Robert Collin wants Swedish youths to peel bananas

JÅJ’s recent announcement has naturally caused quite a stir in our community. My soapbox is small, but I will deploy it nonetheless.

Certain stories have surfaced in the Swedish press, and many have been discussed in comments.

This calls for a summary.

First of all, there was a TV interview (TV4) which didn’t come up with anything really new. They like to remind us that Saab has never earned any money (despite what people close to Saab may say) and people who buy Saabs are like cult-members who only buy them to support the factory. Oh, and Robert Collin again claimed JÅJ and VM had a shaky relationship based on a raised eyebrow and supposed eye roll during a dinner last Fall. Robert already predicted the 9-5 would not sell over a year ago. Now we are told it won’t sell because JÅJ is leaving Saab. And of course, it’s still too big. It strikes me as funny how my MY11 9-5 isn’t too big, but I guess I got one of the few good ones?

Also present at that fateful dinner was our own Swade. Swade writes:

Well, I was at the same dinner and I can tell you that I have no recollection at all of VM leaving significantly early at all. (…)Well, I was at the same dinner and I can tell you that I have no recollection at all of VM leaving significantly early at all. The fact that he might have wanted to get back a little earlier might have had something to do with his recovery from some surgery he had not long before.(…)So to anyone who wants to take the opportunity to give Victor a backhander, I say there are two sides to every story and you ought to make sure you get both.

The same event. Two different accounts. Who do you trust more?

As for Robert’s “cult” reference– it’s unfair and uncalled for. Personally, I bought my first Saab as late as 2008. The 9-3 SC was then the safest car in its class according to folksam.se. Granted, the following year Folksam reduced the 9-3’s rating, giving it the same score as other European brands, but it still remains one of very few models that have been tested for moose impacts. I drive a lot through moose infested areas, and I need this extra safety. I also require Saab’s excellent winter skills. Saabs usually win when magazines compare cars in the winter. The 9-5 that I bought last year is no exception. I drive 720 km every week on some of the worst winter roads imaginable. I know from experience that a Volvo V50 can’t cope properly with such conditions. Saab 9-3, 9000 and 9-5 on the other hand can. With ease. The “too big” 9-5 is extremely comfy, and it is difficult not to smile as I’m able to dig through parts of the road that seems to stump others.

In short, TV4’s coverage painted a very bleak picture of Saab. It would not surprise me if Saab eventually drowns because of the Swedish press alone. It is no longer a question about them being right or not, it is a question of why they so desperately want to bury the company with its thousands of jobs and likely the entire city of Trollhättan. Swedish people should feel upset with their one sided journalists, because otherwise… perhaps Swedish youths peeling bananas in Norway is the answer? Does that sound like a fun and interesting job? Is that really an improvement over working for the evil entrepreneur Victor Muller? At least he’s trying to create something of value.

Teknikens Värld takes the 9-3X Griffin out for a spin

The past few days here have had a heavy focus on the business side of Saab. It is only appropriate then to turn our focus back to the cars.

JH gracefully supplied us with the following manually improved googletrans of the original article (also containing 11 pictures worth checking out).

More after the jump:

Read moreTeknikens Värld takes the 9-3X Griffin out for a spin

Latest: Antonov starting bank in Sweden

According to di.se, Antonov is setting up business in Sweden. His Latvian bank Latvijas Krajbanka has already set up representation in Stockholm and are making plans for running a bank there.

Antonov comments that the process of investing money in Saab is ongoing. He and a partner are able to invest the 3.5 billion SEK “that are needed” (presumably in order to terminate the EIB loan and thus enable Saab even more freedom?). Finally, the plans for a Saab factory in Russia are not dead. However, the retail network in Russia needs to get organized first in order to determine what kind of sales volumes they are looking at.

The real value of the mighty 9-5

In Norway, cars are not like other cars. The newest 9-5 is hit by a plethora of various government taxes. As a result, you have to fork out roughly $200,000 US Dollars for the V6 Aero.

One of our readers, Håkon, observed that one of these babies have recently been sold. Sola is located in the west part of Norway. Someone who have struck oil recently? In any case, we wish to congratulate the new owner on his/her excellent choice. I would not hesitate a minute myself given the opportunity.

Apologies to TedY for not posting his link earlier, but Vi Bilägare’s previous issue recently picked the best winter car there is. Check out the front page.

Saturday night snippets

Actually it is still barely afternoon, but as you all know the spirit of SU was born in Australia so by the time this is published it will already be almost Sunday. Eventually, I expect SU will convert to Saab Mean Time (SMT) which is more or less GMT+1.

On to the snippets.
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Pam sent our team a note letting us know that the IIHS has published the first MY10/11 9-5 crash test scores. No side impact testing as of yet, but I’m sure their testing regiment will continue. Good score so far.
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AutoNews’ Rick Kranz offers up some nice thoughts on the PhoeniX. “The PhoeniX design is polarizing. But that’s OK.” (thanks John for the tip).
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Both Saab PhoeniX and IQon continues to receive attention all over Internet. A little googling turns up heaps of articles and opinions. “Don’t Angry Birds and drive!” writes Rik Henderson of pocketlint.com. A colleague of mine received a citation a week ago for using his mobile while driving. He tried to demonstrate that he had a handsfree device in his glove compartment, but no rebate on the ticket was offered. Imagine the cop’s reaction had there been a little Angry Birding going on too.

Personally, I suspect digital distractions will be difficult to avoid in the future. By blocking content on the main satnav screen, all you will accomplish is that the driver will whip out his other portable screen and use that instead. The choice will be between being able to use only one hand or be forced to employ other body parts as well. Still, as with the “fasten seat belts” sign, the car should lead with a good example. In either case, IQon is long overdue and an welcome addition to the Saab product range.
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