US Sales Strategy: The Price Is Not Right?

It’s no secret that I think one of the biggest keys to getting the US market on the right track is refining the current pricing strategy. Clearly something is off with the current model when Saab only sells 1/3 of Porsche’s volume. There are obviously other key issues to focus on like brand identity, confidence in Saab’s future, and model competitiveness; we’ll get to these in the near future. Today I’d like to focus our attention on how best to price Saabs in the current marketplace. Be sure to take the poll at the end of the article.

What's wrong with this picture?

Using actual sales data from Truecar.com, one can see that the new 9-5 averages a 5% lower sales price than sticker (the 9-3 is about the same). In car sales numbers, that’s actually pretty good, right? As of yesterday however, we can see that Saab’s current inventory of 9-5 sedans alone in the US sits at 1,776 cars and of the over 200 dealers selling them, only 93 were sold last month. Clearly while some cars are going at 5% off, even that won’t move most of them off the lot. The sad truth is that there are still tons of brand new 2010s left over that haven’t sold and are going for 26% off, and even the 2011s are being marked down and advertised in many cases near 15% off.

Some might argue that Saab’s financial situation is the sole reason that it hasn’t achieved sales success in the US yet, but I wonder if that’s really the whole story. To the SU reader, the idea of buying a Saab right now is almost like going to an outlet mall and getting a great deal on a designer suit– they’re amazing bargains yet no one seems to know it. We clearly understand the value, but it’s not easy to convince a buyer that not only are the cars reliable, safe, loaded with new technology, uniquely designed, but that they actually sell for way less than sticker. The casual buyer is left asking, “What’s the catch?” Could it be that the sticker prices themselves are turning away customers who otherwise don’t know enough to find the real pricing info? Do huge discounts instead of attracting buyers actually turn some away?

Could the idea of a No-Haggle pricing strategy that Saturn once used be a turning point for Saab’s image in the US? By coming across as an honest, solid value proposition instead of trying to compete at an image level on price with the luxury European brands, it could perhaps be argued Saab might be able fill the void that Audi has pushed itself out of and Volkswagen seems to be shying away from. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s basically that dealers aren’t allowed to haggle with customers over price– a price is a price. That obviously has downsides when the cars are in high demand, but when the opposite is true it reinforces the brand’s value. For a good summary, try reading this 2006 article from CNN.

We’ve already had a pretty spirited discussion over in comments on May US Sales data, but I think we’d all like to hear each other’s viewpoints in greater detail and come out with some general conclusions to take to Saab management from a grass roots customer level. Without giving out too much info, I’ll have a chance to do that within the next 24 hours– your voice at SaabsUnited actually matters and will be noticed by top sales execs at Saab.

In comments I’d like you to keep a few questions in mind:

  1. Do you think Saab should align their prices more closely to their current final sales prices and adopt a no haggle strategy that gets customers in the door. If so, do you think this will hurt the brand image or improve it by coming across in a Saturn-like honest way?
  2. What are you willing to pay for a new Saab 9-3 or 9-5 and with what options? Be realistic and fair in your answers, what price would you be comfortable paying a dealer if you had the resources to go buy a new Saab tomorrow?
  3. Do you think Saab should have a referral program to pay loyal customers who act as brand ambassadors towards the purchase of a new Saab (example: for every customer you get to buy a Saab, you get $500 off the purchase of a new one down the road).
  4. Do you think it’s possible for Saab to compete at an image level with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes while charging (high end) Buick to Infiniti prices?
  5. What are other ways Saab could get out the news that their cars have more for the price than any competing model bar none? Do you think they could leverage the power of new internet discount sites like Groupon, Gilt (as VW did with the new Jetta), and the like to gain huge publicity and focus on Saab’s enormous value?

If you’re going to post a comment and you’re comfortable doing so, please mention if you work for a Saab dealer or are current customer. It’s nice to have a perspective on everyone’s thoughts. Please feel free to throw out your own questions. This post can continually evolve and be a place for dialogue. Keep it respectful and more about helping find solutions, not lecturing us on why you think Saab is bound to fail if they continue on the same road. Keep it positive.

Finally and especially for those anonymous folks out there who would rather not comment but still want their voices heard, here’s a quick poll you can take to help us get a broader opinion of what you think Saab Cars North America can do to use price to their advantage, not detriment. Ignore the weird formatting, I’m not sure why the margin is so massive.

How should SCNA change their pricing strategy in the US?

View Results

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UPDATE:

Call to volunteers- if you’re interested in summarazing key points from the comments section and making an outline with me, I’d love some help. We’re going to use as many ideas from this post as the basis for a new project we’re working on with SCNA. Big news to come, for now we could use all the help we can get 🙂

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I think there are two basic problem with Saab sales in US. The first one is that other european automakers sell their cars almost without any profit in US. So Saab should decide, what is more important – to lower the price significantly and sell volumes without profit (to lower the price of components and keep the factory running), or to offer significantly more luxury, increase the price, adopt “No haggle” policy and sell less but with some profit. If China sales go the right way, Saab won’t need volumes (the factory capacity is not so big!). The second problem… Read more »
michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Oh, and one more thing – all press images and cars for press must be top of the range with all the best materials available, and not in dull colours (both interior and exterior) like now (almost all press images feature cars in grey, white or black, why do that if you have brilliant noble colours like Oak or Java??).

Red J
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Michael, I can only agree with you, but no matter if we like it or not we will have to live with the current models for 3 or 4 years.
For the 9-5 Saab is updating the interior, they can’t change it, so will see GM levers Knobs and Radios for the next 4 years.

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Red J, I understand they cannot completely change the interior, and there is no need to (and in fact, there’s nothing wrong with it in terms of design or plastic), but fitting leather trimmed dashboard and better quality leather upholstery won’t take 3 years, it can be done, as well as adding more upholstery colours (I guess plastic colours are more difficult to add, so maybe leather colours that fit available plastic are good enough). Alcantara in the middle of the seats could be offerred too (VW offers it even on Passats, and it’s goood!). And is it really too… Read more »
Red J
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Maybe it will take a year, but why not?

Because it may have no ROI at all. You may like it, I maybe don’t care at all and a third one thinks the current gearbox lever looks better.

BTW, why do you want “better” leather and Alcantara at the same time as the second is only faux-suede? 😉

SteveW
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Red J the point is Alcantara is better than than poor leather as it doesn’t stretch and go baggy.

