When writers don’t do their jobs….

When I see what I consider to be poor writing, it bugs me. I shouldn’t say this out loud as I indulge in a fair bit of it myself – but – I don’t get paid to do it for a living, unlike this guy….


From Steve Siler at Car and Driver:

Employing an age-old marketing ploy that’s worked for so many Chrysler PT Cruisers, the wise folks at GM have brewed up two “special edition” vehicles that would have little to make them terribly special otherwise: the Chevy HHR Fall Edition and the Saab 9-7X Altitude Edition.

Of course! Every car should be a special edition, then companies could release de-specced versions that we’d call un-special editions. That’d make for good copy, wouldn’t it?

Yes, it seems we here at Car and Driver believe that every car and truck, no matter how insignificant, irrelevant or unremarkable, deserves a commensurate amount of insignificant, irrelevant and unremarkable commentary.

Steve, isn’t it good to know that you can be counted on to provide something insignificant, irrelevant and unremarkable? Are you the specialist at C&D for this type of writing? Do they call you “The Irrelevant Guy” around the office?

The Saab 9-7X Altitude Edition is little more than a gussied-up 9-7X, which itself is a gussied-up Chevrolet Trailblazer, which is only a couple years away from blazing its last trail.

So obviously, given it’s short life expectancy and minimal new-model development costs on an existing platform that your own colleagues have called “bulletproof”, Saab should have just ignored the extra 6,000 sales per year, almost all of which are bonus sales that would likely have gone to other brands.

Clearly the efforts expended to make the 9-7x the best of the GM360 vehicles and gain/retain clients that Saab may have otherwise lost were a total waste of time (and in your case, column space).

…..In spite of its name, the Altitude edition doesn’t ride any higher or lower than the regular 9-7X (nor does it fly)…..

And of course it should be able to fly, literally, because these are the rediculous out-of-context standards that we apply to vehicles that we find easy to mock when plying our “insignificant, irrelevant and unremarkable” trade.

Furthermore, the name does nothing but underscore just how not born from jets this particular Saab is. Only 500 will be made, which will surely constitute a sizable chunk of the slow-selling truck’s annual production.

Annual production? I don’t think so. They’re now selling over 500 a month, which isn’t huge compared to a lot of company’s numbers, but still makes your blind assertion look silly.


Next time you’re asked to write a splatter-piece, check your facts and your own company’s writings about the vehicle. Asshat.

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  1. Swade > Surely you are not defending the indefensible? Saab did as Porsche – introduced the Cayenne to increase revenue – true – but it’s also a bastardization of the brand. The same was (& is) true for Mercedes-Benz and the ML-Class. The sooner the 9-7X is seen off, the better for Saab.

  2. But what if people actually like the bastardized product that has actually brought new customers to the brand and much needed cash to the coffers. The truck has been well received by the press for the most part.

    True enough, it’s GM that basically ignored what was going on in Trollhattan and let them sink in the red without any expanded product portfolio. Once they (read Lutz) finally figured out that Saab (or any car company, for that matter) will need more than one car line, a quick fix was needed. Plus, I remember reading that the US dealers were going to go postal and pull their dealerships if they didn’t get more product. Enter the 9-2 and 9-7x.

    Besides Car and Driver sux #@$!

  3. Come on, Gunnar. Read the post again please.

    It’s not a defense of the 9-7x (tho I could write one if it were required). It’s me having a crack at a shoddy piece of cheap writing coming from a publication that should know better.

    I’m aware of the fact that you don’t like the 9-7x, but please try and keep the posting in context.

    pls don’t take it personally, it’s the nicotine withdrawls kicking in….

  4. The 9-7x is utterly un-Saab. It will be a good day for the company when it disappears.

    The Trailblazer upon which the 9-7x is based is a famously unsatisfying vehicle here in the states. It has no sex appeal at all and never did.

    Even if GM never had the money to allow Saab to build its own SUV from the ground up, they could have done better than to force Saab to use the Trailblazer.

    What with the Cadillac BLS being, essentially, a 9-3, perhaps Cadillac could have returned the favor and allowed the 9-7x to be based on the Cadillac SRX crossover SUV. I recently drove one, and not only was it a brilliant performer, it was great-looking (at least, it was in flat black with the huge optional wheels).

    In fact, my time in the Cadillac SRX was so satisfying, it really changed my entire opinion of the Cadillac brand. If Saab has to share platforms, technology etc. with someone, Cadillac is easily the best brand in GM’s stable.

  5. Now Swade > You and I are on the same page when I write that we want the best to happen for Saab – one of the world’s most innovative and distinguished car companies.

    That said, what the C & D guy wrote (if badly) about the 9-7X was meant to underscore the fact that the truck just plain sucks.

    Your attack on C & D seemed to have more do with the defense of Saab – the company – than the guy’s actual writing.

    I think you realize that in the long run – the SUV is not in the interests of Saab but serves only the short run – curbing the flow of red ink.

    The 9-7X does nothing to add to Saab’s raison d’etre and does not advertise the wonderfully unique traits and character that a true Saab design could. Here again, is what I think C & D is commenting on and they’ve got a real point.

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