At the beginning. The Saab Germany balloon team.

The picturesque Vordertaunus is one of the most popular residential areas in the Rhine-Main area. Purchasing power is disproportionately high in cities like Kronberg and is a top value in a German comparison. So it is not particularly surprising that luxury brands choose the Taunus for their German headquarters. Jaguar Land Rover is one of them. And once Saab too.

The Saab Germany balloon team in the 90s
The Saab Germany balloon team in the 90s

In the 90s, the German Import Company was at home in Bad Homburg. The Saab flags were waving in front of the modern industrial complex at Siemens Strasse 14, and the location corresponded to the brand's self-image. Is it surprising that Saab Germany had its own balloon team? In principle not, because the Swedes always showed up where it was sporty and expensive. Tennis was a must, golf was a bit more elitist and just as popular. The top in the inland should have been the Saab Ballon Team.

Saab Germany drives balloon

Its existence has long been forgotten, but there is a contemporary document about it in our archive. On the edge of the Bad Homburg (?) Industrial area, Saab Germany sends a balloon on its way. A white Saab 9000 CS of the team is parked in the background, the scene is watched by a young woman who, of course, is sitting in a Saab convertible. Then the journey begins, the eye-catching Saab-Scania balloon drives over the small, picturesque villages of the Vortaunus.

Accompanied by harmonic sounds, Saab gives the viewer a few minutes to switch off and enjoy. At the end of the journey, the white CS and Saab Ballon Team followers collect the balloon and passengers. Before that, the newcomers are baptized, which is known in ballooning circles as the nobility of the aeronauts. An old tradition that is said to remember the first balloonists in 1783. It obliges newcomers to help other balloonists and to obey the captain of their airship unconditionally. So it has a very serious background from the early days of air navigation. They also learn that you drive a balloon but never fly.

Saab and balloon ride was a coherent affair. In Trollhättan, a small brand built noble cars that were not intended for the masses. The German import company was allowed to do an equally special sport.

5 thoughts on "At the beginning. The Saab Germany balloon team."

  • Hello Mr. Stock! I was just delighted to read your name ...! It was so long ago. Happy Easter to you, even if it's almost over. Greetings your Jens Marquardt

  • Lifted

    Interesting review of better, but above all hopeful times at Saab.

    A balloon team? I would like to, but in the opinion of the elitist paint that Saab and some dealers outside the Scandinavian market have given themselves, they have done more harm.

    Sales of convertibles have surely been boosted worldwide, but has the right and largest possible target group been opened up for other models and Saab with a bread & butter equipment?

    In the Scandinavian market there was no problem with that. The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of 95 and 96 are taken for granted as the next Saabs and were often bought “naked”.

    They were simply good cars on steel rims, with fabric seats, often with the entry-level unit and with an AHK, which were bought by the price-conscious in large numbers for their own benefit.

    On export markets outside of Scandinavia, Saab has never sufficiently developed this (large) target group and I know a dealer in Germany who has wrinkled his nose at such Saabs and has not refrained from making derogatory comments. Be it about fabric seats, diesel or injection.

    He either didn't see or didn't understand the training videos from S ...

    Looking forward to the next one.

  • Thanks for the good article, what SAAB supported is always amazing. Thanks to the report, I fondly remember my own balloon flight and my time as a glider pilot. The 9000s were popular towing vehicles for these trailers too. Pilots stop ... 🙂
    And it is also clear that my mountain bike is from Gary Fisher. The racing team was once sponsored by SAAB. Ironic similarities? Both brands were innovative and ahead of their time and unfortunately both have disappeared.

  • Saab dealers were able to rent the Saab balloon for their own events and were an asset to marketing. Many retailers have used this service and customers have been delighted with it. In Hemer near Iserlohn, the newlywed dealer Ms. Pientka was allowed to climb 15 m in the Saab balloon on the occasion of her wedding with her husband, it was too windy to drive!
    Heiko Stock

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