A ride in the Saab Sonett

One of the greatest experiences I had one my recent trip to Sweden was an all-encompassing tour of the Saab Museum with the guy who’s responsible for archiving, preserving and protecting Saab’s history – Peter Bäckström.

We got to drive a few of the cars (more on that later), which was a rare privelege, but then Peter bought out the jaw-dropper in the form of the Saab Sonett.

This is one of only six Sonetts ever made and this white one is actually chassis #1.

The video isn’t the best quality in visual terms. i didn’t want to hold the camera up too high as I didn’t want wind noise to ruin what is an incredible soundtrack from this little two-stroker.

What it lacks in visuals, however, it hopefully makes up for in communicating the experience that is riding in a Saab Sonett.




My thanks to Peter and the guys at the Saab Museum for what was an incredible day, more of which is still to be covered here at SU.

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Related:

If you want some excellent background reading on the Saab Sonett, then you can’t go past this excellent piece by Lance Cole, first published in The Independent and re-published at Trollhattan Saab with the author’s permission.

Classic Cars: Saab Sonett

2010 Saab 9-5 USB functionality on display

I’m not totally sure who ‘Saabinfo’ is, but he’s posted a great video from the Frankfurt motorshow onto Youtube.
In the video, they quite spontaneously demonstrate the USB connection to the new Saab 9-5 entertainment system, which works perfectly.




Here’s some food for thought……
As I watched this, all my concerns about numbers, materials, horsepower, suspension, etc all melted away for a moment. This is the car in action. Just a little bit of action, but action nonetheless.
We talk about images, angles, hockeysticks and a wheels like the conversation is the most important thing in the world. It is important, but nowhere near as important as someone being able to plug that thing in at a motor show for the first time and put a big smile on their face.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
“Saabinfo” – I couldn’t find a link to a website on your Youtube channel, but will be quite happy to link up should you provide one.
Well done, and thanks to Raquettelaker2 for the tip.

Swade’s jetlagged Snippets

So, today Swade arrived in Sweden for a trip to our Mecca, Trollhättan. Lucky him. The best that I could do was breakfast at Ann Sather, a Chicago eatery offering hearty Swedish food for breakfast and lunch. Not just any old place, Ann Sather’s has world-renowned cinnamon “rolls”, omelets, European sausages and cheeses, and breads made the Swedish way. Chicago-area folks will no doubt recognize immediately why I’ve put quotation marks on the word “rolls”, because a single cinnamon roll at Ann Sather is a slab of gooey, just-right sweet bread three or four inches (75 to 100 mm) thick and about 12 inches (30 cm) by 6 inches (15 cm). Even a huge eater like me would consider this a meal in itself, but it’s a side item with the two-eggs and Swedish Potato Sausage breakfast that also came with four tomato slices. Definitely a must-have if you venture into downtown Chicago. The cinnamon rolls are one of the best pastries available anywhere on the planet in my opinion (and in other’s).

Oh well, it’ll have to do for now.

More on Chinese involvement in Koenigsegg Group:

The Truthaboutcars.com comments on partial Chinese ownership of Koenigsegg Group and in turn Saab in their typical cynical fashion. The highlight here is an apparently Swedish expression that translates thus: “Do not judge all you see, do not believe all you hear, do not do all you can, do not say all you know, do not eat all you have, let no one know what you have in your heart or in your wallet.” Their implication is that there will be much more at stake than has been revealed about this relationship. We’ll see, but if history proves anything, they’re right. The difference is that I don’t assume the worst, and it seems the TTAC does.

Other stuff on the new 9-5:

There’s a short article on telegraph.co.uk. As they put it:

The new 9-5 looks modern and individual, and it has the traditional Saab strong points: good driver controls, fine safety, lots of space, strong but efficient turbo engines.

Auto Power Girl has some photos of the 9-5 at the Frankfurt show, I can’t tell immediately if they are recycled or original. See for yourself.

saab-9-5-at-frankfurt-2010-10.jpg

And, I’ve saved the best for last: regular reader and all-around great guy Robin has posted a great couple of photo sets on his Flickr site for our enjoyment. Good one, Robin!

Robin’s 9-5 shots are here .

Robin’s general Frankfurt auto show photos are here.

3928089079_83122b24aa_b.jpg

While Swade’s in Sweden, also keep an eye on the site for the SaabsUnited Historic Rally Team. I’m sure that he, Jörgen and Bo will have some form of interaction that will be entertaining, informative and downright good reading.

2010 Saab 9-5 press materials now available

Just in case you hadn’t seen yet….
The press materials for the new Saab 9-5 are now online. There’s photos and video and I assume a bit more material about the car itself.
I’ve just grabbed one of the USB media kits that they have for the press here. There are only 400 for the entire press corps, so I’m fortunate to grab one early 🙂
All the top brass are here, too. I just had an interesting chat with Simon Padian. On the question of a hatch in Saab’s future, the answer was “well, there’s more chance of that now than what there has been in the past”. I asked for a simple “yes” or “no” but I’ll take what I can get.
I just had a quick walk around the hall here. Saab’s stand is definitely the best stand in this particular hall. The curves, glass and light walls looks superb, as usual.
Opel are doing their presentation now as I write this. The fact that I’m here writing this to you should be an indicator……
Will check back in later.

JAJ on Saab’s current situation

The following is a Googletrans from TTELA.

It’s a summation of the main outcomes from yesterday’s presentation by Jan-Ake Jonsson to the suppliers industry group meeting.

There’s some good bit and pieces in here. On finance, the changed business plan, tooling and a few other thing.

Once again, Jan-Ake Jonsson is ‘the man’.

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Saab deal may reach completion in October

It is the day when all the pieces will have fallen into place in the Saab affair, according to Saab boss.

– The gap in funding, we have almost closed in the current situation, “says Jan Åke Jonsson.

– If we really give the iron in the final yards, we will, in my view, succeed, “said Jan Åke Jonsson, who sounded more optimistic than usual when he spoke on the supplier day of Södertälje on Thursday.

He spoke about the way forward for Saab. Jan Åke Jonsson was glad to give subcontractors his own version because he was angry at the fact that the media has been doing what he calls a “witch hunt” for Saab.

– Reporting is very unbalanced and avoiding the factual picture that exists, “he said.

He could not straighten all the question marks, though. What money will fill the hole is still just as unclear.

Earlier information mentioned three billion dollars needed by the Koenigsegg Group to fund Saab Automobile’s business plan and complete the deal with General Motors.

The lack of money was discovered around two weeks ago according to Jonsson and was due to the business plan now having lower volumes and greater investment in environmental technology.

Now, almost all money be in port by using the Koenigsegg Group, GM and other stakeholders. He did not want to be more precise.

– We will be able to present it in a few weeks. Max.

Saab Head pays tribute to GM’s negotiating stance. Say they have shown great courtesy. Saab now has the tools for the new Saab 9-5, which will be manufactured next year, starting to arrive in Trollhättan. They are worth around 1.8 billion – a cost that GM has already taken.

On 31 October the whole affair could be terminated. Then expect Saab to the European Investment Bank (EIB) at its October meeting, granted the loan of around 4.3 billion kronor. In addition, a number of licensing and cooperation agreement with GM to be ready.

– Provided all play ball, then so be the case,” says Jan Åke Jonsson.

GM press release: The Koenigsegg deal to purchase Saab

Following is the press release from General Motors relating to the sale of Saab Automobile AB to The Koenigsegg Group:

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General Motors and Koenigsegg Group Sign Stock Purchase Agreement for the Sale of Saab Automobile AB

  • The deal is expected to close by year’s end and will secure Saab’s future
  • The closing will be subject to funding agreements and other closing conditions
  • Saab Automobile plans to exit reorganization shortly

Zurich. General Motors Co. today confirmed it has signed a stock purchase agreement with Koenigsegg Group AB regarding the sale of 100% of the shares of Saab Automobile AB. The deal is expected to conclude in the next months and will then secure Saab’s future. Saab Automobile plans to exit legal reorganization shortly.

The stock purchase agreement will be subject to agreed closing conditions. Conditions to close the sale include expected funding commitments with Swedish government support and guarantees, as well as transitional assistance from GM, as Saab becomes independent. Saab is about to launch several new cars, developed with General Motors, that are in the final stages of development.

As part of the proposed transaction, GM and Saab will continue to share technology and services during a defined time period. This will be managed through licenses and service agreements.

“This contract is an important step in the journey to a potential deal, said Carl-Peter Forster, president of GM Europe. “Saab’s great cars, its unique design, safety- and engine-technology, as well as its excellent brand image, combined with Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, bode well for a successful future for the brand. We will continue to work with all parties to define the final details and ensure a fast closure of the deal, which we expect to take place in the next few months. The closure of the deal is contingent on the funding commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB), guaranteed by the Swedish government,” Forster added.

“We have now concluded another important step in realizing the great potential of Saab,” said Christian von Koenigsegg, CEO of Koenigsegg Group. “Our plan is to transform Saab into a stand-alone vibrant entrepreneurial company and make it ‘sustainable’ by making it profitable. We will revive Saab’s Swedish heritage of ecological sensitivity, safety, design innovation and ‘fun to drive’ experience!”

Jan Åke Jonssson, Managing Director of Saab, said: “This is excellent news for everyone connected to Saab around the globe. This is an important step to secure jobs and our long-term future as a Swedish carmaker. In the short-term, it will enable us to move forward with exciting new cars starting this month with the all new Saab 9-3X.”

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And here’s what prefaced it all………

Will someone at GM please press the button on this release – it’s 20 minutes overdue!!!!!

Update 2 – 30 minutes overdue – no wonder we break news early.

Update 3 – this is getting silly now…..!!

Update 4 – a watched pot never boils, but it can be picked up and used to whack some slow IT guy upside the head!!!!

Update 5 – Christmas gift ideas for GM – a FREAKING WATCH!!!!!!!

Update 6 – maybe I should go to sleep – that’s sure to bring the news out….

Update 7 – have passed the 1 hour mark……no release. RELEASE ME!!!!

Update 8 – it’s guaranteed to come out in the next 15 minutes, as I have to leave my computer for that period of time.

Update 9 – I’m back and there’s still no release. We are now 93 minutes late. What’s the bet GM have thrown a spanner in the works?

Update 10 – Notice how all the Swedish news services are still running yesterday’s stories? They’re waiting on this release, too. GM has held up an entire country’s media for 105 minutes now.

Update 11 – Dagens Industri

Reconstruction of the car manufacturer Saab is moving towards its end. On Thursday, the process is over, writes Daily Industri.På Thursday reconstruction of Saab will be completed in Vänersborgs District Court. According to the company’s CEO Jan-Åke Jonsson, the purpose of the process completed.

Thanks to Sven in comments

UPDATE 12 – I’m finding it difficult to believe that something isn’t wrong here. We are now 127 minutes late.

UPDATE 13 – with the exception of a 20 minute drive, I’ve been refreshing 3 different GM news sites every 30 seconds for the last 2 hours and 15 minutes. That’s more 750 refreshes.

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