Thoughts about Saab’s future

This is a post that has been floating around inside my head for quite a while. Many people have suggestions what Saab should do to get back on track. Well, here is my take on things. It’s a bit about a strategy for brand positioning, a bit about model politics, pricing, qualities – and about how to carve the right niche for Saab to exist in.

Get yourself some snacks and a drink, this is a long one…

Brand positioning is in my opinion one of Saab’s biggest problems. There was a time when Saab was recognized as a technological leader, a car for those who wanted to stand out. Things like driver oriented design, safety and turbo engines were earmarked to Saab back then and made a good starting point for advertising. This has changed. Many manufacturers picked up the issue of safety, advertised the hell out of being ahead of technology and turbo engines have become the common cure for getting fuel consumption down.

In that development Saab got lost a bit. It may have been that GM tried to make it more mass compatible. It may have been that competitors picked up the things that Saab was standing for to solve their own problems (which shows that Saab did a good job). Most likely a bit of both and some additional other things, like looong life circles for models and a small model range. In the automotive circus it sometimes felt like Saab was too exhausted because it did not know who to chase first, effectively getting close to noone. Well, at least not in public perception.

So what went wrong? Since 1999 I leased six new Saabs and all of them were grest cars. The drove great, were reliable and (except iPod functionality) offered everything I would have asked for. I did not feel I paid too much for them either. But why did only few people go for those values?

One thing is that while Saab focussed on building a great car to drive in recent years many manufacturers moved on to putting lots of more or less useful assistance systems and huge entertainment centers into their cars. Power opening doors. A friend of mine has a trailor hook on his Audi, that is driven in and out electrically. Sigh. This is not for me. But I know that the general public and the motoring press likes those blings and bleeps and the manufacturers advertise the hell out of it.

Which leads me to the next point – the lack of advertising. Here in Germany, just like in most parts of the world, Saab has barely been visible in advertising. I know many people here are always asking for big media campaigns but face it: advertising costs such huge amounts of money that we won’t see a really big campaign by Saab anytime soon. There are some new ways of marketing e.g. on the internet but Saab did not really explore those until two years ago. This is surely a crucial point. Having the better product is not the gurantee to sell it. You still have to tell people.

The best product – that’s much about perception. While I never had too much to complain about the interior materials I recognize that many people feel that Saab is behind the competition when it comes to that field. They may be right and I think that Saab made the right step with the 9-3 Griffin where materials have improved. With the 9-5 – having the same steering wheel as the Insignia and a bunch of other GM models may not help to get a quality feel though this is just perception. But as that is how the customer works, something needs to be done.

Another thing is the view the press has on Saab. Though I can remember that the 9-3 convertible beat the 3-series convertible in a comparison test at german AMS back when it was released in the past years there have not been too much fair or even favourable comments about what Saab offered. May have something to do with the inherent behaviour of the predator “man” to always attack the in his view weakest member of a herd or with the focus on the bling and bleep the competition offered – I don’t know. Sure there have been some eligible critics, but too often I just can’t get it.

Those are my observations. You think I should talk about pricing. Ok, here we go. My view is that a new Saab has to have a certain price. Trying to get customers just over the price is for Dacia and Toyota. I’d advocate to have a affordable, lower equipped entry model on the 9-3 range, at least until there is a 9-2 (or whatever it may be called) to cover the market below. This may hurt but the truth is that Saab can’t be the car for everybody anymore given what kind of technical stuff people expect to be in it. It shall be reasonably priced but it will never be cheap. Given that we are looking to break even at a production of about 100k cars/year there has to be a certain profit on every car. That’s just inevitable.

Land Rover for example took that road. They ask the price they need. And they still sell cars and make good profit. Lowering prices is not the way to go for Saab. The best solution would be to offer opportunities to the customers to customize their cars as much as possible and charge them for that. I’m pretty sure that there are enough people out there willing to spend that extra buck. One first step could be to offer Hirsch parts installed from the factory. Should be possible to handle since those only had to be at the line in time just like from any other supplier. The more difficult things like special paint, leather and so on could be done some time in the future as that would most likely require some extra shop inside the factory.

