Texas Saab news

Two bits of news coming from Texas in the last week or so….

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Steve Shannon from SaabUSA has mentioned recently that he’s pretty happy with the Saab dealer network in the US. There’s a good number of specialist Saab-only dealers with good facilities, for example. He acknowledges that some dealers need to improve, but most are within the required curve. Sounds rosy.

Problem is, a number have shut up shop at the end of this year. I heard about a few in the northeast that have either closed or changed ownership in the last few weeks.

Now comes news that Performance Saab in Houston, Texas, closed as of the 22nd December. The owner will apparently be selling the land as an alternative to running a business there. The nearest dealerships are around 25 miles out of town, so the 4th largest city in the US no longer has a Saab presence in the city area.

One guy from Performance was an occasional commenter here and enthusiastic member of the Lone Star Saab Club there in Texas. Jacek had a real passion for the brand, so I’m very sad to have heard this news, especially just prior to Christmas. Another guy from Performance, Gil R, was also a member of the club and supporter of the brand.

All’s not quite so well out there in dealer-land. The XWD system, 9-4x and new 9-5 can’t come soon enough.

To Jacek and Gil: I hope you guys land on your feet in 2008. We’ll be thinking of you.

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The other news is about the aforementioned Lone Star Saab Club, which has grown from a twinkle in the founder’s eye to over 100 members in it’s first 6 months.

Well done, Texans!

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Thanks Michael!

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11 Comments

  1. This has been and will continue to be a recuring theme for Saab in USA. Until GM takes this brand seriously(at no detriment to its other brands) and gets product that gets 40+mpg, ie diesel & hybrids & smaller but as potent petrol motors into dealers, customers and dealers will remain hard to develop and retain. Who else does GM have to go up against the Germans, Volvo and the Japanese luxos? Cadillac? Buick? Good luck…

  2. Beren – that doesn’t ring true. This year in Sacramento saw the closure of the only Saab dealer in July (it was a Saab-Jaguar shop). Then the local Caddy dealer – Hubacher – picked up most of the other GM brands and turned into a GM superstore. Their web site shows 25+ new Saabs in stock right now – I’d take that as a vote of confidence in combined dealers.

    In related news, Saab is not the only Swedish brand with a smaller US dealer network in 2008 – Autoblog

  3. Great. I wish the service manager would of told me that when I called about a week ago. I washed one of my FOB keys, so I needed a replacement and I need ANOTHER fog light replaced. Yeh, the closest one is now north of Houston in Humble. A good hour drive from the west side of Houston. And to be honest, its not that great, service wise and just being all there. Sigh.

    Another reason why I want to eventually run a Saab dealership. There are just too few or they are in hard to reach locations. Even performance Saab was out of the way.

    The west side of Houston is absolutely booming and we have every dealership under the sun, except Saab. Saab could really makes some gains with a dealership on this part of town, it is on the up and up and people generally have lots of money.

  4. Mo-

    I couldn’t help but notice that rather than buying your car at Ron Carter you drove to Sewell in Dallas. Why?

    I agree with Charles – they need a Saab dealership on the West side of Houston if only because of the horrible traffic they have to endure on I-10 to get into town!

  5. No I haven’t tried Ron Carter, its really about the same distance to Nxcess Saab in Humble. Almost same relation to Katy, just one is north and the other is south of Houston.

    Thankfully, I’m in San Antonio for most of the year, and I have the amazing Ken Batchelor Saab (Caddy/Hummer) dealership. They are a Sewell dealership, and they are awesome. Guess I will wait till I get back over to San Antonio before getting a replacement key and foglight.

    I really liked Performance Saab, and there was this awesome German (if I remember correctly) salesmen, that was a true Saab fan through and through.

  6. michael becker, the reason i didnt buy in houston is because no one had the car i wanted, though performance saab did but it was $1,400 cheaper in dallas.

  7. Charles – that was Jasek Walasek (he’s Poiish)

    Mo – $1,400 is enough to make me travel to DFW too. My question though is will Ron Carter offer you a loaner car when you take it in for service, or only if you buy from them?

  8. they gave me a loaner when i used to take my cts there, and i didnt buy it from them. it sucks that performance saab closed as ron carter is more caddy oriented than saab.

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