People are more interested in the Saab brand again!

April 28, 2014 in SaabsUnited Related

positive trend iconIts no secret that the interest in the Saab brand fell dramatically after the bankruptcy in december 2011. And it could be seen clearly in the statistics here on SU and on other bloggs that I’ve talked to. The general loss in visitors was about 25% in average between the period of Q4 2011 and Q1 2012.

Most held on during Q2 of 2012 but when it was announced that Saab was to go electric another major drop in visitors was experienced during Q3 2012. This was due to the fact that many would not consider an electric car and in such lost complete interest for the brand. That drop was roughly 30-40%.

After that, the amount of visitors to SU at least has been pretty steady, we had some major momentary increases due to large news but the average still wasn’t affected much by that during the whole of 2013, however in the past 3 months we’ve seen a significant increase once again, I think its largely due to the fact that NEVS is actually producing and now delivering cars to customers that make people come back or visit this site for the first time.

Q1 2014 has shown roughly a 10% steady increase month after month in the amount of visitors coming to SU. Its not a major increase nor is it any form of logarithmic increase, but we’re seeing a steady continuous comeback which is really nice! =)

36 responses to People are more interested in the Saab brand again!

  1. I firmly believe one factor in any renewed interest is that NEVS has shown a willingness and indeed HAS built Saabs with internal combustion engines (turbocharged in fact). I understand that by virtue of their name, their focus is on battery operated rechargeable cars—but renewed interest by people who were already into the brand can be explained by the feeling that “Hey, maybe they’re not ONLY going to build EVs, this new company.” Obviously, interest will expand to an even greater extent if they make it known that China and Sweden are NOT their only markets for the foreseeable future. THAT would generate even more interest in the brand again. None of this is rocket science and they need to take notes.

  2. Really comes down to the next year.. The fact they have branded themselves as electric car company will be a deterrent for any serious lookers.. Time will tell.. Most people who have confronted me about my car as of late don’t know about Saab and think they are buried and dead. When I tell them they are building the 9-3 again they say really. When I tell them their focus is electric they don’t say much or become very disinterested. like “oh ok.”.

    Long as Nevs brands itself as Electric Company and target focus is that group, the Saab of yesterday is dead for the majority around the world. you know the ones who say “sounds good” and could care less in reality.

    Just the reality.

    • I agree with that and I’ve had the same experience. People who know cars and know a little bit about the old Saab equate it with turbo engines, quirky Swedish near-luxury cars with safety and spirited performance. When I tell these people that Saab is still around, only not in the U.S. at this time—-and then follow with “and the new owner is focused mainly on electric vehicles” I get the same reaction as you Doug. People either look perplexed or disinterested. I’m hoping that NEVS lets the market nudge them in their future plans—-instead of them trying to force the market to conform to something that most people aren’t ready for and aren’t interested in. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole often ends in bankruptcy.

      • I see the same reaction, but….I do see more people who would never be interested in a Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius getting more interested in the Tesla S because the Tesla S is viewed as fun to drive. Now, for most people the Tesla S is out of their price range, but if some company makes an EV that is fun to drive and more on par with the cost of an average mid-size car, then that company may sell a lot of them to people who want a daily commuter car and can handle the range limitation. Tesla says they will have that car in the next two years. If NEVS can offer an option like that, they could get some traction with that. But if they really want to sell more volume, I think they need to continue with both turbo-4 ICE engines as well as EVs.

    • I appreciate your point. But I think public preference drive the brand.
      People should think about “General Electric” Their jet engines are surely not electrically propelled.
      Might be the same for NEVS down the road.
      And then there is AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph). Don’t think they make too many telegraphs any more.

    • Don’t confuse the reaction with the simple fact that most people don’t actually care at all about Saab, either. All I hear is “they’re crap”, “they’ have terrible reliability”, etc. So why would these same dopes care when I tell them the next Saab will be electric?

