Saab 1999 in Barcelona. Saab vs. Future!

Barcelona, ​​Spain 1999. It is heading towards the future. The new Saab 9-5 sports suit rolls to customers. Saab is in a better position than ever. The quality of the products is right, optimism is spreading.

Saab vs. Future. Barcelona 1999!
Saab vs. Future. Barcelona 1999!

150.000 vehicles are planned for the year 2.000, further growth, new marketing strategy. What sounded so ambitious at the time should end up in ruins just over a decade later.

Why did it go so wrong? The products may not have been right. The quality of the then fresh 9-5 was on par with the best competitors. For detailed solutions Saab was ahead. Ventilated seats, retractable cargo floor, best turbo engines.

Was it the hatchback that was missing from the new 9-5? The fact that not everyone wants to drive a station wagon that only needs loading space from time to time? Regular customers refused to stay with the 9000. The number of conquest purchases was enthusiastic. These were later lost because Saab could not deliver any new products.

Perhaps the course was right in 1999 - which Saab only finally lost sight of in 2002. The new 9-3 - it only came as a sedan. Shock! No hatchback, no coupe, no station wagon. The latter was already finished, was held back and only offered in 2005. The coupe, it disappeared forever in the abyss of the Saabs never built.

Anyway, 17 minutes of film allow insight into the brand's past, ambitious times.

Our digitization of old Saab films continues - with the support of Saab partners. Saab Service Frankfurt has released a large stack of old Saab videos. For cinematic supplies is taken care of, the mountain is processed slowly. Thanks to Frankfurt to Gerard Ratzmann and his team!

While this is beyond our control with Saab and the future, today we have taken care of the blog and its future. The design has received an update. It's cleaner than before, fits the brand language and tablet and smartphone requirements. We hope you like it!

25 thoughts on "Saab 1999 in Barcelona. Saab vs. Future!"

  • An interesting video, where you can also see the training material for the dealers.

    Amazingly, I can also relate Tom's introductory words to the present (next months):

    "2015. It goes in the direction of the future. The "new" Saab 9-5 sports trolley rolls to the customer. The quality of the products is right, optimism is spreading. "

  • And how can the success of the BMW 1 series be explained? Even today, it seems that more 9-3 I than 9-3 II are on the road. You can not sell too many sedans. The only Saab after 2002 Saab was the convertible. I also like the other models, but the hatchback was identity-creating, 'the' Saab.

  • Do you mean with Coupes two-door? They have not disappeared. Look how many A5 and BMW 3er are sold as coupes. Even Bentley gets those things out.
    Or do you mean the hatchback variant? Then I counter with Porsche Panamera, Skoda Superb and Audi A5 Sportsback, all of which are so successful that every model alone would have saved Saab.

  • Oh, I think that's critical. Essentially, NEVS is just a gaaaaaanz small group of people who really come from the outside, and otherwise essentially from the normal Saab veteran. I do not see now, what should be problematic.

  • The fact that the coupés have disappeared is due to the general taste and I think you shouldn't mourn old things. Saab had to try to get into the business with company vehicles, which also succeeded quite well with the 9-5. As the article mentioned, the successor was missing from 2004, as the competitors brought a new model or at least a good facelift at least every four years.
    Although the Saab fan is a loyal brand lover, as a customer he is a disaster. Saab was missing the buyers who regularly buy a new car and do not apply their 20 years. The best example was the very bad sale of 9-5 NG, today this is mourned afterwards, buy at that time, nobody wanted him.
    This will also be the problem of a possible Saab successor, he may not build Saabs, but must offer attractive fleet vehicles that represent an alternative to Audi and Co.

  • That's the way it is. It is only over when they get the Saab lettering from the buildings. Everything is open, in every direction ...

  • I also like the new design.
    On the subject of NEVS, that was it then with those who hope that it continues after the bankruptcy with a professional investor.
    Stay is announced ... ..

  • That's the well-known NEVS credibility again ... I can only say once again, a new car Saab, in which NEVS has also mixed a bit, is out of the question for me. Therefore, I look here now much less on the blog, because for me the only "good" result is the final retirement of NEVS ... and that may take a while. Therefore, I wait with increasing distance for a new start in Trollhättan, or not and will not in the future consider how I design my fleet with a real Saab.


