While one Swedish Saab dealer is closing its doors and another is waiting for better times to sell Saab cars once again in Spain, Dársena Motor, the Saab dealer in Galicia, is moving to a better, newer and bigger building.
We got some initial video and thoughts from the opening of Saab’s first all-new showroom, Saab of North Olmsted, a few days ago.
If anyone wants to take a deeper look at the new facility, I can recommend this photo collection. There are plenty of inside photos from the new showroom, including the service area.
Thanks to Mickey at Saab of North Olmsted for the tip!
Saab of North Olmsted has just opened their new building – the first new Saab Unlimited building to open since the company was purchased by Spyker Cars.
In honour of a deal made with Dealer Principal Bernie Moreno at the Saab Owner’s Convention last year (“you build it and I’ll come to the opening”), Victor Muller flew in to Ohio from Europe to attend the opening function.
Our mate Ted Y was there and he’s uploaded the following video from the event:
Here’s the exterior of the new building, from the dealership website:
Ted’s thoughts from the evening:
I just attended the grand opening of Saab of North Olmsted which you posted about mid-February.
Victor Muller is a classy guy. He had to be suffering from jet lag, having just arrived from Europe, but he was very gracious and approachable. I had printed out a Saabsunited page from January 6, 2010 which had my picture at the Detroit Save Saab rally, hoping for an autograph on it. He wrote “Dear Ted, Thank you for your support when it really mattered. Victor Muller Cleveland March 10, 2011”. He posed for photos with anybody that asked (including me) and gave a very great speech.
I also received an email from Greg F, a new Saab 9-5 owner who attended the opening.
I got to attend the Grand Opening of Saab’s new prototype storefront at Saab of North Olmsted tonight and it was awesome! They have an extremely impressive floor plan (very modern) and had all the Saabs on display, including the new 9-4x in white! They also had one area focused on a Spyker car, which I think is a great idea. I would think that these types of storefronts will really sell more Saabs and bring “new people” to the Saab line! I am extremely glad that Bernie Moreno had the vision and the money to invest in this new dealership.
I also was lucky enough to meet and talk with Victor Muller and he was really fun to talk with! I really enjoyed hearing him so enthusiastically talk about the future of Saab – makes me even more glad that I purchased a 2010 Saab 9-5 Aero!!
I think that Saab’s future is looking promising and they will come back in the USA!!!!
It’s great to hear that the opening night was a success and kudos again to Bernie Moreno and the staff at North Olmsted for having the courage and vision to build this new dealership.
Tomorrow will be an important day for Saab, not only because of the anniversary, which is already quite important on its own, but because Saab will show what they have been able to do in the first year of independence.
As Saab said in its Paris Auto show invitation:
Discover the power of independence
Apparently we’ve got the OK to show this here, and you’ve got the OK to attend, as long as you RSVP beforehand.
Saab of North Olmstead has built a brand new, state of the art ‘Iceblock’ showroom and they’re having a big party to celebrate the opening.
Victor Muller will be there, and you can be too.
I know we’ve got a lot of Saab fans in Ohio who read SU. This event is a fantastic chance for you meet up, as well as seeing the newest showroom in the US, the Saab 9-4x and 9-5 (if you haven’t already seen it), the guy who saved Saab Automobile, and all the other entertainment that will go along with such an event.
The important thing is to RSVP Jim at the dealership. His email address is [email protected] so get in touch and let him know you’re coming.
There was some preoccupations from people here about the presence of Saab in Scotland, as County Saab closed its dealerships in Ayr and Inverness.
Since the January 1st Ness Saab has stepped in in Inverness.
Today has ben announced, that Park Saab will take over in Ayr.
Saab GB is pleased to announce the appointment of a new dealership in Ayrshire.
Situated on the Doonfoot Road, Park’s Saab opens for business on the 8 February 2011. Taking over from County Saab, Park’s Saab will offer the full range of Saab vehicles as well as providing full servicing facilities, MOT testing and an extensive after sales department supplying parts and accessories.
Kevin Robinson, General Manager of Park’s Saab, explains: “Park’s Motor Group has a long standing tie to Ayrshire and we are delighted to open this new Saab franchise in the area.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to reassure Saab customers that it is business as usual at Doonfoot Road. Park’s Saab will take care of all their motoring needs and are fully committed to providing the high levels of service that customers have come to expect.
“Many of the previous dealership staff who will be well known by Saab customers are joining us and bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise to ensure that the Saab experience continues to be as enjoyable as possible. We look forward to welcoming new and existing customers to Park’s Saab soon.”
Charles Toosey, Managing Director of Saab GB, said: “I am delighted to welcome Park’s Saab into our network of dealers. Park’s Motor Group has a wealth of experience in the motor industry and will maintain the standards of excellence that our customers expect.”
Park’s Motor Group is one of Scotland’s leading motor dealers with a number of franchises across the country. The Group was established in Lanarkshire and has since expanded into Ayrshire, Fife and Glasgow. The Ayr operation of the dealer group has Renault and Nissan franchises in High Road and Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo franchises complimented by a large Approved Used car operation on Heathfield Road in Ayr.
To find out more pop in to see Kevin and the team at Park’s Saab, Doonfoot Road, Ayr or ring 01292 445540.
AyrshireXC90, I think the problem is solved now.
If you’ve got an older Saab, you’d probably love to have someone with 30 years Saab experience take a peek over it and lead you through a review of the entire car, yes?
