Tuesday Saab Snippets

It’s the start of a new month, and you know what that means….

Yep, it’s sales reporting season once again. Last year there were 3,174 Saab sales in the US and 2,244 in the UK during April. It’ll be interesting to see if the strong start to 2006 continues in both major markets, as well as elsewhere around the world.

Target: 160,000 worldwide for 2006.

Go Saab!

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Autoblog are reporting on an award to be decided in June this year for the best concept vehicles of 2006. I guess that’s 2005/2006.

Anyway, the Aero-X is amongst the semi-finalists. I can’t see a win coming for this award though, as it’s an American award and the Aero-X is up against both the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger. It’s gathered a few votes in Autoblog’s comments, but the majority are for the sentimental favourites.

The award is being made by the South East Automotive Media Organisation, whoever they are.

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I’ve been looking for the regulations to see if the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan would qualify for the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Engine size is about right, but I’m unsure about the use of turbocharging.

They do have a diesel competition as well – surely the 9-3 SS diesel could be competitive in this.

I’m following a few privateers around the Swedish curcuit this year, but something like the WTCC would have to be a plausible option for a sporting car company, wouldn’t it? Currently there’s only 4 manufacturers in the entire competition (Alfa, Seat, BMW and Chevrolet).

Racing = Good

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There’s been a few very cautious (read as: negative) articles about ethanol recently. I’ll cover them very soon in reference to Saab’s recent decision against bringing diesel models to the US market.

For some advance reading, though, try here and here.

Links via 1985Gripen and Autoblog Green – cheers!

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Another TS milestone – tomorrow will mark the 1 year anniversary of this site going on to it’s own domain. For the first few months of it’s life, it was a subdomain of my personal blog. So www.trollhattansaab.net, as an address, is 1 year old. Now if I could only get it toilet trained……

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11 Comments

  1. Well this post doesn’t really belong anywhere but I just wanted to share with you. Me and my collegue made a long (in my eyes) work trip last week in his 2004 9-5 Combi 2.3t (185hp+5sp auto) We drove 2000km, with an average speed of 94 km/h. Had it up to slightly over 200 on Autobahn but mostly cruised around 160km/h. The average consumption on the whole trip of 8.9litre/100km.

    For you non metric people it’s about 1200 miles, average speed 59mph and about 26,5 mpg…

    I think that’s pretty good…what do you think?

  2. About World touring ca championship, GM is already involved with Chevrolet ,so there is no place for two GM brand in the same serie !
    Also, turbocharged engine are ban ,and all the saab history is with turbo engine!
    May be in diesel ,yes,but diesel don’t play the lead .

  3. Just a small comment on the SAAB US sales. I just visited a SAAB dealer in Georgia who claimed they cannot get enough of the new SAAB 9-5. They said they could sell many more but the demand is too high, production cannot keep up. Good as such but maybe a reason sales of 9-5 is not going through the roof in the US.

  4. Sales figures for April in Sweden is out.

    http://bilsweden1.webdoc.nu/files/bilforsaljning_sverige/100toppapril06.pdf

    Overall market is up only 0.4% (Jan-Apr it’s up 2.1%) – maninly due to easter weekend.

    No 1: Volvo V70

    No 2: Saab 9-5
    vehicles april : 1153 (957) +20%
    vehicles jan-apr: 4707 (3611) +30%
    marke share 2006: 5.41% (4.23%)

    No 3: Volvo V50

    No4: Saab 9-3
    vehicles april : 1014 (790) +28%
    vehicles jan-apr: 3619 (2539) +43%
    marke share 2006: 4.16% (2.98%)

  5. About racing. Usually racing is a good thing for a car brand, but you realy have to do it right. You have to put some serious resources (money), get a good company to build the cars and run the team, and choose a champinoship that is right for the brand. A good example of “how to tdo it” was Volvo in BTCC.

    VW group do it this way right now:
    Audi – prototype racing (Le Mans, ALMS)
    Seat – tour cars (WTCC)
    Skoda – rally (WRC)

    GM:
    Chevrolet – WTCC
    (anything else?)

    Opel was in DTM fo many years, but pulled out after 2005. DTM now only has two brands (Audi and Mercedes) which makes it kind of boring compared to what it was a couple of years ago. DTM is more high-tech than WTCC, and I think DTM is more interesting for Saab. But it’s also very expensive. There are talks about Lexus starting a team in DTM, but maybe it’s only rumors.

    I don’t think WTCC is the right thing for Saab at the moment. It is to “american”, with the system of extra weights and so on. It’s only about close racing and not that high tech. I think Opel is more likely to take that spot away from Chevrolet.

  6. Most FIA series are totally useless from Saab’s point of view as cars have to stripped back to stone age.

  7. Re: Ethanol links.
    From the first link: “and Tad Patzek, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, co-wrote a recent report”
    Anyone still quoting the Patzek study is either ignorant or an oil industry shill like Patzek. That study was recently debunked by another study from the same University of California, Berkeley, which had a number of critical remarks about the Patzek study. This new study was published in Science on January 27, 2006 and was not funded by any special interest groups and is probably the most accurate study to date. See http://rael.berkeley.edu/EBAMM/ for a pdf copy of the Science article and all of the supporting material.

    From the second link: “infinitely worse gas mileage” –yeah, that’s some fine journalistic responsibility on display there.

    I think the Swedes are smart enough to know what’s going on and what the possibilities are. Maybe corn and the current technology aren’t so great, but there are great improvements around the corner such as cellulosic ethanol production.

  8. Ted, I always wanted to be big in Nebraska!!

    I didn’t think turbo would allowed in the WTCC. A shame, as I’m hanging out for some forum for Saab to kick BMW’s ass.

    Anything will do.

  9. Happy anniversary on being the “master of your own domain” (like Jerry would say), or like SAAB might say: “Find Your Own Domain” 🙂

    Ted, anyone in Nebraska know of Saab Club of Western Canada (www.saabwest.ca), haha ?

  10. “Ted, anyone in Nebraska know of Saab Club of Western Canada (www.saabwest.ca), haha ?”
    First I’ve heard of it, but I’m in Ohio and have never been to Nebraska;-)

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