Archive for May, 2008

Sweden takes the lead in the race to reduce CO2

Posted on 29. May, 2008 by .

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This just in from Saab Automobile Sweden on their BioPower program.

2008-05-28

flagSE Sweden takes the lead in the race to reduce CO2

Sweden takes the lead in the race to reduce CO2

Sales of bioethanol cars reach 100,000.

The market for E85 flex-fuelled cars is booming. Saab, the largest seller of flex-fuel cars in Europe, recently delivered the 100,000th flex-fuel car in the Swedish market – a Saab 9-3 BioPower. In fact, Saab BioPower models have been the main contributor to Sweden’s leading position in the switch to renewable fuels within Europe.

It took seven years to sell the first 300 flex-fuel cars in Sweden. Six years later there were 50,000 on the roads. An additional 50,000 flex-fuel cars have been sold during the last 15 months alone – proof that the market is truly expanding. A joint strategy between central and local government, fuel producers, retailers and car manufacturers has been a key to this success.

Johan Bergstad, a private car buyer from Stockholm, recently became the owner of the 100,000th bioethanol car: “In addition to the environmental factors, buying a flex-fuelled car offers many economical benefits. Tax reductions, no congestion charges and a lot of free parking certainly make a difference.”

“Bioethanol is one of several solutions for a more sustainable future,” says Anna Langenius, Manager for BioPower at Saab. “The infrastructure is in place, the technology is established and we consider it to be the best solution available today to slow down the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.” The first Saab 9-5 BioPower car was launched in 2005. Since then, Saab has experienced a rapid growth in sales of its BioPower models. The right timing and a unique product offer gave Saab an important head-start. Benefits of Saab’s turbo technology makes it possible to offer an engine that produces up to 30 hp more when driving on bioethanol E85, whilst also significantly lowering overall CO2 impact on a source-to-wheel basis, compared to petrol.

“We know that consumers will gladly embrace new environmental technology as long as they are not penalized or inconvenienced for doing so,” concludes Anna Langenius.

CONTACT(S):

Anna Langenius
Manager BioPower
anna.langenius@se.saab.com

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American Airlines Divests Eagle Operations With Saab 340s

Posted on 27. May, 2008 by .

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eagle American Airlines Divests Eagle Operations With Saab 340s

Photo Credit: Saab History / Worcester, MA Airport taken on May 13th, 2001

According to Flight Global, American Airlines has plans to divest it’s American Eagle operations which includes 34 SAAB 340b Turboprop airplanes.

Here is the writeup on this decision by American Airlines:

American Airlines to divest of Eagle division as part of capacity cuts

By Mary Kirby

AMR is pressing forward with plans to divest its wholly owned regional American Eagle Airlines even as it prepares to slash the carrier’s fleet and reduce feeder services to sister American Airlines in response to record-high fuel costs and growing economic concerns.

The company in November 2007 said it would consider a spin-off to shareholders or a sale to a third party this year, among other options. A separation is still in the works despite AMR’s announcement that as many as 40 regional jets, plus an unidentified number of turboprops, will be culled at Eagle to facilitate a 10-11% reduction in regional affiliate capacity in the fourth quarter.

This is in addition to the retirement of up to 45 aircraft operated by American – mostly Boeing MD-80s, but some Airbus A300s – which is in line with a reduction in fourth quarter domestic mainline domestic capacity of 11-12%. Service cuts and thousands of job losses are expected as a result, as well as the potential closure of some facilities.

“We are moving aggressively to stabilise the economics of our core airline business, while moving forward with initiatives – including the divestiture of American Eagle and [investment advisory] American Beacon – that we believe will unlock value for you and your fellow owners of the company,” says AMR chief executive Gerard Arpey.

