Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saab is Going Away

It's a sad day in sexy car history as GM is going to close down Saab production. Others find it sad. Saab had been a Swedish company, and GM bought Saab outright in 2000. This was part of their misguided pursuit of more brands and economies of engineering expertise. Rather than have a great basic-luxury dual brand model like Toyota & Honda, GM absorbed brand after brand to cannibalize their car sales. GM had 8 brands entering bankruptcy: Chevy, GMC, Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saab & Hummer. GM made beaucoup profits on their trucks, which is why it's a bit comical listening to politicians say that GM needs to make small cars that people 'want'. I'd have scrapped the car production and just focused on being a truck, heavy trailer and SUV producer. I'm just a peon, so what do I know. Saab was a weird acquisition, as it was such a niche market. Saab was not really a luxury brand, and was not known for fantastic engineering. If GM saw worth in Saab's engineering, they should have acquired it, eliminated the brand but incorporated the Saab skills and approach to their Cadillac brand. Not surprisingly, GM could not find a buyer in an environment where no one is buying much.

Saab had sexy looking swoop back hatchback cars. They looked like sexmobiles. You drive a Saab and maybe you drink good wine & can't be tied down to one partner. If I had been a 20-something in the '80s, I would have worn a baby blue polo shirt, draped a yellow sweater over my shoulders with the sleeves tied in front of me, and hopped in a Saab with a girl on the way to a romantic sex session on the beach at Kinney Shores. Saabs were unique and appealing. Back in the '80s, so many cars had that boxy look. Car edges were squared off and many looked cookie cutter. The back of the Saab was similar to the 1980s Porsche 911s in that they had a soft feminine curve to them. It was different, and different can sell. There is talk that 'different' has helped Toyota sell Scions and Priuses. As the years go by, and fewer Saabs are on the roads, I will smile when I pass one. Saab, you will be missed.

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