The Saab Showroom

With all the crazy things that have been reported in the last few months, here is somewhat of an easy read and has little to do with anything going on with Saabs finances or supplier concerns. My question is what is it that catches your eye when you walk into the Saab Showroom of your local SAAB dealer? More so, what is your initial feeling when you walk through the doors? Is it warm and welcoming or is it something of an after thought?  Some dealers will just pick car’s based on colors that blend well and some go for the cheapest priced or volume cars. Typically a dealer will try to have the car’s that are nationally advertised in their showrooms to direct customers to the car that brought them in. A showroom should be set up so that you can have your entire line up inside and out of the weather. You should be able to walk into any dealers showroom and test the seats and push the buttons.  I being someone who has had a love a cars for years, have always looked at a showroom as my play place or candy store. I can look at what is new, I can in the freezing cold of winter, open a sunroof and play with switches and not have to worry about how cold it is outside or worry about scraping ice off the windows. 

SAAB 9-3X

In our dealership, we are set up in a way that you can enter the showroom from three different angles. We have the main door by our receptionist where we normally have whatever is newest to our lineup. Right now it’s a 9-5 and an Aero in arctic white with the parchment leather seats and is one of the nicest combinations for the 9-5.  The next entrance is from our delivery pod which is an entrance with two sliding doors that allows us to put vehicles in the showroom and is the perfect place to deliver a new car. The delivery pod is surrounded by glass on all sides and allows for a beautiful delivery experience. People like to take delivery of their new Saab’s in the showroom where the lights hit every angle of their new car and truly showcase that car of their dreams. It is a big deal when you drive that new car out of the showroom, so much so that most people don’t. They opt for us to drive it out for them and not risk scratching a door on the way out. The third and final showroom entrance is from our Sales Lot. When you walk in that door you are met by a 9-3 or 9-3 Sport Combi that is again parked on an agle giving you a nice side profile when walking in the door. We set our vehicles up in a way that customers can open every door wide open and test every possible feature. Setting vehicles up this way also gives the sales staff the ability to do a walk around with the potential customer to show them what makes a Saab a Saab.

Showroom’s are meant to show the product and give that first impression. If you were going on a date, you would get dressed up and put your best foot forward and a showroom is kind of like that. The showroom is a chance to say here I am, check me out. As customers and part of the global SAAB Family, what do you look or what do you want to see when you walk through those doors into the SAAB showroom?

Peter, Sweden
Member
5 years 5 days ago

I think every Saab-store to look pretty much like Saab’s show-booths. The design language and concept has to be the same, no matter in which city or country you are. Sure, the cars are individualistic and for individuals, but the presentation has to be the same everywhere.

dcpattie
Member
5 years 5 days ago

Yea – *think* Apple store.

ivo 71
Member
5 years 5 days ago
I know the 9-4X is not yet being delivered to Canadian dealerships. But couldn’t you, perhaps, borrow a demo from a US colleague and put it in, or, even better, in front of the showroom as well? As an ouverture, to use a ridiculous word, to the official introduction in Canada. I’m pretty sure Saab-friendly people in your neck of the woods would come running to see one in the metal after having read one ad with the pic in your local press. Or maybe do an e-mail campaign to your (ex-)customers with as incentive a short test drive (first… Read more »
ivo 71
Member
5 years 5 days ago

I read something here on SU about a dealer in…Chicago maybe? or was it Reinertsen? can’t remember… who had, like, 7 or 8 delivered. Can’t say if all have been sold by now but if not then you could maybe try having one trucked over. Or maybe you could strike a deal with your co-moderator Pierre in Boston. Of course I have no idea about how much dinero the truck ride would involve but cars get swapped by dealers on a daily basis all over NA so how pricey (or dicey) could it be?

Another 2 cts. 🙂

Ivo

Peter Gilbert
Member
5 years 5 days ago

Pay the gas and I will drive one for you and fly back. Likewise Maine or New Hampshire is a stones throw from Montreal. I am in Milwaukee, WI.

Funnily enough I have never driven out of a showroom but seen it done for me twice. Once after SAAB presented me the 9-5 Combi. After the party the sales manager squeezed it through the tight doors into the blustery February snow. Then likewise when I borrowed the white Convertible out of the New Showroom at Concours Motors for the sunny parade in May.

Royal Oaks, MI is super close.

retired saab
Member
5 years 5 days ago

That was me, here at Morrie’s SAAB in Minneapolis, MN. The first 9 of the 12 factory Demos arrived yesterday. Come on down for Saabtoberfest and meet them!

saabman
Member
5 years 5 days ago

My brother visited Morrie’s Saab in Minneapolis earlier this week while he was having his Cadillac repaired. Not sure if he was perusing the showroom or the lot. But I think he liked what he saw.

retired saab
Member
5 years 5 days ago

Thanks! We’ve been in Saab for 40+ years. Love it!

E
Member
5 years 5 days ago

Saab of Memphis had at least a half dozen when I picked up ours on Sept 1. Most of them Moreland Bronze. Not sure about their existing inventory right now though. Great buying experience.

900 classic cab
Guest
5 years 5 days ago

Personally when I enter a showroom, It’s not the amount of cars on display that gets my attention. Sometimes they are just “old” stock. What I really like to see there are “aero” versions with some of the newest features available that can easily seduce new buyers and old customers as well. Even if the customer can’t afford those at the moment, it will cause a greater impact, particularly for people who don’t know much about SAABs.
As for dealer uniformity, isn’t that already a necessary condition to sell SAABs anywhere ?

saabman
Member
5 years 5 days ago
This week I bought a beautiful new 2011 9-3 xwd at Shaw Saab in the Boston area. I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the cars on the show floor, except to notice that it was more comfortable and spacious than the previous Saab dealer I had bought from. Shaw Saab’s space is very bright and airy with room for about five or six vehicles, I’d say. It has a pleasant, uncluttered Scandinavian minimalist feel. I glanced at the 9-4x just to see it, but honestly not too much. I am a rather focused buyer and to me (since I’m… Read more »
E
Member
5 years 5 days ago

This is exactly how we’ve shopped for and purchased our last two SAABs. Great write-up, SaabMan.

