Saab owners changing brands?

It’s been almost 14 months since Saab Automobile AB went into bankruptcy prior to being sold by the receivers to NEVS.

14 months is a long time. Thousands of leases would have become due around the world and other potential buyers would have shopped the brand in that time if it were still around.

I’m interested to see if Saab owners are changing brands and if so, to what…..

Have you picked up a new Saab since the bankruptcy at a bargain price?

Has the situation with Saab Parts influenced your thinking on picking up such a vehicle, either new or second hand?

Have you gone vintage and picked up a collectable Saab to commemorate your relationship with the company?

Are you waiting and saving for a Saab internal combustion vehicle from NEVS?

Are you waiting and saving for a Saab electric vehicle from NEVS?

Have you departed completely and shopped elsewhere and if so, what’s caught your eye?

——

If I’m asking this of others, I guess I better answer it myself.

Since leaving my employment with Saab in late 2011 I’ve bought an Alfa Romeo and a Subaru. I guess that speaks for itself. I maintain a keen interest with what’s going on with the brand and the community but I’ve owned nearly all the modern Saabs that I’m keen on owning, with the possible exception of a Turbo X SportCombi and a 9-5 Aero Wagon. We’ll likely look at picking up the latter when our 9000 CS dies one day, depending on the parts situation.

Speaking of which, I know the guys at Saab parts are working extremely hard. They’ve taken steps to reach out to customers in Saab’s major markets and that’s a good sign. I still hear stories about people having difficulties in some places, with some parts. I does cause me concern in terms of being a potential owner of a newer Saab, but I think there’s a long life ahead of these cars and if properly cared for, they should provide driving enjoyment for many, many years.

If I get a vintage Saab in the next decade or longer, it’ll be a Sonett III. It’s probably the only one I would consider myself. I’ve had my share of 99s and 900s so for me, the Sonett is the only way I’d go. It’s a magnificent little car.

What catches my eye outside of Saab?

I’m sure no-one will be surprised if I say Alfa Romeo, RenaultSport and Porsche. If I had the space and the knowledge, a private EV project would also be of interest for the daily commute, but that’s not the case right now.

The automotive world’s a wonderful place and the beauty of it is that while there are numerous vehicles that might bore you, there’s always something new and interesting just around the corner. I’m enjoying the chance to familiarise myself with a few of those new and interesting vehicles- even if it’s only in print for the time being.

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49 Comments

  1. Good questions, Swade.

    Here’s my quick reply. A few years back I had anticipated that my most recent car purchase would be an all-electric vehicle. However, when I was in the market last year, Tesla wasn’t available yet, and nothing else jumped out at me.

    As a result, I’m a very happy owner of a 2011 9-5 Aero. I hope to drive this for 4-5 more years.

    Next? I’m eagerly awaiting Saab/NEVS all electric vehicles. If Saab hadn’t repositioned along an electric power-train, I likely would be looking at other brands. That said, a lot has to happen yet in order for them to be a competitor in the emerging non-combustion market.

  2. In May last year I bought a 22 months old Saab 9-3 SS (one of the last ones from MY2010) that were sold as part of the Saab Automobile bankruptcy estate. With only 13.000 km on the meter (it had been in traffic for only 15 months) and in almost factory condition, it was a bargain price for me and I’m very satisfied with the purchase. Living in Sweden where there are lots of authorized workshops around, and being fairly knowledgeable about the situation with parts, etc., I never hesitated about buying a Saab despite the bankruptcy.

    If NEVS can produce the 9-3 as an electric car with a range of at least 250km on a charge, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a used one (I have no interest in paying the full price for a new car in Sweden).

  3. After the mourning, I found myself opening up to more options. Back then, it was easier to focus on one brand in the past, and was rather cool to be an owner of a quirky car and be a founder and admin of a local club that celebrated the marque (no one else would want to do it). So with the veil taken away, I am starting to take inventory of my various “keens”. Similar to Swade, I’ve rekindled my affinity towards the RWD and AWD variety (the latter being lesser of a priority). I have a great Saab right now, but I’m free of the self-imposed mental marriage to the brand we know as Saab. So, Saab died and set me free…? Alfas, Porsches, Mercs, Bimmers, and even VWs are, as I now realise, a viable option. I’ve even looked at Fords to quench my utilitarian thirst – yest, the Transit (I’d seriously consider a nicer motor and AWD). That cute ute could possibly give me enough change to go under he radar and dust off another passion I’ve put on hold for so many years – motorbikes. …and the bike might fit in a Transit!
    5 years ago, I would not have even considered looking over the hedge to compare the color of my grass against any other. Thank you, Saab, for letting me go – let’s keep in touch.

