Saab in Barcelona - a pessimistic outlook

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.

Red beauty from Saab in Barcelona
Red beauty from Saab in Barcelona

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.

Automated monitoring

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

17 thoughts on "Saab in Barcelona - a pessimistic outlook"

  • A little information that has nothing to do with the great discussion that got Juan rolling….
    All vehicles shown belong to his collection….


    The Lizi

  • @ Volvaab Driver

    You are welcome!

  • @ Zsolt,

    So a similar E85 “career” as in D. Thanks for the info.
    I still hope that biofuel will experience another renaissance. I have already heard a request for the introduction of E20 (interview in the ÖR).

    The advantages of admixture are obvious. The greater their proportion, the less CO2 and nitrogen oxides (because of the lower combustion temperature). Greater independence from imports, etc.

    There was always fuel. In D there was so-called potato fuel (was E35, if I got that right).

    The issue of ethanol is apparently only negotiated behind closed doors. You hardly hear anything.
    One should assume that lobbyists of the mineral oil companies and the auto industry should long ago recognize an opportunity in increasing admixtures that they would actively seize (lobbying and PR).

    After all, E-substances higher than E10 (approximately from E20 to E85) also ensure that the mineral oil company has long-term prospects in its traditional business area. They would give the auto industry combustion engines with a better CO2 balance and better exhaust gas values.

    There is a suspicious silence that I can only explain to myself that the corporations (Oil & Auto) have calculated the EV and actually want it.

    It opens up new and unimagined possibilities for the automotive industry, which are guaranteed not to be driven by the pursuit of sustainability, but rather by obsolescence. Of course not after the obsolescence of themselves, but that of their penultimate products, their hardware and software in ever faster succession. When we first buy and dispose of cars such as cell phones, tablets and new laptops, then the dream of managers making it come true.

    And the oil companies?
    They do not care whether they mine or mine rare earths - just as much as the consequences of one or the other.

    Suspicious silence. When I think about it, I can probably write off a renaissance of ethanol after all.

  • E85 was sold at a very limited number of petrol stations in Spain until around 2011. Thanks to government support, the price was cheap so it was worth buying this fuel despite the higher consumption. However, the subsidy was withdrawn overnight and suddenly the stuff cost more than E10. Sad. Regarding Barcelona, ​​unfortunately, the mayoress will continue to be elected despite such measures.
    It is well known that everyone has what they deserve ...

  • Thank you Juan for these open thoughts.
    But why so pessimistic?
    The current form of individual mobility has reached its zenith. More is not possible, the inner cities do not allow that.
    The SAAB can be used in Barcelona up to the well (relatively ;-)) located P-house, then the switch to the well-developed public transport takes place. Where is the problem? Except that people can change “something” ... And yes, parking can cost. Only over € do people change their behavior. Unfortunately.
    In any case, as a pedestrian, I would like more space and quiet (!) Space in the city center, less stench would also be an issue. Nice cafes or bistros to linger instead of sitting in a noisy street ... As a cyclist, I would like to have quick connections, since I am faster within 5-8 km anyway :-). Why even faster? So participate more and then the real car users have more opportunities to be on the road without traffic jams.
    A difficult topic ... and we ALL can / must move spiritually and rethink our actions.
    I think the “old cars” have their chance. It's the new oldies. And they have to be looked after, just as the SAABblog advertises. More is not possible, you have to act yourself.
    By the way: I can't get anything from (individual) e-mobility either. One car is only replaced by another. That doesn't make cities any more livable either ...
    I hope your workshop will have many SÄÄBe to look after for a long time (!) ...

  • Cross-party consensus (@ Ebasil)

    Damn good question, who better not to choose and, better still, the implied question, who to choose instead.

    It doesn't belong here, however, because the blog wants to be apolitical and it should be. Much better - or, depending on the reading, even sadder - it can be and stay confidently ...

