The United States of America was once the most important market for Saab. It could also be said that Saab would not have existed for a long time had the company not been so successful in the US. What less Swedish management owed. That Saab was there to become a successful import brand, owed the brand primarily Robert J. Sinclair.
Known in Saab circles as Bob Sinclair, he was the driving force behind Saab North America and the initiator of the Saab 900 Cabriolet. With his enthusiasm and ideas, he got Saab out of the crisis and made the brand desirable. Bob left us in 2009, but his memory lives on. You can read parts of his life with Saab in Rolf Bleeker's book "The Spirit of Saab - more than one car".
North America does not look good for Saab today. NEVS wants to completely ignore the US market in the first step and return to it at a later date. No good prospects for American Saab fans. After looking for us Saab impressions in Argentina Friend Uli was traveling on the American continent and visiting Chicago for a few days.
The first route in the rental car led from the airport to the Saab agency, which Uli had visited before 15 years ago. At that time, a blue sonnet III was at the main entrance. And today? No sonnet, no Saab. For an Aston Martin dealer. Not bad, but not what he was looking for. Compensation came on four wheels in the form of a white Saab 9-5 II.
What a wild pursuit trip triggered, and as a reward, there were pictures of the great Sweden sedan. The next Saab came to meet Uli at a Wal-Mart parking lot. The driver a remnant of the summer-of-love movement, maybe. Long gray hair, intellectual appearance, rather no value on the care state of the Saabs legend. Okay Uli, two Saabs, but still no Saab representation in sight. What's going on there?
The desired result was found 300 meters away from the former Saab base. A service company had set up shop where Saabs were being repaired 15 years ago. Business seems to be doing well because the workshop is full. Logically at a time when there are hardly any official representations. Swedish vehicles in every condition in front of the door. Including a Saab 900 Turbo Steilschnautzer with the distinctive license plate "86 SPG". What is an aero for us, that was the SPG variant in the USA.
There was an unexpected reunion while walking across the premises of the Saab workshop. She was standing in a corner of the area, aged 15 years. The blue Sonett III, which once greeted customers at the main entrance. In the worst possible condition, probably irretrievably lost. Sad and Shame! A snapshot and arguably a symbol of the brand's condition in the USA. Better times, they are possible. Sometime…
The Saab photo impressions of Uli go into the next round. After Argentina and the USA he is now in Japan. The camera and always keep an eye on Saabs. What he brings us? We will see. Sequel follows.
Pictures: Uli for saabblog.net