Today in Detroit a motley crew of Saab enthusiasts gathered in the shadow of GM's corporate headquarters to tell the company one thing: Sell Our Saab. It was cold and snowy and dreary, but also kind of fun.
The Saab brand has been in peril for a while now, a lineup with a lack of focus, an awkward marriage to GM platforms and tough competition created a brand with little purpose and dwindling market share. There is light at the end of the tunnel however. The 9-7X was mercifully killed, the 9-3 Turbo X was a reminder of how quirky and fun Saab could be and both the 2010 Saab 9-5 and new Saab 9-4X crossover were on the horizon — things were looking up.
Unfortunately GM lost just a little money along the way and got in a spot of trouble and put Saab on the chopping block, choosing to amputate some limbs in order to save the patient. Problem is nobody wants to buy the brand on terms GM's willing to accept, and despite interested parties, Konigsegg in particular, it's looking dicey. Right now, the 63 year old brand is in serious danger of dying.
The thing about Saab as a quirky automaker is it attracts quirky buyers, quirky and passionate. That's why when it's in serious danger of death the die-hard enthusiasts have gathered today in Detroit, in January, in the freezing cold, in spitting snow —just to implore GM to save their beloved brand.
Organized by Ryan Emge of SaabHistory.com, the Save Saab event today attracted 29 cars and somewhere around 35 participants from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New York, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. The objective wasn't to protest the possible closing. No, rather it was to implore GM to get on with the business of selling Saab.
The whole thing was a bit of a media frenzy — mostly because everybody — us included — loves a good story about a grassroots attempt to influence an oft-maligned corporate behemoth. There is however something admirable here; for no other reason than a passion for their cars, a disparate group of people came together to ask GM to save their wacky little brand. We'll see if it makes a difference.