SAAB Car Museum turns 40 today

_DSC0085Picture taken by me at my very first visit to the SAAB Car Museum in 1978 – The car is the IAA Frankfurt Auto Show SAAB 99 Turbo in Pearl white.

If You are in Trollhättan today take the chance of visiting the museum.

Actually it is with o lot of luck and coincidences that there is a SAAB Museum at all. First of all SAAB in the early years was not keeping cars for a future museum or in any way had an agenda of storing significant models. 40 years ago a collection was starting to take place. The original curator Pelle Rudh with long experience at SAAB gathered cars in the basement of a gasstation in central Trollhättan. The URSAAB was found and put on display after having been “hidden” away for many years. Unfortunately many of the significant SAAB cars where not to be found like many of the historic rally cars and some of the limited run models. Some replicas have been and as well as restored cars. The 1963 Monte Carlo winning SAAB 96 driven by the late Eric Carlsson is a replica made out of my grandmothers “shopping car” and made into a gift to Eric from SAAB. Also there was no 93 GrandTurismo 750. That model car is now in the collection given to the museum by an american.

The museum could just as well have disappeared in the winding down of the SAAB Automobile bankruptcy. All the cars where out on the internet and for sale/bidding. Attorneys and lawyers have little or no interest in automobile history and keep their eyes on the numbers.

I was contacted primarily by americans about 10 who wanted to by one or more cars out of the collection. Some wanted help in having the cars shipped to the US and some wanted to buy the cars but having them on display in Trollhättan. As a Trollhättan born son I felt this was not good at all and together with some people in the SU crew we started to make up a secret list of cars that was unique and if thing would get bad needed to be safeguarded. I had a conversation with the former manager at the Innovatum business park where SAAB Car Museum is located. He said they had a plan with The City of Trollhättan to buy the collection for 5 million SEK. I was shocked and felt that this can not be the solution. My estimate of the value with my knowledge and expertise in the automotive field was  close to 30 million SEK about 6 times the number I was told the collaboration between Innovatum and City of Trollhättan had speculated in.

Now something had to be done. Someone with “financial muscles” had to be involved.I sent an TEXT/SMS to Peter “Poker” Wallenberg indication the the SAAB Car Museum is about to be dissolved and there is need for great muscles to save it. it turned out to be a surprise for Mr. Wallenberg since his focus had been on his upcoming marriage and cars and the Saab Car Museums problems had not been on the radar scope. My TEXT and some other persons later letters to Mr. Wallenberg saved the SAAB Car Museum. They “NEW” owners managed to add together close to 25 million SEK and that was apparently enough to satisfy the bankruptcy lawyers.

Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary. A big THANK YOU to FAM (Wallenberg Family Investment), SAAB AB, City of Trollhättan and Innovatum. I hope I have not forgotten anyone.

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Some cars in my SAAB Car “Museum” in Stockholm. Replica 99 Turbo Pearl White, Replica 99 Turbo RAC 1978, 96 MonteCarlo V4 (my very first car)

 

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More on the Turkish Delight!

 

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Photo credit AA

It used to be that SU was exclusively informed by the management by both SAAB Automobile, SWAN, and to some extent NEVS. Now we read about the possible future in Road & Track magazine and the turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News.

– Mr. Fikri Isik Turkish Minister of Science industry and Technology says that new car shall consist of at least 85% parts produced in Turkey. Their goal is to have extended range environmental friendly vehicles.

“All of its intellectual property rights will be Turkey’s. That’s what we mean by national,” “We bought the Saab 9-3’s intellectual property rights, but not its name,”  Işık stated

– The car will have the Cadillac BLS front design and come in sedan/saloon only and without the SAAB name.The deal was settled way back in May and NEVS has shown 3 prototype cars

According to Hürriet News there has been some hiccups on the deliveries of the prototypes. NEVS failed to deliver the Phoenix Prototypes on time and the electric car did not function properly. On may 29th TUBITAK demanded improvements on the prototypes. The only functioning prototype was the gasoline powered car. The turkish paper also mention a SUV prototype that was not delivered at all.

From the picture it looks like the prototypes has a radiator that indicates that the car might have a  petrol or diesel engine. Is that what the turks means with extended range? Another interesting question is the safety of the car. We all know that the 9-3 does not fulfill the latest safety standards for car manufactured in europe. The hood/bonnet sits to close to the engine parts and is a hazard for pedestrians. Do they have other safety regulations in Turkey? We know that NEVS built at least one prototype with a higher hood with exploding / lifting mechanism.

Great to see that at least some engineers in Trollhättan has the chance to collaborate with the turkish counterpart and we will see what name the car will be given by the turks.

