Swedish Day number 6 in the UK, this Sunday.


Swedish Day in the UK has arrived again, and tomorrow for around six hours there will be a gathering of nearly 200 vehicles who have their routes in Swedish. Take a look at the Swedish Day website for more details.

Over 60% of them will be Saab with Volvo catching up fast, but this year we have around 14 Swedish Trucks coming along as well, both Scania and Volvo. Sadly no Koenigseggs have been in touch, but maybe one year.

Weather forcast is looking good so fingers crossed for a dry sunny show.

Many of the French and Belgium visitors are arriving in England as I type and we will all join together tonight for a meal at the local Sparkford Inn, no dout chatting until past closing time.

Everyone is welcome to take a visit and we look forward to seeing lots of visitors. A few of last years pictures are at my flickr page.


Volvo placed a bid for parts of Saab

According to SR/Ekot Volvo has placed a bid for parts of Saab. It seems like the revised bid includes more assets than the original one and is aimed at equipment and tools.

Volvo Cars will have made a bid for a large part of Saab’s bankruptcy estate, said sources of P4 West.
The bid must be extended and go beyond what it had previously been interested in.
– We have already told us that we are interested in parts of Saab. We are in close contact with the administrators, but I can not say anything about a bid. It is up to the administrators to tell about it, says Per-Ake Froberg, at Volvo’s press department.
According to P4 West’s sources, Volvo will buy all the equipment in the factory. Volvo Cars is not interested in having any production in the factory, according to a source familiar with those matters.
Instead, it is likely that the equipment will be moved to China, where Volvo and owner Geely is now building factories or equipment used in the factory in Torslanda, the source said.

Of course it may upset many here that it is Volvo who may want to ship the factory to China but please stay calm. First of all this is something that may only take effect if all parties who want to restart Saab should not get a deal done. The chance that this happens is fairly small as there are indications that some of those have a real desire to get hold of Saab as a whole. Additionally the receivers also want to find the best solution for Saab, the employees and the region. Second, it is a normal thing that any company that is in need of certain machinery shows interest in Saabs assets. This is pure business thinking, not emotional.

Swedish Day UK 2011.

Swedish Day UK 2011.

Swedish Day 2011 was another great success and even though the weather looked like it might be cruel to us and give us some rain, it ended up very dry, warm and sunny with a steady wind blowing through the site

As in 2010 the weekend started on Saturday evening with a successful Carvery at The Sparkford Inn. 33 Swedish Fans sat down and  enjoyed a three course meal followed by lots of chat until closing time.  Many of our friends from Europe were there sharing their love for both Saab and Volvo. Luckily for us, the English language was known by everyone. Chris Hamley, a Saab specialist from Devon, arrived with his whole garage staff and their families and almost took over the pub car park with their six cars including a 9000 Limousine and Saab Astra van.

Read moreSwedish Day UK 2011.

Automotive innovation doesn’t come cheap

I moved this to the front page since it was only up for an hour until Spyker’s press releases started to fly out, including the announcement of JAJ’s retirement. It deserves some time on the front page. -Jeff



This isn’t about Saab, per se. I guess you could say it’s more of a perspective piece on the industry as a whole. As I’m about to dip my toes into this industry, I’ve found it interesting to take a wider perspective and try to understand a little more of the ‘why’ – from the company’s point of view.

This article about the Volvo C30 Electric was on Autoblog earlier today:

A trial fleet of around 400 Volvo C30 Electrics is coming, and anyone who wants one had better have an awful big piggy bank. Speaking at a media launch near Indianapolis, IN today, the president of Volvo Car Special Vehicles, Lennart Stegland, said that, while the final price for the car hasn’t been set, Volvo will not sell the EV, but instead offer the car through a three-year lease for around 1,500 Euros. Per month.

I can’t imagine the digital decibels that would reverberate through comments if this were VolvosUnited. I can picture it now – we’d all be pleased as punch in the lead up to the vehicle’s introduction and then Volvo’s PR group would drop the pricing hammer and we’d go nuts.

And I can understand why, too. That’s a bucketload of money for any car, let alone a small 4-seater with a ill-shaped hatch opening.

That figure – which translates into around US$2,200 per month, by the way – is what first got my attention. Reading further into the article got me feeling a little bit sorry for our much larger Swedish compatriots.

…..so if you stick it out for the full 36 months, you get to spend $76,674 to not buy a car. Even worse, Stegland said that Volvo will lose money on the deal. Ouch. Developing electric vehicles for mass production is more than mildly expensive.

Isn’t that just a little bit amazing?

The company does the work, brings that work to market. They have to charge megabucks just to scrape back some of the cost and despite bringing such an innovative vehicle to market, they’ll still have to take the negative publicity that goes with such a high price as well as taking a loss on the vehicles.

Electrification, despite its prominence at recent motor shows, is still a niche when it comes to actual products for market. Toyota have been the most successful with partial electrification, selling Prius hybrids for over a decade now. Despite the age of their hybrid technology and there dominant market share in the sector, the most recent information I could find suggests that they’re still making a loss on each one the Prius lost around $10K per car and has only recently started to make real money per unit sold (corrected with a more recent source).

In other words, we’ve really only got widespread availability of hybrid Toyotas because the company was massive enough and profitable enough to absorb the cost of producing them for an entire decade or so.

