Tag Archives: Apple

Saab's Future Design "Form No Longer Follows Function"

Posted on 08. Apr, 2010 by .

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It has been a while since I’ve covered a topic so dear to me, and that topic is design. Design is an area that I’ve personally spent a decade working in professionally prior to the launch of Saab History.

When it comes to Saab design, not the past or present, but specifically the future as illustrated with the all new Saab 9-5 , I’ve had a significant challenge in interpreting this new vehicle as a continuation of Saab’s historical “form follows function” design approach. It took me a while to realize that there must have been a very good reason for this.

However, today, I had one of those “ah hah” moments, after watching one of the best design documentaries of our time in my opinion, a film titled “Objectified”. This film highlights the design of many companies including Apple, the company that Saab has indicated that they aspire to be like in the car business.

This new design approach that Apple has applied to their latest products involves “form not following function”, a complete departure from Saab’s historical “form follows function” approach as previously indicated.

As we continue to see new products unveiled from Saab, one can easily guess that the design will include many design elements and cues that may not specifically serve a functional purpose, but should serve as a unique Saab way to express the new design language that began with the Aero-X concept car all the way back in 2006.

The success of Saab’s future design will depend on the complete execution of this new design language in parallel to the continuity of traditional “form follows function” design in the key Saab areas that we’ve all come to expect.

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The All New Saab 9-5 At The New England Auto Show

Posted on 03. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab History

Saab History has recently attended the 2009 the New England Auto Show in Boston, Massachusetts to see the all new Saab 9-5. The last time we were at the Boston Auto Show was in the fall of 2007, when the North American premiere of the Turbo-X took place.

Having experienced the global debut of the all new Saab 9-5 back in September, this event was of course a smaller display, naturally as it is a continuation of the North American premiere which began in Miami during October.

Upon entering the show, we headed directly to see the all new Saab 9-5, which was a delight to see. This premiere in Boston, was the first time a new Saab 9-5 was in New England in twelve years. The last time a new Saab 9-5 was shown to the public for the first time in New England was during 1997 Saab Owners Convention in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. […]

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Saab Automobile, The Apple Of The Automotive Business?

Posted on 02. Feb, 2009 by .

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According to Autocar, Saab Automobile’s director of global marketing, Knut Simonsson, the individual that I had the pleasure of test driving a new 2008 Saab 9-3 Aero with, back in the summer of 2007 in Washington, D.C, has said that Saab can be the “Apple Of The Automotive Business”.

It’s nice to see that the consumers aren’t the only ones thinking about the synergies between the two brands. Back in December of 2007, Saab History’s visitors indicated that they prefer the Apple OS X and the Aero-X!

Furthermore, Granite Embedded, A Saab Enthusiast run company and Apple Consumer even created an innovation using the Apple Ipod to integrate with the Saab!

This connection between Apple & Saab seems to be coming around full circle with the folks at Saab Automobile AB in Sweden, and it is about time!

Here is the piece below from Autocar:

Saab has made plans to use its upcoming independence from GM to become the “Apple of car brands”

Knut Simonsson, the Saab’s director of Global Brand and Sales, told a Dutch auto magazine that the Saab DNA underpinning future models will be represented by “innovation, aircraft history and Scandinavia”. This can be summed up by the idea of “independent thinking” he said.

Saab could ape Apple by having a small market share but appearing to be much bigger, said Simonsson. It would be a “special brand for entrepreneurs, dentists, doctors and agency people”. Saab was “absolutely not” about being the same as other car makers. “We don’t want to be another Audi,” he said.

Simonsson said the work on Saab’s future direction began “three or four years ago” and the dramatic Aero X concept was “a restart for the brand”. He also underlined that Saab wouldn’t repeat the mistakes of the past, deciding a strategy and then changing direction.

The all-new 9-5 saloon is currently undergoing winter testing, Simonsson revealed, and is “99 per cent finished”. He said that it will go on sale in 2009, after being unveiled at the Frankfurt show in September. An estate 9-5 is scheduled for 2010. The new 9-5 is also likely to cost more than outgoing model.
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Saab History Welcomes Herb Chambers As Site Sponsor!

