Antonov Throws Saabsunited (Owned By Saab Employee) Under The Bus

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
antonov throws saabsunited owned by saab employee under the bus

Saabsunited, once a gathering place for brand necrophiliacs and people with an-ignition-key-near-the-gearstick fetish, has morphed into a Vladmir Antonov fanzine. The banner on top of the site used to show the roof of the Saab plant in Trollhättan. Now it shows the roof of the Saab plant in Trollhättan with an “Approve Antonov” flag photoshopped-in.

There is a big blue square at the left of the homepage of Saabsunited that says “Support Vladimir Antonov” (according to Wikipedia, he is $ 300 million worth, how much more support does he need?) Clicking on the square leads you to a letter writing campaign that urges you in 9 languages to voice your displeasure with the Swedish government. You also are to DEMAND from the Swedish Prime Minister that he approves Antonov as a Saab shareholder. I’m sure a wave of Saab-spam will change the Prime Minister’s mind.

It is a mere coincidence that Saabsunited acronyms itself to ”SU,” an abbreviation previously reserved for the Soviet Union.

Recently, the tone on “SU” became shrill. Invectives were showered upon anybody who expressed the slightest doubt of Saab’s viability, or who dared to mention that Saab’s rescue hinged on a man who had been under suspicion of ties with organized crime, both by Sweden’s Säkerhetspolisen Säpo and its U.S. equivalent, the FBI.

And now, “Mr. Vladimir Antonov” (as he is reverentially referred to at SU) is calling the dogs back. In a letter to SU, Antonov writes:

“Vladimir Antonov, urge fans of Saab to act with awareness of pressure and sharp comments against the Swedish Government, as such activity does not contribute to the speedy and effective resolution of the situation.”

Oh, well, translation to English is tough sometimes, and this way, the Russian DNA is preserved. Antonov continues:

“We are thankful for the support, which is certainly needed, and are as many people around the world waiting for a positive resolution of all issues related to the details of the permission of ownership. However, we want to encourage you to behave correctly with respect to the Swedish Government in general and the people representing it.”

SU immediately behaved and asked its readers “to please refrain from harsh comments about the Swedish Government and individuals herein.”

Vladimir Antonov wrote another letter, to Sweden’s Industry Minister Maud Oloffson, in which Antonov requests an audience:

“It is imperative that I get the opportunity to discuss my motives, plans and the resources I have a meeting face-to-eye with you.”

In the same letter, Antonov throws his supporters under the bus. According to Sweden’s ttela, in the dispatch to the Minister, Antonov “expresses clearly that he wants to distance himself from everything that has been written about the Saab deal so far and his involvement in it.”

What does SU do? It dutifully writes about the letter from Antonov to the Minister, along with the part where Antonov distances himself from his sometimes rabid cheering section.

Lenin supposedly had an expression for people who see themselves as allies, but who are held in contempt by those who use them as long as they are useful.

Well, the cheerleading had been useful for at least one man. Writes The Local:

“In March, Saab announced that Australian blogger Steven Wade had been recruited to the company’s social media marketing team as reward for running the independent Saabs United blog from his Melbourne home.”

It is understandable that SU wants to keep Saab alive as long as possible.

PS: On March 15, Steven Wade said a long good-bye to Saabsunited, and Victor Muller wished “the new owner of Saabs United and his committed crew all the success in the world.” The problem is, there is no new owner. According to Whois, is still registered to:

Steven Wade

PO Box 102

Rosny Park, Tasmania 7018


According to this information, it is fair to say that Saabsunited is owned by an employee of Saab. What’s for sale is Wade’s canary-yellow 1999 Saab 9-3- MonteCarlo, Maptune chipped with only 148,000 km on the clock, yours for AUD 8,900.

PPS: Expect the registration to be changed forthwith. We took a picture, just in case. Expect to hear that Steven Wade just forgot to change the registration of the domain. It happens to the best of us. However, the domain registration of Saabsunited has been updated as recently as today: Sun, 22 May 2011 15:11:00 UTC. And after that update, Wade was still the owner.

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  • Slow_Joe_Crow Slow_Joe_Crow on May 24, 2011

    Slightly OT but I always thought SU stood for Skinner's Union Regardless, after the 9-7 (yet another GM T360 rebadge) SAAB had comprehensively jumped the shark and gone off my radar.

  • Ashy Larry Ashy Larry on May 26, 2011

    Time for Saab to die. I was a longtime brand faithful, having owned 900's and a Viggen, but watching its long, slow, sad death spiral pains me more and more every day. This is a storied brand that made rich contributions to the history of the automobile, but it is simply time to let go and allow saab to go gentle into that dark night while the memories of all the good it has done still outshine the sadness of the events leading to its passing. With a Russian investor on watchlists, the Chinese and some Euro government lifelines, combined with an acvquisition by a loss-making exotic car company (however well-meaning they are) this seems more and more like a rehash of a movie we saw before with Rover. Please, spare us all and end the misery.

  • Vap65689119 Nice car, I think I'd rather have an SC430
  • Theflyersfan They might not be convertible friendly, but if they work on getting the last of the winter crud off of the car during the first spring wash, it's worth its weight in gold. So many of the self-serve car washes seem to have some kind of mechanical problem with one of the nozzles, or out of some chemicals - want to do that at home.
  • Bill Wade It's worked perfectly for me. Google maps is quite good and music streaming is flawless.
  • TheEndlessEnigma How much is TTAC getting from the Amazon referral links? Once again, nice ads camouflaged as an article.
  • Prabirmehta Great review! Brought back memories of my 2005 Z4 - loved it! I recently drove the 2023 Z4 and it felt similar in many ways to my 2005 (despite the much nicer and updated interior). Now your review has me rethinking whether to buy another one? :)