Thursday Snippets

10 days ago I was in Europe wearing shorts and a T-Shirt.

Today its 6 degrees C here in Hobart and there’s snow, down to around 300 meters. Ay Carumba!!

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Whilst I covered a post in the Irish Times last night I neglected to mention this article in the Belfast Telegraph, which draws a large parallel between Saabs and fish (which personally, I find quite unpalatable, hence my starvation at the Saab Festival dinner a few weeks ago).

Saabs are very fine cars, always have been, always will be. Safe, sound and comfy as your favourite leather armchair. For many, the family Saab was their favourite leather armchair.

Yet now I have decided, with reluctance, that Saabs are much like that other Scandinavian delicacy, pickled herrings. There are some, like me, who can’t get enough of them, who thrill to the discovery of some novel marinade or who find themselves on a quest to see them drenched in the ultimate dressing. That’s the herrings, not the Saabs. And there are others for whom the very sight and smell of one is enough to make them feel just a little queasy. That’s the Saabs, not the herrings, by the way.

It goes on to talk about the Saab Festival in general and the new 9-3 range in particular. Apparently the author was at the Saab Festival and I’d have loved to meet him, over a pizza perhaps.

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Joining the alligatored 900 and at least one other decorated Saab that I can’t locate at the moment is this very 1970s Saab 99 found on my Flickr feed:

70sSaab99.JPG

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Are GM losing sight of their core business? I don’t think my Grandmother used to say it, but someone’s Grandmother was most likely famous for saying “take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”.

GM are touted as a major sponsor of the International River Days Festival in Detroit, with all sorts of stuff going on during the shindig. Check it out here.

More confusing though, is GM’s plan to turn property developer. I’m not sure if this link will work, but the press release reads, in part, as follows:

Hines, the international real estate firm, has formed a partnership with General Motors to develop six acres fronting on the Detroit River directly east of GM’s global headquarters at the Renaissance Center. The mixed-use development in downtown Detroit’s best riverfront location will be largely residential, designed to take advantage of premier waterfront property which offers spectacular views along with the many amenities offered in the GM Renaissance Center.

Hines will be responsible for the financing and construction of the condominium development on GM’s surplus property. By contributing the property for the project, GM will receive a portion of future revenues from residential sales.

Then again, GM probably lost sight of it’s core business back in the 70s or 80s, when it became one of the biggest health insurance companies in the US.

Here’s hoping they make a buck out of it.

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The other horse in GM Premium’s stable here in Australia is Hummer, in theory at least. From Winding Road:

General Motors’ plan to launch the Hummer brand in Australia has been bamboozled by local laws. The marque was supposed to launch Down Under next month with the rollout of the H3, but the country’s Australian Design Regulations (ADRs) that mandate parameters for certain items like wiring looms, tow bars, and mud flaps are proving harder to meet than expected.

That means that the 300+ Aussies that have plunked down up to $6000 for their H3s shouldn’t expect to take delivery of their SUVs before October.

The third horse that’s yet to arrive in the stable, is Cadillac. The article mentions that GM Premium are keeping a watchful eye on the rollout in Europe and that a Caddy presence here is still some two years away. If they’re watching Europe then there’s hope yet that it may not come at all.

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Is there a spot called Geneva somewhere near Chicago??

If so, that’s where you need to head this weekend to see the big Saab BFJ truck and enter a contest to win yourself a stay at the Ice Hotel, presumably as part of the Ice Experience, next year.

The Saab tent is one of the most visible attractions at Geneva’s Swedish Days, which kicked off Tuesday and runs through Sunday…..

“Almost everyone who comes in here enters the sweepstakes,” Minder said. “A lot of them just come in to see what we are and look at the cars. The kids actually love the cars because they get to sit in them and pretend they’re driving.”

If only the kids could bring their checkbooks.

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7 Comments

  1. Corporations ‘sponsor’ these events all the time — it means that they’re advertising helps to defray the cost.

    ‘Parntering’ to develop property means that GM is selling off the asset (the real estate), but they don’t want to sound despirate!

  2. What regulations regarding mud flaps could be holding Hummer back? I understand regulations about winches and tow bars, but mudflaps?

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