Is your Club out this weekend?

If you are out and about this weekend with your club, why not tell us what you are doing.

My local club here in England, South West Saab, are attending a big classic show organised by Footman James. The Bristol Classic Car Show takes place at the Bath and West showground just outside Shepton Mallet in Somerset.
GWS, the local Bristol club offered the space to SWS this year and we happily accepted.

Alex Rankin, who also writes the Classic 900 section in the SOC magazine, took up the challenge and arranged for seven Saabs to be on display. The only one who could not make the show due to clutch problems was a 99 turbo “Barn Find” with only 10,000 originl miles on the clock. He will be at Swedish day though.
The other six arrived at the show ground just after 2pm yesterday and then it was all go to set the stand up.
We have three Classic 900 turbos, a 2 door, 3 door and 5 door. A family 900 and 99 and a very special “run out model” 96 Souvenir.

I have put a few pictures of the set up on my flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/trollpowersaab/sets/72157629864623515/ and I will update it later after todays show.

Enjoy your weekend and let us know what your club is doing.

Updated, fantastic day had, more photos added at above link. Hope Sundays show will be great too.
Update 2, the mentioned video can be seen on you tube, http://youtu.be/yGt0EyIZwd0

A small ray of hope for Saab, thanks to Brightwell

Cross-posted from Swadeology

For months now, we’ve heard GM spokesman James Cain come out and say things like this:

TT: Why did you not agree to meet them?

– We stand by our policy not to sell technology licenses to a new owner for Saab.

TT: Not in any way?

– No.

TT: Typically in business, everything has a price tag.

– Not in this case, says James Cain.

So…… They stand by this policy and from earlier in the original article at e24, they responded to Brightwell’s requests for discussions with a big, fat “not interested”.

Not according to Brightwell’s President, Alphan Manas.

We have to rely on a Googletrans from Manas’ own blog here, but it sounds very much like they reached some agreement with GM in relation to the 9-4x before GM demanded a $73million “tooling fee”. This was apparently an unexpected development and it’s quite possible that tactics like this are part of the reason that Brightwell dropped out of the race to acquire Saab.

Of course, it’s not the first time GM has done something like this, either. Back in December 2009, GM halted negotiations with Spyker – quite suddenly – and announced that Saab was to be liquidated. Later they backflipped once more and ended up selling the company.

What does all this mean?

Not a lot, really. The changing of terms in business deals is commonplace and GM are as prone to it as anyone else. The fact that a Saab fan might find it distasteful doesn’t alter the fact that it happens (nor that PR people would ‘forget’ such things in public statements).

Perhaps the ‘tooling fee’ is a blessing in disguise for a Saab fan. If I’ve interpreted what Manas has written on his website correctly (a significant “if”, but I think I have), it means that GM might actually be willing to negotiate with a possible purchaser of Saab Automobile under the right circumstances. I’m sure they’ll charge a massive fee for such access, but it’s a glimmer of hope if ever I saw one. The 9-4x deserves to be produced for longer, and as a Saab, too.

Again, I have to stress that I’m relying on a web translation of Manas’ blog. I tried to get in touch with Manas via Twitter last week but got no response. The translation is all I’ve got to go by at the moment. If you know Turkish perhaps you can clarify things a little for everyone.

——

Thanks to Gregg for the tip.

Hirsch Performance Dual Exhaust for the 9-3

As Tim already mentioned I visited Hirsch Performance yesterday. One of the goodies my car got was the 9-3 stainless steel sports exhaust. I just love the looks of the bezels in combination with the diffusor. As for the sound – how would you want to describe it if not through a sound file:

The nice thing about the sound design of this exhaust is that it rewards you with a big roar while accelerating and at full throttle but once you are cruising at a certain speed it turns into a sonorous tone that does not annoy at all on long trips. Yesterday I already found myself driving with the windows down to hear the sound even better. It’s truly addictive.

