Architects and Saabs

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SwindonPkwy

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The is a very popular theory, or urban myth, that Saabs *were* only bought by architects. This was featured on Top Gear last Sunday. Now, I don't know anybody who drives a Saab, but then I don't know any architects.
So, does anybody out there know a bona fide architect and do they drive a Saab? Alternatively, if you know somebody who has owned a Saab from new, what profession are they?
 
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Schnellzug

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I'm pretty sure I don't know any Architects; mind you, I don't think I know anyone with a Saab either, so maybe there is a correlation. :|

Incidentally, doesn't one think that the recent history of Saab rather shows that it is better perhaps to be owned by Ford than GM? Just a thought.
 

90019

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The only person I know who drives a SAAB is my neighbour, and he's a judge.
I do know an architect though, but he drives a Subaru Forester.
 

trentside

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A relative of mine is an architect and used to drive a Saab.

I don't think that proves anything though :lol:
 

EM2

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My great-uncle was an architect and drove a VW campervan.
I knew a SAAB driver, he was a pilot.
I nearly had the SAAB off him, and wish I'd become an architect, does that count?
 

Schnellzug

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My great-uncle was an architect and drove a VW campervan.
I knew a SAAB driver, he was a pilot.
I nearly had the SAAB off him, and wish I'd become an architect, does that count?
did he drive a SAAB while he was on or off duty?
Now this, as Crocodile Dundee would say, is a Saab.
 

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deltic1989

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My Dad and on occasions me, drive Saabs at work.......Well a Scania is still a Saab.

Our lass wants a Saab 93 convertable in ice metallic blue, and she is not likely to become an architect anytime soon.
 

SwindonPkwy

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deltic1989 said:
My Dad and on occasions me, drive Saabs at work.......Well a Scania is still a Saab.

Our lass wants a Saab 93 convertable in ice metallic blue, and she is not likely to become an architect anytime soon.
Ah, the convertible. I think that's where the theory starts to break down.
 

Davidj1178

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I drove a Saab 93 up until a few months ago!

It had 165k on the clock and the exhaust made a noise like a nuclear tractor, but it was a great car :)
 

jp4712

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I had a Saab 9-3 from new in 2003, absolutely lovely car, and I work in PR. I'm very sorry Saab have died, had they survived I was seriously thinking about the new 9-5. Instead I have ordered an Audi A6, it'll be very nice but the Saab had character.

Paul
 

sgibson808

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I found this topic while searching Architects and Saabs!

I'm an architect and can say there is a real connection between the profession and Saabs, although I can only guess at why. One of my former employers had an old 1990's Saab, a grubby old thing and never looked after properly, but he swore by it. Also, the only car I've ever seen advertised in the Architects Journal are SAABS. It could be to do with the fact that generally Architects are not 'car' people (I think I'm an exception) but often fetishise over Scandinavian design and I would say that the old SAAB 90's had enough quirky and 'clever' design elements to make them appeal to architects, as well as being a rather 'neutral' marque in terms of the statement they made.

It could also be due to the historic lack of money in the profession, whereas our counterparts in engineering, building and surveying drove brand new executive or sports cars, Saabs were more reasonably priced. Although these days the money is even more hard to find and my colleagues were genuinly concerned that I was being 'flash' when I splashed £2k on a car recently!
 

Schnellzug

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I found this topic while searching Architects and Saabs!

I'm an architect and can say there is a real connection between the profession and Saabs, although I can only guess at why. One of my former employers had an old 1990's Saab, a grubby old thing and never looked after properly, but he swore by it. Also, the only car I've ever seen advertised in the Architects Journal are SAABS. It could be to do with the fact that generally Architects are not 'car' people (I think I'm an exception) but often fetishise over Scandinavian design and I would say that the old SAAB 90's had enough quirky and 'clever' design elements to make them appeal to architects, as well as being a rather 'neutral' marque in terms of the statement they made.

It could also be due to the historic lack of money in the profession, whereas our counterparts in engineering, building and surveying drove brand new executive or sports cars, Saabs were more reasonably priced. Although these days the money is even more hard to find and my colleagues were genuinly concerned that I was being 'flash' when I splashed £2k on a car recently!
The pity is that, like most other things, and like their neighbours Volvo, they thought that the only way to survive in the modern global world was to be owned by a multinational megacorp; Volvo were lucky in finding a new owner who seem to have the resources to be able to prop it up since Ford offloaded it, but who at Saab, I suppose, would have thought that GM would be a bad decision?

(Scania*, incidentally, has been seperate from Saab for a while; it's now mainly owned by VW, after several adventures. Volvo's truck & bus side, too, has been seperate from Volvo Cars since the latter was bought by Ford. It now owns Reneault trucks, incidentally.
Interesting, isn't it?)

(*Pronounced "Skay-nia", apaprently, although i don't believe it myself :lol: )
 

Prometheus

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I think anyone who bought a SAAB since the GM/Opel/Vauxhall takeover needs their head testing, because all the SAABs introduced since then are little more than re-skinned Vauxhall/Opel models.

And that's where I think SAAB went wrong, trying to sell cheap and nasty mass -production Vauxhall-based SAABs at near-BMW prices.
 

O L Leigh

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You clearly missed the segment in the most recent Top Gear.

If Saab had simply reskinned mass-produced Vauxhalls and helped themselves to the contents of GM's voluminous parts bin, they would have done very nicely thank you and would still be in business today. The problem was that they simply refused to do that and continued to make cars their way and ignoring GM's pleas to keep things simple. This was why their cars were so expensive and why they still ended up losing money and going bust. GM are not stupid and wouldn't simply continue to bankroll Saab's lunacy. In the end they had no option but to pull the plug.

