Archive for August, 2007

Saab 9-3 Drive Event, Washington, D.C. – Part 1

Posted on 30. Aug, 2007 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab History

On Monday, August 27th I participated in the 2008 Saab 9-3 Media Drive Program that took place here in my home city, Washington, D.C.

I was part of the first wave of the 2008 9-3 Drive Program which covered Monday evening and Tuesday morning and afternoon. On Monday evening, I was greeted to a welcome reception at none other than the House of Sweden beginning at 6pm, followed by welcoming remarks and a dinner then an optional after dinner discussion at the Degrees Lounge at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown at 9pm.

It was at this first part of the 9-3 drive program that I got a chance to see Steve Shannon again, following the Saab Owners Convention as well as meet other Saab Automobile Sweden individuals. The other individuals that I met were Knut Simonsson, the Executive Director for Saab Global Sales and Marketing, Andreas Andersson, Saab Sweden’s Product Engineer and Peter Johansson, Saab Sweden’s Chassis Engineering.

Over dinner at the House of Sweden, there were a number of important speeches with regards to Saab Automobile’s future, but the one that stood out the most indicated that Saab Automobile’s future production is “secured” in Trollhättan for a number of new models coming down the line. This was by far, extremely positive news and finally puts to rest any rumors about questional presence in Trollhättan.

As many of us left the House of Sweden to be greeted by a number of MY 2008 9-7x Aeros for our return back to the hotel, many of us including Saab Automobile employees chose to walk given the beautiful weather we had and the short walk back to the Ritz Carlton. As we returned to the hotel, many journalists enjoyed a detailed dialog in the degrees lounge about Saab Automobile’s future models and their position as an environmentally friendly car company. While news on the 9-4x and the 9-1 was not forthcoming for obvious reasons, the state of the Saab BioPower model variants were explicitly indicated to be arriving in the United States as model year 2009 which means that since we are already into model year 2008, those models should be available next fall here in the U.S.

This initial meet & greet at the House of Sweden organized by Saab Automobile USA was well received by all journalists including other media such as myself as well as Mike McGill representing Trollhattansaab.net as I heard over and over. We all realize just how very fortunate we were to have had this experience and were very excited as to what was in store for us the following morning, part 2.

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Saab 9-3 XWD Event – House of Sweden,Washington,D.C.

Posted on 27. Aug, 2007 by .

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dscn5614 Saab 9 3 XWD Event   House of Sweden,Washington,D.C.

Photo Credit: Saab History

The new 2008 Saab 9-3 XWD drive event begins today at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C. At this event, I plan on providing detailed coverage of this event in the home city of where Saabhistory.com all officially started a year ago, this month.

This is an exclusive engagement for journalists and other such media outlets and should be quite an exciting one in this growing market here in Washington, D.C.

In the meantime, enjoy the photograph I managed to take today for your enjoyment and please be patient while I get a well written summary of this event after the 1st wave ends Tuesday afternoon.

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2007 Saab Owners Convention – “Saab Roundtable”

Posted on 26. Aug, 2007 by .

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On Saturday morning, August 25th, the traditional Saab Roundtable took place. Thanks to Tom Nelson in sharing his camcorder, I was able to capture this event for the Saab Community to enjoy.

There are some very interesting aspects to this dialog between the Saab community & Saab Automobile USA namely on rally racing, diesels in the United States, the Dealership network and future product models.

I kindly ask you if you can, please add your comments below after watching this.

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Saab Owners Convention – Saturday, Day 3

Posted on 26. Aug, 2007 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab History

soc logo 2007 Saab Owners Convention   Saturday, Day 3The 25th annual Saab Owners Convention peaked on Saturday, August 25th which marked the 3rd day of the convention in Troy, Michigan.

The schedule for the day included similiar events as Friday for those that were unable to attend earlier as well as some nice additional engagements. The first notable engagement for the day was the classic Group photo that took place in the parking lot of the nearby Delphi corporation. I was unfortunately running late after doing some work in the morning, so thankfully I managed to get into the shot as well as snap a few of my own that I have included in the photographs above. I hope that I can provide a small version of this group photo for your review in the near future from the official photographer, Gary Tafoyas.

Following the group photo, we had the Saab USA Roundtable that was fully attended (standing room only). At the roundtable there were a number of questions from future product model questions that were posed to Saab USA as well as important questions about the state of the current Saab dealership network in the United States. The debates got very interesting and although it was clear that there just was not enough time to get every question answered, I think most in attendance appreciated a number of the answers that were returned from Jan-Willem Vester, John Libbos and Steve Shannon of Saab USA during this roundtable. Please note that I have filmed this entire engagement and will make it available in the near future.

The seminars on Saturday consisted of Chuck Andrews Oil Sludge updates, the Saab Corporation Collection by Peter Backstrom, curator of the Saab Museum, Sweden to how to restore, refurbish or just prepare a Saab for driving by Tom Nelson, Bruce Harbison & Jerry Danner of the Rocky Mountain Saab Club who will be running the Saab Owners Convention in 2009.

The Born From Jets mobile trailer was a wonderful attraction that was setup in the main parking lot with vendors surrounding the display. At the Born From Jets mobile trailer, there was an Aero-X concept car replica present, 9-7x DUB concept car as well as the new 9-3 models prominently displayed. Adjacent to the Born From Jets trailer, Saab Expressions also had a tent selling clothing and model cars which was a nice addition to the trailer. It is notable that the one-of-a-kind Saab 9000 CD two-door car built by ASC was also present.