    Much better, because something like a bipartisan consensus is being formed on environmental, energy and transport policy issues. Saab drivers are all sorts of things, are progressive and as conservative as a monument from the imperial era, are social, liberal and green. And instead of fighting each other for it, there is a real outbid competition to agree on issues of sustainability, consumer behavior and energy & transport policy.

    It is sad because there is not a single representative for this bipartisan consensus who could credibly represent it. Not a single party (loyal to the constitution and eligible for election) that would seriously question the path taken and its alleged lack of alternatives. In this landscape (the partisan one) there is a cross-party consensus and an outbidding competition of a completely different kind. Here it is only a question of who has most consistently elevated the lack of alternatives to the program.

    Doesn't necessarily guarantee diversity of opinion, but it is what it is ...

    The fact that people of different backgrounds and political preferences can nevertheless agree on common positions on various burning questions and actually come to an alternative and non-partisan agreement is simply fantastic.

    A bulwark of democracy & diversity of opinion. In my opinion, the blog clearly missed the goal of wanting to be apolitical. I see him as politically apart from party books and programs. I find it cross-party factual. And precisely for that reason as politically and socially valuable and relevant.

    When it comes to the question of the wrong or the right party, that doesn't get me any further. But the knowledge that the supporters of different parties can have the same unrepresented or underrepresented opinion is even more valuable to me than any election recommendation.

  • The basic problem is that there are too many cars, especially in the cities - at least it is noticeable there at first glance: You can hardly step in front of cars, although I am driving (according to statistics mostly with one person) as well as standing (according to statistics 90 percent of a car's life, mine should come closer to 100 percent) mine. Listed ensembles from a largely car-free time are completely parked, so that these are ruled out as a photo motif and place of residence - I speak from experience - are not really more interesting.
    Who believes that for pragmatic or strategic reasons (sometimes elections take place in democratic states) practically nobody says that under “mobility turnaround” the replacement of fossil fuel fleets - around 40 million (?) and / and understand hydrogen-powered vehicles did not cover the topic. And I have the impression that this is more or less subconsciously taking place property-preserving thinking because of not only in this country quite a lot of (supposedly arrived) people. And what's more, if the new cars are so environmentally friendly, you might even be able to think about buying another vehicle.
    I prefer to drive through Munich in my BMW 635CSi and use around 16 liters of Super Plus, after all it is lead-free (it even has a retrofitted regulated catalytic converter). And if that is too expensive (or harmful to the environment) for me, I get the Saab 900 Turbo 16S from the underground car park, which only needs 10 liters (and I am considering installing a stainless steel catalytic converter). My Toyota Yaris Hybrid only needed 3,5 liters and drove around 60 percent of the route in the city with little noise and without a smoking exhaust pipe, but that's kind of boring. But since I only cover 6000 to 8000 kilometers a year, spread over three cars - I know, rationally speaking, I don't need my own car - ...

  • @ Saabansbraten,

    That would interest me too. At the same time, I believe that within the EU you have certain comparisons from one member to the other as to how things work.

    EU air pollution standards, individual lawsuits, and so on. If the large old apartment in the city center is initially occupied cheaply because it is on a busy main road, there is guaranteed to be a plaintiff for everything.

    The first one wants a parking space (i.e. fees for everyone else, an annual resident ticket for themselves). The second wants quiet (Tempo 30 at least from 22-6) and the third plaintiff clean air. Before you close the port in Hamburg, for example, you turn to the traffic. Before all heating systems are modernized (such as the old oil heating of the house in which the plaintiff has nested cheaply), the traffic is turned.

    City tolls, parking fees, environmental zones - they generate municipal income and stimulate the economy (new cars with higher emissions standards or EVs) and turn off lawsuits and EU criminal proceedings.

    The legal basis came about democratically and the will of the majority no longer interests people at the judicial level. In this regard, hardly anything is so laden with internal contradictions as road traffic.