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I’d like Alcantara because, despite being a kind of faux suede, it does not rub out and get dirty as quick and as much like ther real suede does (Acantara was designed to be more resistant to rubbing), and in contrary to faux or crappy leather it really feels and smells good, your back does not sweat, it holds you much better because it is not slippery, in winter it’s not so ice cold, and it is actually considered a premium material – look at all those tuned cars interiors – Alcantara everywhere! Gearbox lever is not very difficult to… Read more »
Bernard
Member
5 years 3 months ago

“all press images and cars for press must be top of the range”

I think that’s part of the problem.
Every time I read about the 9-5, they mention a $50,000+ price, and the fact that it’s “too expensive.”
The same thing will happen with the 9-4x. Reviewers weren’t allowed to try the base model, so they list a price that is higher that what anyone will ever pay.

Saabs are to a large extent aspirational cars. Quoting a price that is 10-15K above the real-world starting price is a sure way to keep aspirational buyers from even stepping into the showroom.

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago

That’s because interior in the base varsion and in Aero version is pretty much the same and while OK for $30-40K it’s too plain and not premium enough for $50K+. Reviewers just note this inconsistency.

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago

As of press images, they absolutely must be only top of the range. They do not state any price, but create an impression. Have you ever seen photos of base BMW interiors for example? 😉

DennisMcG
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Bernard I agree the 9-5 is a great looking car but $50k is too much given the competition here in southern California. I do think the base 9-4X in mid-30’s is a fair price and it is about the same as the Caddy version and the SAAB looks a lot better

Kikaluka
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Really? Compare the 9-5 to a BMW 5 with the same equipment, and you will find the Saab is at least $10,000 cheaper.

Alex740
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Great point concerning the interior, Saab is really lacking. The new Volvo S60 is selling like crazy here in the US, over 2000 units in May alone, and a huge part of that is the high quality of the interior IMO. Volvo has reached Audi quality yet with a much simplier scandinavian interior design. Interior quality is viewed by americans a sign of overal quality, VW learned this a long time ago and it’sa big piece of Audi’s success here. Despite awful reliability ratings Audi is considered by many to be high quality because of the interior fit and finish.
SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

i think in the moment a lowered MSRP (but no fantasy MSRP – no lossmaking! ) and a no haggle strategy were very important.

it would also be good to analyze the dealerships. there are too much SAAB too dealerships out there which can´t fill demands of the typical SAAB driver.

Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 3 months ago
From a European perspective. it seems Saab should place less emphasis on the US market for a time. The margins are considerably low, while Saab needs to beef them up. Michael’s comparison with Jaguar is very valid – Saab needs to go there, and until the products seem exclusive enough for the US consumer to appreciate, there is nothing wrong with being a niche brand with very low volume, provided that volume is made up for in other, more profitable markets. Here in Europe, such problems don’t seem to exist, or with less severity. Prices in most European markets are… Read more »
w3c validator
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

In a way I agree with you – the low USD right now makes it hard to earn money on cars produced in Europe that are sold in the US. In the US they should really focus on the 9-4X – that’s a key model for the market, the brand, but also from a financial perspective.

Red J
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Bravada, they can’t cut off the bottom end. They are selling those cars in their home market and other Nordic markets quite well. But the different national markets have to take a decision if they stick to the Swedish model structure (like Germany) or if they prefer to make their own model structure (like the UK).

From what I’ve seen Saab is moving upwards for MY 12, for instance in Germany the steel wheels have disappeared and the Aero will have the navigation system as standard.

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I guess Bravada meant cut the bottom end from US market only?
Of course, european market is a different thing, and european customers are much less focused on luxury in this class of cars.

Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I do believe it should apply to all markets. Even if the cars sell, at what margins? Should it be Saab’s strategy to play second fiddle to Volvo in bargain-basement markets? Or should it be that if you buy a Volvo, you’re one of many, and if you buy a Saab, you’re somebody special? Not everybody can afford a Saab, but those who can, get something special.

Let Volvo be the Swedish Volkswagen and steal the top end sales from them.

Pedro
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I agree. To me the Linear trim level would go out the window right around… Yesterday!

xlx
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I do believe a universal solution is to cut off the bottom end. There is no point in building a premium brand by chasing value seekers …

I’ve seen this in other industry (branded computer servers, simillar customer loyalty as Saab has) – after implementing this the sales numbers were dramatically down and after two quarters of struggling the old model was back.

74StingSaab
Member
5 years 3 months ago
But how many aspiring Saab buyers buy their first Saab at a lower level and then next time around move up in Saab class? Noting wrong with offering a “entry level” Saab for the first time buyers. These ones would need to be built to equal the reliability of the upper level Saabs but without all the bells and whistles. Look at the sales numbers of AERO, I doubt they would come close to the base 2.0T…. If Saab want to keep the price lofty and firm… then stand by your product and offer a 5 year/ 50k (100k on… Read more »
E
Member
5 years 3 months ago

+1. My first was “lower level” Saab … a 9-2X Aero, and although I knew it was based on a WRX, the dealership, the details, and the spirit of the car itself, brought me back for 5 new Saabs since then.

xlx
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Sorry the first paragraph had to be in italic or as a quotation – of Bravada. My fault.

What I am trying to say is the same as you, that to have only highend doesn’t work.

Nate 9-3
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I agree. As an American I can tell you that many of my fellow citizens are operating on paper-thin margins themselves. People have tapped into their houses and maxed out all “equity”. People are shackled by debt and inflation is around the corner. In a post-2008 America should not be looked at the same way by SAAB.

saabdog
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I don’t think comment that european cars being of little interest unless they are built here (USA) is quite accurate. The reason BMW, et al build cars here is to make them more profitable and to get around import costs/regulations, etc.. Americans in general don’t give a whit about where their cars are built as long as they are a quality product. And the fact that the 9-4X is built in Mexico does NOT make it more desirable here. I also can not believe that european car maker don’t make a profit in north america. If that were true, why… Read more »
Khrisdk
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Also from a european perspective, US seem to be of little interest unless you build there. That is why the 9-4x is attractive for US and 9-5 is not. Also the cars and specs that US customers wants seems to be very different from what the rest of the world wants. Then there are the problems in getting cars through regulations in US and the cost of this. And then the customers don’t want to pay the price of the car and expects incentives and additional rebates. All in all the US market is bad for business. As Saab seems… Read more »
Jake
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Thing is, the fact that the 9-3 and 9-5 use sub-competitor quality interiors-or at least that’s how almost all of the reviewers put it-means that the price needs to be dropped. Saab can’t justify more options and a same price in a car that already is lacking in terms of “standard” quality, if you catch my drift…

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I agree with you, but they’d better rework the interior rather than lower prices!

