It’s been a few days that I’ve been carrying around some thoughts I wanted to put into words here. For the past year I have been pretty absent here as a writer due to the saab related webshop that I had started back then and that has been growing permanently. Nevertheless I’ve been watching closely what happens and what is posted here and around other places in the Saab universe.
Our main job over the years, the covering of the latest news has become rather unsatisfying recently. Not only because real news are hard to get but also because those latest news were rather bad. So for some time I have been looking into ways to get more community topics back on the blog. The stuff that us current owners are interested in while enjoying and maintaining our Saabs. Pretty soon we’ll be introducing a new writer to feature the technical side of our cars. I still believe getting a pre-owned Saab is a good idea and maybe this is a way to encourage more people to join in.
While I still feel that there may be cars made in Trollhättan again in the future for now I think we have to deal with the reality and put our love on the cars we have. I know there are many out there who put a lot of effort into their cars, making them something very special and personal. If you are one of those, please share those stories with us. We will be happy to post it.
We have more things in our mind for the future of SaabsUnited but since it’s you who we are running that blog for we are also open to your suggestions. Comments are open. SaabsUnited has always been a valuable part of the community over the years and can surely be that in the future with a few tweaks here and there.
And finally just a few words on an issue we got a lot of critcism for (and rightly so). I did not like the extensive featuring of Munich based cars either.
152 thoughts on “Thoughts.”
Well worded! This site is Saabsunited, not BMW’s united
Keep it Saab!. Did not enjoyed those “german” posts 🙂
+1, well said and well expressed Till 72.
the thing is that you do not want to listen to other different voices. Just like an old Chinese saying goes, letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend. A single flower really does not make a spring.
No no, it’s not that. For sure let a hundred flowers blossom in a hundred blogs, but links to a page outside the main blog (with a health warning) would be a better way of giving those other voices space.
Thank you for posting this. I think at this point—-more important than upgrading, customizing, etc., is simply keeping our Saabs running—-keeping as many Saabs on the road as possible. That means covering the mundane mechanical issues maybe—-in more than just a buried forum—-but as a featured highlight. An “Ask The Technician” or “Ask The Community” feature once in a while. Last week, I dealt with an Check Engine light—-commented on it in one of the threads. Having other owners come to the rescue with advice and suggestions was a great feeling. Turns out the code read “O2 Sensor” and the light is off now—–drove the car a lot this weekend. Keeping our Saabs on the road—-not as collector’s oddities, but as daily drivers—-is the best thing we can do right now. Saabs United aiding in that cause is a reason to keep coming here. That said—-I have to admit to enjoying the BMW posts and also, related talk about “Our World After Saab.” Sure, the game is still on—-there’s still hope. And if the best happens, and Saab gets a serious new owner with real ideas that can make Saab viable and relevant again, we can shift direction (with crisper handling than a BMW) and get back to talking about the future of Saab—-the excitement of new models, a new dealer network and perhaps Saab coming back to all of our markets. But until such time—–I’ve got to believe that there’s a value in discussing other makes—-as some of us will need new cars and without new Saabs available, if someone wants a new car, it’ll be interesting to read what cars others chose, why they made that choice and how things are working out for them. Yes, this is a Saab forum—-but to go back to an analogy that I used previously—-having a favorite football team doesn’t mean that you ignore the rest of the league. And if your team is having a bad season, it’s still possible to enjoy football—-watching the teams that are doing well play against each other. Following another team when your team is out of contention is fine. And if the team you follow ends up going away—-no longer part of the league—-you might just watch old highlights and never pick a new favorite team. Or, if you still want to follow the sport as a fan, you pick a new favorite.
As always…..just about perfect.
Totally agree on your football teams/car brands thoughts. I think it is absolutely ok to discuss other brands. I think the dissatisfaction with the “BMW articles” was caused mainly because of the lack of “SAAB articles” recently. I think it was more of an emotional reaction than a rational one. It will be good to combine SAAB-related content with articles about the automotive world through the eyes of a Saaber. My “dissatisfaction” with Trued’s article is not because it was about a BMW but more because it could be more or less summarized with the sentence “I went to Germany with my new BMW” (hence the accusations of “bragging”). It would be much more interesting to read why he chose this car. Trued said in the comments that for him this is the best possible car in the segment. I think there is an article to be written in detail about why this is the best car. Trued also said that he wonders about writing an article about the similarities between BMW and SAAB. I know that many would see such an article as “101 reasons to move to BMW and forget about SAAB” but I disagree. I think there are a lot of interesting parallels to be drown between SAAB and many other brands, not only BMW. If it is written the right way it can generate a lot of meaningful discussions. But to keep everyone happy the focus probably should be kept on the stuff that is solely SAAB. And speaking about SAAB related content I have a question to the content contributors at SU. Back in May it was announced that on the Maptun Day Frank Smit would speak about how they “resurrected” the 9-3. Did he speak that day? I know that the SU crew that attended didn’t take any video but still it would be nice to read about that story in some way or form.
It’s interesting that you brought up that episode from the Spring. I’d be lying if I said I recalled the same specific discussion—-but I do recall various comments here that talked about how SU was not at liberty to disclose information at that time. However, I believe we’re fast approaching a time when the secretive “information” can be shared with readers here—and if it can be shared, it should be. If there is “inside information” about the electric 9-3 development, Phoenix, etc., is it really necessary at this point to keep a lid on it? If owners change, all the more reason to let the worms out of the can.
I like the idea of an article from time to time that goes into some detail (perhaps with photos!) of how to handle a general Saab maintenance issue, but I do not think the main blog entry part of SU should turn into a general “how to” section for fixing our Saabs. There are already several other sites that specialize in that and in today’s world of Saab ownership, I don’t think it makes much sense for these Saab sites to compete with each other. (For example, http://www.saabnet.com has excellent forums for the various Saab models with a searchable archive to find lots of helpful information on Check Engine Light codes, common repairs, diagnosing the meaning of certain sounds, etc. That site has less coverage of general news in the Saab world, so I come to SU and other sites for that. There is also http://www.twinsaabs.com with lots of repair information.)
A focus on special SAABs is a great idea.
True. Both of our Saabs are pretty new and has low miles so we are planning to keep them around until we can drive them safely, hopefully for many more years. We have a Toyota as well that we use for the winter commute but I don’t think that is appropriate or even necessary to blog about it on SU. Angelo, you are utterly right about the mechanical blog, that is something I wish we had on this site, specially now that our cars are getting older.
Thanks a lot for your comment, Till ! Keep the Saab spirit alive !
Full ack. The problem with the other brand reports here/ photos labeled with the other blog name was just a thread on a German blog. The moderation/ deleting of posts is an other problem.
Very well written Till!
Could this German Bayerische MettWurst stuff been removed from this page? It doesn’t have anything to do with SAABs. I do drive another car brand besides my beloved SAAB but I do not write anything special about it. It’s just a vehicle which gets me from point A to point B. If anyone would like to write anything about those Bayerische MettWurst vehicles, could you please be so kind and do it on some Bimmer site?
I think the BMW posts have been a bit overwhelming but I don’t mind posts not related to Saab since that is hard to come across. I’d suggest posts on Automotive safety features, car design and vehicle engineering but of all different OEMs doing innovative things.
Totally agree, I don’t mind posts about other brands as long as they have some bearing on future or past Saabs or Saab ideas. To help us keep up with automotive developments I think we also have to look at what happens around us. I enjoyed the posting from Red J, a couple of weeks ago, where he looked at various electrical drive features of Bmw i3 and Chevy Volt.
Far from everybody at SU are prepared to buy a new car at the moment. Still they have great opportunity right now to trade their older Saab to a newer, at a very fair price. And if we could help each other to keep them running with service, maintenance and parts tips here on this site it would be great idea.
Since there is a current vacuum of Saab news I think the content and purpose of this forum has to be widened both to the past and to the future.
Yes. What I find interesting, however, is that despite lengthy discussions on this forum about where Saab sits in relationship with other manufacturers in terms of its ‘premium’ status (which concluded I seem to recall that it is properly placed a little lower than the premium German brands), it seems that only high-end of the range of these premium brands will satisfy Saab owners when they are forced to migrate. Interesting!
I think that no matter which saab model you buy it seems polished and exactly what you need. But for a German premium brand they design from high end down. So they make this amazing car and then lower all the specs to make it meet the lower end price point so the Polish is lacking. Also clear when you buy a low end car and get the top of the line specs, it still feels like a low end car so again the Polish is not there.
Low end with high specs = low end
High ends with low specs = something that aspires to be more
Saab = most models are designed individually make them polished no matter which model you buy.
I have always driven top of the line Saabs and still do parallel to my car that I can not mention anymore. Interesting to see that nobody has mentioned Till’s ovloV XC60…..
