Posts Tagged ‘saab’

Saab’s Demise – GM has blood on its hands

December 24th, 2011 No comments

Sometimes an event occurs that just really bothers you. I mean they happen all the time from the mundane, like the whole Noël debacle, to the truly awful like the massive vote rigging in the Russian elections. But sometimes one event that isn’t earth shaking just really infuriates me and at the moment the demise of Saab has really managed to grind at me like a harsh grit abrasive. As you saw from my previous post I liked Saab, but I truly liked the pre GM Saab, when they truly were Saabs. But now that hatred and anger is squarely aimed at GM. Which clearly is an acronym for gross mismanagement or grotesque morons. This pack of moronic twits took a small niche manufacturer and tried to turn them into a Swedish clone of BMW. They progressively moved Saab mainstream and made them dependent a crap GM designs to achieve this. Their final act was to not guarantee access to GM parts, upon which the cars are now dependent.

When Saab aircraft offloaded the car division to unthinking owners like GM they effectively signed the death warrant of Saab. Immediately GM forced them to adopt GM technology instead of funding Saab to develop their own things. The post GM 900 was built on the Vectra platform and this alone is enough to raise the ire of Saab aficionados. This is the reason why the pre GM 900 is desired while the post GM one isn’t.

They also chose to turn their back on Saabs iconic hatchback designs because in GM’s eyes these weren’t what luxury cars had. BMW and Mercedes back in the 1990’s didn’t make hatchbacks so Saab should have sedans and wagons. What bloody idiots. The most desirable Saab 900s, the Aeros were always 3 door hatches, the nicest 9000 was the hatch. But in GM’s eyes the hatch had to go, forget other individual companies like Citroën that could make luxury hatches like the CX or the XM. So for the 93 and the 95 hatches had to go. Mainstream thinking.

Then there was the curse of badge engineering, this was a term coined by BMC in the 1950s where you designed one car and badged it as an Austin, a Morris, an MG etc. Well GM inflicted this ignominy on Saab too; in the US one could but the Saab 92X which was a rebadged Subaru Imprezza and then there was the truly gauche Saab 97X which was some hideous GM SUV. What the hell was Saab about these designs I ask you? Nothing is the response.

And then the final act of GM bastardry is that after making Saab wholly dependent on them for drive trains, they wouldn’t allow any new company that bought Saab to use any of these components, even in a transitional phase. This effectively gave any new owners incomplete models which had missing key components like engines.

So let me say this publicly and unambiguously: GM, I hate you, once I thought your vehicles were average to crap, but now I know it is worse than that, you as a company are rotten moronic arseholes who managed to ruin a small Swedish outfit that dared to be different. And for that I will never forgive you. Thankfully I no longer own any GM products and I never will again. And I will make it my life mission to point out what absolute dross your products are and ensure everyone knows that you dish up sh*t in just about every market you walk into. You GM are an example of everything bad about automobile companies. And a showcase car like the Chevrolet Volt doesn’t exonerate you from all the other garbage you’ve done.

Categories: Cars Tags: ,

Sad about Saab

December 21st, 2011 No comments

Years ago a Saab was a car I indeed lusted over. The family had owned Volvos (a 142S and a 244GL), but since I had an innate love for all things front-wheel drive , caused by my infatutaion with the Austin 1800, another Swedish car: Saab was my preferred choice. Thje Saab 900 was simply a dream for a boy that loved cars, front wheel drive and also planes. Here was  car made by  a plane company. With its cool wrap-around windscreen and aero inspired ergonomics it seemed like the ultimate car. It echoed the Saab 99 in styling and everything I read in the car magazines said cool things. Dammit they even had the keys at the gear stick, quirky coolness I tell you. The 9000 wasn’t as aero inspired, but it still was desireable.

Sadly though GM became the owner and well… just like most things GM, well Saab went from great to mundane. Oh there were flashes of great but the quirky invidual car company was gone for a more mainstream effort. The BBC mentions a word called snaabery, i.e. Saab snobbery, people who thing the orginal Saab models were great while the post GM Sabbs were a little ho-hum. Well I ham happy to be a “snaab” in that case, cause the 900 and its preceeding models were cars of desire and delight. What GM produced was a slow death march to the sad bankruptcy point we are at now.

For a nice montage of Saab check out this BBC slideshow.

Categories: Cars Tags: