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Thousands of drivers in Saab support road rally

AFP/The Local · 18 Jan 2010, 08:05

Published: 18 Jan 2010 08:05 GMT+01:00

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"It's hard to know exactly how many cars there were, but an estimate we've made puts the number at 2,500," Claes Robertsson, the head of Saab Turbo Club of Sweden, a group of Saab admirers, told AFP.

Robertsson said both Saab employees and brand enthusiasts had attended the rally, in which drivers from Germany, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Britain also took part.

Swedish news agency TT said the demonstration started at the Saab museum in its southwestern Swedish hometown of Trollhättan and ended at the Saab factory.

According to local police, the four kilometer stretch was entirely filled by Saab cars, TT reported.

General Motors announced on December 18 that it would wind down the brand which has barely turned a profit during two decades under GM ownership, but several groups have since made last-ditch bids for it.

They include Dutch sportscar maker Spyker, a group comprised of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Luxembourg investment firm Genii Capital, and a Swedish group fronted by the former chief executive of German truck manufacturer MAN and a former politician.

Amid media reports that Spyker's was the only bid still being considered, Genii-Ecclestone negotiator Lars Carlström told AFP Sunday his group was still in the running to acquire Saab from GM.

Story continues below…

Saab, which employs 3,400 people in Sweden, is one of four major brands being sold by GM as part of a massive restructuring that began in 2005 and accelerated last year when the largest US automaker went bankrupt.

Analysts have warned that some 8,000 jobs could be lost with Saab's closure.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 January 18, 2010 by rahpor
And what to think about thousands of Saabs in the rest of the world showing their support on the same day? In the country where the initiativ was born (The Netherlands), about 800 cars arrived in Muiden (near Amsterdam). If this doesn't show GM, Spyker, Genii, the Swedish Government and the rest of the world that Saab is really 'wanted', what else can?
09:54 January 18, 2010 by derek hughes-beddows
Bernie, if you're reading this, get the job done ¬
10:05 January 18, 2010 by michalino
Swedish Government schould act. No wait for something. SAAB Up!
15:33 January 18, 2010 by muda
The bid worth USD450m which every Swede should come up with USD45 to save SAAB if the Government is not saving SAAB.
18:19 January 18, 2010 by repat_xpat
rahpor, "what else can?"

SAAB sales and/or a reasonable bid for the company could. Apparently neither of these have been manifested.
18:47 January 18, 2010 by pietari_spb
Save Saab Rally - St Petersbug


Save Saab Rally - Moscow

18:58 January 18, 2010 by rahpor

thank you for your answer, although I'm not used getting answers to rhetorical questions
19:47 January 18, 2010 by DaisyCutter

Seriously mate, you can lay off with the negativity any time you like. We are all quite bored with your uninformative, non-constructive drivel.

Drive off into the distance in your Ford (design-free) Star and find something else to do with your life.
20:01 January 18, 2010 by sandrofromitaly
at my opinion GM is not willing the sale of SAAB to anyone as in this way they could represent a strong enemy in the future of the car market. GM is going to long times only to be in the condition to announce that "... no real propose has been found and accepted for SAAB sale ...". Anyway it is very strange that the Sweden government has made any effort in order to safe at least 3000 jobs + the indirect 5000. It is a shame for GM to let die such a brand, absolutely the most bewitching among Opel and so on. I will boycott the GM in Europe, no more an Ople car in my family !

P.S. We are happily owners of a Lancia Ypsilon and a SAAB 95 SW TiD.
22:41 January 18, 2010 by randyt
If you start a $45 per peson buy in let me know - I'll buy my wife and I a share each! And I've never owned one but to keep a car company of Sweden's our ours from going to China...count me in!
22:49 January 18, 2010 by Kevgio
too little, too late. all these mass rallies will prove nothing and will not make more people buy these cars. at the end of the day its a business and the SAAB name has failed under GM. business is business and some will propser and some will fail, and SAAB has failed. accept it people.
18:10 January 19, 2010 by Nemesis
It is good to see them giving support to the SAAB workers.
20:59 January 19, 2010 by harrylatour
The only reason that Saab failed under GM is because a company of that size has no idea about tradition and innovation,,,,,so they end up turning out the ''Euro Box'' which the French do better and let go of the real quality that was Saab (we have 2 in our work car park that are 20+ years old) that made people choose Saab before!!
17:18 January 20, 2010 by repat_xpat

Perhaps the leadership at SAAB had something to do with it too. Maybe the fact that the Trollhattan plant was GM's least efficient plant globally had an impact? Maybe when SAAB sent GM's efficiency experts home with a SAAB boot print on their rear end, they were really giving themselves the boot? Perhaps SAAB is a niche brand that can not compete on its own. Maybe they are just too expensive for what you get? -- Too many superior cars in that price range to compete with. GM's management could have had an impact, but SAAB leadership does hold a great deal of the blame as well.
09:07 January 25, 2010 by franny66
A piece of junk a relic of the World War II, shut it down..
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