Friday Night Snippets

I have another family visit this weekend, so posting may be a bit lighter than usual. We’ll see how we go.

I moved to an island to cut down on this stuff…….

Only kidding.


The elephant in the corner of the room is still there. I haven’t written about it for a while, but that’s not to say that it’s any less relevant to GM, and by extension, to Saab. What is it?

It’s a conglomorate of the UAW, the Delphi situation and believe it or not, we can now throw the Chrysler situation into the mix.

UAW agreements are up for re-negotiation soon and that’s going to have big implications for both GM and the UAW. Pete De Lorenzo has a very interesting perspective on the whole situation over at Auto Extremist.

If the UAW deigns to think that they’re going into these negotiations from a position of strength and power, then we’re talking Eve of Destruction-type scenarios here. In this global economy, the classic UAW position of entitlement and “getting what we deserve” is so obsolete and out of touch that it’s excruciatingly painful to even contemplate.

The clincher here is Cerberus/Chrysler. Click the link to read why.


The Dream Trippers and their Toppola-equipped Saab 900 are now in Lithuania:

We are staying in a part of town called Uaupis, where the Vilnia river makes a bend. It is kind of arty, hippie place for alternative living. April 1st 2002 they announced the new republic, and the angel is their symbol. As a republic they of course have their own constitution too. Here are a few of the more memorable lines ”Every dog has a right to be a dog”, ”People have the right to sometimes not know if they have any duties” how about “People have the right to die, but it is not a duty”.

My dog Charli agrees.


GM are about to launch an OnStar campaign in the US (I can hear the collective groan from here). Some interesting stats from the press release:

On average, each month from February through April 2007, OnStar received 900 air bag deployment notifications; 750 Advanced Automatic Crash Notifications; 9,500 requests for emergency services; 700 stolen vehicle location assistance requests; 53,000 remote unlock requests; 6,000 Good Samaritan calls and 338,000 route support calls. In addition, OnStar subscribers make more than 15 million hands-free calls per month. On demand remote diagnostics are performed 55,000 times per month and more than 2.5 million subscribers received OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics e-mails (April 2007).

It’s a big country, I guess. I’m a small-town boy now.


For those of you, who like me, are also closet Alfa Lovers.

The Brera is nice, but the GT is almost perfect. Especially when it’s dressed up like this. Click through to Auto Express to get the rather superb stats on this little beastie.


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  1. “405bhp GT 3.7 Super, which can sprint from 0-60mph in only 4.9”
    Pretty good for a fwd car, good job Alfa. I think fwd can do more than what the pundits admit. This certainly goes beyond the accepted 250bhp limit for fwd. I wish GM had kept their stake in Fiat so Saab and Alpha could be in the same showrooms.

  2. This OnStar thing….
    Not much privacy is it?

    And how much time will it take before this system will be hacked/missused to unlock some cars just to get them stolen?!? And whats happeningwith insurance when an unlockedcar is stolen?

    One single system to make all connected cars like sitting duck.

    Or am I missing out on something here?

  3. And,my space button is close to shuting down so my appology to some prettylongwordsin my lastpost…
    Will tell boss to get me a new one, pronto.

  4. Swade,

    That Alfa is the Alfa GT, not the Brera.

    The GT is the Brera’s ickle brother, and in my opinion has a much nicer profile than the Brera, although the nose on the Brera is pure automotive pornography 🙂

    The Alfa Spider (which is basically a roadster version of the Brera) is even more gorgeous, as the overhangs at the rear are tighter and make the car look more agile.

    Biggest problem the Brera has though is weight, it is too heavy. If one compares it to its peers (Audi TT, Z4 Coupe and the Nissan 350Z) the Brera (although easily the best looking) does not come close as a sports car unfortunately.

    Those looks are undeniable mind. It is a sexy sexy car.

  5. The Chrysler thing could be both the best and worst possible news ever. If the UAW backs down, then all US automakers are in a much better position, if Chrysler ends up on the parts heap, the US auto makers would certainly suffer in the near term, but it would probably ulimately lead to the undoing of the UAW to suddenly find a huge number of their members out of work. So which do we hope for?

  6. Regarding OnStar:

    Two of the main selling points for OnStar in most GM vehicles are not functional in the 9-3 or the 9-5. That would be the monthly e-mails automatically sent out containing diagnostic results, and the ability to have your vehicle unlocked remotely. Yet the fees are the same as on GM vehicles with those abilities. It is silly, mostly useless technology (going back to that tech for tech sake bit on ts a month ago).

    Just thought I’d vent a bit.

  7. Thanks Peter!
    But still, OnStar seems like a gadget for others rather than the owner. Maybe this is manly for GM poposes?

  8. Looking at the on-star stats it is know wonder why GM offers it on most of their cars in the USA. This is a subscription service, and as such generates good profits to GM’s bottom line. The service is so good that Lexus uses it, or used to (with their own operators) in the US. I believe Acura also uses the satellites for the real time traffic service. Their radio commercials are also very effective. I know some folks that have it and would not consider buying a car without it. This can only help GM.

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