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Saab-spotter blogger poached by the company

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A Tasmanian-based Saab enthusiast blogger has pulled off a social media coup, scoring a global role with the car manufacturer and being touted as the man who "saved Saab".

Steven Wade, a self-confessed publishing novice, started his site dedicated to all things SAAB in 2005, which was then called Trollhättan Saab. It has since become one of the dedicated Saab sites with the highest amounts of traffic.

Last week Saab Automobile announced it had secured Wade to join the company's global social media marketing team, based in Melbourne, Australia, starting 4 April. "Saab has hired me to be involved, as part of a global team, in a sustained social media presence that will see Saab presented from an inside view, allowing you access to company events, key people and of course, the cars themselves – in a way that no bigger car company can do," Wade said on his blog.

Wade attracted Saab HQ's attention when he led his web community in rallying support around for the Saab brand during negotiations for its sale by General Motors.

“It is a given that you have played a key role in saving Saab last year by mobilizing tens of thousands of enthusiasts to rally in support of the company," Saab chair Victor Muller wrote to Wade in a letter posted on SaabsUnited.

“You have single-handedly proven the importance social media has nowadays in situations like the one Saab went through. You became one of my most powerful allies in those trying times which now are fortunately behind us," he added.

Wade's site comprised around 5,400 articles and almost 50,000 comments from readers. "I didn't know the first thing about organising a website. I just liked the freedom of expression that blogs represented, and I liked Saabs," Wade said of his initial foray.

Wade said that Saab Automobile was going to take "some very big steps in bringing the company closer to their customers".

He said: "We will aim to create relationships between the company and the community that supports it, giving you greater access to the company and the types of experiences that Saab are already known for... Saab are very appreciative of all the community support they've received and they want to build on that relationship and give something back," Wade said in his blog.

Wade also announced he will sell off SaabsUnited but ensure it will continue to run under new management. ®

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