Archive for September, 2008

Saab Sighting Of The Week – Sweden, Maine

Posted on 30. Sep, 2008 by .



This past weekend, after an intense collaborative with friends on eliminating all remaining electrical gremlins from the Saab 9000, I managed to visit Sweden, Maine this past weekend!

I thought this visit certainly qualified for a “Saab Sighting of the week” with more of a focus on the location over the Saab itself.

Next June, I will plan on visiting the official villages where Swedish Immigrants arrived from Sweden in Northern Maine, those being “New Sweden” & “Stockholm”, respectively for their Midsommar celebrations June 20th-22nd, 2009. Stay tuned!

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Saab Convertible Photo “Updated” On Burn Notice Website

Posted on 30. Sep, 2008 by .



This past July, I mentioned that Saab Automobile USA & USA Networks partnered to promote a 2008 Saab 9-3 Convertible on the television series “Burn Notice”.

As you may recall the convertible they posted on the official Burn Notice website was of an older 2004-2007 vintage range, and I kindly called them out on it.

As of today, I have noticed that they have recently updated their website to reflect the actual car that they are actually promoting. I guess word gets out quickly?

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Journalist Crashes Saab 9-3 Turbo-X in Connecticut

Posted on 30. Sep, 2008 by .


A journalist from Barrons recently test drove a Saab 9-3 Turbo-X Sport Sedan and got in an accident with it with a Kia in Connecticut, en-route from Alexandria, Virginia to Maine!

I see that he was on I-84 unfortunately, because if he was on I-95, he could have stopped off at 100 Waterfront Street in New Haven as well as 60 Marsh Hill Road in Orange, Connecticut to vist Saab USA’s former headquarters (1961-1971,1971-1993) respectfully.

Here is his Jim McTague’s writeup below!

Saab by a TKO

TIRED OF FLYING, I RECENTLY DROVE to Maine’s far north from Alexandria, Va., in a 2009 Saab 9-3 Turbo X Sport Sedan, one of only 600 for sale in the U.S. Uh, better make that 599 until the repairs are done.

Cruising past Waterbury, Conn., at 55 mph, the Saab was smacked in the rear by a 1999 Kia that had just shot onto Route 84 from a ramp. I saw it coming, but was boxed in and couldn’t avoid it. Crash!

The $45,000 Saab, which boasts among the world’s most advanced all-wheel-drive and stability-control systems, bounced straight forward, allowing me to maintain full control. The Kia swerved, sliding beside me and then in front of me before its shaken driver could guide it onto the narrow shoulder.

The Swedish car’s rear bumper was smashed — to the tune of $1,500, because it contains sensors to sound an alarm if an object is in the way as you back up. After the other driver and I exchanged insurance data, I drove away; the Kia was towed. Its front end was crushed, it was bleeding antifreeze, and its driver was banged up; no airbags had deployed. I suffered no injuries, maybe because of the Saab’s phenomenal seats, which look as if they were stolen from a fighter jet.

Score: Sweden 1, Korea 0.

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Saab Factory To Stop Production For 10 Days This Fall

Posted on 29. Sep, 2008 by .


Film Credit: SVT24

According to IF Metall, the metal union suppliers to Saab Automobile AB in Trollhättan, Sweden where the current Saab 9-3 & 9-5 Sport Sedan & Sport Combis are produced, there will be a production stop this fall that may be just under 12 days between October 2nd and November 7th.

Evidently, there are some discussions that have been going on for a number of years now, most notably back during the 2007 Saab Festival. It was at this time where visitors including myself and my fiancee, that travelled many miles across the globe, to arrive at aSaab Factory that was not in operation, due to the factory workers working more time than their union allowed.

The result much like our experience, is an under utilized Saab Factory that so desperately needs to be put into full capacity so that sales across the globe can grow. The last thing Saab Automobile needs right now is an under utilized production facility.

If we look at all of the factors that contribute to underutilization, I see the cost jump scaling back sales in the United States for the new 2008 Saabs as a factor, due to currency exchange rates between Sweden. If we eliminate this cost altogether, sales turn around, we utilize both the Sweden factory for European sales, and create an additional production facility building say the next generation Saab 9-3 or 9-5 in the United States. With General Motors, a global company with global facilities that tout that they can literally “build anything, anywhere”, maybe we should take them up on their offer with economic currency rates killing Saab sales? If you look at their Opel brand, they currently build them in Wilmington, Delaware, and that brand shares a platform with the next generation 9-5, so why not build them there? Wilmington, Delaware was the first port of entry for Swedish Immigrants, so why not be the first port of production for Saab?