Posted on 02. Jun, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History

Saab History welcomes Herb Chambers Saab as site sponsor!

Herb Chambers is conveniently located right on commonwealth avenue in Boston, Massachusetts and was the proud host of the recent Saab 9-3 Turbo-X press event.

A warm welcome to Herb Chambers Saab for supporting Saab History, here is their introduction, contact information and map.
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Annual World Ski Association Event by Saab USA – 1998

Posted on 01. Feb, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Cars USA

I was looking through the archive of my old New England Saab Association website archive from the early days and I located a unique event that I think is extremely noteworthy that is a good follow-up to the ski promotions posting I wrote yesterday.

I think more of these events need to take place these days, especially with the launch of Cross-Wheel Drive soon to be entering the North American market.

15th Annual World Ski Association Event Weekends presented by Saab Cars USA

Test Drive the Latest Saabs and Get Special Parking Privileges!

The World Ski Association is proud to annouce the dates and locations of our “15th Annual World Ski Association Event Weekends” presented by Saab Cars USA. These event weekends are the longest continually running winter consumer promotions in the United States. Event weekend activities will feature Saab vehicle test drives in true winter conditions, special parking privileges for Saab owners, consumable product sampling (juice, yogurt, apple chips etc.), winter equipment demos, (ski, snowboard & snowshoe), recreational ski and snowboard races and entertaining apres ski parties with thousands of dollars worth of prizes. All activities are free and open to the public and special lift ticket and lodging packages are available for World Ski Association members. To take advantage of these package deals, call 1-800-525-SNOW to become a member.

Saab Cars USA and the World Ski Association hope to see you behind the wheel at one of our winter weekend festivals at the following resorts. For more information on the event weekends, call 1-800-525-SNOW.

DATES FOR 1998……………RESORTS
1/9 – 1/11……………Snowbird, UT
1/16 – 1/18……………Loon Mtn, NH
1/23 – 1/25……………Shawnee Mtn, PA
1/30 – 2/1……………Waterville Valley, NH
2/6 – 2/8……………Breckenridge, CO
2/20 – 2/22……………Crested Butte, CO
2/27 – 3/1……………Arapahoe Basin, CO
3/6 – 3/8…………… Kirkwood, CA
3/20 – 3/22……………Bear Mtn, CA

Additional Event Sponsors
Bridgestone Tires, Revo Sunglasses, K2 Skis, Yuba Snowshoes, Trukke Boots, Higfh Sierra Sport Clothing, Calvin Klein, Spyder Eyewear, Mountain high Yogurt, Minute Maid Orange Juice, GU Nutritional Gel, Seneca Apple Chips, Wise potato Chips, High Mountain Nutritional Bar

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The Saab 60th Anniversary Program, Feb 6th (Day 2)

Posted on 09. Feb, 2007 by .

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morning_presentation.jpgToday is the second day which was the longest and certainly most entertaining. I began the day with a wakeup at about 6:00am, then made an early breakfast at 7:00am on the ocean side deck. As I made it onto the deck, I was greeted by non other than Erik Carlsson (former Rally legend), who spoke highly of the breakfast omelets, fruit, sausage and other fine food that was offered. During the breakfast, I got a chance to meet some other individuals who were journalists from magazines such as Eurpean Car, Motor Trend and Hemmings Motor News among others.

At 8:00am sharp, Jan-Willem Vester, communications manager of Saab Automobile USA, welcomed us and began a product presentation on the new lineup of Anniversary vehicles in the 9-3 and 9-5 range. It was at this presentation, that the 9-5 Aero SportCombi was touted as the “enthusiast car” which was probably why the writers, journalists, bloggers and other individuals that had the opportunity to drive the 9-5 SportCombi, stayed with their vehicle during the entire duration of the route.

map.jpg Following the product presentation, we were given a route orientation and instructed on where to drive and what kinds of situations we could expect to run into throughout the designated route. During this orientation, it was indicated that as a precaution, there will be a vehicle recovery truck following our caravan at all times in case of any emergency whatsoever.

