The Saab Automobile Mavic Bicycling Partnership

Posted on 27. May, 2008 by in 2000-2009

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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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