Top 9 things that I hope Christmas can make me forget about

What a crap day!

It’s becoming increasingly clear around here that 2008 is quite possibly going to be a much different year to 2007. What that’s going to mean for Trollhattan Saab, I’m not sure right now. Things couldn’t get much worse, so they’ve got to get better, right?

So seeing I’m in such a cheery mood (NOT) I thought I’d list all the things that are annoying me right now. Maybe they’re annoying you too.

——

1. The fact that with the release of the ridiculously ugly X6, BMW will have at least as many turbocharged engines as Saab, and more than twice the publicity about it.

2. The fact that Volvo ‘own’ safety and Saab have a relationship with safety that exists only in the minds of really interested parties.

3. The fact that US dealers still can’t sell Hirsch upgrades or accessories, despite Hirsch being ready to go, and covering all development and compliance costs.

4. The fact that Subaru can claim to be the only car company in Australia with a full range of 5-star ANCAP rated cars and Saab Oz can’t even respond to my email on the subject.

5. The fact that turbocharging is “the next big thing” and Saab have no firmly established Turbocharging identity outside of Sweden.

6. The fact that diesels are coming to the US and GM couldn’t read the wind and be prepared for it.

7. The fact that you can get more grunt in a Chevy HHR SS than you can with a Saab 9-3 with the same engine.

8. The fact that GM are sucking a whole lot of expertise out of Saab and giving them a shoestring budget when it comes to actually marketing and selling the cars

9. The fact that I know exactly what Turbin is going to write in comments when he reads this.

——

The good news is that there is a lot to look forward to in 2008, despite the lack of news going ’round at the moment.

The 9-4x reveal in Detroit should be somewhat exciting. News services are reporting that the 9-1 concept will shown in London in July – but they’re wrong and they’re all following each other around like a bunch of internet sheep. Let them be wrong.

Hopefully, for a bunch of readers here, there will some new Saab deliveries and amongst them will some Turbo-X’s. I’m also hoping that I’ll get a working Viggen back in my garage.

2008 will also see the Saab XWD system come to market, finally, and I’m sure you’ll join me in hoping that that leads to some increased interest in the brand.

This isn’t me signing off for the year, but given that this has been a reflecive post it’d be remiss of me to skip saying that I hope your 2007 has been a great one, and that your 2008 will be 10 times better again!

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20 Comments

  1. Swade, I share your pain! I’m not that fond of the BFJ ad campaign, but I think it could have been a decent short term attention grabber. The ads should have moved on to cover the actual attributes which make Saab cars great instead of beating the born from jets theme to death. There’s just no substance to that message! Were there any ads celebrating Saabs 30 years of turbocharging expertise? I haven’t seen any here in the US. I haven’t heard a word about Saab safety or utility in the ads either. Things have to get better in 2008!

  2. Don’t feel bad about Saab Oz not responding regarding the Subaru ads. VW used to run TV ads in the USA stating that they had the highest IIHS test scores, which they didn’t. They did poorly in the rear crash test of course. The implication of their phrasing was “We are numero uno!” I emailed Saab USA and suggested they do something, at least complain to the IIHS. Response: Dead silence. 🙁

  3. I agree with Yurk, don’t feel bad. When I was in a different industry, the number four company in market share started running ads claiming the top spot, with some very fine print that qualified the statement enough that it was true (they spoke only of a specific class of products and limited the market to a specific region of the world, which wasn’t the region that they were advertising in). Our lawyers wouldn’t let us lift a finger for fear that they would retaliate against a different division of our company, etc.

    Your best option, actually, is to tip off a fellow journalist in the mainstream press and see if that sparks some pub that will embarrass Subaru enough to retract the ads.

    My two cents.

  4. I’m w/ Mark in his belief that the “born from jets” campaign has gotten mighty old. it’s winter (here in the northeast). they should be showing
    turbo Saabs ripping it up in the snow!

  5. Ive just seen my first TTID on the road in Sutton Coldfield, UK (on trade plates). Looked the muts nuts in black with the twin pipes. V nice.

  6. Re Swade’s point 1 & 5 about turbocharging: are Saab still right to claim they are at the ‘forefront of turbocharging technology’ ‘cos thats what they claim in the black turbo brochure and then i read that Audi are uping the 2.0 turbo TT to 280bhp and BMW are squashing out 100bhp+ per litre on their diesel???

  7. Re: jwlanky, I’m sure Saab can still make that claim because it’s not all about power which might be the easiest part. Saab has done real well in reducing turbo lag, and also in managing the engine so that it can run on any octane, utilize E85 seamlessly, and still deliver good economy and durability. I really would like to see them up the power though. 🙂
    It’s kind of like what Eggs was alluding to; you can always claim to be at the forefront in a particular category.

  8. “It seems like the TTID has started to be delivered now”

    Also our Saab friends in Germany have received TTiD models already. Being 5-8 weeks late to the original delivery date.

    There´s something wrong with the delivery of TTiD engine, don´t know what and where but it´s the reason why all those models are late. And will be late in the close future.

    All TTiD´s I´ve heard about have been Aero models. Neither Linears nor Vectors yet.

    :I

  9. i hope chistmas can help me forget that subaru now has the 2008 impreza sti hatchback. it’s the kind of small hatch saab should have had at least a couple years ago.

    check it out.

    subaru did a good design makeover; not that a saab product needs to look like that, but it’s successful in key areas–it’s a hatch; it’s modernized, aggressive, and 300 hp.

    (if santa brings me some platinum bullion, i might feel better about 2008.)

  10. Message to Saab: “Harden The F#@k Up!!”

    If you took an agressive proactive stance then we wouldn’t have to put up with Swade’s whining.

    There, said it Swade, but not to you as I’m happy enough that it automatically rings in your head every time you whinge.

  11. saab9x,

    the Suby Impreza now has the Saab Information Display. The Tribeca has also just been re-released with some of the styling cues that were supposed to be for the 9-6x. On the flipside, their cars have gotten softer, they are now truly the Saab of Japan. And to think that GM sold their stake.

  12. Yep, Subaru is now Saab, and Saab is…. I wish I had a good answer. Hopefully, getting its priorities straight, starting with the 9-1 this summer.

  13. ..and talking about Subaru, they´re now offering boxer-diesel to Legacy and Outback versions for MY08 starting on march. Price is very competitive, facts are 2 liter, 350Nm/1800rpm and 150hp. Fuel consumption is 5,7l/100km, combined. I believe that it´ll be quite popular in Eu. That´s still real alltime 4wd with symmetric powertrain.

  14. If I lived in a part of the country which gets cold in winter (like the Saab-happy northeast) I think I’d buy a car based on the availability of seat heaters. As it is, one of the reasons I really want a 9⁵ is the availability of ventilated seats.

    Now I know a lot of cars offer heated seats as an option now after Saab innovated them, but I don’t see them advertised. If I were watching TV freezing my butt-off trying not to use the heater too much because of the high cost of heating oil this season and a commercial came on TV touting seat heaters from a car company based in assuredly sympathetic Sweden I think I’d sit up and pay attention! 🙂

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