Archive for September, 2002

Saab's New York Metro Dealers Auction "Sweet Home Alabama" Cars.

Posted on 28. Sep, 2002 by .

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2002-09-28

SAAB’S NEW YORK METRO DEALERS AUCTION “SWEET HOME ALABAMA” CARS; ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT NY-BASED CHARITY

Two 2002 Saab 9-3 Convertibles used in Touchstone Pictures’ new romantic comedy will be auctioned on ABC Auctions. All of the proceeds from the auction will be donated by Saab’s NY Metro dealers to Dress for Success New York, a not-for-profit organization that helps low-income women make a transition into the workforce or retain their existing job.

NORCROSS, Ga – In the movie “Sweet Home Alabama,” starring Reese Witherspoon, up-and-coming fashion designer Melanie Carmichael drives a Saab 9-3 Convertible. The car is the perfect accessory to her fast-paced designer career. In an equally chic move, Saab’s New York metro area dealers are auctioning off the two convertibles used in the production of the movie and donating all of the proceeds to Dress for Success New York, a not-for-profit organization that helps low-income women make a transition into the workforce or retain their existing job. The auction takes place on ABC Auctions, presented by eBay (www.abcauctions.com or www.ebaymotors.com) from September 27, 2002 to October 3, 2002.

“In the wake of 9/11, the women of New York have faced one challenge after another —from the immediate aftermath of the tragedy to its ongoing economic impact,” said Joi Gordon, Executive Director of Dress for Success. “Sweet Home Alabama was one of the first movies filmed in New York City following the tragedy, and we believe that this auction and its support of Dress for Success New York will make a difference in the lives of the women throughout the region who are determined to overcome obstacles and reach for their dreams. We sincerely thank Saab’s metro New York dealers for their generosity.” Each Dress for Success client receives one suit when she has a job interview, a second suit when she gets the job, and ongoing support to help her build a successful career.

The popular Saab 9-3 Convertible is an open-top, four-seasons car that features a turbocharged engine with 205 horsepower for excellent real-world performance. It provides generous room for four occupants, sports car ride and handling and a comprehensive list of standard safety and convenience features that provide exceptional value.

In the romantic comedy “Sweet Home Alabama,” New York fashion designer Melanie Carmichael suddenly finds herself engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor, but her past holds many secrets, including Jake, the redneck husband she married in high school, who refuses to divorce her. Bound and determined to end their contentious relationship once and for all, Melanie sneaks back home to Alabama to confront her past. As Melanie discovers that falling in love a second time is even better than the first, she realizes that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the girl.

Saab Cars USA, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab Automobile AB, is the importer and distributor of Saab 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles and is headquartered in Norcross, GA, near Atlanta. Saab Automobile AB, owned by General Motors, is active in more than 50 countries worldwide.

ABC Auctions (www.abcauctions.com) presented by eBay is an online marketplace from the Walt Disney Internet Group. The site features authentic, rare and one-of-a-kind entertainment collectibles and memorabilia from favorite ABC television shows, movies and celebrities.

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Debra Kelly-Ennis Appointed President and Chief Operating Officer

Posted on 16. Sep, 2002 by .

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1109803 Debra Kelly Ennis Appointed President and Chief Operating Officer

Photo Credit: Saab Cars, USA, Inc.

2002-09-16

Debra Kelly-Ennis Appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Saab Cars, USA, Inc.

NORCROSS, Ga ? Debra Kelly-Ennis has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer for Saab Cars USA, effective October 1, 2002. She will report to Mikael Eliasson, Vice President Sales and Marketing of Saab Automobile and chairman of Saab Cars USA, Inc. Debra will be based in Norcross, GA.

“We expect the largest share of Saab?s global growth to continue to come from our single largest market ? the U.S.,” said Saab Automobile AB?s President and CEO, Peter Augustsson. “We have a clearly defined product strategy in place beginning with the launch of the all-new 9-3 Sport Sedan that spearheads the arrival of an entirely new family of vehicles. We are delighted to have Debra Kelly-Ennis join the Saab family. With her experience in marketing, sales and driving strong business results, she is highly qualified for the job,” he said.

Kelly-Ennis succeeds Dan Chasins, who has been appointed Executive Director, Future Product Planning reporting to Peter Augustsson.

