I call them happy wheels, but whatever….

There was almost an argument on this issue in comments to a previous post on this site a few days ago, which was shut down as it wasn’t the time or the place. I tend to think this isn’t either as it’s a blog about cars and this is just another Saab news story, but people will think what they will.

The Saab 9-3 has, for a long time now, been a popular car amongst the LGBT community. I’ve featured the Gaywheels Top 10 here a few times and this quarter’s results are notable as the Saab 9-3 has surpassed the Toyota Camry for the number 2 slot on the list of most researched vehicles at “Top Queer”.

The full list:

Toyota Yaris
Saab 9-3
Toyota Camry
Volkswagen Jetta
Mazda MX-5 – Miata
Volkswagen Eos
Volkswagen Rabbit
Dodge Caliber
Audi A3
Toyota Corolla

FYI: the list is comprised of vehicles that are marketed by what they call ‘gay-friendly’ companies. i.e. companies that extend domestic-partner benefits to their employees in the U.S.

So why would I write about all of this being the red-blooded hetero that I am? Well, regardless of your preferences there’s no doubt about the fact that this market segment is one that’s usually cashed-up and will be to come in the future, given the lack of kiddies that tend to result. Any company that ignores it, from a business perspective, is shooting itself in the foot.

I’m already giggling at the thought of a new dealership opening in San Francisco or somewhere similar – Brokeback Saab.

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A little more Saab news of a totally asexual nature. Something gleaned from the SaabUSA website that I missed previously, but i note was mentioned by Aeronaut in comments late last year.

Saab won a bunch of awards from Intellichoice, who I assume are a Consumer Reports alternative. And what an alternative…

Whilst Saabs have been bagged by CR using what I believe is a somewhat faulty reporting system, Intellichoice gave Saab bouquets in the following categories:

INTELLICHOICE AWARDS

Lowest Maintenance Costs: 9-3 Convertible, 9-5 Sedan, 9-5 SportCombi, 9-7X SUV
Lowest Operating Costs: 9-3 Convertible

Smart Choice Maintenance Costs: 9-3 Sport Sedan and SportCombi
Smart Choice Fuel Costs: 9-5 Sedan and SportCombi
Smart Choice Operating Costs: 9-5 Sedan and SportCombi
Smart Choice Ownership Costs: 9-5 Sedan and SportCombi

Founded in 1986, IntelliChoice grew from the commitment to empower consumers to make better purchase decisions by providing them with independent and essential automotive information and tools.

——

Even more ammunition there for the Saab 9-5 being promoted a lot more than what it currently is in the US.

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9 Comments

  1. SAAB USA is indeed inclusionary of the gay community. It’d be nuts not to. SAAB can use all the sales it can get. Why alienate 10% of your customer base (possibly more in the case of SAAB)?

    A representative of Gaywheels was present at the 60th Anniversary Media Event. Coincidentally their story on the event is currently the top story on their homepage:
    http://www.gaywheels.com/saab_at_60.htm

  2. For good or bad, CR provides people with an impression of ownership as well as some predictions of future reliability based on the results of subscribers’ surveys. Intellichoice uses hard numbers based on actual costs of operation, including depreciation, fuel economy, and repair costs.

    Someone smarter than me needs to explain to me how cars with very low cost of ownership over the five year span that Intellichoice uses could still be called a lousy car by CR.

    My take on this is that once the initial “wow” period of a new car passes, will you still like the car as much when you’re spending a fortune on gas and repairs–and then take a final bath on resale values?

    Saabs provide a lot of pleasure day in and day out for the life of the vehicle–and I think that is some part of the brand loyalty factor that Saab is quite high on. If I wanted the absolutely most reliable car out there, I’d buy a Camry or Accord and be bored senseless. If I wanted a really fun car that broke all the time I’d buy a Porsche or VW. But since I want a fun, practical car that’s pretty reliable–and one that I’ll still love 5 years down the road, I’d buy a Saab. And I have–six times. My wife? Six different cars by six different makers….and she’s still looking….

  3. It’s very stupid to not embrace the gay community, although the opposition would argue that embracing gays is alienating others. And that argument is one I’d expect from a child.

    Quite honestly, if I were in charge, I wouldn’t want people so hateful and insecure associated with my brand in any way, shape, or form.

  4. From my understanding Saab was one of the first car brand (in 1994 I think…) to start marketing to the gay community.

    Cheers~

  5. In this day and age, I find it completely revolting that there is even a second spent thinking about the differences between heterosexuality and homosexuality…..

    For Pete’s sake, there are more important things to worry about and fight over then who the gent, or lady, next to you wants to sleep with!!

  6. Uh oh, I can see this turning into a nasty debate real fast. Lets be mature about this guys, theres no need for saying how repulsive and immature other people are just because of yours or their views. This is not the place for that kind of debate so put your agendas aside.

    I think its a great market segment, since many of them are in urban environments with plenty of discretionary money to spend. I’m glad to see that Saab actively markets to it.

  7. I will admit that when I bought my 2003 9-5, Intellichoice did have a small influence. I have never taken CR seriously. I am not a fan of subjective opinion. The customer is always right? More like the consumers are like sheep. At the time I was looking to replace my bimmer with another or “the other swede”. When I came across the 9-5 (used), Intellichoice had valued it better than the others for that model year. After 2 years it has lived up to that value ranking. My wife as well has moved around different makes and settled on a toyota for the “reliability” We got our cars about the same time, both 2003’s, and to date the toyota has cost us more with repairs compared to my 9-5. Believe it or not, I have also had better dealer experiences with Saab than with toyota.

  8. Whenever people begin talking about hot topics such as this, not much is usually accomplished. Someone said it well with humor:

    A man convinced against his will
    Is of the same opinion still.
    A woman convinced against her will
    Is not convinced and is not still.

    However, in the last few years, I’ve been wondering about things like this. What authority do any of us have to vehemently voice our opinions? We tend to base our perspectives on personal experience, popular opinion, or something momma taught me? Pretty much we’ve become a world of people who do whatever we think is right … just because. Who has the final say?

    Perhaps in such matters, we need to consider what God has said. In the end, it may be more important than we thought.

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