  4. I purchased a 2008 9-5 Sedan aero with lows miles which I imported from the UK to NZ. The car is in good condition and this will be used as our daily car. I also purchased a 1992 Classic 900 3 door and amongst other things have had it painted, new leather for the seats, new suspension so the car is like new and I plan to keep it for many years to come.

  5. Have 2003 & 2006 SAAB’s, love them both, drive them for as long as possible. A bit concerned about parts, spoke to one lady whose 2006 9-3 combi was written off by her insurance for a broken tail light.

      1. I needed a tail light for my Turbo-X combi, and of the 4 major parts I need, it is the only one my dealer has managed to track down. That took a year. Cost: $800.

        The parts situation for major things are grim, minor things less so…

  6. I will remain true to the vintage, pre-GM SAABs that I love to collect. I have no desire to drive anything else. I added two more SPG’s to my collection last year. I have 2/3 more vintage SAABs I would like to add to my collection.

    I bought both of my children newer SAABs when they were in high school and again in college(I got a super deal on a 9-3 Aero vert off lease). However, one of my children has moved on to a VW. Fortunately, I still have their prior SAABs, yet I just do not get the same pleasure from the newer SAABs as compared to the older ones.

    I have seen some incredible deals on the last 9-5’s. I have almost jumped—–it seems like a great car for a price of 1/2 off the original sticker, but the parts situation is a cause for concern. The NEVs, talked about offerings, have yet to grab me. No excitement for their version of a redone 9-3 or an EV on my part, though I do wish them the best.

  7. I changed to a 2010 Renault Laguna. I very nearly bought a ttid Aero but I just do too many miles to trust the Alfa sourced diesel. If I did low miles I would have bought a petrol Saab in a heartbeat.

  8. We bought last April a MY 2008 9-5 2.0t Linear SportCombi with a lot of extras (almost on Vector level) in exchange for the VW Golf VI of my wife. A few weeks ago the 9-5 got hirsched to 210 hp. We also own a MY 2007 9-3 2.0T Convertible.

    Never thought of changing the brand. Parts availability in Germany is, I would say, almost as before the bankruptcy.

  9. Sadly, I wrecked my 1998 900S last Spring, so I’m driving my trusty ’96 Honda Civic (a car I like probably more than you might think a Saab guy would). My wife loves her 2007 9-3 Combi.

    I have a friend who has mentioned selling her 2006 9-3 sedan, and I’ve told her that I want to be the first person she calls when it goes up for sale. It’s a 5-speed, and I would probably buy it. Likewise, a neighbor gave me a heads-up that they will be selling their 9-3 convertible in the spring, and, although it’s an automatic, I’ll want a look at it, too.

    I missed a new 2010 9-3SS by a week. Our local dealer decided it was time for them to go, and marked them all down to, I think $19k USD (I might have factored in some money for aftermarket warranty into that figure, too, I forget the exact pricing). Alas, they were all gone when my wife had hers in for service. We would have bought one.

    Next car for me, if not one of the two Saabs above, might be a hatchback 9-3 if I can find a really good one (they’re getting harder to find), a 9-3 Combi or sedan. Maybe a 9-5. I, too, am leery of the new 9-5 due to parts, and as great of deals as they are, they’re still more than I tend to pay for a car.

    If my Honda were to die and I couldn’t find a Saab I wanted, I suppose I’d consider a Mazda3 hatch, a VW Jetta wagen (prefer TDI), maybe a VW Golf. I don’t have much experience with Subaru (drove a Saabaru once) but I’d consider one (or a Saabaru). I actually like the Ford Focus hatchback. Mini Cooper variants intrigue me as well. If I can fit my road bike in the back of a “regular” Mini, that could be a fun car.

    There’s also a possibility of something else utilitarian like my Honda.

