Monday Quick Reading – My 968 on flüssig, Saab eSID, Alpine A110 Video

It’s all becoming a tad boring, isn’t it?

The car business.

I snored my way through most of my automotive RSS feeds today. BMW 4 vs Audi A5. Who gives a rats? Seriously.

And what about press releases and media statements? The optics are very interesting when you have to work in the communications field but as a consumer, I get a more straight-forward view on the car business from Sniff Petrol than I do from car-biz websites and media statements (and incidentally, the new Carcoat Damphands on Sniff Petrol is outstanding! Minty.)

I guess I’m just way too tuned in to classic cars now to really care about the latest GM ugly-mobile fiasco or whether Alan Mullaly is going to be in a diaper before he retires. The news cycle that makes politics unpalatable (and who thought something other that politicians could take responsibility for that?) has wrapped its tentacles around the car biz, too. It’s placed some of the people on the same pedestal as the cars themselves.

I was part of it, too, so I shouldn’t complain too much. I was always looking for the next story. It’s addictive when you’re on the publishing side, that’s for sure.

You have my sincere apologies if this site is as boring as most of my car business RSS feeds (which I’m sure it is, much of the time).

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WARNING!!
Small piece of shameless self-promotion ahead!!

6426442I’ve written a little on my 968 purchase experience on this site before. I recently had my full-ish purchase experience written up at flüssig magazine.

You can read it here.

flüssig is a website dedicated to those rather under-loved Porsches, the front-engined water-cooled models like mine. It’s a great site. It’s box fresh having been started just earlier this year by a great guy named Pablo DeFerrari.

If you’re into water-cooled Porsches and great writing, check out flüssig magazine.

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There’ll be a 968 update soon, too.

Things are not as I expected them to be. In a good way.

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Autoblog has some Saab news that I thought I’d share simply because I hadn’t seen it specifically mentioned anywhere else. It’s nothing ground breaking, just that Saab/NEVS are going to build the 9-3 SportCombi in addition to the 9-3 Sport Sedan they’re already building in small numbers at the factory in Trollhattan. That’s encouraging.

There’s no word on the convertible.

I liked this bit:

At the moment NEVS is limiting Saab’s reintroduction to its two home countries: Sweden and China. “As we have a global perspective we want to add markets when we can see a profitable business case,” reports Ostlund.

That’s a little bit funny (see above reference to media statements).

Neither Sweden or China are profitable at this point and won’t be for some time yet, let alone other markets. I guess he means “countries where we minimise our loss”, which is kinda the same thing but makes more sense right now. Given that they’re quite deliberately only making a handful of cars per day, Saab doesn’t stand a chance of being profitable for a long, long time.

On the upside, a friend in Sweden – whose job it is to have opinions on such things – had very good things to say about the NEVS Saab 9-3 last week. He was impressed, which is very encouraging.

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And for those of you who own a 2007-2012 Saab 9-3, this eSID looks very compelling.

eSID is short for Extended Saab Information Display. Imagine your in-dash SID on steroids – that’s eSID. It can give you instant readings on power, torque and fuel economy. It can even measure your 80-120kp/h acceleration times. Cool!

esid-torqueYou can read the partial details on Saab vs Skepticism. You can read the full details in this brochure. You can watch it at work on this video.

This is one of the coolest in-car systems I’ve seen for a while, made even cooler by the fact that it was apparently developed by a former Saab engineer. It looks as though it integrates very nicely and the language on-screen is really well done.

Kudos to you, sir!

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And finally – a must-watch video on two Aussie guys who restored an Alpine A110. You won’t believe the trouble they went to to find this car – in New Caledonia!! And judging by the very entertaining drive footage, the trouble was well worth it.

This car is definitely on my Unobtanium Bucket List (a list I’ll actually have to write one day).

