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Saab Owners Take to the Streets

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 16, 2012 02:02 PM

Saab owners worldwide demonstrated their love for the brand — and fury at its demise — with more than 100 "We are Many, we are Saab" rallies in 42 countries (including Paris, France; Bucharest, Romania; and Montreal, Canada) over this past and upcoming weekend. The Wall Street Journal explains:

"Even though the company entered bankruptcy protection late last year and has largely ceased operations, its cars still have a following of clubs and enthusiastic individual owners. A lot of these folks are planning to meet at dealerships, mechanic shops, restaurants and other spots today, tomorrow and next weekend in what could be a final show of support for Saab before the lights go out for good.

Tim Colbeck, president and chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America, or SCNA, says that while the car maker’s U.S. operation is winding down, its fate is not completely clear. The parent company is still corresponding with potential buyers, and it is possible that the company could, at some point, resume building cars. The chances of that are slim, however."

That slim sign of hope was echoed by former Saab CEO Victor Muller at one of the events this past weekend.

According to a translation posted by SaabsUnited.com, one of the websites organizing the rallies, Muller told fans on Sunday at a rally held in Katwijk in the Netherlands:

"Although I am not anymore Saab’s CEO — you all know that we did not manage to keep the company alive, unfortunately — I would like to thank all of you personally. Without people like you, Saab would have no reason for existence. Without people like you, we would have never bought Saab back in 2010. At that time there were convoys all over the world. Today and yesterday, some 110 events in 42 countries were organised. Which car brand would ever be able to touch that? That is something unique.

Saab is everything but over. I do not want to create any expectations based on nothing. There are some very interested parties who would like to take over Saab as a going concern. They do not want to buy some parts of Saab, but the whole enterprise. This is very encouraging. I cannot predict whether this will succeed. This is something I cannot exert an influence on. I am just helping — to the best of my abilities — the administrators make a deal."

Below, a glimpse at three of the Saab owner rallies this past weekend:

[Image at top via SaabsUnited.com]


Ivar Möller Sweden says:

American cars and specially GM cars are doomed for ever. Low quality cheap junk cars.
When the Chinese throw GM out from China I can see Mr Cain and the rest of the board members be without a job. GM have now tried to destroy Opel in Germany as well. The German government have forced GM to move production of Chevrolet from Korea to Germany. Nice move there. GM will very soon the loose their finances again and ask for more money from the American taxpayers.

January 16, 2012 03:32 PM #

Patrick United States says:

.  I agree.  I am very sad to the end of SAAB.  I will always keep 1995 Aero.  

January 16, 2012 06:34 PM #

US SAAB fan United States says:

While i have no love for GM, you making a blunt attack against Americans and American products is just low class Ivar.  I am a life long fan of SAAB, but doesn't SweGov's own negligence and the Swedish people have some responsibility for what happened to SAAB and Volvo?  SAAB is left to die and Volvo given to the Chinese.  Many believe the Chinese will eventually move all production from Sweden to China.  You going to be proud of that?  I'm guessing the United States will long produce cars when Sweden unfortunately goes back to farming.  I'm truly frustrated at the lack of any pride in the Swedish auto industry.  Look, even now the SAAB auto museum is being auctioned off.  No one in Sweden can step in to save this museum?  The gov't in Sweden can't nationalize SAAB as the US did with GM? I hate GM, but I also begin to feel disgust for the Swedish people who do nothing but complain.

January 16, 2012 03:52 PM #

US SAAB fan United States says:

Oh, and you know GM was originally planning to keep SAAB and actually develop the brand.  You know why they really shut down the brand?  They asked the SweGov for some financial support and the SweGov said, "no, it's your problem".  So, live by the sword, die by the sword.  If you want to believe in "free market" now, you get it.  Sweden could have lifted a finger for these two great companies, SAAB and Volvo.  Now you can look at yourselves with some blame to give it all away.  But, in Swedish tradition, I guess it is easier to blame the foreigners and forget your own sins (like the collaboration with the Nazis...)

January 16, 2012 03:55 PM #

EnglishInCanada Canada says:

(like the collaboration with the Nazis...) Yes, nice touch. That really showcases your class!

January 16, 2012 08:34 PM #

SAABwatcher Canada says:

Apart from that unfortunate reference to Sweden's involvement with the German state during WWII, US SAAB fan was a sharp post.

January 17, 2012 08:38 AM #

Lorne McMillan United States says:

What this shows to me is that this is a great example of brand power coming from customers and not the corporations (SAAB or GM).  Many auto brands that 'die' in terms of new cars production are in fact kept alive by fans in some shape or form, proof that auto brands are not solely in the hands of their corporate masters.  How sad not to harness this loyalty and energy, and what a waste!  Says something about loyalty: where were the mass protests when GM killed Pontiac or Saturn or Oldsmobile?  

January 17, 2012 02:21 PM #

Dennis Benoit Canada says:

Pontiac and Oldsmobile were tired, redundant brands.

When I hear Pontiac I think mullethead 70s rockers in a TransAm, and Oldsmobile reminds me of grandpa.

Too bad about Saturn though, which also enjoyed (enjoys?) grassroots support.

Thanks to poor GM management Saturn won't be back, nor do I think will Saab.

And I guess they don't say "What's good for SAAB is good for Sweden" the way they do about GM and the US, with the US lending GM emergency funds in 2009 - not nationalizing, US SAAB fan - because it was considered key to staving off collapse in US manufacturing.

January 20, 2012 10:06 PM #

Mugabe Zimbabwe says:

Was it the Americans or the Nazis that Nuclear bombed Hiroshima?

January 18, 2012 01:52 AM #

Kevin United States says:

Also a big Saab fan (8) since 1981, so an unfortunate( probable) end to an iconic brand. But...reading the comments above, the passions run higher than imagined, as the geopolitical  state of the world for nearly 70 years has been revisited. As my kids say, mouths agape and with hands on hips..."really?"  Glad to see owners, for the most part, found common ground, not division in the loss.

January 20, 2012 09:32 PM #

Kate Canada says:

I guess what all the companies say about building brand loyalty is just CRAP.  SAAB has brand loyalty around the world, but it all amounts to a whole big nothing

January 21, 2012 10:16 PM #

Comments are closed

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