      I’m excited by the performance potential of electric cars. I’m concerned about the lack of differentiation this might bring, but not about performance (which will be exceptional!) or even range (which will be more than adequate for 90%+ of trips). Extending the range will be solved in due course.

      I also, like Tim, excited about the cleaner air it will bring to our cities. Australia is something like a 95% urban population and full to bursting with cars. I can’t see any negative in that. Battery disposal blah blah – again, things we can solve in time, there’s no manufacturer out there who wants that kind of waste, so it’ll be fixed eventually.

      Electric cars will take a while longer to catch on and be useful for everyone, but for me it’s a logical next step for Saab and the responsible performance ethos that has driven the development of the turbo engines we all love. For me, it’s bang on brand.

      I’ll keep my Stage 3 9-3 and happily sit an electric Saab next to it, and something 60s with weber carbs right beside that, too! We should celebrate the push to improve and advance whilst enjoying what’s gone before.

  3. Well said Doug. I agree 100%.
    SAAB should play down the electric side and concentrate on their core values. The electric option should be just that, an option.

    • Agreed. Just drop the electric part. National Vehicle Sweden. Sounds good, and it doesn’t exclude them from pursuing opportunities that make good business sense (e.g. the millions of happy petrol/diesel-powered Saab drivers).

      • I dont agree with you there at all, I like the idea of electric cars and I’m really looking forward to it. I know the push is not as tough in the US as it is within the EU and I’m excited to see so many manufacturers now coming out with smart solutions for electric drive and I’m not at all surprised if I’ll be driving one in a few years time. Much of our electricity in northern Europe is created through renewable sources and there is a big push to put solar panels on the roof of each house in the whole of EU. I think by 2020, just like Christian von Koenigsegg stated, we’ll see a very different society than the one we’re living in today, a society that is much more eco-minded than before with solar panels on the roofs of every hosue, 25% of the population driving an electric car and people really trying to be eco friendly.

        Just such a smart solution that all street lights have a small solar panel mounted on top of it powering a battery attached to a high-power LED is a brilliant solution, and thats reality in many places today and thats saving a huge amount of electricity! Most people I know have replaced all their light bulbs with LED’s to save power and money, so why wouldn’t they do the same for a car if they realize that its economical as well as eco-friendly?

        When I’m flying over Europe which I do a few times a week I cant even count the number of wind turbines that are spinning everywhere, there are thousands of them and you cant fly anywhere without seeing them and more are popping up all the time.

        A few years ago people were angry when the price of plastic bags went up and it has had a big impact at supermarkets, today I see at least 40-50% of people bringing their own textile bags when shopping for groceries rather than buying a plastic bag from the store. Recycling is huge in the EU compared to where it was 10 years ago, now you recycle more or less everything and almost everywhere you go you’ll find 3-5 different types of waste containers and you’ll sort your garbage right away.

        Low air-friction cargo trucks was pure science fiction 20 years ago, now every truck I see driving on the roads have these plastic panels installed creating a more streamlined airflow around it and thus save a lot of fuel…

        The future is going to be a lot more eco-friendly and I think its really good of NEVS to be at the cutting edge of this technology because anyone manufacturer who is short-sighted and lags behind will realize that it’ll be a costly mistake.

        • Definitely fat profits in solar panels. China is leading the way in that endeavor. There’s a lot of green in green. It’s making millionaires, though some of them are hucksters, telling lies to push things in this direction. Still, for a car maker—-if the tealeaves say that there’s a buck to be made selling EVs, why not? For now though, it’s a microscopic part of the landscape. Tesla is the one who seems the most serious about trying to change that. The other makers dabbling in EVS are still funding their operations by selling what the people want—-petrol cars and light trucks.

          • I thought the idea of the us was to make money on everything? 😉

            • Not just to make money, but to make the most possible, right now, regardless of how that may negatively affect the future, or the company’s workers. Sadly, one of our biggest exports.

        • Tim, I found this article that might interest you:

          Do you think there will ever come a time that the large passenger aircraft will have electric engines?

