Selling Saabs: the test drive is the key

We’ve talked a lot in the last 24 hours about what could help Saab dealers to get customers in the door again – and what could help sell the cars.
This has mainly been in relation to the US market, but I think the ideas translate to any country.
One of the big themes that’s coming through in comments to those posts is that it’s the test drive that’s the key. This is something we’ve known for a while, of course. It’s long been said that a person who test drives a Saab usually buys a Saab.
So it seems like putting bums on seats is going to be a key to Saab’s success. How, then, can the dealers get people in to test drive the cars?
A sales marathon?
A nation-wide party to celebrate the re-launch of Saab under new ownership?
Some sort of community sponsorship or activity to get the dealer’s name out and about again?
Offer a free gun with every car (nah, that one’s been done before).
There’s got to be some sort of event that can help out in the two-fold mission of getting Saab’s name out there, and getting people to come down to dealerships and have a look around.
Personally, I like the idea of a co-ordinated nationwide event. It lets the dealers feel like they’re part of something big, gives the company something to report back to customers about later on (extending the event beyond the date it actually happens) and most importantly, it gets people down to check things out.
Throw a BBQ and let people hear the story about how Saab was saved. Have a slideshow of images from the convoys. Have some of the new 2010 models there for customers to see – the 9-5 and the 9-3x especially.
Maybe some time in late June or early July, when 9-5s are present on dealer lots. Use the whole darn fleet for test drives if you have to and sell them as demonstrators – at least it’ll create some momentum.
Get people through the doors and then once they’re there, get them into the cars. The test drive is the most important thing.
It’s only my 2cents worth, but I think it has potential.

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