Notes from New York – Part 3 – The Auto Show begins

Today was press day #1 at the NYIAS and even though Saab’s press conference isn’t scheduled until tomorrow, there was a flurry of activity at the Saab stand with a steady stream of visitors all day (and whilst I don’t want to sound smug, I think there are a few manufacturers who wish that was the case at their stand).

Following are some images and commentary on some of today’s events and some of the vehicles on show at the Saab stand.

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Being a senior executive at an Auto Show is all about two things – interviews and business. If they’re not engaged in one, it’s the other. Victor Muller arrived this morning with a phone virtually plastered to his ear and when he wasn’t speaking to the media, the phones were busy once again (often two at a time).

For Jason Castriota, it was all interviews. He was walking journalists around the Saab PhoeniX Concept for most of the day……

…..although he also got to sit down occasionally. This is Jason speaking with Alrik Söderlind from Auto Motor and Sport in Sweden.

These are not models from the Saab stand today. Saab has a regular crew that does all their major motor shows. These two young ladies saw PhoeniX’s doors were open and couldn’t wait to jump right in…..

Former Saab ad writer, Curvin O’Reilly, was also in attendance today. He offered both his credit card and checkbook, but still wasn’t allowed to take PhoeniX home.

Concept cars can be temperamental things. Some of you may remember the Aero-X almost swallowing a man at an auto show around 5 years ago. The poor guy had to climb out through the hatch at the back of the car as the power to the canopy top failed.

The PhoeniX has been exceptionally well behaved in comparison, but it’s not without its moments. Today, whilst Curvin was sitting in the car, the driver door decided that it was time to close. A few frantic minutes were spent looking for the remote control, before Curvin was safely extracted from the car. He seemed pretty content in there, though….

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Let’s take a closer look at some of the cars on the Saab stand. As noted earlier this morning, Saab have what is virtually an all-new lineup on the stand comprising the PhoeniX Concept, the Saab 9-5 SportCombi (due for release later in 2011), the Saab 9-4x (due for release in a month or so) and the Independence Edition Saab 9-3 Convertible (a limited edition of just 366 vehicles worldwide, available for order right now).

The Saab 9-4x has been seen occasionally on the streets of Trollhattan in recent weeks (Saab’s home town). I saw it twice in a few days before heading to New York for this show. I’m going to go out on a limb here – ‘crossover’ vehicles are not normally my taste – and say that the Saab 9-4x is taking very large strides in the race to become my favourite looking Saab. It really does look exceptionally good on the road and it doesn’t look too shabby under lights at the NYIAS either…..

The interior of the car features a dash panel with a silver/grey fleck finish as well as a patterned trim down the side of the center stack. It’s subtle, but very welcoming indeed.

I can’t wait to drive this car.

There will be a drive event early in May for members of the US automotive press corps (Some “long lead” publications have already driven the vehicle). Look out for coverage on the web shortly thereafter.

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The Saab 9-5 SportCombi was also on the Saab stand today and will be joined by a Saab 9-5 Sedan on Friday, the first public day of the show.

The interior of the 9-5SC Aero was finished in Parchment, with a patterned trim featuring on the dashboard and elsewhere.

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As I said at the top, the Saab stand was very well attended today, despite there being no actual press event scheduled for the day. That all happens tomorrow and I’m sure it’s going to be even busier then.

Interest in the company is really high and the great thing about that is that it was all interest in the product. PhoeniX was the star attraction, of course, but there were plenty of people going through the Saab 9-5 SportCombi and especially the Saab 9-4x.

The New York Auto Show has been a good one for Saab so far. The press will be even more engaged with the company tomorrow and I can’t wait to talk to a few of them and see what they think of PhoeniX and Saab’s upcoming vehicle range

(…..and speaking of which – aside from Geneva, last month – when was the last time Saab had such a totally fresh and new range to show people? It’s very exciting to see things evolving like this, like watching a newborn growing up)

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11 Comments

  1. Good to see you back in action, Swadey. Kinda missed you, in fact. 🙂

    @turbs: I’ll be more than glad to show these two girls my “ugly” Turbo X.

  2. Steven , Great having you back and welcome to the Big Apple. I hope to get to the show before it closes next weekend

  3. Thanks, Steven.
    It´s been very nice to follow the NAIAS from a distance but yet somehow quite close. Well done.
    I could give those two ladies a ride too 🙂 I have two turbos in my Saab so plenty of boost.

  4. Might be good to point out that the Saab 9-5 shown has the upgraded dash material which will be available from MY12.

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