News Snippets

A couple of interesting ones from Edmunds today….

First there’s the reference to the Global Auto Index website.  As the name implies, it contains every manufacturer in every country and their model offerings.  It’s a bold claim and not without it’s flaws – e.g. no 9-7x listed in Europe for Saab.  I’m sure there’s plenty of others too.

For the car geek that really wants to know all about Romania’s ARO, needs a URL for WillyWorks, or even if you’re just hankering for a Norwegian Kewet, then this could be the site for you.

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The other interesting Edmunds story is the one covering the high price of diesel in the United States.  Diesel was cheaper than gasoline once upon a time.  No longer. 

Yours Truly has been hoping that Saab USA would introduce the diesel variant of its 9-3 and 9-5 models in the US in future years when legislation makes the proposition more palatable.  Continuing high prices will push the barriers to introduction even higher though.  With the typical US consumer’s default attitude towards diesels being stuck in ‘cautious’ mode, increased barriers to entry are the last thing Saab needs.

So what’s causing the problem?  Answers range from Hurricane Katrina to compliance costs for the new sulfur regulations.  Perhaps the most honest answer comes at the end of the story:

I asked a friend who is in the petroleum industry why they charge so much for diesel.

"Because we can," he said.

Bio-D, anyone? 

Or perhaps even e85?  The Irish seem to love the idea.

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Oh, and about that Electric Blue convertible that Saab are preparing for the 20th Anniversary next year……

January 2.

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Autoblog have one of thise "duh" articles appearing today:

Design makes a difference

No shit, Sherlock!!  But it is quite relevant for Saab, given that they’re right in the thick of a new model development process.  We’ve addressed design and Saab’s current approach here at Trollhattan before.  This article bears a few good points in mind:

  • Styling is approching the same importance level as quality in the decision making process.  Most people just expect high quality now and are more discretionary about designs they like
  • New designs tend to last only 2 or three years (which goes to show you how good the 900 was!!)
  • Body styling gets people interested in the car, but interior design can be the final nail that pins the writing hand to the contract (something the 9-2x brewers didn’t really think about too much).

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