Down to business – part 1

Just prior to getting down to business, may I wish you all a happy Pi approximation day. Cheers.


I’ve got some research to do over the weekend, but you can rest assured that sooner rather than later I’m going to be dealing with this. See posts 29 & 30.

So again, for a SAAB to be a real SAAB, it needs three things:

– Designed by SAAB. The new design center will take care of this.

– Built from the ground up by SAAB. Now, I know that the new 9-3, the ng900, and the old 9000.. heck every car wasn’t built entirely by SAAB.. they really never built a car all by themself, but thats OK. They chose partners and platforms they wanted. Saab didn’t want an Impreza or a Trailblazer, I assure you. As long as Saab builds off of what they chose and they want, then its built from the ground up by saab. check.

– Quality at par with the SAAB image. Saab is a luxury brand. Not exactly top tier but on the same level as Volvo and Audi, or at least it used to be. The point is, the fit and finish of the vehicles needs to be at that level. The plastic controls, the dashes, the type of leather seats, every tiny detail needs to be up there in quality.

In my opinion, the 9-2x failed all 3 tests, the 9-7x failed all 3 tests (almost passsed the 3rd), the 9-3SS passes but gets a midgrade with quality, and the current 9-5 passes all of these. I expect the new sportcombi to pass everything with slightly better grades then the 9-3SS.

So this is my own grading system on how to tell if a SAAB is really a SAAB

I’ve got to say from the get-go that I’ve got all respect for Seth’s point of view, and I invite all and sundry to post their opinion either here in comments or at SC (at the first link above), I just don’t necessarily agree that it’s either right or practical.

Like I said: research first, then I’ll post.

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  1. This is something that’s been bugging me for awhile as well. It’s like when VW redesigned the Beetle. To me, the new Beetle’s are something different, as the engine is in the wrong place and the vehicles have working heaters. The new SAABs (expecially the 9-7) just don’t say “SAAB” to me. Granted, the 9-3 is growing on me, but I’d still feel better if it had the classic SAAB roofline (i.e. a hatchback) and a Viggen model.

    I’m reserving judgement. Until then, I’m sticking with my classic 900 convertible.

  2. An interesting post, but I think what he suggests is totally unrealistic. The future of car making is by large multinationals that share and reuse as much development and parts as possible, while differenciating individual models and brands. An independent, or semi-independent SAAB is dead meat, unless they can sell their cars for $90,000 (US) like Porsche can. GM bought SAAB to get a brand and reputation that they couldn’t get from Pontiac or Buick. SAAB’s future, like it or not, is as GM’s “Euro-sporty” division. By all means, they need to be competitive with their Japanese and European competition, but pining for the past (totally Swedish designed and built) is a waste of time.

  3. The ‘classic’ 900 has inherited that title for a reason. It is a classic shape and pretty much defined the company for a long period of time.

    I’ve got to agree with Sam though. You can’t cling to coattails of now unused design and say that it is the only thing that typifies the brand. the 900 had DNA from the past and it supplied DNA for the future.

    More on this tomorrow, but in essence, the challenge is for Saab to bring cars to market that incorporate elements of the past but innovate intelligently – this is what previous models have always done.

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