Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2005 11:37:06 +0000 (UTC)
From: Craig's NG900 Site <ng900nospam.apana.org.au>
Subject: 4x4 Saab's - Do you think GM demanding a 'Saab SUV' will work?


Hi everyone, Normally I post about C900's, as you know. This is quite a departure from my regular subject-matter. 8-) I'm very concerned that GM are trying to re-engineer Saab into become 'just another American car company' by forcing Saab into producing types of vehicles which are completely out of the 'arena' in which Saab has built it's business and would have no problem continuing to develop should the company have not been violated and interfered with by a meddling US-based multi-national organisation such as GM. SUV's are not, and can never, be regarded truly as prestige vehicles no matter how much 'luxury' gets built into them without extremely radical re-thinking of the concept. They're resource-chewing machines that will consume precious fossil fuels and require masses of fossil-fuel-derived components at much higher rates that any convential type of vehicle. Not to mention how much more dangerous they are on the road in terms of risk to other people and road users. SUV's (which we lump all together as '4wd' or '4x4' vehicles in Australia, even though they aren't full-time 4-wheel drive vehicles) are ugly, heavy, dangerous vehicles and most of the time people who buy and drive them do not have the skills or training to handle them properly in all possible driving conditions. How many people in the US especially still think wearing of seatbelts is just something that 'city folk' do? 8-) Is GM willing to accept that they are going to move Saab's brand into classes of vehicles which account for an exponentially-growing rate of accidents and fatalities (both to people in the vehicles and people outside) and this will end up sullying Saab's reputation as a maker of safe, reliable, well-designed and constructed vehicles? My guess is that GM don't care, especially since they're going along the same path with Subaru, albeit in different ways. I think it's great to see concepts for new 'Saab' vehicles proposed - every manufacturer has to conceptualise and study new product ideas and Saab has always been party to that just like any other car maker, but Saab's established reputation stands to be ruined as GM ignores the unique identities of each brand it acquires and tries to re-hash the same ideas it uses for it's general domestic US vehicle products and mask over the qualities which seperate the acquired brands from GM's core vehicles. How long will it be before 'Saab' really is just a badge stuck on an otherwise stock GM-built vehicle made for the US domestic market and there is nothing in the design or 'content' of the vehicle which makes it different? Do we already have that now? GM's got great potential but at the end of the day the company only wants what every other multinational company wants - increasing profit returns for shareholders at the expense of quality service and products to it's customers. To GM, customers are not important unless they are corporate clients like the US military, etc. Private buyers are a thorn in the side of global businesses and GM's willingness to siphon it's market purely to benefit shareholders while giving non-corporate customers nothing short of sub-standard product designed to maximise market share at the expense of quality, safety and long-term conservation of our planet's natural resources does absolutely nothing to improve the company's credibility. That's my view and I know a lot of you will be alarmed by my comments - but I'm open-minded enough to know that and accept what you might have to say be it in support of my comments or speaking out in criticism of them. Regards, Craig. -- Craig's Saab NG900 Mailing List - Sydney, NSW Australia http://nospam/mailman/listinfo/saab_ng900 Saab NG900 Webring http://l.webring.com/hub?ring=saabng900webring

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