Jake
Member
5 years 3 months ago

But they can’t exactly afford to now, which is too bad…

E
Member
5 years 3 months ago

…except they’re not building the 9-4X here, but in Mexico. I say that, but that fact has not hurt Cadillac SRX sales…

Alex740
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Being built in the US is of very little concern to US buyers, especially those who buy high end products. One might argue the exact opposite actually as it adds a bit of prestige to the product knowing it came from Europe. A lot of comments saying that the US is bad for Saab but in the end the US market is making BMW, Audi and Volvo a lot of money. The problem is that Saab is not selling the right products at the right prices for the US market. Until they can get smaller, premium products here in the… Read more »
SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago
@alex As i am one of those who says the american market is a money burning market – it should be said that many officials of BMW ,VW,MB said the same.And you can read this often in many economy papers or car magazines. They only make profits with cars build directly in the US,Mexico …. Its the low dollar – the currency loss is a huge factor . That´s why VW developed the jetta for the NA market and build it in Mex. The rest is volume no real margins. They do it to sell cars and raise there image.… Read more »
Alex740
Member
5 years 3 months ago

@ Andee. If they are still selling them here, it’s working in some way. It’s definitely cheaper to build in Mexico, American companies do it too. No argument there. But if it was truly a lost cause they wouldn’t do it, it’s that simple.

Alex740
Member
5 years 3 months ago

If the American market was truly a lost cause, they wouldn’t sell here. It’s making them money in some way, you can’t argue that, businesses aren’t just giving rich Americans luxury car charity. Profits are slim but they make it work.

SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

They do it for nearly no profit – I haven´t said loss making. But with such an market you can´t invest much in development of new products.

dcpattie
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Saab needs to be priced at the same level as Volvo and Acura – I think that’s the sweet spot for Saab. When I purchased my 9-5 last year, I waited until the 9-5 XWD 2.8T was about the same price as the S80 T6 AWD and the TL SH-AWD. Basically, this resulted in about a $10,000 drop in MSRP 55K to 45K. I’m afraid the 9-4X will suffer a weak launch because of the same pricing strategy. As I mentioned before, a nicely equipped 9-4X 2.8T AWD should cost about the same as the MDX SH-AWD. The fact that… Read more »
No 9
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Seems logical to me.

looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

The other problem with the 9-4X is the poor gas mileage – 15/22 for the Aero. Volvo has been offering 5 yrs. free maintenance. That’s a good deal.

900SE
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I really don’t get the struggle for the US market. Nowadays, the US economy is in deep s… mess. The prices that Saab has for this market are ridiculously low and still some americans complain about them. I mean come on….Why invest in a market that has no future ?

Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

It remains the largest economy, by far. To say it has “no future” is an exaggeration, to say the least.

peeceepeh
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I’m a European (German) customer, planning for a new SAAB in 2-3 years. We have a small SAAB dealership in town, but most of the people I know who are in the customer range for SAAB don’t really know that there is one. I think, SAAB’s problem at the moment is that people just are not aware of (a still kicking) SAAB. So I don’t see a point in offering discounts to potential customers once they have entered the showroom. Instead, the problem seems to be that they simply don’t consider to enter a SAAB showroom in the first place.… Read more »
Toby K
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I agree-Saab in North America is a slow burn-America has become ignorant, its a big market and will take time to crack. First off Saab needs to ramp up its marketing more than ever-rasing awareness in such a large market is key. pitching fully optioned cars just below BMW/Audi is the “sweet Spot”-Volvo is there too as Peeceepeh rightly points out above. I think initial discounting has already done some damage -but Saab has always done this-everywhere not just in N.A- this needs to stop no one else other than Brands you simply don’t want (lets call it a purely… Read more »
Motoradd's Cat
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I agree with the issue of presence with Saab. Most people think they are not in business anymore. This is a function of the press reporting bad news about Saab (production stopped) and not reporting the good news (production started). All makes of cars are price sensitive items so in reality, pricing in Europe is not really the main problem, image and presence count for so much more. Most European car advertising is based mostly upon image and lifestyle rather than the car itself for all brands. I have recently returned to the UK after having a holiday in Perpignan,… Read more »
Motoradd's Cat
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Car shares hit in latest market sell-off

Having just read about the global car market on the beeb
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13627079

I think as well as upping the advertising, it’s now time to discount like crazy!

Motoradd's Cat
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Spyker finance head to step down after Saab rescue

News from the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13625525

SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

As i read the press release hans go – will take the same position at the spyker sports car business. As spyker will be swedish automobile and spyker is sold to VA there is no need for two financial heads and an holding structure.

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

In that case you read it wrong. Hans Go will leave Spyker Cars NV and won’t start working for Spyker (the sportcars manufacturer).

As of July 1 Hans Go will have nothing to do with Spyker/Saab. He will only be available for advice etc.

Carlo A
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Hi Everyone I do not want to express an opinion on the US market since I know the US only as a tourist. However I can express an opinion on the Italian market. In Italy, premium equals to German! Audi, Merc and BMW. Many buyers here would not buy a 9-5 if the price is around 10% lower. This means around 4K on a car and the feeling is that they are going to recover that when they re-sell the car + plus they drive around in an Audi (higher perception). My idea is that the price ought to be… Read more »
SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

please stop this 15% 20 % cheaper thing- we are talking about a small niche carmaker in sweden not a mass manufacturer in korea -which fill the gaps with volume.

