Tag Archives: car

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

Posted on 08. Apr, 2010 by .


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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Erik "On The Roof" Carlsson Turns 81 Years Old

Posted on 05. Mar, 2010 by .


Legendary Saab rally driver, Erik “On The Roof” Carlsson or “Mr. Saab” to others, turns 81 years old today. Erik “På taket” Carlsson, or 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 på 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 (1934-2008), 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 including the recent Save Saab event in the United Kingdom where he continues to hold the Saab torch. 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.

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Jan Åke Jonsson & Victor Muller Interviewed After Saab Employee Event At Saab Car Museum

Posted on 28. Jan, 2010 by .


Jan Åke Jonsson & Victor Muller Interviewed After Saab Employee Event At Saab Car Museum, here’s a good video of their responses.

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JMK Saab Participates In NYC "SAVE SAAB" Convoy

Posted on 22. Jan, 2010 by .



Photo Credit: JMK Saab

Longtime Saab History site supporter and advertiser, JMK Saab in New Jersey are sending a number of staff members to the “SAVE SAAB” convoy in New York City this weekend.

Here’s their message about their commitment to Saab and this unprecedented global campaign. We’re looking forward to their coverage of the Saabs rolling down Times Square, that will be incredible!

Go JMK Saab!

The reason why we are doing this is because we just want to see our beloved brand saved. We want a chance to continue what we do best and that is to sell and service Saabs. We as a group have all been in this together and it has been a very challenging time. We have had support from our employees and our customers . We want to show what ever support we can. We are fighting for Saab as long as it takes.

Some comments from employees –

– I am here to show my support and allegiance to a car company that I have been affiliated with throughout my career.

– I am here to show people love their SAAB.

– I am a loyal employee and owner of a Saab and would like to see a bright future for this terrific brand.

– I have given 12 years of service to JMK Saab and also an owner of a Saab we deserve our chance.

JMK Saab
345 Route 22 East
Springfield, NJ 07081

Phone: 888-500-9021


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Saab Dealerships In U.S. Tell GM To "SAVE SAAB" Or Else

Posted on 11. Jan, 2010 by .


The Wall Street Journal has recently published an article about the 218 Saab dealerships in the United States that are now sending their own message to GM.

The message from Saab dealerships to GM is to “Save Saab”, or else..

We knew that Saab owners were persistent in their efforts to save the car company from extinction, organizing protests in the U.S. and Europe and selling “Save Saab” stickers.

Here come the dealers.

GM has already hired AlixPartners, a restructuring firm, to begin winding down Saab, even as it considers offers to keep it alive.

In a letter sent last week to General Motors ’s general counsel and reviewed by Deal Journal , about 50 U.S. Saab dealers are lobbying GM to accept one of the bids reportedly on the table for the 60 year-old brand.

If Saab owners are trying to pull the Detroit automakers heart strings by emphasizing the emotional appeal of the Swedish car, the dealers are talking tough.

“Please take notice that General Motors shall be held accountable for any failure on its part to proceed in good faith and make a full and fair effort to sell the Saab brand,’’ writes Richard N. Sox, a Tallahassee lawyer, representing 51 of the nation’s approximately 200 Saab dealers.

Despite the company’s insistence that bidders have yet to come up with the requisite money for Saab, Sox says that bidders have met the purchase requirements.

“General Motors owes Saab dealers a duty of good faith and fair dealing in its efforts to market the Saab brand,’’ Sox writes. “As Saab dealers, our clients have relied upon General Motors to make a good faith effort to sell Saab, to enable the dealer body to continue in the business of selling and servicing Saab vehicles.”

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Saab History Interviewed By Swedish Radio Today

Posted on 03. Jan, 2010 by .


Saab History was recently interviewed by Swedish Radio this morning. We spoke about the Saab Enthusiast gathering to save Saab near the GM Headquarters in Detroit that will take place this Tuesday, January 5th.

I need to clarify that this is a gathering, not a demonstration as indicated by Swedish Radio. The intent is to be present and show our Saab spirit in support of Saab being sold.

Click here on Swedish Radio’s website to listen to the interview or click the image above.


How is the response for the gathering in Detroit?

I continue to hear from individuals around the United States and Canada that are willing to take a day off of work, and in some cases, two days off depending on their travel distance to make the drive to Detroit to stand up for a company they believe should be given the chance to be sold. I don’t have exact numbers just yet, but we see a decent interest so far and we think that when the new week starts, that will continue to grow.

Why are you doing the gathering

As you know the international Saab community is quite strong and devoted towards Saab. That being said, many Saab groups in Europe have planned gatherings in Sweden, Netherlands and the U.K. to send their message that Saab needs to be saved. It seemed logical to follow this idea here in the United States.

Therefore, I thought it was very important on this final week where Saab’s fate will be determined, to gather near the GM headquarters where the decision will be made. At the gathering we intend to show our Saab spirit, and send a message to the media & press that will also be attending, that we want Saab to be saved by being sold to one of the interested buyers.

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European Saab Clubs Plan Convoy To Trollhättan

Posted on 30. Dec, 2009 by .


Photo Credit: Saab History

The Saab Club of The Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden are all planning a group convoy of Saabs to drive to Saab Automobile’s facilities in Trollhättan, Sweden on January 17th, 2010.

Apparently at around 11am, they will arrive at the Saab Car Museum and then sometime at around 1:30pm (13:30), a huge convoy will drive around the Saab Factory, the Saab Technical Center and so forth. The folks in the Netherlands are also planning on finishing their trip at the Spyker factory in their home country upon their return.

The idea apparently behind this is to get a lot of press to show up to see the visual support of the car company. While I see this as a good idea, I have to stop and consider two things that are critical to this grassroots initiative.

1) Timing If a deal is to be completed by next week on January 7th, why would this event need to take place 10 days later?

2) Location I wonder why they are choosing to drive to Saab’s headquarters, what’s the point?

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Electroengine, The Company Behind True Electric Saabs

Posted on 15. Dec, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: Electro Engine

Here is some background on Electroengine, The Company Behind True Electric Saabs that launched their first test vehicles in June this year in Sweden.


The Swedish company Electroengine in Sweden AB has developed a new system that makes it possible to adapt standard cars with internal combustion engines to high performance electric cars. A demonstration vehicle was on public display at the annual Almedal week in Gotland, Sweden, and the official launch took place on 29th June at 9.00 am in Visby harbour.

The system, which is entitled True Electric™, can be used directly in the production of new cars. It can also be used to convert existing cars to be purely electrically operated cars. This can be done without compromising the safety and performance of the cars. Furthermore, the system has the potential to be considerably more cost-effective than the electric drive systems that are currently on the market. One of its key components is a revolutionary battery management system for which a patent is pending.

Electroengine’s Managing Director, Thomas Bergfjord, comments: “Many people still want to keep driving nice-looking, practical and safe cars with good performance and handling while they are also keen to choose a more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative. True Electric™ now makes it possible to combine the environmentally friendliness and low running costs of electric cars with the functions and performance of existing petrol-driven cars. We can, for example, use our technology to achieve 0-100 km/h acceleration of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h in a SAAB 9-3, as well as being able to drive it 150-200 km purely on electricity without having to change the car’s interior or exterior – thus retaining the luggage space and tow bar.”

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