RIP Mr SAAB.

It is with huge sadness that we learn today of the passing of our dear friend and true legend Erik Carlsson.

Erik 1

Erik was and will remain a founding father of the success and worldwide awareness of the SAAB brand. His legacy will remain with us and his name synonymous with the word SAAB.

On behalf of the whole SAAB community our deepest condolences go out to his family at this sad time.

RIP ERIK, you will never be forgotten.

Press Release: Nevs grows with two Chinese strategic part owners

Together with two new Chinese part owners Nevs will establish its second global factory with focus on electric vehicles and a second global research and development center in the city of Tianjin, neighboring Beijing City and Hebei Province, three highly-integrated economic regions with a population over 100 million.

With the new part owners, Tianjin city’s Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech industrial Development Area (THT), and the Beijing State Research Information Technology Co., Ltd. (SRIT), Nevs has got two new strategic partners.

Tianjin is one of the biggest coastal cities in China and has significantly promoted new energy vehicles both in the form of consumer subsidies and official procurements.

The Tianjin city’s fast growing national level demonstration zone THT embraces a long history of automotive industry. Here is where the joint venture production plant will be built. This will give Nevs a strong foothold on the increasing EV market in the area and China, as well as provide Nevs access to the existing automotive supplier base in the region.

SRIT is a pioneering IT service provider owned by China’s Research Development Center of the State Council, and the telecommunications giant China Unicom.

As software services and connectivity as well as new energy vehicles are the major and increasing trend within the automotive industry, the cooperation with SRIT and its owners will give Nevs a unique possibility to place itself at the forefront of connectivity for the future. SRIT as a partner will also open up more opportunities for Nevs.

The first car that will be produced in the plant in Tianjin is an electric vehicle based on Nevs’ technology, followed by a diversified EV and portfolio of battery electric vehicles and EVs based on Nevs’ new developed vehicle architecture.

“Nevs’ focus is to produce high quality electric vehicles with China as its initial main market. The long-term cooperation with the development area THT in Tianjin and the IT pioneer SRIT will help us achieve our vision and our goal of a global strategic presence and is an important addition to the resources we have in Trollhättan”, says Nevs president Mattias Bergman.

Mikael Östlund
Director Communications and Public Affairs

Some of us are bigger collector then others…

Many of my friends that drive a Saab often says to me; “Once you have bought one you have two, and so on”. In may cases this is true, I have during the past 10 years owned 2 Saabs at the same time, one enthusiast-car that I only drive during the summer (actually owned my 900T16 for 13 years now), and different cars as a daily-driver during the years, but only one at the time. OK, I must admit – that is not true, at a period of a few months I actually had two daily drivers, I bought daily-driver #2 from my brother who planed to send it to the scrapyard. So I bought the car and fix it so it passed the inspection, and before I had made any plans for it it was sold to another Saab-nut…

But back to the subject – some of us is bigger collector then the rest of us. Many that I know have 3 or 4 Saabs, and some of them over 10…
But I have my doubt if someone beat this guy – he have 247 of them!
As you will se in the video below many of the cars is in a bad shape, and most likely will many of them never come back on the road, but the collection is pretty impressive. I see many Saab-models, from 93 to a 9-5, but mainly is is 96, 99/90 and classic 900’s. The description on YouTube says “The most significant collections of Classic SAABs on the planet. Located in a secret place somewhere on the planet. He’s collection is built on deep love of SAABs” But if I should guess the collection is located somewhere in Finland, based on some registration plates and the amount of Saab 90 in the film. I have never seen so many Saab 90 in one place before! 😉

The clip is about 13 minutes long, and you will see many common and many uncommon Saabs. My highlights from the first time I saw the clip is there three cars:
– about 3:00, 9000 Limo; Not everyday we see a limo based on a 9000. 5 seats in the rear with a TV in the middle row. Guess that was just as unusual in the 80s that it is today… Maybe built at  Uusikaupunki factory?
– about 4:30, 90 Lumikko; A unusual model based on the Saab 90, built by the Finnish Saab dealer Scan-Auto. The 90 was fitted with a Airflow kit and 15″ Aero wheels, all painted in white and they where equipped with sunroof, better audio-system and extra instruments. A small number Lumikko was made by the dealer, but I don’t know if the one in the film is a genuine Lumikko, because the spoiler on the trunk is black, that should be white.
– about 9:00, 99 Finlandia;  A “limo” version based on 5d 99 GLE, 25cm longer then the regular 99. This is the first year (’77) Finlandina, because of  the car has a middle window between the front and rear door. The cars was built at the Saab factory in Uusikaupunki in Finland. The year after (’78) they made the front and rear door 10cm longer each, so the car was 20cm longer then the regular 99. In ’79 and ’80 the Finlandia was based on the 900, and in ’81 the new 900 CD (based on the sedan) came. In total I think they built around 150 cars from ’77-’81, and about 500 900 CD from ’81-’86.

edit: the YouTube video is unfortunately removed by the user who uploaded it.

MapTun Meet in Örebro Sweden

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In the hometown of Stig Blomqvist the famous SAAB rally driver the MapTun Meet was held again. As always in sunshine outside the MapTun Company HQ.
The pictures speaks for themselves. It was a lot of happy people and cars of all ages and even a “new” brand. I served as one of the judges deciding what cars getting the sweepstakes.

Above is Joakim Bernhardsson winner of “Best Performance” with his 9-3 Racing Replica. My choice of all the cars at the meeting but You all know I am a “sucker” for everything that is rally or racing historical. Joakim is the first who makes an authentic replica of that racing car. In the heydays the original car was driven by a group of three drivers one of the Peter “Poker” Wallenberg. Most of the company logotypes are from companies in the Wallenberg/Investor conglomerate.

Neo Brothers – Spring/Summer 2015 Special Offer

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In response to the recent additional demand for Powerflex Polyurethane Bushed Front Control Arms for the NG900 & 9-3, we’ve put together a great Spring/Summer Special Offer for you:

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These are a PAIR of Alternative Front Control Arms/Ball Joints (Saab equivalent part numbers – 4543450 & 4543468) fitted with Powerflex Polyurethane bushes (PFF66-301 & PFF66-302) suitable for the following models:

Saab NG900 (3dr, 5dr & convertible) 1996-1998 (after chassis numbers S2012272- & S7014773-)
Saab 9-3 (3dr, 5dr & convertible) 1998-2002

We are offering FREE UK courier delivery service to standard UK addresses, and very competitive rates to extended areas and international addresses (just contact us with your address for an accurate quote).

Price individually – £69.95 each (incl VAT and delivery as above) – Click here
Price per pair – £137.50 pair (incl VAT and delivery as above) – Click here

Many Thanks,
Neo Brothers

Time for Saab Festival 2015!

festival15_bannerOn the day today is it just one month until weekend me and many of you have looked forward to the last half year – the Saab Festival 2015 in Trollhättan. As you now have sorted out (or remember) does the festival start Friday 5th of June and end on the afternoon Sunday 7th of June, and will be a weekend full with Saab-activity.

The program for the weekend is well known for those of you that had attended on a Saab festival before, but this year the program Saturday is different from the latest festivals.
But if we start with Friday first; this day will there be activities in and around Saab Car Museum, the exhibition will be open and there will also be Saab-relates seminars. At Trollhättan Art Gallery (about 200m from the museum) there will be premier for the Ronny Lutz (yes, the guy who make the amazing Saab X-ray paintings) exhibition, and some other work he has done. At the evening there is no official program, so that will be a great opportunity to meet new and old friends!

This year Saturday gives us a track day on the program again, this year at Kinnekulle Ring in Götene, about 1h 15min from Trollhättan! (see driving directions below) Take your Saab to Kinnekulle, and you will get the opportunity to test it at the Racetrack. If you don’t have experience in track days, but still want to test there will be a possibility for those that want to drive slower too. The day on the track is organized by Saab Turbo Club of Sweden, with help from the Swedish Saabclub and Club Sonett Sweden. If not the track day tempts you, what about a drive around Kinnekulle-area?
Later, on Saturday evening there will be something to eat in Trollhättan Folkets Park, and I guess there will be some Saab-related talk that evening 😉 This year there will not be possible to buy tickets online, tickets will be to buy at Saab Car Museum.

