Steve-squared

Posting will be light today as tonight will be a tale of two Steves.

I’m doing some preparatory reading and research prior to having a chat tonight with none other than SaabUSA’s General Manager, Steve Shannon.

The following topics are on the table:

Current issues:

    State of Saab in 2007
    Sales so far and outlook
    Bluetooth
    European delivery
    Performance options
    Strengths and weaknesses for Saab

Broader issues

    Marketing in the US vs rest of world
    Attitude towards incentives

——

If you have any specific questions then feel free to post them in comments, but I can’t guarantee we’ll have time to cover everything and i’d like to keep topics within sight of the list stated above.

I’m recording the conversation and hope to have it available as a podcast soon.

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21 Comments

  1. Wow good luck, Swade. It looks like you have everything covered.

    As far as bluetooth, it would be great to know if this “upcoming” device can be retrofitted into MY07-08 9-3s, or if it’s going to be in MY09.

    Maybe it will coincide with the Bose CenterPoint, which is already available for the CTS (I think).

  2. Given the success of Ethanol vehicles in Europe, why not bring them to the US now. It could give some life to the 9-5 as it awaits redesign. Granted that stations are rare in some parts of the country, however it is a statement.

  3. Hirsch, hatch, yes, good questions.

    I’m curious whether the 9-1 will be closer to the C900/99 or the Sonett. Will it be a smaller sedan/coupe/hatch (like a downsized 9-3, like a new 99), or will it be a little sporty thing (like a new Sonett)?

    Something like this would be nice, if they don’t want to go the hatch route. Shooting brakes are cool :p

  4. Is SaabUSA planning any legal action against the EPA? Instead of re-testing 2008 models, they applied a formula to the old mpg estimates, leaving the 9-5 2.3T at 17 city and 26 freeway and the 9-3 2.0T at 19 city and 26 freeway.

    It is a load of horse#$&%. Show me a four cylinder 9-3 or 9-5 that does not get 30 miles per gallon at 75 mph.

    Currently, fuel economy definitely helps sell cars in the U.S.. Saabs get great fuel economy, and now the dealers have another thing to explain before convincing a buyer to pick a new Saab.

  5. How was the decision made to produce the Cadillac BRX and 9-4X in Mexico? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to produce the car in Germany?

    Why is Trollhattan underutilized when Russelheim is bursting with product?

    Will the rapidly declining dollar affect 2009 pricing significantly?

    When will the 9-3X raised wagon thing hit US shores? Is it a stopgap product?

    Will the 9-1 be available as a 5 door hatchback?

    What was wrong with the Linear, Arc, and Aero trimline set up of years past? Were consumers too confused by the 3 different names?

    Some questions I listed are better than others that I listed, but on the whole, swade, you’ve got everything covered!

  6. Info about the turbo x?
    Info about future models, especially 9-4x (I know this one never works out but hey)?

    And sorry to go off topic, but I have to agree with peter. I don’t think I could get as poor as 26 mpg on the freeway if I tried (9-3SS 2.0T 6-speed).

  7. Hmmm….Interesting topic. If I could sit in on that meeting I would ask:

    Steve, as a Manager,
    a. What does Saab mean to you?
    b. What is your vision of Saab in the future?
    c. What needs to be done now to bring
    that vision to fruition?
    d. What in your opinion, are the biggest
    challenges Saab as a brand face?
    e. What is your plan to overcome these
    obstacles?

  8. Ok, I’ll talk about the pink elephant in the corner that seems to be ignored…

    Mr. Shannon,
    a) Why have you taken a “back-seat” role as head-cheese with Saab thusfar?
    b) How do you plan on shedding that image?
    c) What Saab do you own?
    d) Please, don’t confuse Saab with Buick.

    Oh, sorry, that last one wasn’t a question. 😉

  9. It may be too late. As an American I am not too worried about confusing SAAB and Buick. (Although I just spent a week in a rented Buick LaCrosse and it seemed to have borrowed a lot from my 9-5.) I would ask how he intends to differentiate SAAB from Saturn and Opel.

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