Saab US sales data – November 2010

Sales numbers for the United States were circulated while I was sleeping and as forewarned (before I started sleeping), a mountainous workload remains for the people at Saab Cars North America.

There were 1,127 vehicles delivered in September 2010 in the US.

There were 741 vehicles delivered in October 2010 in the US.

November 2010 saw 397 vehicles delivered in the United States. I mentioned the numbers from September and October just in case SCNA were tempted to rest on the fact that 397 vehicles actually represents a rise on the 371 vehicles sold in the same month last year.

While it’s a year-on-year rise, the fall over the last few months is clearly evident. One now has to wonder how many service loaners were ‘delivered’ into dealer carparks a few months ago.

——

Something needs to happen in the US.

I don’t know exactly which part of the operation/strategy is playing the part of the boat anchor right now, but whatever it is, they need to blow it up and get some real-world awareness out there.

Saab have genuinely good offerings for sale at the moment but they’re just not getting the interest they need. I’ve heard from one dealer who’s not getting bites on 2010 Saab 9-5s despite having almost five-figure incentives on the vehicle.

A 2010 Saab 9-5 V6 Aero for around $40K does not represent a value problem. This is one cracker of a vehicle. There is a visibility and perception problem out there and there’s a massive challenge ahead to change it.

We’re getting to a point where “in progress” and “we’re aware” just aren’t cutting it anymore. Hugh W reported in comments today that Manhattan is now without a centrally close Saab dealer because Parkfield Saab just closed its doors. How long can stuff like this keep happening?

Sweden need to make sure they offer good vehicle configurations (no green-screen radios) and the US guys need to price and market them effectively.

What was one of Bob Sinclair’s rules? Make people believe they’re getting a car that’s worth more than what they paid? Equip it, price it and market it.

Sorry. Had to vent. I’ve met too many great dealers in the US who are still hurting.

Quickening
Guest
Quickening
5 years 9 months ago

Holy hell. This can’t last…

And I completely agree. The US dealers shouldn’t even be stocking non-navigation units..

turbin
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turbin
5 years 9 months ago

And if the 9-5 doesn’t sell in the U.S. then…where will it sell??

cap
Guest
cap
5 years 9 months ago

Here’s the issue. The current marketing campaign is ineffectual. Been said jere a million times. Not many people know saab exist. Have a tv campaign that clearly shows saabs gorgeous cars (pls use a different angle for the 9-5 ) at a solid price WITH a link to website that explains saabs new found independence

Jake
Guest
Jake
5 years 9 months ago

I ranted about this earlier: something needs to change at SCNA.

I don’t care what, just something. Perhaps some new 9-5 variants, I’m not sure. But honestly, this market is one of the most important for Saab. If it’s done for, then in time, Saab will be done for. I wince at saying that.

This had better not last.

Greg Abbott
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Greg Abbott
5 years 9 months ago

I could not agree more. From the outside, it’s hard to know who or what to criticize, but the results speak for themselves. Something has to change.

Paddan
Guest
Paddan
5 years 9 months ago
These sales figures are awful. I sound like a broken record, but while he may be a nice guy, the top executive is obviously not delivering and in fact from what I understand, is doing things from whence he came – the old GM way. He is as far from Sinclair as one could imagine in his management style (not that Uncle Bob wasn’t a nice guy) and that kind of shake it up attitude is what is needed like yesterday. Perhaps he should take a few suggestions from our favorite blog in spending his advertising dollars. Or how about… Read more »
meg haviland
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meg haviland
5 years 9 months ago
A few months back, testing the proverbial waters when Saab started that awfull Ad Campaign “she is not for you” crap I tried to call the Royal Oaks Office with no luck. No phone listing and the “800” #’s were bringing me back to GM people who had no answer how to reach anyone at Corporate. Something needs to change in Michigan. Haven’t heard anything from Mike Colleran at all recently. I agree, time for a change and dump dead wood. As for the dealers left in the US, unfortunately they don’t have much in their co-op for advertising expenses… Read more »
Curvin O'Rielly
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Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago

Good luck, Meg!

turbokalle
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turbokalle
5 years 9 months ago

Go get them Meg!
By the way Meg, what do people say that actually come and testdrive? Are they positive or negative? If negative, what about?

meg haviland
Guest
meg haviland
5 years 9 months ago

@turbokalle will get back to you. I start today and most likely be heavy on Chevy training at first but will update your question later on Saab.

Steve in CT
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Steve in CT
5 years 9 months ago

Meg,

Congratulations and very best wishes – I am sure you will do well!

…and I am sure that dealer is lucky to have you.

Steve in CT

Jake
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Jake
5 years 9 months ago

Meg-
you’re living a dream and helping Saab succeed!

Good luck!

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 9 months ago

@ Meg, you’re going to do great! Saab is going to be an even better compnay thanks to QUALITY people like you.

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 9 months ago

Ah, finally a sales person that knows what he/she is talking about.
Congrats Meg!
Make sure you park that nice convertible in front of the showroom.

Momcat
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Momcat
5 years 9 months ago

Terrific news, Meg!! I am sending good wishes your way for all sorts of success in your new venture! Saab could not ask for a better representative for their brand–hoping you will soon cross that hallway in to the world of Saab where you belong!

Saabseller
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Saabseller
5 years 9 months ago

Ahhh Meg… good luck, concentrate on Saab, leave the Chevys for those that can’t be bothered to learn about Saab. I’m used to Saabs 45 different models, it terrified everyone else so I had the whole show to myself for years! Learn all about Saab, concentrate on safety and pleasant driving experience, and remember TEST DRIVES SELL CARS!!!

They will all keep trying to bust you on price and then whinge and whine about resale … figure that one out.

meg haviland
Guest
meg haviland
5 years 9 months ago

FYI:
Sales numbers as Swede alluded to for September and October were mostly service loaner #’s so when these cars get resold, the #’s don’t count at that time since according to Saab they have already been sold.

