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Mochet

R.I.P. SAAB

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Another old name finally quit, as SAAB's bankruptcy papers were filed today. They made a go of it after the GM sale, but things just didn't work out.

Phil

saab-92-660x475.jpg

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Sad, but after being dumped by GM it was probably inevitable. Saab was too small to compete 20 years ago, and it's association with GM didn't help change matters at all.

I wish the makers of interesting cars were as durable as their products.

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Almost 2 days, nothing. 5-10 years ago automotive brands were dropping like flies, and every one that went down got eulogized here in multiple posts like society itself collapsed. Here's one that was (for a long time) making truly different & unique products. I guess we're just too jaded these days.

Amazingly the University of Edinburgh and Cambridge University have published a study of Saab's collapse already. It's findings don't bode well for many of Saab's competitors. I hope they've read it.

Why Saab Had to Die - Yahoo! News

Who Killed Saab

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They made some odd and different cars, but probably few on this site collect Saabs or buy new ones, so a lack of responses is really not that surprising. New ones are also far less quirky and interesting than in previous decades. And another automaker biting the dust is getting to be nothing new, unlike the original shock of losing Olds, Mercury, Pontiac, etc. And personally I would rather see Olds, Pontiac, Mercury, or Plymouth back in business than Saab. Dropping Mercury and Pontiac seemed to be much worse ideas.

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I saw a Saab the other day that looked almost identical to a GMC Yukon.

Many of the people I talk to seem to agree that with so much badge engineering, the demise of [insert company here] happened way before the demise of [insert same company here].

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I saw a Saab the other day that looked almost identical to a GMC Yukon.

Many of the people I talk to seem to agree that with so much badge engineering, the demise of [insert company here] happened way before the demise of [insert same company here].

That's true, however you have to give Spyker credit (and GM towards the end). They eliminated the worst of the badge-engineered models (9-2 (Subaru Impreza), 9-7 (Chevy Trailblazer), and were left with 3 car lines that were still fairly unique despite a lot of GM-Europe underpinnings ( Saab - Saab ). All of them had major redesigns within the last 3 years, with the brand new 9-4X being canceled after just 457 of them had been produced.

Anybody out there holding on to one of those rare 9-4Xs hoping to make a killing?;):rolleyes::D

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I've always admired Saab for their innovation. I remember driving one of the early 3 cylinder Saabs with 2 cycle engines. Their teardrop shape was unique. Unfortunately, there is very little room in the automotive world for a niche market auto company. This whole story almost reminds me of Studebaker's fate in 1966. You can also say the same for too many other fine makes over the years.

Rog

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I have owned 4 Saabs and loved them all. They were all Saab designed 99 and 900 models, not the GM junk.

First was a 1975 model 99 that I bought new, followed by a 1986 900 Turbo then another 1986 900 Turbo and finally a 1992 900 Turbo. All were 2 door hatchbacks.

The 1975 I drove for 250,000 miles before hitting a 180 pound deer head-on at 75 mph. Replaced the hood and grill from an older junked car that was hit in the back and my son drove it another 50,000+ before we towed it to a junk yard.

The first 1986 I drove 230,000 miles and then my daughter drove it another 40,000+ miles before falling asleep at the wheel, hit a telephone pole going 55 mph and rolled it over on the roof. It took the right front half of the car off back to the firewall. She only had a minor bruise on her right knee. That one then went to the junk yard.

Replaced it with another 1986 for $1,000 less then the insurance company gave us for the wrecked car. It had 150,000 miles when we got it and she drove that one another 140,000+ and traded it in with a total of 290,000+ miles.

I just sold the 1992 last year with 275,000+ miles and I still see it driving around once in a while.

The only major work I ever had to do was replace the clutch plate on the 1975 and 2 or 3 CV joints on some of them. The rest was brake pads and rotors. With the engine in backwards you could take to hood off with 2 bolts and replace the clutch while sitting on a chair in front of the car.

Vila

1933 Chevrolet

1962 Triumph TR4

1984 BMW 633 CSi

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I have owned 4 Saabs and loved them all. They were all Saab designed 99 and 900 models, not the GM junk.

I've read that the GM junk was the most reliable in the later years.

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This is truly sad news to me. I've never owned a Saab, but have always loved their engineering, and unique appearance. I recall reading that Saab was created by jet aircraft engineers/designers?, and that is way they were so efficiently engineered. Form belays purpose sort of like the early Volkswagens. Perhaps Saab would still be here if more people would look closer at what they are purchasing. Go for quality, and not just looks, and the keep up with the herd factor.

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Saab made a big thing of their aircraft heritage but seldom mentioned Volvo Flygmotor engines in Vigen aircraft. Strange :rolleyes:.

Folk knocked Volvo Corporation for selling off Volvo Car but I think it has proved to be a wise decision.

Al

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Folk knocked Volvo Corporation for selling off Volvo Car but I think it has proved to be a wise decision.

Al

Maybe you are right but remember that Volvo always sold more cars globally and in North America than Saab. Volvo sold a ton of 240's and 850's in the US during the 80's and 90's.