It remains to be seen if the sale of Eagle will pose a challenge to AMR. The carrier owns a large fleet of small regional jets – aircraft that face increasing pressure in today’s tough operating environment. Flight’s ACAS database lists Fort Worth, Texas-headquartered American Eagle as operating 25 Bombardier CRJ700s, 38 Embraer ERJ-135s, 59 ERJ-140s, and 29 Saab 340B turboprops. Executive Airlines – which flies as American Eagle from San Juan – operates 39 ATR 72 turboprops.

Divestiture of Eagle is less about making money “and more about a return to sane strategy” where costs can be better controlled, says Richard Aboulafia, vice-president analysis at Teal Group. “I never understood why any mainline carrier would want to own its own feeder. That’s like outsourcing to your own factory. How do you pressure them for costs?”

AMR has stayed mum about what regional types will be affected by the fleet cuts. Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Linenberg in his latest report says aircraft most likely to be removed are the 37-seat ERJ-135 jets, which “probably aren’t even close to hitting break-even at current fuel prices”. Among Eagle’s turboprops, he says, “it would seem that some or all of the 34 Saab 340Bs are the best candidates for removal”.

Should Saab 340Bs be cut from the fleet, Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL) chief executive Michael Magnusson believes the market can soak them up, but notes: “Obviously it depends on how many come out how quickly.” Also in question is whether the turboprops would even be put up for sale. A large batch of Eagle Saab 340Bs have been parked since 9/11. “Eagle has refused to sell them in case they need them. Now it will be interesting to see if they will change that policy,” says Magnusson.

Source: Mary Kirby / Flight Global

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The Saab Automobile Mavic Bicycling Partnership

Posted on 27. May, 2008 by .

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mavica 600 The Saab Automobile Mavic Bicycling Partnership

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

In the beginning of 2008, Saab Automobile have partnered with Mavic, a company with a long history of bicycling that began in France.

This partnership involves Saab Automobile offering Mavic a fleet of Saab 9-3 SportCombis for their bicycling tours.

Below is the writeup from the recent Saab Magazine that further describes this partnership between Saab Automobile & Mavic.

MAVIC, LIKE SAAB, is a company with a long and illustrious history in its field. Mavic began in late 19th-century France manufacturing spare parts for bicycles.

A curious turn of events in a French cycle race in 1972 led to a company expanding the scope of its business. When a team manager’s car broke down, Mavic’s then president Bruno Gormand decided to lend the team his car to help them out. He then came up with the idea of a free, neutral assistance service for all riders, the impartiality of which would benefit both teams and riders.

Today, the ‘Neutral Assistance’ service is revered by cyclists the world over. As well as being present at nearly 20 events across the US, the 2008 itinerary will send the team to locations as diverse as Qatar, Japan, Poland, and Burkina Faso, not to mention the world’s most famous cycle race, the Tour de France.

A Natural Partner

When Mavic USA was looking for a fleet of support vehicles, Saab’s automotive expertise came into play–and, starting this year, Saab is the official neutral support car of Mavic USA. But why Saab?

Firstly, and most critically, the fleet must be reliable in the extreme-the consequences of a recovery vehicle breaking down in inhospitable terrain don’t bear thinking about. The fleet of 9-3 SportCombi vehicles offers customary Saab reliability, as well as outstanding comfort and intuitive cockpit controls– all essential components when support drivers will be behind the wheel for at least five hours a day, for tours lasting up to eight days.

In addition to interior comfort and extreme reliability, the driving experience must be responsive and smooth, as many races cover mountainous terrain featuring plenty of tight hairpin bends. Saab once again ticked all the right boxes, with the sporty, precise handling of the SportCombi proving ideal.

Due to vehicle height restrictions the 9-7X was not suitable for use under race conditions, but Mavic has still chosen to make use of the tremendous versatility of Saab’s SUV to transport equipment between events.

Mavic has already signed up the Saab fleet for its first intercontinental trip- the 2009 Tour de France, no less!

Source: Saab Magazine 1/2008

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The Use and Promotion of “EcoBoost” Technology

Posted on 27. May, 2008 by .

