I’ve got admit, this situation is wearing me down.
I’m sure that the vast majority of you are aware of my history with Saabs United as its former owner, editor, gopher and whatever. SU remains the most active Saab enthusiast weblog on the net.
Through the sale of Saab by GM back in 2009/10, I was able to use Saabs United as a channel to convey very accurate and timely news as to what was happening with the sale situation. It was a trusted receptacle of information about Saab because the various sources confiding in me knew that my heart was 200% behind the company.
My motivation was to make sure that the world knew that Saab was a viable company – which I still wholeheartedly believe it is today. Back then, if GM were going to make a decision about shutting Saab, I was determined that they weren’t going to be allowed to do it quietly, without full disclosure about the situation (or as full a disclosure as I could provide).
I was proud of the fact that Saabs United maintained a very-near-to-100% accuracy record and became a reference point for Saab employees, enthusiasts and even the professional media. We even had one newspaper reporter in Sweden who used to troll through SU comments to dig up subjects for his ‘opinion’ pieces. What a laugh.
When I took this job at Saab, there were a number of people who warned me that my freedoms would be curtailed and that I would find it hard to cope with, given my previous independence and willingness to tell the story. I accepted this, exhausted as I was from the relentless workload that I had to balance with the blog, my full time job and family commitments.
Putting the news element to one side, I also accepted this because I wanted to take my own personal mission beyond the provision of news, which dominated my blogging life for nearly two years. From a product perspective, I was tired of arguing with armchair quarterbacks about what was involved in developing Saabs from the outside. I wanted a chance to show them first hand, from the inside, what went into the vehicle development, manufacturing and marketing processes from the Saab perspective.
Personally speaking, the problem for me now is that I’ve shed the full-time job and have plenty of time to do this blogging thing right, but it’s all about the business right now, and I’m tied by the company’s need to maintain radio silence unless there’s something concrete to talk about.
I’m a toothless tiger.
You can call this post an exercise in catharsis if you like.
It’s extremely frustrating to an old Saab warrior like me to not be able to rush full speed into the breech as I used to, especially seeing I’ve still got the energy and passion to do so.
It’s extremely frustrating to me that I no longer have the information that I used to, that I can’t better inform people as to what’s really going on here.
It’s extremely frustrating to me that I can’t develop the website that Saab employed me to build because I can’t fulfil the promise that my previous record offered. I still have all the tools to do so. What I don’t have is the material to work with on a regular enough basis.
It’s extremely frustrating to me that I can’t bring my friends, the many Saab enthusiasts I’ve met over the years, closer to this company, which is what this whole exercise was intended to do.
It’s extremely frustrating to me that I can’t fight back when I see various automotive columnists writing this company off in exercises that resemble the provision of entertainment rather than addressing the real questions of what this company can do, and whether the automotive sector is better off with or without this company.
It’s beyond frustrating to me that I can’t help you all sort through the bullshit.
Before any of you accuse me of getting big-headed here, I do not profess to be any sort of information saviour, nor do I think that the provision of information can solve this company’s current issues – people with resources are the only ones who can do that. I do think, however, that the provision of accurate information can help people to better understand and accept certain circumstances, and thereby remain loyal to and interested in the company.
I’m still here and I’ll remain here because I believe in the potential of Inside Saab. I believe in Saab Automobile, and the Saab Spirit that people outside this circle simply do not understand. This role is something I dreamed of doing years ago when I first started Trollhattan Saab (the predecessor to Saabs United). I truly believe that this type of exercise has positive benefits to offer a car company, and that a running and functional Saab would be incredibly well positioned to make maximum use of it.
I just wish I had the licence and the access to do a better job for the readers out there because you’ve supported this company in a superhuman way and you deserve it.
Have a good weekend. Here’s to getting all this stuff sorted so that we can one day run this place like a normal car company. There’s so much on offer here.