900_S
Member
5 years 5 days ago
It’s been years since I was in a Saab dealership, and I was nowhere near old enough to drive at the time. Being a kid, I remember lots of color selection and being able to freely run around the vehicles 🙂 I wouldn’t think it’s terribly important for there to be uniformity among the dealerships. Strict uniformity, at least. Each has its own personality, I’m sure–and I imagine know how to work the area they’re in best. Aside from the obvious (well, obvious after reading it :)), like having the cars well lit, with plenty of room to open doors… Read more »
Troels, Denmark
Member
5 years 4 days ago

Space and air. So one can watch the cars from a distance – or very close.
Better not to display all models and versions then to crowd the room with the “objects”.
No other brands between the Saabs to pollute the view.
Lots of daylight and very good artificial lighting.
Light colours and atmosphere.
Simple, balanced and minimal furnishing.

Ralph
Member
5 years 4 days ago

…and a quiet environment can help the other senses like sight, touch and smell.

StefanH STHLM
Member
5 years 4 days ago
Yes. Not too crowded with objects. Its the same as with furniture stores. Weve all been to the ones just propping the store full of sofas etc. Placing twenty sofas together with each other. and the same with the tables etc etc. Compared with the furniture stores that make an arrangement with different furniture. Often with a handsome space between the groups. But the perhaps most important. The dealers have to come up with a solution on how to display the different COLOR OPTIONS. A purchase of a car go through some natural steps. First visit, test drive, engine choice,… Read more »
mpprh
Member
5 years 4 days ago
Everyone agrees that Saab branded showrooms should be uniform world wide. There have been many initiatives to achieve this, but they have never been as successful as BMW or MB. This is because : A modest €20,000 makeover costs €24,000,000 over 1200 outlets. Dealers, Importers and the factory have never had the budget available. BMW and MB have greater pull on their dealers because the dealers are generally highly profitable. In many markets Saab is sold through dual franchise outlets, and Saab is often the smaller partner. There are climatic variations. Used cars are outdoors in California, indoors in Sweden.… Read more »
saabaudi
Member
5 years 4 days ago

Every time we entered the showroom of our Saab dealer we felt to be at home. It was the atmosphere of the room, a special smell of new cars and an almost personal relation to the dealer which in summary stood for the brand.
But in 2009 this realionship ended by the closing of business. Another Saab dealer near our home had to finish his activities too due to the small quantity of car sellings.
Our basis for maintenance had disappeard and therefore we decided to change the brand after a long period of 36 years living with Saab.

USAaber
Member
5 years 4 days ago

My personal take is that “Scandinavian austerity” is getting a bit old. Yes, simple, clean lines and uncluttered areas are welcome – but there seems (to me) to be an aversion to color schemes other than “all white”. There’s a lot more to Scandinavia than The Ice Hotel (disclaimer: nothing wrong with the Ice Hotel!). What’s wrong with a hot color spot and some dramatic lighting to accentuate a special new model, like when the 9-5 wagon arrives in the showrooms? I think it can be done tastefully without turning it into a theme park.

Belfast_Saab
Member
5 years 4 days ago

+1 – Sweden is a highlky colourful country – the natural colour may be white much of theyear, but the natives and their homes are very colourful – the white thing is done by everyone now, what about some use of timber and natural materials to offset the bleak?

RS
Member
5 years 4 days ago

Haven’t read through all comments but dealers got to have cars with different seats and/or a “seat stand” where people can actually sit and feel the difference between a base, sport (Aero) and Comfort seat before ordering.
This choice is very personal and probably the most important one buying a new Saab if you drive a lot.

hans h
Member
5 years 4 days ago

I agree. The seats are very important.

No 9
Member
5 years 4 days ago
Jason, you guys run a real class act. All my congratulations! Do you think the latest good news about reorganization will carry any weight for sales? I managed to talk to Tim Colbeck after his speech at SOC11 and asked him about the canadian situation. He told me they were aware of the problems with the actual distributor and that they were working on a fix. When asked about the unfair disparity between Cnd and US prices, he was adamant that had to be improved also. John Lobbos, Product Manager at SNA talked along the same lines. I mentioned to… Read more »
RS
Member
5 years 4 days ago

I mentioned to him the importance of having heated seats, mirrors, steering wheel, block heaters etc… for the Cnd market.

I’m in shock. You mean that there are Saabs in Canada that lack heated seats and mirrors?!
FGS this is Saab, the Swedish ‘winter car’. There shouldn’t ever be one sold without these features unless it’s going to Mexico or Australia. But wait a minute they’ve got some chilly nights over there too and heated mirrors are good when it’s foggy or very humid…

No 9
Member
5 years 4 days ago

The block heater is gone and I THINK heated seats and mirrors are not standard on all models any more, but please don’t quote me on that.

ivo 71
Member
5 years 4 days ago

Just about all non-urban buildings in Sweden are either ‘stugas’ built of timber and painted in a darkish hue of red or concrete edifices that look like a stuga and are painted in a darkish hue of red. I once accidentally entered the campus of a large hospital complex serving a pretty big district. It was a collection of, you’ll never guess, concrete stugas painted in a a darkish hue of red.

So let all Saab showrooms reflect that: once again, either wooden or timber-lookalike concrete stugas painted……you can guess by now, I guess.

🙂

Ivo

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