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ford ecoboost The Use and Promotion of EcoBoost Technology

Photo Credit: Saab History

As an attendee to the Washington, D.C. Auto Show this past January, I visited a number of automobile manufacturers displays and literally stood still when I arrived at one where I found the following sign below promoting “ecoboost”.

This automobile manufacturer that is promoting this technology is Ford, yes the same company that owns Saab’s Swedish competition, Volvo. While I find this blatant hijacking of Saab’s turbocharging technology & product branding by Ford, completely unacceptable, I find it even more unacceptable that this this is going unchallenged by Saab Automobile.

Saab Automobile has been turbocharging their vehicles since 1978, beginning with the Saab 99. This year marks Saab’s 30th Anniversary of Turbocharging, a time tested and proven technology that they own, and as far as I am concerned, they should be the only ones to own it, aside of SCANIA of course, Saab’s former truck partner where the technology originally started during the Saab-Scania era.

Moving forward, what do you think about this “ecoboost” branded turbocharging technology from Ford? Doesn’t it sound a little too close to Saab’s turbocharged “ecopower” technology? This cannot be a coincidence here, can it?

Please post your comments below.

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1995 – Saab Ecopower : Saab Innovation

Posted on 27. May, 2008 by .

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In 1995, Saab Automobile’s engine development took a new direction with an innovation initially as a concept called “ecopower” which was a new technology for turbocharged engines that was presented at the Franktfurt Motor Show.

This technology stands for high performance combined with environmental and economical concerns. The turbocharging technology is a vital component to this development along with Saab’s Trionic engine management system.

The Saab ecopower system ensures that the engine is running as cleanly and economically as possible, at all times.

ecopowerengine 1995   Saab Ecopower : Saab Innovation

1995: Ecopower – Saab’s engine development does not simply focus on performance. Power should be instantly available but not at the expense of economy and environmental concern. Ecopower is the collective name for our efforts in this field. Turbo, ignition, engine management and catalytic converters are not treated as separate units, but are optimised to create a harmonious power source

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Saab Automobile France Launches BioPower Website

Posted on 27. May, 2008 by .

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bf Saab Automobile France Launches BioPower Website

Saab Automobile France has recently launched their own BioPower website, check it out.

On a side note, couldn’t they have had a more identifiable website domain like saabbiopower.fr?

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Saab Document Site Launched By Saab Enthusiast

Posted on 26. May, 2008 by .

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docs Saab Document Site Launched By Saab Enthusiast

A Saab enthusiast has recently launched a website called Saab Docs for the purpose of archiving instruction manuals for all sorts of parts as well as accessories that have fallen on the wayside over the years.

This commendable initiative to save the past and keep it alive for currrent customers today is very appreciated. I think it’s particularly interesting to hear that the enthusiast clearly emphasizes that this site is here due to GM’s cost cutting procedures which have apparently removed the helpful instruction manuals that we have come to expect over the years with our parts and accessories.

Here is the website, http://www.saabdocs.com and here is the purpose for the site written in the enthusiasts own words below:

Welcome to SaabDocs

Saab always used to supply instructions with many of their accessories. This, increasingly, appears not to be the case (Probably as a result of GM cost-cutting?)

Most genuine Saab accessories now appear to be supplied without instructions.

So where do you go for installation instructions? Well, you could ask your dealer or supplying Saab specialist. Or you could use this website, SaabDocs. icon wink Saab Document Site Launched By Saab Enthusiast

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My Saab European Delivery Experience By Jay Klein

Posted on 26. May, 2008 by .

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1 My Saab European Delivery Experience By Jay Klein
Photo Credits: Jay Klein

Jay Klein who has recently participated in the Saab Aero Academy, has provided Saab History an absolutely incredible writeup about his experience taking the opportunity to participate in the Saab European Delivery Program in 2007.

It’s clear that the Saab European Delivery Program in the United States needs come back online soon.

