How much motivation does the blogger feel to write a review of the year ... after an annus horribilis? Hasn't everything been said or written several times? Wouldn't it be better to just post an empty article with a big question mark at most?
Perhaps, because ostensibly and completely between us, the year could have been one catastrophe. Looking to Trollhättan, one would like to diagnose the worst possible accident (GAU). With a completely botched comeback that nobody could have foreseen in December 2013. Or did someone among the readers have the 7th sense and knew that we would talk and write about reconstruction and possible bankruptcy again in 2014?
Big drama! Is it time to draw the blanket of oblivion over the brand? Others, once big names, have meanwhile also submitted their farewells, they can go in peace. Lancia will (finally) no longer be abused in the future. The American tastelessness with Lancia label will at some point have mutated back to coke cans, the beauty of the old, great traditional brand remains, and vehicles like Stratos, Appia and Delta Integrale will forever be in the hearts. And Saab?
It's not that easy…
While Lancia as a brand is only rudimentary, despite ongoing production, everything is different at Saab. Very simple example from everyday automotive life. Have you ever tried to get spare parts for a Lancia Thema? The situation with the Tipo4 brother of the Saab 9000 has to be dealt with in a compact way: Fiat is not interested, empty shelves in the spare parts warehouse.
And while nobody in Italy likes to take care of the traditional brand's old cars, something remarkable happened in Sweden a few days ago! The former Saab Parts AB, now sailing under the Orio flag, bought the tools for the production of spare parts for all Saab models built so far from NEVS. Whatever treasure Orio AB may have bought now, it's great business for us. Saab spare parts, even for the old models, can be reproduced in original manufacturer quality!
These are good prospects for all Saab crazy people around the world. Saab driving is possible in the long run if you like. The concern that parts would eventually run out - it was swept from the table in 2014. It is unlikely that the vehicles will disappear from the streets anyway.
Everything Saab is loved, hotter than ever. When I visit Saab partners anywhere in Germany, the Saab 900, 9000 and all current models can be found on the lifts. No matter what year of construction, no matter which model! Whatever is allowed is allowed, and in 2014 there was substantial investment in the vehicles. Waiting times for a workshop appointment are normal. Anyone who has Saab expertise and has adapted their business model to the current situation makes a good living from it. Even without a new car!
Full workshops and full order books do not come by themselves. The successful bases live Saab and offer dedicated, professional service. The workshop replacement car has to be a Saab and is now almost everywhere. That was not the case in 2013, and the range of services for customers was also improved. The cars are getting older and the focus is changing accordingly. Preservation of value, restorations with a sense of proportion are more important. The passion continues to burn unchanged.
There are a lot of Saab dates in the calendar for 2015. If you like, you can connect your weekends to the brand somewhere in the Republic. Premieres, reissues of proven events, the Saab Festival in Trollhättan, International Saab in Norway. For the fans there will be the Saab Inside with two editions, bigger than ever. The Saab Service Club for Germany, Austria and Switzerland will be launched in January.
Saab, this has become a love affair for many people ... for different reasons. Some have petrol in their blood and an eye for Scandinavian design, others appreciate understatement and intelligent vehicle concepts. The interest is more pronounced than ever before if we want to believe the visit statistics on the blog, the well-booked workshops and my overcrowded mailbox. Let's forget the adventurers in Trollhättan for a moment! Our cars are awesome, they're fun, we love them!
2014. From this perspective, it was a good year ...