TuuSaR
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TuuSaR
5 years 9 months ago

I think people who wanted V6 automatic got one and then it slowed down as MY11 V4’s were not fully available yet.

35 Saabs registered in Finland btw.

turbin
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turbin
5 years 9 months ago

Fair call, also VM/JAJ noted the other day that there are not enough cars there. Having said that they seem to also have too many of the wrong ones already.

Alex L
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Alex L
5 years 9 months ago

Swade and others – is there any way we could communicate our thoughts to the staff at SCNA? I think there are some great ideas in this community how to improve marketing and public perception of Saab, and we really need to let the people responsible for marketing know what we think.

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 9 months ago

I wonder if management there cares what we have to say.

fred from chicago
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fred from chicago
5 years 9 months ago

I aggree. I really dont think SAAB NA cares to hear.
For example, I had a conversation over a month ago with Saab NA about the GM content on the website and the fact that GM responded to my SAAB email. Nothing has been done. Not only does SAAB act like old GM–but they are inextricably linked to this day. As far as I can see they have forfited most of their marking response to GM, who really couldnt give a damn.

Peter, Sweden
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Peter, Sweden
5 years 9 months ago

Why would Jan-Åke want to have 6000 new Saabs on sale in the US when they can’t even sell 400 cars a month? What in their tactics am I not getting?

I think there’s going to be a lot of advertising for the 9-4X, but something big has to be done much earlier as well. Has there been any advertising and/or some kind of IRL marketing at all in the US during October-November?

Quickening
Guest
Quickening
5 years 9 months ago
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. And this is just coming from a Texas view, they lost about 4 dealerships within a month. There is no representation in Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio, and Houston (for the most part). Houston is the 4th largest city in the nation and San Antonio is the 7th. Huge markets. In Dallas/Ft. Worth they switch the dealerships to an Audi and a Mini…it wouldn’t be too hard to see all the Saab customers moving to either brand. I don’t watch much TV, but when I did, I saw some Saab ads a… Read more »
stampe
Guest
stampe
5 years 9 months ago
Ken Batchelor in San Antonio has at least 2 new 9-5s, not in their main lot but in their overflow lot that you can hardly see. They also have a few 9-3 wagons and sedans but don’t know exactly what year or type they are since I can’t close enough to see them. They had 2 previously owned models near their showroom, but I didn’t notice any new vehicles for sale. They still have the Saab sign up but the showroom has all Caddys. They removed the signage in front that had Cadillac Saab and Hummer. I assumed they were… Read more »
Quickening
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Quickening
5 years 9 months ago
Sewell the parent company dropped all their Saab contracts. Ken Batchelor is only selling used Saabs. I see the 9-5 and row of 9-3’s everyday. I went in to see if I could check out the 9-5 and they are not allowed to show or sell any of the new inventory. They said they were sending them back to Saab… He also mentioned that he was trying to sell a CTS to a customer the day the 9-5 showed up and the person instantly wanted to buy it, yet they couldn’t. So the salesmen lost the entire sale. Hopefully that… Read more »
100%Saab
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100%Saab
5 years 9 months ago

Scoggin-Dickey Saab in Lubbock has new Saabs for sale.
2011- one 9-5, one 9-3
2010- one 9-5, two 9-3s, one 9-3 vert
2009- one 9-5, five 9-3s
2008- one TurboX
Used 2008- one 9-3SC

And, no I’m not a salesman.

stampe
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stampe
5 years 9 months ago

That’s a shame, not that Ken Batchelor was ever really serious about selling Saabs. Back in 2006 when I was looking for my 9-3 Aero, Ken Batchelor only had a few vehicles for sale. I had to travel up to Austin to a wonderful Roger Beasley dealership. Outstanding facilities with lots of inventory. They seemed very proud of their product which made you want to buy a vehicle, which I did. I haven’t been up there since then so I hope they are still doing well.

Greg Abbott
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Greg Abbott
5 years 9 months ago
When I was looking for my new 9-5 in arctic white, I was scheduled for a business trip to Texas. I thought I might fly down and drive one home, so I spent some time on the phone with the sales manager at Roger Beasley in Austin, whose name escapes me. Wonderful gentlemen, and I can’t say enough good things about the brief contact I had with them. My trip got cancelled, so I went back to plan A with Iowa City Saab – but I would have been happy to buy a car from them. I do believe they’ve… Read more »
Smithy
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5 years 9 months ago
zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 9 months ago

Interesting article. In Victor and Jan-Ake we have a team that can do great things for Saab provided sales materialise and the company starts making money.

hughw
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hughw
5 years 9 months ago
Swade, vents and rants are definitely required. It’s hard to believe, but http://www.saabusa.com , a pathetic excuse for a website, has a Dealer search function that would make anybody other than the most diehard Saabist think that if Saab has not already gone out of business, they should. Amazingly, they have it right and Parkfield Saab is no longer listed, but two other longer defunct Saab dealers in New York (Potamkin and City Saab, and good riddance to both of them) are still returned at the top of the dealer search list, leaving only 86th Street Saab as in Brooklyn… Read more »
Jake
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Jake
5 years 9 months ago

Hugh-
I 100% agree with you.

The saabusa.com website is crap.

Just crap.

Quijote
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Quijote
5 years 9 months ago

+1

These days, website interaction is the #1 promotional tool any company can leverage, and the most direct connection between consumer and producer.

I don’t believe that the website functions as it does because of some GM ties that haven’t yet been disconnected. Its been nine months since the sale. I’m in a related industry (E-Commerce), and find that logic VERY difficult to believe.

I just don’t get it. SAABUSA.COM looks like something from Netscape Navigator days. Embarrassing.

Jake
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Jake
5 years 9 months ago

The Netscape Navigator days?

+1+1+1+1+1

Vance
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Vance
5 years 9 months ago

http://www.nysaab.com/

City Saab is still in business and Marc Rosenkilde is their service guy and is one of the best!

