Thursday Night Snippets

UPDATE:
A comment from ctm that I thought was worth bringing to the front page here:

Media in Sweden now claim there are four auto manufacturers interested in Saab: Koenigsegg, Geely, another Chinese manufacturer, and another unknown one.

That would gel pretty well with the whispers I’m hearing. The rest of the dozen who Saab will proceed with would be investment companies.
I had a good conversation with Djup Strupe in Sweden this evening and whilst no identities were forthcoming (they never are), the impression I got was that this is a very mixed bunch full of names you’ve never heard of.
I also got some clarification from Magnus Nordberg at TTELA this evening on something written there and covered here. The presence of BMW in these negotiations, which we’ve written about and discussed recently, is in no way confirmed. In fact, I’d be surprised.
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A new month starts in just minutes from now, which means sales figures will be upon us once more.
Yikes!
Expect plenty of red ink, though there are some markets that are making definite pronounced efforts to drum up interest while others sleep.
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One of those markets that seems to be pulling out all the stops at the moment is the Belgian market.
I recently featured their initial “Future of Saab” roadshow stop, where they showed off the 9-4x and 9-3x at a local dealership.
Last night, that roadshow continued, with 6 combined dealerships inviting guests to come and view the new vehicles. Sofie Van D from Saab in Belgium forwarded a few images from the event, which by all accounts was another raging success.
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My congratulations to Sofie and the crew at Saab Belgium who are doing great stuff in terms of getting the word out to the people about Saab’s current and future product.
If you’re in Belgium and you haven’t heard about this, I’d encourage you to call your Saab dealer. Perhaps our mate on the ground there, Etienne over at Saabhuy, may know a bit more about where the tour is going, too.
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At the other end of the spectrum, the Dutch market is in serious trouble, with Saab’s importer reportedly filing for bankruptcy.
The full story is here for those who read Dutch.
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And on a personal note…..my own car buying saga continues.
Finally, this weekend I’m going to satisfy my Porsche curiosity once again and test drive the cheapest 944 for sale in Australia, which just happens to live 10 minutes from my place. Great handling, no service history, expensive parts, crappy interior, but it IS a Porsche. Did I mention great handling and that it’s the cheapest 944 in the country?
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And in the blue corner….. I’m still fascinated by MX-5’s. Cheap, zippy, great handling, and very upgradeable.
And yes, I do like that blue…….
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Ah well, I’ll always have my Monte……

New Saab dealership in Netherlands

I got an email from a guy named Ruud Blokhuis a few days ago and it was so …….. unbelievable…….that I had to email him back and ask if it was an April Fools Day prank.
It wasn’t.
If you’re in The Netherlands and you’re considering purchasing a Saab at the moment, then I would like to suggest you make your way to a town called Apeldoorn.

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When you get there, look around for Saab Apeldoorn and ask for Ruud. Tell him Swade sent you. This guy deserves your business.
The previous dealer had a combined Saab-Alfa-Seat shop that went under late last year. Ruud and Fernand have re-opened the showroom as a Saab-only store and apparently the feedback from the locals has been very good so far, with some dropping by even before they officially opened their doors on April 1st.
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They say that a recession is the best time to start a business. In this case, Ruud and Fernand have got their timing absolutely perfect as the only way to go is up.
I really hope their faith and courage are rewarded and that the locals get behind them. If Saab can make their way through this current situation then Saab Apeldoorn should have a great future. You’ve got to be passionate to open a showroom in this climate, and passion is what makes for success with a brand like Saab.
My best wishes to Saab Apeldoorn. You guys have kohunas bigger than coconuts!

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