Tag Archives: Saab Cars USA

A little hometown love for the Turbo-X

Posted on 03. Jun, 2008 by .

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Small Turbo-X Gravel Roostertail Action

Growing up around the Seacoast area, Saabs never seemed to get the respect and admiration from the press that one would see as befitting of such a magnificent marque. I would be so excited to see some press about a new Saab in the newspaper, only to be disappointed by buzzwords like “quirky” or “torque steer”. Over time, I became jaded and just stopped reading the automotive section all together.

So the other morning, Ryan was by my place for a quick visit and saw the Portsmouth Herald on my kitchen table. Well sure enough, there was the picture you see above with a great article by Gerry Miles, a local correspondent for Seacoast Media Group. Gerry, a Saab enthusiast in his own right, had this to say in a quick email to Saab History about his own Saab history:

“…I’ve owned 2 Saabs, a 900S 4-door and 900S hatchback. I miss them both, notchy gearbox and all. The 900s Hatch lost its drivers window during a winter storm on a trip to LL Bean and the passengers in the back got buffeted with brisk air. We borrowed some cardboard in Maine and blocked the driver’s window. The local dealership laughed like hell when I told him how I went to put the window down at the York Toll’s and the window stuck and then twisted on an angle and sank slowly before I could grab it. I appreciated the heated seat like heck then!”

And now, without further ado, here is Gerry’s take on the tantalizing Turbo-X:

Turbo X goes back in time to Saab’s future: “Black is back”

ANDOVER, Mass. – In a nod to the past with a keen eye on the present, Saab Cars USA showed off its latest, and greatest, way to fight the snow since they standardized heated front seats here last week with a national press introduction.

Cross Wheel Drive, or XWD for acronym aficionados, is the best adaptation of front and all-wheel-drive in a tidy package produced for the limited edition retro version of the old Saab s now found in the a retro version of the classic black 1985 Saab 900 SPG. Saab, which made its international intro of the vehicle last fall at the New England International Auto Show in Boston , returned to the northeast because 40 percent of its stateside sales are derived from the six-state region and the firm was headquartered in Orange , Conn. , for 37 years.

Saab historical fans may know, or know of former CEO Ralph Millet displaying the first Saab at the New York Auto Show where the car was meant only to generate interest as a static display. It drew so much interest than when a man pressed him on the price, he hesitated, walked away for a bit, came back with a price and thus the first Saab was sold in the USA .

Imagine a new 9-3, swathed in deep rich black paint and matching black interior – like the black 99 and 900 Turbos – and you’ll find the retro turbo boost gauge on the right side of the instrument panel, in its white/yellow/red curved stripe, all the better to show how much of the 295 foot-pounds of torque at 2,150 rpm are churning through the turbo-powered four-cylinder mill to generate a peak of 280 horsepower from the 2.8-liter V-6 engine.

Sitting behind the wheel of the fastest Saab ever produced – yes, it’s quicker than the torque-steer ridden Viggen that wore out tires and nerves wrestling the steering wheel – zooming up to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, it’s every bit a Saab, swift and sedate.

Driving up to the test site from Boston , we zipped through Storrow Drive , up the Big Dig ramps and onto 93 North where the expansion joints every 25 yards or so gave the suspension a real world test that even a marketing guru had not experienced but likened to the cement roads of Detroit . It was there that we surmised the Turbo X, which crossed the suspension joints but didn’t jar our fillings loose, had passed its first real world suspension test.

At the test site, we discovered just how good the car was – especially for its given mission – staying planted in slippery conditions.

With sand spread on a parking lot, I first pushed the automatic Turbo X through a slalom and then hammered the apex of a corner, trying to push the rear end out of control. No dice.

Just when the sand flew and the back end started to feel a tad light and slide, with my foot still on the gas, the X corrected and moved out towards the next set of cones.

The magic comes from a proprietary fourth generation Haldex unit that mates to either the auto or 6-speed manual transmission. What happens next is an alphabet soup of techno wizardry but it works all the time and at high speeds in dry-land zipping through cones or repeated passes through the sand in the apex of the sweeper.

