Hope you’re enjoying your holiday season.
Things are some ways from getting back to normal here at Trollhattan, but these snippets were worth a posting.
First up, it seems the Saab 9-5 Biopower is kicking goals for Saab in Sweden. Saab originally forecasted about 5,500 sales through to the end of 2006. Well, get out the Liquid Paper, Sven, and chalk that particular number up to 2005!
Saab Sweden have taken orders for over 5,000 Biopowers this year and expect to deliver close to 4,000 of them by year-end. The forecast for 2006 is now around 9,000 vehicles.
The same report, first noticed in a publication called Easier.com, also mentions a fully drivable hybrid model that should begin testing in the Swedish spring of 2006. I’m not overly excited about this as it seems to be a GM thing more than a Saab specific thing, but it’s interesting nonetheless:
And the 9-5 BioPower is not the only eco-friendly initiative from Saab. In addition to offering a maintenance-free particulate filter on new turbo diesel 9-5 models, development work on an advanced hybrid continues within the GM cooperation. A driveable prototype is planned for the spring, including solutions that in one way or another may appear in a Saab or other GM products within the next few years.
"Because Saab is part of a huge global company, we have access to resources and competences that make us second to none," Bengt Nilemo adds.
Some of you may have read my recent post (Talladega III), wishing for a re-run of the Talladega marathons from 1986 and 1996. Given that it’s another 10 years on (i.e. 2006), the time seems right. I mentioned the notion of exhibiting a 9-5 Biopower to Saab USA and the contact there thought it to be a very interesting prospect. He also mentioned that the Talladega run has been discussed, so here’s hoping.
A recent bit of news that should make the event even more attractive to Saab is the announcement that the Talladega track in Alabama is to be repaved this year.
Why would this be news? Well, the track’s used a lot for NASCAR racing and other things and it hasn’t been repaved since 1979. That’s 7 Olympics, umpteen space shuttle missions, 13 Ashes series’ and 2 Beatles ago. Yeah, it’s a long time.
SaabUSA, please get busy on this. It’d be a great PR campaign once again, a great opportunity to show off the new generation of Saab vehicles.
Just a reminder: that electric blue 9-3 Convertible, the Anniversary model, is only a week away now.
Another reminder of the premium we pay for Saabs down here in Australia. Saab are expanding it’s market presence in Korea, releasing 3 new models to the marketplace with prices that are competitive with the upper eschelon of Hyundai vehicles.
GM Korea said it would appeal to Koreans by adding vehicles worth 40-50 million won to its sales items. Many of the premium sedans and sport utility vehicles of Korean carmakers, including Hyundai Motor, are priced at 30-50 million won.
The so-called Saab manias began contacting nationwide branches of GM Korea by the news that the new sedan, Saab 9-5, will be go on sale during the first half of 2006.
Go, you Saab Manias!! More power to ya!