?With his product knowledge and long term Saab experiences in the U.S. and Sweden, Dan has the competence we need to strengthen Saab?s advanced product planning,? said Augustsson.

Kelly-Ennis joined GM in 1999 as the brand manager for Chevrolet S-10 trucks, where she led the effort to revitalize one of the company?s top three volume brands, contributing to GM?s current truck leadership position. The responsibility included development of strategic product plans and launch direction for the all-new 2004 Chevrolet Colorado.

She was promoted to the position of Oldsmobile general manager in 2000. Over the past year, Kelly-Ennis has led the challenging phase-out of Oldsmobile, including the
successful redeployment of personnel, effectively managing dealer relations and marketing
Oldsmobile products.

Darwin Clark, GM vice president industry-dealer affairs will assume the added responsibility of completing the Oldsmobile phase-out. Clark has played an integral role in the dealer transition plan and phase out since it was announced in December 1999.

Prior to joining General Motors, Kelly-Ennis held senior marketing, sales and general manager positions with leading companies such as RJR/Nabisco and Grand Metropolitan, PLC.

?Saab has always stood for cars with great personality derived from their unique design, powertrains, and vehicle dynamics,? said Bob Lutz, GM Vice Chairman of Product Development. ?We see a bright and promising future for Saab. It will continue to more effectively leverage GM?s global product development resources and will be supported by a substantial new model plan with the first evidence being our current launch of the all-new 9-3 Sport Sedan. Debra?s specific knowledge of the U.S. market, and great business sense gives her solid credentials to lead the team in the execution of Saab?s five year growth plan.?

Kelly-Ennis earned a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Texas in 1979 and a master of business administration in marketing from the University of Houston in 1981. She also completed the executive leadership program at Harvard Business School. She is a member of the Pulte Corporation Board of Directors – one of the nation?s largest publicly traded home building companies ? where she serves as chairman of the nominating committee and as a member of the audit committee.

Saab Cars USA, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab Automobile AB, is the importer and distributor of Saab 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles and is headquartered in Norcross, GA, near Atlanta. Saab Automobile AB, owned by General Motors, is active in more than 50 countries worldwide.

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Saab Offers Latest Generation Onstar System Standard On All Models

Posted on 01. Sep, 2002 by .

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2002-9-1

SAAB FOR 2002: SAAB ONSTAR

SAAB OFFERS LATEST GENERATION ONSTAR SYSTEM STANDARD ON ALL MODELS

Saab is only European brand to provide advanced, voice-activated system standard

q Enhanced OnStar system supports Saab’s Real-Life Safety philosophy
q Voice-activated technology provides safer access
q Virtual Advisor provides access to Web-based services
q Saab includes 12 months of service
q Possible insurance discounts

Norcross, Ga. — For 2002, Saab promotes its tradition of innovation, technology and real-life safety by becoming the first European brand to introduce advanced, voice-activated on-board communication services standard in all of its U.S. models. This system — the latest generation OnStar — uses wireless technology and state-of-the-art voice recognition and text-to-speech technology to provide hands-free security, information and concierge services.
OnStar uses Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and wireless communication to link the driver and vehicle to the 24-hour OnStar Center, where advisors provide real-time, personalized help. OnStar’s safety-enhancing services include automatic air bag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking, emergency services and roadside assistance with location and route support. For 2002, these services expand to include voice-activated, hands-free personal calling, in addition to hands-free access to e-mail and Internet-based services like stock quotes and personalized news and sports. Saab also provides 12 months of service standard with each vehicle.

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OnStar and Real-Life Safety
OnStar takes Saab’s Real-Life Safety philosophy to a new level. For example, the system will automatically place an emergency call if the airbags (front or side) are deployed in a crash. The call is received as a priority at the OnStar Center with the vehicle’s location and the phone number of local emergency authorities instantly appearing on the advisor’s screen.
If a Saab is stolen, the owner can initiate remote tracking by calling OnStar and providing the correct security code. OnStar will then contact local authorities and locate the vehicle, guiding the police to the vehicle’s location.

Concierge Services Help Make Life a Bit Easier
The OnStar system also provides Saab’s customers with a 24-hour connection to concierge services like:
§ Real-time, advisor-assisted route guidance — OnStar’s database contains over five million listings of businesses, ATMs and more
§ Personal assistance with services such as booking hotel reservations or airline tickets, ordering flowers or 100 other customized services
§ Roadside assistance
§ Vehicle location assistance when parked in a crowded lot by flashing the vehicle’s lights and activating the horn.