First, consider that XWD can send up to 100 percent of the power to either the front or rear wheels if needed. Under normal conditions, expect no more than 10 percent to be sent to the rear wheels. Then, consider that the cross-over features allows up to 40 percent of the torque to switch to the rear wheel with the most grip.

“If you had two front wheels on ice, say, and one in wet snow and one wheel on gravel or something with better grip than the other three,” described Saab engineer Tommy Sundin, “this XWD would get you out. It’s as simple as that.”

What sounds simple is really a neat interaction of new systems. Chiefly there’s a version of electronic limited slip differential called eLSD. It also works in dry or wet weather to help cross deeper than expected puddles or with cornering aggressively.

How it works

When you select a gear, the PTU (Power Take-off Unit), which transmits power through the prop shaft to the rear axle and the RDM (Rear Drive Module, which includes a TTD (Torque Transfer Device) and the eLSD (electronic limited slip differential).

At the gear selection, the systems synergize whereas previous systems needed to detect any wheel slippage before engaging the backside. This also means one will no longer find the snowflake symbol atop the auto gear shift. Pressing this button on past models in winter started the vehicle in third gear to prevent wheel slip at takeoff.
Underway, the TTD , RDM and eLSD “talk” back and forth – literally – depending upon traction or lack thereof for sure-footed driving.

Torque between the axles is handled by the TTD, depending upon “slip.” The RDM and eLSD perform similar functions by laterally and in concert with the ABS/ESP programs that monitor yaw ratio, steering angle, speed and other factors.

Retro-fit

Sundin explained that getting the systems to fit underneath, without becoming bulky was a trick that was mastered. Just six tiny brackets were needed to hang the Haldex. The gas tank was modified, but is still a one-piece unit with a sending unit to keep pressure taut and steady.

The rear suspension got reworked and has a self-leveling feature Sundin said was necessary, as is a big anti-roll bar.

Why they did it

Saab, according to marketing guru Roger McCormack, is hoping to become more of a premium niche player and a graphic showed that it’s all new money for parent firm General Motors. Saab released a starting price last fall of $ 42,510; the SportCombi wagon is priced at $43,310 according to trollhattensaab.net.

The move to all-wheel-drive, along with most of the premium import segment, was a natural, especially after the failed experiment with the 9-2X Saab-aru variant from Subaru.

Of the 2,000 Turbo X’s produced, a limited number that may well establish it as a “Classic Cult Car” too, but 600 are to be sold stateside and it’s estimated that half of that allotment is already sold.
As the only premium European brand in the GM family, XWD gives Saab another quiver in its all-weather versatility perception and reality. XWD will migrate to the 9.3 2.0t and the 9.3 Aero this fall and the rest of the Swedish portfolio, including the 9.4 that was shown off in Detroit this winter.

Exclusivity

The Saab Turbo X will be limited to 2,000 production units worldwide. Known market allocations are as follows:
US – 600 units
UK – 500 units
SWEDEN – 175 units
CANADA – 125
SWITZERLAND – 120
GERMANY – 90
AUSTRALIA – 30
FRANCE – 50

Model: 9-3 Turbo X
Body style / driveline:
Sport Sedan : 4-door, 5-passenger, all-wheel drive;
SportCombi: 5-door, 5-passenger, all-wheel drive
EPA vehicle class: premium compact sport sedan and sport wagon
Engine:
Type: 2.8L V-6-cylinder high-output turbo
Displacement: 170 cu. in.
Horsepower: 280 @ 5500 rpm
Acceleration 0-60: 5.4 seconds
Chassis/Suspension
Front: MacPherson struts, gas shock absorbers, anti-roll bar, hydroformed sub-frame
Rear: independent, 4-link (including toe-link), coil springs, self-leveling shock absorbers, anti-roll bar, sub-frame, Re-Axs rear-wheel steering system
Steering type: power-assisted rack and pinion
Brakes
Type: 4-wheel disc, hydraulic, dual-circuit with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), mechanical brake assist (MBA), vacuum booster, anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control system (TCS) and electronic stability program (ESP), ventilated front discs and rear discs
Rotor diameter x thickness
front: 13.6 x 1.18 in.
rear: 11.5 x 0.8 in.
Wheels and Tires
Wheel size and type (in): 18 x 7.5-inch alloy
Tires: P235/45 R18

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Saab Enthusiast Restarts Saab Club in New Jersey

Posted on 04. Apr, 2008 by .

