As some of you will have already noticed, I have been given the absolute pleasure of being asked to join the SU crew, although I prefer to call it a team. Within just a few years of discovering Saabs United and posting numerous comments I have made a lot of new friends, attended countless events, lived out the nail biting dramas as they unfolded regarding the future of Saab and now this very wonderful accolade. To say I am delighted is an understatement!
One of those such events that happened to me was more of a personal one but one which really does emphasise the power of Saabs United. Rather than re write the exact events here in this post I have included a link to the post I wrote regarding it at the time it happened which was 18th January 2012.
Well as a first post here I thought I would just introduce myself and provide a bit of background to my association with Saab.
I am a Welshman and have always lived in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. I was born and brought up in the docklands area of Cardiff which was a major world famous coal exporting port. In fact the worlds’ first million pound deal was struck in the coal exchange buildings near where I still live.
I left school in 1974 and attended my first job interview in January 1975 at which was one of the first Saab dealerships in the UK having been in existence for many years prior to that. I got the job as a trainee in panel beating and crash repair. We mainly specialised in Saab body repairs but also did work on other makes. It was here I discovered the incredible strength and build quality of a Saab body shell. It really struck me that this was an incredibly well built and designed motor car that compared with nothing else I had ever seen. I spent many years in that role progressing to all types of major Saab body repair including 96, 90, 99 and 900. I eventually took the opportunity to move into the Parts department due to my extensive hands on knowledge of the product.
I then left that company in 1986 to help set up the parts operation of a new Saab dealer some 15 miles away , going on to become Parts Manager there. It was at this dealership I was again presented with another opportunity which was to help out in the Sales department. I sold my first new Saab, a 900 T16s 3 door in Black within 2 weeks and decided that this was what I now wanted to do. From that day I have remained in a Sales role but in a dealership back nearer where I live in Cardiff.
Again as many of you here may know, our dealership succumbed to the turbulent times surrounding Saab and on the 23rd December 2011 at 4pm my 37 year career working with Saab came to a crashing halt with just one hour notice as we were about to break for Christmas. As you will see in my January post this was a very traumatic time and certainly not the way I would ever have contemplated the end of my Saab career.
In the time I was out of work and thanks to my good friend RobinM, I was able to make the trips to Belgium for the International and Trollhattan for Octoberfest. Both these trips were extremely memorable and I would especially like to thank all those that made it so. You know who you are.
And so to the present. I am very much looking forward to contributing as much as I can to our community in the future via Saabs United. These are very interesting times with hopefully another chance for Saab in some shape or form to once again bounce back from the depths. Whilst in Trollhattan I was in the audience in which Mathias made his presentation and I can honestly say I left that room on a high. I really do believe these guys have a lot of ideas and new directions to take Saab into the next generation. It would be all to easy to just sit back with a pipe and slippers lamenting what has been and gone but I for one am not going to do that just yet! For we have a lot to be able to look ahead to and NEVS should be given every chance and support to bring to us a new generation of cars. We MUST now look forward and hold the past in our hearts for sure, but without change we have no chance. Also do please remember that the alternative to what NEVS are doing is a big fat NOTHING!!
And so, I thank you all for reading this, thank you Jason, Till, Tim, Robin and also those comments of support.
One final comment, I promise that any information or posts I bring to you in the future will be posted and written with as balanced and accurate a view as I can possibly provide. I invite criticism and debate, all I ask is that we all keep a level head and remember we are one big family so let us not let things get too personal, we are all here for the same reason!
Here,s looking to the future.