I’ve been on the road for a week, seeing a bit of northern Tasmania from behind the wheel of a new Subaru Forester. It’s a very fat and floaty car and I wouldn’t recommend one to a driving enthusiast. Families? It’s probably quite good.
Seems I didn’t miss much, but there have been a few good stories and happenings.
I got an email from the very efficient Swiss people behind the Geneva Motor Show today. I’ve been offered accreditation for the 2013 Geneva Show. Didn’t even have to ask for it. Just fill out a form and I’m in.
If only they’d sent an airfare as well.
Another point of interest will be the international debut of Qoros, a Chinese-based venture with plans to launch internationally. The Saaby point of interest is that quite a few members of Saab’s former PR team are now working for Qoros.
Geneva’s very, very tempting…..
Yes, GM screwed with Saab. It’s not really news and it’s not surprising, but the details of the dates are at the very least, interesting.
Despite that, however, it’s the latest news from Volvo that maybe puts what might have been Saab’s future into some perspective.
I always thought that Saab could have had a wonderful few years with the new 9-5, 9-4x and the 9-3 replacement designed by Jason Castriota. What I worried about, however, was the generation that would have to replace those cars. Having new product for the ‘now’ is a wonderful thing, but you’ve got to have new product for the future, too.
Volvo are about to embark on a US$11billion (with a ‘b’) investment spree to bring their production facilities up to date and develop their next generation of vehicles, the generation that will finally cut the ties with Ford completely.
Now let’s assume that Saab survived 2011 intact. I have a hard time picturing Saab getting even half that sum for investment in a future model range. Development on PhoeniX probably wouldn’t have cost that much, but it still wouldn’t have been cheap. Maybe we could have done it, but at the very least this decision from Volvo shows the sort of commitment and resources an owner needs to have to try and grow a stable, stand-alone car company in the global marketplace.
I still wish we had the chance. Good luck, Volvo. I wish you well.
I have one BIG Saab story left in me. Might wrap it up, put a bow on it and leave it under the tree.
I’m currently reading a book called On The Road To Winterhaven. I’m about one-third of the way through and despite it being a more ‘feel-good’ book than I’m used to reading (I’m more of a wintry Swedish crime reader), I’m actually enjoying it, quite a lot. That link, by the way, is to the Amazon download page, where the book is a mere $2.99 in electronic form.
The Saaby connection? On The Road To Winterhaven is the first published work by a guy known in comments as “J Fan”. He’s a long-time Saab guy from Ireland and this is his first book, a fictional piece set in the eastern United States at the end of the 1920’s.
Congratulations, Geoff, on realising a dream. I wish I had the skills, courage and commitment to do the same.
Congratulations to a mate and long-time reader from New York, Hugh W, who just traded his 9-3 SportCombi in on a ‘new’ Saab 9-3x. It’s a 2011 model but had just 17 miles on the clock when Hugh picked it up last weekend. I got to drive the 9-3x a fair bit in Sweden and it was a very satisfying car. Hugh put 260 miles on his driving it home from New Hampshire and sounds well pleased already, which is fantastic.