Speaking of the technical aspects the exhaust is flow optimized and slightly reduces the back pressure compared to the original system. The complete exhaust is made from stainless steel which gurantees perfect longevity. That kind of high quality is one of the reasons why I like the Hirsch Performance stuff so much. I surely hope when Saab gets a new owner there is a chance that Hirsch Performance gets to work with them again. To me their stuff has always made my Saabs complete. And above that they are a great bunch of people with very high skills and lots of experience on Saabs. A huge thank you to the team at Hirsch Performance for some nice and interesting hours and a special thanks to Felix for the installation work.

Here are a few more pics I took yesterday. Quite a few interesting cars stood besides mine in that workshop.

Happy Easter From The Saabs United Team

I just wanted to take a minute on a very quiet Saab weekend to wish all of the readers of Saabs United a very happy Easter. I hope you all get to hit the roads in you wonderful cars to go and visit your families. One of our close friends here at Saabs United and a former dealer is dealing with one of the toughest loss’s this Easter and my heart goes out to him and his family at this difficult time. It also makes me thankful for every minute we have with our families and we need to take advantage of the time we do have.

As we read earlier this week from the press conference, the receivers have given until the first work day after Easter for all final bids to be submitted. All this means to me is that we are getting closer and have a definite timeline for final bids which should be a good thing….. I have heard a lot of people picking favorites now and casting votes as was posted on Swadeology and I have to agree with the 64% leader for a lot of the same reasons others have mentioned.

We also got a couple of more photo’s from Swizzy of his two beautiful Saab’s with SU license plate holder’s. Your car’s look great.

 

As we all sit waiting for a final solution or outcome of this whole ordeal, it sort of seams that we are sitting on something big. When waiting to finally come back to life, I kind of think this is fitting for it to happen around Easter. Happy Easter everyone and enjoy your cars and love your families.

Maud on Saab’s Failure

The growing criticism towards SweGov made Maud “Windmill” Olofsson defend the stace she and the government took in the Saab affair (from http://ttela.se/ekonomi/saab/1.1582542-maud-olofsson-avvisar-saab-kritiken):

– We never said no to Vladimir Antonov, it was GM and the EIB. The power was with the EIB, which lent the money, this knew Victor Muller says Olofsson to Svenska Dagbladet.

I don’t want to be picky here, but as far as GM is concerned James Cain told a different story about Vladimir. But after all, annoyed me about SweGov was not what they did, it was what they did not do. A positive public statement could have been helpful, instead the politicians in charge at best took a duck and cover attitude. Quite often they even talked down Saab.

Of course Maud is right when she states that the reason for Saabs failure are to be found within the company. But when it comes to the obstacles Saab had to face on the quest for survival she was one of those adding a few more, even if just through doing nothing. Not surprising to see her point at everybody else now.

This is again something that makes me worry about that Japanese electric consortium involved in the bidding process. It will be hard enough to keep all members of the consortium on board over the long period until their plan could generate profit, but with govermental involvement – I don’t even want to think about that.

Hirsch Performance 9-5 Spring Promotion

Hirsch Performance has put together two very nicely priced packages for the 9-5 Sedan. I have spent quite a bit of time in their white 9-5, for example when driving to the SU Octoberfest and I have to say that the performance and the handling of that fully equipped car is absolutely breathtaking. If you want that complete package you have to be quick, only five units are still available…
For those who do not have a 9-5 or did not get a package – we offer the poster of that car on our SU shop and even at a 50% discount right now.

01. 9-5 Touring Package*

Read moreHirsch Performance 9-5 Spring Promotion

An electric solution for Trollhättan?

As we could read last week an electric cars consortium has entered the bidding process for Saab. They act very secret but as I learned just recently it’s not the BAIC thing that was rumored about before. It looks more like some Japanese companies related to the automotive business got together to place a bid. While we don’t know much more about who they are yet we know that their plan is to build electric cars only in Trollhättan.

But can that work? In any case it is a pretty ambitious plan given how hard the pure electrical car companies like Tesla had to fight for survival ever since. I know that the electric cars is often praised as the saviour from carbon dioxide and the key to future mobility. It is the loved child of many politicians and even here in Germany the government wants to see one million electric cars on the road until 2020. But is the electric car really the answer? Is it the key? For me the answer is clear: No.

Read moreAn electric solution for Trollhättan?

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