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End of year sale update – New Salem Saab

December 29, 2010 in Saabology

New Salem Saab are hosting an end of year sale with some ridiculously low prices on 2010 model Saabs. Click here to see the full list of incredibly low prices (and remember that if you’re a paid-up member of the Saab Club North America (and own a Saab) then you could get any of those cars for $1,500 less than those marked down prices!)

The first few days have been tough. It’s a difficult time of year as it is, being between Christmas and New Year.

If you read Darryl’s latest comments on site, then you’ll know he’s had plenty of calls, but foot traffic into the showroom was hampered by some very poor weather.

One of the participating dealers in the campaign, JMK Saab had some huge snow drifts on their lot, up to 7 feet at some stages….

It’s tough going, alright, but they’re going keep on going. In fact, Darryl and one of his colleagues will be opening the showroom on New Years Day to make sure that people have the maximum possible opportunity to call in.

Here’s the stock list again. If you’re in the market for a new Saab then you won’t get a better opportunity than this to pick up a 2010 model at a seriously discounted price. The range and variation in models is huge, so there’s something there for everyone.

Check it out, and say Hi to Darryl for me.

60 responses to End of year sale update – New Salem Saab

  1. I have seen many 9-5 NG on Ebay Motors and other sites. What is the real sales number in the US? What is the problem? Have marketing done the right things. This is issues that needs to be spoken openly of at US.

    I have been thinking about export one from the US to Sweden. 40000 dollars is nothing even when having to pay for freight and 29% import fees in Sweden/EU.

    What shall we do about the poor sales of 9-5´s, spoke to a diver guy from ovloV yesterday on a diving vessel here in Thailand yesterday. Even ovloV people fear for SAAB´s future. More than Saab people here at SU and Saab management.
    — How in the world is SAAB going to survive the long grueling mounts before the new bread and butter models arrive?
    The ovloV people seems to be well informed about what is going on some miles upstreams Göta River. They are now in an avkward position cannot deliver enough XC60. Demand exceeds production. Sweet issue…..

    I do not believe that the 9-4X will do anything positive for SAAB. Just another Mini-SUV. The model just do not cut it, sorry.

    • I share the same fears. Let’s hope that the upcoming 9-5 Sport Combi will pick up pace on sales for the 9-5 and later on the all-new “9-3″ witch will ABSOLUTELY be crucial to Saab as the “bread and butter” model…

    • lack of advertising and brand awareness that has been previously mentioned, is the problem. I have not seen a tv ad in a few months, just random 9-5 print ads in a variety of magazines. people dont know, and if people dont know, its difficult for them to buy.

    • Let us be true to ourselves, the 9-5NG is to big thanks to GM and the 9-4X without a diesel is nothing in Europe. We all says positive things about Saab and truely hope for great sales but the truth is much worse. The 9-3 is old and the only model that can save Saab in the long run. Saab can´t afford to market themselves out of the problem. Distribution network around the world are suffering because of the new situation, less dealer with less money to change the trend.

      It doesn´t look good, so how can Saab survive? Their car must sell themselves and what can Saab do right now to do that? Facelift the 9-3 NOW and do the dashboard as fresh as possible. Unfortunately Saab must find new fresh money to help the situation till the new 9-3 arrives and that car MUST sell it selves otherwise its over.

      A thought: 9-4X will not sell in Europe (lack of diesel). But all the dealers in Europe desperatly need more than 2 models to sell. Then it´s worth to install an diesel into the car and not get a proffit. But that way turn the intrest INTO Saab. It is a big difference with more models even if the 9-5SC comes in a X version.

      All these things cost alot of money but to survive it´s crucial.

      The strength in Saab is there ability to very rapidly respond and hopefully cost effective change things (like in the UK) and they must.

      • I’m going to be taken as being the bad guy again, but seriously, when you write “now” in capitals, when do you mean? Tomorrow? Next Wednesday? At which point is it actually “over” in your mind because Saab have a funded business plan that’s very conservative (allows for slower sales), has been thoroughly stress-tested and will take them through the next few years.

        Sales are rising, albeit at a slower pace than what people would hope. The US is a difficult market at the best of times because they’re always waiting, for more security, for a trend, for more assurance, for a better deal, for…whatever. It’s painfully slow, but sales will pick up again.

        A couple of notes….

        1. Don’t be too surprised if the 2011.5 refresh of the Saab 9-3 does not include a renovation of the interior. The exterior – yes. A “Griffin” package that could well upgrade standard equipment – yes. The interior – quite possibly not.

        2. Don’t condemn the 9-3 for its age or fittings, etc. I have a 1999 Saab 9-3, which has worse driving characteristics, less space and from certain angles looks much more awkward than a 9-3SS – but I love it. The Saab 9-3 Viggen from the same generation as mine can be an absolute pig but it’s the best car I’ve ever owned. Are you trying to tell me that these cars are terrible simply because the car that replaced them is ‘old’?

