Archive for July, 2008

Saab XWD – The Leader in All Wheel Drive Technology

Posted on 30. Jul, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile Germany

This just in from Saab Automobile Germany, loosely translated from Babelfish.

Saab XWD – The Leader in All Wheel Drive Technology

Ultramodern all wheel system sets yardsticks with comfort, security and driving fun *
XWD technology now also in 210 HP the strong Saab 9-3 with 2,0-Liter-Turbomotor *
Gradual expansion of the all wheel offer on further engine variants in Russelsheim. *

The ultramodern Saab XWD (CROSS Wheel drive) – system sets new milestones in the all wheel technology and guarantees to the driver a maximum of control and active driving fun. All the same with which climatic conditions or on which underground, with Saab XWD are drivers and passengers sporty and above all surely on the way. The fully automatic system distributes permanently, depending upon need and driving conditions, torque between foremost and rear axle. It prevented thereby effectively over or under and keeps the car trace stable. Originally for the special requirements of the Swedish winter with snow and developed, the innovative all-wheel drive masters ice-smooth lanes owing to its thought out technology just as problem-free and reliably wet-with-rain or with leaves covered, slippery roads, as it brings the coming autumn and winter season back with itself.


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Saab History Welcomes Shaw Saab As Sponsor

Posted on 30. Jul, 2008 by .



Shaw Saab, a well known and respected Saab dealer in New England has joined Saab History as a site sponsor.

Shaw Saab now located in a new facility in Norwell, Massachusetts, originally had a dealership in Hingham, Massachusetts just in front of the port where the first SAAB 93bs arrived the United States back in 1956.

Please welcome Shaw Saab in continuing to support Saab’s History as an exclusive Saab Dealership in New England.

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Saab Sighting Of The Week – Portland, Maine

Posted on 29. Jul, 2008 by .



It is Tuesday and that means another installation of the “Saab Sighting Of the Week“.

saab_sighting_ssaabb_portland_maine_600.jpgAs I was visiting the Portland Museum of Art in downtown Portland, Maine recently, I stumbled upon a stunning 87-90 Saab 900 S in black with the Maine vanity plate “SSAABB”, clearly an indicator of a Saab Enthusiast, who cares about their Saab.

This sighting at this art museum reminds me of the last time I saw a well kept Saab 900 back in Washington, D.C. at the National Gallery of Art.

I guess it makes sense that those that appreciate art, would naturally appreciate the classic design of the Saab 900.

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U.S. Saab Dealerships Participate in Conference Call Today

Posted on 29. Jul, 2008 by .



U.S. Saab Dealerships nationwide are participating in a conference call today moderated by Steve Shannon, General Manager of Saab Automobile USA.

I have been told that there has been a lot of material confirmed at this meeting including the following in summarized format:


The sales organization team will be changed where the today and in the past, there was one individual responsible for all sales activities of Saab, now that person will have their responsibilities split up amongst similiar tasks spanning all of GM’s “premium brands”.

This change looks to be a prelude to lure the remaining exclusive Saab dealerships to become three-brand dealerships.


The Saab 9-4x is being driven already by Steve Shannon and others at the Milford Proving Grounds and will be here in 14 months (October, 2009)

The new Saab 9-5 will be here just shortly thereafter the 9-4x launch.

The Saab 9-3x Cross-Combi is confirmed, but the launch date has not been made available.


More advertisements coming from McCann-Erickson in 4th quarter reinstating the turbocharging technology, and in the 1st quarter of next year, the advertisements will include cross-wheel drive.

Certified Pre-Owned:

The Certified Pre-Owned program will be continued as before as it is strong.


The warranty has been officially reduced from 100,000 to 50,000 powertrain warranty for all 2009 models. Steve Shannon indicates that this shouldn’t have much of an effect because it only covers powertrain, and bumper-to-bumper is still covered in the original terms.


Saab Dealerships are very concerned that lease programs being ended will put them in a bad state but Saab USA believes that this is a way to stay competitive as Volvo and other brands have just reduced or eliminated their leasing programs.


Questions & Answers:

There was quite a bit of questions here which ran for nearly 30 minutes.