If the price is at a certain level financing options get even more important. I Germany and as far as I know most of Europe the company car market is the key to sales. That requires leasing offers that can compete with other brands. The problem is that the big ones like VW and BMW have their own leasing/financing companies and can offer much lower rates. A big task for Saab will be to find the right partner, maybe even different ones for local markets, to stay competetive. Resale value is a big issue here. Saab may have to put some efforts into that. But it will be more useful to spend some money here than to sell the cars at 20% discount.
While I think that Saabs has a great line up with 9-3, 9-5 and 9-4x those pricing politics will increase the demand for a 9-1 or 9-2 as an affordable entry model. No need to have four body styles like the 1-series has but a variety of engines and equipment levels will make a good offer for almost everyone.

Expanding the model range even more may be difficult. As BMW recently released the new 3-series they said that one third of the overall cars they sell are of that model. If you count all model lines and body styles they have you end up at 18. If four of them make one third of the sales you can easily imagine how difficult it is to make some others profitable. So until Saab has either some spare money or easy access to a whole lot of off-the-shelf-parts (like Audi) it makes no sense to follow BMW and Audi in making cars for niches nobody has seen before.

Did I say Saab should not follow BMW and Audi in model politics? Let’s just extend that. Saab has to appear self confident enough to step away from making those comparisons themselves. The motoring press will make them anyway. But there is no need to chase anybody literally. Saab has its own strength and that is where the focus has to be. You can’t be a unique brand by trying to be like Audi. Step away Saab, go your own road. There are a lot of technologies like eXWD and iQon under development and will be seen in the next 9-3 in about one year from now. Most likely we will see a few more innovations. This should be reason enough for Saab to be confident enough and define their own niche where they want to be. Sporty but still practical and a true driver’s car. It won’t be everybody’s darling but with the sales numbers we’re aiming for it does not have to be. Be different. Be quirky.

Wait until the car is ready for production until you launch it, so that people can go and order it right away. Let the launch event take place at the Trollhättan market square. And offer test drives for those who are there, not just the press guys. Just make it a real event for customers, too. After all, they are those who will buy the cars.

While such things would surely make great news the best thing would be to stay out of the news most of the time. It needs a stability in the company and the ownership structure so that it is all about developing, manufacturing and producing cars again. We are facing three to five years that are needed to rebuild reputation and position the brand right. Saab needs investors and owners that understand the identitiy of the brand and are able and willing to carry that cost to lead it into the future.

The identity of the brand – indeed one of the most important issues for a small niche manufacturer is identity. You have to be able to feel the origin of the car. Look at Land Rover for example, it’s British, even though it is under Tata ownership. You can feel that once you get into it. I believe that a Saab is a Saab because it is made by people in Sweden. It represents how they feel, their relationship to their work. Talk about design. That special safety measures regarding moose incidents. The superior handling in bad weather conditions. Those are all values that are clearly related to Sweden and were evaluated because they were needed there. Saab would not be the same if they were developed and made somewhere else. And this is why I want that Saab. Even though I don’t live there I benefit from those values a lot. I would not want a Saab that is made anywhere else. There has to be a crear emphasis on this to make people to see and understand what is so special about that quirky car made in Sweden.

SaabKen
Member
4 years 10 months ago

My comments are short.

I think SAAB should follow the likes of MINI and Lotus, and maybe Land Rover/Jaguar.

But SAAB can carve its own identify by being:

– boutique yet not “snooty”
– niche
– specialty
– eco-friendly
– sporty
– versatile
– unique
– fashionable & trend-setting, not “trendy”,
– unpredictable

saabhuy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Totaly agree with SaabKen…
and already seen some Evoque…who look absolutely great for…17.000 euros less than the 9.4! here in belgium!!!…here in belgium again, the 9.4 is the same price as Porsche cayenne!!!!!!
and both Evoque and cayenne are available with diesel engine

SaabKen
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Speaking of LR, I’ve already seen maybe half a dozen Evoques around town. Man, they look grrrrrreat !!!

