What do you want from Inside Saab?

Inside Saab launched a few weeks ago and whilst we’ve still got a fair bit of work to do with the site’s layout and design (we’re aware of some of the issues with images, polls, etc and we’re working on them), we’re pretty happy with the type of content we’ve been able to provide so far.

The purpose of the site is primarily to provide the type of stories that only the company can tell, from the inside. We’ll be covering other stuff as well, of course, but the ‘inside angle’ is the one that only we can offer with the right amount of depth.

There are plans for several types of posts that we haven’t tackled here yet. We want to get some Q&A sessions going with key people at Saab, for example. We’s also like to get to know our current Saab owners better by learning what you drive and what brought you to the brand. And then there’s the Saab Museum…….

We have to acknowledge that there are certain things we can’t do here on Inside Saab. Minute-by-minute coverage of the recent Hawtai Motor Group deal, for example. Being a company that’s listed on a public stock exchange, there are certain limitations on what you can say when it comes to the business side of being in the car business.

There is a long way to go in the development of this website, and we’d like to know what you want from it. How can this site serve your needs better?

Comments are open.

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  1. Swade
    understand the limitations, in addition to the company leveraged info you are privy to and obviously getting out the messages/image the company wants… what about everything that you would have done on SU just sanitised if required (and in some cases not included at all due to the restrictions) to satisfy protocol re listed company. it’s a personality thing too, I think the community members got very used to your style on SU, and enjoy seeing that continue.

    1. Hi Tim,

      I’m trying to find the balance when it comes to personal content. I think there’s a certain interest and relevance to covering my own Swedish journey, but that interest may be limited for non-SU readers who end up here. It’s all a matter of balance, I guess.

      I can’t do the old fist-waving rants that I used to do, but hopefully there’ll be enough alternative stuff to counter that.

  2. the “doorman” video was a great look “inside saab” and showed how much attention to detail is put into saab design and testing. i’d love to see more on product testing, crash tests, quality standards, and design innovation.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the Doorman video. It was a lot of fun to make and it’s typical of some of the stuff I’d like to do more of. Simple stuff that opens the eyes a little as to just how much is involved in the process. It’s so much more than people realise.

      Crash tests are a definite!

      1. In addition to this, I’d like to see any process, thought, testing, designing that is behind the Saabs we have now. If Saabs form follows function, what’s the function behind the form? Why is that particular knob in that particular spot? Why is this handle shaped this way?

        You get the idea.

      2. Yes the Doorman video was excellent ! I love it too . For the rest I don’t know what to say . Maybe more portraits of people working in different departments at Saab (offices , factory etc…)

        1. Also very interessting for me were…. when you made Storys and films like an reportage….. a working day in life from Victor Muller ..or a jason castriota……..or other important persons@ saab. give us sneakpeaks from the engineering of the new 9-3 or other projects……….

  3. It’s great that you guys are doing this blog and I hope great things come from your new partership with Hawtai motors. Your new eXWD drive system sounds great and is a radical change from previous hybrid designs. However, will you guys continue to sell traditional XWD cars along with the hybrid versions? Thanks!
    Edwin Ward

  4. It’s great that you guys are doing this blog and I hope great things come from your new partership with Hawtai motors. Your new eXWD drive system sounds great and is a radical change from previous hybrid designs. However, will you guys continue to sell traditional XWD cars along with the hybrid versions? Thanks!
    Edwin Ward

  5. One thing I would like to see are current moose test photos, hoping they still do them. The last I’ve seen are the Saab 900 I think. Otherwise, as TimOBrien2 mentioned, you have limitations so it may be tough to satisfy an SU-type crowd. I would like if there could be a back-and-forth dialog with Saab designers/engineers on potential new features, but I guess that wouldn’t work because the competition could tap Inside Saab as a resource. I do love inside photos though where we get a glimpse of the inner workings of Saab.

  6. I would love to see the integration of Saab Expressions to Inside Saab. A place where we can get inside information, interviews, and the latest official products. A while ago, Saab Expressions closed for consumer sales, allow other websites to have quite the mark up on their Saab products. If this is not possible, could we have an update on Saab Expressions.

  7. Inside Saab should tell the story about Saab, what does it take to develop a car, why Saab, and any other brand, can’t put a new car on the street just by snapping the fingers.

    And just in case you ran out of material, which I doubt, Inside Saab is a good way to get an opinion from the customer, like the colours poll.

    What about a poll on window switch placement? 😉

  8. I would like to know how Saab can put its own mark on the technologies and components which are bought from other companies. For example, what can Saab do with the 1.6L turbo engine from BMW to make it a Saab engine?

  9. I also would like to see more of the design process, who are the people behind the proces and why are things the way they are. Chassis development of the new 9-5 for instance… exactly how many Germans and Swedes did it take to develop this masterpiece?

  10. I’d like to see Saab ‘owning’ every car they ever made. For example historical specs and technical info on all Saabs; Ability to look up your VIN and find details about your car; and other similar things. Saab produce ‘used car’ booklets which I’ve found useful, containing specs of cars up to (say) five years old. When I’m buying a used car I like to pore over the minutiae of things like fuel consumption, tank size, boot size, bhp, torque… I’m “just” suggesting that this information could be on-line for ever, so someone contemplating buying a 15-year-old Saab can gain access to all the info that was available when the car was new.

    Also, is there much tie-up with newsroom.saab.com?

    I agree with most of the other suggestions here. Better to start slow and build up, as you are doing, than start with a blast and then peter out after a few months ( like most company’s news letters 😉 )

    1. I think some of this may have been on an old GM site. But I would like to expand the above suggestion to a place on the site with reference materials about all Saab models. At a minimum, it would have Owner’s manuals, but also perhaps things like tech bulletins, troubleshooting tips, etc.

