Tag Archives: Journalist

Submit Your Classic Saab To The New York Times 2010 Collectible Car Of The Year Contest

Posted on 10. Feb, 2010 by .

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The SAAB Sonett I and the SAAB 93 are featured on the New York Times Today as part of their 2010 Collectible Car Of the Year Contest.

This contest asks you to submit your photos of your collectible car for a chance to win $5,000 and an exclusive interview with a New York Times Journalist to appear on their website!

The deadline is February 22nd, so send the photos in ASAP!

For more details, please click here.

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What Would Bob Sinclair Have Said About All Of This?

Posted on 21. Dec, 2009 by .

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What would Bob Sinclair have said about all of this situation with Saab & GM over the last 20 years? This is what automotive news has recently written as a focus on the ongoing situation with Saab with reference to Bob Sinclair, Saab’s former chief in the United States for many years.

Here’s the article referenced below:

If this truly is the end of Saab, maybe it’s just as well Bob Sinclair isn’t around to see it.

Sinclair, who died in May at age 77, made Saab a success in the United States. As head of U.S. operations in the 1980s, he pushed his reluctant Swedish bosses to add content and luxury to their cars.

We forget just how well Saab was doing in this country a couple of decades ago, nearly hitting sales of 50,000 units before the October 1987 stock market crash. Saab was quirky, but also cool.

Think how hard it is these days to take a brand upmarket. You have to marvel at Sinclair, who retired in 1991. In fact, Saab may be the last brand to make a successful transition from downmarket to upmarket — here or anywhere.

In December 1989, General Motors was cash-flush and distressed that it had lost out to Ford in bidding for Jaguar. So GM acquired half of Saab. Several years later, it bought the rest.
[…]

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Jan-Willem Vester (1958-2009)

Posted on 07. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

It is with great sadness that I share with you the news that Jan-Willem Vester, former Manager, Saab Automobile USA Corporate Communications has passed away today at the age of 51 after a prolonged illness.

A colleague, friend and my first contact when I started Saab History, Jan-Willem Vester has been greatly missed ever since he departed the Saab community earlier this year, and will be forever remembered by family, friends and colleagues.

Jan-Willem’s life began as a young child growing up in the Netherlands with a family that worked in the automotive industry. His Father, worked as as a teacher at a local automotive school and owned a number of family vehicles such as the Peugeot 404 and 504. It was during this time, that Jan-Willem’s interest and curiosity continued in this industry where he began visiting a local auto museum in the area. It was after a number of visits to this museum, which ran numerous films that he first encountered a Saab 96 with legendary rally champion, Erik Carlsson at the Safari Rally.

As he got older, his interest and curiosity about the Saab continued even though his region was effectively split up into only two automotive enthusiasts’ camps, the BMW or the Alfa-Romeo. It made Jan-Willem wonder if there could be something like an even smarter go-between. In his travels around his neighborhood following that first taste of a Saab on film, he began noticing more Saabs in real life such as a bright white ’72 Saab 99 and an orange ’73 Combi Coupe, owned by a local architect. And so the fascination for Saab continued. […]

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2010 Opel Insignia, Sister To Saab 9-5, Has A Hatch!

Posted on 15. Oct, 2009 by .

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Photo Credits: Newcars.ua

It has been long since rumored that the platform that the all new Saab 9-5 was capable of having a hatchback, but it has never really been proven in the Saab community to any real credible extent. However, that rumor can be put to rest now that I recently received an e-mail with a photo and a link to a Ukrainian journalist that test drove the 2010 Opel Insignia.

The photo above of the 2010 Opel Insignia, a sister to the all new Saab 9-5 and Buick Lacrosse shows a nice full hatchback on this model in addition to a sedan with a trunk model, both part of Opel’s Insignia products. In fact, the third insignia product is a full wagon, so that’s three models, a sedan, hatchback and wagon like Saab should have with the all new Saab 9-5.

These photos above finally prove that the same platform is fully capable of integrating a hatchback, as seen on other premium models recently shown.

So the question here is, why did Saab Automobile not install a hatch on the all new Saab 9-5 sedan and make it a 5-door? Opel did, so why couldn’t Saab? That wagon argument won’t be applicable here because Opel has a wagon too.

We’ll most likely have to wait for a good answer on this one as to why the hatch continues to not be considered in the Saab product portfolio even when it’s immediately available on the shared platforms they have used.

I just cannot understand why Saab Automobile continues to throw a blind eye to not only their 28-year heritage in producing incredible hatchbacks, but to the emerging markets for premium hatchbacks.

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Saab History Receives Rare Book “Spelet om SAAB” 1992

Posted on 14. Apr, 2009 by .

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Saab History has just received a very, very rare book titled “Spelet om SAAB” published in 1992.

The book highlights Saab’s company struggle to survive through the ages including the historic surprise purchase by General Motors in December of 1989.

Here is the translation of the back cover summary of the book which has now been listed on the Saab History book archive.

