Nude in Frankfurt

By nude I mean “no coverage”.

There’s several web spaces out there that have written up their overview pieces on the cars of the Frankfurt Motor Show with no mention of the Turbo X at all. It just goes to show how hard it can be to get quality coverage sometimes, even if you’ve got a brand new drivetrain that’s never been used in a production model anywhere on the entire darn planet!!!

CAR Magazine is the first culprit. Their Frankfurt motor Show A-Z Guide features such wondrous landmark vehicles as Ssangyong Wz and the new Daihatsus. Thankfully, as well as ignoring Saab’s Turbo X, they’ve also ignored absolutely everything from Audi, which is quite unbelievable really.

Though if it was Audi bringing the XWD system to market they’d be all over it like a rash, I’m quite sure.

Here in Australia, have an online Frankfurt guide with 37 feature articles. You’d think that a world premiere of a revolutionary all wheel drive system would make it into the top-37 articles from a motor show. But no.

Maybe it would have made it into a top-40 piece.


Saab may have been a little mad at me for publishing the Turbo X pictures I received from a member of the Djup Strupe collective in advance of the official release.

What happened as a result of that, though, was that the car spread around the automotive web at a grassroots level like a wildfire. I had 10,000 people visit here that first day and slightly less for the next few days prior to the release. And that’s just here. Other sites that picked up on it and used the pics had many many more, I’m sure.

The car was seen. It was read about. And for a few days prior to the official unveiling, it was king. Have a look at the coverage it’s getting amongst all the other releases from the show. It’s almost a Nude situation.

Jan-Ake Jonsson himself said to me at the dinner for the 60th Anniversary Saab Festival that if there’s a day when great shots of a beautiful Saab are seen by a lot of people, then it’s got to be considered a good day.

I hope he still managed to think that way last Sunday.

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  1. Echoing what I have noticed, zero mention of the Turbo X in many prominent publications. Many have in fact gone crazy on the environmental vehicles at a show where Biopower is taking a backseat to the Black Turbo. Everybody seems to on the environmental bandwagon but how many are actually producing the cars to back it up?

  2. This seems to me to be a failure of SAAB Global’s marketing department. They should have made sure the SAAB got at least equal and at best better coverage than every other car at Frankfurt.

    I can’t help but think some of the reason for the car being ignored is that the show seemed to have an overwhelming “green” theme, with SAAB being one of the exceptions who weren’t promoting a “green” car at the show (the Turbo-X features a combined mileage of a shameful 21 U.S. miles-per-gallon). But then again, AUDI did indeed have a green car there (and it can be argued the A4 has some “green” features)…

    Once again it appears to me that SAAB is missing the boat. They missed the SUV craze until too late, they’re getting into the “crossover” segment very late, they admitted that the public wants six-cylinder drivetrains and all-wheel-drive too late, and they’re planning for a “hot hatch” many years after that segment got “hot”. Now the big buzz in the industry is environmentally-friendly cars and SAAB shows-off their highest-horsepower car ever (I’m not counting the 9⁷X truck). When will SAAB get a clue?

    Don’t tell me about BioPower. Outside of Sweden BioPower cars are selling about as fast as molasses flows. It’s becoming obvious that most governments and most buyers don’t buy into ethanol, no matter how hard SAAB wants to push it. Their hybrid seems to have been a vanity project that was quickly shelved. They’re now apparently entering the sport sedan horsepower war. Is SAAB really eco-minded anymore?

  3. Well, actually Gripen….I think people’s perceptions on the balance of things at the show is probably skewed by my coverage of it. I’ve been all about the Turbo X, but if you go to Saab global (there’s a link in a post above this) you’ll see that there’s a big emphasis on BioPower. Rayman also noted this in his coverage, I think.

    And BioPower’s also a little bigger than you think. Saab GB are very well positioned for it and as the fuel comes online more there, they’ll reap some benefits from that. It will happen.

    Other markets are definitely taking on E85 in a bigger way in Europe, too. Sweden’s the main player at the moment, but it IS growing. 500 new outlets in France this year, for instance.

    No doubt Saab have been behind the game, but it’s not all the fault of people in Sweden.

  4. Swade: maybe you’re right as this is the only place other than Autobloggreen that I’ve followed the coverage. But Autobloggreen strangely doesn’t mention SAAB at all in its intensive Frankfurt coverage. 🙂

    As for BioPower in Britain, has there been any more progress in the government giving it favorable tax status? That is going to be a key to its sales. From what I’ve read it’s as hard to find E85 available on GB than it is in the U.S.!

    I’m just pointing out that it seems to me (and I could be way off as I’m far from an expert on the subject) that it was up to SAAB’s marketing department to ensure that SAAB received favorable coverage at the show and it appears as you’ve pointed out that most media outlets have completely ignored the brand in their Frankfurt coverage.

  5. i have to agree with it! The TX did not get a real unveilung as they just pulled off the blanket on monday morning! When the other journalists arrived, it was a: “Uh , nice black Saab though” – thing while prefering the breakfast. I was one of the first people to actually take a seat in the car – and then a happy Saab ingenieur came and told me about how good the whole drivetrain is… you would have felt a bit ashamed Swade… the Saab stand was really nice, if you think of the tiny space granted compared to other brands… but not a lot of visitors noticed it [was at the left backend]… the Biopower, meaning E85 thing is coming in Germany through Ford as well – meaning that Fords and Volvos are going for it. Now we have a strong [on market share] brand like Opel buying into it as well – so it seems to come together. Others might follow and then we have a good situation for Saab – it could take 2 or 3 more years … but may be its only 1 more year until E85 is here at full strength!

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