Thursday, January 15, 2004

Welcome to our SAAB blog. If there was ever an automobile that inspired enough passion and intense loyalty that it merited a blog, it is SAAB. Unlike so many automobile manufacturers, SAAB has retained its identity, its core values that make it distinct, throughout its history. Changes of ownership and of vehicle platforms have led many to view the SAAB identity as being doomed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What is a SAAB? It is not the availability of a hatchback. It is not the location of the ignition switch. It is not even a turbocharger. No, what makes a SAAB—any SAAB—a SAAB is the core values that define the philosophy of its execution as an automobile. Twenty years ago, those essential SAAB pillars were revealed to me by Ralph Skinder, whose relationship with the SAAB brand goes back to the earliest days of SAAB in the United States. Simply put, he told me that there were five key elements in every SAAB: safety (both active and passive), performance, comfort, utility and efficiency. There are a couple of other attributes that come to mind: important ones, like durability and uniqueness. But those five create the backdrop to every SAAB to have ever graced our roads. It is that unique blend of seemingly contradictory elements that defines the essence of SAAB.

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