Saab ad blitz in February to shout Saab is Alive

There has been a lot of talk in relation to Saab advertising, much of reflecting no small amount of discontent.

Many have argued, quite accurately, that Saab did not tell the story of their survival. The fact that many dealers and enthusiasts were still receiving questions about whether Saab were still alive only seems to support this notion that Saab still have a lot of work to do.

Victor Muller attended Saab’s outdoor exhibit at the Detroit Auto Show (which seems to have received good attention, by the way) and in speaking to the New York Times, he indicated that that lack of storytelling was about to change:

“Saab was perceived to have died with old G.M.,” Victor Muller, the chairman of Saab’s new Dutch parent, Spyker Cars, said. “People mentioned Saab in the same breath as Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn. But in fact we were the company that got away.”…..

…..[Saab] plans to begin an advertising campaign next month aimed at convincing consumers that it is still alive and plans to stay that way.

“The buyer needs this confirmation that he’s not an insensible person if he actually buys a Saab,” Mr. Muller said.

Of course, February will see the one-year anniversary of Saab’s acquisition by Spyker Cars. There will be a lot to talk about and it would appear Saab plan to talk quite loudly about the acquisition and the fact that Saab are still alive.

More coverage from Detroit:

Photo: Inside Line

Detroit Auto Show – some quick points

Press Day #1 has come and gone at the Detroit Auto Show, which means it’s basically over.

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If you haven’t seen it yet, go and visit Kevin Miller’s wrap of the Saab/Hirsch press conference at AutoSavant.

Kevin also sent through some images that I featured here yesterday.

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The best wrap I’ve seen of the show so far comes from Pete DeLorenzo – as is usually the case. Pete’s a Detroit diehard with a big GM history but more than that, he’s a car guy, so it’s always interesting to get his take on the show.

A few quotes:

Hyundai:

By the end of [Hyundai’s] press conference I really didn’t care whether the Veloster UAV (Urban Whatever Vehicle) was a hit or not – because I just wanted (Hyundai US boss) Krafcik to sit down over in the corner and shut up.

The Acura stand:

…..you could have shot-off a paint can filled with bottle rockets and not hit a soul

Toyota:

We’ve lost our mojo and there isn’t a search engine in the world powerful enough to find it….Toyota gets a giant “F” in Detroit, for Forgettable.

Volkswagen:

I had no idea that the new Passat would be worse than the Jetta because I couldn’t imagine any car company willingly designing and building such a soporific piece of crap in this day and age. Yet here we are.

BMW 1 Series M:

Slick, seductive and very, very well executed, it’s easy to predict that the new “M” will be the best BMW – at least for serious driving enthusiasts – in years.

Ford:

Ford continued to impress with its scope and reach, with its array of smartly designed and executed vehicles and with a clearly focused management team that shows no signs of slacking off not even for a minute.

GM:

GM showed well at Cobo Hall with the very appealing new Buick Verano (I’d beg to differ – SW), the new Sonic (formerly known as the Aveo), the CTS-V Coupe race car, the ubiquitous Chevy Volt, and enough enthusiasm and smiles to light up the whole show.

Audi:

….with the intro of the new A6, it has yet another impressive entry destined to become BMW and Mercedes-Benz’s worst nightmare.

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I was hoping that Peter might have ventured out into the cold to see the hardy Swedes with their Hirsched up offerings. I think he would have admired their courage. Alas, not to be.

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Speaking of which, here are two different photographic takes on the Saab stand outside Cobo, at the base of the Hotel Ponchartrain.

Look for the arrow….

Full story about that photo at AutoEvolution.

The angle on that shot isn’t entirely fair, though. Here’s a slightly better one, featured at Car Advice.

Images from the Sno Hus – Hirsch Performance in USA

UPDATE – Kevin’s article, along with extra imagery, is now online at Autosavant.

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Kevin Miller from AutoSavant (and also a Saab owner, I might add) is attending the auto show in Detroit. He made his way along to the Saab press event outside the main show.

The big press event there was concerned with Hirsch Performace coming into the US market. It should also be noted, though, that Saab announced a $100,000 donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation as a result of their recent test-drive promotion, which is a great result (full release at SaabWorld).

Kevin will be writing more about the Hirsch Perfomance announcement over at AutoSavant. Keep an eye on that link.

Until then, he’s given me the OK to show you these images, which he posted to Twitter earlier today. They show the 9-3 and 9-5 on display, with Hirsch modifications. They also give us a glimpse of how the Sno Hus setting was presented (looks good).

First, the 9-5…..

Saab performance by Hirsch

Saab performance by Hirsch

And the 9-3 as well…..

Saab performance by Hirsch

Saab performance by Hirsch

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My thanks to Kevin for the glimpse, and keep your eye out for more on-the-spot reporting from AutoSavant.

