Is this why Saab are doing so well in Spain?

Spain became Saab’s fourth biggest market in 2006, which certainly surprised me. Maybe this had something to do with it? I call it the Sergio Garcia effect.

ProLink Solutions — a wholly-owned subsidiary of ProLink Holdings Corp. and the world’s leading provider of Global Positioning Satellite (“GPS”) golf course management systems and on-course advertising — today announces its European distributor Elumina Iberica has renewed an advertising partnership with Saab, one of the world’s premier luxury automakers.

Building on the success of its 2006 campaign on ProLink screens throughout Spain, Saab renewed its exclusive deal with Elumina Iberica for 2007. Saab will again promote its award-winning lineup of sedans, convertibles and sport- utility vehicles via quarter- and full-page ads appearing at ProLink-equipped courses across Spain. The program has been extended to include ad spots alongside the ProLink system’s “ProTIP” feature.

What the heck did all that mean?

Well, if you’re like me, you play golf twice a year, carry your own bag on a public course and judge the distance to the flag through a pair of spectacles. Your handicap is your swing and by the end of the day you swear you’ll never play golf again.

If you’re not like me, there’s a possibility that you hit the ball down the middle of a manicured fairway, step into your golf cart and enjoy a pleasant time amongst some of the finest nature has to offer.

If so, there’s a chance you might be using one of these ProLink GPS gizmos.


From the manufacturer:

ProLink Solutions’, real-time cart tracking, live tournament scoring, made-to-order food and beverage menus, detailed financial and maintenance reporting, and on-course advertising and promotions let you maximize the use of your course for optimum profi ts. Each ProLink feature helps make the most of your course and your time – from wherever you are.

The GPS device guides the golfers around the course, apparently speeding up the game by around 30 minutes or so. They can order food and generally have a better time. The course operator can track his golf carts, get more people through to play and enjoy increased catering revenue – and they get to attract advertising revenue from people like Saab.

Saab and other advertisers get the benefit of advertising in a highly targeted manner to the types of people who play golf on courses that have equipment like this – typically that’s people with enough disposable income to consider buying a Saab.

If this is a contributor to the market increase in Spain, then maybe other markets should be looking into this too.

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  1. While this is nice again
    SAAB is referenced as a premium brand. Before typing anything else I like the people at my local (1/2hour away) dealership, I buy partly becuse of them.
    I contednd SAAB is NOT a premium brand, only GM’s wishes for positioning to FORD. I set an service appointment and could bnot get loaner car unless there was warranty work. It will be an Saturn Ion AND I have to put $20 down for a gas deposit. Sad times for SAAB in Canada.

  2. Spain — what else are they gonna buy?

    Seriously, I think that this may have more to do with the Euro taking hold than anything. With the Euro strong right now, Spaniards can afford better cars than those Seats and Fiats they’ve been driving all this time. I’ll bet that Spain is up for all European manufacturers. Additionally, Spain is likely the largest country in Europe without a ‘premium’ auto manufacturer. This spells good news for Swedish imports!

  3. The record sales in the automotive industry isn’t anything new. The only thing that affect the Euro, is that before the introduction of the new currency it was a big increase of sales of the premium brands, because it was a big opportunity to use all that “black money” and “clean” it. Here the euro increased the inflation, the taxes are icnreasing and so. As we are one of the countries with the lowest GBP, in a economic union with a common currency its usual there is a convergency of many issues, in this case, the prices, taxes and so.

    Also one of the biggest help for the economy, but in the near future it will be a big, big problem are the loans. The rate of debts for the families are incredibly high, some years ago we had quite low interests, and many people purchased its car, and now a days continue, to purchase its cars with loans. Here the Porsche Cayenne in the financial institution is known as the “car of the 10 years”(you can imagine why).

    Now the big concern for the Government Tax Institution is that now the car sales is down about 2%, but the sales of premium cars(over 50000euros) is increasing about 30%. That’s becuase many people purchases the car through the company, it doesn’t matter if the car is for personal use, is for your son… you can deduct the 16% of the VAT, and then the 30-35% of the Society tax.

    About Saab, the record sales is thanks to the important investment and attention to increase and promote the brand, with more adds, more number of dealers, partership, promotion of sport events and so. All of that is since GM take care of the distribution. Before GM, it was Porsche that had the rights for the distribution of Saab here in Spain, it always mantain a low investment and commitent with the promotion of the brand. The only good thing, in some issues it was that you could see a Saab near a Porsche and you can imagine the brand image it caused, but also that didn’t help too much to the sales in some terms. But now it also doesn’t help the idea of be next to an Opel, and in some dealers the same mechanic that repair an Opel corsa try to repair your Saab.

    Also the big increase of sales here in Spain, came in 1998, when Saab launched the 9-3 TID, that was one of the most important things that gived an increase of sales, and now with the 9-3ss and diesel engines, concretly with the 1.9TID(more competitive than the old 2.2 Isuzu) give to Saab better resources to compete in the premium sector.


  4. Eduard: With all due respect, the Swedish Kroner is down from about 9.50 to the Euro a year ago to about 9.00 Kroner to the Euro right now. This means that Saabs are about 5% cheaper for you to buy this year, but the other major European makes have remained the same price.

    The recent strength of the Euro makes a HUGE difference in the economics of the situation.

    And, I’m glad to hear that GM is promoting the brand in Spain. That’s a great thing.

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