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Saab is Done

Saab is Done?

The Other Swede Bows Out

We all lose when a competitor goes down. I drove a 2000 Saab 9-5 cross country in 1999 and I loved it. It was a fantastic car. The Saab 900 series was nothing short of legendary. Volvo drivers benefitted because Saab offered good alternatives, and Volvo had to keep up, or stay ahead, depending on your point of view. With one less car manufacturer, the remaining brands have a touch less pressure on them to innovate, to say nothing of keeping prices competitive.

Some Stay, Some Go

The economic shock that started in 2008 continues to count victims, some very old and very established. Saab began in 1937.

IBM – survived

IBM got out of a commodity business and into very high margin services, and put up a huge win, albeit a decade before this recent recession. They let go of what they invented and moved on. Must have been hard, but they did it. That points to smart management.

Kodak – on life support

Does Kodak have risk-averse management? They had a good thing going with high-end sensors, but that’s gone now, I hear. There is, or was, room for them somewhere, but they just stuttered for 15 years watching the digital photography phenomenon dawn, reach mid-day, then mature… like meeting the hot secretary from Floor 3 at the office Holiday party and just locking up when introduced.

Saab – RIP

Saab, I just don’t know. There is room for quirky, which was the adjective that stuck with them all these years. Look at the Nissan Cube. I think Saab simply got caught not knowing whether to stay with quirky or go against the crowded luxury/performance Lexus-BMW-etc segment. Saab seemed to want both. Like Kodak, they just locked up, paralyzed.

Volvo – got a second life

Volvo narrowly avoided this fate a year ago when it got bought for $1.8 billion by the Chinese company Geely.

Volvo at least spoke to the secretary, even if it was about World of Warcraft.

YIKES! Saab owners need your regrets.

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3 Comments

Richard Olmsted says:

MY 1971 SAAB 99EA was BEAUTIFUL. I bought it NEW and it only ran for 7 months of the 15 months I owned it. The SAAB needed a NEW ENGINE after only 1 week. It was all down hill from there. BAD SAAB.
After my Friend who was a great mechanic talked me into selling him the SAAB for $1500 he “rebuilt” an almost new car. RACING SHOCKS & BRAKES, Abarth exhaust and more ! After 5 mor3e breakdowns and a new $3000 transmission, he wrote me a letter.
” Dear Rich, The SAAB went off a cliff near Denver yesterday. No-one was hurt. Love, Paul. “

Another victim. This is a very sad day for the automotive industry. Saab is a history rich manufacturer who have produced some of the most unique cars of modern times.

Accepted they lost their way in recent years selling platform shares with GM products and I wonder whether this has been the downfall for them. Just hope somebody sees a reason to save this historic marque before it’s lost forever.

Saab Owner says:

I love my Saab Conv 9-3 that is pushing 220k. Now I have to hurry up and get parts. Will miss you Saab.

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