Saab ad blitz in February to shout Saab is Alive

There has been a lot of talk in relation to Saab advertising, much of reflecting no small amount of discontent.

Many have argued, quite accurately, that Saab did not tell the story of their survival. The fact that many dealers and enthusiasts were still receiving questions about whether Saab were still alive only seems to support this notion that Saab still have a lot of work to do.

Victor Muller attended Saab’s outdoor exhibit at the Detroit Auto Show (which seems to have received good attention, by the way) and in speaking to the New York Times, he indicated that that lack of storytelling was about to change:

“Saab was perceived to have died with old G.M.,” Victor Muller, the chairman of Saab’s new Dutch parent, Spyker Cars, said. “People mentioned Saab in the same breath as Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn. But in fact we were the company that got away.”…..

…..[Saab] plans to begin an advertising campaign next month aimed at convincing consumers that it is still alive and plans to stay that way.

“The buyer needs this confirmation that he’s not an insensible person if he actually buys a Saab,” Mr. Muller said.

Of course, February will see the one-year anniversary of Saab’s acquisition by Spyker Cars. There will be a lot to talk about and it would appear Saab plan to talk quite loudly about the acquisition and the fact that Saab are still alive.

More coverage from Detroit:

Photo: Inside Line

ThEgg
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ThEgg
5 years 8 months ago

Smart man; great to see movement in this direction for their adverts.

turbin
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turbin
5 years 8 months ago

“not an insensible person” doesn’t mean entirely sensible either, but that’s the joy of SAAB.

CraigSu
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CraigSu
5 years 8 months ago
The Edmunds Inside Line article is the one I found most interesting, but it’s also the one with the most SAAB hate in the comments. For example: “I would like to hear from some of those “fiercely loyal” Saab owners. Would be interesting to see how interested they are in a new one.” “Looks like Saab is getting a frigid welcome (back) in North America.” “If I want quirky next time I’ll bring my cash to a Subaru dealer and get true weird as opposed to faux weird. I might even get some resale value and reliability too. ” Looks… Read more »
Swade
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5 years 8 months ago

Looks like we need to let them know about SU.

No thanks. Not for a few weeks, at least. It’s been a good few days but the weeks prior to that felt like a ‘War of doubt’ zone here, as well. Tired me out.

The internet’s one of those things where people will exercise their voice simply because they can, not necessarily because they should.

I’m pleased that we seem to be back to a happy medium here.

CraigSu
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CraigSu
5 years 8 months ago

No worries! Looks like the loyalists are already responding without dragging SU into the fray.

baas900i
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baas900i
5 years 8 months ago
I find some optimism here in Western. Australia, not many post MY2007 cars available and the petrol models that come up sell quickly, big shortage of manual transmission models, went to an auction yesterday and a clean MY2008 9-3 linear biopower sedan with 79k, fsh went for AUD $21k, I think diesel models are more difficult to shift. The new Saab Australia will have to follow VW and pass on the savings due to the very high AUD$. The base linear 9-3 sedan needs to be priced around AUD $35k. Spyker et al have done a very good job and… Read more »
turbin
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turbin
5 years 8 months ago

I’ve seen some good cars come up in WA.

I can’t see a base 9-3 going below $39,990 which was the previous stripped down Linear. That was for manual with 16″s and no foglights. It was otherwise very well equipped but looked under-dressed even against the equivalent Volvo which it outdid with standard features. When the Combi first came out it was a no-brainer but my base model car always looked underdone.

baas900i
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baas900i
5 years 8 months ago

17″ alloys and a more stylish steering wheel should do it, the Hirsch rear diffuser would finish it off, but could the number crunchers make it viable?

goose
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goose
5 years 8 months ago
Well, than another optimistic note: it may be intersting to more closely follow Spyker’s stock rate. Prices are up 100% since beginning of January. Seems that there is either something going on that we do not know or, more likely, saab is finally gaining momentum and the relatively good press (in the Netherlands) of the past few weeks is paying off. In the Netherlands newspapers have been quite favourable, eg. mentioning saab’s sales doubled in the last quarter, saab’s china deal and confirmation that saab will maintain it;s sales forecast for 2011. This, the introduction of new models and, last… Read more »
Tim
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Tim
5 years 8 months ago

Please mind Spyker’s has a low free float so investing in Spyker is still highly speculative. Yesterday the stock went skyhigh, today it might drop.

RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

What a shame VM has to do ‘everything’ himself. I’m sure he hasn’t had time to think about it, but in his role of a Saab salesman I really hope he’d leave out the word “quirky” and took up words like Scandinavian reliability, Saab driving characteristics/comfort and real-life (turbo) performance.
Otherwise, an unbelievable job done the past years!

RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

…. and mention the Saab winter handling (safety) now that it’s January 😉

eadams
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eadams
5 years 8 months ago

I must admit I would rather see JAJ as Saab’s primary spokesperson. Frankly, VM comes off as bit flashy and verbose. That can be a good thing in many situations but convincing consumers and the media of Saab’s corporate stability seems to be the order of the day and JAJ’s calm delivery and lack of pinstripes and flashy watch represent Sabb much better, IMHO.

Henke
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Henke
5 years 8 months ago

I read somewhere that SAAB is lowering there pace in the factory to 28 cars. How will they sell 80000 cars now? Boring news…

TTAero
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TTAero
5 years 8 months ago

This news is usual during this part of the year.
Tha sales is slow during jan-feb every year

Christian
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Christian
5 years 8 months ago

Don´t know what hours they work, but 28 cars an hour x 8 x 365 = 81 760 cars a year.
Or lets say they have 16 production hours a day x 200 days, that equals to 89 600 cars a year.
With that said, Håkan Skött also said they have to increase their pace to meat the sales predictions this year. So I guess I´m wrong, but anyways it can´t be that hard for them to produce 80 000 cars.

Red J
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5 years 8 months ago
I think the numbers from Henke are plausible, but to extrapolate the January production rate to the whole year is not that probable. Saab still has to take care about the costs and try to sell as many produced cars as possible. The refresh of the 9-3 will be out in March, and the first months in a Year are not the best selling months, therefore my conclusion is, they have reduced the production rate of the 9-3 in order to not to have to many pre-face lift 9-3 in the market by march. This may or may not be… Read more »
P Estor
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P Estor
5 years 8 months ago

What is actually known about the face-lifted 9-3? Can I find a wrap up or similar somewhere?

TTAero
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TTAero
5 years 8 months ago

ttela.se have a small note about it.

Tomas TL1000R
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Tomas TL1000R
5 years 8 months ago

80.000 -(minus) 9-4X sales(mexico) would be more accurat. How many did they say, about 7.000 this year or so? But there most likly be some stop on the way, 9-5SC, holliday summer stop I think.

Hopefully there will be a second shift and much to do in Trollhättan. I hold my thumbs.

marvin
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marvin
5 years 8 months ago

And finally, Muller said that along with the 92, a rebirth of the Saab Sonett (above right) would “complete the Saab portfolio.” He said such a car would compete with the Audi TT and use the Phoenix platform, but that it won’t be in the business plan until Saab is profitable.

So I guess not until 2013 then 🙂

Henke
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Henke
5 years 8 months ago

This is how you should count! 28 x 8 x 230=51520 + 12000 (9-4x)=63520 cars they can produce.

RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

Wasn’t in discussed before that Saab can produce 300 cars in one shift?
Lets say they’d make 220 cars a day for two months (21 days) = 4.700
And 300 cars for 200 days that’ll be = 60k + 12k (9-4x) = 72k

That’s 76.700 total already. With the second shift kicking in (by the time of 9-5 SC) I don’t see any production problems.

RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

Okay. What can we learn from this? Never correct a typo and change the sentence after you’ve done the calculation 😉

We’re still in the same ballpark with 42 days (2 months) of 220 cars = 9.240 and the remaining 188 days x 300 = 56.400 + 12.000 (9-4x). A grand total of 77.640 cars, plus the second shift.

Börjesson
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Börjesson
5 years 8 months ago
Here’s confirmation from TTELA of that production slowdown. Freehand translation: Lower production rate for Saab The sales target of 80 000 cars per year remains for Saab, but in the plant, the production rate has dropped to 28 cars an hour. January and February normally mean less demand in the car market. For Saab, 200 temporary employees had to leave their employment at the end of last year, and those who remain manage to produce as many cars per hour as before, says Håkan Schött, head of the IF Metall union to SR Väst (local radio). He thinks there may… Read more »
Börjesson
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Börjesson
5 years 8 months ago
TTELA have now replaced the TT wire with a longer piece of their own (at the same link), so the above translation is no longer relevant. Here’s an improved googletrans of the new story: Reduced rate of production for Saab Saab has reduced the rate of production from 39 cars per hour to 28. – I am confident that we will raise the pace again, and then we will need more employees again, says Håkan Schött, chairman of IF Metall (union). The sales target of 80 000 cars a year still stands for Saab, but in the factory, the production… Read more »
Börjesson
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Börjesson
5 years 8 months ago

Also in TTELA, I happened to notice in the job ads (to the right on the front page) that e-AAM are hiring “experienced system developers with a passion for cars”. Nice to see that things are moving along in that department!