Did he do a post on it? I didn’t even know he owned a Volvo but I honestly don’t care what you guys own. I own a 2007 9-3 as well as a 1993 Subaru Impreza AWD. We all have brands we like and like less. I personally will only own 4 brands of cars: Saab, Subaru, Volvo, and Tesla. All companies that stand for something and are not all about sales but thats just me. I’d love to know what all the people in the comments own, and if it is not a Saab, why they own it. I own my Subaru because I feel in love with the company and their 80-90 cars and most important their dedication to AWD. I did not fall in love with their rust though lol.
Oh well, I was just looking for a family car and since the dealer I bought my Saabs at for 15 years added Volvo it was pretty clear that I would take that route. Why change he workshop that treated you well over all that time? Better support them since they also take good care for my Saab.
Good decision, something I also valued when I picked a dealer for my next car!
When I bought mine I brought it to the ex dealer for an oil change and plan to for the next, I can do it my self and don’t mind doing it but I usually do this to start a relationship with a dealer. I did this with a bike shop as well, worked out well since the manager is basically offering 600 off a 2500 bike.
Good to see a focus on what we already own. I baby my classic 900i, (At 213000 km, I still am on the original brake pads) hoping to extend it’s life to the end of mine. Here in Queensland Australia, I worry about the ever diminishing parts and Saab technicians available. Mutual advice about servicing would be most welcome.
Thank you Till72, very well written!!
I think it is a good idea to focus on the Saab cars on this blog.
And I think that we are a lot of Saab drivers that are planning to drive our Saabs for many years in the future!
does this mean that Tim & Trued have moved on?
I hope not, there is no reason they should leave…….
No, that’s not what I wanted to say here. Both are valuable members of our team. Still, there is a better place to talk about those Munich based vehicles.
thanks for that, hopefully NEVS will release some news soon.
As Tim and Trued have started their own BMW blog, bmwb.se I guess you will find them there more frequently than here.
So much for their “keeping the faith” [rolls eyes]
Care to explain that comment?
No you wont, I still spend more time working for this blog than any of the other writers do combined… but to be brutally honest, I dont feel that its fun anymore…
I always look forward to your posts, which are always well written and informative, especially about the corporate side of what NEVS/Saab are up to, but yes, being the never ending bearer of bad news can’t be much fun.
I agree that you are right to be suspicious of Orio’s parts intentions. Two factors spring to mind. One is they are a parts distributor, not maker, and if the maker has gone out of business, then their hands are tied.
Secondly, they are dealing with an ever declining customer base. If you use the UK registration numbers for Saab from howmanyleft.co.uk , and extrapolate, then there are likely to be 75% of the number of Saabs now on the road compared with the point of bankrupcy in 2011. Thus, somewhere around 1 million now.
As those cars age, less and less will be inclined to fix them with expensive OEM stuff, or at ‘ dealers’ such as they remain.
So Orio must find other things to do, or just decline as time goes on. At some point they will simply start putting what to them seems like an economic price on a part, based on low volume and a slow turn rate – with no regard to how that compares with the market for similar parts from other mainstream manufacturers.
Thanx! You’ve always had a balanced view on things that I respect a lot! And no, I’ve been the messenger of bad news for almost 4 years now and I’ve had enough… even with good news coming from NEVS most of the fans were unwilling to embrace them =(
When I visited Orio back in April 2013 I found out that they had already moved on to other things… its not like they are looking for other things to do, they are already doing it!
Most companies I’ve talked to that worked with Saab related businesses in 2011 said that the parts and retail business for Saabs would last about 5 years, and in the mean time all of them started to look for options to the Saab business. Many of them work with their new stuff in parallel with their Saab business and that works well for now.
But from what I’ve heard from most of them, is that the point of declining Saab related business that they thought was due in 2016 actually already came in the end of 2013.
I’m sorry I don’t write as much as you do. I did try staring a few topics but after only a month or so the emails stopped coming my way. Obviously (apart from sotw) my topics to not cut it.
Quite often when I get a press message from Saab GB, that gets slated too as it’s not what the readers want to read.
But I’m not giving up on my love for saab, be it old or nearly new.
You are doing a fantastic job with SU Robin! You do the things for this website that we can’t, its extremely valuable to us!
Tim. I am sorry for having to say this but you are starting to look very “me too-ish” or “follow the heard” in your love for BMW. I understand you have reached a comfortable stage in life where this car makes sense but do not try to justify it with made up stories about “similarities to Saab”. As an example. You spend years on this forum bashing everyone who mention that a car (say a bmw) with rear wheel drive is more fun to drive. You loudly tell everyone that on your 2.5h commute (one way…) your front wheel drive Saab handles much better through snow and ice, and believe this is why Saab should be bought by loads of people.
As soon as you get disgruntled with the way a company does business, Orio, you buy a BMW, the last bastion of true rwd! Although yours is an x-drive, I give you that, you start a blog to write about BMWs, its heritage and other aspects of the company.
BMW is a company that is the complete and utter opposite of what Saab ever was no matter how much you try to justify it! It is not a bunch of inventive cool guys in a small town of Sweden, it is über-engineered, it is German to the finest detail.
Please stop Tim. If you want to leave SU do so but don’t insult the rest of us on your way.
I wrote a big response to your utterly stupid comment but I deleted it and replaced it with this:
People here know what I have done for Saab and for this website during the past years, If I leave SU its not because I’m more interested in another brand, it would be because of people like you!
With all due respect (and I have lots of that for the SU crew for all the time and energy they invested!), Peter might have some valid points here.
Also, looking at the ‘typical’ owners of both Saab and BMW; they’re traditionaly very different people indeed, which is obvious in their ‘road manners’; calm and composed vs aggresive and ‘sporty’ .
I wouldn’t call Saab drives calm and composed at all… most Saab drivers I meet on the street are very aggressive, driven by young people with little respect for other cars on the road. Its almost like they have to prove to everyone else that a Saab is faster than all other cars…
Just a few days ago I was overtaken by a 9-3 Aero 2006 V6 on a small road with heavy traffic, worst thing was that that he had a baby in the front seat with him, driving like that with a child in the car is insane… at least here its more young people than old driving Saabs now that they’ve become so affordable, so young people end up in cars with good performance and we’ve all been young and I think we’ve all behaved in ways on the road that perhaps we shouldn’t have…
Wow, interesting how different things can be in other countries…
But it does remind me of the youngsters I’ve seen in the small town of Lidkoping, racing around in their souped up Volvo’s like crazy….!
your acting wierd
I really wonder where you got the right to get that personal towards Tim. I don’t think that he deserves such a comment that tries to argue based on stereotypes. That is a bit cheap for a discussion among grown ups
OK, can we just all focus on what this blog is all about and put away our differences so we can concentrate on more important things like our SAAB’s. We all have different opinions but regardless, we are all her for one major common reason, we are SAAB fans, so let’s act accordingly. Respect one and other’s views without insulting each other, believe me, we can be a lot more resourceful and productive this way. Tim bought a BMW, that doesn’t make him an outcast. He has a long commute to work and that totally justifies his decision to purchase a new car. Furthermore there were no new Saabs available at the time of his purchase, so give it a rest and let’s just all get alone and focus on what we are all here for. We should al hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed for each other and for those who work at NEVS. Remember, we are family.
There’s still so much to look forward to; many of us wouldn’t be able to afford a brand new Saab, but gradually the newer Saabs come ‘within reach’ of many of us true Saab fans. No doubt there’s lots to write about looking at it that way; I’m still looking forward to owning a used NG 9-5 Aero in a few years from now; it still beats most other brands’ models in my view..
I would think posts regarding technical and modification posts would be good. Stuff like resolving weird and loud engine vibrations, or turbo upgrading, ECU finr tuning etc to get even more power/ efficiency. Getting tuners like maptun or even Nordic to talk about how they get cars tuned to specific levels, but not those over the top 1000hp Saab though those are nice and I would love one:)
I love the idea about a technical blog. I have left a few posts in the other forum here hoping for a response but rarely got any, so more focus on helping fellow saabers in the main blog would help us all. I have a 2008 93 v6 aero with sat nav which is playing up saying nav disk read error, my disk has quite a few marks on it so I was looking to upgrade the maps (mine says 2005). A map upgrade seems almost impossible to find, let alone find out what make of nav I have (which is dephi-Grundig after extensive research and physical dismantling) all line off inquiry seem closed as to upto date maps.
Looking around on forums it seems to be a common problem. I did try Landrover 3 Denso which works apparently on the indentical Denso Nav but not on mine. Any other Saabers out there with 93 2008 delphi unit with updated maps?? If anyone with 93 Denso Sat Nav unit want to try this disk you are more than welcome.
For those interested, Denso and dephi units are identical, if the unit opens screen up its a Denso if it opens screen facing down its a Delphi unit
Till, +1. Only one comment, tech stuff is great, but be careful it does not become the only thing that appears on SU. So many of the old clubs, that is all they do. Keep SU fresh and alive with stories of people and their cars. take care
I don’t think this will be an issue. You are right, so much stuff going on that is interesting.
