Saabs wanted in the UK

It’s always interesting to see how different countries view Saabs.

I’ve been asked more than once why a guy who lives so far from Sweden would be so interested in Saabs. My standard reply is have you driven one?

Growing up here in Australia, anything European was seen as a cut above the local offerings. I remember first looking into Saab and marveling at the equipment and engineering level compared to what was available in Australia at the time. Disc brakes all round in the 1970s? Not in Australia, mate!

Of course, in Sweden, Saabs are the local cars and supported as much out of patriotism as they are out of respect. Much like Fords and Holdens here.

In the US they seem to be a cut above garden variety but short of being regarded as a luxury or performance car. Well, to those that’ve heard of them at least.

In the UK, though, Saabs seem to be genuinely desired as a quality vehicle that’s capable of enough zip to give you a smile and more-than-adequate levels of comfort, safety and utility. They set a UK sales record last year, though they’ve dropped off this year in line with other markets.

Now there’s news of a survey coming out of the UK that rates Saab even higher than I would have guessed in terms of desireability. The survey was conducted by what I’d take to be an insurance company, called Swiftcover. They surveyed a bunch of people earning more than £43,000 and listed the vehicles most likely to be owned by these high-flyers.

Saab came in higher than I thought and it’s a very pleasing result:

    # 1. Porsche
    # 2. Jaguar
    # 3. Mercedes
    # 4. Lexus
    # 5. Saab
    # 6. Audi
    # 7. Jeep
    # 8. BMW
    # 9. Smart
    # 10. Alfa Romeo

And the least likely to be owned are:

    # 30. Fiat
    # 31. Kia
    # 32. Vauxhall
    # 33. Rover
    # 34. Mini
    # 35. Daewoo

The Mini being placed so low is definitely a surprise.

So, if you’re driving a Saab in the UK, you’re moving in supposedly good circles. Just so long as the cock-o-meter doesn’t start rising….

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  1. Kinda strange that Saab doesnt rate a mention as a cinderella in those “vulgar” garages…and Vauxhall?? Why the scorn? Theyre not that far removed from #5 are they?

  2. I find it fascinating that Saab beat out Audi in the survey.

    The Brits are crazy about Audis – A2 through R8- these days; so much so that the UK ranks amongst Audi’s top markets.

    There are more Audi sales per capita than in America.

  3. # 5. Saab

    # 32. Vauxhall

    Precisely why GM needs to ensure that there are clear differentiators between Saab and it’s fleet car specials!

    And yes, Audis are almost as common as BMWs over here. The Mondeo is a rare beast in comparison!

  4. # 32. Vauxhall

    Hmm, still over 11% of all cars sold in the UK last year was a Vauxhall. “Likely to be owned” says little about what people actually buy – which is all that counts in the end. 🙂

  5. Top Gear, was it Jenermy? Made coments about if there is a cock-o-meter, SAABS will rank in negative (ie, no cocky attitude/ perception at all) while the BMWs will be over the roof

  6. Man, what is SAAB U.K. doing so right? Whatever it is, they need to export that expertise! Go on a road show tour. Maybe they can send an envoy over to SAAB USA to help with brand building here.

    I wonder if all SAAB USA employees are urged to read that “Spirit of SAAB” book. If I worked for SAAB I would definitely make it a priority to read that book and that Taschen book Scandinavian Design.

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