SSC 2010

First Saab 9-5

From 2005 until mid-March 2011, I published two Saab websites called Trollhattan Saab and Saabs United.

Saabs United was active during the time when General Motors sought to sell Saab Automobile. As well as the potential for sale, there was also the threat of closure. In fact, GM did actually place Saab into liquidation at one stage, only for the company to emerge after a sale to Spyker Cars, finalised on February 24, 2010 in Stockholm.

It was against this background of liquidation and closure that some extraordinary gatherings took place in January 2010. Two months earlier, a couple of Dutch Saab enthusiasts decided to plan a gathering for January 17. An outcome for Saab was expected to have been decided by then and this gathering was intended to be a celebration of the Saab company, come what may.

As it turned out, the company’s fate still hung in the balance on January 17 and these Saab Support Convoys turned into events of particular significance.

NB – these gatherings have often been referred to as “Save Saab” events after the signs that were made up and displayed during the gatherings. I continue to refer to them as Saab Support Convoys because that’s the name devised by the Dutch guys who planned the first one. It was their baby and it’s not mine to hijack.

Saabs United became the primary information hub for these convoys as more and more Saab clubs and countries jumped on board. On the day when most of the convoys were held – January 17 2010, I was collating photos and attendance numbers at a furious pace.

The resulting web posts have been online elsewhere since that time, however the site is no longer under my control, hence I’m re-posting the information here at my own personal site as a record of something I’m very proud to have played a central role with.

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Get active and help to save Saab!

On the 17th January 2010, Saab owners in over 40 cities around the world gathered to show their support for Saab Automobile. In the following weeks, another 20 convoys brought the total number to around 60!!

The Saab Support Convoys on the 17th attracted almost 5,000 vehicles and probably double the number of people and spirit generated on that day carried forward to more convoys around the world.

These events were all intended as a show of support for Saab Automobile. I can’t ever remember another brand enjoying such a huge show of public support around the world.

Both on the 17th January and on subsequent dates, events were held at the following locations:

Belgrade, Serbia – 10 cars
Guangzhou, China – 30 cars
Tokyo and Kanazawa, Japan – 28 cars combined
Sydney, Australia – 9 cars
Memphis TN, USA – 15 cars
Bucharest, Romania – 30 cars
Vancouver, Canada – 9 cars
Nashville TN, USA – 5 cars
Thailand – 50 cars
Israel – 30 cars
San Francisco – 1 cars
Luxembourg – 15 cars
Nagoya, Japan – 26 cars
Oslo, Norway – 39 cars
Japan – 30 cars
Minneapolis MN, USA – 38 cars
Washington DC, USA – 35 cars
St Louis MO, USA – 10 cars
Interlaken, Switzerland – 90+ cars
Chicago, USA – 70 cars
New York, USA – 54+ cars
Jacksonville FL, USA – 15 cars
Portugal – 9 cars
Shangai #2 – 30 cars
Paris, France – 114 cars
Denver CO, USA – 67 cars
Toronto, Canada – 57 cars
Singapore – 30 cars
Carolinas, USA – 4 cars
Kristiansand, Norway – 6 cars
Sandes, Norway – 16 cars
Tolga, Norway – 11 cars
Umea, Sweden – 19 cars
Denmark – 36 cars
Malaysia – 20 cars
Bodoe, Norway – 5 cars
Ekaterinburg, Russia – 20 cars
Ningbo, China – 20 cars
United Kingdom – 120 cars
Montreal – 6 cars
Poland – 315 cars in three cities
Atlanta, USA – 24 cars
Trollhattan, Sweden – est 2,000 cars
Shanghai – 30 cars
Adelaide, Australia – 3 cars
Finland – 125 cars
Brookline, USA – 88 cars (official, more later)
Prague, Czech Rep – 88 cars
New Mexico, USA – 8 cars
SoCal, USA – est 30 cars
Netherlands (incl Belgium) – 589 registered. Est actual: 800
Slovakia – 55 cars
St Petersburg – 50 cars
Belarus – 47 cars
Hungary – 76 cars
Italy – 30 cars
Melbourne, Aust – 30 cars
Lithuania – 20 cars
Beijing – 47 cars
Latvia – 100 cars
Estonia – est 180 cars
Slovenia – 25 cars
Brno, Czech Rep – 55 cars
Frankfurt – 65 cars
Taiwan – 180 cars
Stockholm – 65 cars
Austria – 89 cars
Kansas City, USA – 4 cars
Brisbane, Aust – 33 cars
Bulgaria – 60 cars
Moscow – 120 cars +
Detroit, USA – 28 cars +

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Why this campaign and others happened…..

As part of their acceptance of bailout money from the US government, GM stated that they would reduce their brand portfolio. One of the brands selected to leave GM is Saab.

GM received expressions of interest for Saab early in 2009 and chose the Koenigsegg Group as their preferred bidder, however the sale to Koenigsegg collapsed in late November due to unacceptable delays in getting approvals from the European Union for a loan that was part of the sale agreement.

On December 1, 2009, GM announced that they would either sell or close Saab by December 31st 2009. They began negotiations with Spyker Cars, however these fell over on December 18, with GM announcing that they would wind Saab down, starting January 1, 2010.

GM subsequently signed a Share Purchase Agreement with Spyker Cars NV for the sale of Saab Automobile.