I will still have Saabs for decades, and I have to admit I find it strange that Tim as a moderator is so quick to jump ship and get rid of ALL his Saabs even though they were just a few years old and he has many vehicles. Honestly I’ve never been able to afford a new Saab (or a new anything), so the whole self repair and keeping old things going is nothing new to me. My ’86 SPG has 270,000 miles on it!
Jesse: In some ways, it might make more sense to keep an old Saab than a newer one. The parts supply for older ones is probably better than some of the newer models (especially the Mullermobiles). Also, to the extent that there is ANY value left in one of the newer ones, maybe it’s best to unload them now if possible—-trading in toward a new car—-because in a very short time, these cars will be virtually worthless, if parts are scarce, software not supported, etc. These last Saabs are perhaps the worst type of orphan car—-might end up with literally no support and owners might be victims of the cars sitting in shops for months, waiting for another one to be wrecked to cannibalize parts. There’s a curve of sorts to get rid of a car—-and if someone has the financial means, it might be that they’re at a point on the curve now when it’s wise to dump and run. I don’t know Tim’s exact circumstances, but I don’t blame him for liquidating and starting over. I’ve considered doing it with my Saab—-but I have 3 other cars and 1 company car—-so keeping the Saab around is low risk for me and trading it toward another car might not make financial sense. It’s something I’ve considered and will continue to consider—-but the deal would have to be very strong for me to pull the trigger. My Saab has low mileage and depleted resale value—-as long as it runs and doesn’t strand me and become unpredictable to drive, I guess I’ll hold onto it. But if some car catches my attention, with a low price and a company that’s still in business, and if the place selling it offers me a fair price for my Saab (whatever a fair price is) I guess I can be swayed.
Angelo, I would agree on the parts situation, the newer Saabs are likely going to be in the high-risk category in a few years. Mine are old enough (20-30 years!) that the primary parts sources are aftermarket and used suppliers anyway. (Sometimes it may be necessary to get creative for the odd part that is no longer available.) No software issues with these vehicles either. Even the 1st-gen 9-5 is probably not going to have parts problems for quite a while since they were in production for so long. So you should be OK for a while yet.
I’ve seen some of the NG 9-5 models around at interesting prices but the future parts situation just doesn’t seem promising for them aside maybe for some generic GM parts. (And the 9-4X had I think less than 500 built!) Due to their limited production run the aftermarket will not be so interested in the Muller cars and used parts will be scarce. The tech in those vehicles is much more complicated than the older models, meaning lack of software support is an issue and it will be much more difficult to jerry-rig solutions if a part is unavailable.
I also thought it was bizarre to read that Tim got rid of his 9-5, because my thought process is that I’m going to keep my ’07 9-5 wagon forever as an heirloom & I’m a slaab college student currently living on unemployment loll I mean yea once I graduate && the man is out of the navy and I get a real job I’ll be aspiring for the new Volvo V90 if it has any interior resemblance of the new xc90. && BMW?!? you couldn’t pay me to drive a 3 series, marginal safety rating in the small overlap front test by iihs.org is pretty bad. My boyfriend likes BMWs, owns 80s 5 series and ’99 e-class diesel hand me down, so naturally we test drove a brand new 535d for shits one day. I liked the car and quality but my only gripe was during the whole god damn test drive I sat there fiddling with the seating options to get it justtt rightt & I was neurotic by the end of the drive! I guess having SAABs & Volvo in the driveway has spoiled me for life, if I were the one test driving the car that would have been an immediate deal breaker. I’ve spent some time in the rear of a new 3 series too and the seats are just horridddddd. I don’t want to move on to Volvo one day, thank god they got their crap together away from ford, but I will always have at least 1 SAAB in the driveway!
Its not bizzare at all, if you know what I know! I simply have no faith in the guarantees that Orio make, that spare parts will be available.
I’ve driven a 2014 3-series GT for the past two weeks and the seats are just as good or even better than in my 2010 9-5 and with all the technologies making it more easy to drive I actually end up at work more relaxed than I ever did in my 9-5. The headlights are better making night-driving more relaxing as well!
PS my commute to work is 2,5 hours! ONE WAY!
No need to explain Tim. Bottom line: There are no more new Saabs. If someone wants a new car, they must go somewhere else. BMW is an excellent choice and again, it’s interesting, to me at least, to get an idea of where Saab owners are going—-what brands they’re migrating to and why. It will also be interesting to get thoughts from you and others, six months down the road—-as to how the transition is going. What will you miss about your Saab? What will you like most about your new ride? Unless and until NEVS or someone else starts producing and selling new Saabs, there’s nothing Saab to talk about in a contemporary sense—-meaning an active new car market. And even if they make Saabs again, unless and until they come back to my market and other common Saab markets from yesteryear—-people living in those places won’t care much. It’s a Saab forum and it’s a car forum. I’m anxious to hear more when you take delivery of your new BMW.
As it looks now we’ll take delivery of our first new BMW in Week 4, the 2nd one is coming in week 8 of next year.
I’ve been driving a 3-series Gran Tourismo for the past 2 weeks and I can say that there are a number of small things that were more clever in Saabs but overall I’m more impressed with the GT than I was of the 9-5 or 9-3. But even so the things I miss, I miss mostly because I was used to doing things a certain way in the car and in the those ways became natural to me, now I have to adjust to something else and in 6 months I won’t even remember that it was an issue anymore…
But the most important lesson in getting another brand that is far superior to what Saab had in 2012, is to see how much effort it will take NEVS in order to catch up. In fact I think that the distance is too great for NEVS ever to be able to catch up with most brands… too much time has gone by and the lag is too great…
Ah…. the Germans, they’re so ‘superior’….. 🙁
They are good at many things and not so good at many other things… but you know that BMW and SAAB were about the same size in the 70’s and 80’s, Saab was even ahead of BMW in terms of technology in the 80’s but there is a reason why in 2014 BMW is selling 2 million cars per year and Saab is bankrupt =(
Not a single day goes by without me wishing that Victor would have managed to save Saab and that I could walk through the doors of my dealer to buy a brand new 9-5… but that didn’t happen… =(
Have you ever considered an Audi? I remember a time (I must be getting old…) when an Audi 200 turbo and a 9000 turbo16 attracted similar people. Both brands had comparable technological views regarding cars.
But that’s a long time ago for sure…. 😉
I’ve got a lot of colleagues who used to own Audi’s but many of them left the brand due to too many break downs and these were RS cars… they make nice cars but I’ve been advised against them by friends…
yea i only have experience up front with a $68+K 5 series seats which were just not up to par, nothing like the seats in my moms ’10 XC60 T6 where you just jump in and its pure comfort lust & that car was only $46K new but obviously she bought it certified pre-owned(volvo still honors factory scheduled maintenance for CPO in NA unlike bimm but that’s n/a for you). && I guess you have less incentive to keep your saab in sweden where they are so common, while in new england its more like driving something rare & exotic, especially in the hill towns. Though it’s pretty sad my 9-5’s xenons are not up to par with madre’s halogens in the x-country, or that I just had to buy a new 3rd brake light cause its been leaking for ever now ughh and its amazing how when you drive a modern suspension & throw a big ass xc60 into a corner at 60mph and its just so composed, but the ancient 9-5 is still a blast to drive & all my maintenance is done at a family members personal garage.
Volvo make great cars too and their seats have always been good!
having gone for a test drive with victor muller in the passengers seat in the new 9-5 in the catskill mountains back when all was well, and pulling over to make him show me that infamous image of the small saab concept on his phone that swade always talked about is something I will never forget. After the bankruptcy I stopped coming to this site, too depressing & didn’t help the healing process loll. & I don’t condemn your for moving on to bmw, christ my part german boyfriend loves them, & I being part swedish will stick with swedish vehicles. I should also disclose my keep the slaab forever mentality comes from the fact that say if there are no parts in 5 years I wont take a financial hard hit cause I bought the sportcombi welllll under book value from my mother so theres that. that’s why I pick her cars out ;] &&& to be honest about ovlov, I wouldn’t be caught dead in any of their products pre 2010(i mean where is the snob factor of a boxy as F 2002 s60?!?! LMFAO), 1st gen s60 gave me migraines, xc90 is a loaf that can’t get out its own way, and the xc70 is harshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh on the eyes & from what my mom recalls from the test drive when she was looking to replace the slaab it was so smooth & numb driving you could fall asleep at the wheel! That’s why we like saab over volvo, unique reliable turbocharged fun to drive understated beautiful cars. Its just a miracle volvo makes cars that don’t make my eyes implode looking at them anymore hahaaa
@Tim, how realistic to compare seats in a SAAB 9-5 ‘2010 which was first introduced in 1996 with BWM GT ‘2014, introduced 2008!
Why are you so harsh and rude in your comments and reply?
You are a bit to sensitive…
The 2010 9-5 Griffin seats were introduced in 2009 and built upon the sport-seats that were introduced in 2006. Fantastic seats in every way that I have enjoyed a lot!
