As you might guess, there are PLENTY of Saab owners in my address book. I’ve been in email contact with Clay M for a few years now and a few days ago, he sent me a link to an article he wrote outlining his purchase of a new Saab 9-4x Aero.
Actually, ‘outlining’ isn’t the right word for this one. ‘Detailing’ would be much more appropriate because he covers quite a lot of the purchase process, as well as detailed thoughts about the Saab 9-4x itself. As such, there’s something in it for everyone.
FOR SAAB CARS NORTH AMERICA:
….several months ago, I decided to get the ball rolling on our 9-4X purchase and that’s where our dealership experiences begin. I’ll try not to name names, as everyone has a bad day at some point in time…but you can guess who I’m referring to, you know who you are, you can contact me directly for specifics, or you can take my experience as just a small sampling of what else is out there and what Saab Cars North America has to deal with.
FOR SOME DEALERS OUT THERE:
I contacted approximately 20 Saab dealerships within a 1,000-mile radius from us and so begins my first rant. …. I initially contacted all of the dealerships online. My opinion is that if you’re going to have a way for the public to communicate with you online or by e-mail, make sure that the contact form works, goes to a real person, and a response can be expected in a timely manner. When I filled out the various information request/contact forms, a number of them were returned to me undeliverable due to a faulty e-mail address or other technical issue…unacceptable in my book. I also received a significant number of automated response e-mails, but never heard back from a real live person. I’m not sure how much more I need to wave my money around for people to take notice, but either of the above scenarios probably excluded that particular dealership from my list of potential contacts. If you aren’t going to monitor e-mails or online submissions, simply put your telephone number on your website and I will gladly call. Unfortunately, this is an issue that cost several dealerships my own personal business.
FOR SOME OTHER DEALERS OUT THERE:
I will say that I made contact with a number of very nice dealers. Most of these individuals were very well-informed, courteous, and gave me a significant feeling of comfort in dealing with them. There were, however, several instances in which misinformation or lack of information adversely affected the potential of a sale.
FOR ONE PARTICULAR DEALER OUT THERE:
Gebhardt Saab of Boulder in Colorado is probably one of the lesser-known Saab dealerships in Colorado. When I filled out their online contact form, I received a very prompt response from Gregg Sunfield. Gregg was knowledgeable, courteous, and I instantly got the impression that he would go above and beyond to make sure we were happy before, during, and after the sale…and that’s exactly what happened…..
……One thing that I will say about Bob and Gregg is that they were both highly optimistic about the future of Saab, they are clearly dedicated to the brand through thick and thin, and I failed to receive a single ounce of misinformation from them……… the information they provided and the confidence that they offered was not salesperson-speak…it was based on factual information and was very well-founded. Kudos to each of them and to the entire Gebhardt family for getting it right!
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN A SAAB 9-4X:
Clay’s starting point for this review……
I’m setting aside all Saab-bias that I may have for this particular review and hope that it may be viewed from a neutral standpoint. Quality of materials and fit-and-finish is extremely important to me, as I absolutely can’t stand something cheap that’s trying to look expensive, nor do I tolerate any misplaced rattle, groan, or squeak. I don’t want gimmicks and bling…there is definitely something to be said for clean functionality. Handling and performance are vital…not only do these attributes influence the overall experience, but they also affect various aspects of safety. I don’t want a vehicle that feels like a brick on wheels, but by the same token, I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m driving around a slinky atop a waterbed. My experience with Saab in the past has proven that a delicate balance of the aforementioned characteristics is a shared ideal.
And his conclusions……
I simply fail to find any compromises on this vehicle and Saab has undoubtedly created a machine that they can and should be proud of in the 9-4X. And for anyone that wants to argue against the value you receive in the 9-4X regarding the purchase price…I argue that your comments will be unfounded. To us, the 9-4X is worth every single penny that we spent on it and we would do it again in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, Infiniti, Audi, Volkswagen…nothing could provide us with a better value and I am absolutely certain of that.
As much as I’ve reproduced here for your information, it really is just an introduction. Clay goes into an enormous amount of detail as to his research, purchase process and his first impressions on all aspects of the car.
If you’re a prospective Saab 9-4x purchaser, or just a person with an eye for detail, this review is going to make for very interesting reading.
From an internal perspective, it’s gratifying that we have people like Clay and Holly as customers and that we’re still making vehicles that satisfy their Saaby needs. If you look at Clay’s vehicle history, you’ll see that he’s owned a bunch of historic Saabs in the past.
It’s also a good reminder for us that we have to better support our distribution network and provide them with the materials and motivation to serve their customers well, every time.