The BMW track should not be pursued any more

BMW was one of the rumoured companies that where interested in buying Saab. The rumour came from many sources, and because there have been some minor links between SAAB and BMW, and because BMW is a very small fish in the current automotive pond, I really thought BMW would (try to) buy SAAB.

As we all know BMW (if they ever tried), didn’t manage to buy SAAB Automobile AB, instead of that NEVS (an automotive newcomer) was the lucky one. But the (known)business plan of NEVS doesn’t make 100% sense. It is based on some governmental assumptions, which are a little bit shaky. For Instance the German government said one year ago that by 2020 1 million EV will be rolling on German streets, now (one year later) most of the experts doubt about it.

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Tuesday Snippets – Saabs arriving in the US edition

Apparently there are around 1,000 new Saabs sitting at a dock in Newark, awaiting distribution to dealers around the United States.
That’s got to be welcome news.
Here’s three of them arriving at a Saab dealership in PA:
PASaabsArriving.jpg
This is the new beginning, yet another step in the new story of Saab.
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This seems to be significant: Electric Mini drives the Nordschleife in 9:51
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Either the story about Vladimir Antonov wanting to build Saabs in Russia just won’t go away, or Inside Line are several weeks behind previous reports on this subject.
I vote for option 2, as there doesn’t seem to be anything new in this IL report.
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Note to Victor Muller – buy at least one of these.
Could be used for Spyker Squadron, or for something Saaby as well. It makes financial, logistical and strategic sense. They don’t have to be used for motorsport, after all but could be extremely useful.

A look at the quality of JD Power’s quality survey

Good evening all. I’m currently on a wireless connection that’s the internet equivalent of trying to pee through a straw. I can only open one window at a time lest the web gods curse me for impertinence.
Entries are therefore brief. Even though I’ve been through the fire of owning seven Saabs and helping raise two teenagers, there’s only so much patience one can have……
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We all winced a little at the JD Power Initial Quality study that was released recently. Saab once again had a lower-placed ranking in what is, I believe, a flawed piece of work that gets far too much attention (says he who’s giving it more attention right now….)
The New York Times ‘Wheels Blog’ recently covered the survey from a singular perspective – the placing of the Mini.
Mini placed dead last in the survery, in case you didn’t notice or remember. That result surprised me, and it obviously surprised the NYT, too, so they looked into it a bit further.

……Mini has been a much-beloved brand with strong sales. Last week, Mini announced it would be adding 17 more dealerships in the United States over the next 18 months in anticipation of double-digit sales growth by 2011.
So what gives?
As it turns out, some of things that Mini owners absolutely adore about their little cars are also the “problems” that owners mark down in their J.D. Power quality survey.
“Mini has some idiosyncrasies that we engineer into our cars,” Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini USA, told The Associated Press (via MSNBC). As examples, Mr. McDowell cited the Mini’s unusual ambient interior lighting and windshield-wiper control, which is a button instead of a knob.
David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power, confirmed Mr. McDowell’s claims. “A number of Mini’s problems are related to the intuitiveness of the car’s interior dash controls,” he said. The Initial Quality Survey covers the first 90 days of ownership. And during that time, owners are still getting used to the controls of their cars.
One of the quirks of the J.D. Power survey, when it comes to the interior features category, is that it gives equal weight to items that are broken (and need to be fixed by the dealer) and items that are difficult to understand or use, or designed in a way that’s not so intuitive, Mr. Sargent said.

In the most basic terms, the survey’s a dud and JD Power acknowledge their own flaws.
I guess Saab’s job remains – continue to improve, work to get the message out to people and work even harder to get people to drive the cars.

Thanks Brooks!

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