A Few Good Men

I’ve just learned that our local Saab dealer, Tony B, has resigned today from the Hobart Saab dealership, Motors Saab.

Saab Australia have thereby lost one of it’s best sales guys (by the numbers) and our local Saab community has lost a solid supporter and tireless worker for the Saab brand.

I’ve written about Tony numerous times on this blog. His dedication to Saab over numerous years has been an inspiration to me, personally, and to many of his customers as well. Tony was a committee member of the car club here in Tassie. He’s got Saabs in his family, too. He recently updated his 9-5 wagon and even bought a 900 for his daughter.

Tony was a Saab guy.

Under his supervision the Motors Saab dealership won a Saab Pinnacle Award a few years ago and he’s always been at the top of the sales stats for regional Saab dealerships. I came to know Tony through the car club, but he became more than our local Saab dealer, he became a mate. He was generous with his time and support and a truly knowledgeable salesman and enthusiast for the product.

Tony will apparently be taking a position with the local BMW dealership, and they’re lucky to have him. Prior to Motors taking on the Saab franchise, they were BMW dealers and Tony sold Beamers, so he’s familiar with the product.

Whilst this is disappointing news, it’s not a total surprise. Tony had related several instances to me where he felt a lack of support for Saab from the Motors heirarchy. It’s an open secret that they’re reluctantly running Saab there and their placement (read: hiding away) of Saab in the new showroom is evidence enough of that. You wouldn’t even know they’re there unless you walked into the building.

Talking with a friend and fellow Saaber today, he related how when he recently went to trade-in his 2003 9-5, Motors wouldn’t allow Tony to quote a trade-in price. He had to ring around other dealers and see what he could get for it wholesale.

That’s no way to run a railroad.

Tony, my best wishes to you and your family. You’ve been a total gentleman and Saab will be at a significant loss for your absence.

Will be in touch, mate.

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7 Comments

  1. Last of the Mohican’s.
    At least he could bear it longer than i could there.
    I predict a bleak future for SAAB in our state Steve.
    Well done Tony i hope you achieve what you have long been overdue.

  2. I don’t understand the logic of a management that would just want to throw away potential profit, especially when there’s a potential for a large upswing. They’ve made an investment in the brand, forced or not, why not make the most of it? I just recently decided to have my 04 Arc serviced at Classic Cadillac Saab in Mentor, Ohio. I didn’t think I would even though they are the closest, but they’ve only had Saab for a little over a year and I was pessimistic. When I visited though, the most prominent car on the front corner of the lot was a handsome black 9-5. In the small showroom, there was only one Cadillac, but two Saabs, and they were enthusiastic about the brand. So now, they’ve got my business, as small as it is, but profit is profit isn’t it?

  3. Thanks Steve, very kind comments indeed, although it does sound a bit like an obituary, I am not actually dead, I’ve just gone over to “The Dark Side”! Seriously though I have to do whats best for my career and there is a lot more opportunity with BMW, Mini and BMW Motorrad.
    I still have a soft spot for Saab and as Swade points out I still own 2 Saabs and it will stay that way. I will miss Saab but not neccessarily the management of my previous employer. Thanks Steve for your friendship and tireless support and promotion of the Saab brand. Drop into Autohaus anytime for a coffee and a chat.

  4. It felt a little like an obit as I read it back to myself prior to posting, but it was a notable event worth recording.

    I’ll definitely be dropping in. Not so far to walk anymore. And now I can swindle Beemer test drives and bag them from first hand experience!!

  5. Well, sorry to hear of the loss to the Saab dealer. I must admit that I like BMW’s. And, on the subject:
    Beemer/Beamer = BMW motorcycle.
    Bimmer = BMW automobile.

    There’s a long story, and many people still say beemer, so you’re not alone. (If most people use it incorrectly, is it still incorrect?)

    Check this out:
    http://www.boston-bmwcca.org/reference/Bimmer-Beemer.aspx

    Enjoy your test drives! I’m looking to get a beemer sometime soon.

    ~Peter

  6. Peter. Beemer/Beamer is the English slang for BMW. Bimmer is the US. Australians use either. Nothing incorrect or wrong about any pronounciation, it’s just slang.

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