The Cleveland Auto Show officially opens on Saturday, but dealership employees in the Greater Cleveland area were given tickets to preview the displays from 7:30-11:00 pm. Our family took advantage of the free tickets and arrived some time after 8 pm with the entire population of Cleveland. Funny how many people “work” at dealerships nowadays!
One of my main reasons for attending the show tonight was to visit the SAAB display. While I will be manning the Volvo display Saturday from 11 am – 5 pm, I still wanted to visit the other Swedish display again. I was not only pleased with the professional display, but was also pleasantly surprised to see four sharply dressed representatives from SAAB USA manning the booth.
As we walked up to the display, a young Swedish woman named Maddie (who actually owns a 9-5 wagon) was reciting the various facts about the new 9-4x small SUV. To be honest, I have not had much hope for this vehicle. But after seeing it in person, my opinion has changed. It’s much smaller than it looks in pictures — similar to the Volvo XC60 or Mercedes-Benz GLK350 — and looks good. If it does half as good as its sibling the Cadillac SRX has done, it will be a big hit in the USA.
Another highlight of our visit was meeting Peter, one of the professional SAAB USA reps. He and the others travel around representing SAAB at the various auto shows. If you were in Los Angeles, you may have already met him. During our conversation, he mentioned the positive effect of the SAVE SAAB rallies, SaabsUnited, Victor Muller’s upcoming visit to North Olmstead, and the upcoming 2012 9-3 hatchback. Peter was very upbeat about the future of SAAB. I hope he is right.