  10. With my ’06 Combi Aero and 07 SS Aero, the Mrs and her 09 Combi XWD and son with his 2011 9-3 ss 2.0 Its safe to say we’re sticking it out for the long run. Nothing and I mean NOTHING catches our eyes. As a matter of fact i just test drove a 2008 9-3 Aero XWD with only 25k miles on the odometer but in the end, I simply didnt want a black car and the maintenance required. Had it been red, pepper green, probably any other color I would have jumped.

    Saab for as long as we can get them fixed…. afterwards, probably Buick or Audi.. but hell will freeze over first before I go to BMW.

    If NEVS offers a gas 2.0t here in the states, I might give it a good look after a year or so… but Ill be DAMN certain this time about the company’s financial position before buying.

  11. I totalled off my 2001 9-3 this winter. After a long hard look at a 9-5 I decided that I would move on from using Saab as my daily driver. I still have my 1988 900 for summer driving. For my daily driver I decided upon a 2007 Infiniti G35x. While it has taken some time the car has grown on me, but that’s not to say I don’t still miss my 9-3.

  12. I still own my 2000 9-3 as my daily driver (now at 201,000 miles and counting). It is needing more repairs as parts wear out, but $1000-$1500 a year replacing worn out parts is still cheaper than car payments and it still drives great. I expect I will likely replace it with another 9-3 or a newer 9-3 or 9-5 sportcombi when the time comes.

    1. You know my answer. I’m still 100% Saab. My wife’s 2009 9-3 XWD has 20,000 miles on it now. So, if it lasts 200,000 miles that will be another 36 years! I have been looking at a third Saab as a backup. Louisville has about 90 new “used” Saabs, and Cars.com is listing about 3,000 used Saabs available in the US. But, whose counting. We’ll see about NEVS when the new Saabs are on the lot.

  13. Switched to a Subaru Legacy wagon when our lease was up, and I hated it so much (particularly the seats) that we got rid of it within 9 months and bought a VW Tiguan. Its not as fun to drive as the Saab 9-3 wagon we had, but it is safe, comfortable, and quiet. I still miss the Saab though.

    And I find it hard to see all these special deals people talk about getting for semi new Saabs. VOB Saab for example, sold its collection of 2010- 95’s to an outfit in China!

  14. I bought my 2009 9-3 Aero XWD from the local GM dealer in mid Dec, 2009 during the GM firesale with every expectation that the gig was up for Saab. I wasn’t too worried about servcie and parts since I thought that GM would be on the hook for the duration of my extended 7 year warentee. The Spyker year was a bit of a curveball but warentee things seems to have settled fairly well here in the Vancouver area. I still hope to drive this car for a long time and I am enjoying the car more than ever. Its is perfectly suited to our climate, and it is still a head turner. I guess I will see what is out there in a decade or so.

  15. We have a 2004 9-5 and a couple c900s. If the 9-5 lasts half as long as the c900s we won’t need another car for 10 years at least… at which point we will definitely look at EV/hybrid options… if a car gets totaled in the mean time, there’s lots of used Saabs around. I’m not worried about parts. These cars are easy to own.

  16. I bought a TTiD Aero XWD in dec 2010. That will do for a while. But, I snatched a 9000 cc -92 from the dealer while the 9-5 was in for an update.
    If nevs will provide agood enough ev, I’ll get one!
    I like the idea of not having to take the car to a special place to fuel.
    I like the idea of “fueling up” at home.

    The catch is: will I be able to get fueling on longtrips and with a range at least for a 3-5 hour stright run?

  17. Once our ’99 9-3 SE 5-door bites the dust I’ll be done with Saabs from the GM era and beyond. I loved the last 9-5 and the 9-4x until I sat in them. The horrific blind spots and high window sills made me feel claustrophobic. The openness of the cockpit in our Saab and our ’91 Volvo 245 is very appealing. I still have the C900 and 95/96 on my list as Saabs I’d like to own someday but, as a daily driver, I’ve started keeping an eye out for a good deal on an Acura TSX Sport Wagon.

  18. Our 2007 9-5 sedan will need company in a year or so; it’s a keeper as long as it runs well and it has been super. Our eyes are on a Kia Optima (not necessarily turbo) and VW Passat TDI but the latter’s DSG seems to need a lot of expensive care–however I’m drawn to technically interesting cars. The Kia has a jillion fun gadgets and the VW has that long-legged TDI! Both have room for cross-continental travel that we need.

