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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 03 Saab Hires Activist Page 1

Auto News: Saab Hires Activist to Spearhead Social Media

SaabsUnited.com founder Steven Wade joins Saab Automobile as social media guru.

By Richard Truesdell

We rarely pick up press releases verbatim from manufacturers, but today we'll make a partial exception. Crossing my desk earlier was a release from Saab telling of a truly "feel good" story.

Last year, the Swedish automaker was all but left for dead. At the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, I feared I might be taking the last photographs of a Saab auto-show stand. A discouraging thought for any Saab fan. Thankfully, it didn't quite work out that way.

If any one person was responsible at the grassroots level for saving Saab, it was Australian Steven Wade. Through his website, SaabsUnited.com, Wade spearheaded efforts to save Saab from imminent closure, mobilizing Saab enthusiasts worldwide to rally behind the brand.

This activist fan base was instrumental in "encouraging" General Motors to sell Saab to Spyker's Victor Muller. At the time, GM had all but turned out the lights in Trollhättan.

On Thursday, Saab Automobile announced that Wade has been hired into its growing global Interactive Marketing Department. This brilliant move, in my opinion, smacks of life imitating art.

In his new capacity as Saab's social media guru, I expect Wade will be an invaluable asset as the automaker continues its rebuilding process under its enthusiast-led new ownership.

Congratulations, Steven Wade, for being able to turn your passion into a new career. We wish you all the best. SaabsUnited.com will continue under new ownership.

AutomotiveTraveler.com will be reviewing the new Saab 9-5 in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

The full news release from Saab Automobile is available online.