After the 18th December – Saab guy comes Full Circle

This is a quick post-script to the articles published over the weekend remembering December 18, 2009 – the day Saab nearly died.

I got it via email this evening from Dennis Z.

——

Dear Swade,

I was reading the entries about 18th December.

On the 19th December 2009, we all got fired here in The Hague, Holland, after 51 years of representing SAAB in The Hague. And there was no one who could save us! My colleagues and I drove all the cars out of the showroom, tried to sell SAABs on the day of closing, the week after the 19th. Bad day, bad week, bad year.

I was unemployed. It was still not a good time for dealers in Holland, but BMW sold cars like a mad men, so I got a job as senior salesman at the dealer in Gouda, Rotterdam. It was fine working again, but there were no SAABs. For someone who worked with SAAB for more than 8 years, that’s hard!

But then in February, Muller purchased SAAB and things started changing. I kept in contact with some people from the Dutch importer and finally in September, Mrs Raaphort of the local Jaguar dealer called, to ask if I was interested in a job to restart SAAB in The Hague!

So I left BMW (no one understood!!!) and on the 1st of October we opened at The Hague, combined with Jaguar – a very special dealer!

I now work together with 2 old collegues – a workshopmanager (mastertechnician) and a mechanic. We sold five 9-5s this week, and a total of 23 SAABs in two months as a starting dealer! We have a long way to go, but your site keeps me on the right track!

I now drive a 9-3 2.0t Anniversary from 2002 (yep the last modelyear) in hazelnut with grey leather and a original cupholder! I traded it in on a BMW and could not leave it there!

I hope that all Victor Muller promises will work out, than I’ll be working with SAAB until I die!

Cheers, Dennis

——

Fantastic!

Saab Spirit – that’s what it’s all about.

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 9 months ago

Good story! Wishing you and your coworkers a long and bright future with Saab!

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 9 months ago

haha, what a story, what a guy, taking the OG 9-3 and going back to Saab!
kudos!

benrp
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benrp
5 years 9 months ago

Saab-Jaguar dealer. lucky. What I would give to have one of them in Canberra.

Rune
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Rune
5 years 9 months ago

Kudos to Dennis for following his heart!

Jaguar and Saab? Interesting mix. Reminds me of Dave who turned up in a Jag at the festival. 🙂

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R
5 years 9 months ago

“We sold five 9-5s this week”

That´s great news (Dennis Z), was it new ones? Do you think that sales have speed up or is it hard to find customers?

How many Saab dealers are there in Holland?

Me
Guest
Me
5 years 9 months ago

I’ve counted 49 dealers. Last month they sold 52 cars, which is about a quarter of a car per dealership per week.
5 cars in a week is 20x more cars ;-).
If every dealership would have had the same sales increase, Saab NL could sell 1000 cars in 1 month.
It is very impressive !!!
Not to forget, it is a Saab/jaguar dealership, where you can directly compare the “low quality” interior of the 9-5 with a XF or XJ.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis
5 years 9 months ago

It’s of coourse due to offering and testdriving etc. but all offers eventuale were ordered! and in the better days of SAAB in The Hageu we sold 200 cars new every year! Jaguar SAAB: where SAAB stops, Jaguar starts. Al the wifes are intereted in the Cabriolet and the X type drivers are used to lower quality standards. I wish I had more weeks like the last one! So i think it was my lucky week.

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R
5 years 9 months ago

Thanks Me…..
That´s not good, about 1 per dealer/month. How is that possible is my question? It must mean that the dealer is´nt interested is selling Saabs Right! They sell their other brand instead unfortunately. Hope it change soon.

….And then 5 cars in a week…….Maybe things start happening in the land with the great Road Racing stadium called Assen (bin there, loved it amongs 94000 other bike nirds in 2006).

Saab/Jag is maybe not so bad combination, The figures speaks for itself. It means that a 9-5 is a bargain and Saab sales go up.

Me
Guest
Me
5 years 9 months ago

Hi Tomas,
it seems like albert’s counting differ from mine, and ii have the impression, that he is Dutch, so maybe his counting is more accurate than mine.
But those are still very low figures, as it has been 3 car per month per dealership in October and 2 cars per month per dealership in November,
Although I think most of the Saab dealerships also sale cars from another brand, I do also think that the Saab salespersons are very well interested in selling Saabs.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis
5 years 9 months ago

There approx 20 dealers in Holland, most combine SAAB with other brands like Subaru, or Jaguar! and yes the 9-5’s was al new ones! 2 XWD, two Aero 20T and one Vector diesel. Half allready driving SAAB half new customers. Sales are difficult, but i think it’s speading up a little. we have to see the car driving!! then customers will be in the showrooms….

EricDH
Guest
EricDH
5 years 9 months ago

I hope to see these new 9-5 on the road soon. I live in The Hague and have not seen one 9-5 in the wild yet.

BTW, I currently use the services of a dealer near Delft, good to hear that The Hague has a SAAB dealer again.

Eric.

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R
5 years 9 months ago

Thanks for answering Dennis!
about 20 dealers sounds more reasonable, still to few sales thou but I congratulate you to a very good week.
Is´nt there an VM boost in the country? You can say it half Dutch, can´t you. Dont your costomers buy that or are they still scared about the future of Saab?

Enlarge the number of dealer should sell more cars and your population can handel that even if Saab never going to sell in bimmer figure. We´ll see!

Chris Hansel
Guest
Chris Hansel
5 years 9 months ago
Why we buy Saab’s! Dennis your story is one that fills the heart with pride. You must be an older man like myself. Like myself, the survival of Saab is the most important thing, not if a Saab an out preform a BMW, or does it have the right engine, these are the limited thoughts of childern. You work for Saab because it is your life calling, I buy Saabs because they saved my life. it is the BOND that overcomes any other considerations. Your actions show us you have acted as only a honorable man can. When tested, you… Read more »
TuuSaR
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TuuSaR
5 years 9 months ago

Europe is in unusual snow mayhem so would imagen that winter designed Saabs, especially XWD’s would sell a bit better.

BaRa
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BaRa
5 years 9 months ago

You need winter tires, not XWD. 🙂

albert
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albert
5 years 9 months ago

In my counting it is 28 dealers plus 10 service dealers. That makes it easier for each of them to make a living.
In better days that meant an average of 2 new cars per dealer per week.

BaRa
Guest
BaRa
5 years 9 months ago

Dennis: I’m pleased to hear such a positive story. I sincerely hope your business will prosper.

Peter Jones
Guest
Peter Jones
5 years 9 months ago

Nice to hear about a Saab dealer being set up in Den Haag, was Dennis working for Het Motorhuis in Leidsenhage – then the guys there will surely remember me as the British chap in the RHD 9-3 Aero,,,,

It was a great dealership, very busy and good service. Sorry to hear about the circumstances last December Dennis but good luch with the new dealership…

Success!

Peter

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