Where There’s A Will, There Will Always Be a Saab!

There are two types of news out there right now regarding Saab: the very positive and upbeat, and then you have the very negative. What can be perceived as negative is sometimes just stating the reality of the situation, and what must happen in order for Saab to make a comeback. Saab is in deep trouble, we must not ignore that. However, we need to remember all the positives and that where there’s a will, there will always be a Saab!

Saab is like a plant. It will flourish when it is out of its constraining pot, has deep roots, and can grow broad and green. For many years it has stayed in a small pot, not being able to grow and has slowly turned brown. Victor Muller came along and tried to revive it by taking it out of its pot, putting it shallow soil, and tried to get it to grow using a restricted amount of funds, hoping the dirt would appear and grow deep around it while the plant would continue to grow. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and the plant was left dried up, brown and drooping. It is not Victor’s fault, it was just going to take a lot more than he had expected and could offer, to revive Saab. But we have a great opportunity for this plant now, with the right owner! The right owner will firmly plant the Saab plant into the ground with deep rich soil, and with proper attention, love, and nutrients, this plant will broaden its roots and grow into a very beautiful green plant. I have no doubts this can happen, and we can be there to witness it. There is no need to think Saab is dead, and no reason to spread negativity. Saab has a strong history of survival against the odds, and they may once again come out on top!

With that being said, the biggest struggle for a Saab comeback will be its reputation. Through the last couple of years alone, Saab has really taken some hard blows, and now the company is in bankruptcy. It has done its damage. The soft core Saab fans are slowly leaving the family, and there will be fewer and fewer people willing to take the risk of buying a new Saab (or even the current ones out there).

But why should that stop us? We can help get Saab their image back. For every Saab we drive, we are representing the brand in a small way already. Do we show our love for our cars? I’m sure we do! How do we talk to other car owners about Saab? We need to keep positive and upbeat, and also keep it realistic. By accepting what got Saab in trouble is step one, but its step two- how they get out of the problems- is most important. People are very interested in hearing there are investors out there wanting to buy Saab and revive it. They do care. Its cheering for the small people in the crowd of big people. People love that sort of thing.

This is just the start. We need to liven up our culture and really take it out there on the road! One suggestion would be to use our clubs. We need more clubs, and we need better attendance to the clubs already in place. We need to announce the fact that these clubs exist, and we need to gain new members continuously. Saab clubs give you a chance to connect with other Saab owners in a relaxed atmosphere where you can engage in good conversation. They can help host events! Through these events, we can show the public that Saab is very much still a viable brand, no matter what is going on right now with the parent company. Please stay tuned for more information about clubs and events in the near future!

We can keep our cars in great shape inside and out, and that will really impress people. For instance, I was driving a beautiful but older car several years back. A lady approached me while I was refueling at a gas station, because my car caught her eye and she wanted to see it up close. I told her the age and her jaw dropped. I almost had to show her proof! After talking about what a wonderful car its been for me, she was set to go out and buy one! (Unfortunately for her the model was no longer in production). But it will definitely work with our Saabs. They can be traveling advertisements for the brand’s survival. I know some of us already practice this, but I’d love to see more!

A second thought is to start giving Saab a name in our communities. As an example, the club I’m part of, the Minnesota Saab Club, sponsors a stretch of road that we keep clean. In exchange for our time, we get our name on a sign. Now, when people drive that stretch of road, they can see that Saab does good will in the community. They’re not going to think of us at stuck up wannabe BMW drivers any more. It helps get the name out there to those who don’t really know what a Saab is (and yes, there are still many people that will go, “that’s a car brand?!”). The more exposure Saab has, the better. And right now taking part in the community and showing goodwill are on the top of people’s lists. With all the bad out there, why not do some good?

Third, we can use the internet to help the Saab image. I wanted to take this short break to ask everyone to stay off the GM Facebook page, please do not post anything there. Instead, we would be more than happy to see your positive Saab posts on the Saab Cars Facebook page, and also on the Saabs United Facebook page. Its interesting when I’ve visited other car makers Facebook pages, I’ve seen a variety of complaints on their wall. Sure, people post their photos and all, but its the negative comments that really stand out. Social media is such a powerful tool, that it can help make or break a company, regardless of what the company is doing/not doing. But, that is the cool thing about Saab’s social media. We love our new models as well as our old models, and each car tells its own unique story. We share these stories everyday with thousands of people. And we need to continue it. But please keep it to the Saab pages. 🙂

Finally, we can welcome people to the family when they do something as small as join a Saab group online, or a Saab club, or as big as buying a new/used Saab. Whatever it is, let’s welcome them in! Its going to take as many people as we can get, to help Saab get a positive image in the future. This is our job now. The administrators have their job, and us fans have ours. Let’s get to it, and see what we can do for Saab’s image!

