Saab news snippets

Congratulations to GM on a wise move – and now I have a question for GM’s new Head of Global Product Development: will Australia ever see a RHD version of the 9-2x? 

Suuby’s pretty popular here and leveraging off that popularity with a widely reputed improvement on the standard Rex wouldn’t be too bad an idea.  Surely there are other RHD markets that could provide the economies of scale that are required to justify the experiment.  Call it an investment in the future.

Everything I’ve read recently, even this poorly written review of a hillclimb event in a 9-2x Aero, has made me all the more interested in this car.  I think with an aggressive marketing mix in place there would be a positive reception in markets like Australia where midsize cars are already well accepted.

Saab sales here in Australia have taken a huge 41% dip for 2005.  Mind you, it’s easy to have a big percentage number when the base is so small.  Saab have sold just 322 vehicles this year in Australia (which might answer my 9-2x question, above, as well as make my 9-2x question all the more pertinent).

Other luxury marques also took hits – Porsche down 24%, Land Rover 39%, Jaguar 28% and Volvo 18%.  So we weren’t the only ones doing it hard, we were just the ones doing it hardest.

All you over there in the Old Country (i.e the UK), look out for some schmicko new advertising guff on Saab’s diesel engines and another on the benefits and practicality of owning a convertible in a sopping wet country like England.  Coming soon either via a dealer or if you are already seen as a potential customer, via direct mail.  Lucky they put rain on it so it’d feel so familiar.

Brand Republic offer some more fuel to the ongoing discussion about Saab’s fading brand identity.

Saab builds very good cars. It must do, because every Saab driver I know tells me so. But they struggle to tell me why. ‘They’re a bit different’ is the response I usually get.

I think I’m going to have to email the head of Saab Australia and ask why the 9-5 is perhaps the most underpromoted and undersold cars in the country.  Geez I’d love one.

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3 Comments

  1. from the lutz article:

    __deletia__

    We have now globalized engineering, design, procurement, information systems and manufacturing, with global operating and capital budgets.

    __deletia__

    __
    the article sounded ok until then. the part
    about “globalized…design…,” when a saab is
    involved makes my skin crawl.

    just when there’s talk about “saab” design be-
    coming more pronounced, it sounds like it’s
    going the opposite way. (pffft)

    the “sports combi” is a decent start. i hope they
    don’t drop the ball after that.

  2. 9x, that same comment also worried me too. How you can have a globalised design team for a range as varied as GM’s is beyond me. It’d be nice to get a better idea as to what that means exactly. Example – you can have a globalised IT system that stretches around the world but is integrated throughout. I’m hoping that there are various design teams with communication and concept sharing. Not one team designing a global range (and I’d be surprised if that were the case).

  3. The 9-5 is certainly one of the most under-appreciated cars in the world. Few who see mine know what it is. Everybody thinks it’s beautiful and the more they learn, or rather, the more I force them to listen to about it the more impressed they are.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve had a conversation like this:
    Them: What kind of car is that?
    Me: It’s a Saab.
    Them: It’s a what?

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