Spanish Dealer Tour – Girona

As we mentioned before the Spanish dealer tour is underway at the moment. Today we got some pics from the first day at Scandiauto in Girona (thanks Irene!). We were told that about 30 very interested customers attended the event. Two local newspapers showed up, took picures of the cars and made an interview to Manuel Alcázar, the country director of Saab Spain. Both are planning a special reportage about Saab and those two cars.

There may be some who say that 30 people is not much and under normal circumstances I might agree. But what I learned from talks with the Saab Germany guys is that almost all of the people who showed up at those events were highly interested in the cars. Even on events like in Munich, at noon, with no special invitations some 30 people showed up and wanted to experience the product. At least here in Germany we’d expect that interest to lead to real sales as soon as a production start is in sight.

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Dreaming of a Hirsch 9-4X

I got a few emails from people who wanted this on the front page who originally missed it because I buried it in an article. So here it is, what happens when you add new lower panels to the 9-4X and some Hirsch wheels. Amazing. Imagine what happens when you give the 2.8T the same upgrade as the 9-5 2.8T XWD? 330HP, yes please. Consider it Saab-Prozac to get you through the weekend. Hopefully Hirsch gets to do their own version very soon.

And by request, more colors after the break.

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Loss of Goodwill? Excuse Me?

According to the Court in Vanersborg,

“The current stops in production are likely to have resulted in considerable loss of the goodwill of the company and an impairment of the Saab trademark.”

This couldn’t be more from the truth. The Saab community is one of the most passionate, outspoken, and willing to go to bat for the company they love. The only goodwill that has been lost, in my opinion, is my and countless other observer’s view of how the Swedish government operates. I can honestly say I would avoid doing business in the country after having seen how they treat their industry. I had to get that off my chest, and I’m sure thousands of others would agree with me. We may start a petition to show just how much goodwill still exists for the brand.

Instead of going off on the court here, I channelled my energy into something positive that should help reignite some of the passion we all feel for Saab. It is, after all, about the product.

There’s nothing quite like a good photoshop job to cheer up the community. The beautiful 9-5 Hirsch that Tim posted yesterday got me thinking, it’s about time we explore what the 9-4X might look like. I’ve done a video of it in the past, but I worked on a more detailed front and rear this time. Imagine the goodwill for Saab if these were on the streets? Click past the break to find out.

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Matt Joy drives the 9-4x

Matt Joy from the Eastern Daily Press (UK) got an early drive of Saab’s new 9-4X sport utility vehicle. Here is Matt’s story.

Saab is a combination of Swedish origins and a reluctance to follow the crowd – products that don’t slavishly follow the fickle finger of fashion hold a certain appeal.

Not that Saab is a company that ignores customers. The recently updated 9-5 received some detailed tweaks in response to their feedback, and now there’s a new car that meets a need – Saab is going soft-roading with the 9-4X which has four-wheel drive and off-road capability. It’s more of a crossover, a tag Saab is happy for it to wear and in doing so it takes on a host of premium rivals.

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Saab 9-4X Vs. Mercedes-Benz ML350

To celebrate the launch of the new 9-4X, I’m starting a series that compares it to its midsize competition. Today Mercedes-Benz released the pricing and options details of its new 2012 ML350, and so I thought I’d kick this comparison off with the freshest competitor possible. For most readers here, this information is nothing new, but hopefully to those who link here doing some cross shopping will see the light.

Amazingly most coverage and headlines for the ML350 price list has been “Mercedes adds standard equipment but holds prices down.” While we’re a Saab blog focused at Saab drivers and consumers, I believe that anyone who reads this will come away with the same conclusion– that a 3-pointed star doesn’t add any more value to a CUV than Saab can deliver.

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Just got my 9-4x

Update: After the jump you’ll find some photos. This MIGHT be the first 9-4x at an owners driveway in history. The first of many to come! / Carl-Henrik

I think mdreuben deserves a huge CONGRATULATIONS!!! from the whole SU team for being the first 9-4x owner. At least the first we have notice from.

This is what he said in a comment he wrote here earlier today:

Just got my 9-4x.

I had a Premium on order, but the dealer (Saab in North Olmsted Ohio) received their first one yesterday – a black Aero, fully loaded. I put my butt into the seat, looked around and bought it on the spot before even driving it. Picked it up an hour or so ago.

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

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9-4X Reaching Dealers

I just got off the phone with Michele Tinson of SCNA and a few Saab dealers, and I can confirm that those 9-4Xs I reported seeing at the port in Newark are finally reaching dealers. One of the first to receive them happens to be only a few miles away from the port, JMK Saab in Springfield, NJ. Sometime in the next few days I’ll take a drive out there to see them and get some pictures and footage. They have one of each trim level– Base, Premium, and Aero.

Once the first pre-ordered 9-4X hits a dealer that’s already sold one, we’ll have coverage of it as the first Saab of its kind ever sold. It’s going to be a fun event, and SCNA will be getting in on the action too. This should happen in the next week or so. If you’re a dealer reading this and have any news, please email us at [email protected] While I’ve spoken to a few of you, we’d love to hear what your experience with the 9-4X pre-sale has been like and how customers are reacting to it. While you’re at it, send in some photos of their deliveries if you can.

In other news, the 9-4X configurator is also finally live (but the interior photo section may still be glitchy- it just went up). Despite us being able to price it on truecar.com for months, now you have the option to select your trim, colors, wheels, and packages right from saabusa.com.

UPDATE:

I have a quick question for all readers and commenters– as Clay noted in comments, he’s anxiously awaiting delivery of his new 9-4X. Are there any East Coasters out there who pre-ordered one and are waiting for it to come in? Tri-staters are likely to get them first, so if you’re located in the NYC metro area especially (or even if you’re not), let us know in comments or send us an email ([email protected]) where you’re located, what model you bought, and what dealer you ordered from, so we can see which one of you is likely to be the first 9-4X customer delivery!

Saab 9-4X Joins Saab 9-5 Sedan in earning Top Safety Pick 2011

Nice news from Trollhättan, Sweden: The new Saab 9-4X crossover has earned ‘Top Safety Pick’, the highest rating for crashworthiness awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States. Only three weeks ago, the Saab 9-5 Sedan received the same accolade.

“To achieve two Top Safety Picks in three weeks is, of course, extremely gratifying,” says Per Lenhoff, Head of Safety Development at Saab Automobile. “Our main priority is always the protection of real people in real accidents, but the IIHS tests are a valuable guide for consumers and it is important for us to achieve good results.”

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