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Saab Enthusiast and sales represenative at Cherry Hill Saab, resurrects a Saab Club in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Saab Owners Club (NJSOC) was originally started by a longtime Saab enthusiast by the name of Larry West in 1987, 21 years ago.

I recall going to a few of the NJSOC technical sessions that were arranged by this club and hosted with John Moss at the former Saab Cars USA Technical Training facility in Wallingford, Connecticut in 2001 that GM subsequently closed in April of 2005. I believe that sometime after 2001, the New Jersey Saab Owners Club was disbanded.

If you are a Saab Owner or enthusiast in and around New Jersey and can make it to the next meeting, check it out and let me know how it went!

Here is a piece about the club’s new launch:

The Jersey Saab Club is all about the Saab owner pride in the Delaware Valley.

The South Jersey / Philadelphia area has some of the best Saab’s in the country. In the past we have not had representation in the Saab owners Club of North America annual meetings and we would like to show that this area definately has a lot of Saab pride.

This isn’t going to be easy but with your help and love for the brand we can show the rest of the country the wonderful cars our areas has.

Our Meetings are in South Jersey. South Jersey is most defined as Trenton down to Cape May. Don’t worry if you are from North of Trenton you can still participate in the club our meetings and outings will be held south of Trenton.

This club is committed to all Saab’s. Old and New. We encourage recent Saab owners as well as “old heads” to join the club and socialize and network.

Please visit their website directly here: http://jerseysaabclub.com

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Saab History Visits GM Media Archives

Posted on 29. Jan, 2008 by .

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On January 15th, shortly after my visit to the GM Heritage Center, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the GM Media Archive where the “official” Saab Film collection is stored for Saab Automobile USA.

The GM Media Archive is located in Livonia, Michigan about 30 minutes from downtown Detroit and about 45 minutes from the GM Heritage Center.

Upon my arrival I was granted the ability on a per request basis per photo to take snapshots, but digital video was not an option at this high security facility. I began my visit by getting a nice introduction and primer as to how this facility was managed, how the media material is stored and safeguarded and what their backup/contingency plans are for keeping the material in the event of a disaster.

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Photo Credits: Saab History

The first part of the actual tour started out with a walk through the various film libraries ranging from media in 8mm, 16mm, 35mm films to Digital Betacam. Of course, I was focused only on the the “Saab Film Collection” as I am calling it, which is a very small percentage of what this facility maintains covering all of GM’s brands. This Saab Film Collection consists of a number of films roughly totalling around 300 as I understand it, and are mostly converted over already to Digital Betacam format and in some instances, electronic format as well at this time.

I was told that these films that are housed in this collection arrived shortly after Saab Cars USA relocated to Detroit from their former headquarters in Norcross, Georgia in 2004. This material that was shipped from Norcross, was split up so that the videos would be stored here and the photos and paper material would be stored at the GM Heritage Center, for better maintainence and cataloging as I have depicted earlier.

I was then shown their computer cataloging system which gave me a good idea of what this collection consisted of, and for all intents and purposes, appears to date back to the late eighties, which is a lot later than I would have thought it did. It is great to hear that this collection exists, but I must wonder where all of the films from the late 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s and early to mid eighties have gone before this move? I even asked this question to some of the friendly staffers which indicate that these situations are all too common in this industry, believing that many of these collections have typically ended up in former employees hands over the years. I certainly concur, given that we have received a number of these films as donations dating back to these years from former employees for our enjoyment here on Saab History.

During my visit, I got the chance to see everything from their duplication room to their storage archive. I was initially hoping that I could walk down an aisle of Saab videos, films, etc. and just browse like I was able to in the Saab Archive back at the GM Heritage Center. 4_3001.jpgThis opportunity to browse, was not the case here at all. These films are all cataloged with bar codes and there were no distinctive visuals or writing cueing you into identifying them as a “Saab Video” in a browseable manner. These films are also cataloged in terms of quality, not by brand, which made browsing certainly not a realistic option. The method in which one looks up film is actually a bit easier than I thought and it is not surprisingly done by computer. Their computer system accesses a database and within that database you can narrow your search down by brand, so we of course immediately directed our efforts to everything labeled “Saab”, and not “SAAB” since the archive did not go back to 1969 or earlier. The films that showed up included a variety of areas, all classified by what was literally written on the films, so if the labeling on the film wasn’t accurate from whomever originally produced the video, neither was the description that ended up in the database. I took the opportunity at this stage to do a few hypothetical run-throughs requesting films to literally pull off of the shelf and view. The first film I viewed was a film produced in 1993 featuring Saab Cars, USA’s PR representative test driving a 1993 9000 CS model on a track (note the labeling as depicted on the photo above as “Saab 900” being clearly incorrect here).