Read moreAutomotive innovation doesn’t come cheap

Competition Corner: BMW 3 GT and Volvo C30e

This is the first post I’ll be making in what will hopefully become a regular series. While we’re clearly a Saab blog, every now and then it’s nice to keep one eye out on what the competition is cooking up for those interested in seeing what Saab will be facing off against in the future. As relevant stories come up, you’ll hear about them and get our take on what it impact they have on Saab (or what elements were ripped off from them). For those worried that we’ll be serving more articles with Bavarian cream around here fear not, lingonberries remain the topping of choice for our coverage.

First up is what is surely the most direct competitor (or copy) BMW has ever had to the classic 900, the 3 Series GT.

Photo from leftlanenews.com

Read moreCompetition Corner: BMW 3 GT and Volvo C30e

Volvo throws down gauntlet with V60 plug-in hybrid – can Saab pick it up?

Around five years ago now, Saab unveiled a concept car at the Stockholm Motor Show. It was just after the Geneva Salon of 2006, and consequently it got lost in the backwash of the stunning Aero X concept.

That car was the Saab 9-3 BioPower Hybrid – a hybrid car in a Saab 9-3 Convertible body. What wasn’t known widely at the time (and still isn’t) is that that concept car was also intended to be presented as a plug-in hybrid vehicle. GM ordered the press release to be changed and it’s rumoured that the plug cover – the rear badge – was glued shut.

So….. the concept of a plugin hybrid running in concert with environmentally friendly fuel isn’t a totally foreign concept where Saab is concerned. The only thing is, they haven’t actually built one yet.

And apparently Volvo have.

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid combines rear electric motors with a regular diesel engine at the front to consume just 1.9 litres of diesel per 100km, emitting just 49g/km of CO2 when in hybrid mode.

The diesel engine produces 150kW and 440Nm and the electric motors at the back add another 50kW and 200Nm, meaning this car will have the capacity to drive ‘big’ when needed.

It also has three switchable modes – electric, hybrid and diesel, meaning it can run purely off the fuel engine, the electric engine, or a combination of the two.

The car will go on sale in 2012 (they don’t say when in 2012).


Saab’s 9-3 replacement vehicle will go on sale in the last quarter of 2012.

Saab’s 9-3 replacement will have a new rear-drive electric propulsion system to work in conjunction with a fossil fuel motor at the front.

Volvo have chosen an existing vehicle for their new groundbreaking drivetrain, which means they can show it now. Saab will be using an all-new vehicle, which means we won’t see it for some time.

The big question is – can Saab do something as compelling as what this Volvo seems to be? Will it offer a plug-in charging capability? Does it need to? Do Saab’s engineers have any more tricks up their sleeve? Can they bring a new dimension to the marketplace in 18 months from now?

I’m pretty sure they can, but it will be very interesting to watch.

Thanks Jeff, for the Volvtip


Monday Night Snippets

BIG thanks to Jeff P for the LA Auto Show banner featuring at the top of the website all this week!

Outstanding stuff. I know a few people have commented on it already, so Jeff – it’s put smiles on people’s faces already……. job done!


This might be the final entry on SU before I hit LA, so there’s a bit of stuff to cover.


People and cars.

That’s what this stuff is all about. People and cars.


One of Finland’s former parliamentarians, Riitta Uosukainen, is doing some free promotional work for Saab after she and her husband had a collision with a moose on the weekend:

“We were driving with my husband at 17.00 (this time of the year it’s really dark outside in Finland at five O’clock), when suddenly a giant moose jumped out from the dark straight on to our car.”

The impact was so severe that Mrs. Uosukainen thanks the rugged build of the car, and thanks to that nothing bad happened to the people inside it:
“The car was totaled. If it hadn’t been a Saab we both (She and Her husband) would of been dead.”

Then she thanks all the officials who arrived to the scene and gives compliments to the Police, ambulance staff, tow-car company and the hospital. Everything worked flawlessly. “I think it’s good for everybody to know”.

The she gives a warning to all drivers out there: “It’s unbelievable how this situation could surprise us all. The way it came (the moose, translators clarification), there are no words to describe it. It’s such a noise that it felt as if it fell from the sky.”

Thanks to Pekko for the translation.

Assuming they’ll order a new 9-5 to replace the one the moose just totalled, perhaps VM could deliver it personally to keep the story rolling?


I had a great catch-up dinner with a couple of Sydney Saab friends this evening. OK, Richo’s moved over to the dark side, but I still sense good in him, as does Princess Lea [sic]. Brendan B was there with his Viggen convertible, too.

The other members of the Sydney Saab clan that I usually catch up with were probably sick of seeing each other’s faces as they had what looks like a great meet-and-drive event on the weekend.

I had to put two shots of the Viggen in there – because it used to be mine! It’s now owned by a guy named Wayne G, who tells me it’s purring like a cat.

Great job, NSW Saab nuts!


The Guardian had a short review of the Saab 9-5 over the weekend.

No urgency. Not much of huge interest there.


It’s interesting that Volvo’s new Chinese owners want to move into places Volvo hadn’t planned on going….

…. and then their main product development guy leaves.

Saab might be struggling onwards, but I still think we got the better deal.


LA – here we come!

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