Thursday Snippets

It’s with a tinge of sadness and no small amount of fanfare that I have to acknowledge the conclusion to Etienne’s work over at Saablog-in.

Etienne started his blog around the same time that I started Trollhattan Saab, maybe even a little earlier. Either way, we’ve been at this caper around the same amount of time. All that time, he’s been keeping an exhausting schedule of attending Saab events all over Europe from his base in Huy, Belgium.

Saab fans all over the continent would be familiar with the flamboyant and always-smiling Belgian, who’s now chosen to take some time off and leave Golfhunter in charge of the Saablog-in website.

Etienne will still be attending events, which is great to hear.

Congratulations, mate, on a wonderful blogging enterprise full of encouragement and great fun for Saab enthusiasts in Europe. And good luck to Golfhunter as he carries the torch forward.

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Pierre Belperron, service manager at Charles River Saab, shares some reflections on his 10 years in the job at the CRS blog.

It’s great reading and gives a great perspective on the challenges of being in the dealership business right now. It’s a tough business, especially when cars are more reliable than ever. Dealers used to rely on service and parts for their cashflow and profits, but that revenue stream has thinned over the last few years and dealers really need to be on top of their game to have a healthy business.

As Matthias Siedl pointed out a few days ago, Saab needs a healthy and profitable dealer network, which to my mind means that all dealers who want to stay part of it will have to offer the best service and facilities they possibly can.

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For Saab historians, the former Saab-Valmet plant at Uusikaupunki that made Saabs for many years (including my old Viggen) produced the Fisker Karma shown at the Geneva Motor Show. Fisker has a contract with Valmet for another 6 years.

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Word has just filtered through via email from SUHRT’s Jorgen Trued that Vladimir Antonov has purchase Bowler Offroad.

If you’re not familiar with Bowler Offroad, they currently make the Nemisis. A rather extreme offroader….this should be a decent intro:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3Ismn3IWck

I haven’t seen any official news on this, but it’s interesting to say the least.

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Here’s a great Geneva graphic, found at Autoblog. Head there for a link to a giant full-res version.

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And on a totally unSaaby note – Chuck Norris has just turned 71 (inside out with fear)

He’s currently assembling 71 nuclear reactors on a cake, which he will proceed to blow out like candles with nothing but the wind generated from his lightning fists.

Thankyou Etienne for the 2nd European Saab gathering

I know a lot of people would have thanked him on the weekend, but I just wanted to pass along a personal thankyou from afar to Etienne, the guy who organised the 2nd European Saab gathering in Huy last weekend.

Huy Saab Meeting

Photo from Golfhunter’s Flickr account.

Everything I’ve heard about this event tells me it was a first-class affair, organised on the ground in Huy by Etienne himself dealing with the local authorities. Friends of Etienne in England (Robin M), France (Golfhunter) and Holland (the Dutch club and forum) helped get some people along and there were a few notices here on SU as well.

The end result – a massive 263 Saabs from Europe taking over the central area of the town and a fantastic display of Saab cars and enthusiasm.

263 Saabs! With multiple people in many of them.

This was an event that in terms of turnout and support for Saab, rivals many of the excellent conferences and conventions that go on around the world, and it was down to one bloke on the ground to put the whole show together.

Outstanding commitment and fantastic work. And the number of emails I’ve received complimenting Etienne on the way the day unfolded bears witness to this.

Congratulations, mate. Well done.

I hope any future iterations of this event in Huy get the support they deserve.

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Etienne and Golfhunter write for the Saabhuy Blog, which is changing it’s name to Saablog-in. All you French-reading types should bookmark it and check it out.

Monday Night Snippets – winter hotness edition

The 2nd European Saab meeting in Huy, Belgium, turned out to be an outstanding success.

There were 263 Saabs parked in the city center in Huy on Sunday.

That’s a fantastic turnout and I’m sure a wonderful celebration of Saab ownership. We’ve had a few photos and stories come through already, but I’m sure there will be a lot more over at Saabhuy in the next few days.

Congratulations to Etienne for the hard work and to everyone who travelled to be there.

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Here’s a challenge for Saab’s future 9-3 successor.

The current 9-3 base model retails at around $40,000 (if you can find one, or someone to sell you one – they’re still getting started downunder).

Renault has just released a hot looking three door hatchback – the Megane RS250 Cup – with a 2-litre turbo, true race-bred suspension and brakes. The engine produces 250hp and 340Nm, and accelerates to 100kph in 6.1 seconds.

The car sells for $42,000.

It doesn’t look as useful as a Saab when it comes to practicality and I’m not totally convinced on what the build quality will be like, but it sure looks like fun.

The challenge is out there. Strip one down, power it up, and give us a little fun with this new baby.

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Speaking of speed machines, here’s a world record run by a ride-on lawnmower over at Jalopnik.

The Saab connection? The film was made by Ignition3, whose owner (Dick L) happens to be an absolute Saabnut.

Nice work, Dick!

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Greg Abbott has brought some hotness to winter driving, adding some black wheels with winter tires to his 2010 Saab 9-5 Aero.

Maaaaaagnificent.

Greg Saab 9-5 Winter Wheels

Greg Saab 9-5 Winter Wheels

Photos: 2nd European Saab meeting in Huy

A few photos have started to drift in from one of the Mad Dutchies. A gaggle of the Mad Dutchmen made it down, so I hope they haven’t ruled out the possibility of the 3rd European Saab meeting in Huy 🙂 .

It looks like the weather wasn’t totally co-operative, but it’s a good looking bunch of cars there, including one of the new, low-emissions TTiD cars. I see a few of my English mates made the crossing safely as well.

More pics are available here. A sample is below.

UPDATE: New photos available here and here. Great stuff!

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Congratulations to Etienne and the organisers for what looks like another fantastic event there in Belgium.

SaabHuy meeting this Sunday – program

Any of you who are in proximity to Huy, in Belgium, and haven’t made your mind up to go along to the big gathering there this weekend, here’s a brief look at the program.

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Schedule for the Meeting on sunday 31/10:

9-11 – Arrival of the cars (on the Grand Place and surrounding streets) and set up of the parts fair

(on the Place Verte)

9-14H Meeting and Parts fair

14-14H30 Official end of the meeting with announcement of the most beautiful car of the day.

Starting 14h30 we would like to invite you to join us for a drive through the region.

departure of the cars…

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As I said, it’s brief.

Don’t let brevity fool you, though, this is going to be a great gathering with Saabs coming from plenty of surrounding countries to join in.

The Brits are on their way as we speak and they’ll be joined by a bunch of French Saabs in convoy.

So if you’re even remotely close, get along and enjoy the day. Etienne and Golfhunter would love to see you there!

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