SAAB Festival. Impressions.

A Saab Festival in Trollhättan is always a special event. The small town on Göta Älv has its own flair, and when Saabs from all countries are guests, then it unfolds a lot of charm. At the traffic lights, souped-up Saab two-stroke engines stand next to a bubbling 900 Turbo 16S. Then, when the ride is free, they storm away with loud, excited screeching and show the turbo what a classic car can do. The Saab heart is happy and thinks about the good old days.

Saab 9-5 II with deer power
Saab 9-5 II with deer power

However, the days are over when - as in 2010 with my friend Marco - I could stroll through Trollhättan in peace. Yes, and besides, everything was different this time anyway. Because there have been many premieres. The first festival, mainly organized by clubs and the Saab Museum. For the first time without the support of the manufacturer and at the same time the first big Saab event in Trollhättan, where the Swedes were in the minority. It goes without saying that not everything went 100% smoothly and that sometimes there was a crunch in the beams.

As always, the hub of all activities was the museum grounds, which magically attracted fans. Sponsors showed their presence there, and Nico Gasparatos from Hamburg was in a prominent position with his vehicles. Triboron, an innovative Swedish company, whose German branch is run by Saab fans, also had a booth there. The stars of 2013 were the many 9-5 II sports suits, which in the last few months with a lot of expertise in Kiel ready for approval. With Saab Parts Germany Chef Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher I was on the road, visited the bloggers of Saabsunited and held many discussions with German fans of our cult brand. In summery temperatures and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere a real pleasure!

ANA in Trollhättan had a special sale, and many fans lined up with rims and other parts for their Saab. In front of the Saab factory, in the bright blue sky and waving flags of Sweden, a dexterity course took place. Saab two-stroke and turbos could show what works, and whoever wanted, could prove his driving skills.

A party of fans for fans, at least at first sight. The Saab Dinner on Saturday, which took place in an almost adorable nostalgic 60er atmosphere, reinforced this impression. Peter Bäckström of the Saab Museum did not give his lectures in the native language, but switched to English due to the circumstances. Saab legend Erik Carlsson, who was honored with a prize, held it the same way. But the impression was deceptive.

In the audience were listeners from China, unobtrusively placed in a corner, with interpreters. The former Saab Powertrain boss, now at NEVS, is back in the same position, and the new production chief was also among the fans. From Germany the managing director of the Saab Parts AB daughter Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher arrived, to it press representative and German Saab partner. The importance of the fans and the event is high and should not be underestimated.

There was no breaking news on Sunday. The surprise announced, a converted Saab 96, was, well, at least aesthetically questionable. One can argue about taste, the friends of Saabsunited have reported about it. Then came the lecture from NEVS manager Mattias Bergman. At least some facts, but less than expected, came on the table. NEVS is committed to Saab DNA, will build vehicles with turbo engines and plans in realistic dimensions. The majority of electric cars go to China. We primarily get vehicles with conventional drives. The schedule for starting production this year is still there. In autumn it should be ready, there is no really binding date yet. NEVS is obviously stonewalling. More on this in one of the following articles.

The festival was over far too quickly. Only three days and only every two years - who is going to keep this up? On Sunday after a visit to the Maxi ICA in Trollhättan we went back to Germany. It won't be two years before I'm back in Trollhättan. See you again in autumn!

Text: tom@saabblog.net

Pictures: Stine and Richard for saabblog.net

9 thoughts on "SAAB Festival. Impressions."

  • The red SAAB 9-5II looks really great. The weather also played at this event. Beautiful pictures. Nice cars.

  • The weather turned out to be good and I am glad that I spontaneously went to Trollhättan. Alone for the sight of so many (approved) 9-5 II station wagons on the road it was already worthwhile.

  • When does autumn start in Sweden ... or do you mean autumn 2014? When you consider that it's already June and that it's summer holidays in the automotive industry in Sweden as well
    there won't be much preparation time, I'll be surprised, just I don't believe it, so keep waiting .......

  • The commitment of JP Schuhmacher and his closeness to the fans is impressive. I hope that he keeps his faith in SAAB!

  • Thanks for the great pictures and the reports.

    It's a shame that the announced announcement of the NEVS manager was then extremely “thin”.
    At least I would have expected that some key data (motors, etc.) announced.
    I just hope that NEVS really has something in the quiver, because if you have such a possibility
    does not use it for public presentation, then I do not know if something really comes up.

    Greeting Ded2

  • The surprise reminds me a lot of Horacius. "The mountain twitched and gave birth to a mouse."

    And I thought NEVS had learned from the mistakes of the recent past. What a good opportunity the festival would have been to finally come forward with the plans and provide comprehensive information - instead a surprise that is superfluous in its form and, in my eyes, a peculiar aberration of taste. And then a relapse into old habits with warm words and little precision. If a start of production is planned for autumn (which is also a manageable time frame), then a few details could have been revealed.

    It's a shame - one less opportunity. The only thing missing now is that the next model will be presented in a local Trollhättaner supermarket postille….

  • Great festival and a great commitment from Tom and the Lafrentz family! For us, two things are clear: Next time we are there and a brand other than SAAB will never exist for us! Keep it up!

  • Well-made electric vehicles (long range, good quality batteries and SAAB equipment level) should also find buyers in Europe and America - why only focus on conventional technology on one side?

    A wide range of drive technology products should be very beneficial - NEVS is on the right track.

  • Should they drive in Asia? Main thing turbos come to Germany.
    Otherwise nice article. Too bad that I could not be there. I was jealous when I saw the video of your arrival on Saabsunitet.

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