Another Saab book? Yes, another new publication and a book with which I had one or the other problem. One reason why the book's discussion took so long. Because time and again I asked myself the one question: I like the book, or I do not like it. The author Dieter Günter does not do it that easy for us.
The book has 160 pages. Of these, 10 pages are reserved for Volvo. Volvo? No, I have nothing against the Gothenburg residents. On the contrary ! We Saab fans are tolerant. But ... just imagine there was a new BMW book. Prominently - in the middle of the book - 10 pages would then be reserved for Audi under the heading “The other Bavarian brand”. BMW fans would, rightly, run into storm. Saab fans, however, accept this imposition. Because it is an imposition. But does that make the book bad?
No, because there are strong sides that can quite reconcile. The pictures are very good, partly never seen before. The graphic design is high quality and sophisticated, so it's fun to take the work in the hand and leaf through it. Another plus is the very fine narrative style of Dieter Günter. I know and like his articles, which he writes for the FAZ, and his special way of writing reconciles with the 10 pages Volvo. You can feel the long experience as a motor journalist, and then there is a specialty. The book reflects not only the development of the Saab brand, it also repeatedly touches the German market and its peculiarities. A topic that has never been discussed in any other book about the cult brand from Trollhättan.
The Saab classics are described very nicely. The Saab 9000 also gets its chapter and a fitting place in Saab history. It could go on like this, you think. And then…. Yes, then a great opportunity will be missed. Dieter Günther could have described the Saab 900 II, Saab 9-3 I and Saab 9-5 I as the models deserve it. But he misses this opportunity. Why? The vehicles of the GM era are discussed in compressed form. Loveless and a shame about it. You could learn from the Swedes. In Trollhättan you are already dealing with the past. There are also some Cadillacs in the magazine of the Saab Museum. These vehicles are more GM than Saab. But they are part of the story and are therefore treated no worse than vehicles with the Saab logo.
The last chapter is about the future of Saab. The author only wrote this chapter at the beginning of the year in order to be as up to date as possible. The last sentence in the book is "Let's look ahead!" A beautiful conclusion to a book with a great inconsistency and a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, especially by the style of the author, a book worth reading, where the positive things predominate. So a conciliatory result?
Almost! I like the book, it has a permanent place in my bookcase, I admit that. But it has an aftertaste that I don't want to keep to myself. Because at the same time that Delius Verlag was realizing its Saab book, another Saab project was also running at another German publisher. The author, with a 100% Saab background, would not have thought of putting 10 Volvo pages in a Saab book. He would have treated the GM era better and he would have put even more Saab in the book because of his life story. With the appearance of “Saab - The Way of a Cult Brand” this project was put on hold.
Which is unfortunate, but hopefully not the last word. Because the Saab story continues and does not stop in spring 2013. The near future could become interesting and thus make room for another German publication. “Saab - The path of a cult brand” is available in bookstores and in our fan shop.