  11. This is a great opportunity for Saab to connect directly with the customers, what they want in the future Saabs and so. For example If they give me a Saab under development or a new 9-5 for some time with all the gadgets connected to Saab to show in live how it performs in everyday use, and what’s my opinion of the car this is an very valuable information for them and I will be very happy to help them in the development. Or why not more interviews with Saab Staff about what they do in the development in the cars, its philosophy the new features that makes Saab a Saab and recover the brand image, like those Form and Function catalogs. This is the way if they want to show the real Saab Indepence, because now Saab left GM, but still pending to show its real independence, we see this in the last month. Now its time for that!!

  12. Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    I definitely want to do a lot of the development stuff, within the boundaries that I’m allowed to. There are limits to how much forward stuff we can cover, of course, but where it can be done, I definitely want to.

  13. When I worked on Saab’s advertising
    account at Ally & Gargano in New York City – I wrote Saab’s “The Most
    Intelligent Car Ever Built” tagline – I took a whirlwind trip across
    Sweden with Bob Sinclair and Carl Ally. We stopped at all of Saab’s
    manufacturing facilities and were briefed by top managers at each facility.
    What I missed and would have enjoyed was time to have a few long, leisurely
    conversations with the people who actually make Saabs, like the
    “doorman” you recently featured. You’ve become “our man in
    Trollhatten, Sweden and Scandinavia.” With your inquisitive mind and “outsider”
    Aussie eyes, you’ll see things in your travels that others may miss. That’s
    what I’d like to read. Any and all musings that come to mind are valid, even
    if, like your “hotel pizza” experience, they seem off the point. Over time, you’ll
    paint a picture of Saab that’ll be accurate as well as irresistible.

  14. I, too, liked the door man piece, and would enjoy other glimpses into Saab that are otherwise obscured not only from sight, but even from my imagination. I would also like to see interviews with other less illustrious Saab employees, like the door guy, to see not only what they do but learn how Saab has factored into their lives. Though I’m not sure it quite fits here, and even if it resides elsewhere, I like the suggestion of having a resource library which is credible and well stocked.

  15. Not sure if this is really an Inside Saab kind of thing, but if I were ever to buy a Saab – the next gen 9-3, hmm 🙂 – I think I would like a forum where owners of the exact same kind of car could interact and discuss features, upgrade options, spare parts, common problems etc. In other words, some kind of official forum for every specific combination of model, year, engine choice and so on. If people from within Saab could actually browse these forums occasionally and reply to questions, that would of course be even better.

  16. I would be interested in seeing articles that explain some of the background on Saab innovations and design points that emphasize the “why” behind some of Saab’s features that are considered different or “quirky”. One thing I have always appreciated about Saab cars since I first became interested in them over 10 years ago was the industrial engineering detail that goes into them. As an engineer myself, I have enjoyed learning about the night panel, why the ignition was between the seats, the design of the head restraints, etc. Some of the history behind those innovations I know and some is rumored. It would be interesting to hear from people at Saab about some of the work that went into those innovations and how that same approach is being used on the new innovations coming with the next generation of Saab cars. I think that would be a good way to help others understand what Saab brings to the table and help Saab once again carve out its niche as an innovative company that produces safe and fun to drive cars!

    1. Oh, and I forgot…..a sneak peek of the new 9-3 would be wonderful. Can’t get much more “inside” than that! 😉

  17. Hi Swade,

    Have been a regular visitor to this site, and have enjoyed your posts very much. Perhaps it would be helpful for me to give you an example of my three favorite posts (in no particular order): (i) post polling favorite colors for the 9-3(x) and the follow-up post, (ii) the post about your shopping for a used Saab in Sweden and (iii) the post about the testing of the rear hatch for the 9-5 SC.

    Thanks so much for all your efforts!

    Ed K.

  18. More footage from within the the Trollhättan plant. Some insights into the different processes there, and the people included in them

  19. Hi Swade, I’m enjoying Inside Saab very much! Perhaps this site will
    become the modern-day version of “Saab Soundings” (remember?). My
    favorite articles from that publication covered Saab technical (and
    design) developments with a level of detail that could only come from someone within the company. Owner feedback was always interesting, as well as the coverage of Saab enthusiast events (including motorsport). You’ve been doing this with SU for years from the “outside”, so hopefully you’ll have access to even more good stuff from your new vantage point.


  20. I would like to see a forum on inside Saab, so questions and observations can be shared amongst Saab enthusiasts around the world. Yes, other Saab websites with forums do exists but not with the readership volume of SaabUnited or potentially Inside Saab.

    1. A forum’s unlikely, I’d say.

      Firstly, the moderation requirements are more than we’ve got resources to maintain (can’t use volunteers on an official site). Second, we’ve already had someone use Inside Saab and other sites to act in a vexatious manner with regard to a warranty claim, including what I would call the liberal use of falsehoods, simply because it’s public and embarrasses the company (there are proper procedures for that sort of thing that deal in facts, and Saab accommodated this customer more than what I personally think they were obliged to).

      We’re doing this because we want to open up to the Saab community and foster better and deeper relationships. But we do have to keep a tight check on the way it’s used, which is more time consuming and difficult with a forum.

  21. How about a section from the museum, with maybe Peter Bäckström giving some insight about the cars or other stuff. Video would be cool, but even text is fine as long as you write it. 😉

  22. I can’t seem to find any good info of what will happen to my 2010 9-3 warranty if Saab unfortunately goes under.  If the case is that there is insurance to cover this, it would be comforting to those considering a Saab to know it.  I realize that this is a really bad situation that no one wants to think about or even consider, but it is a real concern.  There’s no point to silence if there is good info.