BoeBoe
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BoeBoe
5 years 9 months ago

Saab’s 2009 November sales were 371 and not 293. At least, I we can trust the GM numbers 😉
http://media.gm.com/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/Dec/1201_gmsales/_jcr_content/rightpar/sectioncontainer/par/download_0/file.res/DeliveriesNovember2010.pdf

And I fear that they won’t manage to sell those 10.000 Saabs they hoped for this year.
(YTD = 4.371)

Dan
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Dan
5 years 9 months ago
My hope is that many people were waiting till the 2011’s were in stock and accessible. The U.S market is not going to work until people see these cars as covetable and available. Most Americans walk in, take a test drive of the car with the options they want, and then buy it. If they are particular they will special order the color and maybe a little customization. My prior post about the seattle dealers still rings true. I am afraid that many dealers who are still alive are alive because they are not a sole source for saab. This… Read more »
BoeBoe
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BoeBoe
5 years 9 months ago

@Swade, do you have the numbers per model? And the stock they had at the end of the month?

spikeieos
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spikeieos
5 years 9 months ago
I am proud to say I have contributed all I can to this: that number is 397 and not 396 because of me! No discussion and complaining, go drive a manual 9-3 Aero XWD, fall in love, and take it home! You will be giddy with the number of rebates available right now. Then show the car to your family and friends as I have, one of them is sure to buy as one of mine is about to. Also, if I had known prices were so low on the new 9-5 at some dealers I would have suffered an… Read more »
Nate 9-3
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Nate 9-3
5 years 9 months ago

Thanks for your contribution! I hope the car is good ot you and your family for many years.

zippy
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zippy
5 years 9 months ago

Unfortunately I am not surprised. The website is a disgrace and SCNA doesnt seem to be marketing the fact that Saab is still in business. Time for a change at the top me thinks!! Hurts to say it but if Saab doesnt sell in the US its dead.

Peter Gilbert
Guest
Peter Gilbert
5 years 9 months ago

This is sickening, I meet former and present Saab owners who still do not know that the company is in business, let alone that there is a new 9-5 on the market.

The only one I have seen on the road was when I overtook a Michigan manufactures rep several weeks ago in, new Haven, CT.

Dealers need to host parties and invite everyone on the customer list.

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 9 months ago

I have seen no Saab advertisements whatsoever. SCNA really need to lay it all out and do some TV ad’s and billboards. I have seen none around the Philadelphia area.

Manlius
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Manlius
5 years 9 months ago
Agree 74. I live in the western suburbs of Phila and have seen absolutely nothing. Interestingly, I have owned 6 SAABs over the past decade (some leased), 4 of which were acquired new from the dealer. Other than one email about a launch event for the new 9-5 (on a Saturday I was out of town, unfortuately) I have heard nothing from the dealership. Most surprising to me was that I recently returned a SAAB at the end of its lease and absolutely no effort was made to try to get me interested in a new SAAB. I was not… Read more »
Nate 9-3
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Nate 9-3
5 years 9 months ago
One of the things that we all like about SAAB is that they are balanced. The cars are great at many things, perhaps not the best at most things. They are excellent well rounded vehicles. SAAB tends to advertise their cars in the US this way. *Warning – VERY BROAD AND GENERALIZATION ABOUT TO BE MADE* As an American, I tend to run counter-culture to a lot of mainstream Americanisms. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that is bad. The point is, I like SAAB commercials a lot. That translates into “Most Americans do not”. In the US you have to… Read more »
John Schroeder
Guest
John Schroeder
5 years 9 months ago
I live in New York, and am planning to LEASE a 2011 NG9-5 turbo4 when my lease ends in February. THE PROBLEM HERE IN THE UNITED STATES ISN’T SAAB ADVERTISING – THERE’S PLENTY OF IT IN MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. THE PROBLEM IS THE LEASE DEALS – THERE AREN’T ANY THAT MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE WHEN COMPARED TO THE COMPETITION. We Americans love to lease luxury cars. Take a look at the leasing numbers for MB, BMW, Lexus and Jaguar here in the United States. WE NEED BETTER LEASE DEALS FROM SAAB AT THIS POINT. RIP Parkfield Saab in NJ – A… Read more »
Jake
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Jake
5 years 9 months ago
Yes, we do. $329 a month is OUTRAGEOUS!!! Even I know that, and I’m… 13! 😉 And no ads ANYWHERE now! And the ones put out before were pure putty-like smut. That’s ridiculous. We already discussed this, but SCNA, I know you’re trying, but if you’re really passionate about Saab, you’ll pull some strings and clean up your act. I realize it costs $$$, something you don’t have lots of, but c’mon. This isn’t an ordinary business. This is Saab. This is an extraordinary business. It can succeed, but we need something better from you guys. Sincerely, -Jake
Curvin O'Rielly
Guest
Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago

That’s what cars cost, Jake. Sometimes even more than that.

Jake
Guest
Jake
5 years 9 months ago
Curvin- I realize that, but… The 9-3 leases at $329 a month (I don’t remember the exact figures) but MB is leasing the c-class at $339 a month, and it’s preferred by many people over the Saab. It’s also considered a slightly more luxurious class than the 9-3. This may not be as relevant, but Hyundai is leasing the Sonata for $199 a month, and Subaru is doing the same withe the Legacy. Sure, the 9-3 may be pricier and more luxurious, but there’s no reason in my mind why leasing can’t drop to around $300 a month. $25 a… Read more »
Curvin O'Rielly
Guest
Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago

The thing about lease pricing, Jake, is that it’s always apples vs. oranges. The monthly payment is one thing, but there’s also the amount due when you sign the lease, plus the residual value of the car you choose. I’ve leased cars a couple of times and each time I was sorry I didn’t have a financial expert sitting at my side to help me figure out the most advantageous terms. If you’ve got the details down, I’ll give you a call the next time I lease a car. 🙂 To be honest, I prefer buying vs. leasing.