Henke
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Henke
5 years 8 months ago

Swade, I know. 🙂 See my calculation. May miss with a few hundreds plus or minus but should be fair.

Henke
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Henke
5 years 8 months ago

Swade, Thats good news if it happens!! Nobody gets happier then me 🙂

Dippen
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Dippen
5 years 8 months ago

Usually Jan and Feb-months are slow ,customers go to the show hall to see new cars when it is better weather outside.

James Cutler
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James Cutler
5 years 8 months ago
re “If I want quirky next time I’ll bring my cash to a Subaru dealer and get true weird as opposed to faux weird. I might even get some resale value and reliability too. ” He should try googling “Subaru” + “sludge” (or even “BMW sludge” -try google images ) and take a look at “Why Subaru owners should change their oil every 3k miles” I hope VM’s advertising campaign shouts about “the car that wouldn’t die” with a really simple and effective slogan that will appeal to non Saabists (not the subtle, longwinded stuff that appeals to people who… Read more »
Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 8 months ago

You mean “sludge”, like in “B235”?

😉

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 8 months ago

Not to mention a front end shimmy problem on the Outback wagons that are causing returns under the Lemon Laws in the US; Subaru in certain cases has replaced MY2010s with 2011s and they have the same issue.

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 8 months ago
I just keep thinking of Mr Morgan’s saying that he had only seen car manufacturerers fold because they produced too many cars, but not too few. So, it is a good sign that Saab reacts quickly to adjust production rates. That said, I think there are still not enough demonstrator cars out there. I eventually managed to contact the last remaining Saab dealer in Munich (of formerly four!), just to learn that they have no TTiD 9-5 for testdrives. That’s not Saab’s fault, but I think they should keep a car pool for that purpose that they can lend to… Read more »
Alexandros
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Alexandros
5 years 8 months ago

Hi Thylmuc, I haven’t seen one single 9-5 in the roads of Munich yet…have you?

Some 5 years ago, Saab had a showroom at the Brienner Straße (!)…and mowadays?…

Mikaik
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Mikaik
5 years 8 months ago

I’ll be happy to drive around all day long when my 9-5 arrives. Which I hope is sooner rather than later.

Until then…I know there’s a black demonstrator (V6) in town, but I’ve never seen it in the street.

There’s still a showroom, on Lindwurmstr.

Alexandros
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Alexandros
5 years 8 months ago

I ‘ll be looking for you and your 9-5, Mikaik…

My Saab mechanic in Freising has an Aero XWD demonstrator in Dark Blue…gorgeous!

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 8 months ago

Not a single one so far, not too good a sign considering that Munich really was some kind of Saab town in Germany. (and this in the hometown of BMW).

The central showroom In Brienner st. was a stupid thing right from the start, just copying what other brands started.

Red J
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5 years 8 months ago

Thyl,
my dealer told me that he expects to reach 2008 sales levels on 2011.
Maybe Munich will have to fight again for the “Saab-town” title 😉

Tomas TL1000R
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Tomas TL1000R
5 years 8 months ago

Hope you right!

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 8 months ago

This planned ad blitz is great news and proof the VM is listening and reads SU regularly. Good work and thanks.

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 8 months ago
With all the nasty weather hitting the US right about now, it would be a great time to brag up XWD. Perhaps have a 30 second spot showing some other SUV/ crossovers slipping on snow/ ice and then show the 9-4X doing its thing with a punchline “worth the wait” We had 4-6 inches of snow fall overnight here near Philadelphia. I have a crew cab 4×4 Chevy truck and my Saab SC ( not XWD). I feel more confident taking the Saab… probably a mental thing but I like it. Sorry Truck, I love ya but… you dont have… Read more »
theSandySaab
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theSandySaab
5 years 8 months ago

…Shout Loud Enough…???
Do this with a 9-3 XWD Aero…
That would get some attention…

J Fan
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J Fan
5 years 8 months ago

THAT. WAS. AMAZING!

John in Bismarck
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John in Bismarck
5 years 8 months ago

The Detroit Red Wings have some outstanding Swedish hockey players, including one of the best ever, Nicklas Lidstrom. It would be great if one of more of them made an appearance at the Saab “exhibit” out there in the cold and snow. Maybe a lap or two around the Joe Louis Arena in a new 9-5 to generate a little publicity and express support for their home country?

gunteman
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gunteman
5 years 8 months ago

Now, that is actually a great idea! Use the swedishness that is current and well known (?) today, and build on that. It’s not that they need any sponsoring – 23 yo Nicklas Bäckström’s contract gives him 1 million SEK every week, for the next 10 years – but I think that the players don’t mind showing a bit of national pride.

RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

Volvos CEO Stefan Jacoby seems to have ‘plugged-in’ to Scandinavian heritage talking about the safety of their new electric car.
Saab should IMO bring up safety more to keep it crystal clear that these Nordic manufacturers are the best in the world on that front (for a reason). Would benefit both companies nicely.

http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2011/01/10/n_volvo_electric_crash.cnnmoney/

Daniel B
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Daniel B
5 years 8 months ago

I´d love to see more ads in the old “bold” style like this one:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveseven/4313502733/

gunteman
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gunteman
5 years 8 months ago

I think it’s crucial that they don’t shout “we’re alive”. That just wreaks of desperation and perpetuates the crisis image. They should shout though, and the “we’re alive” message will be implied.

Curvin O'Rielly
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Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 8 months ago
The time for shouting “we’re alive” was six to eight months ago, back when Saab’s survival was “new” news and when car buyers may have paid attention to it. At this point in time, the only way to reach car buyers – Saab loyalists, former Saab owners, people possibly looking at BMWs and Audis – is advertising that not only presents the merits of Saabs but also gets them into a showroom for a test drive. The right kind of advertising will drive Saab sales. And without actually saying it, it’ll also tell the world that Saab is alive and… Read more »
Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 8 months ago

SCNA would be well advised to hire Mr. Reilly as an advisor post haste, particularly given his history with Saab-Scania of America during the halcyon years, his product knowledge and direct, to the point style which is sorely needed in the wake of the epic fail of recent SCNA marketing efforts (remember “She’s Not For You”?). His work as displayed at the SOC ’10 convention was well liked by the audience.

VM, please?

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 8 months ago

Oops VM please hire Mr. O’Rielly, not Mr. Reilly.

Curvin O'Rielly
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Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 8 months ago

VM has my contact info. It’d be great to hear from him.

Jim
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Jim
5 years 8 months ago

While some people certainly think Saab is dead, those assiduous business section readers should also have seen the 2011 9-5 coverage in every major auto magazine and major-market newspaper in the USA. I am afraid the auto buyers know Saab is alive, but is unconvinced of their market viability, largely due to the fact you don’t SEE many NG Saab 9-5 out on the road. The more that are sold, the more notice the brand will get. I know Hyundai must be alive, because I see their damn cars EVERYWHERE.

Paddan
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Paddan
5 years 8 months ago

The Sonata went from one of the most forgettable designs ever to one of the most memorable. And, boy, are they all over the road in Joisey!

Jim
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Jim
5 years 8 months ago

Also… Saab should just hunker down and build beautiful cars. Do what Audi did in 1995-1999. Build great looking cars, and price them VERY reasonably. Advertising and mumbo jumbo can come later. Saab needs to sharpen its value proposition. Buyers will come running if they hear what they want to hear, and see what they want to see in Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, etc. That’s how Audi made it back.

Eric
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Eric
5 years 8 months ago

They can feel free to use the ad that I put together forgiving people for thinking they went the way of the dodo. 🙂

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 8 months ago
As I think that news is best generated through novelty, Pls let me repeat my assumption that at this point of time, a better smartphone integration is what people would consider an attractive novelty that would be talked about and could be used as a unique selling point in advertising. By integratiin I mean e.g.: -Full dashboard integration, including phone specific mounts -external antenna amplifyers, for comm and GPS (a la Tomtom car kit) -interfacing with the car’s onboard diagnosis -an app as a direct channel to Saab, providing information and the possibilty of Feedback/support. And I mean real info,… Read more »
Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 8 months ago

The abundance of “y”s in this comment of mine is of course due to my name, not the early time of the day here in Munich

😉

Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 8 months ago
This will probably go unnoticed but I figure what the heck, this is where it should be posted- Two examples of tv ad marketing in the US that were just released this week, both direct competitors for the new 9-4x. The new Ford Explorer commercial is excellent, and features Icelandic (and thus perfect for a Saab commercial) Jonsi of Sigur Ros, signing “Go Do” and then features the explorer frolicking through snow doing just that, going through it. Very well done. As soon as I find a clip of it posted or can record it myself, I’ll share it, very… Read more »
Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 8 months ago

And by some miracle I found the explorer commercial. God it’s good. You could literally swap out the Explorer with a 9-4x and the commercial would be just as good for Saab.

What’s scary is that the new explorer is incredibly solid, very good competition for the Saab. But the 9-4x will be more niche, and thus inevitably cooler and rarer (and that much better looking).

Red J
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5 years 8 months ago

Saab seem to be changing the agency, so maybe in a couple of months the ads will get better 🙂

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