Saabs United – finding good homes for Turbo X’s everywhere….

The quest to house any remaining Turbo X’s continues and today I’ve received an email from another new Turbo X owner.
His name is BrianL and he writes as follows:

I thought I’d drop you a line before these pop up on your Flickr feed. I finally got some decent photos of my new toy. A barely broken in Turbo X SC! I’ve added about 2000 miles to it and it has been awesome. I was a bit hesitant about buying the same car again, but this car is a totally different car than my 04 SS.
I was encouraged by your post on left over Turbo Xs and saw this one needing a new home. It’s fully loaded except auto and nav.

IMHO, all you’re missing is the nav, Brian. But that’s just me.
I’ve passed along my congratulations privately but wanted to do so publicly as well. These are awesome cars going for rediculous prices, and they deserve good homes.
The best car I’ve ever owned is the Saab 9-3 Viggen and the Turbo X is this generation of vehicle’s Viggen – and then some. It’ll be one of those cars that every enthusiast will wish they’d owned at one stage.
If you can find one, snap one up.

Germany: Saab fans are the most passionate fans

Now here’s something special…..
I posted earlier this evening about some possibilities for the Saab Pride submissions I’ve received. Shortly after writing that article, I received an email from an academic in Germany – a Dr. Rüdiger Hossiep, attached to the Psychology Dept at the Ruhr University in Bochum.
Dr Hosseip and a team of students set out on an ambitious mission to study the level of attachment that various people have to particular brands of cars. Their study involved over 1 million people and was focused on a German automotive forum called Motor Talk.
Here’s a Googletrans about the study:

They developed a procedure which allows the over three million records of more than 1.2 million users of the largest German car forum on the internet “motor-talk” to each other in relation to.
Their results bring all the existing brand rankings shaken: for example, identify themselves the followers of the cult-quirky brand SAAB 40 times more closely with their car as a Nissan driver.
Researchers have published the results of the evaluations of the last three years, for the first time. Parallel to this is launching an online survey, which will show what is behind the large or small is love. All motorists are invited to participate!

I’ve tried to complete the survey, but it’s in German and it doesn’t want to co-operate with the Googletrans software. I’ve put a link to the survey, below.
But back to the initial findings. There are tables for the last three years: 2007 to 2009. These measure something the team calls an ‘involvement index’ – which is basically a measure of the number of users, their level of engagement, with the number of registrations for that marque factored in as well.
Here are the results for 2009 and you can see the prior years’ rankings on the left:
Those numbers actually reflect a fall for Saab. They’re still on top of the index, but not by nearly as clear a margin as what they were in 2007, when they had nearly twice the index figure of the second place brand (Volvo, at that time).
Still, it’s a very interesting outcome and confirms hat many of us have believed for some time – that Saab has a very passionate following, and one that’s pretty web-savvy as well.
Saab pride, indeed!
You can read the findings page and see the prior years charts at the following links: the original in German, or in English via the Googletrans.
If you read German and would like to participate in their latest survey, asking what’s important to you about your car, then click here.

Saab Pride – what to do?

Last year, I was going to put together a book of your photos and stories – called Saab Pride – and based on the Saab Pride of Ownership competition we had at Trollhattan Saab some time ago.
I received plenty of submissions for the project. More than enough, actually.
My problem is that despite having all this material here in my inbox, I know beyond all reasonable doubt that I’m not going to have time to collate, edit and publish the book.
The last 6 months of Saab news has put me in a position where I really welcome the announcement that’s been made regarding the sale to Koenigsegg. I need to get back to being some sort of normal person again. Doing all this blogging stuff is fine and dandy, but when you throw in a full time job and family commitments, it all becomes a bit too much – a fact I’m only realising now that the announcement has been made and things have calmed down a bit.
What I propose to do is publish the Saab Pride submissions here as entries on the website over the next few months. It may be that in doing so, slowly, I’ll be able to take the edited versions from the site and format them into a book anyway.
It just seems like a huge waste to have these stories and images sitting around without them being shared amongst the community.
Saab Lithuania

Saabs United – bringing people and cars together….