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Upper half stolen from Saab, lower half inherited from Ford? Sorry, I’m just practicing to become a bit meaner 😉

Toby K
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I can help with that…the Evoques is a spin off from the Freelander which was never a true Landrover-you will be able to spec is as 2WD (sic) so its style over content for all the people that can’t be asked to research what real kit is. in a month or two’s time they will be stuck in the snow and wondering why. Moreover the choped hot rod low roofline look is highly stylistic and sacrificial (as is the other practical element mentioned above). but hey it’ll sell to the likes of Victoria Beckham and other self obsessed clueless individuals… Read more »
SaabKen
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Hey Toby, did you know the original (actually Mk.II) FreeLander shared common exterior design elements with the Honda CR-V ? [gasp]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Rover_Freelander

Toby K
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Is that supposed to make me feel better?

Huff.

nixschel
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Having driven an Evoque 2.2 TD4 Coupe the other day, it did bring a smile on my face. Yes, it is a good looker, yes, it is very well equipped, but no, it won’t land on my driveway as my first car. Fun as it may be, not my car. I’d love one to play with, not as a daily driver. I cannot see doing with it what I do on a day-by-day basis. My 20 year old Saab 900i does that for me, and does it well. Do I want something newer, yep, but within reason. Saab has always… Read more »
Osama Dajani
Member
4 years 10 months ago
According to my previous experience with SAAB 900 & 9000, those cars are wonderful to drive, but they are very troublesome and very expensive to own and maintain. SAAB has never manage to sell like its rivals for several reasons, mainly quality and price. For instance, the German quality in Mercedes is much better than that of SAAB, whether its in and outside of the car: For example, the engine that was fitted on MERCEDES E 200 (Model: W123) was far better and more reliable than that of SAAB 900 classic. Another example is the dashboards, Compare the German dashboards… Read more »
TonymacUK
Member
4 years 10 months ago

As a SAAB 9-3 owner, I agree with most of your comments – I would not have bought without the substantial discount and free service x 3 offers.

Red J
Member
4 years 10 months ago
People keep real !! 50% of the BMW Merc or Audi price is a joke, you don’t get no car for that money. But in any case, Saabs are lower priced than the Teutonic Three, maybe higher than a VW, but we have to pay for the exclusivity, it is as easy as that. My wife is waiting for her 9-3 Griffin, and she has checked what other brands have on offer, just in case, and she told me that even an equivalent VW Golf would be as expensive as her 9-3. The new A6 is 5.000 € – 10.000€… Read more »
Osama Dajani
Member
4 years 10 months ago
The price of BMW 320, Merc C 200 compressor, and Audi A4 T is almost: AED 150,000 One Hundred Fifty Thousand (United Arab Dirhams) The Price of SAAB 9-3 should start from roughly: AED 75,000-110,000 Seventy Five Thousand Dirhams to One Hundred Ten Thousand Dirhams In terms of price, SAAB 9-3 could position itself to compete with European premium cars, for example: Peugoet 508, Citroen C-5, VW Passat, Opel Insignia, Ford Mondeo, and Japanese cars like Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry. They are all good cars, sell well like cup cakes, they do have a good reputation, and they… Read more »
erik93b
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Yes mercedes is one of the most overpriced car in the world. With real quality issues.
They rust as a japanese from the seventies.

Osama Dajani
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I can’t but agree about rust issues, it has become a common issue with all manufacturers: Merc, Lexus, Honda, Nissan, and others.

