There must have been a recent press event in the UK as Saab GB’s head honcho Jonathan Nash is in the news today, and he’s talking up the marque like a good head honcho should.
Saab’s on track for 28,000 sales in the UK and Nash is out speaking of a doubling of that volume by 2012. Fanciful? Maybe, but consider…..
Saab have a great appreciation in the UK as an aspirant vehicle. They’re genuinely appreciated there, have as loyal a following as anywhere else and generally speaking are well positioned in terms of vehicle taxes etc. They’re also the anti-BMW, which is a handy label to carry in country that’s not afraid to have a crack at the wankers in it’s midst.
Saab also have the 9-1 coming prior to 2012, which will be a much bigger deal in the UK than it will be in the US, for example. Especially with the hybrid functionality that will be available on the car. Saab are currently trying to get BioPower exepmted from London’s congestion charge. If they manage to do so, that in itself will lead to a fairly handy sales rise. A small hybrid from Saab would be in quite high demand.
The 9-4x should also be an attraction for the country squires. Given that it’ll be made in Mehico the price should be reasonable, too.
And in the short term, I think the TTiD alone will make quite an impression.
Nash is talking up the brand due to the release there of the new 2008 Saab 9-3. He’s speaking of the commitment that GM are making to the brand with the new models coming down the pipe, and it’s good to hear him doing so.
Last year Saab’s sales across Europe were up 11.1% compared to 2005, and 2006 was the company’s biggest ever year internationally, with 133,167 cars sold. And Saab’s spiritual home, the Trollhattan plant in Sweden, has survived GM’s cost-cutting programme of factory closures. All of this, said Nash, meant there was every reason to be confident about the company’s future within GM.
‘There’s no doubt from GM’s point of view that they have identified a role for Saab. There’s a confidence and growing velocity within Saab,’ said Nash. ‘We are not competing with Cadillac. We’re a distinctive European premium brand. That’s the role Saab plays.’
Further reading at the following, both from today: