Fantasy Land – Saab by Apple

Some of you might have read by now that Apple has a secret program named Project Titan to build an electric car. As a few curious photographers witnessed, they’ve leased Chrysler minivans driving all around Silicon Valley with advanced sensors. Several top auto industry personnel from Mercedes and Tesla have already been poached, not to mention visits by Apple executive visits to Austria– think Magna Steyr where they built all those 9-3 Convertibles. This may not mean Apple is 100% absolutely surely going to be coming out with a car, and even if they did it would be years away. They might just be investigating technologies that could end up in future personal electronics, or software interfaces for OEMs to integrate like their CarPlay system. But what if they were, and what if they could leapfrog ahead by aquiring the bankrupt assets of a certain automobile company in Sweden with a rich history of intelligent design and innovation, coupled with a huge factory capable of supplying the Euro Zone with 200,000 plus units?

appletestcar
One of the vans registered to Apple currently in testing around Silicon Valley.

Follow me here– what would an Apple car look like? Would people want a car designed by their computer company? I’ve seen it work in reverse, Porsche designed phones, but I don’t see the reverse ever truly working. The other silicon valley auto company producing electric cars, Tesla has made a name for themselves by launching an exclusive high end brand that is first and foremost about the core product, autos. While they might end up moving more into home power or grid power backup systems or other different fields, when you hear Tesla, you visualize a Model S. The same can’t be said for Apple.

Just like Mahindra sees the potential value in a prestigious brand with cache, Apple should see the advantages of acquiring such a dirt cheap and storied brand with such similar brand values. It wasn’t so long ago that Saab’s Global brand director Knut Simonsson told Autocar that they were trying to position themselves as the Apple of car brands. Before their demise, Saab was not about blending in, “We don’t want to be another Audi,” Simonsson said. In fact, Audi has been tying themselves to Google, not only through their MMI, but their self driving car experiments. Even if Apple wanted to start completely fresh with design and do something all new and different to what Saab had done before, just having the engineering chops, the crash facilities, the testing and state of the art production labs, the proximity to northern Sweden for winter testing, and most of all the bonafide legacy of well engineered Scandinavian design, it just makes sense.

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Order a Saab 9-4x, get an iPad

This is another one of those things that received some attention in comments during the LA Auto Show, but didn’t to the front page. It’s time to change that.

Mike Colleran made the following presentation during the LA Auto Show, during which he announced a special promotion where the first 500 people to order a Saab 9-4x can receive a new Apple iPad worth $500.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNSc3m8PoZs

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How it works:

  • Go to ordermysaab.com and you can register your interest in the new Saab 9-4x. The dealer you nominate should make contact in January.
  • The final amount of the deposit will be determined by the dealer, but $500 of it is the purchased price of the iPad, which will be credited against your vehicle invoice. You’ll receive an iPad with “some Saab9-4x related software” on it, which I presume you can share with others given Colleran’s remarks about spreading the word.

Based on the value given, I’d say they’re giving away the 16GB WiFi iPad (I priced them in Santa Monica last week during a visit with some others to the Apple store).

I love this concept. A Saab 9-4x at $34,200 is pretty good value anyway and to get the freebie iPad and the opportunity to help promote the vehicle elsewhere is pretty good.

And yes, it does feel good to help promote the interests of a company you believe in – I’ve been doing it for nearly 6 years now so I’m really pleased to see Saab opening up these doors.

Be sure to check out the FAQ at ordermysaab.com

Toy Saab featured in Apple iPhone video

The new 4th generation iPhone is now public property and they’ve released a video, below, which at around 1:30 shows a kiddie riding around in something very Saab-like.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHngLJ0RlNg

What she’s actually riding there is a Playsam Saab Roadster ride-on toy. Playsam are a Swedish toy company and they’ve been doing some Saab-inspired toys for many years now.

This ride-on Saab for kids is a particular favourite.

Nice to see it in the Apple video. Hopefully they might graduate to using a big Saab soft-top for the big people some time soon.

Thanks to numerous people for the tip, and sorry for taking so long to get it on-site.

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