From the awards ceremony 2013

Sunday is pretty traditional, with activities around Saab Car Museum, like car exhibition with rewards for most beautiful car in different categories, Saab Flea Market, Saab seminars, an the best thing (which apply to all weekend), great company with Saab-people!

For many of you guys the festival isn’t complete without a visit at ANA Used parts dept., and they will also be a part of the festival – I guess they also will have some great deals as usual.

I guess many of you have made arrangements about the accommodations, if you don’t have its about time to do it. I know some of the hotels in Trollhättan are near to full-booked, but there is still hotel-rooms and camping availabe in Trollhättan and area around. If you don’t know where to stay, check out Trollhättans tourist agency to get a overview.

Some practical info, this is a preliminary program as it is today, 5th of May; the latest changes and a detailed program will you find at Saab Car Museums website (här på svenska), or at the official Facebook event

WHAT: Saab Festival 2015
WHEN: 5th-7th June 2015
WHERE: Saab Car Museum, Trollhättan (daytime Saturday; Kinnekulle Ring, Götene)

Saab Of The Week

This week our SOTW comes from Patrik from Cincinatti Ohio USA. Here is the story of his lovely 93 Sport Saloon…….

 

Hi Martin—

Pictured here is my 2003 Saab 9-3 2.0T in steel gray metallic.  Although 12 years old, with only 61,000 miles, it feels and looks many years newer.  I never go too long without receiving compliments on the car’s near-mint appearance!
Hornak 1
I have been a Saab fan for my entire life and have owned the car for over three years now, and have made some additions including the 2008-style “ice block” tail lights, silver-painted trunk handle, rear bumper reflectors, a custom Swedish-style license plate, steering wheel buttons with the Aero-style metallic trim, and some custom chrome trim around the dashboard as inspired by the newer 9-3s.
Hornak 2
Overall, it is a very well-equipped 9-3 and includes bi-xenon headlamps, rear parking sensors, power moonroof, front fog lamps, and the 210 hp 2.0T engine.  It is an absolute joy to drive and I plan to add additional Saabs to the fleet in the coming years.
Hornak 3
From Cincinnati, Ohio, USA,
Thanks—
Patrik Hornak
Hornak 4
If you would like to have your car featured as SOTW then please email me some picturea along with a write up and I will feature it.
Regards,
Martin

Not SAAB related – The connected car

According to wikipedia a connected car is ..

… a car that is equipped with Internet access, and usually also with a wireless local area network. This allows the car to share internet access to other devices both inside as outside the vehicle. Often, the car is also outfitted with special technologies that tap into the internet access or wireless LAN and provide additional benefits to the driver. Examples include: automatic notification of crashes, notification of speeding and safety alerts.

The connected car is also the current buzz word in the automotive industry. But from my point of view this is not a concept driven by the automotive industry but the reaction of this to the current trend away from the car as a symbol of the ME to the connected device (smartphone, tablet, notebook …).

The connected car as found on Twitter
The connected car as found on Twitter

So the car should become a smartphone on wheels…. But if you want to connect something you have to connect it to something else. I mean, without a good network not only in the cities but also at the roads those cars would feel really alone.

Yesterday I had to make a 2 hour journey along one very important highway in Germany. I thought I could use my phone to show me the way and listen to an internet radio station during the journey. The result was that during the journey I was able to listen to the radio only 50% of the time as the 3G+ network is mostly only available at the cities or the zones nearby.

Currently the phone companies build their networks where people use it, and till now people have been using the phones at home, at work but not that much while driving to another city.

I don’t know if this is a Germany-only problem or maybe an Europe only problem, so what is your experience. Can you enjoy of the constant connectivity while driving from Stockholm to Göteborg? Or what happens in the states if you leave the big cities?

What will happen to the new fancy GPS from Audi that relies on the map data and satellite pictures from Google maps if you start your journey in the middle of nowhere if it can’t retrieve the map data?

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