        Every car has a compromise to make (even the ones that claim they don’t) but none should be condemned because of it. Objectively speaking, the 9-3SS is pretty much better in every way than the car it replaced. If you think the 9-3SS is so poor, then what do you think of my car? And what do you say to the very happy guy who just bought one? To the guy who’s considering pulling the trigger on one later this week?

        The 9-3SS range is indeed older than others in the market, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a very good vehicle, and especially at the price you can negotiate for one now.

        Age does not condemn Saabs like it does for many other manufacturers (I think there’s a post in that, too).

        3. Inserting a diesel into the 9-4x isn’t going to happen for this first generation of the vehicle. And losing a colossal amount of money that Saab don’t have (and it would be colossal) to source, test, configure for manufacturing, buy and market a diesel for a handful of sales just wouldn’t be worth it at this point in time. The estimates that I’ve heard say that it would take around 2 years if they start tomorrow. A ’9-5x’ is a much more realistic proposition.

        For the 1,023,476th time – there are no fingersnap solutions.

        Saab’s revival will take time.

        • Thanks Swade for responding on my thoughts.

          1. My point in the subjekt is: Enough changes for new costumer to see it as “Fresh”. Is good enough for me.

          2. No, The only thing I say is that Saab must sell new cars and what we think is unrelevent, people(new costumer) must feel that Saab is fresh enough to put their money on, therefor my concern. I dont think the 9-3SS is a bad car (I have one myself and love it). But the fact is that Saab doesn´t sell enough cars at the moment and thats the problem. I think that something must happen to change that and my suggestion is what I write down. The 9-3 is the most important car in the lineup until the 9-5 sales go up, wish I hope it happend soon.

          3. I know that there will be no diesel in the 9-4X and the costs is to high. But the whole situation would be mush better if there were a diesel in the lineup. I wider product portfolio is helping. There is no coinciderens that the XC60 only sell i diesel version is Sweden.

          All I want is that Saab survive and sell as many car as possible. I´m not convinced that 80 000 units can be sold in 2011 just by itself. The 9-5SC and 9-4X have only reached the market in june and thats about half way till 2012.

          “Saab’s revival will take time” Yes but do we have time. I hope so much but the situation scares me. Thats why I wrote down my thoughts in the first place

          Sorry if I get you frustrated dear Swade, my intention is always with Saab..

        • I thought Victor Muller said that interior upgrades were of the utmost importance and would be done very quickly? He said that higher quality materials could be used inside to upgrade the feel of the entire car for very little money and would have tangible results in sales? This is an area of the car that the driver encounters every day. I’d upgrade the inside before I touched the outside, or at the very least have both done at the same time. I don’t care what the new car looks like on the outside. If people get inside and it’s the same hard plastics GM used in the old car, people will just head to the Audi or BMW or Volvo dealership next.

    • i think saab is carving itself out of the traditional car business model and they have too. they do depend on their vehicles to sell… but they are going way out of there way to keep their business and funding options open. building transmission with sweden (i love innovative tranmissions) and the EV vehicle (which I might buy if gas prices continue to climb)…

      i look forward to saab’s continued entreprenurial creativity and am glad they are breaking the detroit mold. :) detroit mold as in… im thinking of that scene of that movie about windshield wipers and the cars showcased at ford with the big party introducing the model, etc…

    • I do not believe that the 9-4X will do anything positive for SAAB.

      Nothing significant in Sweden, but an extra 12,000 or so sales per year in the US and a few other places would be quite welcome, I’d think.

      • I know my wife is waiting to look at the new Saab 9-4X. Interestingly, the used Saab 9-7Xs have all been sold off of the Lubbock lot. The one used 2008 Saab 9-3 SC has not sold. There still remains one new 2009 Saab 9-5 unsold on the lot when the last 2009 Saab 9-7X has been sold. I expect the new 9-4 X to sell well in Texas.

        Just a thought.

  2. How are the sales going? Hope you already sold a lot of cars!

  3. The Volvo people shouldnt be worried about the SAAB sale! We still sell more then there so called premium car S80. Also I am really tired of people like Jörgen and his Volvo friend that think they know better the SAAB management! I have insider tips saying the opposite what Jörgen is saying!!

    • Henke please speak out, since You claim to know something the rest of us do not. I have my insiders as well, everything is NOT well at the plant in Trollhättan.

      About the S80 that car is almost as old as the OG 9-5.
      The car industry in western sweden surely likes have two manufacturers.

      SUHRT has vacation and the “production line” starts up next week recreating the SAAB Rally History… as never seen before.
      I believe in working on the heritage and higher values of our brand is crucial. It is the spirit that has the big value. Anyone car weld a car anyplace in the world. Even southkorean vehicles start to get full score in crash tests. Saab needs to convey what goes to the heart not necessarily to the brain (logics etc).