5_3001.jpgI was really impressed with this process where one could request a film, then they look it up in their computer database, then simply walk to where it would be located on the shelf and pull it from the bar code identification, then pop it in one of their expensive “VCRs” and play it in broadcast quality.

The ability to easily access this material in an intuitive format is great and it is nice that Saab Automobile USA has a tool like this available, but it certainly brings up again an incredibly important issue. Currently, this information is not available to the public to enjoy like I have on my website here in the Saab Video Archive. I believe, that we all need to enjoy every film in this collection in the same way we have already been enjoying the existing collection on Saab History. I owe it the myself and the Saab Community at large to see to it that we can enjoy this collection as well in a similiar method that so far, people really enjoy here on the this website. Please wish me well in this pursuit in the spirit of furthering our education on all things Saab moving ahead.

All in all, I was delighted that the schedules worked out so that I was able to get a tour of this facility shortly after visiting the GM Heritage Center earlier. This last day in the greater Detroit, Michigan area following the 2008 North American International Auto Show where the Saab 9-4x BioPower premiered was certainly a great way to end such an eventful and exciting trip.

A sincere and appreciative thank you goes to the staff at the GM Heritage Center, the staff at the GM Media Archive and Saab Automobile USA for making this happen in order to share this experience with the Saab Community.

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SAAB-SCANIA of America – 60 Marsh Hill Rd, Orange, CT

Posted on 24. Oct, 2007 by .

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Photo Credits: Esto

The architectural firm, Douglas, Orr, deCossy and Winder designed the first building for SAAB-SCANIA of America, Inc. located at 60 Marsh Hill Road in Orange, Connecticut back in 1971. I have been in touch recently with both the original Architect of the project William deCossy, AIA as well as the Project Architect Russell Raymond Santora, AIA and both have been so kind as to provide “everything” they had in their possession with regards to this facility.

It is important to note that this facility is where both legendary Presidents of Saab USA, Ralph Millet as well as Robert J. Sinclair had worked.

It is also good to know that this is the first time that true color photographs of 60 Marsh Hill Road have surfaced as indicated above, so this is a huge milestone for the Saab History project.

The material below has been carefully retyped in their own words and the scanned sketches as well as photographs are all in black in white as that was what both William deCossy as well as Russell Santora had. If you find yourself visiting this and know of or know someone who has color photographs that I could replace and/or accompany the black and white photographs with, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
[…]

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2008 Saab 9-3 Writeup on Forbes Autos

Posted on 15. Oct, 2007 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History

Forbes Autos have recently provided a writeup of the 2008 Saab 9-3 which is quite respectible. It discusses some of the finer points that were critical in the 2008 model change.

I would suggest taking a look at it here.

As a side note, it is “interesting” that one of the photos they include in their photo gallery after clicking on the link above, was one that I took and specifically arranged with Saab Cars USA and their photography team at the House of Sweden back at the 2008 Saab 9-3 Drive event. Had it not been for that arrangement, the photographs would not be available. It would have been nice for Forbes to ask permission of the photographer before posting like other professionals do.

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Salmon, Saabs & Spey Rods – European Delivery Program

Posted on 04. Oct, 2007 by .

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The Saab European Delivery Program offered exclusively for residents in the United States with Saab Automobile USA for a number of years now, is currently being updated for the 2008 season. watermusic.jpgThis truly incredible program has been written about many times by new customers, and in 1999, a book was written about it in great length by a friend of a customer, David Swanson, titled “Salmon, Saabs & Spey Rods”.