Jake
Guest
Jake
5 years 9 months ago

Fair enough!

🙂

BellaAsil
Guest
5 years 9 months ago
I am rather concerned about the lack of vehicles that were delivered in November. That is quite a plummet from both October & Sept numbers. I know that our local dealership (only one in the state now) waited over 4 months for its first 9-5 and six months for a 9-3 convertible. Americans are not patient people when it comes to waiting for anything. Also the local dealership hasn’t been doing any advertising that I know of for SAAB. I would love to know which dealers are giving off nearly $10K US off on a new 9-5! The local dealership… Read more »
Fred in NH
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Fred in NH
5 years 9 months ago
I got flamed a few weeks ago for suggesting that Victor go on a prime time commercial announcing to the American public that SAAB is very much alive. I think they need to do something big along those lines. I was talking cars yesterday with someone I work with who, I found out, is really into Volvo. I was explaining to him that I bought my SAAB back when it looked like they might go out of business. His response? “They are out of business, right?”. When I said no he came back with “but they aren’t delivering new cars… Read more »
saabdude
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saabdude
5 years 9 months ago
Welcome to the club Fred. I too have been roundly criticized here for comments on the apparent lack of a marketing strategy by SCNA. Sales numbers don’t lie, however. I’ve been a SAAB salesman & sales/general manager…and as I have said ad nauseum…a SAAB owner for 33 years. I know how the business is supposed to operate. Right now…it is in **** poor shape in the US, and getting worse as the months go by. Let’s face it folks…Mike Colleran is a career GM employee. http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2009/09/mike-colleran-named-as-future-saab-usa-chief.html And we all know how well GM marketed SAAB. 🙁 As Yogi Berra put… Read more »
Sam Y
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Sam Y
5 years 9 months ago

I remember reading when Spyker did the purchase and signed the deal with GMAC that they were going to puch for a leasing program,
for houses we say location, for cars we say marketing and SAAB need a lot of it, you don’t see much of it any more (did they fire the marketing department)
SAAB has an offer for $439.00/27 on the turbo4
MB is offering $479.00/36 on the GLK350 4matic

I think SAAB need to do better

Kirk
Guest
Kirk
5 years 9 months ago
First of all, they need to stop focusing on car enthusiasts and start advertising in the real world, attract lawyers, doctors, arthitects, business people…whatever, there are plenty in N.A. The majority of these people in the real world are potential customers, and that same majority have no idea if Saab still exists. The people reading car blogs and leftlanenews.com are not going to buy a 9-5! Another idea is for every Saab dealer to take 3 9-5’s, drive them up and down the highway for the day, each day a different dealer in a different metro area. Can you imagine… Read more »
Börjesson
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Börjesson
5 years 9 months ago
Maybe Saab USA are deliberately holding back and saving their small advertizing budget until they have sufficient stock at the dealers, have had time to get their website sorted out and that sort of thing. Even if it means a couple of months of really poor sales, it might still be the better option. We’ve heard previously that the PR strategy in the US is to focus on a few very high-profile TV spots instead of spreading themselves thin. Well, maybe Saab will go all in on February 2011 then? The Grammys, the Oscars and the Super Bowl, all in… Read more »
Curvin O'Rielly
Guest
Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago
A big-event TV commercial media buy – the Oscars, the Grammys, the Super Bowl – is an expensive proposition. Moreover, given Saab’s current lack of sales momentum, it’s a high-stakes, roll-the-dice, bet-your-last-chip, hope-you-win strategy. While VM may well have an entrepreneurial soul and nerves of steel, I doubt that he’d pull the advertising/marketing equivalent of betting the ranch (or going to Vegas) to secure Saab’s future, especially since he’s clearly focused on the arrival of the new 9-3 two or so years from now. Since the essential problems seem to be 1.) that people don’t know Saab is still in… Read more »
Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 9 months ago
Busy work week for me thus fewer comments, but I thought I’d chime in that Victor has stated the ad buy for the 9-5 was going to be around $50 million. Why can’t they just go for it with a superbowl and oscar ad for a combined $3-4 million? Really deliver something outrageously eye catching. People watch those events, and it’s one quick way of reaching 95% of the car buying public in one move and then if it’s edgy enough getting blogs to pick it up. I agree with you on most of your points but I think they… Read more »
Curvin O'Rielly
Guest
Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago

Splashy, eye-catching commercials can cost a million or more to film. Then there’s the cost of broadcast time on top of that. Figure a million or more for 30 seconds on the Superbowl, depending on placement during the game, and possibly a bit less than that for the Oscars or the Grammys. For discussion, let’s say Saab’s ad budget is $50-60 million. There’s nothing wrong with big and bold, mind you. I just think it’s a little foolhardy at a point when you’re selling only a few hundred or so cars every month.

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 9 months ago

Curvin – what about the billboards mentioned above – can you shed light on that cost? They could be placed in metro areas where Saab has it’s stingiest footholds and can’t be easily ignored.

Rune
Guest
Rune
5 years 9 months ago

All the while, the dealer claims he can’t get enough stock from Sweden to warrant giving Saab its own showroom

Well… How are the production numbers adding up now? Have they shipped many cars to the US? If they haven’t, then it would make no sense to push advertising much…

Curvin O'Rielly
Guest
Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago

Paddan…
I’m not sure what a billboard campaign would cost. Probably a lot. And I wonder what you could expect by running one, even if you were able to do a saturation buy. Maybe build awareness a little. Possibly even let car buyers know where dealers are located. In general, I doubt that billboards would be cost effective. What’s needed is advertising (magazine, newspaper, Internet, possibly TV in Saab’s major markets) that tells potential buyers what Saabs are and why they should go to a dealer for a test drive.

