Tag Archives: local dealer

A letter to all Saab Owners from Jan Åke Jonsson

Posted on 27. Feb, 2010 by .

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Here’s a letter from Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile AB’s Managing Director.

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Dear Saab owner,

It is a great pleasure to announce that Spyker Cars N.V. now has acquired Saab Automobile AB from General Motors, thus securing our future.

I would like to thank you and all Saab customers, who have stood by us throughout this journey. Many of you have rallied, convoyed, blogged and otherwise helped carry the torch to save Saab. Your commitment underlines the remarkable strength of the Saab brand and bodes well for the future.

This new ownership has the full potential of bringing Saab successfully into the future, and ensuring that you as a customer will be able to experience true Saab cars that differ from the ordinary and offers a safe and a sporty fuel efficient driving experience paired with Scandinavian design and smart solution.

It also means that we, together with our dealer network, can continue to offer the best possible treatment and service, for you as well as for your Saab. We welcome you to come visit us – already today you can experience the latest addition to the Saab range — the new Saab 9-3X. Later this spring we will launch the all new Saab 9-5 Sedan and within the next 16 months we have more exciting news to introduce in the market – the new Saab 9-5 SportCombi and the new Saab crossover 9-4X.

A new Saab era begins today. You can continue to follow our progress here on Saab Newsroom and you´re always welcome to experience it from the best place of all: behind the wheel of a Saab at your local dealer.

Yours sincerely,

Jan Åke Jonsson
CEO Saab Automobile AB

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Saab 9-3x Now Available To Order In The United States!

Posted on 03. Feb, 2010 by .

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Saab History has recently been informed by multiple Saab dealerships in the United States tonight that they now have the ability to order the Saab 9-3x!

This is great news for the dealers, and for consumers. While the details are there and one I spoke to tonight, is ordering a few tonight, one in white, another in Nocturne blue, he said that the pricing is not yet available.

The dealers did indicate that if a customer wants to order one, they can take their order at this time. However if an an order is placed prior to closing of the Saab Spyker deal ( February 15th), that order will be submitted at the time of closing.

“I really want this car in Nocturne Blue, Navigation with a manual transmission and XWD with the 5-spoke double 17×7 wheels , as this would be a welcomed change from the ’97 9000 with a quarter of a million miles on it”

As demand is expected to grow significantly following this news for 9-3x availability, Saab dealers encourage you to visit your local dealer to do the best thing you can do and get in line and place an order today!

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Netherlands Saab Club Prepares For "Save Saab" Convoy

Posted on 17. Jan, 2010 by .

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Photo Credits: Azul2001 / SaabForum.NL

The Saab Club of the Netherlands, the ones that started the idea, are working hard in preparing their Saab convoy tomorrow.

Here’s a quote from one of the leaders of the group showing what one of their local dealers did as part of the event!

Griffin up!

OKAY, one of the guys borrows a 9-7X from a local dealer, see pics as attached!!

Not exactly subtle is it? We will have 585 cars in the convoy TODAY!

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Saab Automobile AB Is Planning New Advertising Campaign Once Emerged Succesfully From Reconstruction!

Posted on 24. Apr, 2009 by .

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Saab Automobile AB is apparently planning a huge advertising campaign once they successfully emerge from reconstruction this early summer according to TTELA.

This is really starting to sound positive and exciting for things to come in the near future for Saab Automobile!

Saab is planning advertising campaign

Trollhättan Saab Automobile equipping for the future and right now, a great marketing campaign.
– Now we are preparing for the next phase of reconstruction, “said Patrik Riese, Sweden Head of GM.

Saab is planning for a national marketing campaign. In partnership with Lowe Brindfors, one of Sweden’s largest advertising agencies with clients Coop, Electrolux and the Nordic Company, developed now details of the next advertising campaign.

Since it became clear that Saab Automobile reconstructed in Sweden has focused primarily been to support the company’s local dealer.
– We will continue to do so, at least out in April, “said Patrik Riese.

He would not confirm whether it is a new concept developed, or how extensive the campaign is planned to be. Even if it’s Saab’s new 9-3X will be in focus or if the drive should be construed as if the company expects to market is about to turn:

– We plan continued marketing and now we are preparing for the next phase of reconstruction. Then we go out publicly and try to reach out with our offerings.

What is the next phase of reconstruction? Is it when Saab may clear with a new owner?
[…]

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The History of Saab Police Cars in Vail, Colorado

Posted on 05. Mar, 2009 by .

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Photo Credits: Town Of Vail, Colorado

I have written about the incredible arrangement with Saab Police Cars in Colorado over the past few years here on Saab History. Today, I am been delighted to share with you full written account of the history of Saab police cars by the town of Vail, Colorado, following the account of Aspen, Colorado back in December.

The Vail Police Department, apparently began their partnership program with Saab USA back in 1973, (opposed to wikipedia and other sources who say 1980). This is indicated in not only the account below, but also in the early press releases a few years later by Saab USA.

The relationship as the Vail Police department describes, was beneficial and in 1989, their colleagues at the town council were also extended an offer to drive Saab’s during the World Alpine Ski Championships.

In speaking with their resident mechanic, Byron Stanley, now 85 years old, he recalls the orange and lime green Saab 99s first emerged into the fleet in 1973, replacing their Jeep Cherokees. He said that the “officers began getting excited when the turbo models were introduced once they got their 900 models in 1980”. This was a great time for the Vail Police force, of course, not those that tried to speed away from them in hot pursuit of course. The biggest issue they had at the time, was that in the beginning of the nineties, as Byron describes, ” the 9000s were introduced and, some arrived without turbos and the officers really did not appreciate that.”. Evidently, the turbo models were immediately requested after this situation came about.

With all good things, they finally came to an abrupt halt when the relationship ended in 2005. This partnership ended in the same way that it did for Aspen, as GM requested that partnership be concluded, with no opportunities to renew, even though the town’s police department wanted it to. The vail Police Department, even went so far as to get a local dealer to try and make some phone calls to GM, but even that did not help.

Apparently today, visitors continue ask the town police officers in Vail, “Where are the Saabs?”. The response is that the town now has Volvos. Since 2005, many of the residents are now following suite, unfortunately for Saab fans, slowly changing with the direction of the the police department’s fleet to Volvos in Vail, instead of the Saabs. I also understand many ski resorts in the immediate area also changed to Volvos as well, which has also contributed to the local residents making the switch.

This goes to show that the kind of publicity and notoriety that a police force can give a car company is incredible, it’s too bad that GM did not see the continued value in it for their Saab brand at the time. It’s worth noting though, Saab USA was on the ball for a number of years and it was super of them to have fostered this relationship for 32 years with Vail.

Due to this initiative in covering this Saab History, the town of Vail Colorado’s police department, now have a very concise history of Saab Police cars for their reference, tourists and visitors alike, for years to come!

A sincere thank you goes to the entire team that have constructed this historical reference of Saab Police Cars in the town of Vail, Colorado for Saab History.

badge.jpgHistory of Saab Police Cars in Vail, Colorado

In the late 60’s and early 70’s the Vail Police Department in Vail, Colorado was using a variety of vehicles as their police vehicles, to include a Jeep Wagoneer and an International Scout. These vehicles were selected for their performance in the heavy snows, as traditional rear wheel drive police vehicles were not practical. Vail receives an average annual snowfall accumulation of 366 inches and the four wheel drive vehicles provided the department the maneuverability needed in responding to different areas of varying terrain within the township.
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Saab European Delivery Program Experience

Posted on 02. Feb, 2007 by .

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Frank Wulfers of California has recently provided an extremely well written and thorough writeup of his experience taking a brand new Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan through the Saab European Delivery Program.

Here is the writeup in his own words.

