Tag Archives: Saabs

The Sunday River Ski Resort – Cold Brook Saab Partnership

Posted on 05. Mar, 2010 by .


Film Credit: Saab History

Cold Brook Saab of Skowhegan, Maine, an exclusive Saab dealership for over 46 years, continues to enjoy a strong customer following and has managed many continuous cross marketing opportunities over the years. The first one I covered this past November with Shipyard Brewery, the other one I am covering here with Sunday River, a leading ski resort in New England, located in Newry, Maine.

I first began learning about Sunday River’s use of Saab vehicles upon my first visit to the resort as a guest, back in January of 2007. It was during that visit where I noticed a beautiful black Saab 9-5 wagon complete with the Sunday River logo on it.

It was not until my recent connection with Cold Brook Saab where I learned from the owner of the dealer, Joey Joseph, that this partnership began 12 years ago with the resort. “We started establishing our cross marketing campaign with a sponsorship at Sugarloaf Ski Resort in 1995 and have since forged alliances with Sunday River Ski and Golf Resort and Shipyard Brewery in Portland.”

It’s interesting to note when the first partnership was established at Sunday River’s sister ski resort Sugarloaf, Saab Cars USA had a national involvement with it as well. At that time, it was more than just opportunities for showcasing Saab products as it included discounted lift tickets, priority parking, a ski race, luncheon, raffle, an opportunity to drive a new Saab for the week in addition to lodging discounts all for Saab owners!

The current fleet that Sunday River uses includes Saab 9-5 Sedans and 9-5 SportCombis as well as 9-7xs. These vehicles initially began as transportation vehicles for upper management serving as premium transportation for executives, much like what has been done at Shipyard Brewery who have many top executives driving Saabs from Cold Brook Saab also. Today, Saabs are not only owned by employees, but also serve functions such as public safety much like Aspen & Vail as well as VIP and guest transportation at this leading family oriented resort. With all of the Saabs driving around by Sunday River, it should be no surprise to learn that many of the guests of the resort also follow the same interest in Saabs as hinted to in the film.

After having this great experience at Sunday River to learn about this Saab partnership, it is clear that Cold Brook Saab and Sunday River both want this partnership to continue. With a newly created Saab organization in the United States, known as Saab Cars North America, along with some long awaited incredible product offerings that will clearly serve the best interests of this partnership and their customer’s demographic such as the Saab 9-3x, all new Saab 9-5 and 9-4x all equipped with Cross Wheel Drive, the future looks promising.

A special thanks to those at both at Sunday River ski resort as well as Cold Brook Saab for the opportunity to bring awareness of this ongoing Saab partnership.

Sunday River Ski Resort
15 South Ridge Road
Newry, Maine 04261

Cold Brook Saab
337 Madison Ave
Skowhegan, ME 04976

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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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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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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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Trollhättan, Sweden Celebrates “Saab Days” July 17-19

Posted on 18. Mar, 2009 by .


Trollhättan, Sweden will be celebrating what is known as “Saab Days” on June 17th-19th, 2009. This event will not be an official Saab Festival like 2007, but more of a club organized event.

However, Saab Automobile and the Saab Car Museum will help support it says Peter Backstrom, curator of the Saab Car Museum in his e-mail to Saab History below:

Hello Ryan!

The Saab days is an initiative from the Swedish Saab Club, Saab Turbo Club of Sweden and Club Sonett Sweden. It will take place July 17-19 in Trollhättan. I will be coordinated with the Fallens dagar Festival and the Midnight Sun rally.

For more information about the event itself, see the clubs websites. They would like to point out that it will not be an event with the same level like the Saabfestival, But I am convinced that it will be worthwhile for international visitors to book tickets!

I have good reasons to believe that you already have made the conclusion that it will be no official Saabfestival 2009. Although we are not organizing “Saabens dagar” we will of course support it as much as we can from Saab Automobile / Saab Car Museums side.

The Midnight Sun Rally will have a overnight rest at the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan between Friday & Saturday and a total of 180 cars will participate. Among them around 40 Saabs from 2-stroker to V4:s and 99 turbos. Driven flat out! with 2 special stages around Trollhättan. See www.midnattsolrallyt.com for more info.

That all I have right now!

Best Regards
Peter Bäckström
Manager Saab Car Museum
Brand & Product Communications
Saab Automobile AB

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Saab History Interviews Former Saab USA President Joel Manby

Posted on 31. Dec, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Manby (L-to-R Ralph Millet, Joel Manby, Bob Sinclair)

I have recently had the privilege of interviewing Joel Manby, the former Saab USA President from June of 1996 until April of 2000.

Below is his updated and candid account of our interview, it is a great read, so take the time and enjoy!

Thank you Joel for your time and contribution, we all appreciate it!

Saab History: How Did you end up joining Saab Cars USA in June of 1996?

Manby: I worked at Saturn as a Regional Vice President and was picked to lead Saab Cars USA in order to improve the dealership distribution network by making it more focused and more profitable.