But, focus on the tiny details and design, feel the quality of German Dashboards, there’s something unique in them. Perhaps the German have invented and adopted their own standard “DIN”, that’s what make them durable and long lasting

Marque
Member
4 years 10 months ago
You must be kidding my friend… Get real. “German quality in Mercedes is much better than that of SAAB” I ever heard the exact opposite from drivers and mechanics. Mercedes from the 90’s, and even more in the late ’90s became reportedly of lower quality in terms of construction and materials. This is a worldwide known issue. Why didn’t you see Merc W140’s in the age that was typical of a daily driven Saab on the road? They barely lived their tenth year of age! Get a bit more factual and serious. Swedish quality matches or tops German quality. I… Read more »
hans h
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I too have seen the famous Audi quality first hand. They sell the cars on that magnificent feel you get in the car, the switches, the materials, the seats, etc. But what does that help when the engine goes. And the engine in an A8 is not cheap to fix.

zippy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Add to the fact they are boring to look at and are justoverproced VWs.

Marque
Member
4 years 10 months ago

sorry I made a typo and so my phrase could’ve been misunderstood –
The original qoute was meant to be:

“Why does your saab have a much cooler dashboard than that I have in my Audi?”

Toby K
Member
4 years 10 months ago

I think you need to by a 2nd hand Hyundai Matiz

NOW THAT’S VALUE!!

although its nothing else I would expect form a car, and the peple that drive them generally know less about cars than anyone else. But they are cheap.

I think that niche has already been filled-especially at entry level and by the Koreans and the French, none of it remarkable and none of it on my driveway.
Period.

katar1na
Member
4 years 10 months ago

“In terms of pricing, In my point of view, SAAB is OVER PRICED.”

??? What ???

“very troublesome and very expensive to own and maintain”

Ever owned a brand new Volvo? BMW?

Man, you do not know what you´re talking about!

SPG900NY
Member
4 years 10 months ago

My GM 9-5’s have been extremely reliable, solid transportation for many years. The 2004 Arc Wagon is at 135K miles and the 2003 Aero Sedan is at 208K miles. They have needed the normal suspension components (bushings, shocks) and other maintenance items (brakes, fluids, etc) but other than that, all I’ve replaced are batteries, one DIC, an alternator and a heater bypass valve. The biggest positive thing I always say GM gave Saab was quality control.

Coke is it
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Did I say Saab should not follow BMW and Audi in model politics? Let’s just extend that. Saab has to appear self confident enough to step away from making those comparisons themselves. This is something that Saab must do. Stop comparing with said brands and stop telling everyone the cars are luxury. I love the new 9-5 but I would never ever call it a luxury car, a luxury car is not for me. A Saab is for me. Practical and fun to drive. Of course the interior must be of high quality but don’t call it luxury since that… Read more »
Romac
Member
4 years 10 months ago

In which case, they will need to change the model numbering system! The naming of the 9-3 was targeted at the BMW 3-series and the 9-5 at the BMW 5-series.

p.s. I agree that

“Saab has to appear self confident enough to step away from making those comparisons themselves.”

Tripod
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Are we here to discuss Saab or other brands? And more precise, to discuss what the blogger mentioned in this particular post?

Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Till, I concur with 99% of what you say. I notice that in the first paragraph, there is an (intended?) “self-contradiction”, since you start talking about brand positioning, but the para then slides into the field of technology. This really is a problem, since brand positioning is defined well through available technology, and here, Saab does not have enough money for developments. They will continue to rely on licensed/purchased technology. At the time we see a plug-in hybrid from Saab, they will be commonplace. Saab needs to focus on different aspects. There are “mainstreams” in technology, like in fashion, albeit… Read more »
Belfast_Saab
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Till, I’d agree with all that especially need for a stripped out 9-3, witholding new 9-3 until ready to order, interior quality and being distinct.