Saab has only to reach their goals not selling 200000 cars this year. If every idea in the comments would be suggested SAAB would sell 100000 cars but still would making loss.

lower the msrp – no discounts (only give some extras for free) – improve the dealer network

Carlo A
Member
5 years 3 months ago

the 15-20% cheaper thing would put SAAB at par with Volvo … do you think currently SAAB has a better perceotion by consumers than Volvo?

nichell
Guest
5 years 3 months ago
I think the problems in the US lies more in their marketing, image and advertizing strategies. They focus primarily on getting ‘left wing’ type buyers and there’s not enough of them. Take for example Chicago. You drive down into the so called trendy NorthSide areas with the wild-eyed youngsters where everyone supported, ‘you know who’ and you see many Saabs. But as you go outside these areas you don’t see any. There just isn’t enough left wingers with money and a lot of them are tightwads. I meet a lot of businessmen and none of them have Saabs. They have… Read more »
74StingSaab
Member
5 years 3 months ago

🙂 A little to the right would be OK too. Perhaps the 9-4x and 9-3x should be shown by a mountain stream with a man doing some fly fishing… reach out the the traditional right who like value but want to be a little different. Maybe put a little mud on the tires and break away a little bit from the inner city and surburban soccer mom image. Not wanting to make a political statement with this… lean to the left too, but don’t rule out the right.

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago

+1! 🙂

Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I guess the US is simply too right-wing for Saab. Saab can’t be Charlton Heston and Whoopi Goldberg at the same time. Saab is about all those things in their advertising, that’s why I believe TV ads are redundant. You can pinpoint your clientele very well and address them directly, not annoying the conservatives who like to hunt moose more than admire it eating leaves. At the same time, I am quite surprised why a person with a “conservative” POV would own a Saab. Promoting “features” is for Buick, which BTW is a great brand if you’re an American conservative.… Read more »
Nate 9-3
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I’m a conservative-leaning independent – and that is why a “right winger” would like SAAB. SAAB stands for something. It has substance, an essence. I feel that if I were a car I would be a SAAB. I’d be me and I would not care what others thought.

In other news – could you imagine a Heston-Goldberg love child?

GerritN
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Gun rack?

saabdog
Member
5 years 3 months ago

My Saab looks great with its gun rack. Keeps deer & moose away too…great for my insurance rates.

Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

“Frankly when I see a Saab ad I feel embarrassed!”

You see Saab ads? I’m in Chicago – I see the billboards but that’s it.

I know I’m biased, but part of driving a Saab is he pleasure I get pulling up next to yet another Audi, BMW or Lexus.

sandborg
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Very simple, lots of words unnecessary-
SAAB MUST come up with better lease offers or cars won’t move off of dealers lots.
Instead customers will go to Audi first , then BMW, and possiblt\t thee Koreans.
Period.

Tomas TL1000R
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Fact: Doesn´t sell in the US even with discount. Discount tells you thats something is wrong. Saab doesn´t earn money in the US market and doesn´t have the money to advertise full scale. Today that is the fact. Wouldn´t it be a good thing to se more Saab in American roads? Saab dealers know what price there customer is willing to pay. Se 2-3 years as a phase to come back into the market and the goal is to bring out as many car as possible. Forget to earn money, just se to that you don´t lose to much money… Read more »
GerritN
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I couldn’t agree more. It is important for Saab to show presence again on the US roads. The only way to do this right now is to sell the cars almost at cost. At SU we are extremely biased because we love our Saabs AND know from experience how enjoyable drive they are. The average Joe doesn’t know that. The average Joe doesn’t see Saab as a premium brand and is not willing to pay premium prices. The average Joe can pretty much get the same ride from the big three American car makers, often with more horsepower and better… Read more »
saabdog
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Someone please explain this to me. Why is Saab even in the NA market if it “doesn´t earn money in the US”? This makes no sense to me. And why do I keep hearing that the US is so important to Saab because its their biggest market?

Tomas TL1000R
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Yes thanks for supporting my analysis. VM and MS (Mathias Seidl) must have currage to revalue there goal on american soil and starting everything all over. Think +/- 0 and get cars out there then let people to discover what Saab can do. Saab can´t make the brand to be premium, buyer can. Bottom line: So we are at the bottom now with practicly no sale so what´s to loose! Money…No….we dont earn any! Lets try to sell some cars with no profit and let those car be ambassadors for our brand. I think I know what all this is… Read more »
Toby K
Member
5 years 3 months ago
MIght I add that the poll is misleading it is my firm belief that list pricing is in line with where Saab need to be so I answered “Pricing is Fine Where it is” What I find strange is that the article which I am broadly in agreement with along with the picture intimates that discounting is bad-yet all the other voting options relate to further discounting or freebies and get more of the share of votes. So I am not sure I understand the questioning or the result-neither do I see how the current top answer of lowering prices… Read more »
xlx
Member
5 years 3 months ago
1. no 2. ~25K€ for a good equipped 9-3 combi (Vector) 3. yes 4. compete at an image level with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes : maybe after the new 9-3 is here, not now 5. the jetta/gilt thing could work, also trade-ins (fair discount for your old car incl. non-Saab), what about e-auctions ? Imho Saab is not in the position for no-haggle. This is typical for companies with large marketshare or a killer product, Saab hasn’t this, at least not now. And many customers (i’m in Europe) automatically expect a discount – which is a magical word. One more… Read more »
nichell
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

You ain’t gonna sell many cars in the US talking about grains of CO2, like I hear people harping about all the time in Europe, ad nauseum.

900 classic cab
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

I erally don’t think the price is an issue here. It’s a great value for money, slightly below the competition.
SAAB isn’t about popularity. In my opinion, SAAB drivers don’t like to be “just another one”. Therefore they should have the oportunity to get involved with the brand and activities. Reactivating the European Delivery program for instance is in my opinion a great way to do that.
I also agree that the “linear” version may not be very appealing in the US.

nichell
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

No one is saying Saab should be about popularity. They just need to shift their marketing focus about 10% away from the” don’t like to be just another one” crowd. How has this strategy been working out for them so far? Quite frankly I don’t like to be thought of as a ‘quirk’. They need to sell, sell, sell. I think the Chinese can show them a thing or two. They’re very astute businessmen, from what I know. They actually have a reputation for being stingy with cash etc.

900 classic cab
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

You didn’t mention my strongest sugestion. Reactivate European Delivery Program and involve buyers in more activities 🙂

Jason Petho
Member
5 years 3 months ago

+1

looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Yes, so I could buy a 9-5 SC this summer!

guintama
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Disclaimer, I’m from Detroit, in an area with large Saab market share, due to GM. But, we all love our saabs. As you notice two of our dealerships were in the top 5 or 10 for sales last year. This should not be discredited as it was by many. People have money and they will spend it. Saab is positioned better than its Asian rivals in this way. 1) No haggle is nice, but let’s be honest, with fair pricing this seems to be trivial. 2) In the US market, make entry level with heated seats, sunroof, and navigation standard.… Read more »
Toby K
Member
5 years 3 months ago

What is it with Architects and Dentists?? Jeremy Clarkson said exactly the same thing…

Jason Petho
Member
5 years 3 months ago

And cartographers!

