Archive for October, 2009

The Business Plan To Take Saab Automobile Up Market

Posted on 29. Oct, 2009 by .

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“Upmarket (or high-end) commodities are products, services or real estate targeted at high-income consumers.”Wikipedia

Dagens Industri has recently posted what they believed to be a heavily summarized version of Saab Automobile’s new business plan.

This business plan effectively lists three phases of the plan, with the intent that by the final phase, the company will be fully transformed into an up market automotive manufacturer.

Saab History unlike many media outlets and blogs, decided to verify this information with official channels before communicating or speculating about it here online for the global public.

In my correspondence with folks at Saab Automobile AB, I have received responses from them stating that they cannot comment on this report. I would have liked to hear that it was either false, or had some truth to it. However, I did hear that “business plans can change” which leads me to believe that if this plan is in fact authentic, there could be some modifications to it as things progress and markets change, etc. If the plan is not authentic, then it really doesn’t matter what was in this list because we have no real idea if it’s authentic or not.

I can actually say that I believe this was just someone’s speculative editorial from Dagens Industri, from what I’ve learned from other insiders over the past week.

So, why am I posting this you may ask if I don’t believe it’s really authentic? Well, I think that for historical sake, it should be noted because who knows, maybe down the road the plan in part, could see the light of day and we’ll have a time stamped record of it here on Saab History for our reference.

Here are the phases from Dagens Industri of what they believe Saab Automobile’s business plan.

The 3 phases for Saab:

2010-2011: present phase

* 115.000 cars sold gives break-even financially

* Average price per car: 189.000 SEK / €18.3034/ $27,102.15 USD

2012-2015: transformation phase

* 80.000 sold cars gives break-even financially

* Average price per car: 208.000 SEK / €20.143 / $29,874.40 USD

* New models including a 9-5 Koeningsegg Edition

2016 – : premium phase

* 65.000 sold cars gives break-even financially

* Average price per car: 280.000 SEK / €27,160.26/ $40,215.54 USD

* New models including a New 900

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The North American Saab 9-5 Debut & Press Conference

Posted on 28. Oct, 2009 by .

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Video Credit: Saab History

This past Friday, the all new Saab 9-5 made its North American debut at the Miami Auto Show.

At this minimalist event with all of the right Scandinavian modern touches, Mike Colleran, the new COO for Saab Cars North America, presented to the media, the new era for Saab Automobile along with the all new Saab 9-5.

This press conference took place just over a month since the global debut of the all new Saab 9-5 back on September 15th in Frankfurt.

This press conference, although naturally smaller in scale than the global conference was in my opinion as an observer, was much more inspirational. This press conference left me with a good feeling about the future for Saab when I finally got to hear the following words from Saab after all of these years, coming from none other than Mike Colleran.

The words were “Welcome back to the company that thinks a little differently.”.

This welcoming customers back quote, reminds me of my interview with Knut Simonsson and is beginning to resonate with me in terms of this humble and gentle approach Saab is making with new the new era.

A job well done by Mike Colleran and staff at the new Saab Cars North America. As you continue to listen and welcome your customers back as it appears you are doing, you will succeed.

A thank you to Alejandra of Blue Hope video productions in Miami for providing the video footage as well as Bruce W for providing the photography.

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Christian Von Koenigsegg Interviewed About Saab Vision

Posted on 27. Oct, 2009 by .

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Car Magazine has interviewed Christian Von Koenigsegg about his vision for Saab Automobile. If you have not learned much about CvK and his vision for Saab, please read this interview in addition to the on camera interview I did back in September.

What’s surprising in this interview is that CvK admits it was not his idea, but previous investor, Mark Bishop’s idea for Koenigsegg to buy Saab from GM.

Read the rest below.

cvk saab Christian Von Koenigsegg Interviewed About Saab Vision

Photo Credit: Getty Images

By Tim Pollard

27 October 2009 11:12

We meet Christian von Koenigsegg in Ãngelholm in the old flying squadron offices of Koenigsegg Automotive’s offices. A new supercar rolls out of the old Jas hangar every fortnight on average, each built by hand. The rolls of carbonfibre lying around serve as a reminder that life is about to become very different. Koenigsegg is leading the masterplan to buy Saab from GM, a deal which is dragging on as funding and legal loops are jumped through. A perfect time then, for CAR to interview Christian von Koenigsegg on his plans. He talks candidly about future product, the chances of reviving the Sonnet sports car brand, launching a sub-9-3 Mini rival and returning to rallying.
[...]

