I’ve just been reading the US press release for the 2008 Saab 9-3 and I have a couple of questions.
Here’s the bit of the press release that sparked the first question:
At the rear, all new 9-3 models now feature smoked white light clusters.
I thought it was a requirement in the US that all rear lights (i.e. brake lights) have red lenses, hence the SportCombi having red instead of the ice blocks. Am I wrong on that one or are there some special loopholes there?
My second question is one that I’ll be posting to Saab USA directly right after I complete this post. Here’s the text that it’s concerned with:
In addition to the already high-level of standard equipment, Saab adds OnStar, XM Radio, rain-sensing wipers, tire pressure monitor, ‘quiet package’ to reduce road noise and remote open for the convertible top for the 2008 model year.
It’s the words “quiet package” here that made me sit up and take notice.
On the test drive that I did with the 9-3 TTiD SportCombi in Sweden, the car was noticeably quieter than the 2007 model TiD SportCombi rental that we had as a companion car that day. Par Brandt from Auto Motor and Sport deliberately hired the 2007 model so that he could do the direct comparison.
When I see the word “package” I immediately think of options that cost people money. My worry here is that Saab USA will be selling a ‘regular’ 2008 Saab 9-3 and a ‘quiet’ one at some extra cost. This is the first I’ve heard of this ‘quiet package’ so I’m going to email Saab USA and ask a few very direct questions:
1) Is this “quiet package” an option on the 2008 Saab 9-3 and if so, what’s it going to cost?
2) If it is an option on the 2008 model, how does it compare to the cars driven in Sweden at the launch of the vehicle? Were they fitted with the quiet package? Will a car that’s not fitted with the “quiet package” be comparable to a 2007 vehicle in terms of road noise etc?.
I don’t want to be seen to be going off the deep end here, but this is the first I’ve seen of the “quiet package” and I have had access to the US specs for the 9-3 for some time now. The press release does read as if those items listed will all be standard, but it just puzzles me that they’ve defined it as a ‘package’. Why not just say you’ve added better insulation to make the car quieter?
I’m not trying to create a panic here, but they’ve written the words in the release so I’m going to try and find out what they mean so we can all be clear on it.
You’ll know as soon as I know.
I’ve emailed Saab USA but as it’s after hours over there right now I don’t expect a response too soon.
Whilst I’ve been doing that, turbin provided some very basic advice – go and Google “Quiet Package” and check the GM results. D’oh!
So I did. The GMC Envoy is the first one to come up and the basic description for the Quiet Package is: “includes strategically placed elements of sound insulation”. And it IS a standard feature on the Envoy (so I assume it’ll be so on the Saab).
Click through on the QP link and it gives some more details – Laminated windsheild with some acoustical stuff between the laminated sheets, double-fibreglass insulation at the front of the dash and extra insulation in areas such as the doors, pillars and speaker areas.
Which is all fair enough.
But why mix the language? You’ve got packages that you pay for and now packages that are standard? Isn’t that just standard equipment? And as mentioned above, why not just say “We’ve improved the insulation and the car is now a lot quieter”???
That phrase actually says what you’ve done and the result. Simple.
Why does there have to be a catchy phrase for every-bloody-thing? As it appears to be standard, it’s not as if customers have to choose the Quiet Package, so remembering it shouldn’t have to be that important. If they’re talking to their friends about it, they’re not going to rack their brain thinking of the catchy title for ‘insulation’.
As a matter of fact, you’re probably just setting yourself up for problems. One day a dealer is going to get a customer come in and ask if Model X has the ‘foam package’ that his friend’s Saab has.
And if we’re going to do ‘packages’ for insulation, then why stop there?
I’ll have a 9-3 with the seats package, the engine package and the A-pillars package, please.
Make mine a 9-5 with the 9-5 package thrown in. Cheers.
Someone fire the freaking copywriters and spend their salary on vehicle development – please!!