You ever known anyone with a Saab. I'm special enough to have known a few Saab owners. They were never the sort of people that spent a lot of time choosing a car. Micheline Maynard at the NYTimes, makes an argument that Saabs were special and different and quirky. But I bet you anything the ones she's thinking of are from the 80s. The turbocharged, rugged euro hatchbacks that made a Saab special. And the cool picture here of the Saab prototype 92001, also jacked from NYT, is of from 1942 and sitting in a museum in Stockholm. Stockholm loves theirs Saabs like London loves its taxis and Jaguars or Germans think of their E-Class. It's what Sweden uses for Taxis and cop cars, along with, shocker, Volvos.
But hey, even though the key was in a fun place, Saabs always lacked a lifestyle to buy into, an aspirational element, an image. If I'm a young urban professional, I'll have a silver BMW. If I want a powerful, wild-man car, I'll pay the roughly 30K for a Mustang GT Convertible.Outdoorsy fun? Nissan Xterra. I'm boring and responsible: Lexus. For all the cars that could be had in Saab's price-range, all of them told the world just where you were at. 'I've got about 30 grand to spend on a car. My student life days are long behind me.'
The Saab never worked hard to establish who was supposed to buy one. OK, so we know Architects liked them and so did Seinfeld. Who else? People who liked grandma glasses around their $30 / £20K station wagon's headlights? At best, the newer Saabs look like 5-Series knockoffs. Just like Chevrolet, they lost their way and started looking like they were designed by committee - beige. So, sadly, we now loose another, if even slightly, unique car brand. But, just like Plymouth, Oldsmobile and Rover. We lost Saab long before its official death.