Dear Saab community. I am writing these lines as the owner of the last workshop specializing in Saab vehicles in the Barcelona area. My view of the future is extremely pessimistic. And for various reasons. On the one hand, there are governments and manufacturers with their alleged efforts to reduce environmental pollution with the help of electric vehicles and to halt climate change.
I say "alleged" on purpose as it is in no way clear how this is going to save the world.
I am neither an engineer nor a scientist. However, from my personal understanding of the matter, it is impossible to run the immense fleet of electric vehicles on clean energy. Not to mention the resource and energy consumption in their production. We will continue to be dependent on fossil and nuclear energy along the entire chain.
Alternatives are nipped in the bud
There are increasing voices questioning the overall concept and complaining about the lack of alternative concepts. Or rather complain that thoughts of alternatives are nipped in the bud.
On the other hand, there are facts that are created by the city administration in Barcelona.
A brutal crusade against older vehicles began in our city a few years ago. Unfortunately, this is limited to restrictions and bans on their use. The development of alternative concepts is completely lacking.
Just so the readers have an idea:
Gasoline engines with EZ before 2000 and diesel before 2006 are no longer allowed to move freely in the entire city area on weekdays between 08.00 a.m. and 20.00 p.m. Each of these vehicles must be registered and can enter the city 2 times a calendar year for a fee of 10 euros per day. Registration must take place at least the day before.
On the same day, entry is only permitted in medical emergencies, which must be proven. In any case, only one vehicle per owner may be registered. And when you arrive in town, you can look forward to double the parking fee - at up to 8 euros per hour.
Police are not needed to monitor the whole thing. A perfectly functioning automated camera system was put into operation. The city administration is already thinking about expanding the whole thing to Euro 5 vehicles from 01.01.2022. Initially, residents should be spared. First…
Workshops also have to register every customer vehicle that is moved online - not at all annoying in a two-man operation. This then applies for a week. To achieve that was a long struggle. Originally, the customers' 2 days should be used for this. Which should be used up very quickly with test drives, TÜV or transfer to partner workshops.
This has serious consequences for many owners. Over 40% of the stock fall under this regulation. And in the interplay with the corona crisis, it turns small workshops into a species that is becoming extinct.
Our workshop also specializes in a brand that unfortunately no longer exists.
I notice that it lives on all the more intensely in the minds and hearts of Saab drivers.
This love and loyalty will hopefully ensure the existence of the few workshops in Spain that specialize in Saab. But I also notice that many owners have to part with their treasures. And sometimes when time is of the essence and it's an extraordinary car that is difficult to sell quickly, don't hesitate to scrap the press.
Hope for a change in the situation
But there are also some specimens that, thanks to committed enthusiasts like Lizi or Tom, make it outside of the country to continue to live in loving hands. I have already been able to participate in some of these projects. And it pleases my Saabige soul to contribute with my knowledge that these cars reach their new owners in a pristine condition.
I hope to be able to keep many Saabs alive. And that the situation is changing for many owners, especially here in Spain. At least in terms of the ability to keep and enjoy their cars.
Greetings from Barcelona.
Juan of Taller berma