The story of the Saab rescuers from Barcelona

Carrer de Rafael Battle. A quiet street in a rather upmarket residential area in Barcelona. In the house with the number 14 there is a small auto repair shop. Her name is "Tallers Berma". Not an unusual phenomenon in itself. When the gate is open, it resembles hundreds of existing 2-3 man businesses in the city. A bit messy. Crammed with vehicles on the existing lifts and below.

Tallers Berma, the Saab savior from Barcelona
Tallers Berma, the Saab savior from Barcelona

However, if you take a closer look, you will find that there are always a few Saabs under the vehicles. And an old Saab logo that is part of the workshop sign. If “Saab Workshop Barcelona” is entered in the famous search engine, this workshop appears in the first place.

But now at the beginning of the story….

It is the late 80's. A young man named Juan has just completed his military service. Before that, he graduated as a mechanic from the Carrer Rafael Battle Technical School. This was next to the then branch of "Ibercarerra", the exclusive importer for Porsche and Saab in Spain. Juan - at the time a Corsa Gsi driver - always found Saab a bit strange, successfully applied for one of the vacancies, and started his career as an auto mechanic in 1989.

About 10 years later, another young man named Xavi graduated from the same school. Coincidentally, he learns everything about ABS and turbocharging from a Saab workshop book in the school library. It was his first encounter with the brand.

In June 1998, the two met on a lifting platform at "Ibercarerra".

You will quickly become friends and an unbeatable team of specialists. They are sent many hopeless cases from all over Spain, where the mechanics who have been trained by GM in short seminars on Saab are biting their teeth.

As is common in Spain, they have lunch almost every day in a small family restaurant across the street. There they get to know two older gentlemen who run one of the small, chaotic car repair shops I mentioned in the same street in number 14.

People joke and talk shop. One day Juan and Xavi will be chosen as heirs of the small workshop when the time comes ...

But it is far from over.

In 2004 the sales of Saab and Porsche are separated. The said branch becomes a pure Saab operation, and Juan becomes the workshop manager.

A few busy but quiet years pass.

In 2008 Spain was hit hardest by the economic crisis.

We all know the drama about Saab running parallel to this.

The branch will be closed on April 29.04.2011, 2011. Juan and Xavi get some job offers despite the crisis. But now the early joke of "inheritance" becomes reality. You would like to work on Saabs, know your way around and take over the small workshop in September XNUMX. And the younger of the two owners directly with it. He stays one year.

The beginning was difficult. Customers scattered in all directions. Hardly anyone spent money looking after their mobile treasures. The "accidentally" saved customer file, and above all Xavi's wife, who tirelessly puts a flyer at every Saab seen, help to build up a new customer base. And over time, the old customers of "Ibercarerra" will find their way to "Tallers Berma".

Now they are the last. The penultimate operation of the area, which was run by former Saab employees, closed a few weeks ago.

They tirelessly take care of the Spanish Saab stock. Customers from distant parts of the country also seek their advice. It can happen that you have to wait a little longer for an appointment. But when the time comes, the inspection or repair is carried out to the minute. Unless something unforeseen was found or parts delivery is delayed.

However, the vehicles always leave the workshop without any defects.

And it doesn't matter whether it's a Saab (approx. 40%) or a different make.

Juan also cultivates his Saab passion privately. His collection includes a 93-series 900 full turbo, any 9-3 I, 9-5, or the 9-3 II Aero from the last series, a total of 9 vehicles that are guests at international meetings every now and then.

Xavi never drove a Saab privately. At first he found her strange. Then no model fit into his life situation - woman and child outside of Barcelona with back then partly unpaved roads. And when the 9-4 was announced, it was simply too expensive for it. But it is obviously possible to live the fascination of Saab without having one.

And may they live for many more years ... ..

Text and images: The Lizi

13 thoughts too "The story of the Saab rescuers from Barcelona"

  • Wow, what a great report from Spain! Funky impressive. It's a good thing there are such enthusiasts! The salt in the automotive car scene. May the rep. Orders be 40% or more! Good business and lots of fun in the workshop!
    Are there any indications of where the Catalans can get their spare parts ???
    Orio? Skandix? Or use your own “Precaution” through “Remnant recycling” / processing.
    A nice Sunday report! Thank you!

    Answer
  • Dear Aero 9-3

    For reasons of space, there is no separate supply. Everything runs through the otherwise known places ...

    Answer
  • Thank you for this heartwarming report from Catalonia! How great that even in beautiful Barcelona the love for our great, beautiful and unique Swedish vehicles can live on - through the admirable commitment of Juan and Xavi and his wife. Great! Diese May these last rescuers “practice” there for a long time and successfully, and eventually find successors if necessary.

