Tuesday Snippets

Saab have let fly a whole bunch of press releases on the Convertible, a few of which I’ve reprinted below as separate articles for posterity.  They’re worth a look, so enjoy.

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Automotive news are reporting that Jerry York has now officially been elected to the GM board.  For the uninitiated, York is the representative of Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corporation, which holds a very large and influential shareholding in GM.  York gave a speech last month (details here) with his thoughts on making GM profitable again and one of his big suggestions was selling off non-core assets, including Saab.

In other news that’s just been released, GM has announced that it’s going to implement one of York’s other recommendations in that speech – they’re cutting dividends to shareholders by 50%.

GM’s annual dividend is reportedly $1.1 billion, or $2 a share. The move, York argued, would help the company turn around and was embraced by many analysts. It also was seen as a move to show the UAW that all segments of the company would suffer financially as GM restructures.

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There’s also more talk about the Saab that’ll be aimed squarely at the BMW 1 series and Audi A3.  We’re calling it the ‘next 9-2’ until further advised, if only because of the inevitable 1-2-3 headline when the 3 cars are finally compared.

The bad news is that reports are confirming that the car is at the beginning of the product cycle, meaning it’ll likely be at least 3 years before it’s available.  Saab seem to be playing catchup again – and how competitive would a 9x type vehicle have been?

In related (sort of) news – Eurocarblog are reporting that BMW is working on a new series of engines for the 3-series et al and guess what?  They’re turbocharging!!  Is there some way Saab can leverage this in their marketing??  I think there must be. 

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I’m actually seeing quite a few Saab ads on TV here lately – a rarity here in Hobart.  The fact that the ads are there is a wonderful thing.  A little less wonderful is the Australian version of the "Born from Jets" slogan.

For some reason, someone thought that Aussies would be more open to the theme "With Genes From Jets".  Rolls off your tongue like a housebrick, doesn’t it?

Saab Australia, I’d like to confirm that I AM available to move to Sydney and take up a position there.  At the very least I can update the website and at most I can lift your sales 15% in the next year.  Guaranteed.  Email me.  Company car is a must.

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Speaking of the Saab Australia website, all you 2005 9-5 fans can download some cool old-school 9-5 photos there.  As we’re about the last place on Google’s Earth that will get the 9-5, we’re still pushing the old model here.  Get the pictures while they’re hot.  Here’s the link to the 9-5 page – just select your picture and hit the "Enlarge" button.

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6 Comments

  1. About the turbo’d BMW 3-er, given the history of the old 2002 Turbo model… Saab should make a commercial that takes place in the ’70s like such: Young dude in a 99 Turbo gassing up encounters a BMW 2002 Turbo driver doing the same. 2002 Driver makes a snide comment about inferior Swedes or something and takes off. Flash minutes forward, tooling down some twisty roads, boost climbing and pulling him to greater and greater speeds to discover the 2002 on the side of the road with a piston shot through the hood… disco music in the background goes downbeat to match today’s sound and a 9-3 Aero rips through the turn with a quick pan to the turbo gauge sweeping towards the red. Voice over something about 30 years of perfecting the turbocharger and bam, a commercial is born.

  2. A BMW Turbo would be like a Saab with a 6 cylinder straight !!! If BMW releases any model with a turbo engine this will be a major shift from their roots. Saab could benefit immensely from direct and indirect publicity in many ways leveraging from this shift. I wonder what the local journos will write then…..don’t get me started again.

  3. Carl Levine, that sounds like a great commmercial! I often find myself, too, thinking about how Saab could make better commercials… Good job, I like yours :).

  4. Great comercial idea but also completely unthinkable… Have you ever seen an ad for one brand putting down another?
    I dont know if it’s some kind of gentlemens agreement to not do that or if noone’s got the guts to do it…

    Saab 9-5 and 9-3 has by one of the large insurance companies in Sweden been voted the Safest car several times… yet mention safety and cars and everyone thinks Volvo… I’d like to see this ad “The safest car in Sweden….is not a Volvo.”

  5. I think it’s a great idea too. And ads comparing products are probably more common than you think, esp in North America. I remember during my 6 weeks in Canada seeing Coke vs Pepsi ads quite a bit and there’s probably a bunch more that were subtle rather than blatant comparos.

    Here in Oz, I distinctly remember an ad for a big SUV (I think it was a Nissan Patrol) where they showed it beating the main rival (Toyota Landcruiser) in a tug-of-war type thing.

    I think some creative minds could do it very well indeed. The crucial and trickiest part is to leave Saab’s innovation in the viewers mind rather than BMW’s stuff-up.

  6. Anything to challenge Aussies blind minding fascination with German vehicles regardless of what they offer specially BMW can only be good for Saab sales and position Down Under. This other fact on safety too can be a real bonus if used correctly in any publicity/promotion.

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