In his book he writes about his experience with his friend who is picking up her brand new Saab in Trollhättan, Sweden at the factory. I have received a copy of this out of print book and have thoroughly enjoyed the numerous Saab references. Here is a wonderful passage from the book that I would like to share with you.

Kathy rejoins me with fresh coffees that are only to be left untouched on a counter when the driver arrives. I videotaped this beginning of her long awaited day and he introduces himself as Joachim and opens the door of his Saab 9000 for Kathy, now giddy and grinning. We head to the factory in the rain.

“Do you know which one is yours?” asks Joachim in the clean cavernous warehouse, and Kathy strides right to it as if drawn by a magnet. Her cayenne red 9-3 is stationed between brethren Saabs on smooth clean cement reflecting the bluish-green flourescent lights overhead.

I am greener with envy. I had been Saabless until a half a year ago when I occasionally usurped Kathy’s old 900 S after she decided then or never to travel here to Sweden to purchase her third Saab. They promote an overseas “Diplomat Sales” program where you can pick up your car from the factory, cruise it around Europe, and airfare for two are thrown into the mix.

In this deal of deals, I inherit her old dark gray 900 S at a price not yet determined. I will have use of the new 9-3 with her and, when she leaves and Laila joins me, then, for the next ten days. Two rules of the road I have agreed to: not to smoke in the car (if I can help it) and to return to Gothenburg to be shipped clean and free of coffee cups rolling on the floor. Not a bad price.

We have each owned three Saabs at one time or another. My first, a nauseating pea green, or maybe Saab calls it mint lime green, 1978 99 L, was my first love while a journalism student at Ohio University. I am sure it runs lovingly today as someone else’s problem. It finally didn’t pass inspection with the rust and escape holes in most of the flooring under the gas and brake pedals. Minor setbacks in my opinion, convenient for spilled beer and the jettisoning of cigarette butts. I sold it for two hundred dollars, needing money after my first trip to and taste of Scandinavia in 1988.

My second Saab was another used byt not much sleeker white 1983 900 my father found in the classifieds for $3,500 in 1989 upon my return to the States. Some problems developed with the crankshaft, and mysterious metal filings appeared in the oil pan, but all was fixable and dependable until a soaking drunk cabby ran a red light on Pennsylvania Avenue in Philadelphia and clipped the nose off of my advancement into the intersection. The front-hinged engine hood, a tenuous design at best, morphed into a frisbee and landing out of sight.

****

I see that it is everything she expects – and possibly more. Joachim proudly recites the functions and details of every button, lever and knob. Her pristine 9-3 is stationed among a dozen of the other brightly colored 9-3s and 9-5s, Saab’s update of the 900 and the 9000. The car glows.

Kathy and Joachim take a seat on a couch in the office and efficiently weed through the paperwork. He says that there is one more thing, a present from Saab, and he hands her a brown-paper wrapped oddity. She opens it to reveal a Swedish wooden handicraft, a painted blue Dala Horse.

Facing forward, the carved horse jams perfectly on top of the dashboard ready to guide us away from the Saab factory.

Following the print run of this book, there was apparently a reception that took place by the publishers of the book, Meadow Run Press that was well received, complete with numerous Saabs available thanks to Saab Cars USA. I leave you with a quote about this engagement.

“On this past October 30th, Meadow Run Press held a reception in Far Hills, NJ for the author celebrating the publication of Water Music. The superb weather was a celestial gift and several hundred guests enjoyed a grand Scandinavian buffet and looked over an array of very snazzy Saab automobiles.

This even could not have been possible without the endearing support of our friends at Saab Cars USA and The Macallan, distiller (on the River Spey) of some of the finest single-malt Scotch in the world.

If you are interested in picking up a copy of this book, you can order one directly from Amazon by clicking on the following link

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“Find Your Own Road” Theme Captures True Saab Spirit

Posted on 19. Sep, 2007 by .

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Here is an original press release illustrating the incredible effect that the “Find Your Own Road” advertising campaign did for Saab Cars USA in 1995. I urge you to take a look below.

