A Saab blog you should be reading….

Here’s a Saab website that flies under the radar, but it’s one that you should be checking out from time to time.

The site is called CRSblog and it’s written by the guy responsible for me heading over to Boston for Swedish Car Day – Pierre Belperron.

Pierre only updates it from time to time, depending on his schedule. But whenever something new appears on there, it’s always worth reading. Pierre has a couple of decades experience working with Saabs and his knowledge and love of the brand shines through in the stuff he writes.

The last two entries on the site made me smile. So much so, in fact, that I just had to write this entry to point them out.

The Forgotten Saab takes a good look at a Saab that often gets overlooked – the first generation Saab 9000. I couldn’t stop smiling as I read because that model is the one that kicked off my personal history with Saab.

The (not so) Good Old Days examines the price people paid for having a car of such distinction as the Saab 900. I see every comment that comes through SU and I know that there are a number people who are a bit like country and western singers – they pine for the good ol’ days. We all do to some extent, but this post breaks down the romance of holding on to the old in a pretty straightforward fashion.

Check them out, and enjoy!

Wednesday Night Snippets – SOC2010 Edition

Greetings all from Dulwich, in London, where I’ll be for most of the next week except for when I pop on over to Bath for the Saab Owners Club GB gathering.

Geez, this is a big city. We are still trying to find our bearings after a full day, but hopefully we’ll get busy tomorrow.

Lots of Saabs around here. I saw my first within two minutes of leaving Heathrow and have seen more than a dozen in my brief wanderings today. Lots of potential here, too.


The big event – starting tomorrow in the US, in fact, is the Saab Owners Convention for 2010. It’s being held in Aurora, Ohio and with VM and JAJ attending, it’s sure to be a great meeting for all you US Saabers.

Please do hit me up with some emails as things progress as I’d love to post on how it’s going. I wish I could be there.


I posted a few entries full of photos from the Saab Festival car show (part one and two), but for those who would like a fuller view of the whole event, check out these galleries on Flickr.

Golfhunter’s gallery…….

And Robin M’s gallery……


Candidates for the 2011 European Car of the Year have been announced and there’s a Saab in the running!

The full list of candidates is as follows:

Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Audi A1
Audi A8
BMW 5-serie
Chevrolet Spark
Citroën C3
Citroën DS3
Citroën C4
Dacia Duster
Fiat Doblò
Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max
Honda CR-Z
Hyundai ix35
Jaguar XJ
Kia Sportage
Kia Venga
Lexus CT200h
Mazda 5
Mini Countryman
Mitsubishi ASX
Nissan Juke
Nissan Micra
Opel Meriva
Renault Wind
Saab 9-5
Seat Alhambra
Suzuki Kizashi
Suzuki Swift
Volkswagen Touareg
Volkswagen Sharan
Volvo S60
Volvo V60

Whilst I’d naturally prefer that the Saab wins the award, my bet is that it’s either the Jaguar XJ or the Alfa Romeo Giulietta that takes home the chocolates.

Voting is done by journalists from the seven organising magazines, which are from seven different countries in Europe.


Whilst history will teach that I most likely will, there’s no use pretending that Saab Talk doesn’t exist. Another year, another Saab blog.


One of the guys I met and chatted quite a bit with at the Saab Festival last week was Jim Smart, a Saab tech who runs an indy Saab shop called Smart Motors in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

And check out one of his cars!

Safe travels, Jim! It was a pleasure.

Sunday Snippets – corporate blog edition

The saying “the customer is always right” is one of my pet peeves. From personal experience and plenty of anecdotal evidence, it’s quite clear that sometimes the customer – to put it in Shakespearian terms – is an ass.
There’s a little fight going on between Tesla and Car and Driver magazine at the moment. Read this (C&D take the Tesla out and get stranded), then read this (Tesla explain that it wasn’t used as intended), and finally this (C&D crack the sads), and then tell me what you think.
I think it’s an interesting use of a corporate website and a fair one, though I also think they’re going to have to produce some of the car’s logs to back up their position.
Products, especially products like a Tesla, are intended to be used a certain way. People who buy them do their research and know that. If you just assume it’s like any other vehicle and get into trouble, who’s fault is it, really?
The best thing about tuning the calendar page over to a new month is that there’s [usually] a bunch of new entries over at Sniff Petrol.
This month, there’s even a Saaby entry!

