One last shot for me, too.

Well, since I’ve not been around much of late, it’s as if I really ended my involvement with SU some nine or ten months ago.  My time pressures will get no better in the next few months, and so I will no longer be around much, either.  Like Swade, I’ll have new challenges work wise and with a planned house move on the horizon,  Saab networking online will be taking a back seat.  I’ll get a number of hours more actually driving the convertible rather than writing about it.  I may pop in from time to time with some photos, but that’s the extent of it for now.

 

Thanks for everyone, especially Steven, for allowing me to participate.  It’s been loads of fun and I’ve enjoyed all of it.  If you take just a day or two in Steven’s seat, you gain an immediate appreciation for the man and you gain perspective on the prodigious amount of time required to operate SaabUnited.  It is overwhelming.

 

Special thanks to Andy, Grippen, Greg and Golfhunter for ideas and information.  Special thanks to Robin for all of the excellent photos and the spirit.

Also, thanks to Mike Colleran, Steve Shannon, Pierre Belperron, Marty Adams, and the late Jan-Willem Vester for being such gracious hosts.  It is not forgotten.

——————————

P.S. I’ve been saving a screed about how auto dealer compensation is not aligned with consumer interest, but this simply isn’t the time for it to appear here.  I’ve posted it on my own (nearly defunct) blog site if you’re interested in my thoughts.

 

 

Robin’s Comprehensive Geneva Photo Gallery

Robin, aka Trollpowersaab, our officially unofficial UK ambassador, has posted a huge number of photos from the Geneva Motor Show on his Flickr photostream.

Here’s a keeper:

 

Here’s a photo that I believe answers a question posed in comments.  A reader asked if the rear seat headroom were significantly greater in the 9-5 SportCombi vs. the 9-5 Sedan.  It would appear so.

 

 

I particularly like this use of the projection background as an attention getter.  Well done!

More photos and video from Geneva 2011

Well, let’s start with the fun stuff, shall we?

From Swisstroll, we have our inimitable host, Swade, along with Jason Castriota and Golfhunter.  Looks like they’re having a good time!!

 

 

I laughed out loud at the photo from Golfhunter. It’s certainly not the Saab 9-5, which I may add, looks absolutely magnificent in this color — Java Brown. Can you guess why I laughed?

That’s right! I chuckled at this picture because one can clearly see the Opel and the Subaru logo and banner, respectively. They both had a shot at being closely related to Saab, and neither was able to make it work. There, right in front of them, is this gleaming 9-5, full of potential and energy. I guess that you could call it schadenfreude. (Of course, Subaru is on a roll of their own, but it’s still an odd juxtaposition.)

In another bit of fun at someone else’s expense, check out the write up over at Autoblog on the Chris Bangle/Jason Castriota confrontation as noted in these pages yesterday. Hint: one of the designers was called out for “hassling” the other. I’ll let you be the judge.

We’ll wrap up with a one-minute long review of the new Saab 9-5 as posted by MotorsTV France.   Good capture.

Well, it turned out that it was all fun stuff. Who knew? 😉

More Saab ink from the Geneva Auto Show 2011

Once again, to augment the very capable and welcome coverage from Geneva by our own Swade and RedJ, I bring you the following links and information from around the internet.  Enjoy!

 

Via MusicforaNurse on Twitter:  I think the Saab PhoeniX hit the mark!

 

Take a look at the excellent photos from our good friend Golfhunter.  Well done, Jeff!

 

I am glad to see a little love for the new 9-5 SportCombi from Autoblog.  They call it “one sharp cargo-hauler”, and I tend to agree:

Autoblog photo of 9-5 SportCombi in Geneva

More 9-5 SportCombi photos from Autoblog may be found here.

 

Venerable auto media giant Motor Trend weighs in with a reminder that Phoenix was a Pontiac compact in the ’70’s and ’80’s, but certainly gives credit where it is due, saying, “The car may be a bit busy, but it is gorgeous…”

 

Wired magazine has a great post entitled “Saab’s Surprisingly Slick PhoeniX Hybrid” that, not surprisingly, details as much about the Google-Android-based IQon system as does about the car overall.  I love this bit:

Saab floored a lot of people at the Geneva auto show with the Phoenix, a slick gas-electric concept that provides a glimpse of the automaker’s future now that Spyker’s taken over from General Motors.

 

James Bell, correspondent for USA Today, says this in a very short article:

Just 12 months ago, Saab was on the verge of liquidation. Today, they are a perfect example of the spirit and energy seen in people and companies poised for growth in the post-meltdown era.

USA Today also takes issue with the fanciful prose from the Saab press kit.  I might agree….

 

Britain’s What Car? goes under the skin to explore the underpinnings of the Saab PhoeniX with our Jan-Åke Jonsson.

Jonsson insists that the new architecture is essential to Saab’s independence (it was sold by General Motors just over a year ago) and, although expensive, will ultimately save money.

‘We will be able to use the same powertrains in all our vehicles and build them in the same plant (Trollhattan in Sweden), so there are lots of benefits,’ he said.

 

Cars.com likes the Saab PhoeniX overall, but they dislike the winglets on either side of the roof.  WARNING: “Q” word in use!

 

Swade, RedJ, Golfhunter, Robin, et al: enjoy Switzerland, keep sending information!