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10/27/95

“FIND YOUR OWN ROAD” THEME CAPTURES TRUE SAAB SPIRIT

Saab’s Brand Campaign Based on Core Saab Values and Product Cues

NORCROSS, Ga. — While other automakers have been busy redefining themselves to capture new customer bases, Saab’s “Find Your Own Road” advertising campaign was designed to capture the very soul and essence of the 48-year-old Swedish automaker. The brand campaign, Saab Cars USA, Inc.’s most ambitious ever, focuses on the individualistic attitude that has defined Saab products and buyers since the first unique Saab 92 was unveiled in 1947. For 1996, the Find Your Own Road theme is being expanded to impact virtually every facet of operations, including such diverse applications as the Saab car window sticker (Monroney label), Saab’s national auto show exhibit, a complete line of clothing, an Internet website, a broad range of direct mail and brochures, even the lobby design of Saab’s U.S. headquarters.

More Than a Message – It’s An Attitude

David Krysiek, Saab Cars USA, Inc.’s director of marketing, considers the Find Your Own Road theme much more than a marketing message. “This campaign isn’t just a one-shot strategy, designed to target a specific group of potential buyers,” he explained. “The Find Your Own Road theme expresses the core of our products’ appeal, as well as the attitude of the individuals who buy them today — and who bought them yesterday.” Krysiek also emphasized that the theme is a long-term commitment, one that will continue to serve as a foundation for all Saab brand communications.

To-date, Saab’s Find Your Own Road campaign has more than proven its appeal by delivering a significant 66 percent increase in brand consideration, a 30 percent increase in brand awareness, and a 29 percent surge in consumer inquiries.

Animated Graphics. Spirited Colors Impact Every Area of Saab’s Business

Since they debuted in April 1995, the unique Find Your Own Road television and print spots broke new ground in automotive advertising. The all-animation first phase of the campaign was quickly followed by phase two advertising that incorporated specific product messages, such as print advertising that aggressively pointed out the popular Saab 900 Convertible was “Roomier than a Mercedes. Quicker than a BMW. Yes, Saab is odd all right.”

For late 1995 and throughout 1996, the Find Your Own Road theme is being integrated in the entire range of marketing communications, and will be an crucial part of a number of innovative applications. For example, all 1996 Saab 900 and 9000 models feature the automotive industry’s most colorful Monroney label. The window sticker is an attention-getter, featuring bright graphics, as well as dynamic colors.

The Find Your Own Road typeface — called Roughhouse — and animation graphics have also found their way into Saab’s national auto show exhibit. Lifesize characters from the advertising campaign’s television and print ads pop up throughout the exhibit, and the in-your-face colors and graphic elements of the campaign are brilliantly represented.

Saab has also integrated the theme into a number of innovative direct mail pieces, including a Virtual Reality Test Drive. Consumers who respond to the offer for the test drive through an 800 number, are automatically linked to an audio program which, through sound and script, takes the listener on a journey that features every car in the Saab 1996 new model line.

Visitors to Saab’s headquarters in Norcross, Georgia will know immediately that they have found their own road to the Swedish automaker’s U.S. sales and marketing organization. On permanent display in the visitor’s lobby is a mobile piece of art. It is a colorful 1995 Saab 9000 Aero, hand-painted with the original elements of the Find Your Own Road print ad, that a Saab employee team captained by president and CEO Jim Crumlish, campaigned in the grueling One Lap of America competition.

“Tvpical” Saab Owners Do Not Exist

By celebrating the spirit of individuality, Saab’s Find Your Own Road campaign has struck a familiar chord in both long-time and first-time Saab enthusiasts. While these owners do share certain traits — such as being the most highly-educated owner group (52 percent have post-graduate degrees) of any automaker — they cannot be categorized — with one exception. Virtually all Saab buyers have a strong passion for products that take a slightly different path from the mainstream. “In Saab,” said Krysiek, “buyers have discovered a product that’s as unapologetic about being unconventional as they are.” It is this unconventionality that has set both Saab cars and Saab buyers apart since the very beginning.

Saab Owners Have Found Their Own Road For Decades

During Saab’s early years in the U.S. market, owners would proudly wave and blink their headlights when they chanced upon a fellow aficionado of the “odd” yet astonishingly versatile Swedish cars. Today, with close to half a million Saabs on the nation’s roads, Saab owners encounter one another much more frequently, but the feeling of belonging to a special club remains.