Springtime With Your Saab

Remember the first warm day of spring, when you find yourself kneeling in your driveway, attentively cleaning your Saab’s alloys with a small toothbrush, dirt all over your clothes, Abba blaring away on your boombox… (ok, ok, the last part is probably just me 😉 )? Its here! It is time to get your beloved Saab into shape for the upcoming year! Time to wash the dirt, salt and sand off, and lather it lovingly with a nice wax. While we’re on the subject of firsts, don’t forget the other fun part of spring: the first time you get to fully put down your windows, open the moonroof, turn off the seat heaters, and drive down the road blasting some fine tunes with the biggest grin on your face! (yes, that radio of mine only plays Abba while driving too! 😉 ).

There’s absolutely nothing like these feelings of absolute bliss, when you drive a fine Swedish automobile. With everything that has happened over the past six months, those of us who love Saab have been very stressed out. We need to now take the time to let the administrators do their work finalizing the new owner for Saab, while we show our appreciation for the Saabs that we currently own. Two easy ways of doing this are to do a complete spring detail, and also to hit the open road to a fun destination, hopefully with other Saab lovers!

I want to give a brief rundown on a proper spring detail, and why we should all be doing it. I’ll start with the why. Besides the fact we love our cars and want them to look good, a good detail will prevent rust, fading, corrosion and scratching. These things detract from the beauty as well as heavily on the resale value. Taking the time out now to do a few simple things will save you a lot of money in the long run, as these problems down the road can and will lead to requiring body work and repainting. You will also get extra years out of your Saab by taking good care of it inside and out.

And here’s how you do it: I strongly recommend hand washing over conventional quickie car washes, and I recommend using warm water when you can, as it helps lower the risk of leaving scratches. I dislike quickie car washes because they use strong chemicals that can and will harm the paint and chrome/gold finishing if used for any length of time. A good hand wash with very sudsy soap will gently remove dirt and grime, and today’s soaps are very gentle on both the car and environment. A quick tip on washing- make sure you rinse off the mitt or sponge after each panel to prevent dirt from being carried and possibly scratching the paint. Once you’ve washed, use a microfiber towel or chamois to dry the car, they work better than a terry cloth and will not scratch the paint. Next step is to apply a nice polish to the paint. Polish makes the car smooth and shiny, and will also help fill in tiny scratches in the clear coat (the protectant over the regular paint). Finally, you are ready for the final step! You can either use a good carnuba wax, or a paint sealant. The difference is a paint sealant is made to last at least 6 months and can be tougher than a wax. I don’t recommend using spray waxes, they have a very short lifespan.

A big problem with our cars is the tendency for plastic mouldings and doorhandles. We also have visible rubber trim around doors, trunks and windshields. These over time with sun and heat will fade from black to grey. But there is something you can do to help protect them, and turn them back to black when faded. There are products out there for plastics and rubber, one of the most popular one is actually called Back To Black, and its made by Meguiar’s. You can either apply it with a towel and rub it into the plastic, or if you are as meticulous as me, you can apply it with a toothbrush to make sure all the crevices are covered, and then finish off with a towel. I also use this product on the rubber around the doors, trunk and windshield, it keeps things looking nice and new, and also keeps it moisturized so it won’t crack. Actually, its amazing how new the car will look by doing just this little step!

Another piece to a good detail involves keeping the wheels clean. You can either use the leftover car wash soap, or you can buy a special wheel cleaner. It is best to use either a toothbrush or a tire brush to clean both the tire and the wheel. Buildup over time will cause rust and other problems, and will harm the rubber on the tire. Wheels aren’t the cheapest to fix when the finish gets ruined on them, you will have to find replacements instead. To keep the tire looking nice, and to help any curb scuffing, there is a finishing product you can spray on to the tire to make the rubber nice, shiny and like new. Actually, this also helps keep the rubber soft and flexible, which will help prolong the life of the tire’s sidewall.