      Get Your friends and yourself to buy new 9-3 and 9-5 that is the only way forward. Please Saab get a incentive programme rolling for buyers of 9-3s to have the traded at a fixed price if they choose to when the Next Gen 9-3 shows up in the fall of 2012. But this will bring the bread and butter to Saab in the meantime.

      Have to catch some rays before getting back into the Canada Goose Parka living in Sweden!

  4. Hey Everyone!

    Well now the snow got you down? Has the Christmas spirit passed? Well come on over to one of the five dealers having our YE Saab sales event and get the best offer ever from Saab Cars & New Salem Saab.

    Come Jan 4, the incentive and rebates are suggested to change meaning we very wellmay have the best chance to get a super deal on any 2010 Saab available. So far we have had a lot of inquiries from around the US and Canada. We have worked many numbers for folks and planted a lot of Seeds. We are now waiting for them to grow.

    Whether we sell a lot of cars or the co-op dealers do or none of us sell many, this campaign can only help Saab awareness. This program has srpead world-wide thanks to SW and SU and social media. For an excercise in world marketing on a shoe string budget, this would be it.

    I cannot and will not tell you the buyers are beating down the doors. I will tell you I didn’t expect this to produce huge results for the time of year and now the 1-2-3 feet of snow some of us got really dampened what I thought would be a good end to 2010 and a excellent ramp up for 2011.

    Selling Saabs is what this is all about inasmuch as getting our customers the absolute best prcing we could muster. This pricing offers nearly zero profit but the bigger picture is at hand right now. That picture is Saab Awareness.

    Continue to spread the word and encourage your kin folk and friends to take a look at our brand. We continue to fight on and will never bow down to the no-no birds….

    I will continue to post updates as will SW and the other dealers for your viewing. As noted, I will be here at the store Saturday New Years Day for some time just in case someone decided last minute to get one. I don;t want them to miss out, nor do I.

    In the meantime, everyone have a Safe and festive New Years Evening and here’s to Saab in 2011…..May it be an upward extension of all the Saab Seeds we all planted in 2010!!

    Cheers – Saab up!

    DC

    • Greetings from Texas. No snow here in Lubbock.

      I’m still looking and have not bought anything yet. Wife told me I couldn’t have a new Saab for Christmas. I will say it would be hard not to buy something if I lived in the Northeast..

      Good luck with the sale. I alternate between wanting to keep my 2008 9-3SS forever and buying a new 9-5 today.

  5. Darryl, If a Canadian purchases a 1-2 yr old Saab from you , will the rest of the manufature warranty stay intact The answer used to be yes under GM ownership.. Since Gm does not own Saab any longer, I wonder if the rules are still the same.

    • Vince – I received a reply today and my Rep. He is getting more information for us. It appears as though it can be done, with a legal letter from Saab about the car the owner and the VIN. We are verifing the differences between the two countries and determining if the warranty is the same or if something is lost due to the change. It is unlikely to get a responce until next Tuesday due to the coming holiday.

      • Thank you , Darryl :)

        • hey all.. unfortunately this was all i recieved from my rep.

          It does not clearify anything… I asked twice..

          Local warranty will apply. Basic B2B warranties is the same including New Car, Corrosion, Seat belt. Emission changes as per transport Canada requirements.
          No Charge Maintenance does not apply and we may have issues with roadside (which we would need to add manually). May need to change Instrument cluster

          that was all…

          sorry

  6. @Vince. I do not know the answer and just forwarded your question to SaabUSA to find out. As soon as I understand their response, I will post the answer here for you! Good question. Thank you.

  7. CAN/US warranty issues: I called SAAB USA 3 weeks ago and was told Canadian dealers honor the warranty for US vehicles, but the roadside assistance is lost.

  8. Jörgen, I wont speak out here I leave it to the mgm team to speak and so should you! Im tired of hearing so called amatuer experts like you. These doom day stories from alot of people in here doesnt help!! Try to focus on good things I know its hard for a Swede doing so but please try. And all of you that have “suggestions” to SAAB how to fix things you think is wrong email them instead of posting it here they wont read it here!

    • Can we afford to leave everything to the management team? The current and previous mgm hasn’t exactly a fantastic trackrecord of making Saab a sucessfull company. Maybe the mgm should have listen more to the market and the customers who are actually buying the cars instead of offering products that less and less people wan’t to buy.
      How do you supply the right product at the right price at the right time? You listen to that the customers wan’t. And the SU forum should realy be a good source for information for the mgm team.
      So if you realy have information, share it, But I doub’t that you realy have anything.

    • Hanke since when did we start having a netiquette like Yours? I have never seen writings like yours before here on SU.
      Do not for a single second underestimate the combined knowledge here at SU, not for a second. Speaking for myself I am born in Trollhättan, with an e x t e n s i v e network. I am saying openly what I know. I have had and have contact directly with SAAB management both present and past.

      Bottom line is that Saab needs to find its roots and core values! None here wants to do any harm to the brand but there is a need for an open discussion!

  9. One thing I’m really missing is communication from the current Saab PR department to the community. It would be so nice to have a monthly Q&A session at SU about what’s going on at Saab. They really need to do all the brand awareness and loyalty rebuilding they can muster.
    I’d be really interested in hearing Saabs views and positions about extending warranty and explanations why it takes so long to come out with the 9-5SC for instance.
    Remember, we’re just here to help :)

    Like Lennart Lönnegren said a few years ago:
    I have often thought of a couple of things that seem kind of particular to Saab people.
    Such as the fact that Saab enthusiasts are pretty crazy, maybe even more crazy than other car enthusiasts, although it is really only a matter of degree.
    But the thing that has really stuck with me more than anything else is the undying loyalty, in one way or another, that Saab people feel, and certainly express, for Saab. By Saab people I mean not just people like you, ardent enthusiasts and collectors. I am thinking of all people who at one time or another have been in touch with the Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget: car owners, car dealers, employees, just about everyone.

    • Agreed, and hopefully more communication can happen. I know that Saab are taking steps to ramp up this side of things because they advertised in the social space a few months ago – a matter of public record for those who saw it.

      I think the tough part will be to get people to accept the explanations that they give. My own experience here is that people don’t tend to accept something they don’t like, regardless of the company’s circumstances. It’ll be a delicate balancing act.

  10. Haven’t been here for awhile so I thought I would check in. Got the news a few months ago that the local Saab dealer here in Memphis had changed dealerships for the third time in about the last 18 months. At least it is still around. I talked to the sales manager who I know well and he says the sales at the new location are much better than the sales at the last location.

    But where they are located now is in an old auto strip that lost its pizazz a long time ago. They are in an old Saturn dealership and not in an upscale part of the city. Nice dealership, but out of the way for me, and in a location that is really on the downhill slide.

    There are two things other than the dealership that are really going to hurt Saab here. First is the price of these new cars. Most cities in the US are in a state of near depression and Memphis is no exception. Cars are not selling in the US at all, now that the government is no longer giving incentives to buy. Home sales are on the skids again and home foreclosures are up. If the US does not get rid of its too- big-to-fail banks, and they are allowed to continue to rape Americans without doing anything to help Americans make a come back, then most economists think we will be in the doledrums for the next ten years. We will truly have a lost decade. Many of us who would consider buying a new car right now and possibly could, are just afraid to do so for fear we will not be able to make the payments. The first new 9-5 that was purchased here several months ago is already on sale on Cars.com because the buyer unexpectedly lost his job. I am guessing he will probably have the car repossessed and not be able to sell it.

    The second thing is that the new 9-5 is very indistinguishable from the Buick LaCrosse. My independent mechanic’s son pointed out that the look too much the same and he is not a Saab guy, but knows cars. The Buick LaCrosse is much less expensive. The Buick has had some good and bad reviews and one has got to wonder whether the 9-5 will be seen in the same light. Most people’s objection to the Buick is build quality so maybe the 9-5 won’t have that problem. Maybe the 9-5 will be more sporty and have better engines so it will get better reviews in the performance department.

    But still, these two cars look way too much alike, the Buick is very safe, and the Buick is much cheaper to buy and maintain. It is also made in America and there are many people here who are just tired of buying products from overseas. Most Americans realize we need to bring back our industrial base and that begins with cars. Most Americans would be very loyal to American brands if the American car companies can just produce a quality product. It is not the American worker’s fault because we have many foreign brands made here that are of stellar quality.

    I don’t think that Buick is planning on making a LaCrosse 9-5 wagon/combi so maybe if the 9-5 Combi comes here it will truly stand out among the crowd. But wagon/combi sales in America have always been few although those cars are my favorite. People here just go for the SUV. I don’t think there will be much interest here in a 9-4. It doesn’t interest me at all, so why would it interest other Saab owners? Why not buy the Cadillac version instead?

    So my verdict is that it is going to be very tough for Saab in the US. If Saab is going to survive, it has got to make it elsewhere.

    • Hi David, Good to hear back from you. And it’s interesting to hear your point of view. I think there are really two America’s, the heartland (red states) and the Northeast/California + Chicago/Twin Cities (blue states). The economy is definitely worse in the red states and the population there is more likely to want to “buy American.” However, things are picking up in a lot of the blue state area and many car buyers here will do anything to avoid buying what they perceive as American cars even though they’ll happily buy a Toyota made in Tennessee. Almost no one I know would consider buying a Cadillac SRX, but they happily buy Japanese and German SUVs, and I think the 9-4 will do great if SCNA can get their head out of their rear end and promote it (and Saab in general) in a more intelligent way than I’ve seen to date. Interestingly, the blue state areas I mentioned are probably traditionally much more Saabcentric than than the rest of the country. And you’re right, American’s go for SUVs, but in the New York/New England areas, the Saab 9-5 combi has always done well.

    • “The second thing is that the new 9-5 is very indistinguishable from the Buick LaCrosse. My independent mechanic’s son pointed out that the look too much the same and he is not a Saab guy, but knows cars.”

      Disagree.

      The Saabs sit next to the Buicks on the lot in Lubbock. They are the same size but the styling is totally different. The engines are not the same. The cars drive totally different. By making the Buicks more Saab-like, General Motors has improved the Buick car line.

      As I’m often quoted as saying, “it’s not a Saab.”

      Just a thought.

    • The second thing is that the new 9-5 is very indistinguishable from the Buick LaCrosse.

      Oh come on! That’s just not true.

      Now unlike just about everybody here, I don’t much care for the looks of the 9-5. OK, it looks interesting and sort of unique from the front, but even there it is kind of bloated, too high and blunt. Straight from the side it only looks clumsy and boring. And the high side doors and narrow windows make for a claustrophobic back seat, without adding anything of value to the design. It’s a really bad case of “function follows form”, where the form isn’t even good to begin with. It’s only from the back that the 9-5 looks really good. And in general, it gives off a “not quite together” look, as if two different design teams had done the front and back, and only realized a month before launch that they had to use the two halves for the same car.

      But not even a 9-5 unbeliever like me would argue that it looks too much like a Buick LaCrosse. Other than the size and general “stance”, they’re hardly alike at all. In fact, I don’t think anyone would have even considered any likeness if they hadn’t already known that the two cars share components.

  11. David, great writeup I second just about everything you wrote.

    • Has anyone here actually driven the new Buick Lacrosse? I have had a test drive in both cars and I don’t think they drive the same. The styling for the Buick and Saab are quite different for both the front and rear ends. I also don’t see how anyone would mistake the Buick dash for a Saab.

      Just a thought.

  12. This is an update on Saab marketing in the US (at least in the Philadelphia TV market where I live).

    A few weeks ago I reported here that I had not seen any Saab ads on TV in months. That has now changed considerably. I have seen several Saab ads, particularly during NFL football games over the past three weeks or so, including during Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football (for the non-US folks, these are high-viewership programs). The TV ads are exclusively for the 9-5. They not especially memorable but they are not bad either. They highlight the fact that the 9-5 was rated among the top 10 best new cars of 2010, the Make-a-Wish test drive program, and the terms of the current lease program (which are reasonably good). This is a good start.

    I would now love to see more direct interaction, as mentioned above by SWADE and others, as well as a more emotive and memorable ad campaign from Saab.

    A final point. While Saab’s all wheel drive system gets rave reviews from auto critics, Saab has done nothing to highlight that system in Saab ads in the US, so far as I have seen. This is a big deal because in parts of the US that get bad weather the rear wheel drive vehicles for which Mercedes and BMW are famous are not practical for many people. I submit that each fall/winter, Saab should roll out a series of ads in the parts of the US that get bad weather highlighting (a) Saab’s Swedish heritage (and fact that Sweden gets tons of snow) and (b) the fact that the Saab all wheel drive “x” vehicles are all-world performers in winter conditions. One example of a possible ad theme could be something like: “In parts of Sweden, snow is on the ground 6 months of the year. Maybe that is why all-wheel drive system developed by Saab is so amazing”, etc.

    • Your final point is a good summary of what many here have been saying from day one. I cannot for the life of me understand why you wouldn’t mention the benefits of a product when you’re spending all that money? You can start polishing your image (like the German trio) when you have an established brand, but when journalists who test drive cars for a living ask ”What is Saab?” you better line up those arguments in a hurry when you hit the screens.
      Let me guess. No mention of Saab being now an independent company either?

    • happy to report–just like Manlius in Philadelphia’s report–that there are now quite a few Saab ads on Chicago TV. Good to see!

  13. Maybe I was a bit harsh in my comparison between the Saab and the Buick. I am pretty sure Saab owners will know the difference, but I am not at all sure that a non-Saab owner will know the difference, and that was my point. They look very similar and most non-Saab owners will not know or appreciate the difference between the Saab engines and the Buick engines.

    And the Buicks are fairly popular here so the Saab will not stand out in the crowd.

    And by the way, we have lots of BMWs, Mercedes, Audis, Volvos and Jags here as well as every Japanese and Korean auto, so I would not consider us to have typical red state values or attitudes. I think America today is a two nation America; but it is urban vs. rural, not state vs. state. It just happens that the blue states are a bit more urban than the red states.