Börjesson
Guest
Börjesson
5 years 9 months ago
I posted this in another comment earlier today, but I guess it’s worth doing again. It was a very interesting story, after all, and I don’t think Swade has covered it in a post. From a story in TTELA on the 19th: Mike Colleran, head of Saab USA, tells TTELA that they’ve given a lot of thought to their PR strategy. The most expensive, but also important, is to be seen on TV. Such money as Saab has for TV ads will be spent on a few really big events, such as the Oscars, the Grammys or sports events. If… Read more »
Saab dealer
Guest
Saab dealer
5 years 9 months ago
@Nate 9-3: I posted on our website, facebook and twitter, a $309 mo lease on a new 2010 9-3 aero sedan well equipped last Saturday. Pretty incredible lease yet no sniffs. Similar leases on ’11 9-5 turbo4’s as well. The leases are there. Unfortunately there are bigger issues and Steven has hit the nail on the head in his closing paragraph. Giving a customer a huge rebate says “sorry about our product, here’s a bunch of money.” The right approach is bring it to market closer to the ultimate transactional price…and market yourself around that. Rebuilding a brand takes years.… Read more »
Nate 9-3
Guest
Nate 9-3
5 years 9 months ago
LOL great point about the iphone! Thanks for the input. I know that rebuilding a brand takes time but I do not know if SAAB has more than 4 years to rebuild it. Perhaps rebuilding the SAAB image in the US will be something that we study in the future like we will with the purchase of SAAB? VM has already shown me that he can hire the right person in other areas. I am 100% against human cloning, but I am willing to make an exception if we can clone VM and have his copy do nothing but talk… Read more »
turbin
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turbin
5 years 9 months ago

Beautiful insight.

JeremyP
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JeremyP
5 years 9 months ago
As a Saab sales consultant I have to agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts. While I respect that we can’t ween a buying public off of incentives overnight, posting an MSRP that is %20+ above your final transaction price and then trying to open the floodgates with discounts is wishful thinking at best (and financially disatrous at worst). Many of the most informed potential buyers i.e. people who read this blog still do not know what is available to them in terms of ‘deals’. Media reviews give an as tested price (MSRP) but never the actual transaction numbers thus Saabs amazing… Read more »
John Schroeder
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John Schroeder
5 years 9 months ago

You nailed it my friend.

I hope someone at SAAB reads your post and wakes up.

THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW – CAN THEY REALLY AFFORD TO HAVE A FEW MORE 400 UNIT MONTHS?

ivo 71
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ivo 71
5 years 9 months ago
JeremyP, All that you mention is indubitably true. So what can you do with it? You can wait until SCNA wake up and start a national campaign of ‘a few expensive TV commercials around some big events’. On that note, that certainly wouldn’t be my choice for media planning, I would not blow my -limited- ad and media budget on a little bit of overexpensive publicity around mass events (these are, as the word says, for the masses; Saab isn’t and will never be) but on quite a few more selected venues and advertising vehicles fitting the probable target groups.… Read more »
JeremyP
Guest
JeremyP
5 years 9 months ago

Ivo,
‘Not Just Alive, But Kicking!’ Sounds like a great tag line for an advertisement to me! Put that next to a hot picture of an ‘All New’ Saab 9-5, 9-3 Aero, or 9-4Xand you might have something.

ivo 71
Guest
ivo 71
5 years 9 months ago

You are welcome to it, Jeremy, no charge. And you can even truthfully say that you use a European copywriter for your ads. “So much more sophisticated, you know…”” . Should work well in Snobville, Long Island. 🙂

Ivo

ivo 71
Guest
ivo 71
5 years 9 months ago

Sorry Jeremy, not Long Island probably, that was another dealer participating in the discussion. But perhaps still a Snobville? 😉

Ivo

Alex
Guest
Alex
5 years 9 months ago
Fantastic points. Saab needs to realize that at this time they are not competing with Audi in the US as much as they would like to think, but rather lower end cars. I know many people who got into a Saab because it was only a little more than a Camry or an Accord after discounts or as a CPO (myself included). Saab should ditch the discounts, load up the cars with standard features and drop the price signigicantly. If people knew they could get into a reliable 9-3 for 25k rather than a boring Camry that would change a… Read more »
Kirk
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Kirk
5 years 9 months ago

All of the dealers in North America have to unite, it’s easy to do that these days, so get the show on the road!
Sitting back while waiting for customers to come in isn’t gonna do anything.

Also, the boys at Saab have to be more optimistic, 120k cars per year? How about say something like by 2016 we want to sell 500k cars a year! Then you will reach your goal of 120k in no time.

Paul Guinnessy
Guest
Paul Guinnessy
5 years 9 months ago
John Schroeder is right. A lot of it is to do with financing. When we bought our Tiguan a couple of weeks ago I got it at $500 below invoice, and 2.5% over 72 months (1.9% offered at 66 months). The 9-3 is slightly too small for our family and 4 grand more (and the Tiguan dash looks a bit more upmarket I’m afraid to say). I looked at a XC60 (I hated that dashboard) and for 32 grand (plus tax) I could have one at similar interest rates to VW. The lease deal on a XC60 is $399 with… Read more »
Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 9 months ago

What are 2010 9-5 Aeros leasing for and how about 2011 4 cyl. models?

JB
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JB
5 years 9 months ago

I live on Cape Cod, south of Boston and see NO Advertising, either newspaper or tv. As a former Sales Director I have always been taught that to make money, one has to spend money. I just don’t see it. Even the Fiat coming here is getting press. Why not Saab. Open you eyes to what need to be done, or we will be.

JeremyP
Guest
JeremyP
5 years 9 months ago

New England Saab dealers are in a big ad buy that is just starting. On real network channels at more normal times. Not a panacea, but it can’t hurt!