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Another Manufacturer Announces Premium Hatchback

Posted on 27. Oct, 2009 by .

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As the silence continues to be deafening from Saab as to whether they will be producing premium hatchbacks in the future, Jaguar has recently announced that they will be launching a premium hatchback in the next few years.

This news continues with a long line of high end up market manufacturers planning on launching premium hatchback models in the next year or so. The lack of a response from Saab Automobile about their position on hatchbacks since they ended them back in 2002 continues to surprise many as they had a long 28-year history of building them (1974-2002).

The question is, will Saab ever consider re-entering this segment as other premium manufacturers plan on launching them on a global scale in the next few years?

Here is the list of eight of those manufacturers that we can only hope that Saab will join.

    Skoda 2010 Superb W/Twin Back
    Opel Insignia 2010 5-door hatch (same platform as all new Saab 9-5)
    BMW 2010 3-Series & 5-Series Hatchbacks W/Twin Back
    Audi 2010 A5 Sportback
    Porsche – 2010 Panamera
    Jaguar – 2014 XF Hatchback
    Aston Martin – 2010 Rapide 5-Door Hatch
    Bugatti 2013 Bugatti C16 Galibier 3-Door & 5-Door Hatch

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A Behind The Scenes Look At The Saab On Burn Notice

Posted on 27. Oct, 2009 by .

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Film Credit: USA Networks

For the past few years, the former Saab Automobile USA organization partnered with USA Networks on the Miami, Florida based “Burn Notice” television series.

This series included a 2008 Saab 9-3 Convertible in black for Fiona, one of the leading characters in the film. This arrangement was managed by former Saab Automobile USA Advertising & Promotions Manager, Steven Haener.

The following film has been recently located that provides you a behind-the-scenes look at the Saab 9-3 Aero convertible being filmed in high-speed chase scenes in addition to some of the details as to why Saab partners with USA Networks in Burn Notice to begin with.

I quick look at the official Burn Notice website results in no current details as to the continued partnership with Saab in the United States now that they are a new organization with new leadership.

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Saab History Video Archive Surpasses 500 Films!

Posted on 27. Oct, 2009 by .

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shvideo Saab History Video Archive Surpasses 500 Films!

The Saab History video archive which hit 450 films in January, has just soared past 500 films as of late.

The Saab videos project began, now running for five years, started back in 2005. Since that time, this enormous video archive continues to serve the international Saab community from films beginning in 1947 to present. Thanks to you, the visitors that range from owners, enthusiasts, dealers, former employees, etc, we have a substantial amount of films! Of course, these films would not be here without my nearly 7,500 hours worth of work since this project started, so I hope it shows! icon smile Saab History Video Archive Surpasses 500 Films!

I am excited to see this project continue, especially since I have never believed that there have been this many Saab television ads, promotional clips and other videos made before. I am still surprised and amazed to this very day!

If you have any films that are not reflected in the archive, please contact Saab History and contribute them today, perhaps we’ll see the archive surpass another mileston?

I urge you to please spend some time enjoying the Saab History Video Archive in order to put a smile on your face.

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The Remaining Pieces Of The Saab-Koenigsegg Sale

Posted on 26. Oct, 2009 by .

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TTELA has recently published a good piece providing clarity for the remaining pieces of the Saab-Koenigsegg sale from GM following the EIB loan application approval last week.

Effectively, the EU Commission is the next step, then the Swedish Government needs to agree to this as a guarantor, then the BAIC deal needs to be complete and finally the GM sale and service agreement, finalized.

Here is the piece below, loosely translated by Google.

I can say yes to the EIB to lend 4.1 billion to Saab, but there is no money unless the Swedish government goes into the walls tier. Thus, there remain a few pieces of the puzzle.

Saab one step closer to goal
[...]

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Photos : New Saab 9-5 North American Debut In Miami

Posted on 24. Oct, 2009 by .

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Photo Credits: Bruce W

Today, the all new Saab 9-5 made its North American debut at the Miami Auto Show in Florida.

Saab History’s architect/Saab enthusiast Bruce W. was kind enough to attend the event and take photographs for us for those that could not make it to the event.

There were approximately 50 people in attendance, quite smaller than the global debut last month in Frankfurt. The mood was upbeat and the presentation was much better than any other automobile manufacturers at the show.
[...]

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