“For sure it has not been easy,” said Spyker spokesman, Mjetro van den Plas. “When we turned up at the SAAB factory to get it started again we were a little puzzled that we could not find the lock. It was only after a while we realised it was not in the normal place on the door but for some reason had been placed on the floor about two metres away”.

The guys behind Sniff Petrol also do a podcast called Gareth Jones on Speed and the latest one, #108, has a funny introduction, too, featuring a cameo from not-Victor-Muller. #107 deals with Saab too.
Via Autoblog – a new Spyker dealership has just been opened in Los Angeles. Lots of good photos in the gallery there (and I’ll have some more Spyker eye candy from Colorado shortly, too).
Some great photos of a beautiful black Saab 900, starting here.
And from comments, a Finnish photoshoppers view on a Saab 9-3 Sporthatch.
Yes, please!

Wednesday Night Snippets

Amidst all the frustration we’re feeling, there are signs of life on the Koenigsegg-Saab deal.
Dkup Strupe tells me that the K-Segg movers and shakers have been in the US this week, which is significant in that the GM board were meeting for the first time this week since emerging from bankruptcy.
Further to this, Swedish Radio tell us that there will be K-Segg meetings back at home in Sweden later this week:

Saab’s future is determined by the negotiations taking place between General Motors and Koenigsegg Group, discussions are extremely secretive. So far, however, the negotiations as intended, it says Paul Åkerlund, klubbordförande for IF Metall in Saab in Trollhättan.
– Hopefully, we see the results of this in the near future, “says Åkerlund to Radio West.
– My impression is that they have a high work tempo.
Saab information officers, Gunilla Gustavs says that Saab is pleased so far, and she says that discussions are progressing. Mer vill hon inte kommentera. More wishes she did not comment.
According to data from Koenigsegg as Koenigsegg Group will meet for meetings at the end of this week.

Potential good news for UK Saabers looking for a lease.

ALD Automotive will manage GM’s own lease operations, which include Vauxhall Leasing, Saab Contract Hire and Chevrolet Lease, from the end of the month.
Masterlease had managed the operations for the past eight years but cracks in the agreement between the two companies became apparent when Masterlease stopped writing new Saab business in March.
Despite other lease companies renewing their Saab business at the end of June Masterlease kept its Saab order book closed.
Now General Motors UK (GMUK) has moved the contract over to ALD, which will see the country’s tenth largest lease company manage the entire GM UK leasing operation.

I’m going to do something rare around here and pat GM on the back for this as well.
The ability to lease a vehicle is an important sales carrot for dealers working with business customers and the inclusion of Saab into the lease list will be a major gain for UK dealers.
I know that US dealers are hurting, too, due to a lack of lease availability. Here’s hoping that some of the US banks start to view Saab favourably once again, too.
The other takeaway from this the further evidence that Saab’s systems may be tied into GM’s systems for some time to come. This announcement so close to Saab’s sale indicates such, much like the recent advertising announcement.
That has it’s good and bad sides, but I guess we have to trust that some of those decision makers know what they’re doing.
Thanks Per!
And here’s a brief note that I found interesting for writers….
The Wall Street Journal will no longer honour embargoes on stories, unless it is a story they get as an exclusive.
This is, of course, not directly related to the car business, but it’s an interesting development that reflects the electronic age that we live in.
Embargoes had their place when print ruled the world. Recent events with the 2010 Saab 9-5 images tend to show that they don’t work in the internet age.
Yet another reason why Saab should consider what I’ve been saying all along – that they should control their own newsflow and relationships with enthusiasts.

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