Saab Australia happenings

City Saab in Melbourne closed it’s doors back in March. It was a bit of an institution (you had to be crazy to work there – hahahah) and it was, of course, sad to see it go.

It’s seven months since, but a new City Saab has opened in inner suburban Richmond. I haven’t lived in Melbourne for around 12 years now, but apparently everything’s gone CGI in Tigerland:

City Saab

As you can see, the new showroom is a good size, which it needs to be as it’s also housing Hummer. You can add Cadillac and even Camaro to that in the future. Don’t get me started.

It’s good to see Saab back in close to the heart of Melbourne again.

The new City Saab showroom (or Richmond Airport, as they’re calling it) is located at 362 Swan Street, Richmond, and I plan to call in for a look next time I’m over there.

Thanks Turbin!

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The Australian press launch for the 2008 Saab 9-3 is being held on November 2. It’ll be based in Melbourne and yes, I’m hoping to get a seat.

Stay tuned.

Although i’ve driven the 2008 model once already, in Sweden, the car I drove was the TTiD. It’ll be good to get into a petrol model to get a feel for what most of you will be driving. And regardless of the powerplant it’ll just be good to get back into one anyway.

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Richo emailed Hirsch a few days ago to enquire about buying some wheels from them.

Hirsch replied that they couldn’t sell them to him as there was no partner agreement to sell Hirsch products in Australia, and they wanted to respect their relationship with Saab.

Richo offered to wear lederhosen, but still Hirsch resisted (I’m not making this up!).

So I wrote to Saab Australia’s Neil Whitehead – the product guy – and asked when Hirsch products might become available. Sources have previously indicated to me that the basics are in place for the products to be sold and all it would need is the final go-ahead and sign-offs.

It’s only been a few days now, but I’m still awaiting a reply.

Given that Saabs will be shown in GM Premium showrooms, wouldn’t it make sense to have an enhanced, premium program in place for those customers who wanted it?

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8 Comments

  1. l was interested in what Hirsch may be offering for the Turbo x , l already have positive replies from other Euro tuners here is my reply from Hirsch which was circulated through to few other Saab oz owners , message came back that this was exactly the same reply that came out of Hirsch a year or so back , maybe it is computer generated??????
    “Hirsch Performance products are not introduced in Australia yet.

    We are working on an agreement with Saab Australia to be able to sell our portfolio through the official Saab dealer network. As official performance partner of Saab Automobile AB we will not distribute to countries where we do not have a local agreement with the importer.

    This is required to offer our products in a professional manner. (Factory warranty, spare parts, homologation, software updates…).

    For further question please contact Saab Australia (Neil Whitehead ).

    Best regards

    Manfred Lenherr
    Sales and Marketing Director
    hirsch performance ag
    Zürcher Strasse 202
    9014 St. Gallen
    Switzerland”

  2. Swade,
    I think you mean Corvette rather than Camaro. Even though the Camaro is being engineered down is Australia, I don’t think it’s being sold there.

  3. Ha!!! aeroo, that’s EXACTLY the response I received, even from the same guy. I don’t think he got my lederhosen joke either…

    Saab OZ, get on with it!

  4. I made enquiries directly with Hirsch who later directed me to Mr Whitehead more than 2 years ago. All I got given has been lip service and no action. Quite frankly after more than 2 years couldn’t they already have done the deal by now so long as there is a real plan to execute ??? To me what we need is a different color head as the White one is doing nothing with this opportunity.

  5. HAHA,

    I have the same response in 2 differant email accounts..

    I was told that HIrsch was being assinged to one bloke in in the Port Melbourne Office, i also know how they are going to run the program.

    but that was almost a year ago..

    Saab OZ, get on with it!

    Agree with Richo

  6. My local dealer is already overflowing with Holden/HSV accessories. Soon Hummer will be added to the mix. Hardly a Saab accessory to be had. Customers love customisation and personalisation. Saab drivers are proud individuals and don’t want to see themselves coming the other way.

  7. Look turbin and al, one of the theories that has been bounced through another Saab die hard is that GMH are doing nothing with Hirsch on the basis that it will rattle the HSV cage. This colleague of us went as far as talking to a big HSV outfit in Melbourne to push the envelope and get from them what other options were available aside of HSVs in the performance portfolio from GM. Not a single word about a hotted up Saab. Ignorance or simple bad will but if their blinkers are so closed then how are we ever going to get out of this hole ???? Changing the “head” will be one !!!!

  8. Joe,

    I do think HSV has somthing to do with it aswell, I also think that their is a lack of demand for the Hirsch program here, also from my understanding is local homologation is a factor aswell..