US, I work for SAAB, i havn’t heard or seen any SAAB commercials after GM sold it to Spyker. I remeber last SAAB commercials I heard – those were GM era – “people who test drive a SAAB usually buy one”…. I never said 93 was bad TIM!!!
    I am a SAAB technician, I never built a SAAB but I fix them and bring them back to life!! So Io know SAABs better then any assembly line worker. And trying to sell NG 9-5 at the price right next to A6 AUDI was a failure. I drove 2010 A6 and of course 2011 9-5. A6 is a full step ahead, don’t kill me please. It is more refined, materials are better, handling is better, overall refinement is better. don’t get me wrong again – I am just being honest with my opinions. I LOVE SAAB!!! But SAAB needed to do better!!! To compete with A6 AUDI NG 9-5 neded better refinment, interior materials, engine, or pricing range. The price was too high. Not enough marketing support. And about how much they were able to afford – VM lied to us and the whole world about “FULLY FUNDED BUSINESS PLAN”. Hail to Spyker for saving SAAB in 2010. Shame on SWAN for mismanaging and killing it in 2011

    • I have seen a few reviews of the 9-5 that disagrees with you about the A6 handling. Can’t remember someone saying the A6 handles better before.

      The 9-5 was, at least here in Sweden, priced cheaper than the A6.

      • What reviews were those? Trollhattan local paper? I drove both cars personally. I even drove 2008 A6 and it did handle better (for my opinion, of course). But I can assure you I drove a lot of cars in my life – Porsches, BMW’s, MB’s, Corvettes, Lotuses, WRX STI’s, EVO’s, so I know a little bit about handling, and I am not a biased journalist paid by somebody to right a review thay they want to see.. almost all reviews I’ve seen BTW, usually said – good car, but cannot quite cut it against the competitors… Refinement and interior of 9-5 can not even touch those of 2008 A6 Audi. Those ugly green GM radios…. That dull black hard plastic of dash trim and rubber feel door trim panels. That underpovered 2.0T. Gas guzzling 2.8T. And about the price difference – starting price of 2012 A6 in USA is 41700 USD. Turbo4 9-5 is 40700 USD. That is cheaper all right. Only 2012 2.0T A6 includes navigation, xenon headlights and a bunch of other bells and whistles.. And to top it off buyers new that AUDI was and will be in business honoring parts and warranties for years to come and nobody was shure about SAAB a year ago. So, yes I love SAAB. And Yes I did not like NG 9-5 a bit. It is a decent car for 25000 – 30000 usd like Buick Lacrosse, which it basically is. Not a good car for 45000 – 50000 USD like they were trying to sell it. There are way better choices in that price range .Believe me I am a tech, I’ve seen both Buick Lacrosse and NG 9-5 on the lift next to each other – they are the same… I had all the electronics, suspention, etc compared – they are the same. The only difference is sheetmetal. You can not fool consumer like that any more. There was a review from MOTOR TREND, if you’ve read it- “Nice car, but too much money to pay for Buick LaCrosse”. 9440 9-3 shared platform with Chevrolet Malibu, but similarity ended at the level of some suspension components. It was quite different. 9-5 is just a reskinned Opel/Buick. I agree with supposed Youngman’s view, that if GM wouldn’t license NG 9-5 to them they can go without it. Looking at the sales numbers they are right. You can scream all you want about how great the car is, but the final word is the consumer – if people don’t want to buy it either the car is bad or the price is wrong. I would take 9440 9-3 SS over an ng 9-5 at any time. So I do hope somebody willl buy and revive SAAB!!!!!! I hope that they can bring people that will develop a great car on Phoenix platform!!
        I hope that will be the end of slapping SAAB badge on Buick approach.

  5. And you are not right on Porsche – how many times 911 was redesined? It is just the same name, not the car. Not saying that SAAB is not exactly a Porsche. And no matter how good NG 9-5 was it was on the market like 5 years too late – well that was a GM fault. And TIMR why are you driving an old, OPEL VECTRA based 9-5 2006 year generation and not a 2011 9-3 or 2011 9-5????

    • I’ll let you know that I’m driving a fully equipped 9-5 Griffin that cost me about 40k Euro (52’000 USD) to buy, its from 2010 and I placed the order for it the day after Saab was placed into liquidation by GM.

      I have also bought two used 9-5’s this year, one from 2007 and a fully equipped and hirsched 9-5 aero from 2009. In the last two years I have bought cars for more than 90’000 USD, if you can match that I will salute you, if not then dont accuse me for driving old cars!

      • Ok, I got it TIM, you are rich, no need to showe this fact in peoples faces. I am not able to match it, sorry. I have only 2010 Mazda and 2009 Nissan in my garage. I don’t have SAABs, because I was never able to afford a new SAAB, and I don’t like buying used cars. I put my love, my hands, sweat and my knowledge to SAAB service, putting SAABs back on the streets of USA and I am still doing it. So I think my input is no less important then some wealthy guy spitting out a fortune to buy a full museum. I did my share making SAAB owners happy making them whant to by another one. Not my fault my efforts are not rewarded well enough by SAAB to make me able to spend over a 100k USD on cars.

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.