The interior is easier- it involves vacuuming every square inch, possibly going after any stains with a carpet cleaning product, and using an interior cleaner (please stay away from the Armor All!) to wipe off the dash, doors, center console, mirrors, etc. After that, use a glass cleaner and clean off the insides to all the windows as well as mirrors. Finally, if you have leather seats, you really need to apply a nice conditioner cleanser to them. This will keep the leather moisturized and soft, and help prevent from premature wear and cracking. A well treated leather seat won’t care so much about the hot glaring sun, or the occasional wet if you’re like me and forget to put up a window or close the moon roof during a rain storm.

Now that the car is clean, its time to hit the road and have some fun! Did you ever hear that clean cars drive faster? Actually its no joke, its been proven that wax reduces the drag resistance and thus makes the air flow smoother over the car. I’m not sure if that explanation will get you out of a traffic ticket, but it might help convince your significant other, or friends, that you need to go for a nice long drive in the afternoon… to see how the car’s running… or something. But really, take this time to enjoy your Saab, and get reacquainted with each other. It doesn’t matter what has happened with the parent company, for your car still runs strong, and it was made in Trollhattan. Have a great and safe spring season with your Saab!

Let’s Keep Calm & Focused!

I ended up taking a little break from writing about Saab recently, because there were some things going on in the Saab community that I didn’t quite understand, and didn’t want to be part of. Saab blogs were attacking one another, and there were also a lot of accusations going regarding possible incorrectly reported news.

Why was this going on? My thoughts are that people are feeling quite emotional and vulnerable right now, and they’re just venting their frustration. The administrators aren’t talking much about the bids or bidders, and we’re only finding interesting bits of information here and there to report on. We’d all love to give you more news, but we’re not about to make anything up in order to satisfy a need. Instead, we wait like everyone else. While we wait for bigger news to report, we’re working hard to keep the Saab community focused, positive and peaceful.

A positive and peaceful community is what we can do to help the administrators, and the future for Saab. What we say and do online is watched by many people. Many more than we give credit for. Saab is in a very sensitive position right now, and we as a community, could play a potentially major role in making or breaking the deal, even now. The world paid great attention to our rallies in January, and they’re watching us now. Be assured things are moving positively behind the scenes, and trust that Saab is in good hands. We need to keep the focus amongst ourselves, we’ve done what we could to show that Saab was worth saving. The world indeed listened to our voice, there’s no doubt about that!

We did really well too. Saab doesn’t only just have one interested party, it has up to fourteen different interested parties! Many have teamed up to make a more efficient bid for Saab, so there is a potential of 6-7 bids that the administrators will be looking at. I don’t believe a comeback as big as this, has ever happened in the automotive industry. We’re about to show the world a brand new future of Saab. Its history in the making right now.

And guess what kind of parties will be thrown once Saab’s new future is sealed? Let’s keep our focus and get ready to party soon! Its coming.

The Saab Culture Has To Stay!

Yesterday seemed to rain bad news for Saab once more, and we started once again to get pessimistic. Sure, I understand the frustration right now that the bankruptcy process is going slow, and that someone isn’t jumping right in to buy Saab. We are allowed to be angry at the people that helped cause Saab’s demise. We are allowed to feel bad for what’s going on. But we should not close the coffin on Saab and bury them deep into the ground. Nor, should we let the world get away with it either.

Changes will come. However, change can be a good thing, and can lead to greener pastures. Saab cannot continue down the path that they’ve been on the last several years. It was bumpy, full of man-eating potholes and landmines underneath a partly sunny blue sky. Saabs simply cruise better on empty, smooth roads, with a wide open view to the future. If an investor is able to make a successful bid, we should be ready to embrace their efforts, even if it means only parts of the company are saved. Realistically, its going to take a lot of money to get Saab up and running at this point in time. Not impossible, but the numbers have to make sense for them to take the risk in investing into Saab. Yes, Saab is great and worth saving, but if they’re not going to be making profits and are faced with more debt, they’re not going to see it worth to restart the entire company. It would be a shame, yes. But, it doesn’t mean the Phoenix cannot rise again in the future! That part in itself has a very promising future.

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Interview with My Saab Friends, Part Two

Here is the follow up interview with my friends, that I posted yesterday. I interviewed my friend James and his wife, Kathy, from the US; Michi from the US; and last but not least, Christine, who hails from Germany! Enjoy, and I cannot wait to see how our rallies do over the weekend!

a: So tell me the story! How did the two of you meet? Was it love at first sight? What attracted you?