    But most cities are still in a depression and I don’t see that changing, and many states, California and Illinois for example, are bankrupt. The worst housing crisis is in the west, northwest and Florida, not here. Actually Tennessee’s unemployment is not that bad compared to many states. So overall, I don’t see the US being a good market for any auto brand.

  14. The traditional Buick buyer probably doesn’t want to buy a current Buick because the current Buicks are not what the traditional Buick buyer is used to buying. The Buick Lucerne may be an exception. To me the new Buicks are an improvement. I also don’t think anyone buys a Saab who does not know what a Saab automobile is. It would be sort of like getting Sweden and Germany confused.

    A Southern general once said that the key to success was getting there first with the most. General Motors certainly is getting the Buick on the lot first with the least expense. Let’s call it “first with the least.” Or if you prefer, in Southern, “firstus with the leastus..”

    Just a thought.

  15. I’m not going to be an apologist for the Buick, but you have to ask yourself whether the Saab AWD 9-5 six cylinder which costs $15,000 more than the Buick LaCross AWD six cylinder is worth the extra cost. I think many will find that the extra cost of the Saab is not worth it in this financial climate.

    I guess it would also depend upon which manufacturer is making the best deals at the time.

    I don’t think the Buick four which is underpowered gives the Saab much competition.

    I am also guessing that the people here who have driven the Buick have not driven the really high end Buick that has the really high end suspension, as that seems to be a special order.

  16. The Buick LaCrosse is non-turbo! It does not look like a Saab. It does not drive like a Saab.

    It is cheaper than the Saab.

    True more Buicks are sold in Lubbock, Texas than Saabs, but the preferred Buick in Lubbock is a Park Avenue. Better yet if it were a pickup truck. Chevys sell better than Buicks. Buicks with cloth seats have sold better in Lubbock than the same car with leather seats.

    Buick buyers usually are not looking at the Saabs, and the Saab buyers are not looking at the Buicks, except maybe me. I had the first test drive in Lubbock for the 2010 Buick LaCrosse, the 2011 Buick Regal, the 2010 Saab 9-5 TurboV6, and the 2011 Saab 9-5 Turbo4.

    The right color and configuration in the new 9-5 and it’s sold. However, in Lubbock that just might take years.

    Just a thought.

  17. Maybe you haven’t owned enough Saabs. I have owned 15 and really love them. The turbos are great until you have to replace them which I have had to do several times. After you have spent the money to replace one, you begin to question whether the extra performance and gas savings are worth it in the end. Turbos are not cheap to replace even with rebuilt units. The lp turbos have a lifespan of about 80,000 miles. The hp turbos are quite a bit better but you are still going to replace at least one over the life of the car.

    And Saabs are high maintenance cars. And mechanics in America don’t know how to fix them or properly maintain them which makes them even more expensive to maintain. And and Independent Mechanic can’t fix anything on them that has to do with electronics, which requires a Tech II, which means a trip to the dealer. One 9-5 of mine is in the shop right now (Indy first then dealer) with a throttle body problem. Don’t know yet whether I need the throttle body replaced or can simply have the Tech II upgrade the software. Another 9-5 of mine is sitting at the shop because it’s engine gave up after 150,000 miles (on its third turbo). Can’t find an engine to replace it that costs less than the car is worth.

    They don’t sell Park Avenues anymore, and since they don’t sell Oldsmobile or Pontiac anymore either, Buick is going to have to become the middle car between a Chevy and a Cadillac.

    But you confirmed what I thought. You haven’t driven the Buick Lacrosse AWD with upgraded suspension. It won’t be as fast as the Saab, but i imagine it will handle I -40 in West Texas just fine.

    What has always sold me about Saab is the safety. Buick has generally been very safe as well (Park Avenue was very safe) but not recently with the Lucerne and old Lacrosse that fell back to mid pack. But if the LaCrosse is a near 9-5, it will be very safe. Before I would buy one though, I would wait to see how it does in the real world. Not saying I will switch to a Buick, but I don’t think the car should be dismissed as it has been on many Saab boards.

    • Funny (strange) imho that you should say what you say about the lifespan of the Saab (= Garrett) LPT turbo’s. My 9000 2.3 LPT, upgraded to FPT (same turbo, different ECU & software), has now covered about 185.000 miles in 14 years and is still on its first turbo. I know quite a few similarly aged Saabs that have never required a turbo replacement either. As I believe the OG 9-5 LPT turbo’s are more or less identical to those in a 9000, it baffles me why your cars seem to eat through their turbo’s so quickly.

      I assume that, given your 15-Saab-history and ensuing brand experience, you don’t put the pedal to the metal before the oil is warmed up (takes about 10 to 15 miles), use a good quality fully synthetic engine oil (Mobil One p.e.) and let the engine idle a minute before switching it off after a quick trip.

      Ivo

  18. Happy new year everyone!

    Darryl

  19. Can anyone confirm that this suspension on the LaCrosse is the same that is on the new 9-5.

    Is it identical?

