I took this screen shot from the Saab UK website yesterday afternoon. I’d forgotten that today is the day Saab dealers thought might never come.
Today marks a number of landmarks for Saab’s network. Not only have they received their first 9-5 demonstrators, just six months after Saab looked destined for the scrap heap, but it’s also the first all-new Saab model for seven years.
Best of all, perhaps, the 13-year-old first-generation 9-5 has been replaced. We should spare a thought for Saab salesmen up and down the land trying to shift the old car, which, for all its Saabish attributes, was two generations out of date.
I’ve been trying to think of comparable showroom anchors. The Rover 800 lasted from 1986 until early 1999, when the 75 arrived. That really was a time-expired mutt by the end.
The Ford/Seat/VW Galaxy/Sharan/Alhambra also lasted a very long time. Launched in 1995, it was even older than the Saab, but it didn’t seem to date too badly. And neither did the Ford Ka, another 13 year old that lasted well. And by common consent, it was a better drive than the new model.
Anyway, after all this time, the ball is now in the dealer’s court. Now they’ve got to shift the new metal.