Weekend Snippets

I’m really enjoying the 9-5 Aero that I’ve got this weekend.  Preliminary conclusion: my expectations were not too far out of line (and the advisories I received in comments are right on target).  It’s my last full day tomorrow and it’s a public holiday here.  The weekend’s been busy so far.  Tomorrow the 9-5 and I get jiggy wid it.


That Saab UK guy can be such a blast!  On the release of the 9-5 Biopower in Britain (where there are only 2 petrol/gas/filling stations where you can get e85):

‘We urge the Government to take action to encourage the widespread availability of E85 bioethanol.’

What have Saab got there? 0.3% of the market? 

I’m sure Mr Blair’s getting on it right now, Jonathan. 


You’ve probably seen this already, but for posterity and all that…..

Mark LaNeve, GM’s head margeting guru, has come out in support of Saab in the face of new board member Jerry York’s calls for the brand to be cut from GM’s lineup.  Various news agencies are quoting LaNeve.  This one’s from Automotive News:

Saab appeals to educated young shoppers on the East Coast and West Coast, where GM sales are weak, LaNeve said.

GM can operate the Saab brand efficiently by combining back-end operations with Hummer and Cadillac stores under the same ownership, he said.

But LaNeve admitted that Saab suffers from a weak brand image, especially compared with archrival Volvo: "I fundamentally believe that the only difference between Volvo doing 120 (thousand sales) in the U.S. market and Saab doing 40 is that everyone knows that Volvo stands for safety and nobody was sure what Saab stood for."


I want to give a warm Trollhattan Saab welcome to a little guy that I’ll keep nameless for his own privacy, born on the 10th and the first son for a guy some of you know around here or at SaabCentral as SaabKen. 

Hopefully Ken’s starting the Aero-X savings fund now for use in 17 years time!! 

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  1. I wonder if you might have any insight into several ambiguities about SAAB’s BioPower program.

    First, I have seen — somewhere — a surprisingly low estimation for the cost of retrofitting a new SAAB to accommodate E85 fuel. Any reliable information on this point?

    Second, I’ve not seen any mention of a BioPower 9-3 SportCombi (to use the name chosen for the North American market), though I’d guess customers interested in environmentally progressive engineering would more likely be 9-3 SportCombi than 9-5 SportCombi customers.

    Third, I’ve had no luck determining whether a SAAB BioPower car could be obtained through the European Delivery Program even if destined for the United States, where BioPower has been announced only as a concept so far. Any experience with this sort of special arrangement at the Trollhattan factory?

    Now, why would I be interested in making my next SAAB an E85 model? Well, first of all, I’m one of those “educated [not so] young shoppers on the East Coast,” as General Misery’s Mark LaNeve so patronizingly described me. Second, my professorial duties involve environmental policy, and I’d be quite willing to pay extra to support responsible design. Third, E85 is being pushed here by Chevrolet, actually, so availability will probably rise; in the meantime, E85 is already available close to home, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and I could probably find a way to get approved as a customer. Fourth, unlike being a diesel-car driver in America, looking for truck stops, an E85 driver can buy any ethanol-gasoline mixture, including zero-ethanol. An E85 car might actually be more convenient to operate here than would a diesel.

    — Rob

  2. Seems that not only in our shores Saab remains an undersold entity desperately needing some strong branding and clever marketing to lift its position. GM needs to acknowledge this and act with an aggressive promotional campaign.

  3. Hey…where’s the “9-5 Aero weekend review” Thought you would have posted it by now….*sigh* I was really looking forward to reading it when i got to work….

  4. Thanks very much everyone. This is a fantastic community here (as does SaabCentral) !

    We’re now waiting for the arrival of a complementary TrollhattanSaab-logo’d child carseat 😉

  5. Maybe Saab “suffers” from a weak brand image because the marketing guru is…not. Volvo’s safety image was founded back when they were all rear-drive and they had this oops we just flew off this slick road into a tree problem. A problem Saab never really had…BTW I question the wisdom of Saab aligning with Cadillac and Hummer as their respective customers couldn’t be more different.

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