Saab Vs Audi

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Winding Road Sept 07

I had let my subscription lay idle for a while until Christian dropped a note into my inbox about this article. It’s a worthwhile read and best of all, the subscription is FREE – and you don’t get a while lot of junk in your inbox, either.

About the article – it’s a very worthwhile read. Whilst I don’t agree with the writer’s end assessment about the new 9-3 and the company’ s future, I definitely agree on their similar pasts, a fact I’ve written about on this site before.

Funnily enough, one of the things the author reports as being a major problem is the lack of adhesion to a particular corporate identity. Saab Turbo was the big kicker back in the day and the natural tie-in with aviation was sincere and accepted. Today it’s a little contrived and the message is somewhat mixed from market to market.

It’s a good read and I’d recommend you sign up, check it out and then have your say.

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  1. It bugs me that a car company that used to build crap (Audi) got the “good” image, while a car company that built great cars (Saab) got the “bad” image. I remember when I had a 99 which was a wondrous vehicle while the Audi 100 was a nightmare with poorly engineered inboard disk brakes leading to pedal vibrations and broken halfshafts and numerous other problems including a clunker of an engine. But yet Audi somehow was held in high regard while the Saab was just some oddball Swedish thing. Our alpaca shearer came up with a meaning for SAAB, she likes Swedish Always Angry Boys. Well, I say they have a right to be angry.

  2. Interesting read ineed, and fairly balanced. And it show that Saab’s relative decline started long before GM had any involvement with the brand: not that I approve of the General’s handling of Saab, but I also disapprove of GM being blamed for everything that is wrong with Saab.

    Saab is facing a very tough choice, as I see it: to survive, it needs to diversify and attract new customers. At the same time, the brand is very boutique and heavily relies on a core of traditionalists and fans. While pursuing new customers is risks pissing of this core. But the core alone cannot ensure its survival.

  3. I would just like to say that I do agree with the authors assessment of the new 9-3 and the company’s future. Furthermore, while image and identity are important, I would say that they are not crucial. In the past, I have liked saab for their products, in spite of their advertising which has usually made me feel embarrassed for the brand. The remark about the 9-3 facelift and Audi’s styling is dead on. The saab now looks hodge-podge. The point is, I think identity takes a back seat to having a professional looking quality product.

    Also concerning identity… Audi, BMW, and MB always have model ranges where their vehicles share extremely similar styling across the board. (Think of audi’s gaping wide grilles that were mentioned in the article, or BMW’s current ‘bangled’ styling). This used to be true for saab up until recently. Now the whole line up looks hodge-podge as well. This is not a good thing, especially since we live in a world where many people mistake my MY1995 for a new saab. I think a more homogeneous model line-up would do more for saab’s image and identity than any advertising campaign ever will.

  4. While I disagree with Erek’s first paragraph, I do agree with the fact that Saabs really need to have a more unified look. Also, I completely agree with Ted. It’s probably because Audis are German. Damn Germans. :p

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