What was that for a year, this 2013? The year of hope, expectation or the year of silence? A difficult year for the Saab brand, but then with a conciliatory end. The prelude was anything but hopeful. Because for many weeks, the silence dominated from Trollhättan. A very personal review of the last 12 months:
Is something wrong? No, it does not work. The Swedes are hibernating. Ganz Trollhättan seems in standby mode, and if it was not the rumor about the start of production in the summer, then there would be nothing. The blog team still tries to find interesting Saab topics. Achim and I get with ours Saab hangar the right leisure activity. Somehow, community and blogger make it so tolerably through January, in which then something happened.
On the 31. January, at the last minute, NEVS goes with a new one Homepage on-line. She is quite satiated. Well, go!
Anyone who thought that winter mode was over now has been disappointed. At first there was nothing to be heard from Sweden. We are all the more active for this. We'll save one again Saab 9000, find a forgotten one Saab 900 R in Upper Franconia. Then at the 14. February seems to be moving. NEVS starts the Dialogue with the dealers, so I write. In retrospect, not quite right, because the hoped-for dialogue was more a monologue and more of a letter from Sweden to the German Saab partners.
[sam id = ”7 ″]
Then there is silence again. In the Aftonbladet appears over the Saab 9-5 II sports suit a reportage that was written and photographed in Germany, which is indicative of the Saab situation in the home country. Now and then come rumors about the Swedish press to Germany. For example, about Autoliv. The important for the restart partners would cross, would not be there. Which was fortunately not a fact, because a representative of Autoliv was at the start of production in December among the invited guests.
The new era casts first shadows, because the griffin is gone. NEVS puts on the factory premises new signs on, treat the Saab Phylonen with an update. The mythical creature is owned by Scania, or not. Because actually belongs the poultry, if any, the province of Skåne and is something of Swedish cultural property. Saab in the future without the bird? I really do not like this idea. But now, a few months later, I got used to it. And I start to find the new vehicles with lettering and without a griffin really good.
With little else to do, Mark, Yves and I set out for Geneva for the motor show. There we meet an old acquaintance. Victor Muller, former Saab owner, presented with Spyker the B6 Venator. It got stuck in the concept stadium and has not yet gone into series production. It's just strange that nobody wondered where Muller suddenly got the B6 Venator from. Maybe because Muller is no longer interesting and is no longer on the big stage. There is a story behind the B6 ... I learned it by accident. Maybe I'll tell her someday.
There was something ... in Kiel, the Sweden ferry! 10 brand new Saab 9-3 Griffin leave the ship and head south together. And were never seen again. Where they came from, where they went, who the owners are - everything is still unclear to this day. We only get denials or silence when asked. Fortunately, more is possible. Let's stay in Kiel.
Saab Service Lafrentz is developing into a hotbed for anything this year when it comes to Saab. Saab 9-4x and Saab 9-5 II sportswear from the auctions will be fit for registration. Rare parts, which should not exist at all, are imported from Sweden. With a lot of Saab Spirit and a lot of commitment, an unusual, but sustainable business model emerges. After the Saab auctions in Sweden, the farm sometimes fills with sports suits, sometimes with 9-4x models. And not only there. Also in Chemnitz two 9-4x are seen.
[sam id = ”10 ″]
And then there is the Saab Festival in Trollhatten, which casts its shadow. During a telephone conversation with Markus Lafrentz, the idea is born to make a small stopover in Kiel for the German community.
"Do you think we'll bring 10 cars together?" I ask him on the phone. "Already possible," he says.
"... maybe you can buy a new Saab 9-3 in autumn ..." says the Swedish edition of the Auto-Motor-Sport, and thus is traveling too optimistic. We prefer to focus on the upcoming Saab Festival in Sweden. The idea of a joint tour of German Saab friends to Trollhättan takes shape.
However, sponsors are wanted. Because the Rallye Plates and everything that is free for the participants, has to be paid somehow. That the idea became reality, we owe the German branch of the Saab Parts AB, which today hears the name Orio, the Saab partners in Kiel and in Bamberg, Matthias Meise and the blog team, which has also taken deep into their own pockets.
The yard is full! The best weather, more than 40 vehicles parked in the courtyard of the Lafrentz car dealership. Markus and I are thrilled, because of a good 10 vehicles ... You can and may be wrong sometimes. Saab Parts AB also sent a representative after Germany boss Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher had to leave for Sweden a day earlier for professional reasons.
We then meet him in Trollhättan, but beforehand 40 German Saab roll in a closed formation from Gothenburg towards Saab city. A video that the friends of SU make as “German invasion" the round. A very peaceful invasion with many happy Saab drivers.
[sam id = ”11 ″]
But otherwise light and shadow balance each other. As our convoy rolls through Saab City, behind the mirrored facades of ANA, once the largest Saab dealer in the world, representatives of BMW, the Commune and the ANA executive board meet. Where once new Saab were sold, BMW and Mini will be at home in the future. Not nice, many find Sweden, and in the comments of the local newspaper is a certain unfriendliness to the Germans to light, we did not know so far. But given the circumstances, we understand.
Yes, the Germans. For the first time they represent the largest foreign group of visitors at the festival. And with Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher, the German Saab Parts Managing Director is also the only representative of Saab Parts AB who mixes with the fans and participates in the festival. If you have not understood it, you will notice it at the latest. Germany, for a long time the problem child of the Saab world, has become a very important pillar.
At the end of the festival there was a personal souvenir photo on the main portal of the Saab factory. If someone had told me back then that I would be 6 month later again in the factory, this time to start production, I would not have believed him. But life is colorful! And full of surprises!