Saab PhoeniX video from Geneva

I need something to make me a little bit happier……

A quick rotational video from Geneva will do. This is from the public days at the show, and it’s good to see a decent number of people looking around the Saab stand, touching the iceblocks 🙂 and just generally checking out the new Saabs.

Thanks to SaabClubNL via Twitter.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSEc9tiJ188

Post-Geneva, plenty of work remains for Saab

As a Saab blogger, I have a regular daily routine that sees me scouring email, comments and a large number of RSS feeds on a daily basis.

Reading comments first thing in the morning lets me know what’s happened overnight. Emails, of course, are the way I stay in touch and see new material that people bring to my attention. When those are out of the way, I get to my RSS feeds, which summarise news stories on a variety of topics and from a large number of websites.

When I’m away at an event, as I was last week, the RSS feeds tend to slip by the wayside because there’s so much going on. When it comes to events like Geneva, I don’t necessarily need to read about the news, I’m right in the thick of it.

This morning, when I opened up Google Reader, I was confronted with an interesting situation. Having not touched the service for over a week, there were thousands of news stories waiting for my review. This collection of links provided much more than that, however. What I had at my disposal was a snapshot of Saab’s media coverage over the last week – and it revealed a few interesting things.

As you might expect, you couldn’t wave a stick around the internet last week without hitting half a dozen different stories about the Saab PhoeniX design concept. It was like a PhoeniX piñata out there. Any website that’s ever run a story featuring an engine seemed to have a picture of the car with the flying buttresses.

The other prominent stories were concerned with Saab’s new IQon technology.

I have to point out here that Saabs United’s own coverage followed a similar pattern. RedJ, Eggs and I did try to make sure we brought you all a well-rounded offering from Geneva, but the PhoeniX was still quite dominant, even here.

So, plenty of Saab coverage. Both IQon and PhoeniX were well received by the vast majority of news services and websites that featured them. That’s all well and good. But it does leave Saab with some significant work to do.

For example…… I had over 500 stories waiting on my Google News “Saab” feed this morning. How many of those news stories dealt with the Saab 9-5 SportCombi?

Three.

And how many of those stories were from Geneva, rather than just re-hashes from the press release?

One.

Aside from the PhoeniX concept, Saab also had the Saab 9-4x, the Saab 9-5 SportCombi and the Saab 9-3 Griffin (with an emphasis on the sub-120g/km SportCombi) at debut or near-debut status at Geneva.

Such a huge media focus on PhoeniX is great for the Saab brand in terms of general awareness but doesn’t do nearly as much to help out with vehicles that are actually for sale, either now or very soon.

To add to the urgency, the only ‘major’ show in the next six months is the New York Auto Show, one where the significance of the 9-3 Griffin’s emissions status will be irrelevant. Wagons are welcomed by Saab fans, but the Saab 9-5 wagon won’t be as big a story in New York as it is in Europe.

20/20 hindsight would have me wonder if it might have been better to save PhoeniX for the New York show and focus the spotlight on Saabs production models in Geneva.

It’s a pointless question now, though, as the dice have been cast. All Saab can do now is roll with the outcome and make the best of their opportunities. I suspect that means a major promotional effort for the 9-3 Griffin and 9-5 SportCombi over the next six months in Europe, and the same for the 9-4x in the US.

Some sort of viral video or prominent event might be needed to push one or more of these cars into the public’s mind.

2012 Saab 9-5 interior update

The Saab 9-5 SportCombi will essentially be a 2012 model and the cars (there were two of them) on display at the Geneva Motor Show both had the same updated interior dash panel fitted.

It’s believed that this will be available on both the sedan and the wagon from MY2012. There were whispers about some dark wood and brushed aluminium as well, but those were not confirmed so let’s not get too excited just yet.

This certainly seems to be on the way, though. We tried to get some photos of it up close at the show but the results were a little lacklustre, with glare and hotspots showing up here and there. I asked Saab’s professional hired gun, Charlie McGee, to get a good shot for us and here’s what he served up (fantastic work, one again.

A great addition, if you ask me.

One man’s thoughts: Saab at the Geneva Motor Show

As mentioned last week, I spent my last day in Geneva meeting up with Till72. It was a long-awaited meeting as we’ve been email correspondents for some time and I was really looking forward to meeting the big man from Munich and catching a ride in his Hirsched Saab 9-3x (a truly awesome example).

We spent several good hours catching up and talking about various Saab issues before parting at Geneva Airport – I hopped on a plane and Till walked across the road and into the Palexpo center to check out the Geneva Motor Show.

These are his thoughts.

——

My trip to Geneva was quite tough. I started a 3 am on Thursday in Munich to be at Geneva in time to pick up Steven for a ride to the airport. May sound a bit silly but in fact it was the only way for him to get a Saab taxi in Geneva. And more than that it was the long awaited chance to meet up and have a good chat. After he had to jump on the plane I proceeded to the auto show for a quick look around and a long stay at the Saab booth. At the evening I went to a cheap hotel in France for a few hours of sleep as I had to get up early to make it to an appointment with Hirsch at Sankt Gallen.