Voice-activated System Provides Safer Access
The OnStar system in 2002 Saab models is a hands-free, voice-activated interface. This type of system is more convenient and easier to use than a system that requires a driver to use a telephone keypad or study a console display.
“Our customers, who are among the highest Internet users of any car brand, are demanding enhanced communication services for their car,” said Sean McNamara, Saab’s U.S. Director of Product Planning. “Therefore, we are continually searching for safer platforms to offer these services. OnStar’s latest generation system is an excellent solution for Saab owners.”
There are nearly 75 million cell phone users in the U.S. and research indicates that 50 to 80 percent of that cell use occurs in the vehicle.
“OnStar provides our owners with valuable safety and security features and exciting communication tools, all delivered in a safety-conscious manner,” adds McNamara.
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With the voice-activated interface, OnStar subscribers just need to press the “white dot” button once and then use simple voice prompts to make a personal call or receive access to Internet-based services. The touch of the OnStar button or the emergency key connects the driver with an OnStar advisor.
The simplicity of a one-touch wireless connection and ease of hands-free communication allow a driver to keep both hands on the wheel of their Saab and their eyes on the road.

Virtual Advisor provides access to Internet-based information*
OnStar’s personalized in-vehicle communications and information system, Virtual Advisor, provides up-to-date information like weather, stock reports, sports, news and e-mail. An owner can customize the information through a personalized OnStar web page accessed through www.saabusa.com. The information can then be accessed from the vehicle and delivered through the audio system. The subscriber just needs to provide simple commands like “Get my e-mail,” or “Get my stock quotes,” to receive the information from Virtual Advisor. The system can be interrupted and given commands at any time while activated.
The latest OnStar system also includes Personal Calling through a nationwide wireless service, and places a completely integrated, voice-activated hands-free phone in the vehicle. Each vehicle will have its own phone number for incoming and
outgoing calls to any number, providing a safer way to place a call while driving. Subscribers pre-purchase minutes on their personal Saab OnStar web page. These minutes are required for use of Virtual Advisor and are an additional charge to the included 12 months of service.

Program Pricing**
Saab is the only European brand to provide such extensive voice-activated services as standard equipment across its entire model range. Saab provides 12 months of service with all 2002 vehicles.
After the initial 12 months, a Saab owner can choose a program that meets his or her personal navigational and communication needs.

Possible Insurance Discounts
Saab owners who have an active OnStar subscription may be eligible for a discount
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on their auto insurance premium due to the system’s theft recovery system. The amount of
the discount ranges from 15 percent to 30 percent and varies by state and insurance company, so owners should contact their agent for further information.

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* Requires activation and additional fee. An OnStar subscription and advance payment for Personal Calling minutes are required. Additional usage charges may apply. May not be available in all markets. OnStar voice recognition system may not work with all voices. Please note: OnStar uses existing emergency service providers and cellular telephone and satellite technologies. Vehicle electrical system must be operating for OnStar to work.

** Service contract required after one year for continuation of OnStar service.

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Saab Reveals Saab Combustion Control System Which Reduces Fuel Consumption and Exhaust Emissions

Posted on 01. Sep, 2002 by .

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svgallery=2002_SCC

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile


2002-9-1

SAAB REVEALS SAAB COMBUSTION CONTROL SYSTEM WHICH REDUCES FUEL CONSUMPTION AND EXHAUST EMISSIONS

The Saab Combustion Control (SCC) system is a new engine control system developed to lower fuel consumption while radically reducing exhaust emissions, without impairing engine performance. By mixing a large volume of exhaust gases into the combustion process, Saab’s fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 10 percent, and exhaust emissions lowered enough to comply with the California Ultra Low Emission Vehicle 2 (ULEV2) requirements, set to take effect in 2005. Compared to today’s Saab engines with equivalent performance, this will reduce the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions by almost half, and will cut the nitrogen oxide emissions by 75 percent.

Three main components of the SCC concept

The SCC system is based on a combination of direct injection of gasoline, variable valve timing and variable spark gap. Unlike the direct injection systems available on the market today, the SCC system puts to use the benefits of direct injection, but without disturbing the ideal air-to-fuel ratio (14.6:1 = lambda 1) necessary for a conventional three-way catalytic converter to perform satisfactorily.