In December of 1989 it was announced that half of the Wallenberg-owned national treasured Saab will be sold to American General Motors.

The bleeding car manufacturer needed a partner who was unknown, but it was unexpected that it would be General Motors.

Jan Hökerberg, journalist for the weekly shop, has not only followed all the paths, but also the power game that led the sale. He also speaks about Saab’s products, from everything from the 1940’s “Ur-Saab” to the 1980’s luxury turbo model.

The game on the Saab is an exciting and initiated this report about a Swedish company’s struggle to survive.

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Car Magazine U.K. Reviews Saab 9-3x In Kiruna, Sweden

Posted on 02. Mar, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

A journalist from the United Kingdom with Car Magazine has recently reviewed the Saab 9-3x. The journalist’s review basically states that the 9-3x with XWD needs eLSD for the cross-wheel drive capabilities to really come into play.

I was interested in what the journalist had to say about Saab in his introduction, as well as cross-wheel drive. Hearing about it is one thing, but experiencing it through a real-life test drive is another. Speaking of which, given that my test drive request here in the states with cross-wheel drive has been going on a month now (since February 4th), I wonder if I’ll ever get to realize what XWD is like with and w/o eLSD in the snow.

In the meantime, in lieu of a test drive to show you in written, photographic and video coverage, it may be worth noting that while digging the 1997 Saab 9000 CS out from the snowfall last night here in New England, the rapid departure of snow from the directional snow tires if filmed at close range, would have been a nice piece to include if one were filming an XWD review. I agree with this observation, however without a test drive, this opportunity would be lost.

I certainly hope that U.S. journalists, myself alike, get the opportunity to test drive XWD in existing 9-3 models as well as the 9-3x before long.

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Saab Automobile Arctic Adventure Northern Sweden

Posted on 02. Mar, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Nikolay Kachev

Saab Automobile AB have been providing journalists from all around the world (except for the United States), a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to test drive Saab’s Cross-Wheel Drive system in standard 9-3 SportCombis, as well as the 9-3x on a frozen lake well in Northern Sweden at the Ice Hotel this past February.

I encourage you to take a look at the amazing photographs that this journalist took covering his experience.

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Saab History On The General Motors Press Conference

Posted on 18. Feb, 2009 by .

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The General Motors Press Conference Took Place On 6:30pm and ran for nearly an hour until 7:30pm, on February 17th, 2009.

I managed to capture the dialog from what was said with specific attention to Saab Automobile by what the GM Execs have said in addition to what they have said in response to the questions that the journalists both in person and on the phone have asked:

It’s clear General Motors wants “nothing” to do with Saab Automobile AB at all, and could offer GM technology if Saab Automobile were able to “buy” it from them.

The writing on the wall for Saab Automobile AB in terms of General Motors future with them was indicated by none other than Rick Wagoner’s response to Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press when asked if there could be a third option with Saab if they aren’t sold or owned by the Swedish Government:

Rick Wagoneer, CEO of GM: “I do not see any continued ownership of Saab”

So, Saab Automobile in the words of GM, have NO future with General Motors at all, so it’s either Saab becomes an independent company and/or sold to a new company because the Swedish Government has expressed that they are also not interested in “owning” Saab Automobile.

What really got under my skin is Rick Wagoneer’s second answer to I believe it was a journalist from Auto Magazine who called in asking if Saab could “buy” GM technology if they got spun off or sold.

Rick Wagoneer, CEO of GM”:: “Yes, Saab could buy the GM technology if that happened, yes”

This really sickens me because this was originally Saab’s innovations and technology, and now Saab Automobile may have to buy their own technology back again?? Not nice at all.

Here is my recap below verbatim:

6:33pm – Thanked Sweden for helping with the plan

6:35pm – GM has conducted a strategic review of the global Saab business and has offered it for sale. Given the urgency of stemming sizeable cash demands associated with Saab operations, GM is requesting Swedish government support prior to any sale. The company has developed a specific proposal that would have the effect of capping GM’s financial support, with Saab’s operations effectively becoming an independent business entity Jan. 1, 2010. While GM hopes to reach agreement with the Swedish government, the Saab Automobile AB subsidiary could file for reorganization as early as this month.

6:36pm GM’s Rick Wagoner indicates that the PR version of the “GM 2009 – 2014 Restructuring Plan” which you can download directly at this link here.

7:00pm – Swedish Journalist in person asks question: How have you been treated in your relations with the Swedish Government regarding the Saab situation?

Fritz Henderson: “We haven’t found a solution yet, has the highest regard”. Fritz Henderson has no difficulties with how they have been treated by the Swedish Government.

7:06pm – Auto Magazine calls in: Could Saab buy GM technology if they were to be spun off?

Rick Wagoneer: Yes, Saab could buy the GM technology if that happened, yes.

7:12pm – Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press: Talks that if Saab not sold, there will be a 3rd option if the Swedish Government does not take it?

Rick Wagoneer: “I do not see any continued ownership of Saab”

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