Friday Snippets

Thanks for all those birthday well wishes. The day has started slowly just as I like it and will continue with a big fat steak for lunch and the opening of the football season tonight.

What more could a guy ask for (except more investment funds for Saab and the continued existence of the Trollhattan plant)

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One issue that’s been flying under the radar a little is the incredible expansion of Porsche. Last year, when Jerry York was agitating about getting rid of Saab (and even earlier, actually) there were opinons expressed on this bog by myself and others that Porsche would be a great candidate as a new corporate parent for Saab.

It seems that ain’t even the remotest of remote possibilities now.

Porsche rescinded one of it’s own rules last year that prohibited it from taking an ownership in any automotive company outside Germany. This got the hopes up for a few seconds. But then they started increasing their ownership stake in Volkswagen. They started with small portions, but this really has turned into a case of the mouse eating an elephant.

Earlier this month, Porsche increased it’s stake in Volkswagen to just over 30%. This triggered another one of those funny corporate rules and now Porsche are required to make a takeover offer for the entire company.

Accordingly, Porsche have sought a 35 BILLION Euro loan to make the mandated offer. And all this to get a portfolio chock full of Lambos and Audis that compete with it’s own cars.

Very interesting.

They would have got Saab for about 1% of that price and with little or no risk, heaps of potential growth and no portfolio clash.

Cheers, Mike.

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Here’s a litmus test for the Service Managers at Saab Canada – make this guy happy.

A 9-3 Aero owner so unhappy with his service experience that he’s tracking it on his personal blog. According to his latest entry he’s considering seeing if anyone at head office will listen to his complaints.

If you’re reading this you have a chance to exceed his expectations by contacting him first. But I bet you’re more worried about the precedent that might set, right?

My apologies to SaabUSA for a lack of thoroughness when I first published this. Location now amended, but the story remains the same. Thanks Gripen

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Yesterday I did something I’ve not done before. I pulled our car into a car park near my office and two spaces away was a silver-bumper early 70s model Saab 99. It was almost a replica (on the outside) of my very first Saab. Red, 2-door and with the beautiful blue aeroplane logo badge on the front.

I’ve actually met the owner of this car some time ago. It’s a daily driver and gets plenty of work and seems to be holding up pretty well. They’ve fitted some 15-slot wheels similar to those used on 9000s and 900s in the mid eighties and they don’t look too bad, actually.

So I left a note on it. I pleaded with them to never let the car be shunted off to a wrecking yard and to contact me should they ever think of disposing of it.

Hopefully they kept the note.

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Back to that birthday wish of keeping Trollhattan open….

Carl-Peter Forster is talking about what sound like inevitable closures in European plants, with T-hat being one of the plants at risk (like all the others, I guess).

The head of General Motors’ European operations warned Thursday of more job cuts at the company’s Opel, Saab and Vauxhall plants.

This was because productivity at the plants was growing at an annual rate of 3-4 per cent but the market for cars was stagnating, Carl-Peter Forster said at the Opel test centre in Dudenhofen.

It seems a bit cruel to squeeze maximum efficiency out of all the plants and then close some because you now have more capacity. There’s just something quite wrong with that.

But there’s nothing wrong with the name “Dudenhofen”. I wish I was from there, dude.

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I think my Viggen’s sick. Or at least I’m getting sick nearly every time I get in it. I think there might be an exhaust leak somewhere.

With the a/c going it seems to be OK, but with the a/c off and normal air pumping through it’s starting to give me headaches.

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15 Comments

  1. Congratulations on another trip around the sun.

    Somehow I don’t think even GM would sell Saab for as little as 350 million Euro. The transitional costs alone would be a big percentage of that.

    Of course in a world where Chrysler is only worth about $5 billion, who knows?

  2. Saab being sold: I think i’ve asked about this earlier but lost that article… What exactly happens if Saab were to be ‘sold’. Does trollhattan plant go with them? What goes and what stays with GM?

    Mad 9-3 aero guy: I don’t find an unfixed rattle, although annoying/irritation, enough for me to leavea Saab for acura and lexus of all cars, or to smash it into a wall :(. To me it seems like he is getting better customer service than most :).

    Swade, that might be dangerous. I much as I hate to say it, maybe you shouldn’t drive the Viggen until you somehow test the air in the cabin? :(…

  3. Swade, I’d check those vents out quick. They can get bacteria in them, and that bacteria causes Legioneer’s Disease.

    And this bugs me.
    “My mirrors and seat were moved. Not just a little, but a lot. To the point where I needed to spend a couple minutes readjusting my seating area. I have those pre-set, but they just didn’t feel right. Probably because I’ve adjusted things overtime without saving the changes into the cars memory.”

    I’m a Saab tech, and I’m sick and tired of people bitching about their seats being moved.
    I’m sorry you’re only four feet tall, but I’m not a fan of kneeing myself in the face when I get in your car.

  4. Are you sure it’s SAAB USA who could help Todd Mitchell? His e-mail address ends in “.ca”, which is Canada. Maybe it’s GM Canada who should contact him?

  5. In a blog post titled, “25,000 kms and 6 months in my 2006 SAAB 9-3 Aero” Mr. Mitchell points out he bought his SAAB from Saturn SAAB West Island in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    You might want to edit this post before SAAB USA reads it in the morning and takes offense! :-0

  6. *blush* Thanks Mike. Updated now to read as Saab Canada. To assume can make an ass of, well, me in this instance.

    And I’ve made a time to get the car checked out next week. I had a similar experience with my old 900 years ago, but much worse. it got quite toxic in the end. Turns out an exhaust manifold bolt had come loose IIRC.

    This is quite mild in comparison, but noticable.

  7. Swade, you might as well delete my comments above now that it’s been corrected. No point in bringing attention to it. Some people may get sensitive about jumping to conclusions! 😛

    Your experience with the exhaust manifold bolt being loose and causing a safety issue would never again occur if SAAB were to take Lotus Engineering Consultancy’s idea of an integrated exhaust manifold!
    http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showpost.php?p=924076&postcount=16

  8. Nah, it’s something I’m loathe to do. Gotta be accountable for my own shortcutting. Leaving this stuff in leaves a trail to track the changes. I don’t mind looking like a goose every now and then.

  9. Also, Porsche will be the biggest share holder in Scania and MAN trucking company by taking over VW.
    This means that the guy Ferdinand P now is a huge player in automotiv Europe.

  10. Don’t worry about the old 99 SW. I know where it lives (about a 10 minute drive from my place) and I’ve spoken to the owner. It’s actually his only car and a daily driver.

  11. Swade, check the compartment filter, maybe it’s time to change it.
    As far as I know there are 2 different kind of filters, one with active coal which can reduce the smells and pollens more and one without (it let more air inside).
    It’s also recommended to clean and disinfect your a/c ventillation system.

  12. Somebody once told me that the 9000 engine (Family3?) was designed by Scania engineers from the days when Saab and Scania were one. Thats why this engine is so durable, they built it like a truck! Does anybody know if this is true?

    Porsche’s bid is 101 euro per share but current rate is 111 euro, which means that the stock holders wont sell. Advantage to Porsche: Can take control of VW in their own pace and buy when rates go down… Pretty clever… The German stock legislation does not prescribe a new mandated offer until Porsche has gained 50 %. Source: http://www.svd.se

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