Next time Charles River Saab holds one of these 100K clinics, I’d suggest you sign up.
Luke Lewis did, and here’s the report he shot through via email today.
On Saturday, January 29th, Charles River SAAB hosted a 100K- Mile Clinic, which was open to anyone with a SAAB that had 100K or over on it. The idea behind this clinic (from my perspective) was to bring people in and give them a chance to not only meet the people who work on their vehicles, but also give those customers an opportunity to see their vehicle from a Tech’s perspective.
I was there with some other members of NESA (New England SAAB Association). I tagged along with my buddy, Ryan, who brought in his 9000CS.
The day started with an introduction from Pierre (to introduce the technicians and customers). We then went with the Tech to the car, did the initial walk-around. We then got in the car and went for a brief test drive. The entire time, the Tech was telling us what he was looking for.
When we got back, we went inside to the Service area and through the car up on the lift. Our Tech was Peter and he gave us an extremely thorough walk-down on this car and was extremely descriptive in his actions. (Note from Luke – Peter, a service tech for SAAB for 30 years previously drove a 9000Aero and knew this car inside and out).
(Note from Swade – I met Peter Maitland at Swedish Car Day last year and his knowledge is indeed Britannica-ic when comes to Saabs. He’s also got a nice little collection of them, too, including Ol’ Blue and a Saabo caravan).
I have provided some pictures of the event.
I wanted to thank Charles River SAAB, Pierre, and Peter for this awesome experience.
- Pic 1: Peter (Tech in the driver’s seat) and Ryan in the passenger seat – getting ready for the test drive.
- Pic 2: Fellow SAABer, Mike M, was getting a detailed walk around with his Tech on his 9-5 Aero SC.
- Pic 3: Down the way, an other customer was taking advantage of this opportunity with her 9-5 Sedan.
- Pic 4: With gloves on, both Peter and Ryan are ready for a thorough exam of the engine bay.
My thanks to Luke for the report.
It’s always great to see people getting to know their cars a little better. And it’s outstanding to see a dealer going to this length to help them do it. CRS are straight from the top shelf.
I’ve had quite a few people emailing me about the floods, some asking if we’re OK.
We are absolutely OK. Australia’s a big place and whilst there has been a lot of rain here in Tasmania and some flooding in the north of the state, there’s nothing at all that effects us here in the south. Thanks to all for your concern.
Of course, the big floods are in Queensland, the northernmost state on the east coast of Australia. We’ve all been glued to our TV’s here and there has been plenty to see, around 95% of it quite tragic.
Image from Grantham, the town probably worst hit by the floods, which claimed houses, vehicles and lives in just minutes.
Everyone in southern Australia knows someone who’s moved to Queensland in the last 10 years or so, quite a few of them to Brisbane. We all feel like we’ve got someone involved in this in some way.
If you’ve never seen how a flash flood progresses, watch this video from Toowoomba, which was hit without warning by a flash flood earlier this week (much of this is the water that’s effecting Brisbane now). Amazing.
Personally speaking, one of my good friends will have to find somewhere else to live. Her house (a rental, so it’s not hers to rebuild) was overcome very early in the Brisbane flood. Thankfully, she got most of her stuff out and of course, the best news is that she’s safe.
I have a few semi-regular Saab contacts up there, as well, one of whom (Simon L) owns a Saab 99 Turbo that I used to own. Simon lives on high ground and was never in any trouble from the water.
Some of you might be familiar with a bloke named AussieLars, who comments here occasionally. Lars got his Viggen on to high ground before the water came, but there was some concern about the Saab 96 V4 that’s he had stripped and part-way through restoration. Obviously, it wasn’t as portable as the Viggen and time was very short.
As it happens, the water level wasn’t quite as high as people feared and for Lars, that means that the 96 will just need some mild cleanup. Nothing too major. He and Mrs AussieLars will be just fine, which is great to hear.
There are plenty of harrowing stories, however, the most striking and heartbreaking of which is probably that of Jordan Rice and his mother, Donna. Click here.
If you feel moved to support flood victims, many of whom will not be covered by insurance because of their proximity to the river (and because insurers can be bastards sometimes), then I invite you to donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal, the primary fundraising effort run by the Queensland government.
Again, thanks for your concern, not just personally, but for all the people in Queensland who have done it so tough in the last few weeks.
On to some more Saab-specific things……
Beijing Automotive, who were looking to buy Saab back in 2009 but settled for $200m worth of older-generation tooling, are trialling 30 electric cars with the local government in Beijing.
A number of them are based on the Saab 9-3.
Beijing Auto has started production of electric ‘Saab’ 9-3’s. The car is called Q60FB and is part of a trial project for electric cars with the Beijing city government. They will make 30 cars in total, including a number of electric BC301Z’s, called the C30DB and a number of electric minivans called MR30DB.
The full story is over at thetycho.com.
BAIC were always pretty serious about doing electric vehicles and using the Saab tooling they bought as part of the project. It’s good to see them progressing on this and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that they’ve used Saab’s bodies instead of their own for such a project.
I wrote about a new Saab dealership popping up in Seattle a few months ago, but they weren’t online at the time.
It’s good to see Saab of Bellevue are now up and running.
The Saab 9-5 won a Car of the Year vote in Finland, and I’m pretty sure SU had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Not sounding surprised there, just happy. The Finns love their Saabs, as they should 🙂