Once we got our orientation, we were escorted out onto the parking lot behind the hotel to see a fleet of the Saab Anniversary vehicles to drive. The decision on what vehicle to choose from the lineup was probably the hardest decision many of us invited to the event had to make all day. Fortunately, I had the priveledge to secure a 9-3 SportCombi in “ice blue” as the vehicle of choice and also have the honor to have former President of Saab-Scania of America (1979-1991), Robert J. Sinclair as my co-driver. Prior to departing, I offered Mr. Sinclair the keys, but he kindly asked for me to enjoy myself while he helps me navigate.

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Once we got the signal from the parking lot attendant, we were off and the journey began. The route as planned for us to drive was quite incredible and in many instances breathtaking. This was my first time driving through Southern California and with the deserts that were scattered throughout, we really had quite the experience to say the least, this early on in the route. From the very well banked hair-pin turns to the twisty spins through the mountains, I believe we got a very realistic and thorough experience in the Saab Anniversary test vehicles.
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The long straight roads on the highways we drove were surreal and the few drivers on the road, made for a very satisfying experience on that sunny day. What made the driving experience even more pleasurable was the handling characteristics of the 9-3 SportCombi. In the 9-3 SportCombi anniversary edition, I felt in complete control at all times and fully aware of the road conditions through the suspension and steering systems facilitating the connectivity of the driver to the road. I was also fortunate to have had Mr. Sinclair, who is a very knowledgeable about many things, particularly the local geography and culture to chat with during the driving experience in the San Diego region.

stelzer_park1.jpgOur first stop on the route was at a state park called Stelzer County Park. At this stop, we had the chance to switch driver’s, vehicles and co-drivers, however I did not see too much alternating vehicles, especially with those that started out in the 9-5 Aero SportCombi that I mentioned earlier where it was mentioned in the morning presentation as the “enthusiasts car”. At this stop, I managed to snap a few photographs, grab a fresh bottle of water, an apple and chat with other journalists about their experience so far. You will see the tailgate in this photo of one of our utility vehicles that had a continual abundance of fresh fruit and choices of water, soda and juices to make the experience even that much more pleasant. This early in the route, I continued to see other journalists smiling even more, and exhibiting a feeling of enjoyment and also appreciation on how well the event was planned and executed.

julian_pie_company_small.jpgOur next stop was at the Julian Pie Company, another 30.3 miles away. At this stop, we all sat down outside and enjoyed some home made pie a la mode in the company of others while discussing their experiences so far. There was certainly some value in being in the first wave, having to experience the trip for the first time with everyone including our gracious hosts, the individuals at Saab Automobile. I also saw value in appreciating where we were as well as others by visiting some of the significant local venues throughout the route such as the Julian Pie Company in our built-in breaks. These opportunities gave us a chance to get a bite to eat, drink and switch vehicles and converse with others about their driving experiences with the Anniversary Edition models. At this second stop, I looked again for a 9-5 sedan or SportCombi variations, but they were gone as quickly as they arrived. Without hesitation, I hopped back into the 9-3 SportCombi with Mr. Sinclair, zeroed our trip odometer and like that we were off again to our third stop, the Warner Springs Ranch Airport which was about 16.6 miles away.

desert_drive.jpgThe drive to the airport again gave us some of the most breathtaking horizons that I have ever seen. One of the professional photographers from Saab Automobile was ahead of me in a 9-5 SportCombi and made multiple stops alongside the highway for quick snapshots, so we followed suit and did the same, and we’re glad we did because the views were worth every second. I started to wonder if we would ever make it to our next destination given all of the unique photo opportunities we had. At that point, we were the last vehicle in the pack, closely followed by our recovery vehicle that also pulled over each time. I bet that the folks in the recovery vehicle were initially wondering if the two of us had flat tires already, this close to the airport. After the three to four stops we both made for these opportunities, the folks in the recovery vehicle must have realized that we were in good shape, just in awe of the landscape.