May 2nd, 2009:
I posted a story about Saabs sitting around on dealer lots with rather large discounts sitting on them. A Turbo X with 23% off, for example:
From the dealer:

The story about the Turbo X combi still sitting on a lot is all too true over here; I have one sitting in my showroom right now that is exactly the same story, it was MY demo for 3 months, has about 3000 miles on it, and is an absolute steal of a deal, but nobody will touch it- To give you an idea of what I’m talking about here, the thing was $46,105 sticker, and it’s down to $35,542. That’s 23% off! I’ve bought a suit for 23% off, maybe a toaster…. but a Turbo X?

From me:

If anyone’s interested in picking up an X at a bargain price (or a Lynx Yellow convertible), shoot me an email and I’ll put you in touch with John. He’s on the US East Coast, but I’m sure he’ll help out anyone. Ask for the extra special SU discount 🙂

I got an email in my inbox about a week later from a guy named Mark, which I passed on to JohnC, the dealer who originally wrote to me. I hadn’t thought any more about it.
June 11, 2009:
From JohnC:

Thanks for putting Mark O in contact with me, he’s now the proud owner of our last Turbo X 🙂
Here he is lining up for takeoff!

Congratulations to both Mark and JohnC on the deal.
These cars need good homes. I’m pleased to see another X making it’s way to a caring owner.

Saab ownership = serial monogamy?

We own two Saabs.
My mate Turbin in Victoria owns two Saabs. So does SAB, as does Alex. Drew B has so many I’ve lost count. Greg Abbott has multiples – and those five people are just the first five that pop into my head. Joe Lobo, Hawkeye. I’m pretty sure Eggs still has two at the moment, though one might be coming up for replacement.
We Saab owners aren’t afraid to double up when it comes to furnishing the family garage.
In addition to that, we’re not normally ones to shift brands too often. Sure, there are a lot of companies making different products who can claim that, but we Saabists tend to be a very loyal bunch of serial monogamists.
This first “family” falls into the second category, that of multiple Saab owners. I’ll have some more on the latter, later, as I’ve received a few emails of that type in the last few weeks.
These pics come from Claudius, in Switzerland, and show his very handsome driveway with two very handsome Saabs parked there.
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I see a Hirsch badge on the back of that convertible!! Niiiiiiiiiice.
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Actually, both cars were bought from, and are tuned by Hirsch. Yowza!!!!
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If I were Claudius, I reckon I’d have both sets of keys in the same place and just close my eyes in the morning when I picked up a set. Let fate decide which car you take that morning – Saab surprise!
I’m sure there’d be no disappointment whichever car ‘beeped’ at you when you got outside 🙂
Beautiful work, Claudius. Thanks for the email!

Thursday Snippets

Bloomberg are sowing seeds of skepticism about Saab’s survival with a piece indicating that Saab may not be able to secure the funding it needs to keep going.
The Swedish government has pledged to guarantee loans from the European Investment Bank but they want to see more commitment (money) from General Motors in order to provide assurance of Saab’s sustainability.
That mightn’t have been so difficult six months ago, but with the bottom falling out of the market in recent months (Saab were down by between 50-60% last month) it’s now a much different proposition.
GM are counting on the Swedish government not wanting to lose Saab. The Swedish government are counting on GM wanting to build Saab up so that it’s saleable in the future rather than just shutting it down and getting nothing back for its efforts thus far.
It’s a giant game of corporate chicken.
Hopefully someone blinks before the weekend so we’ve still got cars to talk about in the future.
Forbes have named the Saab 9-3 on of their Safest Cars of 2009.
More should be made of this. We know it. Forbes know it. The market should know it, too.
Top Gear have a cracker of a blog post that sums up GM’s stewardship of Saab pretty well:

If you want to know what’s been ailing Saab all these years, today’s unveiling of the 9-3X wagon is a good place to start. Saab actually invented this car seven years ago. But GM bungling means it hasn’t been released until now.

That is the blogging equivalent of a nutshell. Recommended reading.
Arild ensures the flag is flying at all times:

Here’s a wintry greeting from Norway. We have had a lot of snow the last days and when you drive the snow whirls up behind the car and covers the back of the car completely. But one should always let other people know what car one is driving!

I’d just like to take a brief moment to thank everyone for their quick uptake here at Saabs United.
I swiched over from Trollhattan Saab to this blog on the weekend, which is traditionally a very quiet time, and today (Thursday) we have our 500th comment on the site.
A small milestone, but one worth mentioning.

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