February 18, 2006

I never really considered buying a Saab. That was probably because I did not know much about them. Aren’t those the quirky, different looking cars from northern Europe? When I was checking out dealerships for a replacement of my current SUV, I test-drove a Saab 9-3. One short drive and I think I was sold. I just couldn’t take my eyes of the SID. How cool is that, eh?

After some research, I discovered Saab offers a european delivery program where you can order a new car at your local dealer and have it delivered at the factory in Sweden (or many other cities in Europe). You can drive it around for a while, have it shipped back to the USA and pick it up at your local dealer after a coupe of months.

Saab covers the cost of return shipping, you receive a discount on the price of the car and even get $2000 towards travel expenses. What’s not to like?

Dealer visit
February 25, 2006

It was time to check out the Saab dealer in Mission Viejo, CA. For American standards, it’s a fairly small dealer but it has a friendly, personal feel. A friendly salesman helped me, answered all my questions and explained everything I needed to know. No pressure, it looks like they are not trying to push cars at this dealership. So with literature in hand, I left with many things to think about.

I was planning a trip to Europe in May anyways so there couldn’t be a better opportunity to take advantage of this European Delivery program.

Where do I sign?
March 5, 2006

I finally made up my mind (these things go slow with me). I was ready to take a test-drive of a 2006 Saab 9-3 sedan and see if I still liked it. The 2006 was even nicer to drive than the 2003 I drove a couple of weeks ago. The new models come with more standard equipment and more powerful engines. I was sold. Where do I sign?

My new car will have the 2.0 liter turbo engine. Besides the generous standard equipment, I also ordered the automatic transmission, power sunroof and metallic paint as optional equipment. The exterior color is Fusion Blue (somewhere between light and dark blue) with a Slate Grey leather interior.

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Total price in this configuration is $29,720. With the European Delivery program, the sale price is $26,510. This does not include the $2000 travel assistance check Saab will send you a couple of weeks before you pick up the car.

The pickup date at the factory in Trollhättan is set for Monday May 15th. This program requires putting in the order 6 – 8 weeks before the pickup date. A minimum deposit of $1000 is required at time of order.

Package received from Saab
March 17, 2006

A large envelope from Saab’s USA main office arrived with information about the International & Diplomat Sales program, together with a Customer Order Confirmation. Everything seems very organized and right on track.

The waiting is the hard part. Here in the USA, it is possible to walk into a dealership, choose a new car on the lot, arrange financing, trade-in your vehicle and drive off with your new purchase all within the same day. This delivery in Europe takes much longer..

Full payment
April 8, 2006

Full payment is required 4 weeks before the car is picked up in Europe. It can be a little tricky to arrange financing. Many financial institutions require registration of the car at time of purchase, together with a lien on the vehicle. When full payment to Saab is required, the car is not even manufactured yet. Strangely enough, Saab’s own financing company doesn’t even offer financing for IDS sales.

To make a long story short, there are a few ways “around” this issue and financing was no problem. The waiting continues..

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My car is born
April 17, 2006

The dealership told me the car was going to be built this week. Somewhere far away, people and machines are manufacturing and assembling parts to make my own car. Quite exciting. I am getting too involved in this entire process.. It won’t be long before I start thinking of a name for her. 🙂

Travel assistance check received
April 30, 2006

The check for the $2000 travel assistance payment arrived in the mail. The letter also shows the VIN so my new car has been brought into this world. Still thinking of a name…

Travel to Trollhattan

March 14, 2006

I checked with the IDS coordinator for Saab USA 5 days before I left to make sure they received my travel information and everything was all set. They confirmed receipt of my travel info and a driver would be at the airport.

After a long flight (Santa Ana, CA –> Chicago –> Frankfurt –> Gothenburg), I arrived at the airport of Gothenburg. Unfortunately, no driver from Saab waiting for me … After an hour, I decided to take a taxi to Ronnums Herrgard which is about 70 miles from Goteburg. Arriving at the hotel, I discovered it is closed on Sundays.. I wish Saab would tell you beforehand you won’t be staying there if you arrive on a Sunday.

