With the bankruptcy and impending doom facing Saab, we mourn with the certain, loyal fans that will miss the Swedish auto-maker. After a long road of financial and ownership uncertainty, today Saab declared bankruptcy, in what looks like the end of the road for the Swedish car-maker. It's likely that Saab will not find an owner for the entire manufacturer and sell its company off in selected parts, report The Wall Street Journal's Christina Zander and Anna Molin. With that we might likely see the end of Saab production as we once knew it. Most people won't notice or care that Saab is gone. But Saab owners are particularly enthusiastic. The Financial Times's Sam Knight called it "Snaabery." For the following people, moving on will be particularly difficult.
The Type of Car Owner Who Enjoys the Opera
Saab has a reputation for catering to an intellectuals. From a Los Angeles Times article about Saab owners by Meghan Daum.
They're college professors and journalists and people who work in public radio (many drive the same Saabs they had in college). Though book smart and knowledgeable about cheeses, the lives of Saab drivers are often a mess. They either drink too much (only wine) or are on the verge of divorce because their spouses have run off with partners who are either less depressed or less critical of the world, or both.
Daum bases this assumption on the types to drive the Swedish automobiles in movies and on TV. But Saab itself has marketed to this type. For example, Saab created this 9 minute opera, showcasing the car's maneuverability.
The One-Percenter Who Wants to Come off as Both Modest and Rich
Like any car owners, Saab drivers use the car as a status symbol. In the same price echelon as offerings from car company's like BWM, Mercedes, Audi and Volvo, the Saab falls under the luxury car umbrella. Saab has an under the radar status. Tom Barnicoat former CEO of Endecol and Saab enthusiast called it the anti-brand brand, writes Knight. It doesn't have the same flash as a Benz or Beamer -- hip-hop stars aren't rapping about it. It's the type of car that proclaims status to those in the know, without excess.
Someone Who Would Never Purchase a German or Japanese Vehicle
Unlike many of its competitors, Saab doesn't come from an axis country. Some might find this grudge outdated. These people have never spent time at my holiday meals.
That anti-brand brand we mentioned earlier also attracts the type of person that doesn't want to conform, but still cherishes quality. "Many people drive Saabs precisely because other people don’t," writes Knight. Going back, Saab has quirk factor with its eccentric touches, like the boxy exterior and floor set ignition. The Saab 9-5 even had windshield wipers for the headlights. But, what drew its fans ultimately killed the brand. "Originality abhors a crowd," writes Knight. But a crowd is what a dying business needs.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.