The most important components of the SCC system are:

Air-assisted fuel injection with turbulence generator

The injector unit and spark plug are integrated into one unit known as the spark plug injector (SPI). The fuel is injected directly into the cylinder by means of compressed air. Immediately before the fuel is ignited in low torque conditions, a second brief blast of air creates turbulence in the cylinder, which facilitates combustion and shortens the combustion time.

Variable valve timing
The SCC system uses camshafts with variable cam timing, which enables the opening and closing of the inlet and exhaust valves to be steplessly varied. This
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allows exhaust gases to be mixed into the combustion air in the cylinder, which puts to use the benefits of direct injection while maintaining the value of lambda 1 under almost all operating conditions. In low torque conditions, the exhaust gases compose up to 70 percent of the cylinder contents during combustion. The exact proportion depends on the prevailing operating conditions – with the proportion of exhaust gas to ambient air decreasing as the torque demand increases.

Variable spark plug gap with high spark energy
The spark plug gap is variable between 1 and 3.5 mm. A central electrode in the spark plug injector strikes a spark to either a fixed earth electrode 3.5 mm away (in low torque) or to an earth electrode on the piston (under high torque). The variable spark gap together with a high spark firing energy (80 mJ) is essential for igniting an air/fuel mixture that may have a high percentage of exhaust gases.

Catalyst still most important emission control element
The three-way catalytic converter is still the most important single exhaust emission control component. During normal operation, it will catalyze up to 99 percent of the harmful chemical compounds in the exhaust gases.
The inside of the catalytic converter consists of a perforated core, the walls of which are coated with a precious metal catalyst (platinum and rhodium). The precious metal coating traps carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the exhaust gases and enables these substances to react with one another so that the end product will be carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O) and nitrogen (N2).

Weaknesses of catalytic converter

Although it is highly effective in neutralizing the harmful substances in the exhaust gases, the catalytic converter suffers certain limitations. For the three-way catalyst to be fully effective, its temperature must be around 400oC (752°F). The catalyst has no emission control effect immediately after the engine has been started from cold (the concept of ‘starting from cold’ is not related to the weather conditions or the ambient temperature, but in this context denotes all starting circumstances in which the engine coolant temperature is below 80oC (185°F).
Moreover, the proportion of free oxygen in the exhaust gases must be kept constant. The amount of oxygen, in turn, is decided by the air/fuel ratio in the cylinder during combustion. The ideal ratio is 1 part fuel to 14.6 parts air (i.e. lambda = 1) by mass. As a
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general rule, if the mixture is richer, i.e. if the proportion of fuel is higher, the emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC) will increase. If the mixture is leaner, i.e. if the amount of fuel is lower, the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions will increase.
Other than converting CO to CO2 for emission control, the catalytic converter does not significantly affect the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced, which is directly related to the amount of gasoline consumed. The lower the fuel economy, the greater the carbon dioxide emissions.
Much of the work of designing less polluting gas engines therefore has two objectives – to achieve the lowest possible fuel consumption, and to ensure that the catalyst is at optimum working conditions during most of the operating time. These are the guidelines that have been followed in the development of the SCC system.

Conventional direct injection for lower fuel consumption…

In an engine with a conventional injection system, the gasoline is injected into the intake manifold, where it is mixed with the combustion air and is drawn into the cylinder. But part of the gas is deposited on the sides of the intake manifold, and extra fuel must then be injected, particularly when the engine is started from cold, to ensure that the necessary amount of fuel will reach the cylinder.
Direct injection of gasoline was launched a few years ago by carmakers as a way of lowering the fuel consumption. Since gas is injected directly into the cylinder, the fuel consumption can be controlled more accurately, and the amount of fuel injected is limited to that necessary for each individual combustion process. In such cases, it is not necessary for the entire cylinder to be filled with an ignitable mixture of fuel and air, and is sufficient if only the fuel/air mixture nearest to the spark plug is ignitable. The remainder of the cylinder is filled with air.