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I was lucky to be able to reach someone from the hotel because my taxi already left. They were very helpfull and sent over the groundskeeper to give me a key and let me into the hotel. Not what I expected for the first night but at least I had a place to stay. Of course, the restaurant is closed on Sundays as well so no dinner for me that night. I found a supermarket near the hotel where I was able to get a sandwich and some other things.

Picking up my new car
March 15. 2006

The hotel already contacted SAAB ANA (the dealer where they handle IDS deliveries) and arranged for a taxi to take me there. Later at the dealership, Monica (the IDS coordinator) told me she never received the information from Saab USA about my arrival. The first time she heard I was coming this day was when she received a call from the hotel. She was very nice about it and immediately offered to pay for the taxi fare (about $200).

My new car was waiting in the delivery area of the dealership, among several other cars for local customers. Monica showed everything about my new car I needed to know. After that, we went through all the paperwork and signing of the necessary documents. I was there for about 1 and a 1/2 hours so there was enough time, nothing was rushed.

There was a mistake made with the order entry of my car. They forgot to enter the body-colored door handles into the system. We agreed it would be best to have this corrected by my dealer in California. My advice is to make sure you’re familiar with the standard equipment of USA-spec cars and check when you take delivery.

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Please note: My experience with these few problems are an exception to the rule. Saab does hundreds of IDS deliveries a year and I am sure most of them go smoothly. As with anything, there is a possibility for problems but don’t let it ruin your vacation and enjoying your new car.

After leaving the dealership, I drove to the nearby factory for the factory tour. The tour started at the welcome center for a brief overview of Saab history. The actual tour starts at the stamping plant and goes through the entire production process. It was very interesting to see how the chassis with wheels, engine etc is joined with the car body coming from high above the factory floor. The plant is very clean and pretty quiet. A unique experience to see how cars are manufactured and I highly recommend taking this tour if you take delivery of your new Saab in Trollhattan.

The Saab museum was the next stop and is only a short drive from the factory. It is not very big but gives a nice overview of the history and future of Saab vehicles. Entrance is free when you mention you are an IDS customer.

Travel through Scandinavia
May 15 – 20, 2006

I spent the first week of my European adventure in Scandinavia. After I was done in Trollhattan, I headed to Oslo. Next stop was Bergen. All the fjords in this area are simply breathtaking. Nothing can prepare you for seeing these majestic mountains with beautiful clear waters. Wow.

The days are pretty long at these latitudes. I kept thinking of the movie Insomnia (the first Norwegian version) when daylight finally fades around 11:00pm. The sun greets you again around 4:00am so nights are pretty short. I still need to experience the midnight sun some time.

From the fjords, I headed southeast following the road along the Jostedalsbreen glacier. It’s the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe and there was still a lot of snow left. The temperature hovered around freezing so the snow was not going anywhere soon.

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Back again through Sweden. I didn’t see a whole lot of Sweden but made a little detour from the highway through the southern part (Skåne). The landscape around Trollhättan with all the lakes and rocky shores was remarkably similar to what you find in the U.P. of Michigan and Ontario around Lake Superior. That could be the reason so many Scandinavians emigrated to that area (and Minnesota as well). Strange to see a landscape so familiar so far away from home.

From Sweden to Denmark over the Öresund link, a combination of a long bridge and tunnel. Quite an engineering accomplishment. Denmark took me to Germany where I had the opportunity to try out the top speed. I was able to get the 9-3 over the magical mark of 200 km/h (125 mph) for just a minute or so. The wet road surface and many vacationers with caravans (travel trailers for you Americans) limited the fast-driving experience. Northern Germany passed by quickly after which I crossed the border with Holland.

Week in Holland
May 21 – 28, 2006

The second week was in Holland for visiting family and friends. Just a few places to visit so not much to report as far as sightseeing goes. I am originally from Holland and it’s hard to give an objective touristic view of your own country.