If Saab Automobile’s factory in Trollhättan, Sweden continues to be under utilized due to
many factors such as demand as a byproduct of currency rates, etc., maybe an additional production facility running in parallel would not be such a bad idea so that high costs could be removed, and demand would begin to turn around here in the United States.

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The Saab Automobile Facilities In Trollhättan, Sweden

Posted on 29. Sep, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History

The Saab Facilities in Trollhättan, Sweden for those that may not have ever visited or are curious about consist of the following.

The Saab Factory, which produces the current Saab 9-3 and 9-5 Sport Sedans and SportCombis located approximately 2.5 miles North of downtown Trollhättan, Sweden, situated alongside the Göta Alv river.

The Saab Technical Center, located across the street from the factory South East, is responsible for integrating the design and engineering of not only the concept cars, but also the projects themself directly into production.

The Saab Test Track located behind the factory, where testing of development vehicles as well as crash tests can be conducted.

The Saab Advanced Concept Center is located about 3.5 miles directly South of of the factory, again alongside the Göta Alv river just past the downtown as you are leaving in a brick building near the museum. This facility at one point was responsible for the advanced design of future Saab automobiles, but I am unsure if it is still being used in this capacity today due to the GM Europe Design Center in Germany, now being responsible for advanced design.

Lastly, we have the Saab Car Museum, which is located within the same area where the Saab Advanced Concept Center is/was and houses over 100 Saab rare vehicles including one offs, prototypes, concept cars, race cars and production cars.

So here they are, and if you are interested in visiting the Saab Automobile Facilities during a trip to Trollhättan, Sweden, plan on enjoying visits to both the Saab Museum & Factory as you can normally get the opportunity to visit them. The other facilities as you may have guessed, are obviously not for public tours.

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Saab Automobile USA’s Horsepower vs. Torque Promo

Posted on 29. Sep, 2008 by .


Today, even in the Saab Community, I continue to hear horsepower as the number that is referred to, but we all know that Saab’s already have the “right type” of horsepower, that is front wheel driven.
I want to repost a video here that illustrates the importance of torque versus horsepower, in hopes that we really understand the difference and why within the Saab community, we should be discussing “torque” because it is more important because horsepower is a given!
This video was produced by Lowe Worldwide in New York last August about 4 months before Saab Automobile USA ended the contract with them as their ad agency and went to McCann-Erickson.
If you are interested in more of these films, check them out in the 2007 section of the Saab Film Archive.

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Shaw Saab Promotes The “Right” Type Of Horse Power

Posted on 29. Sep, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Shaw Saab

Shaw Saab, a Saab History site sponsor, promotes the “right” type of horse power by providing a vintage poster from their dealership circa 1959 by SAAB Motors, Inc.

Here is a bulleted run down of the systems:

“SPLIT” sytem..inefficient and cumbersom, because power source and drive wheels are separated.

“PUSH” system…unstable and unbalanced, because car is pushed from behind without sufficient weight in front.

SAAB system..Perfect pulling power, because both engine and drive wheels are up front for maximum stability, traction and efficiency.

Let’s keep in mind that it’s torque that really matters, but having the right type of horsepower is critical to torque’s success.

There are two posts that I think will help educate us as to why torque matters, one posted in 2005 and another in 2007 as follows:

“Talking Torque, The Secret of Saabs Pulling Power” – Press Release, 2005

Horsepower & Torque 101. – Promo Video, 2007

A thank you to Shaw Saab for once again reminding us that while torque is important, it’s the “right” type of horsepower that ultimately matters!

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Saab Sonett III AutoX Video – South Portland, Maine

Posted on 29. Sep, 2008 by .


With the impending rain, I managed to film NESA’s Chris Moberg’s 1971 Saab Sonett III at the Autocross (Auto X) today in in South Portland, Maine in addition to the photos I took earlier.

The photos don’t do this experience justice, but this film certainly does and I am surprised by how well it came out given that it was taken with a point and shoot camera in the rain!

As I mentioned in my earlier piece, even though rain from Hurricane kyle was upon us, you can certainly see the skill of the driver prevailing in this extremely wet autocross.

I think another autocross in the snow even, would be a great opportunity for many Saab clubs including the New England Saab Association, to build their membership base and foster some enthusiastic participation.

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Production Concept