  19. Bought a 2009 9-5SC last week; will pass on my 9-3 I to my older daughter for getting driving experience. It is not really the car I want, but I trust the company and the platform. Hopefully, the new 9-3 will be bigger and a hatchback

  20. Sadly I have got to the point where I cannot wait to get rid of my 200 93 convertible. It has caused me no end of trouble with huge annual repair bills. Other articles and media talk about range anxiety with the Tesla. I have “will it pack up in a minute and leave me stranded” anxiety with the Saab, so despite my once strong love for the company and their designs, I have to say I would be looking at other cars even if they still produced and sold vehicles. The 94x may have turned my head, but as there was no diesel option I doubt I would have brought it.

    Having tried a number of German manufacturers, the only one I would revisit would be BMW. Too expensive for me here in Australia though and given that I am trying to be more sensible with cars and rationalise what I spend on them, at least for the next four years or so, the Saab replacement is likely to be a Skoda Octavia.

  21. Since the bankruptcy of Saab I changed jobs, and decided to take Redna (my red 9-5 Wagon) with me, so I had to buy it from the lease, and last christmas I bought SnowWhite for my wife a ’08 9-3 Aero TTiD Convertible.

    Before I took the decision of buying my 9-5 out of the lease, I thought about an used XF, but I don’t regret having stayed with Saab.

    For the future, I don’t know, I know that I will follow NEVS products very closely, and if I have to change one of my cars, I will decide depending on how a NEVS Saab fits to my needs, but I have to add that there aren’t many cars out there that fit my taste.

  22. Pleasing, as an Englishman and a Jaguar devotee, that the XF is getting so many mentions on here recently. The Sportbrake looks amazing, the XK and the F type too. I just accept that they are either going to be very old cars when I manage to get one, barring a lotto win. I could afford one in the UK, but no way in Australia.

  23. I sold my 2008 9-3 convertible in july last year after a very hefty service bill from one of the so-called Saab Official repairers. Not impressed, Bought a Toyota hybrid for running around and am just about to swap my Merc CLS for a Lexus SC430. So all Japanese for me soon.

    Do I miss my Saab? Not really. Perhaps I didn’t have it long enough to learn the “Saab-thing”. It was a nice car, but not without it’s flaws, some of which I found hard to live with.

    I wish NEVS all the luck however and will check out their range if and when it comes… 🙂

  24. Would love to pick up one of the remaining 9-5s, but the parts sit auction (particularly body parts) scares me off – who wants to have to total a car because a new hood can’t be found or is too expensive. With so few built, unique replace,met parts will be expense I fear. The ’07 9-3 SS is going strong. Next car willed ably be a CPO c-class.

  25. Got an Abarth as a second car. I’m keeping the 9-3, but parts are a nightmare. It’s not just the fact that you need to special-order anything, and it takes a week to get in. The main problem is that the knowledge is gone. There’s no more local parts guy who knows exactly which clips and hoses you need and which ones you don’t (and which ones were modified as a running change). The end result is that any scheduled service can take an extra week for want of a $10 part.
    I still love the 9-3, but I really needed a backup.

    1. Bernard, I think the world would be a better place entirely if we could all get a look at some nice detail pics of the Abarth as well as your thoughts on it as an owner. 🙂

      1. Will do. It will take a few days to get the photos done. I only get so many non-work daylight hours, and winter’s end isn’t the most photogenic time of the year.

  26. Last year I went from doing 20000 km/year to doing 40000 km/year. This made the gas expense skyhigh, driving a -06 9-3 SS hirsch, so I started looking for a diesel. I went out to my local SAAB pusher and looked at a used 9-3. I also tried a brand new Hyundai i30 and I must say that I was stunned by the build quality. Far better than the one on my 9-3. Anyway I could buy a brand new car with a 5 year warranty, for less than I should pay for a used Saab without any warranty. I got the Hyundai. At the beginning I missed the Saab a lot, mostly the ability to make quick take overs and sporty handling. But now i’m just enjoying the car, which in many ways is as good as, and in some better, than my Saab. The money I saved, will be spent on a classic 900 next summer.
    If NEVS succeed in building a competitive car (price and quality), then I will go back to SAAB. Otherwise I think i’m done using Saab as my daily car.
    NB: I live in Denmark, where cars are extremely expensive.

