Saab – Be a promoter too.

It’s not just Saab enthusiasts that should be promoters of the Saab brand.

Saab need to be promoters as well. If there’s one thing that’s cheezing me off at the moment (i.e Aussie vernacular for annoying me) it’s the lack of Saab stories out there to be told.

Just in the last week on Autoblog there’s been the following:

5 articles featuring Volkswagen

4 articles featuring BMW

8 articles featuring Audi

2 articles featuring Mercedes

3 articles featuring Volvo

7 articles featuring Porsche

and 2 articles featuring Saab.

Now, it’s got to be said, this week was a little unusual. First thing, it was the LA auto show so there was a wealth of posts on there about all sorts of carmakers that don’t usually get much representation. Skoda for instance. This took a little bit of column time away from BMW and Mercedes.

The other unusual thing was that a Saab won the Reader Ride of the Week photo contest, giving Saab another article on top of the one about the 60th anniversary editions.

Audi topped the lot with 8 entries, which included tuner entries as well as factory releases.

The point of all this is that it seems like Saab have started hibernating for the northern winter. Through the year we’ve had the BFJ airshow displays in the US and the Pilots Wanted promotions in Europe and the UK. The Saab Performance Team were in various places around the world. There was the Ice Experience in Sweden for a handful of fortunates and there’s the Aero Academy in America for those that actually purchase a vehicle and choose to attend.

All these are great experiences for those that were fortunate enough to see them or participate. But what’s the one thing that’s missing from all of them?

Inspired product.

Or perhaps more appropriately, product promoted in an inspiring way.

All these experiences are great but they’re over now and all that matters is the product. I can’t talk about the US experience, or the European one, but down here in Oz we’re seeing very little in terms of Saab product promotion.

And it’s not like there’s nothing worth talking about….

The 9-3 SportCombi is absolutely sensational and a partial return to Saab’s hatchback roots.

The V6 is an absolute ballburster and recent winner of Wards Autos Top 10 engine awards.

And when was the last time anyone saw any sort of news release about Hirsch?

I see a lot of RSS articles about tuner companies doing special editions of A3’s, A4’s, 3-series’, 911’s, Mercs and especially recently – C30’s.

If Hirsch are reading this then it’s time to whip up a killer 9-3 or 9-5, get the cameras out and publicise the heck out of it. Saab should be all over this.

All I’m saying is that it’s frustrating to be reading stuff about everyone else just about every day of the week. Saab aren’t that big, but they need to find a way to get that inspiring. My dealings with Saab USA and Australia tend to indicate to me that there’s no lack of work being done, but I wonder if it’s in the right places (TV and in actual dealership support) and what sort of support they get from GM Corporate and whether it’s really enough to do the job that’s needed.

New product in 2007 and 2008 will help. Some real, tangible support from GM will help even more. The buck stops with Saab, however, who need to provide something that catches the imagination.

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3 Comments

  1. It’s no secret, the auto enthusiast media favors the Germans. Unless your Consumer Reports which favors the Japanese.

    It’s a good thing your here, Swade.

  2. I agree with Gunnar.

    Automotive press To Do list:

    1. Criticize all American cars.
    2. Slobber slavishly over all German cars.
    3. Praise Japanese car quality, even though it looks like a Picasso.
    4. If any time is left over, call attention to the fact that all other cars are ‘unique’ or ‘quirky’ or an ‘alternative to the mainstream’. Be damning with faint praise.

    This is a marketing issue, for sure. You simply MUST do more to compete, and I agree that Saab has been weak in the area for some time.

  3. The ‘Pilots Wanted’ ad was just shown in the pre-lunch session of the Ashes (Oz vs Eng Cricket Game)on what has proven to be a gripping morning on the last day of play.

    I have seen this a few times and I don’t watch much telly. I like the minimalism of the ad and the fact that it focuses on the sub $40k entry price at the end.

    At least it counts for some kind of promotion.

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