TO: All Saab Dealers and General Managers

SUBJECT: IMPORTANT REMINDER: July 29, 2008 – Saab Leadership Conference Call with All Saab Dealers

On July 29th, Saab General Manager, Steve Shannon, will host a conference call with all Saab dealers. During the call, Steve will provide a Saab business update, followed by Q & A.

Listed below you’ll find the conference call schedule by region. The same toll free dial-in number will be used for all three conference calls.

July 29th – All Saab Dealer Conference Call

Northeast Region 9:30 – 10:30 AM ET
North Central & Southeast Region 11:00 AM – 12 Noon ET
South Central & West Region 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Please plan to join Steve and his team on one of the three scheduled conference calls on Tuesday, July 29th.

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A Film By Saab Sweden on Erik Carlsson’s Rally History

Posted on 29. Jul, 2008 by .


film.jpg I have just received another film from the former New England Saab Association secretary, this time a bit longer than the previous film .
This film, complete with narration and produced by SAAB SWEDEN in 1964, features Erik Carlsson in the entire Monte-Carlo Rally, footage of the SAAB ANA testing and competition facility as well as brief clips of the Safari, Tulip, Polish and RAC Rallies.
Erik Carlsson as well as his co-pilot, Gunnar Palm, were both present at the 2007 60th Anniversary Saab Festival dinner that took place in Trollhättan, Sweden last summer.
If you are interested Saab’s world rewknowned rally legend Erik Carlsson or Saab Rallying in general, please sit back, relax and enjoy the nearly 45 minutes worth of vintage rally footage in none other than the legendary SAAB 96.

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Saab History Raffles 1996 Saab Talladega Video

Posted on 29. Jul, 2008 by .


talladega.jpg Saab History Raffles 1996 Saab Talladega Video

Saab History is raffling a recently donated 1996 Saab 900 Talladega Challenge video to the first person who can correctly identify the following.

SAAB began building aircraft and so it was logical that the SAAB automobiles were built with 16 aircraft engineers.

Please list all of the 16 original aircraft engineers that worked with SAAB Automobile in Linköping, Sweden.

1. Gunnar Ljungström, SAAB’s chief engineer

Now is a great time to open yours or buy some Saab History books and/or watch some of the videos, in order to begin compiling your answers to this question.

The requirement is that you submit your answers in the form of an e-mail to

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The Fiat Acquistion of Saab-Scania’s Car Division – 1989

Posted on 29. Jul, 2008 by .



The Attempted Fiat Acquistion of Saab-Scania’s Car Division – 1989

In October of 1989 The Swedish based Saab-Scania group were in discussions with the Italian based, Fiat SpA group about the possibility of Fiat acquiring 51% of Saab for a figure of $780 million. This figure was $180 more than GM’s $600 million 50% acquisition which they subsequently offered Saab on December 15th, 1989 when the press release hit the wire.

Saab-Scania as you may know, previously worked with Fiat’s lancia group for a number of years to develop and produce both the highly acclaimed Saab 9000 (1985-1998) as well as the Saab-Lancia 600, a vehicle that only reached the Swedish Market.

GM on the other hand, had apparently sold parts to both the SAAB aircraft division as well as the Saab automotive division of Saab-Scania for years, but I think that the only relationship they had with Saab-Scania prior to the acquisition.

What strikes me looking back on the apparently imminent deal by Fiat to acquire Saab-Scania’s automotive division from the Wallenberg’s investor AB group, was how GM ended up as the victor by offering less money and having no significant previous relationships with the company unlike Fiat did on two vehicle projects, etc.

I have decided to start digging through the archives with a few colleagues who frequently write for Nines Magazine, in order to see how the Fiat SpA acquisition dialog unfolded right until the December 15th announcement in Stockholm. We must remember that those who were watching the news at that time, as you will see below, it felt as if out of nowhere, GM offered to buy Saab-Scania’s auto division when most people at that point, thought that the Fiat deal was inevitable.

So here’s the question: As you read the newspaper articles below leading up to the announcement, there was no material between the dates of December December 5th & December 14th, 1989 that has shown up yet in my searches, so what do you think actually took place between Saab-Scania, Fiat SpA and then General Motors between those dates?