  27. I bought a 9-3 SC Aero TTiD -08 for my wife last year. Last week a bought a 9-5 Aero Biopower -11 for me. Low milage and never happier!!

  28. Planning to keep my ’04 9-3 Sport Sedan for my years to come as the second car in the familiy. Nice for long trips and the occassional situation when we need two cars.
    Most of the km’s , believe it or not, we now put on a Suzuki Swift, excellent little car for running around in the cities we work and live in. So no Saab as daily driver, it just doesn’t make sense.

  29. Well the lease on my 2008 9-3 Combi diesel ended in November 2012. This vehicle was purchased when Saab was under “review” by GM. It’s been pretty good sailing until getting close to end of warranty and I couldn’t get a replacement key fob. Then just out of warranty had a EGR valve issue and got to see how degraded the support situation was with my dealer and the local Saab office appalling in their diagnosis and solving of the issue.

    Upon time to renew the lease I considered a new-old-stock 9-5 as there were a few around at a good price. To be honest it was an outside chance and I was mostly concerned about support, a concern that was rightly held as the local Saab parts organisation tanked and its stock of parts locked up.

    I instead went about as far in the opposite direction to Saab as is possible in many ways and leased a Mercedes Benz Valente people-mover/van. This is now my daily driver while my wife drives the combi. My old daily driver, a ’98 9000 is in the process of selling to a family member who will rightly love it.

    1. Planned to replace my ’06 9-3 with a ’14 Volvo S60, as it was hoped the S60 would finally sport the VEA turbo 4-cylinder and —most importantly— my longtime mechanic only works on Saabs and Volvos. Looks like the S60 will keep the T5/T6 engines for ’14, so might try and see if I can get another trouble-free year out of the Saab. We’ll see. Either way, eventually expect to see another Swede in the garage (1 past Volvo and 5 total Saabs).

  30. Great question. I have always latched myself to a brand, so I feel adrift right now. I had no idea what to do next but am starting to get some ideas.

    My Turbo-X SC is about to go over 100K miles, and I’ll keep it until the wheels fall off (can’t sell it or trade it in), but given that I drive nearly 28000 miles a year, I am a bit spooked to do that daily with my family in a soon to be 100k mile car with no warranty and almost no parts availability.

    So, as a short term solution I am looking at a FWD, 4 cyl luxury sedan that gets 45 mpg with a minimalistic design and a reputation for dealers willing to let then go at less than msrp. So, a SAAB? No, shockingly, a Lincoln MKZ hybrid. Yup, can’t believe I said it either. Thinking of picking a loaded one up on a factory subsidized lease in several months or a year or so and trading off driving duties with it and the Turbo-x for 2 or 3 years. The hybrid will save me thousands on gas compared to how I do now…

    Longer term options down the road include pre-owned Jaguar XFs, Caddy CTS-V wagons, or Infiniti Ms (as I said, adrift). I am seriously intrigued by the Focus ST as well and waiting to see how an ATS-V looks too…

  31. We’ve still got our MY06 93 SportCombi which has just a little help from Maptun. Would love to add some more….and perhaps a sub-woofer & speaker upgrade. Otherwise, no complaints everything is working at 140K-km and I still love driving it. Speaking of Volvo, our other car is a D5XC70 which goes well and will hopefully be in the driveway for some years to come. If it were to go, I’d be very tempted by a late-model V70 which comes with AWD and the T6 engine here. The XC90 makes a lot of sense but I prefer a wagon.

    Were the opportunity there, I’d be equally tempted by the Volvo C30 with a manual box and a little help from Polestar. Or just return to my hooligan roots and get another RenaultSport hatch.

    If we can get parts (no issues so far) I imagine driving Saab (and Volvo) for some years to come.

  32. This is really interesting and good topic.

    Have you picked up a new Saab since the bankruptcy at a bargain price?

    * Nope. Unfortunately. I´d love to see 9-5 wagon on our park, but oblviously I didn´t.

    Has the situation with Saab Parts influenced your thinking on picking up such a vehicle, either new or second hand?

    * I had lot´s of problems with my last 9-3 SC XWD and the lack of parts & service got me into second thoughts about having a Saab today.

