Thursday Snippets

I’m having a crap day, hence the low posting and bad attitude.

It happens to all of us, I guess.

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Can’t say enough about how p***ed off I am reading headline after headline on the automotive wires about how BMW, Mercedes, Audi and seemingly every other significant European carmaker will be bringing a diesel to the US in either 2007 or 2008.

I know the reasons why Saab can’t and won’t be bringing one, but if there’s ever a time that Saab needed to bringing product news to the market (and I’m talking significant product development news, not special editions) – well, now would be a good time.

I’ve been talking up diesel since day 1 on this blog and whilst ‘plans’ to bring Biopower to the US market are nice, you don’t sell cars with plans. You sell them with products.

Told you I had a bad attitude today.

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Want more?

Then there’s the Saturn Vue Green Line that’s going to be a plug in hybrid.

I’m not sure about how much of the technology in this SUV is common to the Saab Biopower Hybrid Convertible that we weren’t told was also a plug-in, but I can’t help but feel that Saab’s getting kicked in the cohunas once again.

It has an all-electric range of……………………………..10 miles.

I’m starting to get the feeling more and more that Saab’s most prominent market, the US, is going to be the death of the brand.

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On the brighter side, Saab UK are going to be providing company vehicles for Arsenal FC.

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And on the even brighter side, I’ve entered the Viggen in Autoblog’s Reader Ride of the Week contest, won by a C900 converible last week. The theme for next week is turbocharged and supercharged cars.

Fellow Viggen owner and Aero-X photographer, Richo, is contemplating entering his Viggen as well. So if there’s any other Viggen owners out there with a Flickr account, get busy and enter yours in too. Let’s drown them in Viggens!!

Heck, let’s drown them in Saabs!!!

Instructions on entering are here (at the bottom of the post)

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In other Richo news, a friend of his has just made a purchase, thereby lifting Saab Oz’s sales total for November by 1.

Richoconv.jpg

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Oz Saabers: That 1988 900 Aero on Ebay still hasn’t received a bid yet.

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And if you really want to see some bad attitude, ask me about the new dealership space here in Hobart and the prime example of Saab getting #%@$# over by it’s bigger GM brothers. I could write more, but won’t at this point.

Suffice it to say that Saab Oz could do worse than to come down, visit and perhaps have a word.

Have a nice day.

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11 Comments

  1. No U.S. bashing, Swade. It’s agonizing to wait, but it sounds like Saab’s got good stuff coming down the pipeline. If that new 9-5 is to have those sporting Aero looks, the ball’s going out of the park.

  2. Gunnar, it wasn’t meant to be US bashing per se, more GM bashing at the failure to allocate funds and make Saab a priority when it has such massive upside potential.

    The US jones for SUVs doesn’t help though.

    That Biopower Hybrid Convertible would be an absolute cult car and sell by the bucketload in the US. I’d stake my house on it.

  3. My Australian-English is rusty – forgive me – but what does “The US jones for SUV…” mean?

    The 9-7X is supposed to be Saab’s foray into that market.

    You know what would be a cult car here in the US – is a hybridized version of the 9-1. It make everyone abandon their hideously boring Priuses in a New York minute.

  4. You’re right Swade, GM’s killing Saab nice and slow.
    And the US is the worst market, too.
    We’ve got two powertrain and trim options for the 9-3 and the 9-7X and only one for the 9-5. No wonder sales are slipping, there’s no god damned variety!

    Gm must not care or something, because I see more and more people leaving their Saabs for BMW’s and Audis. Even I’m considering jumping ship to Porsche, and I’m the biggest Saab fan I know.

    Something needs to be done about Saab FAST, especially in America, before the company gets Oldsmobiled.

  5. Gunnar:

    Actually, ‘Jones’ in that sense is US slang as far as I know.

    ‘The US jones for SUV’ = ‘The US incredible desire for SUV’

    Also, used as such:

    I’m Jonesing for it = I really, really want it

    Got the Jones = have a great need

    etc.

  6. The BioPower Hybrid convertible could not be manufactured enough to keep up with demand in the U.S. (IMHO).

    After awhile, you’d be able to carpet southern California, from sea to the interior mountains, with them.

    I talked to a friend of mine, who explained why the Toyota Prius was such a success in California. It turns out that the car culture there is so intense that many people living in mediocre apartments while buying $100k+ automobiles, to keep up appearances. People say they’re buying the Prius to make an environmental statement, but what they’re really doing is opting out of the “coolest car” race by buying a decent, reliable vehicle for $22-23k — and hiding behind the “green hybrid” tag to avoid having people look down on them for buying a cheap car.

    Wouldn’t the BioPower Hybrid Convertible also fit that market niche to a “t”? You can be green and (1) not have to drive a poor handling car with really skinny tires [a/k/a Prius]; (2) have a lot of fun with the top down; and (3) still don’t have to spend $100+k to impress people?

    Well, my enthusiasm has carried me away, but the BioPower Hybrid ‘vert is a hell of an idea, and they should make it ASAP.

  7. Thanks indeed Eggs. Sorry I couldn’t get around to that myself.

    I believe the term came out of the drug culture, or hip hip crackhead culture. Not sure what city, but one of the big spots to score was a Jones Street. So having a Jones for something was somewhat akin to having a craving for a drug (as eggs explained). That’s how it was explained to me once upon a time.

    And the SUV frustration is due to it being such a driver of decisions as it’s where GM believes the market should be. I think it’s mainly because they’re the higher margin vehicles so GM’s trying to squeeze everything they can out of them and do whatever they can to keep America wanting them.

    All that’s frustrating when your favoured brand is aimed at getting more performance out f a smaller package.

  8. Well said, Swade.

    And, yes, it’s a drug culture slang because it originally meant that you we’re going through the pangs of withdrawal and you needed more drugs.

    I didn’t know that about the street name. I always wondered about that.

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