We are SAAB: Flying low over Trollhättan

Ready for departure
What a day! My previous visit to Trollhättan was December 19th and that day completely drained me of all energy. After the press conference, Tim and I ended up at ANA, the local Saab dealer. I reminded Tim that the two year anniversary of the 2010 convoy was coming up… Little did we know that the crazy dutch guys had been thinking the very same thing!

Fast forward to January 13th when Tim called me to ask if I enjoyed flying. “Tim, I love flying, but can’t stand the airports”. He explained his idea and I agreed it was a good one. It would be my first attempt at ground photography, but gotta start somewhere, right? “Be there bright and early!”.

Read moreWe are SAAB: Flying low over Trollhättan

Just Saab Rally-We are many, we are Saab

Our friends at Just Saab had a rally/meet at both of their Just Saab locations over the weekend and saw a great turnout. For those that don’t know Just Saab or AJ Murphy, I have to say that in the US, AJ has been a great contact for me personally and is one of those guys that can talk you off the ledge or bring you up when you’re down. From what I have seen in the Just Saab group, these folks are 100% Saab and are all about their customers. Below is a letter from AJ to all that attended their rally:

Read moreJust Saab Rally-We are many, we are Saab

Our Saab Rally

We received an email earlier today from James McGuire and Julie Gardner with a great read on their combined events that came together on January 14th. This is too good not to share with everyone.

When I (Julie) first heard there were to be worldwide rallies to support SAAB in January I must admit it did not immediately occur to me to host one. Mostly because I knew my dealer principal was set to lose quite a chunk of money on his new car inventory and that the brand was a bit of a sore subject here- quite understandably from his point-of-view. But also because I never did anything like this before. Then the phone rang and my friend, James McGuire, he wanted to know what I was doing to show support. He wanted to host an event because the nearest one at that point seemed to be in Boston. He felt he could get the support of his local dealer, SAAB of Willow Grove (a.k.a.The Great Britains), and I said I would talk to the wife of my dealer principal about the idea. Fortunately, she saw the value to holding such a rally and gave me her stamp of approval. Jim was quite excited about the prospect of doing something in his area too but we were concerned two events on the same day and so close to one another would only take away from us individually. He then came up with the genius idea of meeting individually, but convoying to a third, neutral point by both our groups and a real plan was born.

As we began planning and I spoke to my own club (Central Penn SAAB Club) about support, I was able to find a local supplier for the stickers to show solidarity and pick up a couple of classics from our group to place in the showroom for conversation and general “eye-candy”. I found that we had a few folks who would be happy to attend and got advice on a route for the convoy to avoid traffic and provide a more scenic route. I got the OK to order donuts and coffee for the attendees and made up a flyer to post around the dealership to make our customers aware of our commitment to supporting SAAB post-bankruptcy. Over the next couple weeks I received many emails and had more than a few conversations with service and parts customers regarding the “state-of-SAAB” and where Kelly SAAB stood in the grand scheme of things. The list of RSVP’s continued to grow and soon I had a list of over 50 attendees and 35 cars planning to show on January 14 and show the world what the SAAB brand is all about.

On Friday, January 6, the excitement was bumped a notch when I received an email that Tim Colbeck, President and COO of SAAB Cars North America, wanted to join us at Longwood Gardens, our neutral meeting spot for the two convoys! I actually had to read it twice to be sure I wasn’t seeing things. Would it be OK if he arrived at 2:15? Are you kidding? It would have been OK if he wanted to come at 3am! LOL! I replied that we would be pleased to have him join us and that we would adjust our departure time from the dealerships to accommodate his scheduled arrival. I contacted Jim at once and he was as enthusiastic and excited as me at the honor of having Mr. Colbeck join us. We wanted to alert the press of course but did not want to put him in a situation where GM haters or folks only looking to give him a hard time would attend the event, so decided to keep it under wraps. We advertised a “VERY Special Surprise Guest” to join us and it wasn’t until the morning of the rally that we announced just who the guest would be to our respective attendees.

January 14 arrived and was a cold, windy day with only intermittent sun in Lancaster. Thankfully, no snow was on the ground or forecasted, so even the classics would be sure to make the event. We had a 1974 Sonnett III courtesy of Theresa and Ryan Gamber and a 1978 99T courtesy of John Webber in our showroom as well as the most recent 2011 SAAB 9-5 sedan in Java and a Laser Red 2011 9-3 to show just how the cars have developed over the years. The selection of vehicles that arrived over the next 2 hours showcased all that is amazing about SAAB- from the “Klassisks” like my own 87 900Turbo Convertible, to the 900 3 and 5 door models, to the NG 900, the 9-3, 9-7x and finally the newest 9-5 and 9-4x models, we had them all covered from the last 3 decades. What an awesome sight indeed!