…but higher nitrogen oxide emissions
This leaner fuel/air mixture results in lower fuel consumption under certain operating conditions, but makes it impossible to use a conventional three-way catalytic converter to neutralize the nitrogen oxide emissions. A special catalytic converter with a ‘nitrogen oxide trap’ must be used instead.
Compared to conventional three-way catalytic converters, these special converters suffer a number of major disadvantages. In the first place, they are more expensive to produce, since they have higher contents of precious metals. Moreover, they are more temperature-sensitive and require cooling when under heavy load, which is usually done
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by injecting extra fuel into the engine. The nitrogen oxide trap must also be regenerated when full, i.e. the stored nitrogen oxide must be removed periodically, which is done by the engine being run briefly on a richer fuel/air mixture. Both cooling and regeneration have a significant effect on the fuel consumption.
In addition, special catalytic converters of this type are sensitive to sulphur, and the engine must therefore be run on fuel with extremely low sulphur content. The gasoline desulphurizing process causes higher carbon dioxide emissions from the refinery.

Direct injection and lambda 1 with SCC

In creating the SCC system, Saab engineers have developed a way of putting to use the benefits of direct injection, while still maintaining lambda 1. Compressed air is used to inject the fuel directly into the cylinder through the spark plug injector. However, unlike other direct injection systems, the cylinder is still supplied with only a sufficient amount of air to achieve lambda 1. The remainder of the cylinder is filled with exhaust gases from the previous combustion process.
The benefit of using exhaust gases instead of air for making up the cylinder fill is that the exhaust gases are inert. They add no oxygen to the combustion process, and they therefore do not affect the lambda 1 ratio.
Therefore, the SCC system does not require a special catalytic converter and performs well with a conventional three-way catalyst. Moreover, the exhaust gases are very hot, and they therefore occupy a large volume, while also providing a beneficial supply of heat to the combustion process.

Reduced pumping losses for lower fuel consumption
At the same time, the SCC system helps minimize pumping losses. These normally occur when the engine is running at low load and the throttle is not fully open. The piston in the cylinder then operates under a partial vacuum during the suction stroke in order to draw in the air. The principle is roughly the same as when you retract a tire pump plunger while covering the air opening with your thumb. The extra energy needed for pulling down the piston requires increased fuel consumption.
In an SCC engine, the cylinder is supplied with only the amount of fuel and air needed for the operating conditions at any particular time. The remainder of the cylinder is filled with inert exhaust gases. The pumping losses are reduced since there is little resistance on the piston intake stroke. With the exhaust valve held open and no throttle plate restriction, the engine can freely draw in the correct proportion of air and inert exhaust gas to achieve lambda 1.
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Different sparks for different operating conditions

The fuel/air mixture in the cylinders of a car with an SCC system consists mainly of exhaust gases and air. The exhaust gases account for 60 – 70 percent of the combustion chamber volume, while 29 – 39 percent is air, and less than 1 percent is occupied by the gasoline. The exact relationships depend on the prevailing operating conditions. As a general rule, a higher proportion of exhaust gases is used when the engine is running at low load, and a lower proportion when it is running at high load.
An ignition system that provides good spark firing quality is needed to ignite a gas mixture consisting of such a high proportion of exhaust gases and to ensure that the mixture will burn quickly enough. A large amount of energy must be applied locally in the combustion chamber. In the SCC system, this is achieved by employing a variable spark gap and a high spark firing energy (80 mJ).
The spark gap is variable between 1 and 3.5 mm. At low load, the spark is fired from the central electrode in the spark plug injector to a fixed earth electrode at a distance of 3.5 mm. (A normal spark plug gap is less than 1 mm.) At high load, the spark is fired later, and the gas density in the combustion chamber is then too high for the spark to bridge a gap of 3.5 mm. A pin on the piston is then used as the earth electrode. The spark will be struck to the electrode on the piston (1 mm gap).

SCC developed by Saab
The Saab Combustion Control system has been developed at the Saab Engine Development Department, which is also the Center of Expertise for the development of turbocharged gasoline engines in the GM Group. The variable spark gap in the SCC system is a further development of the spark-to-piston concept that Saab unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1995. In the air-assisted direct injection system, Saab engineers are cooperating with the Australian company Orbital.
The SCC system is a ‘global’ engine system, since it meets the demands in the U.S., where greatest emphasis is placed on limiting the nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbon emissions, and also those in Europe, where greater emphasis is placed on the carbon dioxide emissions.

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Production Concept