Alex
Guest
Alex
5 years 9 months ago
Not good at all. They need to do some real price slashing and load up the cars with standard equipment. Hate to say it but Saab needs to sell itself as a budget euro luxury brand until they can come out with products that truly represent the asking price. The 9-3 does not stack up to the current competion anymore here in America at least, if it started in the 25k range it would do better. Yes, I know there are incentives but that’s not what people see first, they just need to lower the price and be done with… Read more »
Chris Hansel
Guest
Chris Hansel
5 years 9 months ago
Well, these are disappointing figures. I think their a a bunch of reasons, I will mention two. No real low price entry vehicle, and very little TV money. The website is not great, but it does work , unlike the Ford website I was on last night. Someone ( think a dealer) said it will take years to rebuild Saab in the U.S. Well you don’t have that much time. Do something you hate to do, give the public a low base priced 9-3 without the rebates and advertise the base price car on TV. Nothing else is going to… Read more »
hipchecker
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hipchecker
5 years 9 months ago
Swade – In all honestly, the tone of your entry is just begging for people to rant, so it’s understandable for people to post their concerns. People here are just as frustrated as you, so I can’t even begin to imagine what those who work for Saab must think. I feel really bad for them. What’s interesting is that today GM, Ford and BMW all posted double digit gains in November. So clearly people are starting to buy once again. What we should look at is the TYPE of cars being bought – small, SUV, AWD, Hybrid, etc. Numbers don’t… Read more »
Jake
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Jake
5 years 9 months ago

hipchecker-
I don’t hate you! 🙂 I actually thin you’re completely right. I got grilled for an earlier rant that followed the same lines, but I think you wrote what I was trying to get across better.

Thanks! I’m glad someone agrees with me! 😀

RMinNJ
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RMinNJ
5 years 9 months ago

Well we all had a go at it with the “Saab Ad Competition” .

Does anyone think those ads will help Saab out? I liked many of them.

Here in the US I think they can sell anything if the price is right. I know nothing about marketing cars
though. I will say this. .. On TV in the NY metro area here every morning and night I see RangeRover
commercials…their marketing budget must be enormous. But I don’t see too many on the road.

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 9 months ago

Why sell cars at a $10000 under retail price. As pointed out it cheapens the brand. Why not just sell the cars at a lower retail price. I reckon Saab should have re-entered the US market with low low prices for the first few years to get their numbers up then slowly increase prices.

JeremyP
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JeremyP
5 years 9 months ago

Absolutely. Make people think they are getting a steal in terms of value for money, and it would show up on the buying publics radar much more than the current strategy.

Alex
Guest
Alex
5 years 9 months ago

Exactly! Also the regular consumer just sees the MSRP and walks away, they have no idea how many incentives there are to get the price way down. Saab needs to reposition itself as a value euro luxury brand and then climb it’s way back up the ladder.

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 9 months ago

I thought the 9-5 should have been introduced as an Aero XWD at $39k but only now are dealers discounting them to that price and it’s too late. Ala Lexus in 1989.

Tompa
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Tompa
5 years 9 months ago

Once again. I don´t get why Saab should build cars for the american market with no margin? And why price themselfs in a place where other Premium cars are not?
Saab is a premium brand and aought to be priced accoringly.

Cheers/Tom

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 9 months ago

While you and I may think that Saab is premium, the American public – like it or not – does not. This is the reality of this difficult market. Frankly I think the German 3 are POSes but that doesn’t matter to the general American public which thinks a C class Benz is way better than a Saab in terms of snobbery. Heck, most Americans don’t know what a Saab is and if they do, they think it went out of business.

Iiari
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Iiari
5 years 9 months ago
I have to share and agree with everyone’s outrage and have very little to add but to reinforce some existing points. As far as advertising goes, here in Rhode Island, an hour South of Boston where there’s a huge existing Saab ownership, I’m seeing no advertising at all anywhere. None. If there ever was a 9-5 launch ad blitz (I thought it would be coming with the ’11’s), I haven’t seen it (vs the millions of those stupid “naughty” Volvo ads). And the ads they were running previously on TV were pleasant, but it’s time for something much bolder… VM… Read more »
EE
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EE
5 years 9 months ago
I live in the Boston area and I have a number of Saab dealers within a 15 mile radius. I have never seen a new 9-5 or a 9-3x once on the road since they arrived. I have not seen any advertising locally either. We have some good knowledgeable dealers in the area like CRS and Village Saab and they seem to have plenty of inventory. Actually, the car I seem to see the most is the previous 9-5 Combi. They are everywhere around here. As a Saab enthusiast with a family in the market for a new car up… Read more »
PA Saab Dealer
Guest
PA Saab Dealer
5 years 9 months ago

We delivered our first 9-5 yesterday. Finished the month with five new Saab and six used. I think things are getting better. It is going to take time with the small add budget in the U.S. The feedback is very good after a test drive. The 2010 9-5 Aero at $50,000 without a sun roof is a tough sell for us. As the 2011’s roll in we will do better. When you drive the cars, they are very good. We have four other brands to sell that helps us be patient.

Chris Hansel
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Chris Hansel
5 years 9 months ago

Hi John;
Hang in there. By the way that old 9-5 from your dealership I picked up made it all the way to AZ and is now doing daily service of about 88 miles at 28.5 MPG. I spend about $ 1000.00 at my local Scottsdale dealership to keep it on the road. It is still proudy wearing it’s Penna. inspection stickers, and S.E. Pa. Saab club decals. When your customers tell you they can’t afford $ 60,000 for one of the new Caddies, tell them to look at Saab instead.
Chris

Börjesson
Guest
Börjesson
5 years 9 months ago
Curvin O’Rielly wrote something interesting a bit further up in this thread: Since the essential problems seem to be 1.) that people don’t know Saab is still in business and 2.) that Saab has some unique virtues that car buyers either don’t know about or may have forgotten, it might be better to run a “steady-state” schedule of full-page four-color ads in major magazines, along with banner ads and other forms of Internet advertising. So what are Saab’s unique virtues? What about Saab would appeal to the general US public who don’t know much about the brand and aren’t already… Read more »
Curvin O'Rielly
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Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago

The first paragraph or so of the first Saab ad I wrote in 1979 does a pretty good job of defining Saab: “With a Saab, the natural tendency to pigeonhole cars in one category or another is best forgotten. A Saab is so thoroughly, pragmatically, imaginatively and intelligently designed and built, it manages to be a lot of things. Unlike many cars, it defies easy labeling.” The rest of the ad, for the 900 Turbo, proved with facts and figures that it was “The most intelligent car ever built.” Sales took off almost immediately.