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England and Wales

May 29 – June 5, 2006

From Holland, I took the ferry to England (IJmuiden – Newcastle) which was an overnight trip. I drove from Newcastle along the Scottish border towards the west coast. Through the Lake District and south to Liverpool. Interesting city, lot of history as well. Onwards to Wales.

It’s very interesting to listen to Welsh radio stations. They say Dutch is a hard language to learn but Welsh seems to be up there as well.

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The area around the Snowdon mountains is beautiful. There are too many castles to visit but I was able to explore some. From there I headed south to Cardiff and then on towards Stonehenge. I expected it to be a very touristic but it is one of those things you have to see at least once in your life. And yes, there were a lot of tour buses and large groups of people

Looking back, I enjoyed visiting the much smaller Castlerigg stone circle in the Lake District more due to the solitude in that location.

Dropping of the car in London
June 6, 2006

The agent for the UK is located near Heathrow airport. It is a small office inside the Renaissance Hotel. All paperwork was handled quickly and efficient. The handling fee had to be paid in cash and came to GBP 215. I also had to hand over my keys and say goodbye to my car. “So long my friend, see you in a couple of months!” I wanted to shout to my Fusion-Blue companion with tears in my eyes but I was able to compose myself.

I have driven a total of 3651 miles with an average of 28.2 miles per gallon (US). Not bad at all. I just shouldn’t think about the $9 per gallon I paid on average throughout my trip. Ah well, how often can you drive your own car through the most beautiful places in Europe, right?

From the hotel, I took the Hoppa hotel bus to the airport where the Underground took me to the centre of London. Just a few more days in London and then back home. It was all over but the memory and pictures will last a lifetime.

Tracking the car

June 9, 2006

It was too bad I was not able to take the car with me on the plane but that would probably cost more than the purchase price of the car. So the waiting starts..

Fortunately, there is a way to track the car and find out how it will make its way across the ocean. Most Saab vehicles are shipped by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. To find out more about the shipping schedule for your car, go to the tracking page:

1) go to www.2wglobal.com
2) click on Customer Centre and Cargo Tracking
3) click on Auto Cargo
4) enter your vehicle VIN in the Cargo ID field.
5) Click on Track and you will see the name of the vessel, port of origin and destination among other things.

My vehicle shows up as:

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On the website, you can click on the Voyage number to see details about the schedule, including the ports this ship will visit.

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My car will be put on the vessel in Southhampton in about 10 days and will arrive on June 12th at Port Hueneme north of Los Angeles. So it seems the estimate of 6 – 7 weeks after drop-off in Europe is an accurate estimate.

Picture of Isolde

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On the boat
June 19, 2006

The car has been loaded on the ship. It’s still a long time away before it reaches California but at least it’s moving again. Every day a little bit closer.

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Arrival at the port in the USA

July 12, 2006

At last, she made it back to shore in California.

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Arrival at dealership
July 18, 2006

Almost home. It arrived at the dealership in Mission Viejo waiting for the finance check clearance (they were a bit slow in cashing the check from 3 months ago..), clean up from the long trip and a quick visit to the service department to have the daytime running lights disabled.

Delivery

July 21, 2006

At last, today is the day for picking up my car at the dealership. After signing the necessary forms, I could finally drive my car again that I dropped off in London exactly 7 weeks ago. It seems more like 7 months! It took 20 weeks from order to delivery in California so you definitely need patience with the European Delivery Program.

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Would I do it again? Most definitely. It might not be the fastest, most expensive, most exclusive car in California but how many people do you know that toured the factory where their car was made, have driven their own car along glaciers in Norway, crossed the Oresund link from Sweden to Denmark, experienced the autobahn in Germany, driven along the canals in Amsterdam, crossed the North Sea, visited ancient castles in Wales and photographed their car with Stonehenge in the background?

What a trip, I can’t wait to do it all over again some day. 🙂

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For more information on the Saab European Delivery program, please visit my post on the process http://www.saabhistory.com/2007/01/15/saab-european-delivery-program/

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Production Concept