GerritN
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Used to be professors! The average IQ in Saabs has been declining over the last 10 years.

peeceepeh
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Yeah, everything has been declining over that last 10 years. Or centuries, for that matter 😉

saabdog
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Can you say DEVO? They’d be great in a Saab ad, too.

E
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Current owner of 2 Saabs; have owned 7 total. 1. Not a fan of no-haggle pricing in the US. Didn’t shop for many Saturns because I knew there would be no haggle. Plus, let’s face it, Saturn is no more. 😉 2. Standard radio is really bad. Maybe there can be two types of navigation … a basic one that is standard, and a more deluxe one with IQon. I really like my 2010 9-5 navigation, but if iQon was available, I’d upgrade. 3. Referral program is fine, but how about a Saab credit card? This will build up loyalty.… Read more »
looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

That’s where I saw the new 9-5, plus a 9-3 and convertible. At the mall and they’ve been there for months. Beautiful!

E
Member
5 years 3 months ago

That’s where I saw the new 9-5, plus a 9-3 and convertible. At the mall and they’ve been there for months. Beautiful!

What city? Whatever it is, that local dealer “gets it”.

looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Perrine Saab displaying at MarketFair in Princeton, NJ.

hughw
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Prices are probably a little high (perhaps 5%) and most American’s are used to getting something off the list price so better to drop the price a little and leave some room for discounts. But that’s only a part of the problem in the US. There are a variety of major issues: 1. Most American’s still don’t know Saab exists, and if they do, they think they’ve been sold to the Chinese, and even that cars are going to be produced in CHina for the American market. This is even, the case for a friend of mine who has owned… Read more »
74StingSaab
Member
5 years 3 months ago

+1 , especially on #3

Bernard
Member
5 years 3 months ago
First of all, heavy discounts are bad from a marketing perspective. It leaves a bad mark on the brand image, and does significant damage in the medium and long term. That being said, it’s evident that people aren’t willing to buy Saabs at list, which means that list prices are too high relative to the competition. The obvious solution is to make the list price more realistic. Saab should split the difference between the current list and the discounted price. They should also start pushing the entry-level models which offer great value. Dealers can up-sell once they’ve got the customer… Read more »
nichell
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Educate the consumer about Saab features. The Audi guy I talked to(just bought a new one) didn’t know that Saab has AWD/Haldex

Mailr
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Not living in US, I don’t think I know enough on how to sell anything there. However, Saab market share in the US is so extremely low that price can’t really be the issue. A large majority of potiential customers know nothing about the brand, and even fewer have driven one. I’m still of the opinion that getting more people to test drive the cars is the key here, and as these potential customers are unlikely to show up at the dealers, the test drives have to be offered where the customers are. Give rental car companies offers they can’t… Read more »
Toby K
Member
5 years 3 months ago

That final point of yours is damn good-I wish I had thought of it.
My Girlfriend and I a while back got a rental E500 Merc for a trip around Scotland-I instantly fell in love with it and she ordered one as soon as we got back so that idea worked with me!
Try to get serious presence in the premium fleet rental market with Saabs to give ususpecting future punters a real taste of Saab ownership.

snabster
Member
5 years 3 months ago
1. Leasing 2. Product mix: dealers brought too many low end 9-3 in. Those aren’t moving. Aero and convertibles are. 3. Understanding what you are: most new SAAB owners are just looking for a cheap BMW. That is a really though market right now. Volvo and Acura are also getting hammered. The 9-4x will help. 4. Stick — very few brands have sticks left. MINI, BMW…..and SAAB? There are 40 used BMW wagons with a stick. 31 SAAB wagons with a stick. CTS-V wagon with a stick — will the 9-5 have one? 5. Interior — SAAB is just not… Read more »
Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

“most new SAAB owners are just looking for a cheap BMW”

I think quite the opposite. I imagine this is coming from a person who doesn’t buy new cars and perhaps isn’t the best for surmising what new Saab owners want.

Thylmuc
Member
5 years 3 months ago
After having read all the postings, I think that the very first from Michael pointed in the right direction. I too, think that the success of the XF should be carefully studied. Just think about it. This is a car offering the interior space of a 9-3, priced higher than a 9-5, from a company which previously had a good, but also somewhat oldfashioned image. And, imho, with an exterior design not better than the 9-5. What factors contributed to this success? Find a strategy in line with what Jag did, and of you go, regardless of such minor annoyances… Read more »
Thylmuc
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Addendum: Somewhere I have read that Jag expected to loose 50% percent of their customer base when making over the brand. What a move! Luckily, a lot of the conservative buyers turned out to be less conservative than anticipated, and ordered the XF regardless.

But again: why?

Perian
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Really. Is anyone really paying attention here? The answer to US sales is very simple. Copy what works. LOOK AT VOLVO – They have new product, new marketing, lower prices and new maintenance programs. They are hitting the ball out of the park. Their biggest problem is not having enough metal on the ground to sell. Please Saab – Pay attention to Volvo. Position (note I didn’t use the word ‘price’) your vehicles in the market sweet spot. Offer lower pricing levels or higher equipment levels. I own a NG9-5 that for $40,000 DID NOT come with a sunroof. NO… Read more »
SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

If i look at the msrp at volvocars usa and compare them with saabusa – saab is almost on volvo level

you won´t get a fully loaded 9-5 aero model for under 40000k as you don´t get a fully loaded older s80 at that price

Troels, Denmark
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Always when the talk is about the durability of Volvos (or Toyotas) I can not help it, but a phrase from a Leonard Cohen song appears in my mind; “…… twenty years of boredom…”
Sorry.

looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Agreed. And I think Volvo sells more cars at the lower option levels/lower cost.

Alex740
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Don’t forget Volvo interior design, it’s a home run and other companies are copying the floating center stack and the little glow worm guy in the HVAC controls. The interior quality is also on par with Audi yet much simplier and costs far less.

We don’t want Volvo driving dynamics but there are a lot of lessions to be learned from them.

