In the last few days there has been a lot of talk about the future ... networked and autonomous driving, electric cars, a mobility provider with a new brand from Trollhättan. The blog does the balancing act, because we have two future topics - one of them is called Saab. In addition to the big topics everyone is talking about, a second market is developing that is at least as exciting.
Youngtimer as a future topic
The future topic is Youngtimer, a dynamically developing segment. A Studie from BBE Automotive splits the cars after years. The German Youngtimer stock of vehicles from the age of 15 to 19 years will continue to grow until 2020, percentage increase is still stronger in the 20 to 29 year. 2020 expects 10 millions of classic cars and classics on our roads.
The market has a volume of 16,4 billion euros annually. Of particular interest is the segment of leisure youngtimers. Their owner should be around the 45 years old, invest an average of 2.600,00 € per year for his vehicle, and have a certain inclination to contract workshop.
An opportunity for the Saab workshops, many of which have recognized the business with the Youngtimern and continuously expand it. The market with the old, analogue vehicles is a kind of countermovement to what is going on. It can be assumed that the business will develop all the more, the more the future topics of mobility will penetrate our everyday lives.
The chance for Saab
A chance for Saab? I guess so. The most interesting models of the brand belong to the booming youngtimer segment of vehicles up to 30 years of age. Starting with the Saab 900, which is charming and still suitable for everyday use. Or the technically supercooled 9000, Saab's first and most innovative contribution to the luxury class. The 9-3 I combines the charm of the hatchback with powerful turbo engines, the 902 is the wallflower that has yet to be discovered.
If I flip through the mails of the last days, then the future is clear. One reader imports two Saabs from the years 2001 and 2002 from the USA, another brings a Toppola camper to Germany. A Sonett III is almost completely restored and contenders for approval, in Swedish Saab forums one complains that so many vehicles go to Germany. The brand is alive no matter what swan they have written on them in the last few weeks.
Why do people drive old cars? Because they want to feel it. The roads, the curves, the pavement of the road. Because then strange things can happen. You get caught with the window open, which you would never do in the company car. One is interested in portable navigation devices and hands-free devices. Turn off the air conditioner, open the sunroof instead, feel the sun, the wind. Does the seasons come true, the landscapes; Gradients and descents are suddenly events again. Where have they been before? Away, stolen by perfect, environmentally sealed vehicles. Everything can be experienced more intensively in the Youngtimer.
The availability of good vehicles will be a brake on the future of analogue cars. The 9000 already feels it today. Buying the right 9000 is increasingly becoming a matter of patience and good relationships. Not infrequently, cars change owners within the scene. If you can not find a 9000 that fits your imagination and budget, then an early 9-5 is the possible alternative.
Preserving and restoring vehicles will be the Saab future. This makes the brand right on trend. Unintentionally and owed more to the tragic entanglements of the last few years. The fact that Saab relied on long-term designs in the 80s and 90s, and some vehicles are absolutely “over engineered”, is a fact that gives hope for the future.
The blog is right in the middle of this trend, and without the old Saabs, the blog would have no future. Our 9000, known as Anna Project, is going to the workshop in Frankfurt this week. The air conditioning compressor is due, and a few small things should be dealt with at the same time. If we get an appointment, because the team in front of Gérard Ratzmann is well booked, the yard is always full. Our Paul project is stalling a little, family things have been a priority in the last few weeks, with the challenge of keeping the blog going.
Saab Youngtimers accompany us into the future - which we can design ourselves on the blog, in the community, in the clubs and at the many meetings. From now on, it is our job to keep the Saab flags waving in the wind. The responsibility for the future is in the hands of all of us.