The spirit and culture of Saab has been celebrated at owner gatherings since the early 1960s, when over a thousand Saab owners and nearly 600 early Saabs met at the company’s then-U.S. headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut. Families traveled from as far away as California and the eastern provinces of Canada to attend the 1963 Saab meet, and this tradition continues today with an annual National Saab Owners’ Convention. The 1995 gathering took place in Norcross, Georgia, the location of Saab Cars USA, Inc.’s U.S. headquarters, and the 1996 convention has been scheduled for San Francisco, California.

In addition to annual owner gatherings, a national and dozens of regional Saab clubs are a vital part of the thriving Saab culture. The oldest Saab club on record, the Saab Club-National Capitol area, celebrates its 35th anniversary in 1996, and the national organization, the Saab Club of North America, boasts over 4,000 dues-paying Saab enthusiast members.

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Cross-Promoting Cross-Wheel Drive “XWD” at Ski Resorts

Posted on 09. Sep, 2007 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

Today, I was going through some of the archives here at Saab history and pulled the emergency brake as soon as I uncovered the following material. The ideas depicted on this material in my opinion, are a perfect way to add a “4th” element to the three-pronged approach I mentioned earlier on Saab’s Cross-Wheel Drive ‘XWD’ in the North East. This particular idea of mine consists of “Cross-Cromoting” Cross Wheel Drive at numerous Ski Resorts in the North East as well as in the West.

The material that I uncovered, outlines some of the previous details on cross-promoting the Saab brand at both Maine Saab Dealers as well as the Sugarloaf Ski Resort back on February of 1995. While the information is about 12 years old, the ideas used here are right on the money and could be used in concert with some specialized demonstrations as well as particular venues showcasing the Saab 9-3 XWD such as the Saab dealerships as well as the Ski Resorts.

The promotion shown below in the press release may have had its level of effectiveness back then, but today Saab has the critical all-wheel drive element under their wing, so the timing of this idea with the cross-wheel drive now is more important than ever before. It is imperative that Saab Automobile USA thoroughly investigate this opportunity as well as the aforementioned ones.

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February 26, 1995

Dear Saab Owner:

Saab Cars USA and your Maine Saab Dealers are pleased to extend to you an invitation to be our guest at Saab Owners Days on April 1st and 2nd at “The Snowplace of The East Suglarloaf / USA.

This special Saab Owners Weekend is our third Annual Owner Event, and we hope you can join us for a wonderful weekend of beautiful spring skiing at Sugarloaf. We have a fun weekend planned and are pleased to extend to you the following special benefits:

* Saab Owners Lift Tickets at just $15.00 per day!
* Sign up for the Saab Owners Ski Race to be held on Saturday
* Priority Saab parking for the first 75 Saabs on the mountain
* Attend the Saab Owners on mountain luncheon and Owners Reception on Satuday and Sunday
* Enter to win great prizes like Rossignol Skis, CB Jackets and Saab gift items.
* Win the use of a new Saab Convertible for the week of your choice this summer!
* From Sugarloaf receive discounts on lodging, touring, and Sugartree Sports & Fitness Club
* Ski with friends from your main Saab dealers and executives from Saab Cars USA and the management of Sugarloaf
* Try your luck racing against Sally Knight Saab owner and racer on the Womans Professioanl Ski Tour

To take advantage of the special discounts, and make reservations, please call Sugarloaf at 1-800-THE-LOAF and make sure you mention you are a Saab Owner registering for Saab Owners Weekend. The specially priced lift tickets can be purchased on Saab Owners Weekend by taking your invitation to the guest services area on the lower level of the base lodge. Just look for the desk with a large Saab banner.

To R.S.V.P. to the owner parties and or race, please call Saab at 1-800-947-8238 Ext. 2209 Please R.S.V.P. by March 28, 1995.

And that’s not all! Just stop by any Maine Saab Dealer and fill out a form to win the use of a new Saab Convertible for a week along with five day vacation package for the ’95 season at Sugarloaf which includes free skiing, adult lessons, and, on mountain lodging.

Please join us for a fun weekend at Sugarloaf/ USA on Saab Owners Days, April 1st and 2nd. And, don’t forget to park in the priority Saab parking lot! We look forward to seeing you there.

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