Here is his account of the Saab European Delivery program in his own words:

Title: An American in Europe exposes and exploits a loophole!
Or: How to live in Europe and buy a car without paying the European taxes

In 2005 when our daughter was 18 months old my wife and I made the decision to move to my wife’s native country of Denmark. We were there for two years, after the first year my grandfather died and I received a small trust in 2007. Needless to say the money goes further in the USA than it does in Denmark. Since I needed a car, or would upon my return to the US, I started looking at cars. I had certain criteria. It had to be a wagon, it had to be a manual and it had to be fast. That eliminated pretty much everything made by the Big Three and all but Subaru for the Japanese. I liked the Legacy GT Spec B Wagon, but the price couldn’t justify it, not to mention that it’s not a big car.

That left the Germans and the Swedes, which opened up the European Delivery option. I liked the BMW 328xi, but even with a friend that sells them and the ED discount, it was still to far out of my price range. As was anything made by Mercedes Benz. The Audi A4 is to small for a(soon to be)family of 4 and the A6 is out of my price range. I did a lot of research on Volvos and Saabs and decided on the Saab 9-3 SportCombi Aero 6spd manual based on a number of things. The looks, price and performance being the biggest factors.

3 My Saab European Delivery Experience By Jay KleinAfter deciding how I wanted my car equipped, Titan Gray Metallic paint, grey leather interior with parchment inserts, cold weather package and the Touring package. No SAT/NAV, no OnStar roof rail delete. My experience began with calling Just Saab in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio to inquire about the benefits of European Delivery. I was quite impressed, $4000USD off the base price, discounts on the option packages you choose and a $2000USD check(yes, Saab actually sends YOU a check in YOUR name!)for travel expenses. The salesman at Just Saab, AJ Murphy, then suggested I come in for a test drive. He was very surprised to learn that I was calling him from Denmark! The power of VOIP internet! We started the paperwork, most of it done by fax and email, except what had to have my real signature

I picked my car up on July 2nd 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark without a hitch and drove across the country to Esbjerg. Two weeks later we left for Punta Marina, Italy for a weeks vacation on the Adriatic Sea. That was a 1000 mile trip that took two ten hour days of driving. I did the drive back straight through, 17 hours.

2 My Saab European Delivery Experience By Jay Klein2500+ clicks on the odometer through the traffic snarls and high heat of north central Italy and torrential rains in southern Germany can really test the mettle of a new car. I’m happy to say that the 2007 9-3 SportCombi Aero handled it all with ease. We left Esbjerg, DK on Friday July 13th with Nurnberg, Germany as our destination, a little over half-way to Punta Marina, Italy. It took 10 hours to get to Nurnberg and another 10 hour day to get to Punta Marina. According to my GPS, we lost 3 hours sitting in traffic on Saturday. On Wednesday, July 18th the high temperature was +40C(104F) in Modena, Italy, we took that day and drove from the coast to the Ferrari factory in Maranello and my outdoor temp gauge read 104F. The A/C handled it without a strain. Saturday, the 21st saw us leaving Punta Marina at 7:30am, my wife didn’t know it yet, but my intention was to get home that day. Everything was smooth, until we started to climb into the Italian Alps and an accident stopped us dead for about an hour. Heavy traffic continued through Austria but cleared as we hit the German border. As soon as the first unlimited sign appeared, me, and about 20 turbo diesels, took off. For about 25 minutes we ran at a steady 95mph, then the sky opened. This was the hardest rain I’ve ever seen in my life and it hit all at once, no warning sprinkles, just like someone unzipped a big pouch in the sky. Again, the Saab handled it with ease, no hydroplaning from the 17 inch Continental ContiProContacts and the traction control never kicked in, even through the deepest water running across the Autobahn. Granted I had slowed down considerably. 9:30pm saw us 500km from home and the rain had stopped and the highways were drying rapidly. I put the cruise control on 100mph and blew through that 500km in 3 hours. Slowing down twice for exit ramps, I averaged 150 kilometers per hour or 93mph.

[…]

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