I used to co own some retail dealerships so I knew how important the car buying experience was in the customer’s final decision on what brand to buy, especially since it was the 2nd most expensive purchase a family would make after a home. I also knew that our competitors like BMW, Audi and Volvo had a much more profitable and focused dealer network. I was determined to reinvigorate the dealership network to turn around the car buying experience to one that was enthusiastic for not only the customer, but the dealership’s sales team as well. We were asking dealers to invest in exclusive dealerships and sales people so in many cases we actually removed some dealers who were not committed or dueled with poor brands in order to get other dealers to invest heavily. Our basic goal was to go from selling 25,000 Saabs through 360 poorly focused stores (average = 70/year per store) to 40,000 sold Saabs through 240 stores (a more focused and profitable average of 170/year per store). Dealers need to know they can be profitable before they will invest.

Saab History: How did this strategy work?

Manby: The units sold per dealership increased to over 150/store as did the national sales figures which topped 40,000 during my time. We had more exclusive stores than any time in recent history and had the 2nd highest sales year in Saab history to that point….so I would say it worked well. We also gained huge share in Southern California where we were almost non existent.

Saab History: Consistent advertising was never something that Saab had, what did you do to turn this around?

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GM Creates Certified Pre-Owned Promotion Website

Posted on 13. Oct, 2008 by .


Autoblog has recently announced that GM has recently created a website used to promote certified used cars, but unfortunately has resorted to illustrating for customers, the negatives to buying vehicles from private parties.

Having bought all of my Saabs from private parties over the years, I know there will be typical things that will go wrong and need to be replaced, but here’s the thing, we usually end up realizing this and especially today more than ever, end up buying our replacement parts from GM anyways, so what’s the problem?

I do understand that there have been a lot of people out there, in particular two customers that have bought Saabs from private parties and have believed that the problems with the vehicles are the manufacturers fault and I think that’s quite a big problem. There are also true manufacturing defects from the early direct ignition casettes to the oil sludge problems in the early Saab 9-5s, but these have been taken care of. The idea buying the year you want in a Saab through CPO, is that you can get these things looked at prior to ownership and issued a clean bill of health, otherwise the dealerships shouldn’t be offering the Saab to begin with.

What must distinguish here is that there are noted manufacturing defects by design, then there are actual issues due to vehicle having years of neglect. Either way, though CPO, none of these problems should be falling in the hands of an unsuspecting buyer. Buying through a private party however, you aren’t afforded with a premium 112-point check, so there is a financial trade-off where you either pay up front for the checks and repairs, or at random down the road.

With GM pushing their certified used cars with this new website called “Used Car Ambush“, I find this idea quite problematic, especially when Certified vehicles are not gone through with a fine tooth come and the customer ends up in a situation where they are not getting what they paid for and quite possibly in an unsafe situation down the road.

Today, dealerships are barely scraping by and many are not, and furthermore, to add insult to injury many Saab dealerships have literally quoted me that they have never really been in a financial situation to fully “CPO A Saab“, because it’s just too expensive for the time, labor and parts to complete the Saab CPO 112-point checklist to break even on the deal.

If GM is going to promote something, why not beef up the programs while also extending financial support to the dealerships to cover the full 112-point check, otherwise don’t promote something that is currently broken.

I for one have not been turned away buying vehicles from private parties over the years because I have developed an understanding through experience, as to what to expect..more or less. To be scaring people into not buying from private parties is obsurd and doesn’t this hurt GM’s public perception as being a company that would apply fud tactics to the general public?

Furthermore, if people are buying from private parties and having their vehicles brought into Saab dealerships for service or even Saab independents, what’s the problem as long as the customer in the end, gets good results and replacement parts are still available and purchased through GM at modest domestic-rate prices?

What are your thoughts?

Here’s the GM’s Press release.

GM’s New Interactive Site Goes “Undercover” to Educate Consumers

Ambush Video Reveals Risks of Purchasing Used Vehicles Without Manufacturer Certification

DETROIT – What would happen if you turned more than 20 undercover film and surveillance professionals with eight cameras loose to show the potential drawbacks of buying a used vehicle that is not manufacturer certified? That’s what GM’s Certified Used Vehicles team did and the results were not at all surprising.

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Saab Australia Settles in Court on “Green” Claims

Posted on 19. Sep, 2008 by .



Saab Automobile Australia got sued recently because they claimed that Saab’s were “green” due to them planting 17 trees for each vehicle sold in order to offset carbon emissions over the lifetime of the automobile (10 years)

Obviously this is a ridiculous claim for many reasons, and it has come back to haunt them as Saab Australia / GM Australia recently settled in court, admitting that they were misleading the public.

Here is Saab Automobile’s press release:



Saab case settled with ACCC

GM Holden Ltd and the ACCC have agreed to settle the ACCC’s legal action regarding an advertisement for Saab’s carbon offset program which was published last year.

Director of GM Premium Brands, Mr Parveen Batish, said Saab was pleased to be able to resolve this matter on the terms agreed with the ACCC and that Saab would continue to drive environmental initiatives for General Motors in Australia.

“We take our responsibilities as an advertiser very seriously and we welcome the ACCC’s acknowledgement in the settlement documents that we did not intend to mislead consumers about the carbon dioxide offset program” Mr Batish said.

In August 2007, Saab identified that one advertisement in respect of its carbon dioxide offset program was not as clear as it could have been. Of its own initiative, Saab immediately amended the advertisement and issued a revised version for publication. This occurred well before the ACCC or any authority had issued any guidelines regarding ‘Green’ marketing.

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