The World Is Watching Us

Personally, I have been watching our totals go up with excitement and anticipation the last few days and I am extremely proud of this unified effort from everyone here. Apparently I am not alone and in the last few days I have seen a lot of media coverage about our cause. This is going to be a big part of the history of Saab and the history of the automotive world. I have searched high and low and have not been able to see anywhere that a group of fans of any manufacturer have done what we are so close to doing. Saab fans are simply the best and this does a lot to show our potential owners that the Saab fans are still here and support the brand to the fullest.

Here are some samples of what is out there about our campaign in different media:

The Motor Report

Enthusiast website Saabs United has put out a call to its fellow diehards to purchase the last Saab 9-3 to be built.

AutoBlog.com

The folks over at Saabs United have been a fixture on the Swedish automobile scene for some time now, cementing themselves as the hub for all manner of Saab news and gossip as the fight to keep the brand alive has ebbed and flowed over the past couple of years.

Saabs United has taken it upon itself to rally the faithful in an attempt to purchase the car for donation to the Saab Cars Museum, which was itself only recently saved.

In Auto News

A group of Saab fans hope to raise money to buy the last 9-3 and donate it to the official Saab Museum in Trollhattan, Sweden, which was recently saved from being divvied up.

Auto Evolution

The members of SaabsUnited have decided to chip in as much as they can and buy the last Saab ever to be produced. It a 9-3 Griffin which is scheduled to roll off the production line at the end of the month. Their plan is to raise the necessary cash, through donations, to buy and then permanently place the car in the Saab Cars Museum, where it belongs.

Motor Authority

A group of Saab loyalists at Saabs United are hoping to raise enough money so that this final 9-3 can be purchased and then donated to the official Saab Museum in Trollhattan

Automoblog.net

When Saab production stopped last year, many cars were still left on the line. Slowly they are being completed. One of them was a Saab 9-3 Griffin; the very last one to ever be produced. It is scheduled to be finished off at the end of May. Saabs United has rallied fans to give enough money to purchase the car.

Note: We rallied fans, yes, but still a little way to the finish line.

Autoweek.nl

Saab Saab-United is a group of enthusiasts dedicated to the (mental) existence of the brand. They started a campaign to get the latest Saab 9-3buying.

Sometimes it’s worth it to use google translate, I love that we are dedicated to the “mental” existence of the brand.

CB (Russia)

Fans of Saab cars have begun to raise funds to purchase the last car

P4 West

This is the blog Saab United, which has launched the collection and in a week it has received almost 200 000 SEK from Saab enthusiasts around the world.

As I write, the last updated amount is 26527 euros and climbing. Now my excitement and anticipation is focused on what will be written about the great fans of Saab who saved the last 9-3 for the museum. I see this happening very soon and I applaud all of you who have taken part, I know that for me, I will be happy to be mentioned as one of the donors of this great Griffin. There has been some talk about an unveil and a way to commemorate the whole thing, we will keep you up to date with everything as it becomes a reality.

As a side note, once we hit the goal, lets keep going and provide a nice little extra for the museum to offset their monthly expenses. We will get this done.

The Last 9-3 And What It Means

Since Thursday of last week, we have received a total so far of 13,325.11 euros which is the equivalent of $17,624.78 USD. For the first six days I have to say I am impressed to see so many people support such a great cause. Judging by the ticker I see to the right, it would look like we have 18 days and 15174.89 Euro left to reach the target. We have done a great job collectively so far and need to continue to push to reach the target.

I know that North America has been behind Europe in donations, but I can’t stress hard enough that every donation counts towards the final goal and hey, most of us got paid yesterday. We are many in North America and if every owner donated 5 euros towards the total, we would already be surpassing the required amount. In know way am I saying only donate 5 euros, donate what you can, if it’s 5 or 500, doesn’t matter to me. Do what you can or what you want and we will get there.

Some questions have come up about what happens after the first five years? Why is the car not just gifted to the museum? And what if we don’t reach the goal? All of these questions are good questions and have been answered as follows.

Regarding the five year contract and why the car is not just gifted answered by TimR in comments:

The real reason why we keep it private and only loan it to the Museum over a renewable 5 year period is that the museums future is still not secured. IF the museum would fall into financial difficulties next year, which is very likely at this point, this car would be the one, which would be easiest for the owners to get some money out of, and thus secure the future a bit longer… this must not happen!

So by keeping it private for the first 5 years, guarantees that nothing can happen to the car regardless of what happens to the museum.

Many cars at the museum have a similar deal, where a contract is signed between the museum and a private owner, that the museum will keep the car in display condition and I guarantee by that contract that the car will stay where it is.

IF after the first 5 year period, the museum’s finance are in order and its future secured for a minimum of another 5 years, the car can be written over to the museum…

What if we don’t reach the goal? Answered in post Buying the last 9-3. Status update friday 27th of April.

The deadline for providing a donation is the 20th of May at 14:00 Central European Time. That is when we will know if we have been able to complete the task of saving this valuable car or if the money gathered will be sent as a one time donation to the Saab Cars Museum.

Now with all that out of the way, I will tell you why this specific car is so important to me and all of us. Not that long ago there was talk about all the remaining cars on the production line being scrapped altogether and never being completed. This didn’t happen and ANA, a Saab dealer agreed to purchase the final cars at different stages of production and complete the ones they could in house which to me is very impressive. This car is to be the very last Griffin to come of the line and be completed and weather or not it’s the last 9-3 to ever be built remains to be seen, but I would think it is more then likely the last of its kind which makes it a very special car. It also closes out the Spyker/SWAN era of Saab and like it or not, that becomes a part of our history.

Why this whole cause is important to me and all of us is because I personally don’t know of another brand where fans and customers of the brand have come together like this. We are looking at as a collective group, buying a historical car to ensure it has its place in history so that people can see this car and say “that was saved by the fans”. As a fan, that image just makes me happy and proud of this group.

If you have already donated, thank you very much. If you are thinking about donating, please do it. For those of us in North America, come on guys and gals, lets show everyone that Saab matters to us too, lets make this dream a reality and show the world how different we are and why Saab fans are the best.

Click here to donate

Why It All Matters?

With the recent events of the We Are Many, We Are Saab, some people may reflect on things and wonder, can I make a difference by attending something like that? After receiving an email over the weekend from Michel Theriault, I would say yes and that all we do matters. Michel organized the We Are Many event in Montreal, Canada and from that has decided to take things to the next level.

Montreal has not had an active Saab club for some time now and at the urging of some of the participants, Michel has started a webpage with a forum to connect with Saab fan’s and an ultimate goal of restarting the Montreal Saab club. Judging by the photo below, there are plenty of Saab fan’s in Montreal and I am sure the re-launch of the Saab Club will be a success.

Saab clubs are a very cool thing to be a part of and witnessing some of these clubs come together is something in itself. We have a club out here in BC and when they have met at our dealership in the past, it has been like watching family arrive for a celebration. Everyone getting out of their Saab’s with grins on their faces being met by other members happy to see each other again. I don’t think there is a better way to explain it other then a family coming together.

I wish all the success in the world to Michel and the soon to be relaunched Saab Club from Montreal. If you are in the Montreal area, please visit the website link and show your support.

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!

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