Earlier this week the Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff visited Sweden as part of her nations purchase of SAAB Gripen Fighters. A big debate has been sparked on whether this sale is so good for Sweden since it consists of a lot of “giving away” of knowledge and IP (intellectual property). I hope that this is not the case with the NEVS business with the turks. But in most agreements between equal technological developed nations both parties will benefit each other with knowledge not necessarily just in monetary terms. Dealing with a counterpart with a lower technological advancement, there is always a risk that one gives away technology that was taken many years of hard labour and investment away almost for free,

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Photo Credit AA “Personally I have a hard time understanding why the even bother to put camo on a car that is not new in any way looks pretty “stupid” better having the car plain and neutral nobody would recognize it. Where do You best hide a tree? In the forest of course!

Still working SAAB Shop owner turns 87 today!

 

Skärmavbild 2015-10-21 kl. 08.37.43Warmest congratulations on Your 87th Birthday Bo!IMG_4808

Bo is taking out old break fluid from a SAAB 9-5 SportsCombi

Mr. Bo Söderlind started his SAAB Service shop in Solna in 1958. Today is his 87th birthday and he is working in the shop every day with his son Leif. If anyone alive should be named Mr. SAAB today that should be Bo. He has great stories to tell every time I stop to visit which is about twice a month. He is a living encyclopedia of SAAB knowledge and that goes for EVERY Saab model ever made. Together with his son Leif they also have a small collection of various Saab models. A great non SAAB project Bo is running is the recreation of a Ford Thunderbird 1956. Bo has always been supportive  and very helpful. We all wish him a great day and many more years pampering the SAAB cars in Stockholm.

Drive by and congratulate him at Repslagarevägen 9, 171 48 Solna (Suburb of Stockholm)

Saab discussions tonight in Östersund, Sweden

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Tonight all the authors of the books above will gather for a 2.5 hour discussion on what happened with SAAB. The initiator is Jöran Hägglund who wrote the book SAAB Affären Inifrån who now is the Landshövding (Swedish State Local Administrator General for the Province of Jämtland) he used to work in Stockholm as a State Secretary for Maud Olofsson Minister of Commerce. The other writers are Jonas Fröberg and Jens B. Nordström.

The seminar is free and open to the public at 18:00 at the State Residence in Östersund.

Pres Release: NEVS has been chosen by TÜBITAK as its partner for developing a Turkish National Car

TÜBITAK, (the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) which has been assigned to develop “Turkish National Car” and realize this important mission, has chosen National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, Nevs, as the industrial partner for the project.

The cooperation has started in June 2015 between Nevs and TÜBITAK and future industrial synergies in terms of development and manufacturing shall be generated with this cooperation. In the short term perspective this cooperation shall put Nevs’ assets to work and shall give Turkey quick access to extensive automotive knowledge and experience.

Nevs shall also provide its know-how in the developing of the business plan and establishing of the supply and distribution chains to TÜBITAK.

Together with the new shareholders Tianjin and SRIT, the partner Teamsun as well as the cooperation with Dongfeng Motor, the cooperation with TÜBITAK is an important step in building up Nevs as a strong automotive company with industrial, technological and financial partnerships.

“I am very proud to have this strategic cooperation in place. Turkey will be a long-term partner and we will both gain a lot from this cooperation. With Turkey’s focus on electric vehicles we also see this as an important step towards our vision of shaping mobility for a more sustainable future”, said Mattias Bergman, President of Nevs.

Facts about TÜBITAK

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, TÜBITAK, is the leading agency for management, funding and conduct of research in Turkey. TÜBITAK was established in 1963 with a mission to advance science and technology, conduct research and support Turkish researchers.

TÜBITAK is an autonomous institution and is governed by a scientific board whose members are selected from prominent scholars from universities, industry and research institutions. TÜBITAK is responsible for promoting, developing, organizing, conducting and coordinating research and development in line with national targets and priorities. Further, TÜBITAK is one of the key institutions involved in the Turkish national car project.

http://www.tubitak.gov.tr/en

Press Release: Nevs supports Turkey in the development of a Turkish national car

Nevs supports Turkey in the development of a Turkish national car – Press conference Friday at 10.00 in Trollhättan.

National Electric vehicle Sweden’s President Mattias Bergman will present the cooperation at a press conference at Nevs:

Time: Friday October 16, 10.00 CET.

Place: National Electric Vehicle Sweden, Saabvägen 5, Trollhättan.

The press conference will be broadcasted: http://saabcars.com/en/live/

A press release will be published at the time of the press conference.

Welcome!

NEVS starts to educate the employees in basic Chinese

http://www.svt.se/nyhetsprogrammet-rapport/se-program/rapport-1652?autostart=true

At 18:00 minutes into the News program.

Swedish national television show tonight on the News that NEVS in Trollhättan has started to educate the car builders and engineers in Chinese. According to the NEVS Investor spokes person who seams to be of Chinese origin the various investors from China has appreciated the knowledge of their language. So bottom line is that it is good for business. It is not only the language it si also basic knowledge of Chinese culture and geography. The news does not mention any Swedish training for the chinese visitors and employees.

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