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It is a mixed feelings day. SAAB never managed to get the freedom they needed to produce a really cutting edge eco-car. They had one, but GM stopped them from showing their plug-in hybrid ethanol concept car, because the Volt should have the (only) limelight. This would be a bit like Apple not showing off new iPods, or even developing them, because the iPhone needs all the glory.

SAAB made big cars. Sweden has the most fuel consuming, CO2 spewing, car fleet in Europe. Swedish car culture, where bigger is better, has been driving the "Swedish" brands SAAB and Volvo, towards ever larger cars. But also other car brands like Merc, BWM and the oh-so-trendy Audi, sell a lot of really big gas guzzlers in Sweden. But to me it seems like big cars are out. Ethanol cars are out. SAAB had a big ethanol push with some of the early and good SAAB 9-5 biofuel cars. But ethanol is having a hard time as an environmentally more friendly fuel. SAAB had nothing in the shape of a smaller car. The most exciting thing SAAB managed to come up with recently was another SUV. Please..... I suppose it was all down to under investment by GM.

I like SAAB. I have only owned two cars in my life. Interestingly they were both GM cars. A black Chevrolet Corvette '88 and a red SAAB 9-5 '00. I really don't like America cars. But the Vette is something special and, well, the SAAB was of course never American. And maybe that was the problem at GM. They never "got" the SAAB.

The SAAB 9-5 '00 is maybe the best SAAB ever (it doesn't have those butt ugly chrome 'glasses" around the headlights like the later models). Not as quirky and interesting as a SAAB 92, but an incredibly comfortable, roomy, safe, well behaved in winter weather, workhorse of a car. Real pleasant to drive too.

I used to tell Mark and Joe that the SAAB was the last combustion engine I will ever buy. And it looks like it certainly will be the last SAAB I will ever buy as well. So I am sad for the loss of a Swedish icon. I am not sad to see a company that makes gas guzzlers go under. As I said, a mixed feelings day.

Good bye SAAB. I'll miss you.


Everything you've said about SAAB (turbo, green, aesthetics) makes it seem fully capable of having a renaissance, but as you say, it's all academic at this point. It seems like there weren't enough passionate businessmen willing to stick their neck out and make something happen, because there were plenty of great things happening on the design side. Let's not forget about the original SAAB 9-x concept, a personal favorite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zP0T5A93K0


I agree with you about Saab's perceived 'green' image, but it's amazing that in 1964 you could buy a Chevrolet Corvair Monza Turbo, whilst Saab still sold 2-strokes! Amazing how the worm turns. I've always wanted a lime green V4 Sonett personally, now I want one even more.

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