And the GT was introduced in 2013…
Being sensitive, sure… I can be that at times… there isn’t a single day that goes by without me thinking about the day when I stood 2 meters away from Victor Muller when he announced that Saab Automobile AB declared bankruptcy!… I’ve tried to keep the spirit up on this site for the past 3,5 years but sadly being the bearer of continuos bad news. When people are bashing me for buying a new product that once again is making me happy, it hurts…
I don’t think anyone is bashing you for buying a new product (well I’m not – I understand the need in business to have a ‘new’ vehicle), but it’s more the manner of the exit. Reading some of your comments, it feels like you’re burning bridges.
Rather than focus on the negativity directed towards you; think about the thousands of other people around here who are doing their best to keep their Saabs going. Not everyone here is flush with money or jobs etc. and it’s a real struggle. I don’t think you’ve meant to, but it comes across as you belittling Saab….and their beloved Saabs at the same time.
I logged in for the first time in a year or so last week simply to respond to Trued’s post about his BMW. It wasn’t the BMW part I objected to; it was the totally unnecessary comments against Spyker / VM which he added in there.
I would have loved to keep my Saab, buying that car is by far one of the biggest investments I’ve done in my life. But I have to be honest here as well when people say that they are going to keep their cars for ever and they question why I don’t do the same…
I value your honesty Luke but I know that I have been extremely naive with Spyker, Saab and NEVS. I see things more clearly now and I see more than one point of view which used to be the unquestionable point of view of a dedicated fan.
I think therein lies a lot of the difference between you and I, Tim. I love being my own mechanic, and I can’t afford any vehicle that’s been made in the last 8 years, so that being said the luxury an old used Saab provides (when from what I understand the quality was higher) then I much rather have a Saab than say an old Toyota. A 10 year old Saab beats a 10 year old Toyota every day all day for me. The fear of my car breaking down and leaving me stranded is always there, and I’m on edge about some part failing all the time. I used probably all 14psi of stock boost on my 2002 9-3 getting on the highway this last week and popped off a crankcase ventilation hose, scared the daylights out of me because it made all kinds of lights come on and the engine ran a little rough because of the air being introduced into the system not being metered. Honestly though since I can’t afford a new car I have no choice, otherwise like you I would be tempted to buy a BMW. I drive BMWs and Mercedes and Audis and Acuras and Lexus’ all day in my line of work, and BMW definitely seems to have the road feel and performance issues tied down very well, and for a competitive price.
One other huge thing I’ve noted is that I fell in love with the cars for what they were, whereas you love the cars for who they were made by (friends and family). Saabs are a passion of mine as a second hand car, not as a means for a family member to have an income, so I have completely different ties to them than you. Interesting, though, how we’d all like to see them prosper, and I suppose therein lies the power of a Saab. 🙂
Tim, appreciate the reply. You seem down about the whole thing and you shouldn’t be – and you shouldn’t think that your efforts for Saab have been wasted or anything like it. Nor should you feel let down. Yes, maybe some actions weren’t the best, and perhaps ulterior motives were in play, but, in my view at least, Saab was sunk the minute the Swedish government said that they ‘weren’t in the car making business.’ Everything was like CPR after that.
I don’t know you, but I sense you feel a bit like how I felt when I stopped running (I was an amateur athlete). Coming to the realisation I wasn’t going to make it to the olympics, I ‘retired.’ I literally looked back at all my years training and thought ‘why the hell did I do that?!?’ For months or even years, I gave out about other runners and asked them ‘why are you wasting your time??? Training for hours a week! Running miles but going nowhere!’
Then one day, the anger within me passed. I reflect on my achievements and say ‘not bad, mate.’ How many guys can say they ran 5km…on a sandy beach….in 16 minutes?! I don’t have much interest in the sport, but I congratulate anyone involved in it. I’ve moved on. But….every so often….I find myself watching an event on television and find myself smiling. ‘I could totally win that race,’ I’d think. Even when I go for a walk, when nobody’s around, I sometimes break into a run – I even sprinted down the motorway a while back. Heck, I visited Monaco a year or two ago and, at 4 am, sprinted through the famous tunnel.
Anyway, like running, Saab is in you. Don’t let some of the bad times overrule the many many good times. Might take a while, but someday you’ll be cruising along a motorway and a 9000 2.3T will blast by you…and you will smile again 🙂
I need that. I want to keep it running forever and I really would love to be able to talk parts and tech. Awesome.
+1, I sold my german SUV and just acquired a 9-4x! For the reason that the german maintenance problems were way too much.
SaabsUnited should be a blog for Saab enthusiasts and its primary should be to discuss the brand SAAB. During latter time, some that I believed were true SAAB enthusiasts, left SAAB and select a German brand. Of course it is up and free to choose which brand one want, but to be a real Saab enthusiast I think that you are loyal against Saab as long there are hopes. We have seen on other brands that have disappeared that it nevertheless is possible to get spare parts. We know that it is possible to drive more than 100,000 km with a Saab if it is maintained well. Certain it is finesses on new models that Saab lacks today. It come permanently new innovations. It is a question for yourself how important it is.
I have two convertibles. One 900NG and one 9-3NG. It often happens that I get positive comments about them. Maintained well the always will be special too many. There is a lot you can improve on older Saab models. The dashboard has been criticized on 9-3. It is possible to install both carbon fiber panel and noble wooden panel for them that so desires. If you have a navigation system with display on 9-3 you can install a screen card for i.e. back camera. It is now possible to get more information on the information display if you have a 9-3 model year 2008-2012. Read more here:
In eSID you can choose welcoming text in the display. As standard, it is: `SAAB, iconic to many, lived by a select few’. A text that agrees well with what we SAAB enthusiasts think.
There is a lot to discuss and to have opinions about when it applies to SAAB. Let us focus on that.
Keeping our cars on the road is The Imperative. I love my 9-5 Estate to bits. Literally. I am constantly maintaining and fixing it so it runs as well as it can. After 200,000km and 12 years it is still doing a fabulous job doing what it was designed to do. No other car i have come across does what this car does. Two beds in the back, any Ikea flatpack, tow a camper trailer, boat, 4 up for 2000km on the highway fully loaded to the roof, with a dog.
This car deserves to live on, and down here in Aus, they are few and far between, so I am doing what it takes to keep an original and well kept example on the road for as many years as I can.
It is still punchy in traffic and gives excellent economy on the highway at speed.
Interesting and pertinent examples of the cars that we drive today and intend to keep on driving is what we want. Don’t give is ‘other brand stuff’ on this site. The banner says SAAB on it, so keep it coming. (And I am actually a BM owner doing up an old E21, which is clearly irrelevant here).
I used to get my Saab news from this site.
Not any longer.
Via Google and Reuters:
Oct 24 (Reuters) – General Motors Co persuaded a federal appeals court to uphold the dismissal of a $3 billion lawsuit in which Spyker NV accused it of derailing a plan to sell the Swedish automaker Saab to a Chinese company.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Friday said Spyker failed to show GM intentionally interfered with the Dutch company’s effort to sell Saab to Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co, leading to Saab’s bankruptcy.
GM had sold a majority of Saab to Spyker in 2010. As part of that sale, it licensed Saab to build vehicles using the Detroit-based automaker’s intellectual property, and retained a right to end the license if Saab were sold without its consent.
Spyker said it was in sale talks with Youngman in December 2011 when a GM spokesman made statements suggesting that consent would not be provided, and that a sale might hurt GM. Youngman said it decided to back out “due to GM’s position.”
Writing for a three-judge 6th Circuit panel, Circuit Judge Eugene Siler said GM’s statements were not malicious, and that it had “legitimate business concerns” about the sale, including over who would benefit from Saab’s use of its technology.
Siler also called Spyker’s claim “fatally flawed” because it assumed that GM misinterpreted the license agreement, meaning the spokesman’s statements “would have at most amounted to a mistake.”
A lawyer for Spyker had no immediate comment. GM spokesman Dave Roman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Friday’s decision upheld a June 2013 ruling by U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain in Flint, Michigan.
Saab’s assets were bought out of bankruptcy in 2012 by China’s National Electric Vehicle Sweden.
NEVS stopped building cars in May because of a lack of money, and in August won creditor protection in Sweden so it could seek new funds.
The case is Saab Automobile AB et al v. General Motors Co, 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 13-1899. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)
Somebody mentioned this in a comment the other day. The way I see it, it’s between GM and Muller and has very little to do with Saab, as both GM and Muller have moved on. I wish NEVS was relevant enough to get Reuters coverage. Any featured articles there about NEVS?
Looks like Spyker is in even worse straits than NEVS. The landlord of their factory was in court in the Netherlands today to kick them out of the building due to unpaid rent – 152000 eur worth.
It’s the weirdest frigging company. Exclusive 100 grand corporate bonds and all. Nevs still takes the cake.
Yes, they are both unusual companies. Both appear to have a business purpose more geared to raising money than making money. I want to accept that there is more to it than that, but then again it seems that entities or individuals with legitimate funds to invest can find a better place than Spyker or NEVS to do it..
3cyl: And Elio is being accused of the same thing—-raising money but might never actually bring their 3 wheeler to market. Since there’s been money, there have been scams. I hope Elio is for real. NEVS was not for real.
Elio must be for real – the vehicle has 3 cylinders.
Shades of the nearly-forgotten Dale 3-wheeler!
Hopefully unlike the Dale, Elio will actually deliver. I couldn’t see myself riding around in one, though.
Although I can understand the criticism of the hardcore Saab fans, maybe we should all respect eachother’s choice of car brand.
Let’s just hope Tim will not start to drive like the typical ‘BMW maniac’… 😉
But with his aviation background I’m sure he will not starting to behave like so many BMW drivers do nowadays…
Considering that there is a good chance that I’ll loose my pilots license if I loose my drivers license the chance of me driving like a maniac is pretty low =)… I’m more interested in good fuel economy than driving fast, but when I’m overtaking someone, I want a car that’ll allow me to spend the minimum amount of time possible on the wrong side of the road! and getting a car that’ll do 0-100 km/h in 5,6 seconds is that kind of car! =)
I agree, that’s why I considered buying a mighty Cayenne V8 Turbo…. 🙂
But I can’t afford it (yet..) 🙁
So, for now, I’m happy keeping my Maptuned 9-3 Aero on the road…. 😉
When I bought my girlfriend’s Saab for her (a 2003 convertible) it was in seriously rough shape, and it still has a lot of issues. The ground cable was wires that were crimped to a connector on the battery, transmission fluid was never changed (95,000 miles on it), the PCV lines were completely hooked up in the wrong order, the vacuum lines to the brake booster and intake manifold were super glued together and would come apart/cause rough idling and stalling, her cam cover gasket was leaking badly, her spark plugs were NOT NGK plugs, and were actually made for what looks like mostly Lexus vehicles, the leather seats were hard and broken, water had leaked through the roof and corroded many of the buttons and components so not even the seats would move forwards. The rear motor mount was completely rotted in half, the radiator had a leak, it had an incorrect thermostat installed (a “high performance model” that stuck open). The carpet had mold on it and food stains between the seat and console area. It’s insane how abused the car was, and I sometimes feel regret for getting her the vehicle even though it was only $4,500, but then I have to stop and remind myself that I’ve fixed all of these issues (and put strengthening braces on it to reduce cowl shake which is SO BAD on the OG 9-3), and if it had been sold to some kid it would most likely be dead now. In 1 1/2 years I’ve put $5,000 dollars into that car. Would it have been easier to have paid 8 or 9 grand for a nicer example? Of course. It would have been much much easier. Every time I feel that way I think about one simple fact, though, that I have saved a Saab from the wreckers. If I hadn’t bought it and fixed all of these issues there is no doubt in my mind there would be one less Saab on the road today, and frankly that makes me proud.
I wish I had the mechanical ability to do what you have done with that car. Frankly, as you described that car, I was thinking you paid under a thousand bucks for it though, not $4500! I just checked “trade in” value on my Saab yesterday. My Saab is a 9-5 wagon, the ARC model. It has just under 37,000 miles on it. It’s been garaged since it was new—-I am the original owner. It’s only been serviced at Saab dealers, even for oil changes—-has never been disturbed by any other shop—-only Saab techs and has had very few repairs, and those were relatively minor. It’s had recommended services based on time or miles, including coolant and transmission fluid flushes at the dealer. It’s never been in an accident and the factory paint looks new. The Edmunds “Trade In” value? Approximately $3800.00. A similar Volvo trades for about $4800.00. So I guess I pay a thousand dollar penalty because I picked a Saab over a Volvo back in 2004. What else can I do except keep driving it? This car, in great condition, is barely worth a down payment on a newer car. And actually, these are the published values. In the real world, a car dealer would give me less for the Saab because they no longer make them—-the old “What can we do with this car? No one wants these. You can’t get parts.” And with the Volvo, I’d be able to take it to a Volvo dealer and hope for a stronger value than the one that is published. It’s very frustrating, what has happened to Saab. And it’s very frustrating, having watched it happen—-and having watched two years of incredible incompetence hammer the final nails into the coffin.
Actually, I just recently spent $4000 on a 1995 9000! But this car is practically like new, it’s like a time capsule. It drives like it’s hardly broken in yet, and needed only a few minor items attended to. (The previous owner maintained it religiously. Most of the wear items that normally would need to be serviced on an older used car won’t need attention for some time. It won’t even need an oil change for a while!)
This discussion of respecting other car choices and can’t we all get along… misses the point (my point anyway). I bet there are 25 BMW or general German car blogs I could find in two minutes on Google. I would go there if I wanted to. Or any general car blog/site (who won’t be talking about Saab). I come here because of the Saab stuff. Even Saab stuff not relevant to me. Neo Bros? Please, I’m in the states; It has little to do with me or what I’m doing with my cars. Still, I don’t mind seeing it.
By the way, the people I truly respect the most are the ones who don’t give a crap about car brands at all. I always admit when asked about my love of Saabs that it’s all nonsense and a completely unimportant thing to care about.
Nonetheless, I hate all Hyundais and their drivers. Also, Prius drivers. You know… most Toyotas. All Toyotas, since the Supra anyway. I don’t like BMWs, true. Such an easy choice to make. Mercedes, also easy, but mostly ugly except the super expensive ones. Also, black Audis are more common that Honda Civics. Totally boring. Speaking of Honda, the Accord coupe is so-so but the rest are appliances. One more thing…
What about a marketplace for saab parts at SU? If we want to keep our beloved saabs rolling… It can be an alternative for the known parts distributors. This way it may be easier to find your part and trade or buy it from another Saabist.
Another idea is to post more personal stories (on holiday with or visting events etc.) about you and your saab.
We’ve tried that about a year ago and only had about 6 entries after 4 months so we shut it down…
Posting more personal stories is nice but they are hard to come by, it would be great to have you guys send us your stories! We’ve tried to get clubs more involved as well with representatives from clubs being able to write on the site but we’ve seen very little progress on that part as well sadly…
It happens that we compare SAAB with other brands as Audi, Bmw and Mercedes. It is surely OK. I do not Think, however, that SaabsUnited will be a PR site for other brands. I can intend that Bmw rubs their hands of delight for the attention they got here on SaabsUnited.
I think BMW is too busy trying to keep up with the demand for their cars to worry too much about whether they’re getting coverage here. Comparing our Saabs to other brands is about the only thing we have left for Saab fans who are actually interested in buying a factory new car. Sad, but as of now, true. I hope a credible company can get this away from NEVS and start to build cars again. Soon.
I can’t tell you if they rub their hands in anything since we’ve got ZERO contact with BMW in relation to Saab. Neither me nor Jörgen have ever discussed anything regarding SU with BMW Sweden. They only know about BMWB, our swedish blog which we had to apply for approval in order to start, the guys in Munich had the final decision on that one.
If any of you think that we are getting some kind of good deal from BMW for mentioning them here you are sadly mistaken! We’re paying for the cars just like anyone else… We never got a cent from Saab for all the things we did for them either… not even after the october fest in 2012 which we organized and attracted close to 6000 people did we get a single “good work guys” message from anyone at Saab…
Honestly, there are so few people here at SU who have ever bought new cars in their lives so I dont think any other manufacturer is really interested in the group of people reading this blog. Car manufacturers couldn’t give zip for used cars buyers, selling new cars is what their business is about, if they sell a few spare parts because of used cars, thats just a very tiny bonus…
Tim, I think that you should seriously consider logging out and never logging back in again. If you are disgruntled about the way Saab, or any other brand have treated you do not take it out on this forum. You do not own this blog anymore, correct?
Your comments also show how little you know, in truth, about the industry as a whole. Your knowledge is within the Saab sphere but you are on seriously deep water if you for one second think that used cars do not matter to car companies. Selling new cars is of course what is important to car manufacurers but why? They make the real money from service and aftersales…. You need to have a large fleet of cars out there to make money from your aftersale and services. Also, used cars is used to benchmark new car values and there is a tiny small figure (ironically) called residual value that is rather important!
Nope, I’m not gonna do that… =)
No Tim I think you are wrong. I am allowed to write here because the owner, Till72(?), allows me to write on his blog, if you want to be nitty gritty.
I am not being rude Tim, I am telling you the truth and correcting your misguided beliefs in the auto industry. It is easy mistakes to make but that is what they are, mistakes.
You have proven again and again that your knowledge about Saab is exceptional but outside that comfort zone, and with the industry as a whole you are seriously misguided and have a very local market view. That is the truth Tim, no matter what you believe.
Take care Tim, enjoy your BMW, enjoy your future blogging career but do not try to pretend you know the industry based on a couple of years building cars and contacts within a now defunkt OEM.