    I'm always flabbergasted that there are so many Saabs in Spain. Last year I even saw a slightly Talladega-style white 9-3 I on La Palma (yes, I know, somewhere else and very far away, but still all the more astonishing). 🙂

    What also surprises me is that there are so many convertibles in the photos. I thought it would be too hot in Spain for that !?

    Kind regards from Hamburg to Barcelona and the two operators many more successful years in the care of our beloved Saabs!

    Answer
  • I also agree with this, great story and nice that the Saab table is held up in Barcelona too.
    Are there any more reports about workshops that are not direct blog supporters?

    Answer
    • Yes and no. In 2020 there will be reports about people who are enthusiastic about Saab in some and also about workshops. However, according to today's planning, they will mainly be blog supporters.

      Answer
  • Completely out of time?

    In D one discusses the end of coal production for 2038. At the same time in Berlin the end of the combustion engines due to driving bans for 2030 (inner city) or for 2035 (entire state of Berlin).

    At the same time, a new coal-fired power plant goes online and excavators roll through Brandenburg pine trees for Tesla. BASF would like to build a battery factory in the same state, but there are concerns about environmental concerns. The pollution of the (drinking & ground) water is high, the required soils / resources are also rare and there is still no functioning cycle, no recycling.

    All information comes from the ÖR and the last 24 hours ...

    Why a coal-powered Tesla is environmentally friendly, why its batteries should be better than those from BASF, remains open. Just like 1.000 other questions. For example, the one according to E85, to upgrade only one ...

    Human Lizi,
    How pleasantly human and understandable your great report could be against such a complex and confusing background. It has fallen out of time. 1.000 thanks for that.

    And it makes me hungry. I would fucking like to go to a Spanish restaurant (where mostly locals go) to eat again. Especially with Saab mechanics ...

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  • Herbert Hürsch - coal-powered Tesla

    The whole absurdity is aptly summarized in one catchphrase! Great, I will take over into my active vocabulary immediately, even with modifications (coal-powered MOIAs, electric cars, scooters, etc.)! 🙂

    And E85? Perhaps one can still somehow draw the attention of all the concrete heads, lobbyists, fashion believers and probably mostly uninformed people to the fact that renewable energies, especially from waste, are the better way and a necessary part of a necessary diversified energy policy ?! Vive la France!

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  • Very nice report! Back then I always brought my Saab to Ibercarrera and I know both of them from that time.
    Fortunately, the two then opened the workshop, so there is a trustworthy and professional contact point for our vehicles.

    Greetings.

    Answer
  • People who are enthusiastic about Saab and work on it would come up with a few, besides Saab Himberg, of course

    Answer
  • @ Ebasil,

    Diversity and uniforms are also nice keywords. My brief outline of the ÖR's news within 24 hours was also completely incomplete ...

    Again rising electricity prices (officially confirmed the highest in the EU before) and the classification of the pine tree as an inferior tree or the signature collection of the CSU against 130 actually belong to the overall picture of a uniformed and lobby-driven, contradictory society against diversity.

    The official classification of the pine (my favorite tree) as inferior, awakens unsightly associations for me. How can one come up with the absurd idea, in the face of a species extinction, to act as a selective factor and as a savior?

    Everything is possible …

    Fortunately, it is still a Saab, with which you can travel across France to Spain with E85 and eat well in both countries and get a repair if necessary. Let's stick to it as long as possible ...

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  • I thank you for your report as well as the others.

    What happens to the stocks from the other recently closed SAAB workshop mentioned? Which was that? Where do the parts go etc.? It is always helpful to use the community, and it would be a crime and against our enthusiasm if good original parts flew away again. I am pleased if you write me / us more information.

    Best regards!

    Answer
  • Dear Saabans roast.

    Other countries other manners….
    The closed workshop was also part of the type mentioned in my report….
    Therefore there are no stocks to be released. Everything is taken care of for the necessary repairs "on time". And the successor probably took over the equipment.

    gruß

    The Lizi

    Answer
  • Relatively speaking, there were always quite a few Saabs in Oviedo, Spain.

    My parents drove:
    1986 Saab 9000i (bought in 1986)
    1996 Saab 9000 CSE 2.3t (bought in 1996).

    I still drive my old 2002 9-5 SW 2.3t (bought in 2008 as a two-hand).

    I don't have 60k € for a new car and find senseless consumerism as long as the 9-5 runs perfectly. I prefer to put the money in the sailing boat.

    In northwest Spain there is an Atlantic climate, on the coast the maximum daily temperatures in August are only around 22-23 ° C…
    In winter it is of course much warmer than in the HH, last weekend sailed in a t-shirt ~ 25 nautical miles ...

    Barcelona is in the Mediterranean, it is very hot there in midsummer ...

    Answer

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