Time goes by

Time goes by and its now about 8 years since Saab went out of business in its original setting.

NEVS have had their ups and downs. They have mostly been struggling under harsh financial conditions. Something employees from the Saab days are used to, but probably not too happy about. Lately a new major owner, Evergrande, has entered the scene and the wheels are spinning faster again in Trollhättan. Focus is still on the Chinese market and there are currently no formal plans for launching products in Europe or the US.

Quite surprisingly, NEVS lately bought about 20% of the Swedish supercar maker, Koenigsegg. Koenigsegg and NEVS are also planning for a joint venture company which will produce electric cars and hybrids. Rumors say that Koenigsegg would like to gain access to the Trollhättan plant in order to produce “cheaper” electric cars. The reason for NEVS doing this deal is not that clear. NEVS are focusing on sustainable transport solutions, which has little to do with supercars.

You may remember that Koenigsegg was one of the potential buyers of Saab back in the days. Koenigsegg is now the employer of Saabs United´s founder Steven Wade, Swade.

Another car manufacturer in the western part of Sweden is Volvo. Volvo has been doing great lately, better than ever, I imagine. New plants, lots of new models, lots of sales. Many former employees of Saab have found a new job at Volvo Cars.

The picture below was taken last weekend in the heart of Volvo-land, Torslanda. You may recognize the slogan from Volvo commercials with Swedish celebrities like footballer, Zlatan. The car in the foreground however, is made by Trollhättan.

Have you ever had a hard time locking your Saab?

Sometimes I cannot lock my Saab properly with the key remote. If I am in a hurry this may get quite frustrating. After a while, I started to see a pattern. There was always a lorry nearby, a lorry with a remotely operated crane.

In Sweden, we recycle things like glass, paper, plastics and cupboard. The recycling stations are emptied regularly. This happens quite often when I drop my oldest son off at school. My conclusion is that the crane remote is operating on a similar radio frequency as my car key remote. It seems that the weaker car key signal gets drenched by the crane remote. When the lorry is gone, my car lock works perfectly.

Have anyone else had this problem?

A lorry emptying the recycling station outside my son’s school.

 

 

Saab Insurance – Swedish Market, Update

I did a post on Saab insurance for the Swedish market a while ago. I have recently renewed my insurance and have happily found out that the insurance company Folksam has stretched their limits for Saabs even further. If you buy the large car insurance, you will have machine and electronics insurance up to 10 years or 15´000 Swedish miles (1 Swedish mile = 10km).

Auto-dimming rearview side mirrors, update

A long time ago, Tim wrote a post about the difficulties of getting new auto-dimming rearview side mirrors. I wrote a short add about the mirrors getting back in stock.

The brownish color was not the biggest issue, it was the failure of the dimming function on all mirrors. In November 2015 I fixed my left mirror it has worked fine ever since.

Before: You can see a brownish tone in the left part of the mirror.
After: The new auto-dimming mirror

The auto dimming area does not cover the entire glass. However, that is nothing which you will notice driving the car. The auto dimming function works fine on all mirrors after I replaced the bad one.

Cracked Leather Seats

I remember a discussion here at SU about the contrasting leather in the OG 9-5 seats was not real leather, but vinyl. This is something that got very real to me 2015. I generally take good care of my car, but I have not done much to the seats. I like to think that leather seats get a nice patina over time, if it is real leather, that is.

Summer 2015 the light colored fake leather in my driver seat cracked. I thought it was a shame, since my car is in good condition. I decided to mend it. I looked around the internet and found a solution called “Color Glo”. Color Glo is specialized in fixing damages in both real leather and vinyl. They can also imprint different leather patterns to mimic the original look.

It turned out that cracked fake leather on Saabs was quite common and that the rip could not be too large in order to fix it. Mine was ok to mend. Unfortunately, the leather pattern could not be imprinted because the cushion beneath the rip was too compressed (gap between the cushion and the vinyl). It seems that the cushions gets worn quite fast.

My driver seat before mending the cracked vinyl.

