I’d like to thank all the Brits who popped up in comments last night talking about why Saabs are pretty well appreciated in the UK. It seems a competition heritage and a penchant for intelligent design count for a lot – something that Saab would be well advised to keep in mind….
More quotes from Saab GB’s grand poobah:
Jonathan Nash, managing director of Saab GB said: “It has taken longer than expected to get to grips with the brand, but to be fair GM finally started moving the company in the right direction about five years ago.”
That’s how long it takes to get the strategy and new models to market.
Speaking at the UK launch of the latest 9-3, Nash said: “People want to buy a Saab because it is Saab. It always has been a distinctive, high performance brand.”…..
…..Nash added: “GM has come to terms with what it now knows is a unique, individual brand with a lot of loyal customers. It was not just a question of making the brand more widely available, it was about investing in innovative technology such as cross-wheel-drive.
“If you are going to be late into the game with a technology you need something unique and as a centre for excellence in cross-wheel-drive, engine_management systems and turbo-charging I think you will start to see some of Saab’s technologies cascading out into other GM products.”….
He talks a little about rightsizing, and then this little gem:
“We should not have to apologise for enjoying driving. You pay a lot of money, hopefully to Saab for your car, then you pay a not insignificant amount in taxes to the government – I think you are entitled to enjoy the car that you drive.”
I do a lot of analysis on this site and not enough about the joy of driving a Saab. Thanks for the reminder, Mr Nash.
Wulf links up a good article over at Saab Central.
The gist: with the American dollar shortly approaching parity with the peso, you might be well advised to get your Saab sooner rather than later if you’re in the US market.
Again, a lack of Saab diesel for the US market is hurting. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet here, but I was writing about this over two years ago. They needed to bring diesel for several reasons. a) because there’d be a market for it, and b) because it would place them in a position of leadership. Who are the leaders now? Same as they’ve always been – the Germans.
Last week, I heard from a Saab owner in the US. His dealer had recently been to Sweden and whilst there, the dealer got a chance to drive the TTiD. That dealer’s remark – no doubt they could sell a bunch of ’em if they were able.
And now, you’ve got the blogosphere doing backflips about BMW – again. Why? Because they’re bringing diesel. That’s just one of many articles this week.
Speaking of the TTiD, a little birdie told me this morning that Hirsch are producing a stainless steel dual exhaust for the TTiD. So even if you don’t get the Aero (on which you get a dual exhaust as standard) you can get the dual sounding rumble from Hirsch later on.
More than that, though, they’re also currently working on a software upgrade for the TTiD model, too. With 400 Nm of torque already, it’ll be very interesting to see what the Hirsch mod puts out.
But back to the joy of driving a Saab. This car was the subject of a SOTW entry last week and I couldn’t resist posting this second picture that turned up. Seems the owner got a new wide angle lens…..