Peter: Manufacturers are most interested in new car sales and perhaps sales of their “Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles” (CPOs). I’m sure they’re happy to sell parts for used cars through their dealers—but those cars are on the road already, so they’re going to sell those parts whether the used cars are sold through their dealership or by someone else. Manufacturers do not make money from service, at least not in the U.S. Their franchised dealerships make that money, not the manufacturers. Resale/residual value is important in that cars with a high resale value are often more desirable to new car shoppers—in case their car is totaled or stolen, and also for when they go to trade it for a new car. Historically, Saabs had lousy resale in the U.S.—-not the worst, but not even close to Acura, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mercedes, etc.
Tim, if what you say about the lack of new car buyers here is true (and I assume it is), the problem is compounded further as buyers of new SAABs have gotten so used paying well under sticker for so long that is likely they will balk at the price of a new SAAB if it were to become available. Given his scenario and the historical lack of SAAB buyers in the first place, it is understandable that the appeal of the brand among potential investors isn’t too high and that they will need to target a different market.
We actually have been getting sales brochures from BMW in the mail. I don’t know if it’s because we have Saabs registered. (I don’t know how it is in Europe, but here in the U.S. our motor vehicle agencies are infamous for selling such personal information to advertisers.) We certainly have not purchased any new luxury cars to get on such a mailing list.
Back in the 1980s, at least in the U.S., Saab was seen as a very serious driving machine that was at least in the same league as BMW. People even oohed and aahed over the “lowly” base 900 that I purchased new in 1985. (I remember seeing a photo back then of a “BMW UGH” custom licence plate on a C900!)
Of course that was 30 years ago, it’s a different world and a different ball game now. I think people are a bit out of line criticizing other Saab folk for buying a BMW or whatever. Anyone who wants or needs a new car today can’t buy a Saab. Period. By definition they have to buy Something Else. I’m sure BMW is going to be on the short list for a lot of people. (Interestingly here in the U.S. a lot of Saab owners have turned to Subaru.)
Its the same here, even 10 days after I sold my 9-5 I got sales brochures from all kinds of different brands offering me all kinds of discounts if I bought a car from them…
Subaru make really nice cars, I tried them out and I liked them, perhaps a bit too much plastic in the interiors but overall nice cars! =)
I have a BMW and Saab in my family of cars—-and a Kia as well. It’s very likely my next new car purchase will be one of those brands and we know where Saab is now—and we know if they ever return to my market, it will probably be AFTER my next new car purchase. So how could it be that I’ll be comparing BMW and Kia? Well, the lowest price BMWs do overlap with some of the Kias that I’d be looking at. And Kia has also gone very far upmarket with the K900. There’s overlap in the lines. But more realistically, the reason is because Saab is sort of priced in between those two brands—-I can decide to pay more and spring for another BMW—-or decide to save my money and pay less for a Kia, which won’t have what a BMW does, but might have all that I want or need. I’ll also strongly consider Chrysler, if FIAT continues to do some great things there in terms of design and interior quality. They’ve worked some wonders already with Chrysler and I think that will continue.
I have been following this site for years , and have followed closely since the real troubles began with GM. I like many here love Saabs.. I have just recently created an account as in the past I had no real comments to add that had not already been posted.. But in this case a response to Tim’s post is in order.
(((“” Honestly, there are so few people here at SU who have ever bought new cars in their lives so I dont think any other manufacturer is really interested in the group of people reading this blog. Car manufacturers couldn’t give zip for used cars buyers, selling new cars is what their business is about, if they sell a few spare parts because of used cars, thats just a very tiny bonus””))
SORRY Tim, but more readers than you think can and have bought new Saabs. My last three cars have been new Saabs, with one used one mixed in for fun. new … 9-2…9-3 and 9-5… and an old used 900 for fun. and I would line up again tomorrow and get another new one if I could.. So yes I think any car company would be glad to get to know folks like me .
In short lets stay positive here. many of have suffered a great deal through all of the madness that has become Saab…everyone here wants to see the company live and own a Saab again some day.. new or used. And yes new or used does matter to car company, It takes both to support dealerships and parts divisions..
If you have a look at the annual reports from SAAB over the years you’ll see that the spare-parts market for Saab at best accounted for about 2-4% of the total profits of the company (world wide sales). If you then also look at the cost effectiveness implementations made by the company after 2002 (The Viggen project) you’ll see that the savings added another 8-9% in increased revenue (less waist). Saabs biggest hurdle were warranty claims which totally kiled the profits from new car sales. Gearbox warranties was a major issue in the mid-2000 as well as the oil-sludge problem but also minor components. For a short while I worked with people who were deeply involved in warranty issues back in 2001 and you cant imagine what kind of stuff people complain about, and just driving to the dealer to issue a complaint costs money that the dealer in turn invoiced Saab (not all markets). The people who really made profits from parts-sales were the dealers and of course they should be supported as well, but anyone who thought that buying a new set of wiper blades for their old Saab 900 did anything to affect the outcome of the SAAB Automobile AB was horribly naive.
It’s disturbing that warranty relief was such a big blow to Saab. That doesn’t speak well of the product—-not at all. If a car’s engineering is good, build quality is meticulous, quality control is solid—-you shouldn’t end up with warranty claims that impact the bottom line so harshly. It appears then, that Consumer Reports and other customer satisfaction guides are correcting in listing Saab as being problematic and expensive to fix. That’s a really bad combination. If a car is expensive to fix, with expensive parts—-but is reliable, that’s okay. And if the car is somewhat problematic, but with inexpensive parts and fast fixes that don’t cost much, that can work. But expensive and problematic—–well, that tells quite a story.
Hi Till. For me it would be really helpful to have information on how to look after our Saabs in the long term. What things to look out for? Common problems etc. What parts we should keep as spare and where to get them? That would be really helpful for the people who want to keep their cars for as long as hey can.
Since it is almost 4 years the last Saabs roled out the factory, it’s normal people looking for a new car have to consider something else. I have 4 Saabs, a 96, a 900, a 9-3 Aero convertible and a 9-5ng. The two oldest I will surely keep forever, but I’m at a point I have to replace the 9-3. I am seriously considering the new Volvo XJ90 Hybrid. Never the less I hope that november 29, brings better news from Tröllhattan and plans will be announced that the (new) owners plan to make a range of new models. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
I think that BMW has gotten to much attention from SU that they don’t deserve. I’m happy for those on SU that has bought a new BMW but SU is not the place to write about them.
Anyhow, I would prefer to read articles that are related to Saab and at this time BMW is not related to them all. I would love to read more about the cars from Dongfeng and Mahindra since they are the two rumored partners. How are there cars in terms of performance, safety, and so on. What could Saab bring to them to make their cars better? What can Saab gain from them (besides from starting up the sleeping business again)?
So, as long as there are no rumors about BMW taking over Saab, I don’t think we need to read more about them.
I would love to read the things you outlined—-I’ve done some research to see the Mahindra, SsangYong and Dongfeng models and would like to get reactions from people who are technically oriented—-what Saab engineers/stylists might do to make these cars more desirable for people who have owned Saabs or are interested in Saabs. It’s a great suggestion Coke—-but I do disagree with you about BMW coverage. BMW is one line that some Saab purists have put out there as a benchmark. I am very interested in knowing which lines Saab drivers are planning to migrate to when NEVS finally implodes (Assuming they don’t get a sale done—-they’ll finally destroy what’s left of Saab and then we’ll have no choice but to go elsewhere for our next new car.).
I have strayed from the straight and narrow a couple of times over the years, the odd BMW, Alfa spiders, MGB, even an Audi coupe, but always came back to a Saab. When the one I have now goes to Saab heaven (1991 convt with 317K miles), I am not sure what I am going to do. I am not a big BMW fan. I think I may look for another decent Saab convertible but a 9-3 if I can find one with reasonably low miles. Or maybe a Honda S2000 (gasp) Or maybe even a Mini convertible (gasp gasp). Dammit it all!
Paul: if you don’t mind driving an orphan, there are still deals to be had on Saab convertibles—-much newer and with low mileage than your ’91. International Motors Autohaus in Virginia recently has a beautiful white convertible with a tan top—-as I recall, low mileage. I just went to their website to look for it and it’s gone—-must have sold. I think they were asking under $6000.00 for it.
I generally find myself agreeing with Angelo V. on these matters. I recently looked at used cars for my daughter, and the value of old Saabs has plummeted from what it was a couple of years ago. The 9-5s in particular seemed to be incredibly cheap given that they were relatively expensive when new. And I could have picked up a nice 9-3 convertible for peanuts (not right for my daughter, and I was not in the market for one now, but it was surprising nonetheless). And Saabs are known to be fiddly anyway–yes they can be maintained with a lot of care by the few who value the brand, but that is not a recipe for success on a larger scale.
If you look at other brands that are fairly small, none are independent (not Porsche, Audi, Volvo, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, or even Rolls Royce or Aston Martin). No independent maker can crank out 150,000 vehicles a year priced for the “average” person. That math just doesn’t work, no matter how much we Saabophiles want it to.