The mending looked ok, but not by any means perfect. Still, the seat was in once piece again. The mending got lightly tainted by my blue jeans quite fast.

Just before this summer, a piece came off the mending and I am back to square one again. It seems that it is not possible to get a permanent solution for this issue. At least not with the method I chose.

The current state of my seat.

I think Tim mentioned that if you chose the all black version of the seat, you got all real leather. That was probably the correct choice to make. I also discussed this matter with my previous boss who used to be employed at Saab. He said that Saab had pure leather all over the seats for a long time. In competition, Saab was the only one to keep leather all over and scaled down to specific parts of the seat to keep price on par with competition.

Has anyone tried any other method? Please write a post and share your experience!

Auto-dimming rearview side mirrors back in stock!

Many of us have been waiting to replace brownish auto-dimming rearview side mirrors for a long while now, as described in this post by Tim. The problem has concerned both 9-3 and 9-5 owners.

Recently this issue has been solved. According to Viktor Karlsson, Product Marketing Manager / Global Marketing at Orio, auto-dimming rearview side mirrors are now available on all markets. It is a long term solution with secured supply over time.

SideMirror

A MY10 mirror glass (pos11) is combined with a frame (pos5) and a cover (pos10). Parts information has been sent to all retailers. A new mirror will work fine with an older one, if you only need to replace one.

The drawback with this solution is that you need to get the new cover painted.

Saab Insurance – Swedish Market

logo-insuranceSince there are no Saabs manufactured for the moment, some of us cling on to what we have. That´s all right, since  a well treated Saab will run for a long time. However, there are some issues when a car come of age. One is insurance.

Most car insurances have a limit for covering repairs on the engine/machine. There is a big range here. A common limit is at a maximum of 8 years or 100´000 km. Some insurance companies stretch this up to 120´000 km or even higher in some cases. Note that the deductible may raise considerably when the car gets older (check the conditions).

There are many comparison sites in Sweden which can be used to compare car insurances. Usually you need to do some digging into the fine print to understand the limits for engine/machine damage. If this is important to you, I suggest you do. If you want objective comparison I recommend “Konsumenternas Försäkringsbyrå”. Follow this link to compare:

http://www.konsumenternas.se/forsakring/olika-forsakringar/bilforsakringar/jamfor-bilforsakringar

Note that this site only compare the content  of the insurance, not how well the insurance company actually perform at the event of an issue (except if there is a quality index). I made a call to “Konsumenternas Försäkringsbyrå”  in order to check about some of the companies with very good conditions and a very low price. Smaller, newer insurance companies have deals with subcontractors to manage the issues and they do not have a good reputation. You may also need to go to specific repair shops. If you stick with the larger companies there will be no issues getting a damage inspected or finding good repair shop. In the end, you get what you pay for.

Folksam, (one of the large insurance companies in Sweden) offer a special insurance for Saab owners. It is a bit pricey, but it covers engine/machine repairs up to 150´000 km or 8 years (which is much better than their normal deal). The deductible is also very low. A bad thing is that they add a cost if you use the car for business trips, which is something I have never experienced before.

Folksam have undoubtedly  realized that Saabs are cars that last long so it’s worth the risk to give better conditions. They also realize that they will attract Saab owners who stick with their brand. I hope more insurance companies understand and do the same (e.g. the Saab Brand Insurance offered by IF).

Prices for car insurance differ a lot depending on where you live, what car you have, how old you are and a number of other criteria. Different companies will put you in different segments depending on their specific risk calculation. I would advise you all to check for better deals each year.

Drive safe and have a good vacation!

Greetings From Legoland, Denmark

I usually do some Saab-spotting while on the road on my vacation trips. This time, me and my family went down to Denmark to visit Legoland. All went well in spite of the horrors of parking my beloved Saab in the cramped ferry parking space, next to half drunk people with no sense opening car doors next to other cars.

I managed to do some proper Saab-spotting inside Legoland as well

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And finally a Volvo with some issues….

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