Saab pride – one man’s thoughts

I wrote in comments earlier today that this deserves it’s own post right here at the front page of the blog.

And here it is.

This is Kaz, from the UK, responding in the Monogamy post I wrote yesterday. He prefaced this section with some remarks about coming Saabs and the faith that he has in them. Then came this, which touched base with more than a few people:

It just got me thinking about why the vast majority of us Saabisti love the brand and what it stands for.

What does the brand say to me? It says that I am an individual. I have thoughts and an opinion that I will form from my own learnings. I do not wish to follow a crowd of bland, although admittedly worthwhile, product. Saab has culture, it has heritage, it speaks to the owner. And when Saab does speak, it’s telling me I’m safe, my family is safe, and my friends are safe. But it does so with a devilish smile, hinting that although the barriers are there to protect, they certainly will not be there to hinder.

I’m also chuffed to see Saab as cool. Rebellious even, touching on what I mentioned earlier with regard to not following the crowd. Sometimes choice is too easy. Sometimes everyone has an opinion that one should buy something else. Until they experience that same feeling. One of enlightenment. The feeling that tells you, there is another choice. There is an alternative. And it isn’t bad.

The first day I drove a Saab, it made me feel special. It made me smile. Heck, I was giggling. The TT I had a few months prior bored me. Yes it looked fabulous, and yes it had a fab interior. But it was also boring to drive.

This is not a token thing to be taken lightly. Saab has always had a special place in my heart. Whenever I saw one, I always thought, ‘ahhh, bless, Saabs are great’. Tell me, which other brand is able to engender such a warm reception?

Sit in a Saab and the seats hug and caress you. They provide a steely assurance that you will arrive as you left. Fresh, and perhaps even less stressed.

I was driving in London once, it was sunny so I had the hood down. There was a man who was pushing his dad in a wheelchair. He was staring at the car with a huge smile. I had stopped at the lights and he came up to me, with such a proud look.

“I help make this car” he said, “It’s lovely, it is so nice to see so many Saabs here. It is almost like home”

His dad meanwhile made the effort to raise a thumbs up as the lights turned green.

The world has heroes, unfortunately, most are fictitious. I know a certain company in Trollhattan who are certainly not. Every person there is a hero, and deserves the brand to do well.

I for one am grateful that I am given a choice, whenever I turn the key in that funny spot behind the gear lever.

That’s pride of ownership. Pride in a brand that developed plenty of respect, and for good reason, too.

There’s plenty of integrity left in that badge. Roll on, 2008!

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  1. one great article.
    our real love affair started with saab when we were loaned a new 9-5 estate back in 2001 for the weekend. we use to do a lot of “old car runs” where we were last car and we would get a lot of differant makes, audi, merc, volvo miti etc and we would always hand them back, say thank you, and get into our old trusty cavalier. but the time that we had the saab we knew it was the car for us. we did not want to give it back. the next car run that came up we insisted on a saab. we had to get one for ourselves. when the money was right we got one and have loved it ever since. like Kaz says, you can go for miles and get out as fresh as you started. the trip to trollhattan in june was over 1,000 miles and some 21 hours long but we just stepped out of the car with no problems at all. i could go on, just to say i love my saab and i love what saab is. 🙂

  2. Great written by Kaz! That is, in many ways, how I feel about Saab. I like Saab because it is a special and the uncommon choice of a car. It’s like a hidden treasure: Fast, great handling, sharp looking and extremely safe. I love to drive an unusual and exclusive car. I love the fact that I made an uncommon choice when I selected my brand. I don’t want to be a sheep and buy an Audi or BMW like the rest of the herd. I guess I like to be different. But there is a paradox: I love Saab and want Saab to be prosperous and have financial strength to build lots of new and great cars. But I realize that to do this, Saab needs to sell more cars, and then maybe my choice of car won’t be as unusual anymore. If Saab becomes as successful as Audi or BMW, will I still drive a Saab? Or will I migrate to another brand?

  3. Arild: Even if Saab gets more mainstream, they’ll still be just as awesome, and they’ll NEVER be mainstream enough to be just another sheepmobile.

    robin: As much as I love Chevys, I’m surprised it took you guys so long to find something you liked enough to make you trade in your Cavalier :p

    My love affair with Saab started after I got my 900. It had been my dad’s, but I was too young to appreciate how nice it was when he had it. I’ve driven a bunch of other cars, and not one of them measures up to my Saab (with the obvious exception of other Saabs. I’ve driven two: a 1994 9000 CDE, just down the block to get cigs for my mechanic as he fixed my car, and a 2001 9-3 vert that I tried to buy but didn’t have money for, so I just test drove it). It’s surprising that even though my car is 12 years old and literally falling apart, I still prefer it to every other car I have access to. It’s even more surprising to me that my car was the BASE model and it’s still so awesome. I also love that all of my friends think my car is awesome (though, admittedly, that shouldn’t come as a surprise, as they drive: Camry, Breeze, Prism, Tercel, Focus, Civic…not exactly competition :p) I am totally committed to Saab and will be until they pry my driver’s license from my cold, dead hands.

  4. And new Saabs are reliable, too!!!

    Today’s Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish daily, published a list of new cars with the average number of “emergency garage visits” in the first year of their life:

    Volvo V50 49 provent of all cars
    Volkswagen Passat 44
    Mercedes-Benz B-klass 41
    Citroën C5 41
    Peugeot 307 39
    Renault Mègane 36
    Audi A6 34
    Mercedes-Benz E-klass 34
    Opel Vectra 34
    Volvo S40 32
    Peugeot 407 31
    Volkswagen Golf 31
    Peugeot 206 30
    Saab 9-5 27
    Volvo V70 26
    Ford Focus 25
    Toyota Avensis 24
    Mercedes-Benz C-klass 24
    BMW 5 23
    Volkswagen Polo 23
    Skoda Octavia 22
    Audi A4 21
    Opel Astra 21
    BMW 3 21
    Skoda Fabia 20
    Saab 9-3 20
    Ford Fiesta 20
    Toyota RAV4 20
    Ford Mondeo 18
    Hyundai Santa Fe 18
    Volvo S60 18
    Audi A3 18
    Mercedes-Benz A-klass 16
    Volvo S80 15
    Mazda 6 13
    Renault Clio 10
    Hyundai Getz 9
    Toyota Yaris 8
    Subaru Legacy 7
    Toyota Corolla 6
    Toyota Prius 3

  5. I’m a man of few words, so I think I’ll print multiple copies of Kaz’s great commentary, and when someone says “Why do you drive a Saab?”, I’ll hand them a copy and say “Here. Read.” 🙂

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