Saab at the 2006 LA Auto Show

1985 Gripen attended the LA Auto Show recently and was gracious enough to pass on these photos and thoughts. I’m not speaking out of turn when I say that Gripen’s a fairly discerning type and doesn’t mind being critical when he sees some flaws – and it’s fair to say he saw a few, which I’ll address in another follow-up post. the comments below are mine, based on his (too lazy to cut n paste)

Plenty of pics here, so view to your heart’s content. Unfortunately, due to bandwidth concerns, I’ve had to keep them at 500px.


The Aero-X makes it’s presence felt at the show. There was very little up-n-down action as far as the roof was concerned as the car was on a turntable. To get the roof going, the turntable was stopped, a properly affiliated and unionised tradesman was sought to plug in the power cable and then the roof was operated.


Unfortunately the crowds around the Aero-X weren’t too thick at this particular point in time, but there has been a lot of interest, as there has with other car shows.

The info display for the Aero-X.

Gripen’s comments on the Saab display in general, which I find hard to disagree with:

I also learned that the people working the SAAB booth are from an “agency” (modeling), rather than SAABUSA. This explains their severe lack of SAAB knowledge. I’m told by a woman there they specifically asked the agency for Swedish and Swedish-looking models for the booth, as they have in years-past. So sad. There isn’t even anyone presenting the AeroX there, despite a lot of public interest. I asked one of the models if they’re opening and closing the AeroX or just leaving it open on the turntable and I was told that for some reason GM has asked that they don’t open and close the canopy that much. I explained to him that you can’t do it off battery power due to a fiasco where a big-wig got stuck in it at another auto show and had to climb out the rear hatch because the battery died. With the extension cord this shouldn’t be a problem. I even got a picture of the underside of the car with the plug-in (hey, SAAB DOES have a plug-in!).

Another gripe I have (I’m full of ’em) is that SAAB is seemingly the only manufacturer which doesn’t hand-out brochures or freebies. All their competitors do. In fact, I got a brochure AND a bottle of water (labeled “exhaust”, promoting their hydrogen fuel cell 7-series they were displaying) from BMW. If you want a brochure from SAAB like this past January and last year you have to fill out this postage-paid postcard with your address and contact info and mail it to SAAB USA so they can mail you info. LAME! Most people want to compare cars at that show, not weeks later when they’ve already forgotten about SAAB.

As mentioned, I’ll share some opinions on this later.

More photos after the jump.


More pics and commentary to come…….













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  1. …sounds like a piss-poor showing by saab…gm…whatever. and i actually priced flying down for the day (saturday) just to see the car. (i’m glad my social life got in the way.)

    anyway, the points gripen makes make my blood boil, from the approach that only models of the “right” nationality need apply, to the lack of souvenirs or other items that create brand distinction, sophistication, or “warmth.”

    i find it hard to imagine gm not knowing how to “present” at an auto show. at this point, i can’t see that booking a trip for the detroit auto show, to see the aero-x, makes sense.

    gm better start getting its act together, pdq. it needs a new marking team, for starters.

    a total turnoff!

  2. In my own defense may I point out I’m American, and in general we’re known to be opinionated and not shy about sharing our opinions! 🙂

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