Saab Vs (part 2)

This pic and the title suggestion came in from Eggs n Grits, who recently had some time in New Orleans for work. It’s still pretty run down there, apparently, and these guys didn’t hang around to rebuild. Apparently Saabs aren’t that popular in Louisiana.


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  1. Well, it’s a bit of a chicken and the egg problem. New Orleans’ population is still only half of its pre-Katrina level. Missing people do not buy new cars.

    Plus it looks as if that particular area where the dealership was has not been repaired or resettled. Who’s going to drive to an urban wasteland to buy a new car?

    The Katrina disaster is one of the most shameful events in U.S. history.

    Of all the blame to pass around, I think we can skip any blame for an empty Saab dealership.

  2. Yeah its tough to watch. The Saab/Hummer dealer is now in Baton Rouge just a 90mph drive away, next to the Caddy/Volvo dealer. Shame that Sewell Caddy/Chevy in NOLA couldnt be perswaded. There used to be a Porsche/Audi and I think VW in the above pic also.
    Lutz and his merry band of minions have soo much dealer “aligning” to do…it might be a full-time job for somebody.

  3. Indeed.

    Greg: That area (like most in downtown New Orleans) is very mixed: one thing is fixed, the next building isn’t. The hospital just behind the dealership is, for instance, in great shape.

    And, Swade: I wasn’t eve thinking of the ‘Saab vs….’ series, I just used that phrase without thinking! Looks good, though.

    Greg: Good point about the half population thing. I mentioned that when I sent this to Swade.

  4. Greg: As far as being shameful, I don’t know to what you’re referring. As someone that was there 72 hours after the storm (in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi), I can say that most people were sane and reasonable.

    As for the after the fact cleanup and rebuild, I can say this: the Federal government has spared no expense for this rebuilding effort — even buying out lagging insurance claims to get people rebuilding ASAP.

    The shamefuil part of this whole thing rests squarely upon Mayor Ray Nagin and the governor of Louisiana (I’ve forgotten her name at the moment). These two have squadered money, time and volunteer effort due to graft, petty differences, and plain old ineptitude. Things always moved at a more ‘manana’ pace in Southern Louisiana, but this is ridiculous. Scheduling road construction that blocks all other construction traffic in that part of town for months, contractors that get paid but never work, consultants that get paid but give little good advice, people that clog the government with threats, complaints, requests for more handouts, etc. and get top priority over bigger issues just so Nagin could curry favor and get re-elected, etc. A goat rope of mammoth proportions.

  5. To clarify: My first sentence above isn’t a challenge of the shame involved, I was simply saying that I didn’t know what you thought particularly shameful. I then added my two cents.

  6. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. Her term ends soon, and she’s decided not to go for re-election. Some say the national Democratic party told her it was a lost cause.

    We call her Governor Blink-o, for the number of times she blinks during public speaking.

    I live in Baton Rouge, home of the new Saab dealer (Gerry Lane Saab/Hummer/Saturn) and I can affirm that Saabs aren’t all that popular here, but I DO see them. The 9-3 convertible is one of the more popular ragtops in town. There aren’t too many all-Saab families, tho.

    One car make you don’t see here at all is Subaru. There’s very little desire for AWD cars here. There’s a tiny tiny corner dealership on one of the busy thoroughfares in town. Aside from the WRX, you’d never know Subaru existed here.

  7. I have some pictures taken of my dealership shortly after Katrina.

    This dealership (Benson SAAB) was in the process of changing ownership before Katrina hit. After the dealership was destroyed, the local SAAB franchise was awarded to another local dealership, but never reopened.

    Meanwhile, a new dealership (Gerry Lane SAAB) had recently opened in the capital city of Baton Rouge, which is currently the only SAAB dealership servicing the Southeastern Louisiana region.

    They are located about 80 miles from downtown New Orleans.

  8. Saab007 — this may be a stupid question, but why do all the verts have their tops down? I understand windows (down or broken) but did someone take the time to hand-crank the tops after Katrina? or were they on the lot with the tops down when it hit?

    Being a Florida boy with lots of “evacuation experience” I just can’t think of a reason for those tops to be down.

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