  • Angry

    But the game is never over. The factory is tidy and even optimized, the developers are in Trollhättan companies on foot computers etc. Even if NEVS finally delivers the spoon, again appears a liquidator who sells the things to the next. And there will be another one again.

  • We know the day of the revelation!

    Groundhog Day

  • Moin moin to the north! I am glad that it pleases! As a header, we have selected 3 Saab dream cars, which are displayed alternately. Aero X, 9x Air and Turbo X. You can buy one of them (with luck)

  • Well written, I like it! The drama took its course with the 9-3 sedan, which defeated GM. BMW 3er wanted to place. That went wrong. And with the departure of the hatchback valuable niche positions were cleared without need. The result is known.

  • You just did not pay attention. April is correct, but the year was never named. A declaration of confidentiality signed by all parties prohibits communicating the year. (I hope the readers recognize the advanced irony mode ...)

  • Did I understand anything wrong?
    Did not anyone want to announce anything by the end of April?
    Wasn't there a “whisper” from a new investor from a previously completely unknown corner?
    Or does it need PATIENCE again?
    Or (gallows) humor.

  • There is the product concept of the Blue Ocean versus Red Ocean. A Blue Ocean is a market where there are few or no competitors. Everyone is bustling in the Red Ocean.

    Before GM, Saab was a Blue Ocean product for me. I do not even want to focus on the turbocharged engines and the front-wheel drive, even though they were also points, but more about what they meant:
    -By transverse installation and small engines remained at the same length more space for the interior and trunk left.
    Add to that the good compromise hatchback, which was almost a unique selling point in the vehicle category.
    -Because limited funds flowed into the engine, money was left over for other innovations. Here are some unique selling points.

    Why Blue Ocean? The majority does not seem to care how much interior space is behind. And they buy notchback or station wagon, because there they can categorize themselves. Notchback: wants to top, lets transport, finally, transported in the Bentley and nothing. Combi: wants to do it yourself, so you need roof rails and plaid shirts ;-). only people who had also thought about solutions that looked at Saab and found no competition.

    GM then wanted to position Saab just above Opel, but otherwise the same, and in competition with the other vendors, as part of the usual US brand strategy (which proved to be non-transferable to Europe). Say, Saab should suddenly join the Red Ocean. So there were only the designs that had all, and of course, had a V6 ago, and the platform will be taken over as possible, etc.

    And that did not work. The cheats of the competition, the memes, what makes a car (checklist mentality) could not reach Saab.

  • Moin moin, Tom!
    CLASS design! Totally SAABig! ... and the AERO X for the "Welcome" is incredible !!! That was with me at the top of the list
    THANKS and congratulations to the new page!

  • HejTom,
    I like design as much as the Aero X! Very beautiful. I love clean lines.

  • ... me too, against that almost everything else looks literally "old". GM did not understand that either ...

  • Hello Tom, great design! Fits the brand, maybe a sign for a new beginning!

  • I like the new design ... and I would still buy the Aero X.

  • ... I really like the new outfit! Fits even better with SAAB.
    Also a big thank you to Tom again; Great information.
    Without the blog - unthinkable.

  • I know that it is a very difficult task to define the point at which Saab goes downhill. This has already bothered countless Saab fans and will be a hot topic at every regulars' table after the third beer at the latest. Nevertheless, I dare to make a thesis: It has been going downhill ever since GM took a 50% stake in the brand! If VW had struck back then, the brand would be as vital today as never before. See Skoda. See Seat, even though Seat only caused losses for the parent company. Why didn't VW get in at the time? I would be very interested in the reasons for this. There must have been some, because VW was at the beginning of its multi-brand strategy and had contacts with the Wallenbergs. I suspect solid reasons for not engaging. Maybe there are other interested parties for this topic and we could then do a little research in the archives and interview contemporary witnesses….

  • ... Congratulations for the new design Tom!

  • I can still vividly remember how in the rearview mirror of my Toyota, when leaving Barcelona, ​​3-4 of these station wagons with Swedish license plates have emerged and have overtaken me. I watched the cars with enthusiasm and overtook them a few times, so that I could let them pass by again. That was 1999 in the spring and in July it was time. I took the keys of my brand new 9.5 station wagon in red ... Beautiful and safe world!

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