I’ve heard similar stories from a few different sources now and absent a comment from Saab in North America (hey, I’ve tried), I think it’s time to bring this one out in the open.
Saab Cars North America are facing what is (to us, at least) a new problem with dealers there. It seems GM might be telling dealers that they have to build a stand-alone building for their Saab franchises. From what I can tell, it seems that dealers selling more than one brand will not be allowed to sell Saab in the same building as other GM brands.
The biggest name to be effected by this is the Sewell Group in Texas, who own three Saab stores. I’ve now heard from two separate Sewell customers that the company will be dropping the brand. Saab are still showing up on the Sewell group website and the individual Saab showroom sites are still online.
One of the emails I’ve received, however, indicates that whilst Sewell will continue to do authorised service for Saab vehicles, they have cut new Saab sales and have recently taken on Subaru.
I’ve contacted both SCNA and Sewell. SCNA said they’d get back to me and I’ve received no response from Sewell.
The bigger question here is how many other Saab dealers could be lost because of this decision by GM.
I don’t necessarily blame GM for making this decision. They’ve sold Saab now so why sell them next to ‘competing’ Cadillacs, etc?
But this decision could end up being a reasonable blow to Saab’s sales force in North America. I don’t know how many dealerships are multi-brand ones where Saab co-exists with GM brands, but I reckon there’s a few.
Is anyone hearing about this in other US cities?