Saab Emerges in Eastern Europe

It may be a while before Eastern Europe can be considered a market that Saab depends on, but every sale’s important for a small company and therefore it’s encouraging to see stories like this coming out.

Romanian Saab importer Augusta Motors expects to see its turnover increase by 75%, to 7 million euros, from around 4 million euros in 2006. According to company representatives, Augusta Motors’ turnover was primarily bolstered by an increase in demand for the Saab 9-3 sports sedan.

In the first eight months of 2007, Saab sold 67 units in Romania. For 2007, Augusta Motors manager Horatiu Ionescu estimates a sales volume of 120 units, up 40% from the 86 Saabs sold in 2006.

I know there’s some Saab sales guys from smaller markets that tune in here from time to time (G’day Joe!). Hopefully a story like this might encourage you guys to keep on going. The 08 model Saab 9-3’s a cracker, so if the 07 model has been popular the 08 should really attract some interest.

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  1. Just landed in Mumbai on business. Volvo and Volkswagon are entering the market in a big way at the end of the year. The XC90 is supposed to be on sale for Rs. 50,00,000 and up and the Rupee is currently at Rs 39 = $1. Talk about a markup. Yikes! People actually pay that kind of money on a car? Saab needs to consider markets like India where sales are booming and people do not have pre conceived notions for or against western brands…GM seems to have a huge presence with Chevy, Opel, and Skoda (pardon my American French, but wtf?) but doens’t seem to be gunning for the luxury segment yet. I can imagine that this would be a market where Caddy and Saab could really coexist. People seem to have really positive attitudes towards both Europe and the U.S.

  2. Do I have the numbers right???? Did Cadillac sell only slightly more BLS’s in Sweden (where it’s made) than Saab sold 9-3’s and 9-5’s in Romania? That’s got to be wrong since GM are spending their marketing money so effectively to really move those BLS’s!

  3. Heh, lots of bullshit with that SAAB dealer in Romania. I am a very proud owner of a SAAB 93 AERO model 2004 and i can tell you that that Romanian company almost provoked me a heart-attack, several times. Even the head of the company is the biggest asshole of them all. Let me tell you what happened in my relationship with them:

    – in May 2006 my automatic gearbox died, and it took 3 months to have my car working again. In all this time my wife was pregnant, in fact was in the 8th month. In May they said they are doing an internal test with SAAB Sweden, in order to see what went wrong, because that was the first gearbox that died in a SAAB in Romania. I asked for a replacement car while they are doing this, they told me that they can offer me a SAAB 95 for 45 EURO/day. After this i wrote an angry e-mail to Saab Sweden, 2 weeks later, i got a car for free, to drive it until they could got a new gearbox. Then we talked a lot of more, and in the end they decided i should pay 1000 euro, representing 25% of the price of the gearbox. After i paid the amount, took another month to finally get my car back.
    In December 2006 i fully paid the car (was a leasing until then) and i tried to move the CASCO insurance on my company name. I asked August about it, they said ok, just come to our office. I went there and they said its impossible. I went to the insurance company and they told me that the CASCO insuranca i had in my hand (i already paid 5 months in advance at that point) is NOT EXISTING ??? I was like, what the hell? How can not exist if i paid it (i have bills and everything) to Augusta and was paid in advance??? They said its a common thing that that company does, they get blank insurances and they do their work with them. After SEVERAL talks and delays with the Augusta General Manager he refused to help me in any way, he refused to give me back the money on that insurance. Even more, i found out that for 3 months (i did like 7000 km in that period) i didnt had a VALID CASCO insurance. When i asked him about this, and what would happen if i would have an accident, he told me that i would have to pay the costs !!!!

    I mailed GM Romania, called GM Romani, noone was able to help me somehow. I was i think the biggest SAAB fan in Romania, and i recently ordered a new car (not SAAB unfortunately) because i dont want to ever have to work with AUGUSTA Motors. Until GM will sell SAAB directly in Romania, i will never buy a SAAB again.

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