Donald North
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Donald North
5 years 9 months ago
I remember when Saab’s slogan was “The most intelligent car ever built” and it seemed entirely applicable back in the day. However when I went to the recent LA Auto Show, I didn’t get this impression upon finally seeing the 9-5 up close. For starters, the styling is elegant but understated, which could seem boring. Going inside, why are the window controls on the driver’s door and not in the center console? Why was there no sunroof on the Aero model on display? Why were the seats less comfortable than those in my ’03 9-5 Aero? Why is there limited… Read more »
Dan
Guest
Dan
5 years 9 months ago
Unfortunately, in defense of Saab, a Donald Rumsfeld quote is appropriate: “The army you go to war with is not necessarily the army you want to go to war with.” The shortcomings which you have mentioned are part of the g.m approach to life, trying to restore profitability by cutting the quality will not get you far. G.M has specialized in taking a Huffy bike and calling it a Serotta for quite a while now. Take for example, the engine that they turbocharged and used rubber timing belts, that fried quite a few Saab owners for good. I do like… Read more »
Börjesson
Guest
Börjesson
5 years 9 months ago
C’mon people, these are not unique virtues. They’re marketing spins. I’m not asking for an ad campaign, but for an objective reason to actually buy a Saab. Find a real reason, and then by all means spin it into infinity in campaigns. But there has to be a foundation in reality, you can’t build successful advertising on thin air. Let’s face it: – Saabs are fun to drive, but not as much so as a BMW – Saabs are practical, but no more than a Subaru – Saabs are safe, but no safer than Volvos – Saabs are fairly good-looking,… Read more »
Curvin O'Rielly
Guest
Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago

Donald…
To be honest, I too wouldn’t call the current line-up of Saabs “The most intelligent car(s) ever built.” But I’d let the gist of my comments above stand. Saabs are lots of things all rolled up into one: performance, luxury, comfort, safety, economy (relatively speaking), practicality.

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 9 months ago
Börjesson, It’s the combination of things and lack of weaknesses that make Saabs great. It’s so easy to come out with a car with the most hp (like an Audi V8 wagon) and say this is the ”best” car, when it most certainly isn’t, but even so called intelligent people fall head over heals for the prestige it gives the owner. We must remember that when the 9000 Aero came out it put Saab in the same league with top notch Germans and lot of base Saabs where bought because of it. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the… Read more »
Börjesson
Guest
Börjesson
5 years 9 months ago

Alas, I don’t think a Saab discount in Sweden would work. Not that people wouldn’t be interested in buying a good car for less money, obviously, but the Swedish media would destroy the campaign. They would portray it as a last desperate attempt by a failing company to get some sales going. As a result, no one would buy anyway. Because who wants to buy a car from a company that’s about to go belly-up?

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 9 months ago

Actually I wasn’t thinking about Sweden where cars are relatively inexpensive, but its neighbors. Just look at the site stats. Someone said there where only 35! Saabs sold in Finland in November. It should be hundreds. Maybe a good deal before the MY11.5 update could do wonders to almost non existent sales in some markets.
I know people are waiting for the 9-5SC in Europe and a big diesel, but something really needs to be done in many countries now where Saab sales where ok before all the…

Jake
Guest
Jake
5 years 9 months ago
Borjesson- Snow driving, XWD, coolness factor, a rarity on the road, turbo, and ergonomics. Frankly, I like being aggressive with my advertising, as shown in the Adcomp ads that I made. Saab is currently the passive kid, currently picking their nose in the back of History class in terms of advertising. Living the U.S. Has shown me that a smidge of smugness, and some funny aggression (ike the BMW billboard next to and Audi billboard that said “your move BMW” that said “checkmate”) go a long way. If Saab could do that, like pitting an Audi against a Saab in… Read more »
Curvin O'Rielly
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Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 9 months ago

Aggressive advertising always works… if there’s a singular idea unique to the product (in this case Saab) in the ad.

Dennis
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Dennis
5 years 9 months ago

I agree with previous comments in this thread no one here in Los Angeles wants any new car without a navigation system in it.

Jamie
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Jamie
5 years 9 months ago
Just a couple observations…it seems to me that SCNA has missed the boat on a couple of things. From everyone’s comments here, The leadership at SCNA needs to go back to basic business school principles; what is your value proposition to the consumer? How do you communicate that proposition to the consumer and lastly, how do you execute that plan? Before we get side tracked on the words value proposition, it is not soley monetary value, although for most consumers would identify with that. Value proposition is what the business offer to the consumer. What do I get for my… Read more »
North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 9 months ago
I actually had a Rant (dressed up as Manifesto) ready to post here…but you’ve all beat me to The Punch! I’m with Curvin that we not place a Roulette bet on expensive prime-time, ephemeral, Mega Media Events (SuperBowl etc.). Billboards can work — BUT NOT WISHY WASHY STUFF. Have to play the Safety Card — and it better be of the Moose Headbutting 9-5 in Technicolour variety… so nobody misses it… not monochromatic mood pieces with ‘move your mind’ tag lines. Dealerships: I read the problems of Austin, NYC…and I’m made ill. I wonder whether Saab would not have been… Read more »
Jake
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Jake
5 years 9 months ago

Oh, but I’m not joking….

😀

eadams
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eadams
5 years 9 months ago

Without question I agree with most everything that has been stated here. And, I am especially happy that Swade instigated the discussion since I believe he has an inside line to Saab management. Perhaps Knut Simonsson can chime in on SU like JC has in the past??

