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May/June Update 2010: how YOU can help (& the news)

SeriousSAAB needs YOU... or your SAAB photos, at least!We could have had images of birthday cakes and candles, silly hats and party poppers because SeriousSAAB has celebrated its first year online but instead we have settled for a none too well tweaked version of the iconic image of Lord Kitchener that appeared originally on recruitment posters during the Great War (1914-18). Encouraging messages of support have been e-mailed to us from around the globe (excellent!) but this has exposed a fundamental flaw in the site in that it is UK based and doesn't cover world markets adequately when it comes to the Buyer's Guides.

Although the webmaster is pleased to discover that SeriousSAAB is read the world over, the inescapable fact remains that things like the Buyers' Guides are based -on the whole- on UK cars that have been run and owned by the author or his brother. While this works well enough, it is apparent that different markets received cars with specifications that were different from those sold in Europe.

YOU can help make SeriousSAAB a better website by supplying information and photographs of your cars. This will help us achieve our goal of providing information on SAABs made since 1992. So far, we have published a wealth of information on the 9000 and the 9-5 but the next step is to finish the NG900 & 9-3 (9400) Buyer's Guide and after that, of course, we should be turning to the 9440 (9-3 sports saloon).

How you can help - what we need to complete the NG900 & 9-3 Buyer's Guide

Somehow, a large folder of images of the NG900 & 9-3 models is unavailable due to a hard drive failure. The images should have been backed up but upon examination, the archived backup is corrupt. We urgently need the following images:

  • SAAB NG 900 Talladega
  • SAAB 9-3 cabrio (showing roof operation)
  • SAAB 9-3 TiD (engine bay in particular)

Remember: we are not only looking for show cars in ex works condition but also cars in daily use with big mileages.

Images should be in .jpeg format and ideally over 750 pixels along the longest side. We will obscure number plate details (to stop number plate cloners and to protect owner's identities). Each contribution will be acknowledged in print and attributed in the following style: photograph by kind permission of A.J.Murphey, Atherton, Qld, Australia

If you have owned an NG900 or 9-3 or Viggen for a long time, we'd also like to hear from you about your ownership experience, good or bad. Of course, information/photographs of 9-5 and 9000 models will be happily incorporated within the site too!

What will we do with any spare images?
The author proposes starting a new web page entitled Reader's Gallery. Bandwidth and space really isn't an issue but in the interests of logic and tidyness, the time has come to amalgamate the 'About' and 'Site info' pages. During the next few weeks, we are also planning to take elements from the articles that we produced as the players in the SAAB takeover bids emerged, with a view to producing a single account of developments. This move will allow us to add a new navigation button without making the majority of our readers have to scoll down the page too far.


A number of readers have asked why we don't have a reader's gallery and I agree that this is a good move. Another reader asked whether we had any serious SAABs for future articles. ALL SAABs are serious but the highly tweaked, modified cars are something we would like to hear about!


The May/June news from a SAAB-Spyker perspective

Production of the new SAAB 9-5 continues apace, as the goal is to produce and stockpile as many new cars as possible in advance of the official product launch. Already, readers will be aware that demand exceeds supply and that individual markets have been allocated restricted versions of the car. At the time of writing, the first road tests are appearing in the press. For the most part, the new model has been well-received but what will the BBC Top Gear team make of it?

We are in receipt of a number of reports suggesting that there is still a shortage of engine parts (and short engines) while also learning that the former US dealer network is still interested in selling the latest products. The latter is good news and reassuring but the former remains a concern. The whole point of SeriousSAAB is to share information and that means no matter in the world you are, if you have a problem with a SAAB that we might be able to help with, Just ASK!

SAAB-Spyker are currently collaborating with official tuning partner Hirsch Performance AG to develop and market a new range of performance parts intended to be fitted by dealers.  Of course, SAAB and Hirsch have enjoyed a fruitful relationship for some years now and here in the UK, Hirsch uprated and modified cars –particularly 9-3s- are available at many dealerships.  A special version of the 9-5 sporting Troll badges was a serious albeit rarely seen piece of equipment with around 300bhp available yet still covered by the normal SAAB warranty. 

Victor Muller’s plans for SAAB-Spyker are far-reaching and onlookers have failed to appreciate the need for talks with Hirsch but one legacy of the break with GM is a restrictive marketing agreement that limits the power output from engines also fitted in other GM products.  Until these legal agreements, which are designed to protect GM's own products from competition expire, SAAB-Spyker may have to look backwards to the days when a tuning kit for the 2.0 SAAB 9-5 that increased output from 150 to 192bhp was offered to owners under the SAAB Accessories programme.

In a move widely predicted by many commentators in the world motoring press, it emerges that Spyker will increase the number of dealers selling its own cars by... selling its upmarket supercars from selected SAAB main dealerships.

Work on rebuilding dealer networks in overseas territories continues.  Under GM, sales dwindled and supplies of cars dried up entirely when SAAB went into bankruptcy protection last year.  Whereas we knew that the US market featured in SAAB-Spyker plans, it has been announced also that SAAB cars will be on sale again in Canada too.  In the UK, SAAB-Spyker snapped up the former SAAB GB for a token payment of just £1 and we hear that talks are in progress to promote and sell the brand in Australia again.

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