Sometimes I think that maybe I get too obsessed about this whole Saab thing. For example, I really cannot understand why they’d have any trouble selling more that 140,000 of these vehicles around the entire globe. It leaves me dumbfounded.
Another example, I ran into a guy today. I don’t know him, but I know of him. He was the agent showing the house we went to look at today. I know he owns a beautiful, mint condition 9000CS. It’s a late model, not an Aero although it does have the Super Aero rims. He also has a nice NG900 convertible in black.
Now, with two cars like that you’d think he was a Saab guy, yet when I started talking a little Saab with him, he wasn’t interested atall. And this is a guy trying to sell me a house! You’d think, especially in a slowing market like hobart, that he’d wax lyrical about toenail collections if that’s what it takes for him to build rapport and make a sale.
Makes me think. Perhaps there’s two kinds of Saab owners. Those that love and appreciate their Saabs and those who can’t quite afford a BMW.
Volvo is developing an anti-sleep system. They could start by making less boring cars, but I digress.
Volvo’s system includes cameras that detect lane drift and also systems that monitor driver behaviour, like too much playing with the sat-nav system. I assume it knows if your passenger’s playing with it. They hope to have the system ready for inclusion in their overly exciting range of vehicles in two years.
Saab are also working on a driver monitoring and alarm system, though it’s somewhat more complex. It uses infrared camera systes to monitor the driver’s eye movements. Stories earlier this year had it progressing extremely well:
Saab’s ergonomics chief Arne Nabo said this week: "The system is functioning extremely well in our testing. And there is no problem with the hardware, which is reliable and relatively inexpensive. We are now concentrating on fine-tuning the timing and nature of the final warning alarm."
Personally, I think there’s nothing quite like going really fast to wake you up. But that’s me.
Thinking further about the low US sales figures…..it really seems that supply is the problem, not so much demand. The employee program cleared the decks and for some reason or another, no plan had been put in place to ensure that supply would be adequate once the new ad campaign started up.
I just find it really hard to believe that this current situation was actually planned. Great ad campaign. Peaked interest. No stock.
Rick Wagoner – I swear I could run this outfit. Email me, ok?