That said, no matter how frustrating SCNA’s performance is, I take comfort in the fact that VM and JAJ are hugely intelligent guys and that there isn’t a thing in our comments they don’t have covered.

tallac
Guest
tallac
5 years 9 months ago

One phrase:

V-8

People walk onto the Audi and BMW lots wanting the V-8, and then sell themselves on the viability of the V-6, which really is the better value proposition – logic wins out on emotion.

But what gets them into the lot in the first place? If you are looking at a $40-50k car, you probably already have a car, and it works and everything. You don;t – from a purely rational utilitarian perspective – need a new car. You want a new car. So why not start your search by satisfying the wants?

Alex
Guest
Alex
5 years 9 months ago

completely dead wrong. It hasn’t worked for Volvo and it definitely wouldn’t work for Saab. Not what the company is about and not what it’s customers are looking for, especially now a days, the fact that a mustang now has a turbo 4 should tell you this. The turbo is in, it’s hot and Saab is an expert.

Saabheart
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Saabheart
5 years 9 months ago
Unfortunately I have to agree a little bit. 4 cylinder engines are not associated with premium luxury cars any more. WE know the value, but THEY (general public) don’t. And all they know is what’s on paper. Saabs have always had sub-par 0-60 times and HP figures, the two things that sell cars on paper (at least in America). Now, I know that those are ridiculous numbers, and in reality Torque and 20-120mph is what REALLY should be measured and reported, but we can’t beat them, join them. The Aero needs to move up to a M-fighter (414hp is a… Read more »
Alex
Guest
Alex
5 years 9 months ago
People aren’t buying the V6 Aero, why would Saab put in a V8 and charge even more? Why would such a small company invest in something that would barely sell? Everyone including BMW and Audi are smart sizing their engines and turning to turbo power. The few people who go into Audi/Mercedes dealers looking for V8s are buying large premium models that are far more luxurious and advanced than anything Saab has to offer. These people don’t even consider Saabs and it’s not because there is a lack of a V8, it’s because the brand is not considered premium enough… Read more »
tallac
Guest
tallac
5 years 9 months ago
Look at Hyundai, they brought the Genesis over with a V8, and they will be doing a mid model refresh on both the engine, and the tranny (eight speed). They are competing in the same price space as the Aero ($40-50k), and look at the market share that they have been grabbing in that segment – and they started from nothing. I don’t know why Volvo worked/didn’t work, other than people don’t identify Volvo with sedans in the US – I think people think of the station wagon styled after the box it came in. I also don’t know what… Read more »
Jim
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Jim
5 years 9 months ago
At this point it sure looks like the 9-5 USA pricing should have been more aggressive. Saab is finding out the market value of the 2010+ 9-5. $33,000-39,000. If they advertised it as such, (as a bargain), you tap into a huge swell of demand. The USA market is the world’s cheapest. We are spoiled rotten by $48,000 E-class Mercedes. In our world, the 9-5 (loaded) is a $39,000 car. Saab would do best selling loaded cars (which cost nothing more to build), for $39,000. This goes double for the 2011 9-3. That should be priced in the $20k’s with… Read more »
Robert P
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Robert P
5 years 9 months ago
Read comments on US car forums (also German/British) and there are two constitent lines: 1) We’re not going to buy a rebadged Buick Lacrosse or Malibu or Opel Insignia (in Europe) for 50k dollar. So the old mythe still exists. Work on that – get rid of all the GM logo’s everywhere. How hard can it be to put a sticker over a logo? 2) Saab is unreliable. In the beginning of this decade there were a lot of problems with Black Sludge and T5/T7 DI-units. Specially in area’s where service was not up to standards and/or were weather conditions… Read more »
dmk
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dmk
5 years 9 months ago
Lot of great comments here. I do see an ok amount of national advertising via the Wall St. Journal, USA Today, and big car magazines. I see virtually nothing from local dealers. I’m in Chicago and we have at least 8 dealers, of those 3 Saab exclusive. I’m on the mailing list, or should be, of at least 4 of these dealers. There has been virtually no communication or promotion from any of these dealers. This area is, or was, a big Saab market. Why aren’t the dealers advertising in the local papers or doing open houses, etc.? They should… Read more »
SAAB_andee
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SAAB_andee
5 years 9 months ago

I looked the webpages of some US Dealers. They are really crappy. An their 9-5 inventory is most still low with the standard grey colour.
It´s not Saab north americas fault at all. Dealers also have to take part.
Many of the multibranddealers still have no interest to sell SAABs. Only give rabatts is no concept.

Bravada
Guest
5 years 9 months ago
I believe there is a huge mess going on at Royal Oak. The staff indeed seems to consist of GM staffers accustomed to working with a big organization that supports them and sometimes requires a lot of internal greasing to get stuff through. What Saab needs now is enthusiastic, out-of-the-box, no-holds-barred explorative enterpreneurship. Much more Jill Lajdziak, if I can say. Saab has only been bettered by the dying Mercury in terms of incentives per vehicles. This is taking the worst leaf out of the old GM book. I absolutely agree with the strategy of stocking loaded vehicles at REAL… Read more »
Jake
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Jake
5 years 9 months ago

Well said.

Johan
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Johan
5 years 9 months ago

Everyone has an opinion if everyone emails scna about it. Must have an effect. I mean if everything they do is so nad we need to know that!

fred from chicago
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fred from chicago
5 years 9 months ago
the problem with emailing Saab is that there is no place to email SAAB–without emailing GM. All of the “contact us” links everywhere go directly to GM, who saab contracts to do the work for them. After a couple of posts I did get a call from a nice guy at SAAB NA But the day-to-day contact is with GM. And you still get a pat GM like answer with GM links and mentions of GM products. I am not convinced that, until they finally decide to take marketing in-house with SAAB people or with people who are not GM… Read more »
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