Darryl Carl
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I have personally told this story 1 1/2 years ago. Its a combination of pricing, segment marketing choice, marketing itself and American perception of the manufacture situation.

Idk where my lengthy write up went….Buut its all in there.

Darryl

quickening
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. Saab has got to push the dealerships to do some leg work also. San Antonio has a new Saab dealership, and I happened to know, because I’ve been actively seeking it out and wondering what was going to happen to Saab in this market after the Cadillac/Saab dealer dropped Saab. That dealership should be sending out a card to past Saab owners (this should be in a database???), letting them know there is a dealership in town. Do a Saab night, invite people out to the dealership for snacks, drinks, and drives. It doesn’t help they have… Read more »
scmit02
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Saab needs to take a step back and look at not only their price, but also who their “in market” rivals are. At the PRESENT time, they are not BMW, Benz, Audi or Lexus. I hesitate to say Acura is even a direct competitor as their reputation for quality (often in perception only) and resale value keeps them above Saab. From a pricing side: I think the 9-3 should start at 24,900 (with a little room to haggle). The 9-5 should start around 32,900 and top out at no more than 42K and change. The 9-4 should mimic the 9-5… Read more »
RICHARDJ
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I think the average customer doesn’t realize that the current sticker is not the final price.Therefore, sales are lost on the front end. Car reviewers don’t do Saabany favors here, as they usually assume that MSRP equals purchase price. I wouls lower the pricwe a little (if possible) or have a formal rebate program rather than the current “catch as catch can” individualdealer discounts. In terms of content, my 07 9-5 has the ventilated seats, which are the best I have sat in. The seats and roomy interior for the car size are what differentiates it from the bmw. I… Read more »
RICHARDJ
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Also a good sound system…

GML
Member
5 years 3 months ago
If SAAB officials are really listening, here’s what to do. First, reevaluate the MSRPs. No question. Get people into the showrooms! Next, create media buzz. This is serious now: Get Lady Gaga to do a commercial! Show young trendy professionals driving Saabs. The music should be her song “Born this Way” and the slogan can be something like, “Just Be Yourself.” The media will talk about it 100x more often than the commercial airs. And I think Gaga is a good spokesperson. She’s different and avantgard. It’s working for Google Chrome. And look what the Eminem commercial did for Chrysler.… Read more »
GML
Member
5 years 3 months ago

SAAB’s issue is a lack of identity. I think 80% of the answers here are not abstract enough. Saab promotions can be done at the dealer level. The company has to focus in on a demographic and get the message out to them. I think the 30-something metro professional is who to target (dark rimmed glasses, trendy suit, architect/marketing professional/etc. Someone that can afford a great car, but needs something more practical than a BMW, less formal than an Audi, less stuffy than a MB. A masculine Volvo.

Perian
Member
5 years 3 months ago
http://www.freep.com/article/20110526/COL14/105260395/Mark-Phelan-Pass-Saab-wait-next-one 2011 Saab 9-5 Review: Saab needs a hit, but the pricey * * 2011 Saab 9-5 sedan isn’t it. The sporty sedan may have enough of the old Swedish magic to attract some Saab loyalists, but at best it’s a placeholder to keep the brand alive while the automaker gets the rest of its new model line in order. Saab has careened from one crisis to the next ever since GM decided to sell the brand that built its reputation on quirky styling and features, powerful turbocharged engines and aircraft-inspired instruments. It’s a tribute to the loyalty of Saab… Read more »
Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

“Despite a wide range of features, the 9-5 doesn’t match the power, value or fuel economy of competitors like the Audi A6, Acura TL, BMW 528i, Buick Regal turbo and Volvo S80.”

That’s not true, of course. It’s like the old car commercials that selectively pointed out which features were better than several different competitors. “$10,000 less but twice the leg room of car A and faster acceleration than Car B!”

Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

And… thanks for reposting a negative article.

Alex740
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I thnk the point here is valid, the biggest issue is the 9-3 for the US. Saab needs small premium cars, not large premium cars that can’t compare to the germans. They have what they have now but Saab’s market here has also been about small fun to drive cars that are more than a VW but not as pretentious as a BMW. Price the current line up low and focus on small for the future.

Toby K
Member
5 years 3 months ago

@Alex

The Small premium sector is as hotly contested by A-Class Mercs, Smart Mercs, the BMW 1 Series and Mini and the Audi A2 infact BMW and Merc are almost competing with themselves.

The bread and butter car for Saab has always been the 9-3-until they get that formula right in 18 months from now they have little hope of diversifying further.

But it is my sincere hope that they do eventually develop a small Saab.

Kikaluka
Member
5 years 3 months ago
On my search for a well equiped 9-5 Aero, I have visited quite some websites of dealers on the East Coast. It turned out the big majority really doesn’t have a clue how to advertise cars on the internet. No pictures of the actual car, no quick overview of installed options, no pricing, sometimes it isn’t even clear what the color the car is. Pretty often the car description starts with: “Power door locks, tilt wheel, steering Wheel-Leather Wrapped”, not exactly the features that sell 40k+ cars. Listings on cars.com, autrotrader etc. are poorly taken care of (if listed at… Read more »
looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

You’re absolutely right. They don’t bother to list the options, just the MSRP. Since there are limited optionis, you can figure it out from there, but frustrating.

sgrass
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I think one of the issues that Saab faces here in the US is that those of us who are diehard Saab fans tend to buy one and keep it for a long time. We simply don’t replace them fast enough and when we do, we tend to by preowned. BMW and Audi have customers who lease new every 2-3 years and a have strong following that buy used off lease. Maybe Saab should look at moving to this model and do something with customer service (the bigger reason for Saturn’s success in the US, I had one and know… Read more »
theSandySaab
Member
5 years 3 months ago
1. Leasing – the price is less important as the I wil pay a monthly fee. Get the residuals as high as possible… Also, I don’t like haggling at all, keep a a firm realistic price for current models, discount previous model years, if any still need to go. Have seen deeply discounted 2010’s in US, but they were all “wrong” models, ie 9-3 with no moon roof, 9-5s with no mon roof and/or head up display… No-one wants a empty base model in any case… me thinks… 2,4. Afaik, few customers buy a new car cash – see 1.… Read more »
LarsG
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I do not know the American market but I think that Saab shall not compete with any other brand in any market. Producing much lower quantity of cars than the German brands makes SAAB much more personal and unique. SAAB ought to put out this more than compare on price to the German brands. SAAB is an independent brand with a unique soul and not a car for everyone. Saab will never produce millions of cars. High quality control is important. I have two neighbors with Audi A8. One of them got a problem with the gearbox – cost about… Read more »
Troels, Denmark
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I did not answer the poll, as my knowledge about the us-market is very limited. But I am sure that if Saab shall survive (long-term) they should not go into all that discount-stuff and try to compete on prices against lesser cars. Instead the resources should be used on high-quality-marketing from the point of view that Saab are very special cars in the same league and quality as Audi and BMW (or Porche), but more sophisticated in design, innovation-level, environmentally and regarding special solutions. Saab are for people with the courage to go against the main-stream and think independent. By… Read more »
SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

As often passenger in Audis and Bmws i have to agree troels. I can´t hear this interiour debatta anymore. The plastic in SAAB cars has the same level as the german rivals.

