Please excuse me whilst I air out some thoughts here (again)……
If you’ve been following my writings for even a little while, you’ll know I have certain…… issues….. with some elements in the automotive press. There are some newspapers, especially in Sweden, who I like to question about their approach to Saab, for example. This concern of mine isn’t confined to the print media, however.
What I’d like to take issue with today is the class of automotive media out there who have taken it upon themselves to actually wish Saab dead.
My questions to them are as follows:
Almost all of the people I’ve met in the professional automotive media sector are car people who happen to be in the fortunate position of working in the field that they love. They have their favourites, but by and large, they appreciate cars from all different makes. They have an incredible, detailed knowledge of automotive history – who made this, who designed that, and when – and yes, they also read the news. Almost without exception amongst the people I’ve met in this field – the automotive professionals – they’re rooting for Saab to survive, even if it’s only quietly.
Why aren’t you?
Is the fact that you are a self-ordained automotive analyst more important to you than the health and diversity of the industry you cover? Is your need to be on the right side of happenstance so crucial that you are compelled to be visible, stating loudly every prediction that the bookies would favour?
I’ve said it numerous times before, even just a few weeks ago, that the automotive world would be no worse off if it didn’t have another 100,000 Brand X motor vehicles. But it’s a much better place if we can carry on and make 100,000 Saabs a year.
The automotive world, like so many other sectors of the world we live in, is being legislated into a sameness that is slowly chasing away the passion for cars that was previously held close by so many people. This industry needs diversity. It needs creative thinking from different companies in different parts of the world.
I have no personal interest in the vehicles made companies like Nissan, Audi, Peugeot or Kia (amongst many others). But I would never begrudge them their place in the industry or actually wish them gone from it. Their presence in the industry and the competition they provide, the innovation that that competition drives, and their different takes on styling and packaging are what makes this industry interesting. It’s what makes companies improve.
If you’re really a car person, you get that. You understand. You love your brand, but you appreciate what’s there in others, too.
There is a market for Saab in the automotive world. We can trade on design and a blend of packaging, safety, technology, performance and utility that is unique to us. Saab being present in the automotive world doesn’t hurt anyone. It makes a contribution.
Wishing Saab away from the automotive world does nothing more than make an already too homogenous image look even more dull.
So why would anyone do it? Simply to be seen as being right?
What a victory that would be. And what a cost paid by others to achieve it.
Apologies again if this seems a little downcast and gloomy.
I remain, as always, convinced of Saab’s future as a car company, simply because we have too many good things happening, too much good product and too many good people, to simply have things fall by the wayside.
I just get annoyed by some of the things I read and the thought that others out there would be reading them, too.
Some will assume that this post is aimed at certain websites or individuals. It’s not. There’s a whole class of sites out there playing the same broken record – looking at analysis rather than looking at the product, or the product plan. It’s aimed at the class, not the individual.
Hopefully this has cleared my head, and we can get back to car stuff in the next day or so 🙂