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I've always admired the early teardrop-designed Saabs with their unique 2-stroke engines and their distinctive sound. Who can forget the success these tough little cars had in the European winter rallies?

Those little suckers always reminded me of great determination.

~Love to have one of those little cars to show! (Would they be in class 4?) :)

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My Jan. 2012 Consumer Reports arrived yesterday. It has a (rather unflattering) review of the 2012 Saab 9-5 along with competing Audi, Mercedes, & Infinity models. I'm afraid the limited resources that Spyker was working with show through in that review. :(

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Look, The problem with Saab was volume versus the price a willing consumer would pay. It is as simple as that. GM spent a ton to try to make Saab viable in the marketplace but positioned it in the middle of the north american market where every other manufacturer was competing. To put it in perspective the last year that GM made the Astro/Safari vans in I think 2004/5 GM made and sold more vans on 20 year old tooling than they sold Saab automobiles in NA over 4 different product lines, and that was with GM spending milliions of dollars in advertising,support, etc to try to keep the brand viable. If 1/4 of that money had been spent on the "M/L" vans GM would be making a lot more money on that product.

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Just found this thread, You can't sell ugly, no matter how well it runs. Never like their looks, but would accept them for scrap.

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I have another point of view about the demise of Saab: I'm almost glad they are gone. Outch! I will have lot of ennemies!

My explanation: it was probably a company which was complicated to deal with. Cadillac sold in Europe the BLS which was a Saab model with some modifications. I heard from Swiss dealers that the car itself was quality wise not bad, but GM went the wrong route with the marketing. The model is discontinued since 2009; parts availablity is now real bad as done by Saab suppliers.

The warranty system, even if it was a "GM" product, was all Saab system. Either GM was not able to persuade Saab to have the same system as Opel or GM (now there is at least an unique system coming for all brand over most of the world) did not care.

It happens that I'm doing the warranty admisnistration for some Swiss dealer. Each time I have a warranty work to submit for a BLS it's a nightmare and it pays almost nothing compared to GM products.

Many years ago, Saab was a make in Europe for individualist and strange people. Obviously there were not enough such people to let survive that make.

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There used to be a Subaru-Saab dealer in our area ("Guilford Subaru-Saab" by Exit 57 in Guilford), that eventually dumped Subaru, and became a Saab-only dealer ("Guilford Saab" - http://www.guilfordsaab.com/ - and there is also now a Range Rover dealer next to them). Always kinda wondered about the wisdom of that.

In subsequent years, a new Subaru dealer opened up one town over ("Premier Subaru" in Branford - http://www.premiersubaru.com/) and so now I suspect that it's probably too late for them to go back to selling Subarus...

Another related observation, however, is that our area appears to still have enough die hard Saab fans that at least two independent Saab-specialist garages sprang up (both in Branford)--one of them, "Swedish Performance" (http://swedishperformance.com/), appears to be branching themselves out into most Euro makes over the past few years (perhaps sensing what was coming for Saab?), though "New Age Motors" (http://www.newagemotors.com/) still seems to be Saab-only...

Edited by stock_steve
added some web site links for various establishments mentioned (see edit history)

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Look, The problem with Saab was volume versus the price a willing consumer would pay. It is as simple as that. GM spent a ton to try to make Saab viable in the marketplace but positioned it in the middle of the north american market where every other manufacturer was competing.

Saab was hardly a middle-market car. Priced competitively (very competitively) with Audi/Lexus/Volvo/Infinity/etc., it was a luxury brand. Luxury brands today need a panache that sets them above true middle market cars like Ford and Chrysler.

These days there are virtually no features in any luxury car that aren't at least options on a Toyota. The days when "luxury" features (of filtered air coming through a climate control system bathed you on soft leather seats in quiet splendor in an excellent handling car with a top quality stereo playing Mozart through 7 speakers) were only available on "luxury cars" are long over. There's hardly a usable device or feature in any car that isn't at least optional in a Kia. When Saab's "panache" became GM marketing, it was no panache at all.

Not that there was anything wrong with the product in that respect. The Saab 9-7 was a perfectly good Trailblazer. The 9-2 was a perfectly good Subaru Impreza. The 9-3 and 9-5 were (and are) very good versions of the Opels they're based on.

All that that heavy marketing accomplished was to reinforce the impression that Saab was now just another GM division. GM couldn't keep it's own divisions in order during this period (remember Pontiac?, Saturn?, etc.), what hope could it have had with Saab?:confused:

The result was this chart from J.D. Powers, a firm I usually don't lend much credence to but in this case they hit the nail on the head. When only 4% of your buyers are former owners of your past products, and you've been around for 60 years, you're doomed!:(

http://www.saabsunited.com/wp-content/uploads/jd-power-loyalty-study-hi-res.jpg

jd-power-loyalty-study-hi-res.jpg

Edited by Dave@Moon
typo, "Saap"? (see edit history)

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Just found this thread, You can't sell ugly, no matter how well it runs. Never like their looks, but would accept them for scrap.

It's amazing throughout the years how much we think alike.:cool:

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