And the Saab cockpit follows the less is more strategy where my opinion to the german cockpits is that they are too much and ugly designed. Most of car journalists also have no idea of good design and bad taste. So it´s no wonder why those german cockpits were praised as the ultima ratio. But it´s still not the truth.

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I don’t like Audi’s interiors either, and Audi leather too. The Jaguar XF interior is a benchmark for now.

Troels, Denmark
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Further; Off course some details in the 9-5 interior might not be superior (thinking about the steering-wheel) but take a look at the carefully shaped surrounding of the gear-selector and one wont find one single detail in the Audi-interior on this design-level!

derek
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Some dealers might like high list prices because they hope that someone will pay close to that price. The 9-5 is an expensive car. I think the market for such cars is not that big. Lexus slowly got into that market by having a lot of financial support from Toyota (something Saab doesn’t have) and also had a Mercedes E-class competitor that was much cheaper for many years. If the 9-5 is to sell, it probably has to do the same. The 9-3 is an easier market to break. It can break into the market that Acura created in the… Read more »
Ralph
Member
5 years 3 months ago

The next James Bond movie will be released in 2012, maybe there’s still time to get a Saab 9-5 into it?

SaabClubAlaska
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Better yet, how about the PhoeniX? 😉

Ralph
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Yes, that would be the ideal car for Bond himself to drive in. However, I think the actual shooting of the film may have -almost- ended. There may still be some room for a Saab cameo, but the PhoeniX would perhaps be too expressive for that. Maybe it can have a role in Lady Gaga’s next music video 😀

zippy
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Gaga?! Ugh. Not the kind of image Saab needs me thinks. :S

GerritN
Member
5 years 3 months ago

The game is not about image anymore, but about presence.

Btw, what’s wrong with Lady Gaga? She’s outspoken and much, much smarter than the usual musician. The PhoeniX would fit her extremely well. Jason Castriota should pay her a visit. Jeff is living pretty close too. Some of Alexander McQueens outfits would spice up the video too. Just visited the exhibition of his fashion in the Met, can recommend it.

Toby K
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Ugh? more like Bleurh! (thinks about Meat Dress)

74StingSaab
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Agree with Zippy….
Sorry when i think of Saab, i think of being different…
When i hear of lady gaga, i think of weird. Saab is classy, something she is not.

I’m thinking a mix between Sean Connery and Charlie Sheen…. find that person…

P.H
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Agree!

Celebrities endorsing Saab should be mutually respected by pretty much all of the population, Gaga may be loved by many but she is also hated by many.

The perfect image would, to me, would have been Tiger Woods before the whole scandal came out. Respected by everyone (prestige), in his own class (exclusive), always on top of his game (reliable), achieves excellent results (performance + product).

Ralph
Member
5 years 3 months ago
@ P.H.: I wasn’t thinking about endorsing, and I don’t believe a Saab appearance in a music video is a direct endorsement, either. A large part of viewers will just enjoy a nice looking car in a music video without ever knowing it’s a Saab, and that’s OK. In fact, Lady GaGa herself doesn’t even have to be informed that it’s a Saab. But the goal is the group of people that do find out it’s a Saab, either by themselves or as a result of reading about it in the automotive media or in some Lady Gaga fan-club forum… Read more »
GerritN
Member
5 years 3 months ago

What about simple product placement? I’ve been harping on this for a year now, so sorry if I repeat myself. Getting Saabs featured in some major television shows would give more exposure, definitely more than what I see on the road right now.

079-3Prem
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Time for my .02 again 🙂 The price is definitely not right. I am in the market for a new car to replace my aging 9-3. Not sure if the Griffin is coming so I have a dilema. I really want xwd and a manual. That pretty much leaves me stuck with the 9-3 but I would still consider the 9-5. Until I started pricing them. To get the car that I “want” and that’s without xwd I’m looking at 50k! for a 4cylinder fwd car. I could have almost any other competitor for that price. Yes, the 9-5 starts… Read more »
michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago

+ Many. The interior sell cars, and the current Aero interior should be the base one, while Aero should have a much prettier interior. And of course, choices of materials.

aaron c
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Add more standard equipment – reducing the number of configurations – and lower the prices of the 9-5 by about 10 percent, and 5 percent for the 9-3. I’d say kill the standard Turbo4 and sell the Turbo4 Premium starting around 40 grand. The $50k Aero V6 really should have sat nav standard. Saab botched the launch by making the most expensive cars available first, and that’s really not what Saab fans wanted. It’s also not something most luxury car shoppers would go for, given that the company had just been rescued and was given up for dead not more than… Read more »
JeremyP
Member
5 years 3 months ago
There is an overriding semantic confusion to this conversation that seems to ge getting overlooked. Saab ALREADY has lowered the price of its cars. Ask vs Take, MSRP vs Transaction Price etc. Either way we are offering the cars at much lower figures than ‘Advertised’ and still can’t fill the seats. The question is, do we want to take maximum advantage of the visibility provided by a lower MSRP. A reasonable reduction (even with fixed pricing) will still leave room for targeted incentives, year end rebates etc. Throwing $10K – $12K certainly isn’t even getting the job done. It also… Read more »
Perian
Member
5 years 3 months ago

“We Need To Be Saab”.

Brilliant. Should be the new internal corporate slogan.

