Wednesday Snippets

I got this in the mail this morning from Erek.

Ah, If only they’d recognised the growing SUV trend back in the 1980s….

I do not follow the Saab SUV/9-7x discussion too closely over at the blog, so please forgive me if this has already been mentioned or discussed. I have no idea what the relationship between Saab cars and Scania trucks is precisely, but wouldn’t it be nice if the SUV niche was handled by Scania. All the saab elements we love could be present in these vehicles and the exterior styling could be drawn from both Saab and Scania…..Finally, they could even run a ‘Born from Trucks’ ad campaign

Saab and Scania are no longer related companies, of course, and the 9-4x that will be coming is apparently an all-Saab development. But I’m sure if they were still involved with Scania and they chipped in with some design ideas that it would have been very interesting, and quite the heavy duty vehicle.

Born From Trucks! Yes!!!

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The Saab factory in Trollhattan is looking at shedding up to 190 jobs, offering early retirements or voluntary redundancies to many of their current workforce (about 4,400 people).

Cuts would take effect in 2007 and are said to be unrelated to anticipated sales.

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Robert Farago’s GM Deathwatch series is now on it’s 101st episode. If this site were an automotive journalism monitor then I’d start a GM Deathwatch Deathwatch.

His latest instalment includes the following:

The ability to kill diseased brands is arguably the single greatest potential advantage of a GM bankruptcy. The need to feed The General’s eight US automotive brands with new[ish] products and mondo marketing dollars has been dragging GM’s design, engineering, production, sales and marketing creativity into the dumpster for decades. If a post Chapter 11 GM had three brands– Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC– selling a limited range of products, the company would unleash all the talent locked up inside its bloated bureaucratic structure. It could finally take on its transplanted competitors with unfettered American grit, imagination and know-how.

How does the need to feed eight brands impact on design? And who are the designers they will “unleash” after Chapter 11? And why aren’t these designers unleashed right now? They’re paying their designers a salary, right? And if they are, why are the designers waiting to unleash some good designs?

I can understand how GM’s fatty excess can effect marketing, investment in sales infrastructure, and obviously, human resources (amongst other things) – but blaming size for a lack of inspired design?

And whilst I don’t want to cause any offence, a chunk of global grit, imagination and know-how will go a lot further, being a global company and all, with some of its best engineers in Europe and some great design teams here downunder.

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