          • Interesting! Didn’t know they were doing that one! Thanx! =)

            Much of the fuel economy in larger aircraft is gained as fuel is actually burned off, the last half of the flight is the most economical one, problem with batteries in flight is that even though they are out of power, the weight is still there. Perhaps a hybrid system could work or that more hydraulic components are replaced with electrical but I doubt that propulsion will be powered by batteries. I’ve read some studies on the matter and the cost-to-weight ratio is way off. Most manufacturers seem to be more prominent of some kind of biofuel solution rather than going electric.

            A very cool system that I’m following closely is the piezoelectric flight control system in which the shape of the airfoil is changed with an electric current, this way the wing would just re-shape itself rather than deploying heavy components such as flaps or ailerons. This could save a substantial amount of weight both in hydraulics and mechanical components.

      • I think “IVS” has a nice ring to it: International Vehicles Sweden.

        • Honestly Angelo, your comments when you state that people make billions of these ideas which I take from the way you comment, you are against, is exactly in line with what the communists and socialists all over Europe are stating. They oppose anyone making money of this type business, the problem is that if there is no money to be made, nobody will be interested in spending money to develop these things either…

          If you guys in the US want to continue polluting your air and just go about your business giving billions to the middle east each year, then fine, by all means go ahead =)

          But what can be seen through medical studies is that people in the major European cities are getting sicker by each year, allergies and respiratory illness are increasing at a huge rate, so is smog which for the first time ever has become a real problem in some European cities. So there might be a point to reduce the pollution coming out of cars not just because of the green leaves and the fact that medical costs are rising through the roof but also because our children’s future might be at stake. I for one dont what my future kids to get some kind of crappy illnesses which we can prevent. How about you?

          • Tim: When companies can rake in billions in the private sector, independently, selling the green stuff, I’m all for it. Let the market decide to reward innovation and a better quality of life and I’ll be on board with that. I object to politicians picking winners and losers with my money though. As for public health, I’d need to see an actual body of evidence, not hearsay or circumstantial observation—if I am to support massive changes in the way we live. A strong case can be made that most progress has health risks of some sort—-everything we do—-including mining for lithium disturbs the Earth and puts potentially life threatening materials in our midst. Cell phones, fluorescent light tubes—-you name it, containing mercury and all sorts of other substances that can be harmful. Do we solve it by going back to caves?

            • We don’t solve it by going back to the caves, but honestly, I think mother nature would prefer that we do!

              But we don’t solve the problems by just going with what we’ve got ignoring the warning signs either. I can agree with you that politicians are perhaps not the right people to pick winners and losers, but who is? In general people are un-interested to invest the amount of time needed to fully understand the situation in order to make sound decisions about these kinds of things, people read something in the news paper and they believe it, which I find amazing since the person who wrote that is most often not very well educated about the situation either…

              I dont know how the system works in the US but here in Sweden we’ve got very focused study groups made up of politicians, scientists and lawmakers who sit down for a year or so to study a problem and then try to find the best viable solution that works within the constraints of society, and then their recommendations are passed on to the higher level of politicians in order to make policy of what was figured out. Its not a system that works every time but in my mind I cant figure out a better way of doing things?…

              Its very easy to be critical, I am too about a number of things and I admit its hard to find better ways of doing things that works for the majority of people.

              But I’ll tell you this, the kind of stuff I’m seeing coming out of WHO and reports from the EU about how bad things are and how many people get sick from eating the food we have, breathing the air and drinking water, it scares the hell out of me. In Sweden which is supposed to be one of the cleanest countries in the world, we’re finding out that this is far from the case! Why is that? Ignorance?

              • It’s probably designed to scare the hell out of you. They do that here too. And when you’re scared enough to go along with whatever they say, they get richer and we get poorer. It happens over and over and over.