Great post.

michael
Member
5 years 3 months ago
“We need to be Saab” are just words without explaination. What does this mean? What are the differences from others, the key points? Latest Saab models came closer to standart cars, mostly in interiors, we’ve seen a severe decrease in interior quality of 9-5 from MY’05 to MY’06, just compare ’05 and ’06 steering wheel, dashboard, seats, stereo, that hurts! I drive a MY’98 9-5 and its interior is way better in terms of materials and details than MY’09. The unique little details that attract customers keep going away. You know what really arouses interest and what people like in… Read more »
Bravada from GMI
Member
5 years 3 months ago

+100!

SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

first of all there is a night panel in the 9-5 / the ignition key is absolute standard of new high end models. the instruments are great . and with the my12 year models the matte plastic issue is over.

only the fasten seat belts message is somewhat i had kept sentimentally.

interiors are more saab than years before – compare the 9000 and the new 9-5 – there is much 9000 in it.

jim
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Absolutely right on your logic.

Quixcube
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I used to hear about Saab on NPR (national public radio in US) all the time. Now I don’t. They would be sponsoring shows or events and get a free mention on the air. If you want to target Saab’s old market again (the college educated tweed wearing type) put the word out on NPR in the form of Saab sponsoring this or that community non-profit event. Not only does it let people know Saab is still around, but it lets them associate Saab with good causes. Also, Saab’s CO2 goodness will probably be appreciated by NPR folks. They have… Read more »
SaabClubAlaska
Member
5 years 3 months ago
The first new car my wife and I bought was a Saturn, and the experience was just as fun, comforting and positive as they always made it out to be in their advertising. We loved that car. Jeff is absolutely right – Saab is in a unique position to bring back a cherished (by many, though not all) sales practice in the U.S. And on a side note, since parting from GM (thankfully), Saab’s only dealership here in Alaska has closed. There are a handful of repair shops who work on Saabs, and our club for owners, but no dealers.… Read more »
hoytnexus
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Over here in Singapore, the biggest problem is probably the dealer. Many people heard of this brand, and a couple of years ago, it was selling pretty well. However over here, taxes are high, a Linear 93(showroom car) with the Hirsch stage 1 ecu upgrade would cost you about SGD145k, and as a result not many people can afford a second car. So they would have to trade in their current cars for some cash to help out with the purchase. We were looking to change our car early this year when the 9-5 just arrived. However, the dealer is… Read more »
hoytnexus
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I forgot to mention that the dealer does not import the 1.6 version of the 95, which is a serious mistake. Mercedes is selling the 1.6 C-class, Volvo is selling the 1.6 S80 and VW with their Polos and Golfs… They are getting lots of sales with the smaller engine models as petrol is not cheap, while Saab is competing in the 2.0 cat with real stiff competition. Besides, Insurance and road taxes for a 1.6 and 2.0 car has a huge gap for savings.

JeremyP
Member
5 years 3 months ago
No haggle doesn’t mean no discount. It means the price is the same at every dealer for every customer. If there is a rebate, everbody gets it. If not the price is the price. Ex 9-3 with $29,995 MSRP is the same at every dealer (no more asking dealer to slit their own throats to sell a car). If their is a ‘Sale’ (rebate) of say $2K, the customer pays $27,995. A simple retail transaction. We wouldn’t call around to 10 diiferent Apple stores to get a price on a Macbook and see which one wanted to lose the most… Read more »
zippy
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Does no-haggling truly exist? Do car buyers seriously walk in and pay the price shown on the sticker? Car buyers always expect a discount of some sort and the no-haggling option could just backfire. I say sell them cheap for the next five years to get the numbers up then slowly increase prices and offer the best warranty in the business to back up that price increase. Saab needs to advertise more – a lot more!!! I haven’t seen a single Saab ad in print or on TV here in Canada show on earth are people to know we are… Read more »
JasonPowell
Member
5 years 3 months ago

zippy, it did work for us with Saturn and most people were very receptive to no-haggle. The odd person would try to haggle, but when they knew it was the way we did business and we weren’t changing it for them, it became a non issue.

jim
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I ought to post as the most (rabid?) proponent of Saab cutting prices. Clearly, at present the break-even price for Saab 9-5 is about $100,000+. It is ludicrous to say Saab must charge break-even prices. Saab today is losing money. That is reality. The only question is, how can it survive and thrive. It must sell cars. To sell cars it must cut prices. (Are you with me so far). Otherwise sales are zero and it’s over. Saab could — easily — under-price their cars and simply constrain capacity. That would be a great way to generate buzz. List the… Read more »
RMinNJ
Member
5 years 3 months ago
It is interesting. If one can remember…here in America Mini started many new dealerships and, until recently, had mainly one model to sell. Pricing was probably quite non-discounted and demand was high. Saab having many models helps but if a manufacture can make it with one model one would think Saab could also.. it may be the new 9-3 is that exciting model that, if marketed to no end, becomes a model that everyone wants. We’re the minority here in realizing that the current 9-3, while dated, with the new 9-5 engine, is a model that is at the top… Read more »
Steve C.
Member
5 years 3 months ago
First, I wasn’t sure what to make of the poll that let me select any or all answers… And, given the questions for commenting on, the answers will be very interdependent. The only easy answer is yes to a referral program. How many of us are already doing this without the expecation of a monetary reward? It is clear that a change in US pricing and packaging will only help the cause, especially for the 9-5. But given the discounting going on now, is the problem really the price? Some have suggested that the MSRP might scare potential buyers at… Read more »
Atomicauto
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Owning a large independent Saab service/sales facility, I can tell you this. The average Saab customer will not buy the cars when they are priced where they are now. Bob Sinclair’s successful ad campaign in the 80’s focused on price point compared to the BMW, Audi etc. Seems like all this wisdom has been lost. I have been a lifetime Saab technician/driver. Currently my family owns 7 Saabs. If I were to buy a brand new car right now in the large sedan class, the 5-series is more and more appealing as the price gap between it and the 9-5… Read more »
100%Saab
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Currently, (May 2011) the 3 top selling car companies in the US are all American companies. Chrysler has out sold Toyota, now number 4. For those individuals who bought Saabs in the US because it was a GM brand in 2007 and 2008, expect some of these US Saab owners to stick with GM. My 2008 9-3 is a wonderful car and at 35,000 miles I don’t need to buy a new Saab today. If I needed to replace may 9-3, I would replace it with one of the current 9-3s on my dealers lot and not complain about a… Read more »
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