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Saab bleeds even more and decides to skip the Frankfurt Motor Show

By Rigval on 19 Aug 2011

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Saab is so broke that its owners recently had to sell some of its shares in order to pay the salaries of its white collar (executive level) earlier this month. This is the latest in the chapter of the Saab Book of Pain and Suffering. This came right after the new where Saab's component suppliers stopped supplying the necessary components in order for them to produce cars. Their production line is still silent at the moment with no confirmation as to when it will restart (if ever), again.

Now, having seen the light, or darkness arising from an acute lack of money the management of Saab has decided that the company would skip the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. A very wise choice considering that it basically takes a ton of money to set up a display booth at any exhibition event. From personal experience, it will cost at least a good US$50,000 for a decent sized booth at an international event at some exhibition hall. And if you're a major player or one that needs to make some impact, it will cost more.

And Saab needs to make some positive impact if it wants to survive this next few months. Not attendintg Frankfurt is actually a small part of the big picture. The big picture is actually pretty bleak for Saab at the moment and I cannot seem to see a happy ending any time soon.

Saab is on life support and is slowly deteriorating. The steroid shot it requires would need to be of epic proportions and again the question comes up whether Saab should be worth saving or not. The only interesting car they currently produce is the new Saab 9-5. It may look unique but these days only looking unique doesn't sell. There has to be some magic involved. Saab should go back to its quirky ways and start building cars in a way no one could think of.

Those days Saab thought differently from others. Door handles were overbuilt so that you can tie ropes on them and they'd be strong enough to be used to pull the whole car out of a ditch if you skid off the road while driving on snow. They also had the ignition key on the center console so that you start the car and then reach for the handbrake instantly. Now, Saabs are normal cars. Most people who wanted normal cars (at a slightly higher price) would end up buying some German car instead. At the very least they'd buy some French car which also has somewhatquirky styling. Citroen especially. So what has Saab got to offer then?

Nothing actually.

That is unless they start building a retro looking Saab 93/96 from the 1950s/ 1970s for the 2010s. Saab needs to take one old quirky car, redo it for the present, market it as a slightly upmarket little hatchback, milk the retro aspect like crazy and pray to the Norse Gods that the car buying public buys it. This is actually part of Saab's gameplan and I actually want to see a modernized Saab 93 as when I was younger I managed to catch a few of these in the metal. I hope Saab can survive so that they can do just that in the first place.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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