As for Volvo, well their relationship with Ford is slightly different. They are innovative but in a more realistic way than Saab. Consequently a lot of Volvo technology ends up on Fords and other marques in their group. This all helps to pay the bills and keeps them viable. Saab simply insisted that they knew best and built all their cars out of armour plate which reduced the ability to interchange technology with other GM group marques.

O L Leigh
 

Prometheus

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If Saab had simply reskinned mass-produced Vauxhalls and helped themselves to the contents of GM's voluminous parts bin, they would have done very nicely thank you and would still be in business today. The problem was that they simply refused to do that and continued to make cars their way and ignoring GM's pleas to keep things simple.

My information comes from my neighbour who was the service manager for a chain of SAAB dealerships. I suspect he knows a lot more about SAAB than any of the overgrown children who present Top Gear. When SAAB were in trouble, but still trading, he couldn't get SAAB spare parts for customer's cars but simply ordered them from the local Vauxhall dealer and the technicians fitted them.

He's out of work now, like a lot of good people who believed in SAAB.


As for Volvo, well their relationship with Ford is slightly different. They are innovative but in a more realistic way than Saab. Consequently a lot of Volvo technology ends up on Fords and other marques in their group. This all helps to pay the bills and keeps them viable.

I am surprised you didn't know that Volvo has been owned by Geely Automobile of China for 18 months now. Ford was the previous owner. There are still many Ford components on Volvo's current models but that will change as more components are supplied from China.

There certainly isn't any technology being transferred from Volvo to Ford now, if there ever was. The technology transfer looked as though it was 100% in the other direction, with all Volvo models using Ford platforms and mostly Ford-sourced components by 2010.

Whether Volvo will survive as a separate brand is unclear. More likely Geely wants Volvo as a springboard to enter the EU and EEA/EFTA markets.
 

O L Leigh

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My information comes from my neighbour who was the service manager for a chain of SAAB dealerships. I suspect he knows a lot more about SAAB than any of the overgrown children who present Top Gear. When SAAB were in trouble, but still trading, he couldn't get SAAB spare parts for customer's cars but simply ordered them from the local Vauxhall dealer and the technicians fitted them.
Yes, there is generally about 30% parts sharing between Saabs and the Vauxhall models on which they are based. However, GM wanted far greater commonality between models in order to bring Saabs costs down, but they wouldn't do it. If you want to prove the extent to which sharing occurred, take a Saab down to a Vauxhall dealer (even an independent one) and see if they will service it for you.

Yes there are shared parts between Saab 9-3s and Vauxhall Vectras, but they are a very long way from simply being re-skinned and re-badged Vauxhalls, as you claim.

I am surprised you didn't know that Volvo has been owned by Geely Automobile of China for 18 months now. Ford was the previous owner. There are still many Ford components on Volvo's current models but that will change as more components are supplied from China.

There certainly isn't any technology being transferred from Volvo to Ford now, if there ever was. The technology transfer looked as though it was 100% in the other direction, with all Volvo models using Ford platforms and mostly Ford-sourced components by 2010.
Yes I am aware of Volvo's recent change of ownership. I am also aware, as a former owner of a V50, that there are a lot of shared components and the use of Ford engines and running gear in at least some of their models. But there is also a lot of Volvo components in other Ford-owned marques, such as Volvo satnavs and keyfobs turning up in Aston Martins.

But what I'm really talking about is technology, not components. For example, the Low Speed Safety System on the new Focus is actually Volvo's City Safety first seen on the XC60 back at the end of 2006. As I said above, Saab never did this which is partly why GM lost patience with them. They were constantly going away and redesigning the wheel at great additional expense and building their cars out of armour plate. OK so a Saab could survive a collision with a moose, but when you're driving round the backroads of anywhere except Scandinavia (and lets face it, they will have sold cars in far more markets overseas than at home) when are you ever likely to find yourself in such a situation?

Saab made some interesting cars and, with Volvo and others, moved car safety forward. But they were bonkers and made some real howlers in their time, and they never really grasped one of the most important things. That making cars is a BUSINESS and to survive you have to sell them and make a profit, all of which means making cars that lots of people actually want to buy.

O L Leigh
 
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richw

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My Dad and on occasions me, drive Saabs at work.......Well a Scania is still a Saab.

Our lass wants a Saab 93 convertable in ice metallic blue, and she is not likely to become an architect anytime soon.
Vw bought scania trucks around the same time gm bought saab, so unless your dad drives really old scanias I'm afraid he doesnt

Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
 

richw

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My information comes from my neighbour who was the service manager for a chain of SAAB dealerships. I suspect he knows a lot more about SAAB than any of the overgrown children who present Top Gear. When SAAB were in trouble, but still trading, he couldn't get SAAB spare parts for customer's cars but simply ordered them from the local Vauxhall dealer and the technicians fitted them.

He's out of work now, like a lot of good people who believed in SAAB.
The engines in saab and vauxhalls are the same, and that's the only common bits. In fact the 1.9 turbo diesel is the fiat multijet engine.
In pure coincidence my local saab dealership have now taken over the local vauxhall franchise which was in administration and had laid off all their staff. , so the saab staff are still in a job, the vauxhall guys are out of work.

Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
 

swj99

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I had a 9-3 once and I'm not an achitect. I know 2 other people who've had SAABs in the past, one of them was a builder, the other a mortgage consultant.
 

Lampshade

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I'm not an architect, nor do I have any intention of being an architect, but after Top Gear last week I want a 99 Turbo :shock:

In fact, I refer to Top Gear Series 3, Episode 3 - when Clarkson was reviewing the 9-5 he said it applied to Graphic Designers and Dentists as well.
 
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