Saab Story

“The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories.”  (Maud Olofsson, Sweden’s Enterprise Minister)

General Motors is about to bail out of Saab, and Sweden is not interested in an American-style bailout.  Basically, G.M. bought a unique brand, chewed it up, and is about to spit it out.

“Under G.M.’s ownership, they denuded the intellectual content behind the brand,” said Peter Wells, who teaches at Cardiff Business School in Wales and specializes in the automotive industry. “Its products are not exciting enough, and Saab doesn’t have a strong brand identity anymore.”  (New York Times)

Born from jets.  So they say.

Born from jets. So they say.

Jet fuel?

Jet fuel?

It didn’t used to be that way.  Saab used to build the quirkiest cars on the road.  They had a personality all their own.  I know.  My buddy Jim had one.  It was like the one pictured above, but it was “butt ugly gray.”  It was our transportation between Framingham and UMass.  You didn’t so much make the trip as you did survive it.  If I recall correctly, when Jim filled it up he had to pour oil in to mix with the gas.  Or akvavit.  I forget which. 

trollscSo Sweden is left with Volvo (which Ford is trying to sell), Ikea, and ABBA’s greatest hits.  And whither Trollhattan, where they’ve made Saabs for 62 years?  What becomes of the trolls

(Yes, I understand how juvenile that is.  Sometimes, I just can’t help it.  Call me weak.  Besides, you were thinking it, weren’t you?)   


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Living in the Past, News, Noticed and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Saab Story

  1. Jim Cinamon says:

    Hey Gerry, Thanks for all the pushes up the hills in Worcester on Route 9 on our way from Framingham to Amherst. Could not have done it without you! And what was ‘butt ugly’ about that grey? Jim

  2. Gerry says:

    Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. Only the owner could have loved that car. But it did have character!

  3. Graham says:

    If you think that was ugly, how about the old Nash. They looked like a “sub” sandwich on wheels. Ours was blue, and two door. Now, that was a disaster!

    But the Saabs were cool, when you started them up and the shocks would inflate. The whole car would rise up about 6 inches on the “air ride”.

    Fun to remember, but we’re all too soft for those cars today.

  4. Dan McCarthy says:

    I like how they explain it away by talking about Saab’s ‘lack of brand identity’- it’s their own damn fault for rebadging Chevrolets and Subarus as Saabs, and flooding the marque’s original cars with GM parts. Morons!

  5. Gerry says:

    Dan, morons is a good word. A very good word.

    And Graham, the Nash was ugly, but it did have its own song.

    “Beep beep (beep beep),
    Beep beep (beep beep),
    His horn went beep beep beep (beep beep).”

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