Following the tour of the Born From Jets Trailer and vendor spaces in the main parking lot, I was off to tour the second installment of the tour of Custom Automotive Services (CAS) took place where Saab Convention attendees got to visit 3 of the 7 nondescript and non-publicly accesible warehouses that store the Saab USA Heritage Collection to just about every other vehicle in General Motors fleet which are located nearby in Sterling Heights, Michigan. It was truly incredible to see some of the vehicles in this collection and as a Saab Enthusiast, even some of the non-Saab vehicles were noteworthy.

The third day of the Saab Owners Convention culminated on Saturday night at the General Motors Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan not too far from the Hilton Hotel where the convention is headquartered.

All of the speakers and presenters at the dinner at the Heritage Center had quite the venue for such an occasion which really helped to properly place Saab Automobile’s presence within the General Motors portfolio for the better. It was at this appropriate location where we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner encircled by General Motors most cherished concept cars and other such vehicles where I heard over and over by attendees that here at the dinner is where they were finally convinced that they were comfortable about the General Motors ownership of the Saab Automobile brand.

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Saab Owners Convention – Friday, Day 2

Posted on 25. Aug, 2007 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab History

soc logo 2007 Saab Owners Convention   Friday, Day 2Today, Friday August 24th was an incredible day for the Saab Owners Convention that was, for the most part, held indoors due to the rain and other storms that have recently passed through the area.

There were events over the course of the day to mention here as I write this update, but I can attest to having had some of the most memorable experiences I have had at Saab Conventions.

The day began with a breakfast at 7am in parallel to a parts tent opening nearby that was sold out almost as quickly as it opened. I managed to grab a few of the free t-shirts and other goodies that I could given the massive frenzy that surrounded the highly discounted parts tent area.

Later in the morning the seminars began which included the million mile Saab by Peter Gilbert, Four Wheel Drive Technical Discussion (extremely interesting) to peformance upgrades by Jak Stoll wrapping up with a very detailed presentation by John Libbos of Saab Cars, USA on Eco Power and XWD Systems.

Following most of the seminars, many of us drove over to “Custom Automotive Services” restoration shop that have been responsible for restoring many of the Saab USA Heritage collection cars to showroom condition. This tour we had at the shop was very educational and in many ways amazing by how the shop could take something that would normally be designated as junk and converting it into a fully operational brand new machine without anyone being able to tell that it was restored.

In between the rain, I also did get a chance to get some snapshots of the concours photographs in the back parking lot of the hotel as well as a vintage ride out front of the hotel thanks to Jerry Danner of the Rocky Mountain Saab Club’s who restored a beautiful SAAB 96. I managed to get some inside and outside footage, thanks to Tom Nelson, also of the Rocky Mountain Saab Club.

The final conclusion to the days activities included the new Saab 9-3 launch here in the United States with the new President of Saab Automobile, USA, Steve Shannon.

During this ceremonial unveiling of the new Saab 9-3, there was a nice suprise visit by none other than Jay Spenchian who was extremely excited and was happy to see many of us again.

The culminating photo of the day consisted of a group photo of Jay Spenchian, Bob Sinclair and Steve Shannon. All in all it was a terrific day given the scattered showers we all endured throughout the events and activities.

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2007 Saab Owners Convention – Day 1, Cont.

Posted on 24. Aug, 2007 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab History

soc logo 2007 2007 Saab Owners Convention   Day 1, Cont.The Saab Owners Convention has official started following the track event earlier in the morning.

The second half of the day included more or less a meet & greet for everyone as well as a sponsor dinner and most importantly, registration for the convention, which did not begin until 9pm.

During this time, many people also got the opportunity to enjoy Saabhistory’s Television channel program that was prominently displayed in the main lobby as well as available in all of the hotel rooms 24-hours a day throughout the duration of the convention. This television program consisted of approximately 200+ videos covering approximately 20 hours of footage from the film archive.

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2007 Saab Owners Convention – Thursday, Day 1

Posted on 24. Aug, 2007 by .

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it4i2247 600 2007 Saab Owners Convention   Thursday, Day 1

Photo Credit: Saab Aero Academy

soc logo 2007 2007 Saab Owners Convention   Thursday, Day 1The first day of the Saab Owners Convention began on August 23rd, 2007 where there were a number of attendees who met at the Waterford Hills race track for the “Saab Track Event”

Although I was unable to attend, I understand that those who did attend, really enjoyed the experience, especially at the high speeds that they managed to endure during the event.

One individual unfortunately from Canada was not as lucky as most as he ended up coming in connection with a wall with his new generation Saab 900 convertible.

dscn5430.thumbnail 2007 Saab Owners Convention   Thursday, Day 1

For everyone else, it was a great time and the weather held up quite nicely. I also understand that there was some video footage taken of the event that I hope we can get a hold of as well to share with you here.

If you are interested in receiving a CD of convention photographs including those from the Track Event, I can put you in touch with the convention photographer, Gary Tafoyas. Please contact me here if interested.

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Saab History Heads to Saab Owners Convention

Posted on 23. Aug, 2007 by .

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dscn1601 600 Saab History Heads to Saab Owners Convention

Photo Credits: Saab History

I am off to the Saab Owners Convention. If you have not yet registered, it is not too late to buy a day pass.

See you in Troy, Michigan for the 25th annual Saab Owners Convention!

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