airport1.jpgUpon arrival at the airport which was completely secluded and nestled in the mountains, I was overwhelmed when I saw the Saab Automobile USA Heritage collection all lined up on the taxiway at the airport. When we drove in, parked and got out of our vehicles, we saw non other than Erik “On the Roof” Carlsson aggressively driving his Saab 96 RAC rally car in the parking lot and then onto the runway at high speed. At this point, I was thinking to myself how lucky we are to get to see legends behind the wheel again for us all to see and enjoy.

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Surprisingly, the next vehicle I saw following Erik Carlsson’s 96 Rally Car, was Seth Bengelsdorf, Editor of Nines Magazine behind the wheel of the Saab Sonett I, and then it hit me, we were not only going to be able to see these cars again, we would actually be able to drive them! I was in such disbelief, until I got behind the wheel of just about every vehicle in the heritage collection. This aspect of the Saab 60th Anniversary program was the highlight of everyone’s trip including my own from what I have heard. The first vehicle I got behind the wheel of was the Saab 99 Turbo from 1977. Initially the lack of power steering, meant that a surprising amount of energy had to be used to get the vehicle out onto the runway, a technology that today we take for granted.99_turbo_small.JPG Once the Saab 99 got out onto the straight runway, it was an extremely solid ride and the Turbocharger was strong and unwavering right up until the runway began to quickly come to an end. I had the opportunity to have vehicle line director, Jörgen Nylén of Sweden as my co-driver in this experience and all future driving experiences.

The next vehicle we drove was the 1990 900 SPG Talladega in also “Talladega Red”. In comparison to all other heritage vehicles, this one was the quickest, most exhiliarating experience on the runway. From the sound of the burping exhaust note on the taxiway to the Turbo rush on the runway, I was in a permanent state of nostalgia and I believe Mr. Nylén felt the same.spg_small.jpg It was difficult to let go of this Saab model, but in the same breath, I was interested in jumping into another vehicle before we broke for lunch.

The other Saabs from the heritage collection that we got to enjoy included the 1986 9000 Talladega, the 1970 Sonett III, and the RAC Rally Car. These vehicles were quite fun to drive, once you were able to quickly adapt to the huge differences in shifting on the column from the floor and back again. It was clear to me that all of the vehicles in the heritage collection were museum cars and with that, I managed to operate them with that understanding that they were not my own. I was however quite surprised by their mechanical strength and durability and that every component operated exactly as it should just like they were brand new.

saab_sonett1.jpgThe final Saab that I experienced was the 1956 Saab Sonett I, also known as the Sonett Super Sport model 94. It was initially a pleasant experience until the spark plus started fouling out again, evidently the spark plugs were fouling out for some of the earlier drivers and again with me, so I am fortunate for the memorable time.

As I wrapped up my final test drive, I retired into the extremely well decorated aircraft hangar for lunch where I was treated to another fine luncheon experience with other writers, journalists, bloggers, notables and hosts from Saab Automobile.

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The outside of the hangar was flanked by two 2007 9-3 Anniversary Edition Convertibles protected underneath with Saab tents. The Saab tents that looked familiar to some, were also seen in the “Born From Jets” campaign at various Air Shows during the summer of 2006. The welcoming entrance of the hangar was well received after having a great morning of Saab experiences with the current and past Saab models.

hangar_inside.jpgThe inside of the hangar was decorated with black curtains as a backdrop with a few aircraft staggered along with professional large format photographs on easels of the various Saab models from the heritage collection. These photos are part of the 60th anniversary media kit we received when we arrived at the airport on the first day in print and electronic format. There was also some nice ambient music piped in the background which made the experience just that much better. The lunch was very special and I will never forget the intimate setting and atmosphere and especially all of the hard work that Saab Automobile put into the program.