          • And Tim, you state that my comments make me sound socialist or communist. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I don’t trust “big brother” to make decisions like this rush to green—-without questioning exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it—-and reading between the lines. I trust the free markets to sort things out—-not socialist or communist thinking at all. Sounds like you put much more faith in government fat cats and their robots than I do.

            • Free market will always be used by people who have more greed that others, you’ve seen a perfect example how a non-regulated free market in the US can work, and that ended with the economic crash of 2009, why, because of an insane amount of greed… so no, I dont trust the free market to regulate it self since there will always be people who find ways to exploit the system and others will suffer because of it…

              • Regulating the free market is fine, with limits. Telling the free market what to do—-or replacing the free market with top down government control is not acceptable and doesn’t work. And I think a few other nations had a hard time around 2008-09 too, not just mine. In fact Tim, government meddling in home mortgages in the U.S. might have been the single most responsible action for the economic downturn. But back to cars: My suggestion for IVS makes sense because it is an international team that has come together to now run the established Swedish marque, Saab. And if they are at all serious in offering gas engines in addition to electrics, I see no reason why electric has to be part of their title. It can be a cause for confusion and if the electric craze doesn’t get off the ground the way some expect—-and if something better leapfrogs it to replace ICE—-it’ll sound kind of silly.

                • Angelo, we need some government regulation here in the U.S. sorry. I don’t want a repeat of the 2008-2009 crash.

  4. As you know, I never left.

  5. I may not have posted so many comments, but I never left and never lost faith. :)

  6. Tim said: ‘I like the idea of electric cars..’
    Likewise. But at this early stage in SAAB, they need to market the marque and all that it erpresents to existing SAAB enthusiasts. Many here are already ‘converted’ and would buy a SAAB because of that. It is those who are not familiar, or have concerns, that NEVS need to convince. Anything that throws doubt in to the decision making factor, will cause far more problems than it offers cures.
    Toyota and others use a hybrid system, for the same reasons. They are aware that such a fundamental change to the mindset of motoring, need to be introduced gradually over time, especially as technology is moving at its current rate.
    An all electric car is to be applauded, but is not necessarily good business practice.

    • Very well said! You’re absolutely right! I’d be very happy if NEVS would take one step at a time and first go hybrid, but perhaps once they’ve mastered the electric systems they could introduce parts of that into a Gasoline/E85/Hybrid car, I’m keeping my hopes up! =)

  7. Agreed for Aus too. Just saw a 900C in a TV ad for the first time in a long time. Now that says something…things are certainly looking up, down here.

  8. While I was never a big commenter here I’m still skulking in the shadows as I have been for many years now. I still own 3 Saabs, and I’m still interested in what Saab will do no matter what. I check in at least 3 times a week just to see if anything great has happened like a new face lift announcement or even their plans for the next platform (hoping it’s Phoenix). Either way I’ll be here until the end!

    • We really appreciate people like you returning! Even though we dont see you often in the comments we do see you in our statistics and its pretty conclusive, about 90% of our visitors never comments nor register, they just show up for the information that we provide! =)

  9. Tim, their focus should be selling a diverse range of cars not just electric. Petroleum engines should be a part of that mix. I just love that turbo engine.

    • It is… There is no longer any talk from NEVS about going pure electric and removing the other types?… Its been this way for over a year now!

      NEVS intention is to offer electric cars as well as gasoline and other types of engines.

  10. weird…I was in the middle of posting a comment when I was logged out.
    It’s interesting after just having been a reader and not a poster that the threads are now focusing around Saab offering diversification in its product lineup. It appears they are listening…thank goodness. I stated many times here it would be a good thing if they offered a hybrid in areas where EV’s aren’t viable.

    As for North America, the differences have been there all along. We never saw E85 cars or diesel powered Saabs here so why not offer every model possible to produce. Satisfy as many customers as possible. Build the company by offering the innovations Saab has been known for all these decades. Just get on with it, please.

  11. Have they mentioned the U.S as a market later on?

    • No mention about it yet, first Europe & China, then we’ll see what happens…