Over 500 Dutch Saab fans toured part of the country at the weekend to support the Swedish brand, and one described the troubled automaker as the “Apple of the car industry”.

Saab owners in several countries have staged events to support Saab, and fans in the Netherlands, Sweden and about 30 other countries drove in convoys to voice their support, Dutch organiser Sidney Polak told Reuters.

“It was a big success, there were many people. Some 585 cars joined the tour,” said Polak, who started organising the Dutch event about three weeks ago.

US Saab owners and fans recently protested outside owner GM’s Detroit headquarters as a board meeting took place inside.

The future of Saab remained in the balance late on Monday.

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GM last week nominated two wind-down supervisors to replace the CEO and board but said it was still considering several bids.

“Saab was a brand of its own, it made no concessions. But since GM, that has changed and it made concessions. I hope the old situation will return when it is taken over,” said Polak.

Fons Bitter also disliked GM’s involvement with the company and told Reuters people wanted something distinct.

“We have to go back to the roots. Isn’t it bizarre that so many people are concerned about this brand?,” he said.

His son Sander, a 24-year old marketing and communication student, said Saab’s design and image made it different.

“Saab is the Apple of the car industry,” he added.

“GM has tried to make it a mass product but you shouldn’t do that. You should cherish its distinct character,” said Rene Lensink, 40, who owns a cabriolet.

Mark Waegeman, owner of a 1973 Sonic 3, would like to see Swedish parties take over Saab to safeguard the brand’s reliability and technology.

“Saab has developed this car which is at the same time a sports car, a family car and freight transporter,” said Waegeman.

The Dutch convoy drove about 75km (50 miles) from Soesterberg in the centre of the Netherlands to Muiden near Amsterdam.

Romy Lensink also liked Saabs for their safety.

“It’s deer proof, so to say,” she said.

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