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/03/25/quick-spin-2010-buick-lacrosse-cxs-gets-hiper-w-video/

  20. This should give Saab people some sigh of relief. The 3.6liter (called llt) engine in the LaCrosse has had a history or premature engine failure from a timing chain problem in Cadillacs. Ouch.

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2008-cadillac-cts-general-discussion/213645-3-6l-v6-di-llt-engine.html

    • No sigh of relief here, David. No interest.

      I know the Buick makes for an interesting value proposition but I think the lack of value with show with time. 1. perceived quality now doesn’t mean quality in three, five or seven years from now when Saabs tend to remain interesting. and 2. If you buy the Buick, you’ll be driving a Buick and thinking about the Saab.

      When I was in LA back in November I talked with Mikael Jakobsson about this very subject. Some people are into Saabs because they’ve historically been a good value proposition in terms of getting into a European car. Most, however, are into Saabs because they like being in a Saab, they like the Saab way of doing things. And if you’re in something else, regardless of whether it also has HiPer Strut or XWD under other names, you’re not in the Saab.

      Call it blind faith if you like, but there are very few marques I’m interested in. I’m interested in those marques for very specific reasons and the one I’m most interested in is Saab. Other brands will compare well on paper, but you don’t drive on paper, or live with the car on paper. You do those things in person and personally speaking, the thought of owning a Buick or an Opel would never cross my mind.

      • You are talking to a guy who has owned 15 and presently has 5. They are the only cars I own. I am not worried about Saab having to convince me. I am worried about whether enough other people will buy Saabs for the brand to survive.

        All I am saying is that there is lots of competition from more expensive cars and from less expensive cars.

        Maybe in these tough financial times Saab will be the beneficiary of present owners of Mercedes, BMW, Jag and Range Rover like the fellow you mention below.

        But do I see my kids being able to afford Saabs? No. Certainly not new ones and probably not used ones as well. And if they won’t be able to buy them because they can’t afford them, then the vast majority of Americans will not be able to either, even if they really want them.

        • But do I see my kids being able to afford Saabs? No.

          I didn’t know all Saabs cost the same? If you’re only used to buying new and the most expensive models and it might feel that way.
          Kids have never been able to afford new Saabs in Scandinavia. Maybe the new situation in NA is just what the second hand market needs.

          There is always going to be those who can afford $60k cars. A Saab 9-5 at 40-50k is not too expensive. Europeans look at that and say “Man its cheap!”.

          You think Saab is expensive to maintain because you haven’t had other brands for so long. I tell you. Audi can be a nightmare in that respect. Porsches have been ‘famous’ for blowing their engnes at 80.000 miles in the past and so on.

          • Saab used to be a “people’s car.” Most people could afford one new, or slightly used.

            What you don’t realize if you are not from America, is that these cars can’t be fixed without a TECH II unless it is strictly a mechanical repair. The TECH II’s are only available in dealers and the average mechanic can not afford to get one.

            So these cars are not very good options for young owners. Most young owners can not afford to take their cars to the dealerships for repairs. And there are only 300 or so dealerships in the US, (if they all survive), and this is a huge country for 300 dealerships.

            And while to a European, a $40,000 car may sound cheap, it doesn’t sound cheap here. We have no universal healthcare, our healthcare is very expensive, our social security is quickly being taken away, housing is expensive, and although gasoline is cheap by European standards, we have no mass transportation, and many have long commutes to and from work, and both husbands and wives work, often long distances from each other. Although 63% of Americans want us out of Afghanistan and Iraq, our government still insists on pouring billions and billions of dollars into these wars, so our taxes do not go to improve things here at home.

            So we simply may not have the disposable income that Europeans have. We have lost our manufacturing base and good jobs are scarce for the youth. The old people are having to stay in the workforce longer.

            So for Saab to be a success here, it must still be a “people’s car.” These new Saabs are not priced as “people’s cars.”

            So what happens here is there has to be huge discounts off MSRP to even be competitive with many other brands. This is why you are seeing the prices quoted above. Few people are buying cars. The Korean cars are quickly taking over the market. Even the Japanese are starting to lose sales to the Koreans.

            I really see European brands dying out in the US in the not too distant future if we have a few more years of great recession.

            It used to be that Porsches were quite common in the US. Now they are a rarity. Other brands like Fiat, Alfa, Renault, Peugeot, MG, Ferrari, etc. we used to see on occasion ten to fifteen years ago. No more. Long gone. Even though Fiat bought Chrysler, I don’t think we will see Fiats here anytime soon. I have my doubts that Chrysler will make it.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Jaguar and Range Rover don’t last long here either except they are now owned by TATA so maybe the Indians will still find a way to sell them here.