    Have you gone vintage and picked up a collectable Saab to commemorate your relationship with the company?

    * I have 900 T16S Aero 1991 and I´d love to get one of the first generation Convertibles one day + 900 Aero 1984-1986.

    Are you waiting and saving for a Saab internal combustion vehicle from NEVS?

    * Nope. NEVS is not Saab to me. They are new company and they have to prove their product. So I´ll measure it (if it comes) against the competition and think again.

    Are you waiting and saving for a Saab electric vehicle from NEVS?

    * Nope.

    Have you departed completely and shopped elsewhere and if so, what’s caught your eye?

    * I´ve bought my second Subaru Outback (2010 model right now) and it seems to be perfect vehicle for our needs now. It´s not Saab and I miss some of the comfort from Saab. But mechanically it´s very good and there´s lot´s of room and practicality. I´m quite happy with it now.

  33. As you know, we run a Citroën C8 (Ugly Betty in which we drove you to the mad 2stroke day in the Netherlands). That clocks up the miles. But she’s on her way out, as we’re actively looking for a 9-3X, due to the winter consitions we get here. Slipping & sliding out of the village for groceries in Betty is a problem, even on winter tires.

    We did look at Landrover. The Freelander is too small boot wise, as we do have a fairly big Labrador. The Evoque is nice, but even smaller. Discovery models fitting within our budget are riddled with problems thus nope.

    Friends bought a Dacia Duster 4×4. Amazing good value for money, but again too small. We looked at the Renault Kangoo, but no 4×4 anymore.

    So, we’ll be sticking to secondhand Saabs 😉

  34. Have you picked up a new Saab since the bankruptcy at a bargain price?

    —-no not new but used

    Has the situation with Saab Parts influenced your thinking on picking up such a vehicle, either new or second hand?

    —-Parts supply for the 95 is fine….I would not buy a new 9-5 because of parts fears.

    Have you gone vintage and picked up a collectable Saab to commemorate your relationship with the company?

    —- Just another 95 Aero for my wife adn my son bought a 2004 95 Aero wagon.

    Are you waiting and saving for a Saab internal combustion vehicle from NEVS?
    —no way……..I want a real Saab built by the old SAAB.

    Are you waiting and saving for a Saab electric vehicle from NEVS?
    —no. Not waiting for an electric vehicle from anyone.

    Have you departed completely and shopped elsewhere and if so, what’s caught your eye?

    —no the Saab 95 Aero is the best buy in the market. You just keep them running with normal routine maintenance. Join Saabnet and Saabcnetral and keep on truckin.

    I do own a 1973 911 Porsche and an suv and pickup and a van. but those are all for specific usage.

  35. Picked up a 2008 9-3 SportCombi 6 speed a couple weeks back. One previous owner and 40,xxx miles. Smitten, absolutely smitten.

  36. I only have 3 cars. All of them are Saabs. The latest on I bought is a 2008 9-3 and that was in October 2012. Next car will be a replacement for my old 9-5(-99) and of course it will be a Saab again. Why buy something else? I drive a lot of new cars in my work but they all look and feel boring compared with my Saabs…

  37. Since SAAB cars are built to last I will be driving SAAB for the rest of my life. SAAB has allways been anything but mainstream. It’s still a strong brand. And the people who drive them are sympathetic and willful. In The Netherlands you will see SAAB drivers wave at each other, it’s heartwarming, you won’t experience that with for a example a Nissan or Audi driver! But above all the SAAB 9-5 is a great car to drive, with sufficient spare parts available thanks to SAAB Parts AB. If the business model of NEVS works out there will be new SAAB’s around soon. Think different keep driving SAAB.

  38. To answer the question you posed, after 25 years of Saab’s, I just leased a new Volvo C30 for my wife to drive. I’m sure youi’re aware of the connection-3 door, turbocharged, so it’s not a stretch. I still have my two Saab’s however-1995 900 Convertible, 2005 9-2X. No matter what direction the brand goes, I’ll always be a Saab guy. Thanks for all you did for Saab and for your interesting and stimulating writing.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, John. Still all-Swedish in your driveway, I see. Enjoy them. That 9-2x never got the kudos it deserved but given you’ve (presumably) had it that long, you must enjoy it. I know I would.

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