Press Reaction to the Saab PhoeniX Concept

Swade, RedJ and Golfhunter all in the same room with Victor Muller.  In Switzerland. Jealousy knows no bounds.  Hoist one for me, gents.  I’m headed to Green Bay, Wisconsin today, which could actually be the antithesis of Geneva.  For me it is, anyway.

For the rest of us, we rely on the word of others to describe what they see at events like this one.  Here are a few of the people writing about the Saab PhoeniX as unveiled today:

– From Car and Driver:   I love this new phrase coined in the C&D write-up:  “Saabnitive Dissonance”. This heading seems to describe the departures from the Saab norm; they point out that Jason Castriota’s roots at Ferrari signal a departure from history and that the design is not your typical Saab.

On the flip side, they, too, note the Pontiac-ish tail lights.

– From TopGear: “Think of this Saab as the T-1000 of concept cars, only with less duplicitous pointy-metal-finger death and more economy. ”

– From Car Magazine: “[Jason Castriota] called the new language ‘Aeromotional’.  But we see plenty of hallmarks of Castriota’s work at Bertone, mashed up with references to Saab’s past.”

Car Magazine also calls the PhoeniX “one of the few genuine surprises of the Geneva show”.

– From AutoExpress: “The future is looking bright for Saab. In the boldest statement yet of its new-found confidence, the Swedish giant took the wraps off this stunning sports car concept at the Geneva Motor Show”

– From TopSpeed: ” Back in 2006 Saab impressed the world with the launch of the Aero-X, a concept considered a piece of art back then. But now, five years later Saab wants to amaze us once again. And they did with the launch at the Geneva Motor Show of the new Phoenix, a concept car that previews the design language of next generation of Saab cars. You have to admit, if the future Saab models will look anything like this, then the company will really raise from its own ashes, like the Phoenix bird did.”

– From the New York Times: “‘We did it to show we could, to show that we are here to stay,’ said Victor Muller, Saab’s chief executive, in an interview.”

– From Motor Authority:  “clean, muscular shape” and “a 2+2 cabin that blends simplicity with technology”

– From Kilometer Magazine: “The Phoenix is simply stunning, and we expect that while a sport coupe might not be Saab’s first priority, the face, some of the surfacing, and hopefully the dot-matrix taillights will make it to future production models. While looking thoroughly modern, the PhoeniX also looks very Saab and it even evokes the Sonett with its short, stubby rear end. New design languages always need a buzzword and the one for this new look is ‘Aeromotional.'”

– From NetCarShow: A very no-nonsense, workman-like description.  Almost like they just copied the press kit or something. ;-).  Worthy of mention because of the fantastic gallery of Saab PhoeniX photos posted on the page.

– From Jalopnik:  They invite you to “check out the hot, sexy Swedish action of the exterior”.

Finally, from Swedish Radio, an excellent series of photographs from the Saab Phoenix unveiling are located here.

5 Saaby things you can do with Google Chrome

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted; it’s been too long, really.  So, I’m going to keep it light and leave the heavy lifting to Swade and RedJ for now.

I love the internet.  Almost as much as Saab.  Almost.  I’ve also noted on these pages that I am a real fan of the Chrome web browser from Google.  Previously, if you’d asked me why, I would have answered, “Chrome is fast and it takes fewer clicks to navigate.”  Simple.  Those things are still true, but now Google has opened the Chrome Web Store, which is much like an App Store for the iPhone and Android.  Instead, of course, it contains plug-ins and extensions specifically for the Google Chrome browser.  It’s another clear reason to prefer Chrome.

As you may guess, the applications and extensions in the Chrome Web Store are information aggregation applications for the most part — bringing you information in different ways than before.  Harnessing these little applications for your own fun and profit is surprisingly easy and rewarding.

We’ll take a look after the jump….

Read more

A dubious milestone passes

EggsnGrits here, long time no post.  My day job has been insanely demanding for the last three or four months, but with magnificent results, so I’m not complaining much.

Thanks to @JustSaab on Twitter, I’m reminded that this is the very day and hour that I reluctantly picked up the phone to call Swade in Tasmania a year ago.  The information that I had to give? Koenigsegg Group had abruptly ended their bid to purchase Saab Automobile AB.  The announcement was made near the end of the European working day, about 10:30 AM here in Nashville, Tennessee or about 3:30 AM in Tasmania.

As I recall vividly, Swade’s first words were, “Fair dinkum?”  (Translated:  “Really?”)  The second question was one that really brings back the memories:  “Who is reporting it?”  As you may recall, by late November of last year we’d had quite enough of the junk journalism and speculative posts surrounding the GM/Saab split.  Swade (nor I, for that matter) was in no mood to wrestle with yet another bogus report with no real basis in fact.  “Reuters, AP and BBC from what I can see here.  Fritz Henderson (then acting CEO of GM) has a news conference scheduled for today.”   Of course, you know the rest of the story.

I bring this up today not to wallow in the negatives of Saab’s near death experience.  I want us all to revel in just how far we have come!  Two new world-class vehicles, our new 9-5 and the home-run 9-4x, in the showrooms.  Dealerships in Canada.  A partnership with a leader in automotive technology, BMW, for development of new Saabs.  A new 9-3 in engineering and test.  A growing and thriving North American organization lead by Mike Colleran and crew.  The talented Jason Castriota leading our design efforts.  And, finally, a charismatic and active leader in Victor Muller paired with our own strong, steady Jan-Ake Jonsson.

We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week.  We’ve come so far in just 12 months.  Just think about what we can do with the next 12.  It’s going to continue to be a great ride.

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