No new year’s resolutions here, just 9 things I want to see for myself, for Trollhattan Saab and for Saab as a whole.
1) Fix my front shocks
It’s nearly been a month since I last drove my Viggen properly owing to stuffed front shocks. Having things go wrong just before Christmas is the worst. I’m getting withdrawals walking past that car every day. Driving it around the block once a week just doesn’t do it for me.
2) 10 movies
I’m setting a goal of getting at least 10 movies done this year. Most likely they’ll be driving reviews of various Saabs, either new or classic. The ultimate goal is a compilation DVD that I’ll be able to offer mega-cheap for car clubs or any other interested parties.
3) More news – direct
One of the real joys for me this year has been the emerging opportunities to cover Saab events first hand. In 2006 we managed to get photos direct from Detroit, New York and LA Auto Shows as well as the Saab Museum and some Euro events like the Ice Experience and the Pilots Wanted promotions. I managed to personally get a ticket to Sydney for the Aero-X adventure there and will also cover the diesel and BioPower launches personally in the next month. Added to that we’ll likely have an official presence at a Saab USA 60th Anniversary event and I’ll be attending the Saab Owner’s Convention in August.
Everything you get here at Trollhattan Saab will be as fresh and timely as I can possibly make it.
4) A killer 9-3 refresh
We’ll likely see some new 9-3 action starting around midyear at the Saab Festival in Sweden. The 9-3 is the backbone of the company and whilst this isn’t a totally new car, it’s going to be significantly altered from the current 9-3SS – and it’s prudent to say you don’t mess with your bread and butter in a negative way.
The potential here is enormous and hopefully it’ll result in…..
5) Increased sales in Germany
Germany could almost be considered a greenfield market for Saab again, so low are the current sales there. It started the year as Saab’s fourth biggest market but was recently overtaken by Spain. Given its vast automotive history, wealth and appreciation for good engineering, this is definitely a market Saab should be doing better in.
6) Some sneaky-peeks at the 9-4x
The 9-4x is the most likely newcomer after the refreshed 9-3 and hopefully we’ll all get a look that’s more elaborate that a brief slide on an audiovisual presentation.
Who knows? There may even be a prototype at Frankfurt – one can dream at least
7) Something more on the Hybrid
A hybrid Convertible would be such a statement for Saab, especially in the vital US market. Saab got a good run out of the BioPower Hybrid back in March/April, but it was overshadowed somewhat by the scorching-hot Aero-X.
It would be a tremendous step forward to hear that the technology behind the concept car was close to marketable – especially if it retained it’s original plug-in capability.
8) A pair of great enthusiast’s events
I’d dearly love to go to the Saab Festival in Sweden, however time and funding are against me. The great consolation in all that is I’m a 99% certain starter for the Saab Owner’s Convention in Michigan in August 2007. My main goal is to get the chance to sit down and have a chat, however brief, with Mr Saab.
Whichever event you get to, I hope it’s a great one.
9) The product. Always the product.
The one thing that’s more important than anything else, is the product – your Saab. Whatever model you’ve got, whatever you buy through the year, I hope you have a great time driving what I truly believe is one of the great all-round practical and performance cars there is.
And Saab – build them the best you can and sell plenty!
Best wishes to all for a great 2007.