If Saab is picked up by Mahindra, then it will run the show, just like Geely does with Volvo (new Volvos are sharing platforms with Geely products). That is the only potential future for Saab, and not one that is too alluring for me, at least.
The current crop of operating Saabs, at least in any numbers, is dwindling daily as they get older and rack up the miles. But I do think there is a place for SAABSUnited to act as a clearinghouse for tips on repairs, parts, that sort of thing for the Saab faithful. There is a site in the US that has bulletin boards that I have used a number of times for advice on repairs that has been invaluable, and SAABSUnited could play that role on an international basis. Lots of folks need to know how to get that damn alternator out of a classic 900 🙂
So here is something interesting, just a few weeks ago, i saw a brand spanking new silver linear 9-3 when I sent in my car for repairs. Which I believe is from end 2009 or 2010. So I asked the one of the guys ( there’s no more Saab salesmen) when did they have new cars. The guy ( Swedish, hired just to provide technical advice on Saab) told me it belonged to the owner of the dealership. He kept it for so many years, only to just register it a month ago, and it’s getting a Hirsch tune:)
Was hoping it was for sale, even though it was a linear.
And the owner has many different brands under his company, in a few countries around Asia, so I’m surprised he bothered to keep a 9-3 and register it for private usage.
I do believe it is the real last brand new Saab registered in the world right now:)
If it is a 2009, it could be the last GM era SAAB to be registered and probably the last 9-3. However there are still a few new NG 9-5’s available.
Aren’t there some NEVS 9-3s unsold?
It could be, Angelo. I guess I was trying to forget about NEVS. But since you brought them up, I wonder if any dealers who took in a shipment just before NEVS imploded paid NEVS for any cars that might not have sold yet.
KEEP IT SAAB RELATED!
I come to this site to find out about Saab cars and their future — and not to read long eulogies of other brands. I could go to other sites if I want to discuss other brands in detail. It is OK to mention other brands only in the context of technologies which it might be relevant for the (hopefully!) new generation of SAABs to incorporate.
So, my suggestion of topics for this site is that whilst we are waiting for a new generation Saab, I would find it useful and interesting to hear about engineering and design ideas (which perhaps have even appeared in other brands) which should be considered as part of the mix for any new Saab. Who knows, perhaps NEVS or whoever ends up trying o build a new Saab might find the feedback opinion and reaction from loyal Saab fans as to what they think about various new engineering concepts useful in helping them prioritise what they should include in the new range! There used to be a magazine called (I think) “Auto Engineering & Design” which was dedicated to in-depth articles about new auto mechanical features but made into a readable form for the lay reader; however I haven’t been able to find it in recent years. Topics here could be about, say, lights (LED/non-LED) light reflectors, suspension designs, types of safety features, new materials for seating etc etc.
Let me kick it off on a small scale: Over several generations of Saabs, one design omission which has always irritated me is not having a sideways slide-out telescopic extension to the sun-visor, which would help me cover those little odd gaps between the visor and the rear-view mirror — or indeed to cover part of the rear mirror itself at those times when the car behind me continuously blinds me with their badly aimed headlights.
All suggestions could also be indexed into a new “Ideas Index” page of this website which gives the internal link to the spot on the general blog on which it was discussed…
Over to you lot out there now!
My 2004 9-5 has a slide out visor extender.
I think if and when there’s a Saab future to talk about, based on facts and not fantasy, all of the people writing for this site and posting here will be focused on Saab’s future, excited about the chance to buy a new Saab again. Until then, the only thing we have to discuss is the reorganization and I think it’s been beaten to death. I guess at the end of November, it’ll be a Come To Jesus moment for NEVS. With the Grace of God, Saab will have a new controlling owner and one more chance.
Re visor:- That’s strange because I have both a 2001 and a 2006 9-5 and neither of them have a sunvisor extender. Instead they have a secondary visor that swings to the side, but no use for those gaps or for blocking rear headlights.
I have a policy of not driving behind cars with rear headlights. Seriously though, the autodimming rearview mirror on my SAAB does a very good job of controlling headlight glare.
You know what Eugene? I have to look at my Saab again. I have 5 cars, so I might be confused. Maybe it is just a secondary visor on the Saab and not a slide out.
The reason why SAAB is not around anymore is due to poor sales. If everyone who reads and comments on SU would have acted just like Tim and I bought BRAND New cars, SAAB would probably been around today. It is a collectiive responsibiltiy to support a car brand and the only way iof doing that is to buy their products. So called Saab-Fans did not do that, they liked to drive around in their OG 900 and 9000 models with 30+ years and where upset that Saab was in poor condition with low sales. In some way the brand “deserved” its faith, the fans where just not so loyal as the claimed to be.
I will keep up the work of my classic Saab cars that are all pre 1978.
Well, not entirely true. Saab didin’t manufacture for over 10 years a car thousands of people would have wanted to buy (any kind of hatchback). We bought a new 9-3 sedan anyway because it was the safest new vehicle on the market at the time.
Then when our life cicumstances changed and we would have needed a bigger car they stopped making even the good ol’ 9-5 wagon. Cannot say for sure had we bought a 15 year old model that was further downgraded a few years prior, but I can tell you this:
We would have spent some 50k euro a brand spanking new NG 9-5 wagon had they only been able to deliver one. So please don’t come riding on your high horse blaming all the fans on SU for not buying a new -unsuitable- car from a company that was either going to be shut down by GM or most likely fail in the hands of a small underfunded owner, thus leaving the expensive product with any kind of warranty or parts reliability.
NEVS failure by your logic must also be our fault…
Trued, a result of poor sales was that new SAABs could be purchased well below MSRP. I am not referring to a price based on heavy negotiation. Dealers advertised the cars at huge discounts even in the GM era. I suppose you could argue that as fans even those of us who bought new should have gone to the showroom and offered to pay a premium over the advertised price directly to SAAB so that they might make a profit on what we were buying.
The real bottom line is that most of the time, people don’t make a decision to purchase a new car based on supporting a brand. The timing has to do with when their leases run out or when their current car becomes unreliable or “too old” and they want something new. I guess my point is that no manufacturer should expect people to trade a car they love or break a lease early to “support” them. Honda and Toyota don’t seem to be doing that. When the timing is right, people go out looking for a new car. Most of the people on these pages would have bought a new Saab when they were in the market for a new car, including a Muller Saab or even a NEVS Saab (if NEVS was selling cars in the market where these people lived). This isn’t like supporting a football team by buying one of their jerseys—-this is a massive expense for most people, tens of thousands of dollars—-more than they will probably spend on anything except their house. If they rent an apartment, the car will be their biggest purchase ever. Why would anyone make a decision to buy to “support” a brand? The idea is that the brand must support its customers by offering what their “brand loyalists” want. Saab didn’t offer a near entry level car since the Subaru WRX and they didn’t do that very long—-only a few years at best. They didn’t offer the sort of hatchback that Saab loyalists have long been asking for. In the Muller years, the 9-5 pricing was outrageous—-and there was no wagon available. In the total production run of the 9-5, wagons accounted for almost half of the overall sales. So in essence, Muller gave up half of the 9-5 sales while he owned the company, by only offering the 9-5 sedan. NEVS? It’s probably not even worth mentioning them or considering them an owner of Saab, even though technically, that’s what they were/are. They were a bump on a log, doing absolutely nothing to restore interest in the brand. The thing they were good at was convincing people to move on to other brands.
Absolutely correct, Angelo. “Bottom line” is that not everyone who likes Saabs has $40K to $50K burning a hole in their pocket, or has a desire to go into years of debt slavery to buy a car. Here in the U.S. we’re starting to see car loans stretched out to 8 years or more! (No thanks, I’ve worked long and hard to get to a position where I have no debt at all and no way am I getting back on that treadmill.)
Jersey, buying an expensive vehicle doesn’t mean you have to go into debt if you own a car that hasn’t deprecated too much. That’s why I totally understand why even people from the SU Crew are ditching their 3-4 year old Saabs.
Heck, if I’d drive 60.000 km in the middle of the night like Tim, I probably would’n pick up a pre-owned Saab MY10 with no warranty for the job either. Especially if you want to try something else (and a bit more modern) for a change.
And is it not the responsibility of the automobile manufacturer to provide a quality and up-to-date product for their loyal base? No company should “expect” business…it has to be earned every day.
I bought a new Saab in 2008 and 2009. It did not make any difference. I buy Saab parts now and wait.
I simply believe Nevs when they purchased Saab had no care about past Saab owners…. I believe they had a deal with the Chinese government to buy cars (fleet etc).. for x… With that, x $$$$ from investments or a cash infusion.
Quick money … With zero foresight going forward… As we know there was a glitch in that plan and here we are. We can all see clearly now why they had zero interest creating anything but the bare minimum with little or next to nothing in PR…
That said if very little was spent on designs of the Phoenix etc. it will be the reason Saab will die going forward because really nothing to sell. In the end everyone will lose including Nevs principles.