Zizou
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks for that article, Till! I couldn’t agree more!
I really like the idea of getting a “hirsched” Saab right out of the factory!

aus715
Member
4 years 10 months ago
After all the Stuff that has happened in recent years to SAAB, and I am one of the brand’s loyal followers with two cars in my drive, the perception of the brand is now in such a precarious position it is looking near impossible to overcome the apparent, and real, negativity that exists. Look deep into your own wallet. Would you yourself, a fellow SAAB enthusiast who reads this excellent Forum, actually buy one at the moment? Most likely not. And that is the crippling problem SAAB has. It will take many years before the future customer decides to take… Read more »
Jeff
Member
4 years 10 months ago

So true. And yet one of Saab’s greatest selling points is that is an authentically Swedish, whole product. If projections don’t meet reality for its new Chinese owners and they decide to move much of the production to China when their factories come online (which they’re already quite close to being), will the world regard them with such high esteem? Will we?

hans h
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Would you yourself, a fellow SAAB enthusiast who reads this excellent Forum, actually buy one at the moment? Most likely not.

Actually, I would.
If I were the kind of person who buys a new car. But I usually buy a car either when it is two or three years old or when it is 15 to 20 years old.

ksmemo
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Just did exactly that. Yes, discounts helped make the decision, but I drove LOTS of cars and the continuing comments about how the current 9-3 is old and not competitive just does not hold water with me. My wife is not very brand loyal at all and she just makes decisions based on what she likes and how it compares to others. She voted for the 9-3 in the end. It is a very competent car. I did not try BMWs and Audis, and yes I think the $35k US price was a little optimistic, but at the price I… Read more »
michaelb
Member
4 years 10 months ago
There are few points, that were mentioned, but key points are omitted: – Saab is missing a competitive range of engines for the European market: With such big and heavy cars like the 9-5 and 9-4x, a six cylinder Diesel with 250+ hp is imperative. Without that, forget about Saab’s selling in Europe. In Europa, 90% of sales in that market segment are Diesels. – Even in the field of gasoline engines, Saab has lost some of the competitive edge, the brand used to have in past 30 years: 4-cylinder turbos with much more torque, much less real life consumption… Read more »
LarsG
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I have always thought that Saab will have an own identity similar that Porsche has. Instead, they have most often tried to compare itself with Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Look at Porsche 911. A model that during many years has undergone only lightly and sophisticated extraneous changes but is up to the best when it comes to technology development. Porsche has admittedly increased the model assortment gradual but I do not believe they come up in those volumes on a million vehicles and more as the three other German brands. When Saab now becomes Chinese and production also will happen… Read more »
LG Aero
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Interesting stuff because it helps put a European perspective to the marketing of SAAB. Certain values are universal but the US market is so large and crowded that other dynamics become more important. First there is far less public perception about SAAB. Most potential buyers in the price range would respond “Oh yeah ,I remember those , Seinfeld had one 20 years ago. GM killed them along with Saturn”. There is only one way in this market to be a player and that is to ADVERTISE in all of the manifold ways possible. And that costs lots of money. If… Read more »
aap
Member
4 years 10 months ago
This is a very strong piece of writing Till. The point being, where can Saab have a unique selling point (to stay in marketing terms) given its “natural recources”. Should that be in styling like the Evogue, mentioned above? In my opinion the Evogue is the opposite of what a Saab should be. Its a beyond reallity styled over exposed bling bling car that has no suspension (thanks to Top Gear). So where can Saab excel? Of course that should be in the aircraft heritage, where simpel functionality goes hand in hand with less weight. And everybody wants to fly… Read more »
Thylmuc
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Lightweight is a fine concept, no doubt about that. However, there are serious trade offs as well:

-less weight means less towing capacity. Presently, Saab is on par with the other premium offerings. Maybe not important to you, but to me.
-more noise, as insulation and dampening is heavy. Not good for long distance cars.
-lighter seats assumably means less comfort
-structural integrity requires a certain dimension of elements for collisions etc and limit the weight reduction. I believe that safety standards are the main reason for increased masses.

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Yes i think that that is correct too regarding increased mass and Safety.

However, it is fully possible to develop technology and materials that are considerably more lightweight with the same strength and insulation
Regarding Towing capacity, which is also important to me, the main limitations for towing capacity in EU comes from your drivers license, not from your cars weight.

ingvar
Member
4 years 10 months ago
About quality, yes as a owner of SAAB,s since 1973,my newest is from this october( 9-3 SC Biopower), I have some wiews over developments since those early days. First qualitys; As a wintercar, first class:The feel that you are in control of the car has, always been there. Fun to drive. The appeal the car give you. l I can`t describe that. No one has never let me done. Bad things; Early 1976 models, 99GLE especiality, had quality problems with painting, bad preparation in building in different items ,that caused corrosion problems. There is other thing but I leave it… Read more »
hughw
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Read the new book by Issacson on Steve Jobs:
1. Don’t try to capture all markets. Appeal to a few,
2. Focus on your strengths.
3. Simplify.
4. Forget market research. Do what you think is right.
5. Make the product great. It doesn;t have to be the biggest or baddest, but what you make has to be wonderful.
6. Introduce to world with fanfare. The greatest thing we;ve ever made. We are changing the world.

zippy
Member
4 years 10 months ago

+1

Call all future Saab’s as follows i9-3 i9-5 etc. Joking but hughw makes a good point.

christian
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Good post, Till. I share many of your points but would also like to comment on the pricing debate: It shall be reasonably priced but it will never be cheap A Saab doesn’t need to be cheap – it only needs to be worth the price. Simple as this. However, looking at the current pricing of the 9-3 Griffin models, I wouldn’t buy one at the moment as the car’s basis is too old compared to the competition, while the price has increased and the entry level engine was cut away. I think that was not a good idea. When… Read more »
The Troll
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Living in Sweden I believe we look at SAAB our way, and abroad somewhat different. But what we all have in common is a special spirit. So does also the employes in Thn. I am driving a NG 9-5 TiD auto. Have now driven it close to 70.000km. Many km in mid Europe. I have unfortunately seen very few NG 9-5, and many dealers are gone. Having a technical problem can be rather difficult to find help to solve. I am an entusiast yes, have an order for a 9-5 SC since April, and now finally I hope I will… Read more »
Turbine
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Guys – great comments but we need to consider something. To make volume levels work you either need a unique product- new to the market- substaninable over long term with profit led pricing (This is hard). Alternatively you need an adequate/acceptable product, accepted by the market and substainable by discount/offer led pricing.(easier option- GM strategy with saab for many years). VOLUME will privide cashflow and cover your factory and marketing costs – allbeit at reduced profits. I dont know how Saab will manage to get back on track with this approach given the damage to the brand in the western… Read more »
christian
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I’m with you on making something truly unique is going to bring us back on track, which would also be in line with hughw’s comment above (“Make the product great. It doesn;t have to be the biggest or baddest, but what you make has to be wonderful.”) However, it might take too long until the NG 9-3 is in place. What shall Saab do in the meantime? The good news is: The NG 9-5 (both sedan and combi) already is outstanding. The 9-4X already is outstanding, too. The 9-3 Griffin, however, is not. And thus not worth the price (any… Read more »
Tomas TL1000R
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The key: A Saab must look great, first impression is the key. Thinking outside the box when design the cockpit.

So the next generation 9-3 must deliver true Saab values and it has to be “a feast for my eye”. If people think that
Saab will succeed. It must look sporty and fast and have some uniqe features that strengthens the identity.

So it´s up to JC to deliver the visual and the engineers to fill it with Saab durability and true Swedish enginering skills.

Saab must stand out from the crowd, Forget about the Germans.