Saab may return to Detroit Auto Show in 2012

Saab aren’t participating formally at the NAIAS in Detroit this year, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there at all 🙂

From Automotive News:

Saab’s decision to display its entire product lineup near the main entrance of Cobo Center, site of the Detroit auto show, seemed like a cost-effective move.

The idea: Do not spend serious money for a stand on the show floor, but get a lot of exposure anyway.

Mercedes Benz hung a big sign on the side of the Hotel Pontchartrain, which overshadowed the Saab display a little, but I’m sure they’ll still be seen by those that need to see them.

Saab are underneath this —->

Of course, the press have all received invitations to visit Saab’s SNO HUS display, where they will partake of an announcement related to some “exciting high performance news” (I read that as Hirsch).

I’ll bring that news as soon as the press release comes online.

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The Detroit Free Press are saying that Saab executives are talking with NAIAS people about Saab coming back to the Detroit show in 2012.

Detroit auto show organizers are meeting today with executives of Swedish automaker Saab and Japan-based Suzuki about returning to the North American International Auto Show next year, the Free Press has learned…..

….Saab has set up an outdoor exhibit across the street from Cobo this week, on the patio of the former Hotel Pontchartrain, with a half-dozen cars and a tent. But it’s not an official NAIAS exhibitor and has no press conference as part of the show schedule.

The new 2011 Saab 9-4X crossover vehicle was publicly launched at the Los Angeles auto show in November.

Saab spokeswoman Michele Tinson said the carmaker may come in out of the cold next year with a presence on the NAIAS show floor, particularly if it has a new model to debut.

I think the decision to skip this year was an OK one. There’s no worldwide debut being made, so why spend the money (esp is there’s a cost-effective alternate way to talk to people)?

Any big show is a good show, though, so a decision to go back the NAIAS next year will be a welcome one.

Lament

Saab 9-3X concept, circa 2002. Never made.

The fact that the Saab 9X was an even bigger shame, but I digress.

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Hyundai aren’t going to make this vehicle, either, or so they say.

But they will unveil this small SUV, called the Curb, as a concept vehicle in Detroit next week. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a Hyundai that looks a bit like another car. It’s not the first time I’ve seen one that looks like a Saab, either.

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I’m not contending that Hyundai stole this design language from Saab, no matter how derivative I find their work. I simply saw this Hyundai in a news article today and that duo of Saab concepts was the first thing I thought of. The 9X still makes me drool.

I’m just lamenting that one of my favourite concept families of all time, the 9X and 93X didn’t get to see the light of day. They could have been so good.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zP0T5A93K0

Saab press activities during the NAIAS

Saab won’t have a stand at the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) this year, but they’ll still have an opportunity for the press to meet up with the SCNA executive team, as well as an announcement to make.

Unfortunately you’ll need a press credential to get in, so it’s not for the rank and file.

My educated guess would be that the press conference will be at least partially concerned with the arrival of Hirsch Performance in the US.

Saabs United at the New York Auto Show – prelude

It’s fair to say that things haven’t quite gone to plan.
The graphics card in Jeff’s computer decided it had had enough – today, of all days – so he’s been limited in what he’s been able to post.
And aside from that, he was at the New York freaking Auto Show with Victor Muller and Jan-Ake Jonsson – you think he wants to sit around writing freaking stories for your sorry a$$es all night??
OK, that’s me channeling some distant New York relative…….
But the following snippets have been gleaned and there’s a few photos over at the SaabsUnitedNY website:

  • Time to upload. Met with a ton of people, all very generous with their time and could not be a more professional and serious organization. Will update blog momentarily…
  • Saab didn’t really have many live moments worth covering, it was a very informal day for them. I left it on live sitting on a tripod when Victor was around if anyone caught the images. He went to the village for a lunch interview which took some time. I’m catching up with him tonight at the Cooper Classic Cars Saab event. Should be fun.
  • I think a lot of the staff are still getting their bearings from what I observed today, it’s like their learning to walk with two feet after only being able to use 1 for so long with GM. The good news is they’re all extremely positive and confident, and I believe they’ll get things sorted out.
  • The 9-5 is so much better than its predecessor it’s not even funny. I will share more on the blog later tonight or tomorrow, but it’s insane how many people who have never seen it just say, wow.

Jeff will have heaps more to write about and show you when the party’s all said and done.

Victor Muller at the Automotive News World Congress

It took a little time, but I finally got permissions from the Automotive News people to post this video.

This is Victor Muller, from Spyker, speaking at the Automotive News World Congress during the week. The convention was a satellite event at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and as such, this was a big industry stage he was speaking at.

The presentation focuses mainly on Spyker Cars, with Saab content coming in the Q&A at the end.




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