            My point is still this. If Saab needs the US to survive, its chances of survival are poor, unless the US economy makes a turnaround that no one is predicting.

            And with countries like Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Italy also having severe economic crises and England not far behind, my question is who anywhere is going to be able to afford these cars?

          • David, this thread has gotten a bit too political but that’s okay, I do believe it’s important to have an open discussion as pricing and the world economy is a big part of car sales and future success of Saab. If you say Saab is too expensive in US then god help the Germans as they cost that much more, right?

            You also say Saab is no longer a ”peoples” car thanks to pricing. I find that interesting since 20 to 40.000 units sold in NA hardly qualified it as that in the first place. The only countries Saabs have been been peoples cars are in Scandinavia and that was the non-turbo base models over 20 years ago. The original 9000 was a Minister/CEO class vehicle. It was not for the avarage Joe or for boys in their 20′s or even 30′s. When GM watered down things the 9-5 got the wrong label of being a VW when they no longer could compete with the Germans (lack of V8) in that ‘high power premium’ segment.
            The whole thinking behind the 9000 (9-5) was to be a ultra reliable -performance- highway cruiser for customers who can’t afford a cheap/unreliable car (the same way the A6/8, BWM 5/7-series, MB E/S class). It’s a conscious choise. I rather pay $15k more any day to have reliability and characteristics that those ‘lucratively priced’ Koreans can never offer. That’s also why the German Trio is doing so well. They have the image of not selling cheap junk. My first Saab cost $500 and it served me well for years and made me really appreciate the brand. My last Saab cost $52.000 and my next (9-5SC) will be over $70k and has to hold up for half a million km in 10 years.

            The current 9-3 on the other hand is imho somewhat a peoples car at the moment if you look at the off the wall offers for the remaining MY10. I recommend your kids to grab one quick as they’re a bargain. If the lack of a nearby dealer prevents you from buying a Saab then well you just unfortunately can’t buy one, that’s life. My personal experience is that I’ve never needed a Tech II on my 9-3ss. You can read the codes with any half descent OBDII scanner if you have to.

            I know enough about the world economy to agree that this going to be a though ride for the next ten years, but I stick to my previous statement that despite huge unemployment figures the world has never come to a standstill (at least 6/10 are always working and millions of people make $200k+ a years despite any recession). There are always those who need a good car and will buy one. Saab just has to position itself back with a few tweaks to the cars and a descent marketing on par with the Germans to make it.

            About the Scandinavian welfare I can tell you it’s not that hot anymore. An entrepreneur is basically on his own and you need medical insurances the same way Americans do or you’ll die waiting for surgery. Our purchasing power is horrible and that sense of security and that shiny happy people mentality is long gone. A terrorist attack and a probable blood bath got very close to happening the other week in Denmark, so much for that, but we still need those top quality (not inexpensive) cars especially for the harsh winters. I believe the same thing applies to Canada and Northern US. There rest of the world has to settle for that summer fun all year ;)

  21. I just ended 2010 on a very positive note by test driving a 2010 9-5 Aero at my local dealer, Village Saab in Acton MA. Forget about comparisons to Buicks and BMW’s….this is a wonderful car in it’s own right.
    Pros|
    - powerful and responsive engine
    - loved the seats and the overall driving position
    - sport steering wheel was just the right thickness
    - ride was solid but not too hard
    - highway on ramps were devoured effortlessly
    - not sure I would ever be able to push that car to the limit
    - nav makes the center console look much smarter
    Cons:
    - back seat feels very enclosed due to small windows and slope of roof, although there is plenty of space for someone 6′ 2″

    If you haven’t driven a 9-5, get out there and drive one. This is a great start and Saab has put together a very fine car. I don’t care where the parts came from or who else shares them, it is a sweet car. Did I pull the trigger? Unfortunately no…….I will wait for the wagon to be released this summer. What I learned today is that my next car will be a Saab 9-5 and that Saab is going in the right direction.

    Happy New Year Everyone!
    Cons:
    - visibility in back seat is limited due to small back windows

    • I got a wonderful email in my inbox this morning from a guy who’d just bought a 2010 Saab 9-5 Aero from Village Saab. He’s been driving MB, Range Rover and Jag for the last few years. Cross shopped the 9-5 against MB and BMW and is very happy he bought the Saab.

      It was a wonderful way for me to start the new year.

  22. I hope he has better results from Village Saab than I did. The CPO 9-5 I bought from Village had a cut rear center seat belt, different tires on the front than the back, and the wrong size front rotors (the edges of the pads had actually worn OVER the smaller rotors). None of these were allowed by the Saab CPO program and were only discovered after I picked the car up and read over what was supposed to be covered by the Saab CPO program. Of course, Village Saab, when contacted by GM/Saab corporate, claimed that I must have taken the car to another brake shop. Nope. I will never again buy another car at Village Saab. Let the buyer beware I guess.

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