saab_9-3_sportcombi_leaving.jpg As the lunch came to an end, we moved out and I continued with the 9-3 SportCombi as there were no 9-5 Sportcombis in sight. Mr. Sinclair and I invited Jörgen Nylén of Saab Automobile, Sweden to accompany us, this time as my co-driver with Mr. Sinclair in the back seat. The dialog that we had between the three of us covered a lot material from Saab Automobile’s years from 1979 until the early 1990’s. I was extremely excited to hear both Mr. Sinclair and Mr. Nylén discuss their most memorable experiences from their long history with the Saab brand.

saab_9-3sportcombi.jpgOn our final leg, the curves around the mountainside along with an increasing amount of well engineered hair-pin turns gave us all the quintessential driving experience in the 9-3 SportCombi that we all came to expect with the Saab brand. At our last pit-stop before we arrived back at Tower23, we managed to change up the drivers where Mr. Sinclair became co-driver with another individual from Saab Automobile for the last leg. The last leg was also a memorable one with Mr. Nylén, a very well seasoned and spoken individual for Sweden. I think that he appreciated my persistence to talk Swedish whenever I had the opportunity, although we did speak english for most of the drive back to the hotel.

menu.jpgWhen we arrived back at the Tower23 hotel, we had about an hour before our rides picked us up for a reception and dinner at a new modern restaurant in San Diego called “Jack of La Jolla”. The service and food at the restaurant was impressive to say the least and the intimate one-on-one dialog I believe everyone had with Erik Carlsson, Bob Sinclair, Jay-Spenchian, Jan-Willem Vester, Leane Wandoff, John Libbos, Jörgen Nylén and the rest of the Saab team was memorable and hard to put into words. The nearly 3 hours we spent at the restaurant went by in a turbo rush, and like that we were greeted by our driver’s outside of the parking lot to return to the hotel.

Upon arrival, many of us were asked to join Jay Spenchian for a nice recap of the the 60th Anniversary program, review of 2006, future product development in the hotel lounge before calling it a night. We even got a chance to see the PÃ¥ Taket Award, presented to Saab USA employees internally for going above and beyond which was a red SAAB 96 scale model flipped upside down as indicated here on Trollhattansaab recently.

thursday_morning_airport.jpg The following morning I was picked up in a 9-5 SportCombi, and dropped off at the airport for my flight back to Washington, D.C. Having the 9-5 SportCombi as the departure vehicle was an appropriate and poetic conclusion to the 60th Anniversary program.

I enjoyed my time, meeting everyone that I did and thank Saab Automobile and all of their support team including the staff at Tower23 in making this a truly memorable event.

Click here for day 1.

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Apple OS X & Aero X preferred by Saab Enthusiasts

Posted on 19. Dec, 2006 by .

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In the recent poll that I asked our visitors, what operating system do you aligned yourself with. Of the 20 responses, fifty percent responded with the Apple OS X, leaving fourty percent with Microsoft’s Windows and 10 percent towards the Linux platform.

It if is not too much of a reach, one can deduce the following from this poll and the public’s response to Saab’s recent concept car.

The Apple OS X and the Saab Aero-X are preffered by Saab Enthusiasts.

Which operating system do you align yourself with?

  • Apple OS X (50%, 10 Votes)
  • Microsoft Windows (40%, 8 Votes)
  • Linux (10%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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Which operating system do you prefer?

Posted on 15. Dec, 2006 by .

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The current statistics on this website indicate that 91% of visitors of this site using Microsoft Windows as their operating system, leaving 8% as Apple users and 1% as Linux users. While I realize that many companies use Windows at the office, this may not exactly be someone’s preference to an alternate operating system.

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I have decided to see what operating system you actually align yourself with opposed to the operating system you may use by default by posting this poll below.

Which operating system do you align yourself with?

  • Apple OS X (50%, 10 Votes)
  • Microsoft Windows (40%, 8 Votes)
  • Linux (10%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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Production Concept