There are plenty of media outlets willing to write Saab off at the moment. I’ve contended several times on this website that the long-term future for Saab is very bright and it’s just a short-term cash crisis we have to concern ourselves with right now.
Any time you’ve got great people, a great plant, a great brand and most importantly, new product, then you’ve got something that people will be interested in.
AJ Murphy from Just Saab, Ohio (two outlets) left the following double-barrel story in comments last night and I think it speaks to the potential lying dormant in this brand. Of course, everything hinges on the production re-start, but once we get to re-launch this company again, there’s so much that we can achieve…..
My first point:
Tonight we had a couple in looking at new Saabs. They own a new Cadillac SRX. They came to the store surprised that Saab still existed…Admittedly they fell prey to the media’s coverage of ‘GM’s shedding of brands’ ending when Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac and Saab were announced as the brands they’ll extract from their portfolio (another story).
They loved the ‘new’ Saab styling i.e. NG 9-5, 9-4x, and 9-3 sedan. They even gushed over the styling of the 9-4x. Particularly when I told them it shared architecture with their SRX. He admitted he liked Saab’s styling better…said the lines were more ‘natural’…as he pointed to his tail lights. 🙂
They left pleasantly surprised at what Saab had to offer. They were equally as baffled by why the message wasn’t being communicated (more effectively) that we’re not dead and that our product portfolio is so impressive (these folks were comparing us with the cream of the Euro crop: Merc, BMW, Audi, etc).
My second point:
We’re seeing increasing interest in the 9-4x. Sales are starting off far better than the new 9-5 did. The challenge is inventory…we have just 2 in Dayton and only one in Cincinnati. We’re having to buy from other dealers.
Despite all the forces pulling us down, people are still buying Saabs. And not just bargain-basement, giveaway-priced Saabs, either. 9-4s are selling at little discount off sticker which is a product of ‘right-pricing’, the Aero 9-5 is the best selling 9-5 in our store and the 9-5 is outselling the 9-3 combi, convertible and sedan…combined.
A good sign, right?
So, simply (<--tongue-in-cheek) get the news going in the right direction, re-start production, get us the inventory of 9-4's, and I assure you the North American dealers will get this train back on track. AJ Murphy Just Saab