I found out a few things on this trip….. For example, I can go 1100 km on one tank of diesel with my 9-3x if I obey the Swiss speed limit. And Audi drivers in every country I went through on my trip were pretty interested in my Saab because they always drove like 15 cm behind me to take a closer look. I thought about attaching some brochures to the back of my car, those guys could have easily read it. Oh, and Steven is a real nice guy. I’m gonna miss his writings here on SU. And no-one wanted to enter the Dacia booth. But those things are not what you would like to hear, or maybe you already know them. So let’s get to the interesting things.

The Phoenix.

I won’t go too much into the details, they’ve been worked out here already. It’s a concept car. And it’s main intention was to get attention and to shout out “Saab is alive”. And that’s what it does. You could hardly get near the car because it was being photographed all of the time. The day I went there was the first visitors day so that is a pretty good sign.

As I saw the first photos of the Phoenix I was pretty unsure what to think about it. But as I saw it in metal (or whatever) it quickly started to grow on me. Once I spent about 15 minutes just looking at the car. And while doing that my mind erased some of the obvious concept stuff and formed some kind of a production version of that car. A new Sonett. It really worked and it looked amaizing. I wished my head had a printer port but since I was made in the last century… Well, it might be something for the Photoshop guys around here.

I was told that the PhoeniX concept really drove in Trollhättan. So there’s hope 😉 (and I believe there maybe some plans to take it on the road – for a short stint, at least – in the near future)

The booth.

Another really good thing was that the entire booth was crowded most of the time. Those nice ladies were explaining the models to visitors one by one and all of the time. I love those real ice blocks, too.

The choice of cars was good with two 9-5 SportCombis so everyone could manage to take a look. In fact you could hardly sit in a car because there were so many interested people around. I’d say that Geneva was more than important to send out a very positive sign. Everyone of the Saab crew performed great.

As I was about to go, I ran into Victor Muller, who was on the way to the airport. I took the chance to thank him for saving Saab and despite the fact that he seemed to be in a hurry he took a minute for a short chat and to shake hands. I like this guy even more now.

This short visit left me with a positive feeling. They had the chance to create some attention and they took it. I understand better why Saab showed their new models a few days before at the independence day celebrations, because the Phoenix may have taken some attention from them in the press.

Well done Saab.

——

Swade here again….

That last point is one to note. As good as it’s been to get Saab’s name in the media for the PhoeniX and IQon, there’s still plenty of work to be done by Saab on the new things that are ready to be ordered now – the Saab 9-5 SportCombi, The Independence Edition Convertible, the sub-120g/km 9-3 SportCombi and the Saab 9-3 Griffin.

Red J’s tour de Geneve

Swade has already made two tours of the Geneva motor show, the first after the first day in pictures, and the movie Das Boring, worth of an Oscar for the best bluhhh face.

But I also made my tour de Geneve, and I think it is a good way to close this chapter of Saab history.

It is a collection of 18 pictures of the best and worst of the motor show, not really the worst, as I have no photos of that 😉

As Nancy Sinatra says in her hit:
Are you ready boots, start walking!!

Read more

Goodbye to Geneva

In a few hours from now, I’m going to be catching up with Till72 (he of the labelled Saab 9-3x), which is a meeting that’s been a long time coming. After that I make a roundabout hop to Gothenburg and Trollhattan via London, then off home. Sometimes you’ve just got to call into these places when you’re in the neighborhood.

All that, of course, means it’s the end of an all-too-brief stay at Geneva for the 2011 motor show.

I was expecting a lot from the Geneva show, both from a Saab perspective and in terms of the show, in general. We know what Saab delivered – another tour-de-force of a concept car that has made headlines around the world. The show itself was also outstanding, delivering punch after punch wherever you went. The beauty of the Geneva show is that it packs it all in within a relatively compact space. It’s magical.

A couple of very important thankyous…..

Firstly to Saab for inviting me along to the show. Judging by the fact that the website’s server collapsed a few hours after PhoeniX was revealed, I think it’s fair to say that people have been interested in what’s been going on and I hope SU has been able to provide adequate and timely information to make benefit the good nation of Saabistan.

Secondly, I’d like to thank a wonderful family, Marc, Priska and their two beautiful young girls, for inviting me to stay in their home during the show. They are SU readers, just like you, and they’re generosity and enthusiasm has made my job here in Geneva so much easier. Thanks so much.

Last but not least, thanks to a few partners in crime…..

Jeff P has provided some great graphics for the last few auto shows I’ve attended and Geneva saw some more great artwork here on site. I’ve just noticed another graphic in my email so I’ll check that out shortly (see the new Aero-X/PhoeniX header, above).

Eggs n Grits has put his shoulder to the wheel once again, providing external coverage of media reportage related to the show that neither RedJ nor I would have had time to collate. I think it’s added an invaluable aspect to the coverage. Seeing the way the world has embraced Saab’s continued growth has been very encouraging. Thanks mate.

And RedJ – what can I say? It’s been outstanding to work up close with you and the added dimensions that you provided to the coverage of this show made SU’s coverage a success. Day 1 was a phenomenally busy day and there’s no way I could have got across everything in the way – and with the diversity of thought – that we did as a pair. This was a very significant show for Saabs United and RedJ’s work was more significant than you can appreciate.

Of course, thanks to you all for tuning in and making the discussions so lively and well mannered. The community is what it’s all about.

——

I’ve got a lot more to write about my time here in Geneva, including my own 2 cents worth on the PhoeniX concept.

That’ll come in the coming days. Until then, sit back and relax. There is plenty to read and watch from the last few days.

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