James: We were looking for a car to replace my beautiful Blazer ZR2. I really liked the Blazer but the maintenance became too much with its age and mileage. Jim looked online and found many cars that he wanted to look at. He found a blue 9-3 at the local dealer, but was told it was already sold. He was at work that weekend and decided to go over to the dealer anyway to see what else they had. We found a Combi that caught our eye but found out it was already sold. Jim saw the blue car that he had found on line and asked about it. The salesperson said that the car was indeed sold earlier but the buyer could not get financing so it was in fact, available. Jim asked if we could take the car for a over night test drive and they let us take the car home. I felt at the time the car had to much mileage on it, but the car ran nice. The car appeared to be well taken care of for the millage and the price was affordable so we bought it the next day.

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Interview with My Saab Friends, Part One

For fun, I decided to interview a few of my female Saab friends. I thought it would be fun to grab a demographic and see what they have to add to our rich group! In Part One, I interviewed Madelene from Sweden, and Meg from New York. I asked them 6 questions about their Saabs, and here are their answers:

A: So tell me the story! How did the two of you meet? Was it love at first sight? What attracted you?

Madelene: First thing of all, I just gotta say this…I love that you ask questions
about my car, that makes it sound like I’ve met a acctual person in life. Cause I kinda did, my car isnt just a car. She’s ‘The Beauty’, a Saab. She’s more than “just a car” to me. And I do have feelings for my Saab. The first time I was introduced to my car, I saw love and I felt love. Its just as simple as that. My Saab 9-5 became a family member 2009 when my mom bought ‘The beauty’. My mom gave me a call one day and told me that she was looking for a car, and she wanted me to pick out one for her. Money wasnt a problem, she just had one condition. – It had to be a Saab. So the searching began, I went bizarre looking in ads for the perfect car. I was searching for days, and then I saw this outstanding blue diamond. A midnight blue 9-5 sedan, 2.0T with 150HP. The color was amazing, and it really was love at first sight. The sweet lines, the curves,and the clear lights. I could tell by the look of her that she was a real fighter. ‘The Beauty’ took my breath away.

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A Message From Outside Saab

The following post is from our friends over at Outside Saab, we need to keep supporting their effort:

What started as an idea on a sofa in the Netherlands, sort of has gotten out of control. Some facts and figures for you.

Over 40 countries hosting a staggering 95 events. A simple slogan We are many, we are Saab seems to have done the trick, including some simple artwork. What started as a small website, basically now is the place to look for an event coming weekend.

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There’s Gonna Be a Rally Tonight! Song

My good friend, Lars Svensson, and I, partnered up to bring you this very special Saab song! I got the idea in my head last night when I climbed into bed (it seems my best Saab ideas all happen here lately!), and then asked Lars to help me write the lyrics this morning. Well, he took hold of this one, and did an unbelieveable job! We would love to see this song produced and used! See for yourself below!

(in tune to The Eagles Heartache Tonight song)

There’s Gonna Be a Rally Tonight

The Saabs are gonna hit the road
Like we’ve been telling you.
All Saabs are gonna come along
To show what we can do
Every driver wants to make a statement
In support of Saab
Everybody wants to give our brand a chance,
bring it back again

There’s gonna be a rally tonight,
A rally tonight, I know.
There’s gonna be a rally tonight, I know.
Lord I know.

Some people people tend to give up hope
Some folks can’t hold out this long
But nobody should stay home now.
There’s too much going on.

All Saabs are gonna send a message
That our faith is real
Some time before it’s all too late
The factory will come to life again
There’s gonna be a rally tonight,
A rally tonight, I know.
There’s gonna be a rally tonight, I know.
Lord I know.

There’s gonna be a rally tonight,
We must win this fight.
So turn on the light, and Saab’ll be allright.
There’s gonna be a rally tonight, a
Rally tonight I know.

The Saabs are gonna hit the road
Like we’ve been telling you.
All Saabs are gonna come along
To show what we can do
Every driver wants to make a statement
In support of Saab
Everybody wants to give our brand a chance,
bring it back again.

There’s gonna be a rally tonight,
A rally tonight, I know.
There’s gonna be a rally tonight,
A rally tonight, I know.
Let’s go
If we can stand up strong together;
We can show them we are right
We can rally in the parkin’ lot,
thats what we say, there’s gonna be a
rally tonight, a rally tonight, I know.
There’s gonna be a rally tonight,
A rally tonight, I know.

Let’s rally together, everyone! Together we can make a difference! Go Saab, GO!

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