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12 Comments

  1. I would guess that a convertible is way down the priority list at NEVS, but the SportCombi hopefully isn’t. The Saab dealership in my town is one of the 27 that signed up with NEVS, and now have a few new 9-3s on display again. Must say that it feels good knowing that the big Saab signs outside mean more than just service and spare parts. I checked them out last week and it is what you expect for a car that have been around over a decade. Maybe I’m biased (yeah, probably…) but the design elements of the 9-3 Aero don’t look that old or outdated to me. I tried out the new seats and they felt absolutely OK. It’s a little weird not having the almost signature Saab headrest, but things have to change sooner or later. They are a safety thing, and not there only to look good. The new badge on the hood and the steering wheel is also something to get used to. Personally, I think it was good to move away from the old blue Scania color to signal something new. Yes, the old one is for me very much part of Saab, but the new one looks classy.

    On a side note, I think NEVS is handling it all very well at the moment. They do press releases and news letters when they have something useful to tell, and they are steadily going forward. They arranged payment solutions for buyers; they have signed agreement on spare parts for new Saabs; they have signed up dealerships all around Sweden; they are collaborating with a team in this years Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC); every week there are new open positions in the company as they build up the whole organization again… I have seen rumors about something in late May, but have no information. Maybe confirmation of the SportCombi – or the new electric 9-3? Anyway, I think it is exciting that the Saab brand is on the market again and that people in Trollhättan is doing what they seem to love: developing and building cars. And not just at NEVS, but also at all the other smaller companies that formed in the aftermath of Saab Automobile and that is supplying not only NEVS with state of the art technical solutions.

    1. Just checked the official car registrations for Sweden in April. The numbers for the NEVS 9-3 so far:

      Dec: 14
      Jan: 5
      Feb: 0
      Mar: 6
      Apr: 47

      1. Interesting. May, June and July will be even more so now that the novelty of delivery has passed.

        Thanks for looking them up.

  2. eSID is beautifully executed stuff. Now owning my 2nd TiD, I continue to feel second class Saab citizen. Of course, eSID only works with petrol engines. Similar to that a TiD clearly is a turbo engine, but never got the turbo pressure gauge that the petrol variants had. 🙁

  3. WTH! Tried reading Carcoat Dampheads. Didn’t understand a word. Alright, no native speaker here, but working mostly in English nonethless. Boy, English continues to surprise me.

    1. It’s OK. Carcoat Damphands isn’t supposed to make sense. I’d be worried about you if it did 🙂

      It’s supposed to mimic the use of lots of English rhyming slang (“you’re having a turkish” meaning turkish bath, which rhymes with “laugh”), and the typical caricature of a questionable used car salesman is one who uses lots of rhyming slang.

      It’s just funny as it is, without meaning anything in particular.

  4. “I snored my way through most of my automotive RSS feeds today. BMW 4 vs Audi A5. Who gives a rats? Seriously.”

    Some of us……………… 😉

    1. Yeah, I know. What you read there was little more than my own decrepit stagnation. My focus is shifting and maybe part of me doesn’t like that, but I guess it’s inevitable. That’s life.

      1. But seriously. Are those super successful, super teutonic car companies anything to get excited about? Is there a good story to be told here? Aside from BMW’s design which gets me so excited that I nearly collapse in agony? Saab’s struggle back to life as an EV company is a much more interesting story, imho.

    2. I wonder if the sales people at Audi and BMW can keep up with all the models… I actually visited the Swedish websites for Audi and BMW while having a late breakfast just now. Audi markets 14 different model lines and BMW 12. In those model lines, both companies have numerous different body styles. Just looking at the outside body style, we are probably talking of at least 30 different models from each company. Incredible. It’s like Samsung. You have a lot of money. You are doing well in the market place due to your name and what people think you are. But instead of trying to focus on doing a few thing really, really good, you just think up every possible variation, throw it to the wall and see what sticks. Works as long as the myth is still there. The day the downhill part begins, it gonna take some tough decisions to identify the core value of the company and communicate that to the customers. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”