SAABSTANCE Singapore

Hello and greetings from Singapore!

Firstly, will like to congratulate the new refreshed SAABSUNITED page as well as the new Svenska Saabklubben Team for taking over this fabulous site that all SAAB Fanatics globally have grown to love and to appreciate over the years.

Personally used to have had the pleasure of 5 SAABs and it has been nothing short of an exciting journey and relatively fuss free.

MY 01 SAAB 9-5 2.0t

MY 06 SAAB 9-5 SC 2.0t

MY 00 SAAB 9-5 2.3T HOT AERO

MY 06 SAAB 9-3 SC 2.0T VECTOR

MY 08 SAAB 9-3 SS 2.0T AERO – VRN “360” as you may have seen in some photos

Will be showcasing to you some images taken by yours truly as well as a short write up of Singapore. Scroll on!

 

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Saabs at STCC Race @ Solvalla Trotting Grounds: Day 1 Practice

Quite a few Saabs are qualified for tomorrows races in the Swedish Nation Touring Car Series STCC in Stockholm at the Solvalla Trotting track rebuilt into a racing and rallycross circuit.

http://youtu.be/ITFbF8KUZ4I
http://youtu.be/T79KiMS0mZ4
http://youtu.be/C6kEyop6eMk

More to come here in pictures from day 1.

Tomorrows races will be publish ASAP after finish tomorrow.
Need to go to sleep now so I can perform tomorrow for You loyal international Saabers!
I have sold my NG 9-5 and had it replaced with a M4. But my garage is till full of historic Saabs.

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Hearing Set In Saab Case

From the Wall Street Journal today it is reported that a U.S. district court judge will hear arguments in February over the fate of Spykers $3 billion lawsuit against GM. The suit claims Saab was forced into bankruptcy after GM blocked a financial deal that would have saved the company.

Judge Gershwin Drain of the U.S. District Court in Detroit agreed on Thursday to hear arguments from lawyers for Saab and GM beginning Feb. 19.

It is clear that Spyker will get their day in court and the biggest issue to be argued will be wether or not a deal with Youngman would have changed control or transfer of GM technology.

This is not so much NEVS related but very much so SAAB/GM related and something that I will be following to finally get some closure to GM blockage that severely hurt our brand and so much more. Click the link to read the full article on the WSJ.

Did You Know?

This is really off topic but anyone that knows me and my choice of comedy knows that I love me some Top Gear. While looking through their website yesterday I came across an odd piece on the late producer Tony Scott, who the day earlier took his life. I was not aware of his history or of a tie into Saab. Scott is the brother of producer Ridley Scott who produced a commercial for Apple called 1984 and Tony Scott produced an equally great commercial for Saab before his Top Gun fame.

http://youtu.be/PM3woO0AbCw

The ad is for the Saab 900 turbo and preceded Top Gun as you can see the influence that it would later have on the movie itself. Its too bad watching this that commercials are typically just something we’d like to mute or skip over, when we can see that in the hands of a story teller they can be something more then what we see now.

I had read that Tony Scott had struck out with his first film The Hunger and went back to producing commercials, that is until Jerry Bruckheimer came across this commercial featuring a race between a jet and a Saab. Bruckheimer would then hire him to produce Top Gun which became a box office hit in 1986 bringing in more than $177 million and to think, in a way it was all because of Saab. Maybe not all because of Saab but this commercial is what brought him into the film and you can see why.

RIP Tony Scott, thank you for creating one of my favorite movies of all time and for this little gem of a commercial that I am glad to have found.

A Slap In The Face – Time To Saab Up

I thought about trying to tone down the title of this post, but I couldn’t think of something to replace it with that would get my feelings out right. In the past few weeks I have been watching as the sale of Saab takes shape. In that time I have witnessed some truly remarkably sad comments from various comments and blogs that have left me somewhat stunned and shocked that we can pass judgement so quickly with nothing to base it on. Like the saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, hell we don’t even have a cover yet. When it was announced that NEVS was the purchaser of Saab, I saw comments like Saab is dead and predictions like this will never work. What will never work? How is Saab more dead then it was a day ago? Other comments like an electric Saab is no Saab, says who? One can never underestimate the engineers, designers and the absolute know how at Saab.

This all got me to thinking again about what Saab is. To me Saab is a car that is built from the inside out and all about the driver, comfort and safety with a hell of a lot of performance. To build a car like this, you need great engineers and an unbelievable talent pool to achieve the achievements they have over the years. Many of these workers have worked for Saab for too many years to count and have been a part of all the success that Saab has had over the years. I will never forget delivering a NG 9-5 and posting on our dealer Facebook page about it and having someone from the Saab plant comment and say “I hope we did a good job”. To me things like this show the commitment and dedication to the brand that the workers at Saab have and is not something easily duplicated.

These workers that in my mind are a part of what Saab is as much as the car have been building beautiful cars in Trollhättan since 1948 and will continue to build cars there for the foreseeable future. Some workers have found other jobs, true, but there are still plenty of skilled workers to take spots within the Saab factory.

We sit here and judge just based on the little bits of information that we have seen and I ask myself, why or better yet how are we judging anything? Through the last year with trying to sell part of Saab to Youngman, the bankruptcy process and all the “factors” that stood in the way, we craved information and rarely got anything concrete or definitive. Within the first few days of an announcement, we were told of some of the plans of NEVS, we were told of the plans of Saab Parts under the direction of the NDO, we have had confirmation of body panels for the NG 9-5 being produced again and NEVS has even posted a job listing. We have had more real news and good news in the last 5 days then we did through the whole bankruptcy process. How do we pass judgement so quickly when it seems like the ball is already rolling?

Things are starting to fall into place and I’m sure there are still some big news items to be announced shortly. Considering where we’ve been and where we are, I consider it to be like a slap in the face to the people of Saab that put their everything into the cars we love and enjoy to even think for a minute that Saab is dead or that a car built by NEVS will never be a Saab. How can we think that way when we haven’t seen a single thing produced by them and who do we pretend to be in think that we are the be all to end all in what is Saab? I hope I never come across as someone who thinks they know it all or that I can see into the future because I don’t and I can’t.

All I know right now is that we have a buyer in the form of NEVS and they seem to be doing things in a way that I would have hoped them to do. NEVS through the deal, also bought all of the production facilities back and if I remember from the Spyker days, the facility was hugely under utilized and had room for a lot more then just the cars they produced. What does that mean? Maybe nothing, but maybe that is a huge piece of the puzzle. I strongly urge people that even as others may make decisions to leave the Saab world or watch from a distance, don’t be swayed, sit back and watch things unfold. We won’t know until we know what this company will look like going forward and I will continue to be an optimist through it all and thankfully, I am not alone.

NEVS Job Posting

While checking the NEVS website that a lot of you have been critical about, I came across the following and don’t remember seeing it before. I only post this because I know a lot of former employees of Saab check this site on a regular bases and I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere with links and such. If you are a former employee, please send your info right away and check back from time to time at http://www.national-ev.se/en/work-with-us/ for new information as it becomes available or come back here as we will try to stay on top of this stuff.

Work with us

We will need many skilled employees. Recruitment will start during the summer. Initially we are looking for employees in management, development and management of our operations in Trollhättan.

On this page you will later find details on how you can get in contact with representatives for recruitment. In the meantime, if you are interested in a future with us please send an email to [email protected]

Ready For A New Owner

There has been a lot of people in comments saying that everyone from Saab is gone or that all that was good has moved on. In an article posted on ttela today, we find a different story. The story starts by stating that 60 former key persons at Saab are ready to provide services to a new owner. These people they say know more about the Saab brand and its concrete content than perhaps any other.

Here are the key points to me that are laid out in the ttela article:

We are a 60 or so people who can make off distance significantly shorter when you want to start car production again, said Stig-Göran Larsson, former technical development manager at Saab.

I have been in contact with the administrators and offered our services. With our help, you could shorten the time for a restart with two or three months, says Larsson.

Stig-Göran Larsson has also attached a document in the letter to the administrators, in which he lists as the 60th century, people can contribute. On the personnel side, it is among other things to help with names for recruiting, on the purchasing side contacts with all Saab suppliers, on the marketing side of the contacts with the now destroyed dealer network and, particularly, in the technical evaluation of how and what will need to change the existing Saab models for GM retains its negative stance.

He also touches on the Phoenix platform and what would need to be replaced should GM continue to have a negative view on Saab. Thankfully this seems quite simple.

Yes, the drivetrain will need to be replaced.

There is also mention of other names on the list of 60. I think he has some good company there too.

Among those he mentions, which are linked to network, hear Kjell ac Bergström, former President of Saab / GM Powertrain, Jorgen Burnert, former deputy head of personnel and with them a number of other key individuals who have been involved in Saab’s journey over the past few decades. What exactly they can help with is of course dependent on the business plan for a new owner has.

At the end of this article he says he has confidence in Mahindra and Youngman as they have an arrangement to restart based on the existing Saab technology. I’m not sure how this arrangement works because of the always in the back of our minds GM issues, but this does interest me. In regards to NEVS, he feels less certain of what this group could contribute because he is not sure like the rest of us as to what their business plan is.

I think it’s important for us to not rush to judgement on any of the bidders as of yet because we don’t know the whole story. Like Till said yesterday, it really frustrates me that deadlines are never kept and that someone this far into negotiations can still come back with another offer and have the administrators slow things down again to look at it. Personally I want what’s best for Saab and the people that make it what it is. I won’t make the keep calm statement, but I will say that to those that think there is nothing left or that this is beyond hope, just know that there is still fight left in Saab and a lot of the fighters that have been fighting for years are still there and ready to step in.

 

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