Also speaking of The Phoenix what has been done over the last 3 years???? At what point does that become old, obsolete, etc.???
Doug: Great post, as always. If anything, I would say that “glitch” is an understatement. I’d call their plan a calamity for Saab, for fans of Saab, for the employees of Saab, etc. A disaster. It angers me, thinking about what they threw away—the chance to bring Saab back to relevance. Phoenix? I honestly don’t know enough about the viability of car platforms and when they become obsolete. I do know that from a marketing/sales standpoint, sometimes it doesn’t really matter much. While an engineer might say a platform is obsolete, that doesn’t mean cars can’t successfully be sold using that platform. Look at the old Volkswagen Beetle. And look how long General Motors solidered on with the platform that carried the Oldsmobile Cierra and Buick Century—they were laughed at as “antiques” but sales were still quite good—-value oriented buyers snatching them up, some fleet sales, etc. They were probably among the most reliable cars GM was offering—-old technology perhaps, but dependable, predictable, inexpensive. I’d take a General Motors Series II 3800 (old pushrod design) over any engine they’re currently making. I don’t want drama with my car—-and sometimes old technology is stodgy, but reliable. It’s why the 9-3 could still sell if there was a way to manufacture it inexpensively and sell it inexpensively. Tim has said that it’s just an expensive car to make—-and if there’s no way around that, I guess it can never be affordable enough to sell. If the car could be made in a lower priced market with an eye toward simplifying some of the systems that make assembly complicated and expensive—-if they brought that car in at a bargain price, the marketing people could do the rest. The sedan looks a bit dated, but the wagon and convertible, with minor tweeks and a few new bold colors, could look very fresh. If this could be built in a developing market while the factory in Sweden was readied for a new generation flagship car, maybe something positive could happen for Saab. SAIC—-building the old 9-5 and selling it, right? It makes me think there are at least some markets that would still view the 9-3 series as “new enough” to buy, again, if the price was right.
But beyond that Doug, it also boils down to the Saab community and the fact is—many of us are tired of hearing about Phoenix. Seems like a bunch of talk and no action—-year after year of babble and not a single product to show for it. I think I made this analogy before—-it’s like seeing a “Coming Soon” sign on a restaurant. At first, everyone is excited about it. That excitement builds to an apex—-but then after six months, people start to say, “Where is this restaurant? What does coming soon mean? We’ve been waiting for six months.” Then nine months—-and more people get frustrated. Then a year—-and after that, every month that goes by, prospective diners completely lose interest and move on—-and in time, it’s a joke—-and when and if the place ever does open, their audience has all moved on. With the Phoenix, it’s taken years for the interest to wane. First there was excitement, then frustration. Well after that, there is something that is far worse: Indifference. When people go from frustrated about it to not caring about it—-that’s when the end is near. I think we’re about there. That goes for Phoenix and it’s very close to being the case for Saab. We’ve been subjected to something ridiculous for the past couple 2 or 3 years. It’s been beneath pathetic—-NEVS ownership.
Spot on Angelo,,,, Darn shame..
Doug, NEVS may have been right not to care about SAAB owners. As a group we have consistently shown that we are not substantial enough to support a car company. This is not to say that the direction NEVS took was viable, but rather that any owner of SAAB might do better to target a market different from traditional SAAB customers.
3cyl: I completely agree with that. A different target market can mean a lot of different things. To me, it means broadening the audience to include a large group of people who can’t afford $50,000 for a new car, $40,000 or even 35K. To me, the “new Saab buyer” should be younger than the old demographic, and planning to spend $25,000 or thereabouts, not $55,000. That’s a massive departure but I think it’s one that is the only chance at viability for Saab. And we’ll build the car based on the target price—-not build the car to some ideal that ends up being a $55,000 Muller 9-5 with no sunroof. Time to chase a different buyer. I don’t think there are enough “electric” buyers for that to work—-so the idea of selling an electric Saab in China was a bust. You are right that as a community, there were not enough of us to buy enough cars for the company to stay in business. They need more rear ends in Saab seats—-that starts with a lower price.
Angelo, price may have been an issue in the Spyker era, but not so much before that. The MSRPs might not have been low, but dealers advertised the cars well below those stickers. What is needed is products that appeal to more people. There may be an owner who can accomplish that and still offer a a car that appeals to us long-time SAAB owners. However, it will probably be a lot easier for an owner to simply build something that will meld into the larger market without giving much consideration to what we think of it.
The main thing that would make me hope that the former rather than the latter will be the case is if the new entity(s) that are party to whatever arises from the current situation do what is needed to secure the SAAB name should production resume. Without the name, there would be even less reason to expect new products to encompass SAAB’s heritage.
It’s not only price 3cyl, it’s value. That’s why I mentioned no sunroof. Even buyers at the higher end want value for what they are paying. There’s no doubt that Saab was no longer convincing prospective customers that the cars offered value. Part of that was failed advertising deployment. “Value” should have been pointed out in safety—-active and passive safety—-things you couldn’t see. Instead, we were “Born from Jets” which meant nothing—sounded like fluff. Born from jets, costs about as much as one and like a jet, doesn’t have a sunroof. That was a non-starter. 3cyl: Saab also failed because Saab didn’t have enough lines. I agree that if the name Saab is kept, they still need to build cars that appeal to traditional Saab buyers—-or there isn’t enough of a reason to even fight for the name. But they also need to very quickly attack the lower end of the market to make it possible to bring more buyers into the fold really fast. They have to do both. With a new owner, maybe they can. Build the lower end cars in India or China (or elsewhere) if that’s what it takes to offer them at an affordable price. The cars don’t have to be as feature packed and value oriented as a KIA if they can still tout safety features and overall value (which is why having the Saab name is important—-the perception that buyers will be getting a European near luxury brand for less).
I think SAABs of the GM era represented very good value based on advertised prices (rather than MSRP), but obviously not many people in the market for a car felt the same way. On the other hand, those advertised prices did not represent prices that could generate profits for SAAB. I suppose that with effective marketing anything can be sold for a profit, but at the low end of the market SAAB would have to absorb a lot of losses while trying to build volume to the level needed to make money.
I bought my 9-5 for about $4000.00 under sticker as I recall. The dealer didn’t lose money on that car. Sales commission was made and the dealer made less profit than they hoped for maybe, but no one was financially mugged in that scenario. Was my car a value? When you figure in depreciation and cost of ownership, along with features, no my car was not a “value” even at $4000.00 below sticker. A Toyota Camry with all the toys on it would have represented a “better value” over years of ownership. Do I care? No. I wanted a Saab, not a Camry. The Koreans are packing their cars with nice features and selling them for less. There’s value in that. It doesn’t mean everyone should buy one though. I guess my point is that the Saab sticker prices might have scared off some buyers—-because even below sticker, the cars weren’t any sort of “steal.” If a new Saab were to be manufactured in an Asian country, perhaps a small model could be sold in higher volume, without forcing the company to absorb losses.
I found this documentary about the Tesla car factory interesting. Gives some insight into what Saab/NEVS is up against. Also, Elon Musk (with his team) seems to have captured the focus and love of engineering that SAAB used to have (until numbed by the GM orthodoxy and centralised bureaucracy…).
It’s nice that some people here want and can afford new cars, all power to them, but it’s arrogant to assert that SU fans, or any car’s fans, have some supposed obligation to support any brand… cars are sold because of perceived value in best meeting the buyer’s needs. Evidently SAAB has not done so. To lay on a guilt trip because not enough SU fan/members bought new SAABs is ridiculous, not to mention specious reasoning. Yes, not enough cars were sold, but obviously that was because not enough people wanted them, for many reasons, some of them mentioned above. In some cases, maybe it is because a new car is acknowledged by the financially astute as being an incredibly poor investment, and a choice some choose not to make. Personally I’d prefer a low mile 3-5 year old car that we can drive for another 10 years, a strategy that we’ve followed since buying a new 99 in 1974, and being that my wife practices Internal and Family Medicine here in NY, we could well afford almost any new car, however we’d rather invest our resources in Real Estate. There are a myriad of reasons why one would not buy a new car, and logic is on the side of most of them.
Well said !!!
I’ve only ever owned one brand new car in my entire driving life to date (since 1984) and my 1993 9000 CSE was one I owned the longest (2001-2011). And it was also the only car I’ve invested THE MOST in terms of buying used and new parts, getting it serviced, etc. Oh and not to mention becoming inspired by my ownership of it to actually start my own regional Saab club. Now I’m on my second Saab and while its maintenance is considerably lower (thank God !!) than my 9000, I’m every bit a Saab devotee and advocate for the brand, the business and most importantly, the people.
So for Trued and Tim to remark that not enough of us bought new Saabs to support the brand was total slap in the face/kick in the groin for me. And I’m sure to many others here too.
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