    Here, judges have to admit an individual plaintiff from one hearing to the next because, as a resident, he is suing for suitable measures against (!) The general public against the background of his right to physical integrity and applicable limit values ​​for noise or air pollution ...
    And sometimes the same judge expropriates land, even shares local residents with road construction costs for the undesired expansion of a residential area into a thoroughfare in the name of the people and for the benefit of the general public - so this time increases noise and emissions. As I said, internal contradictions ...

  • Logic and reason seem to have got lost in Germany as well as in large parts of Europe.

  • @ JB

    Where else can you fill up with E85 locally? In D ?? Please briefly provide information on this - thank you in advance!

    The madness is that in Germany, namely in MV (I mean, in Anklam), large and increasing amounts of bioethanol are still being produced very successfully today and transported onwards via Hamburg. To the refineries (according to our governments, E10 and E5 are of course not "bad", but great) and abroad, including Sweden.

    If only we could tap into something in this country ... 🙁

  • @ Juan and everyone

    Terrible, terrible, terribly sad! Many thanks to Juan for this relentless report, which now describes in detail the potency of madness and its measures, which have already been mentioned in Lizi's reports. In view of this, one can actually only lapse into (even deeper) depression ...

    Juan and all the previous commentators got it to the point, sadly.

    We in D should think carefully about who to choose (not) better in autumn in order to hopefully avoid similarly grotesque conditions, at least in this potency.

  • just “stupid”! To put it clearly! The resources, what it all takes! Recycling! We're all being sold for "stupid". From the current models of the current manufacturers, all seem to die out again after a few years. Let's see what else of the 2003 models from the competition from SAAB still “drives”. The Audi model year 2007 - 2009 is hardly visible anymore. The previous model is almost extinct.

    Golf 4 can be seen even more like Golf 5 and 6.

    It's amazing that E85 didn't even have a chance in Sweden. Why? Because VW, Audi, Seat and the German Mafia have deceived the market with their “cheat diesels”. Fortunately, I can still fill up with E85 locally, who knows how long. Because the E85 cars are known to die away.

  • Today Barcelona, ​​tomorrow Germany. If the Green Prohibition Party co-governs from autumn on, it will be the same for us. Under the guise of the environment, combustion engines are shut down and battery-powered cars are bought. Unfortunately, that only serves consumption and economic growth. Sounds good, though, it is mobility revolution. In reality a stimulus package and defection.

  • It makes you dizzy while reading ... I was in Barcelona by car in 88 and was happy to have come out safely. That means there were too many cars back then. Hang on, Juan and good luck!

  • Just sad! Thank you Juan for these frank words.

    It has long been my fear that this will also happen in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Nice, good cars that would serve for many years to come will then just be banned. But what annoys me the most is this mendacity of politics. Everyone is now sticking to the Stohhalm electric car and actually knows exactly that this is just a diversionary maneuver to tackle the real problems.

    We are currently in the process of installing a PV system with storage. We do everything with our own resources. Because the e-cars eat away all contributions, there is no longer any subsidy for this useful system. You can still swallow that. But what really bugs me is the fact that you still have to pay VAT on electricity you produce and use yourself. have to pay! An absolute cheek. Now has little to do with the article and Saab, but is a reflection of what is going on in energy policy at the moment. And then a certain circle closes back to the article.

    All the best to Barcelona and thank you for the initiative together with Lizi. (If the right Saab for me appears on the blog, I may strike again).

  • Thank you for the very interesting information, Juan!

    I always ask myself in such places:
    Who wanted that, and how do such regulations come about? Is that the actual will of the citizen? If not, how does it happen that, despite this, such regulations come into force and can be enforced?

    What forms of contradiction, of defending against it, of your own decision-making and of being within the limits of the regulators do you have, Juan? How have you spoken out against such regulations or thoughts of such and united? Are there any initiatives that can be supported?

  • Thanks Juan,

    excellent and informative written. Indeed, a pleasure to read, even if the content is rather sad.

    I would be very interested to know whether E85 / BioPower has ever played a role in ES? The neighbor in the north (F) seems to be quite active when it comes to biofuel ...

    It's sad that nobody seems to want to follow this climate-friendly example.


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