Steve C.
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Nice piece! After reading the comments, here’s what I’ll add…. Wait until the car is ready for production until you launch it, so that people can go and order it right away. Let the launch event take place at the Trollhättan market square. And offer test drives for those who are there, not just the press guys. Just make it a real event for customers, too. After all, they are those who will buy the cars. This is a great idea, especially the part about the Saab community getting the first test drives! That would be different. Saab has done… Read more »
USAaber
Member
4 years 10 months ago
As far as marketing goes, big media blitzes, etc.: I don’t know how long it lasted, when it was put in place, etc. but back around 2000 Saab (at least here in New England, US) they had a referral bonus system. I was not really aware of it, but had demoed(?) my -99 9-3 to a friend at work. He was thinking of buying a Beemer 528 at the time. He got interested enough to see the Saab dealer in Nashua, NH and tested a 9-5 Aero. He told me afterwards that he drove the living daylights out of the… Read more »
katar1na
Member
4 years 10 months ago

A simple statement:
The pricing has been far too low for such a long time that it affected quality for some years.

What we can expect is a steadily raising price for some years to come, and hand in hand
with that also the best quality (as before GM). That would be the best for the brand, that
deserves better treatment!

I guess the Asian market want´s to see a northern quality that feels exclusive and somewhat
“exotic”..?

Dejjo
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Hi guys, I just finished reading Kampen om SAAB and found a bit in the bokk that really made me simile. “The factory did not know how long the money would be enough, but you knew it was getting crisis. Meanwhile, production must continue. One day there was a flat tire on a small wheel that looked at the cars changing direction inside the body shop. Production was stopped. Would they follow instructions and write in a purchase request, it would take a long time. Arbetslledaren the maintenance department, Kenneth Eriksson, stood speechless on a form, but put it aside.… Read more »
maanders
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Very good article with lots of good points. The most important, I think, is what Till says about brand identity. Saab’s identity back in the ’80s, as we know, was innovation (turbo, etc.) + safety + driving experience. At that time, this clearly defined them vs. other brands because nobody else at that time combined these factors that well. As Till points out, today, that Saab still focuses on those items, but so do other brands so the differentiation is not as strong. Due to its size, Saab cannot compete with a bigger advertising budget, but it MUST decide how… Read more »
Toby K
Member
4 years 10 months ago
I firmly beleive there is still a gulf between the Korean kit and the German kit, and Saab should still vie to be the name when it comes to filling that void.(Apart from the French who they ought to out perform on build quality) being economical yet sophisticated and capable. Saabs size should make it more agile as a company-particularly with funding and that should help with innovation. Saab should still have a party peice like the mid range accelleration of a porsche that the 9-3 Aero used to have (being in 3rd between 50-100 was like making the jump… Read more »
jos
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Seems like GM is having “doubts” about approving the chinese to take over Saab.

http://di.se/Artiklar/2011/11/4/250128/GM-stoppar-Saabs-Kinalosning/

Saabheart
Member
4 years 10 months ago

Everything I could want to say has already been said which leads me to another comment unrelated to the post, but to the comments.

I don’t think I have ever seen so many long responses to a single SU entry ever. Must be because it’s Friday? Or it was a very good entry that is very open to responses? 🙂

Allan B
Member
4 years 10 months ago
Very good article, very good comments. Albeit I’m fairly sure, although I could be wrong, that putting reindeer hide in a car is against international laws. But, hey, while we’re on the subject why not go the whole hog and have a pop-out gorilla-hand ashtray and an ivory gearknob? Enjoyed the diversion about the Evoque, too – this is the last thing Saab should be emulating in my humble opinion. It’s a handbag on wheels, not a car, which is fine for those who want it. I really liked the point about aviation grade processes and materials being brought back… Read more »
aap
Member
4 years 10 months ago

See Safety, wild-life accidents.

During the winter months in Sweden we have 150 wild life accidents PER DAY! Last year a total of 46 889 wild-life accidents were reported.

That would make a half year production (if it were all reindeer).

davidgmills
Member
4 years 10 months ago

The best way for Saab to get back on track is for Saab to be bought by some entity with several billion dollars of cash. The best ideas in the world mean nothing if everything is underfunded.

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