If you have the necessary information, please provide it in comments here, as the the greater Saab community has been wondering exactly what happened for a number of years now, so let’s get this resolved once and for all as to why the Fiat conversations broke up and Saab accepted an offer from GM.

Here are the news articles below leading up and covering both the Fiat as well as GM acquisition announcements.

The Saab-Scania & Fiat News as it unfolded in the late fall of 1989


Saab-Fiat Venture Seen

Published: November 11, 1989

LEAD: A venture between Saab-Scania of Sweden and Fiat of Italy could be agreed upon before the end of the year, Sweden’s Industry Minister was quoted as saying today.

A venture between Saab-Scania of Sweden and Fiat of Italy could be agreed upon before the end of the year, Sweden’s Industry Minister was quoted as saying today.


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Saab Rally Driver Profile – Erik Carlsson

Posted on 28. Jul, 2008 by .


Erik “pÃ¥ taket” Carlsson, or “pÃ¥ taket” in Swedish meaning “on the roof”, was born March 5, 1929 in Trollhättan, Sweden.

The nickname On the roof, apparently originated by from the children’s book, “Karlsson pÃ¥ taket” by Astrid Lindgren. In this book,the Karlsson character lived on the roof of an apartment building. This “on the roof” name was given to Erik Carlsson because he had the infrequent habit of rolling his Saab rally car on its roof.

Erik joined SAAB as a rally driver, just after the first SAAB 92 model was produced and participated in his first rally with it, the Rikspokalen in 1955. Carlsson, married to Pat Moss on March 3rd, 1963, began a relationship that expanded well beyond the homefront. Patt Moss, a younger sister of legendary rally driver, Stirling Moss eventually became Erik Carlsson’s co-pilot through most of his successful rally career.

The early SAABs that Erik Carlsson drove were significantly underutilized two-stroke vehicles that required the driver to keep the high revolutions up while moving, which meant high speeds at all times. When driving these “strokers” at high speeds at all times, Erik Carlsson developed what was called “left foot” braking where you use your left foot to brake while in the same instance, your right foot to maintain the speed at all times.

While Erik Carlsson maintained 1st place in most of his rally circuits, the most notable rally he participated in was the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally where he was victorious.

The year following this victory, both Erik Carlsson and Pat Moss wrote a book called “The Art & Technique of Driving”.

The most recent book on Erik Carlsson’s career was published in 1999, titled “Mr. Saab”. The Mr Saab title was given to Erik “On the Roof” Carlsson by Saab Automobile as he ended his rally career to continue a public relations career for the Swedish car company.

Today, Erik Carlsson has been known to make appearances at various Saab Festivals and Saab Conventions all over the world, and with any luck maybe you will get a chance to meet this legendary Saab rally champion to thank him for all of the recognition, attention and history he has brought to the Saab Automobile brand ever since.

I leave you with his list of lifetime rally achievements.

Erik Carlsson – Lifetime Highlights
Year Rally Finish Car Co-driver
1955 Rikspokalen 1st Saab 92
1957 1000 Lakes 1st Saab 93  
1959 Swedish Rally 1st Saab 93
1959 German Rally 1st Saab 93
1960 RAC Rally 1st Saab 96  
  Akropolis Rally 2nd Saab 96
1961 Monte Carlo Rally 4th Saab 96  
  RAC Rally 1st Saab 96
  Akropolis Rally 1st Saab 96  
1962 RAC Rally 1st Saab 96
  Monte Carlo Rally 1st Saab 96  
  East African Safari Rally 7th Saab 96
1963 Monte Carlo Rally 1st Saab 96  
  Liège-Sofia-Liège Rally 2nd Saab 96
1964 Monte Carlo Rally 1st Saab 96 Sport  
  San Remo Rally 1st Saab 96 Sport  
  Liège-Sofia-Liège Rally 2nd Saab 96 Sport
  East African Safari Rally 1st Saab 96 Sport  
1965 BP Australian Rally 2nd Saab 96 Sport
1966 Coupe De Alpes Rally Last Saab Sonett II  
  Akropolis Rally 2nd Saab 96 Sport  
1967 Czech Rally 1st Saab 96 V4
1969 Baja 1000 3rd Saab 96 V4  
1970 Baja 1000 5th Saab 96 V4

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