Saab Officially Gives A Thumbs Up To GM Facebook Squatters

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
saab officially gives a thumbs up to gm facebook squatters

For more than two weeks, Saabhuggers have taken over GM’s Facebook page, plastering “Let Saab go!” all over the site. Yesterday, the occupation has been officially endorsed by Saab.

GM sources which requested anonymity, citing possible legal implications, mentioned to TTAC that the attacks have “all signs of a coordinated campaign.” That is putting it mildly.

Responsibility as initiators of the campaign was assumed on November 11 by an Italian splinter group named Saabway Club.

On November 16, Saabsunited, the fanzine for the zombie brand, reported that “the on-line Saab community have started one action to let GM know that we are still alive and here.” Then, the fanzine could not help it and sent out a call to action to the Saab faithful: “Time to act?”

Yesterday, former Saabsunited-owner-turned-Saab-PR-flack Steven Wade decided to say to hell with the timid question marks, he broke cover and published on the official inside.saab website what can only be read as endorsement and encouragement of the virtual occupation:

“I want to acknowledge this fan-based movement, started and sustained by Saab enthusiasts on Facebook, using the social media tools freely available to them and everyone who uses the site. We have observed the movement and I want you to know that as always, your faith in our products and your desire to see Saab successful is a great morale boost for all who work with Saab.”

In a rather clumsy CYA attempt, Wade (and Saab) urge Saab fans to conduct the occupation “with respect and dignity.”

What represents respect and dignity is not defined. However, Wade and Saab say that “99.9% of people” have shown such respect and dignity during the occupation, and “there will always be one or two, however, who get a little too enthusiastic in getting their point across.” The reader remains without information of where the limit is and who the one or two that overstepped the boundaries may have been. 99.9 percent of the occupiers of GM’s site received a wholesale thumbs up from Saab.

We can safely assume that the call for respect and dignity is a throwaway statement, and that Saab’s on-line spokesperson and all-around hero of the true believers encourages the Saabinistas to continue the siege of GM’s Facebook site.

What we see here is perfect proof that Saab has fallen in the hands of rank amateurs, from Victor Muller down to its chubby wannabe flack from down-under. The true art of flackery often is practiced in what you don’t say.

In this case, if you are Saab, you want to look the other way and act as if you have seen nothing. If someone asks you, you say that as a matter of policy, you don’t comment on other carmakers. Only if you want to commit public relations suicide, you express sympathy and support for the squatters. And only if you are absolutely delirious or had too much Absolut, you sit down and demonstrate that sympathy and support in an official company blog.

With Vladimir Antonov accused of raping two of his banks and funneling funds to Saab, with salaries unpaid again, with unions most likely on their way to bankruptcy court on Monday, with no more money from China, Saab requires all the friends it can get. What it needs most is GM. GM can block any sale of Saab. Saab needs to remain in GM’s good graces.

Saab needs to be careful in what it wishes for. GM could act favorably to the “Let Saab go” demands and indeed will let Saab go.

To hell.

P.S.: The Italian initiators of the campaign took note of the official recognition, and vowed to continue the jihad with the required respect and dignity.

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3 of 48 comments
  • GS650G GS650G on Nov 28, 2011

    After being dead to the market place for a year, any restart in SAAB production would be lucky to see 15 or 20K units sold worldwide. There are not hundreds of thousands of customers waiting for the moment when they can buy a brand new SAAB. Lack of sales was the big problem before, nothing changes here. In the hands of a Chinese company SAAB could be resurrected as a cost competitive brand in overseas markets. But that rubs the General the wrong way and the only market this would work is China. So forget all the maneuvering and look at the basics: SAAB is/was a high end car without enough sales to justify it's existence any longer. They might be the greatest cars every made, a joy to drive, reliable as rain and outstanding in their class but if they don't sell a lot of them they can't survive as a company.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 01, 2011

      Saab sold 356 cars in the US in November. 356. My local mega-dealer still has 20 on his lot. It's pretty tough to make a business case to an investor with so few sales prospects.

  • Jeff_vader Jeff_vader on Nov 28, 2011

    "Jeff" (not me, another one.) has taken over Mr Wade's position as head cheerleader at The Church Of The One True Saab and is pumping out the “I can’t tell you exactly right now, but next week salvation will occur” line again tonight. Apparently a deal has been signed and press releases are ready.... Remind me, what happened over the weekend? Oh, I know, the wages weren't paid again and the unions are threatening bankruptcy petitions. But just as in July & August a last minute deal is rumoured & Saab will be saved if only they get just a little more time and the workers don't vote to put those petitions in. Trouble is now it is reported that up to 500 workers have already left Saab and Volvo is recruiting. Maybe, finally, the unions will grow a pair and not listen to anymore of this BS.

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