Saab owners worldwide demonstrated their love for the brand — and fury at its demise — with more than 100 “We are Many, we are Saab” rallies in 42 countries (including Paris, France; Bucharest, Romania; and Montreal, Canada) over this past and upcoming weekend. The Wall Street Journal explains:
“Even though the company entered bankruptcy protection late last year and has largely ceased operations, its cars still have a following of clubs and enthusiastic individual owners. A lot of these folks are planning to meet at dealerships, mechanic shops, restaurants and other spots today, tomorrow and next weekend in what could be a final show of support for Saab before the lights go out for good.
Tim Colbeck, president and chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America, or SCNA, says that while the car maker’s U.S. operation is winding down, its fate is not completely clear. The parent company is still corresponding with potential buyers, and it is possible that the company could, at some point, resume building cars. The chances of that are slim, however.”
That slim sign of hope was echoed by former Saab CEO Victor Muller at one of the events this past weekend.[more]
According to a translation posted by SaabsUnited.com, one of the websites organizing the rallies, Muller told fans on Sunday at a rally held in Katwijk in the Netherlands:
“Although I am not anymore Saab’s CEO — you all know that we did not manage to keep the company alive, unfortunately — I would like to thank all of you personally. Without people like you, Saab would have no reason for existence. Without people like you, we would have never bought Saab back in 2010. At that time there were convoys all over the world. Today and yesterday, some 110 events in 42 countries were organised. Which car brand would ever be able to touch that? That is something unique.
Saab is everything but over. I do not want to create any expectations based on nothing. There are some very interested parties who would like to take over Saab as a going concern. They do not want to buy some parts of Saab, but the whole enterprise. This is very encouraging. I cannot predict whether this will succeed. This is something I cannot exert an influence on. I am just helping — to the best of my abilities — the administrators make a deal.”
Below, a glimpse at three of the Saab owner rallies this past weekend:
[Image at top via SaabsUnited.com]