A note of concern

I had this slip into my inbox the other day….

The author had written to Saab where he lives, asking for an approximate date for the release of a V6 Saab 9-3 with XWD in that country. This was the response:

I write with reference to your email dated 20 November 2007.

I can confirm that I have received a response from GM *******. It has been advised that at this stage, we cannot supply further information with regards to the availability of the V6 XWD Sportsedan or Sportcombi. GM ******* have advised that when confirmation of availability is received, they will contact you directly.

The response seems fairly reasonable, but when you consider the following from the client, you start to think that this inability to provide even a ballpark answer isn’t quite good enough.

This is the client’s response to the above email:

Could you make a stab at it without committing yourselves?

Like “we estimate that the order book will be open as of x and thus expect to make first deliveries by y”??

You are mailing a potential new client to GM, who has only driven German cars to date… and your lack of detail doesn’t reassure me in the slightest that I am making a wise decision in throwing 60K€ your way…

If you don’t have dates for ******* perhaps you can advise for the neighbouring countries??


This is exactly the kind of client that Saab should be doing it’s best to win.

Having driven the XWD 9-3 myself I definitely feel that the car’s good enough to win the attention of Teutonic drivers. Now all a potential buyer like this guy needs is the service to back up the decision.

A product rollout like this should be planned to the point where an answer to a question like this can be provided. I hope they can satisfy him soon.

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  1. This only proves 2 things for sure:

    1. The press release and announcement of the AWD models was premature and somehow missleading.
    2. That the car is so good that indeed we are atracting so many new customers that we can’t give any assurances.

    One thing is for sure, speed to market is also what kills Saab especailly in front of the opposition. Especailly the A + B teutonic brands. I won’t even spell their names in anger !!!!

  2. Eggs, I agree but, what can a dealer do? There are no cars available. Saab dropped the ball (again) by putting out a press release that wet peoples’ appetites for a great product without the ability to follow through. The cars should have been on the way to dealerships with in weeks of the press release. The guy writing to GM Europe is going to be driving an A4, C350 or 3 Series by the time Trollhattan revs up the production line. The sad thing is he will not be the only one.

  3. RPG: I was just talking about the response. The dealer can usually look at the orders coming in and give a reasonable estimate, while GM may not want to directly state anything on availability. Additionally, if the dealer doesn’t have any coming in, they can usually get an idea about their allocation delivery date by looking at their allocation priority.

    I agree, if there are no cars, the dealer can’t make any. But, the dealer usually will have more information than you may get from the corporate wonks.

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