Read moreOur Saab Rally

Thank you all !

What a statement we’ve made!Outside-Saab.com

As one of the guys who mentioned an idea in a skype chat on 20 december 2011 , we did not expect such a massive enthousiasm and global participation. But that was the result.

It’s been a lot of work, for us to keep up with the details of all the events, but also for every party who organized their local event. Without the work of all the local communities this would not have gotten so huge. Thank you all, local organizers and offcourse the participants. What you / we did has been noticed.

We still have the huge task of documenting these events, but that will happen on Outside-Saab.com also. Give us some time to gather and process all the info.

Kind regards, Salutations, Gruessen, Gegroet

The We Are Saab, We Are Many Team
Tim, Stephan, Roger, Nic

The Saab Culture Has To Stay!

Yesterday seemed to rain bad news for Saab once more, and we started once again to get pessimistic. Sure, I understand the frustration right now that the bankruptcy process is going slow, and that someone isn’t jumping right in to buy Saab. We are allowed to be angry at the people that helped cause Saab’s demise. We are allowed to feel bad for what’s going on. But we should not close the coffin on Saab and bury them deep into the ground. Nor, should we let the world get away with it either.

Changes will come. However, change can be a good thing, and can lead to greener pastures. Saab cannot continue down the path that they’ve been on the last several years. It was bumpy, full of man-eating potholes and landmines underneath a partly sunny blue sky. Saabs simply cruise better on empty, smooth roads, with a wide open view to the future. If an investor is able to make a successful bid, we should be ready to embrace their efforts, even if it means only parts of the company are saved. Realistically, its going to take a lot of money to get Saab up and running at this point in time. Not impossible, but the numbers have to make sense for them to take the risk in investing into Saab. Yes, Saab is great and worth saving, but if they’re not going to be making profits and are faced with more debt, they’re not going to see it worth to restart the entire company. It would be a shame, yes. But, it doesn’t mean the Phoenix cannot rise again in the future! That part in itself has a very promising future.

Read moreThe Saab Culture Has To Stay!

We are many, We are SAAB: Warsaw, Poland

And here we continue with the We are many, We are SAAB worldwide gatherings – this story we received from Poland, thanks Jeremi and Marcin.

  • A broader update will follow, but this is just for you to know that our “We are many, we are Saab” event in Warsaw, Poland, was an astounding success – and great fun!
    Despite a rapid breakdown in the weather – after many relatively warm weeks we got a sudden bout of cold wind and snow from Scandinavia 😀 – the attendance was beyond expectations. Over 200 cars and 300 people showed up at the parking of the Cargo Terminal of the Warsaw Airport (who generously allowed as to gather there). 
    Despite it being the start of the winter holiday season in Poland, Saab fans came from all over Poland, driving many hundred kilometres to congregate on this special occassion. We’ve had all kinds of Saabs, from the very newest 9-5s and ’11 9-3s, through YS3Fs, YS3Ds, a fair share of 9000, a swarm of 900, and no less than three 99s! The many two-strokes and 96 V4s Poland is known for in Saab circles had to stay in the garages unfortunately.
    The Saab spirit permeated the gathering, with us sharing coffee, cake and regional specialities, all the while getting photographed, filmed and talking to the media. I guess both them and we ourselves were surprised how MANY we are.
    I hope all the other events around the globe went just as well, and I hope we shall make the impact we hope for.

 

We are many. And you are awesome.

Early on Saturday morning I jumped in my Saab heading for meeting point of the first Swiss event in Sankt Gallen: Hirsch Performance. As I arrived just after meeting time the parking lot there was already filled with Saabs. Quite funny as I was kind of exotic with my German number plate among all those Swiss cars. After having a coffee we enjoyed the beautiful weather driving up to Schwägalp where we had lunch and good conversation about Saab. On this event we had 85 cars, mist of them with at least two people in them. Honestly I had not expected so many – neither had the restaurant that ran into a bit of stress serving all those people. While I was there I kept checking SU for information about other events and what I read made me smile even more.

Read moreWe are many. And you are awesome.

We are many, We are SAAB: TAIWAN. UPD!

45 cars were present at the meeting in Northern Taiwan! By the way – it is amazing to see the weather in different parts of the planet 😉

Thanks Mars!

UPD! Alan sent us information about a rally in Central Taiwan

Excellent weather and gathering 25 Saab cars.
Another four cars even moved to the highest road of Taiwan, 3275m with 6 Celsius.  

You can upload and watch other pictures from this event here – saabsunited.com/taiwan

 

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