31 private owners of Saab 9-3N cars in Sweden 2014

P1000851
According to the national statistics in Sweden NEVS registered 264 cars 2014. Out of the 264 cars just 31 are now registered to private individuals/owners. The sales was horrible to put it mildly. The estimated 1000 cars sold from NEVS management fell short. Where are the remaining 233 cars? Some might be operated by companies as fleet cars, some might be at dealerships around Sweden.
Link to Swedish Car Statistics for 2014: http://www.bilsweden.se/storage/cms/07cbea545c654cc5bd2059b29c755d17/dc1e5fa5cd3c419da3af2109e3592f3e/PDF/-8/topplistandec14prel.PDF?MediaArchive_ForceDownload=true&PropertyName=File1&ValueIndex=0

So why did it go so bad? Here some of my conclusions.
1. Way to expensive should have been 33% lower price to make it competitive
2. Plain and simply an old car that we have had on our roads for more than 10 years
3. Big Saab used car market to compete with. Many companies with leasing fleets etc. went to other brands.
4. Lack of colors, just black and silver does not cut it for many customers.
5. Some technology same more or less just glued on to the dash and holes drilled for letting cords through (Parrot Hands-Free)
6. Value on mildly old 9-3, 9-5 and 9-5 NG falling dramatically
7. Some parts are still hard to come by through ORIO and salvage.

The car in the pictures VIN#YTNFD4AZ4E1100075 was parked in a NO-Parking zone (and stood there for a couple of hours) in central Stockholm and is owned by NEVS in Trollhättan and possibly on loan the Racing Team PWR they sponsored. I wonder where the parking tickets are sent? Besides it is really bad publicity for NEVS and the other sponsors featured on the car. I would not have liked to have my name on a car “committing” i crime. Myself living in central Stockholm really dislike the poor attitude among the people who can not conform to the easiest of rules.

phermansson
Member
1 year 8 months ago
NEVS never wanted to build the gasoline version of the car at all, that matter was forced by their partner in Qingdao. This forced the company in to a situation where they had to make a lot of compromises, as it turned out, this path wasn’t a good one. Considering this, I hope that the last 9-3 of that model has been built, so that NEVS can focus all of its power on creating something new. We don’t need a rebuild of some old Saab, we need a brand new revolutionary car that can bring the brand back! If it… Read more »
John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

I have to agree. I hadn’t actually driven this generation of 9-3 until a few weeks ago… and I can see why Saab went bust. :/ Given that the VW group own the Scania truck side (am I correct on that?), I’m hoping that somehow something can be acquired from the VW group as a base for a new vehicle – I’ve often thought the Skoda Octavia would be an excellent starting point. The choices of gearboxes (the DSG would be a natural Saab fit) and powertrains would fit nicely as well.

phermansson
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Sadly Scania and Saab has nothing to do with each other anymore and yes, the skoda make nice vehicles, they drive very well =) Having driven other brands for a few months now and gotten the first of the two new cars we’ve ordered I’m realizing more and more how far behind Saab was already in 2011. And now, 4 years later the distance Saab needs to catch up has increased a lot. BMW and Mercedes have moved beyond LED headlights into the world of laser lights which holds amazing potential to actively measure everything ahead of the car, giving… Read more »
John
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I’m only too painfully aware that the Scania and Saab bits don’t have anything to do with each other any more (*sob*), but I’m hoping the simple association by name will be enough for the VW group to take notice of proceedings and maybe have a proposition of some sort. The mid-2000s 9-3 I drove was a horrid vehicle that made me genuinely angry. Although first glance at the cabin (as long the interior isn’t specced in grey) makes you think, “oooh, that looks nice”, a few minutes driving the car made my teeth grind. The seats were hard and… Read more »
Alastair
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I’ve been a tad silent for over a year just deliberating on the plight of SAAB. I don’t think that it helped the matter to restrict the revamped 9-3 to only LHD when the demand in the UK would have helped with numbers etc. although I fully understand why this did not happen due to approvals etc. Anyway today is a gloomy one for me (not only the crap weather). My wives leased 9-3TtiD is in for service and is due for handing back to the lease company ALD Automotive on 15th March. I have in the past negotiated a… Read more »
Peter
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I am the terrible guy, who according to you, is a local criminal! It is on your picture parked in a loading zone, across the street from the Grand Hotel, where on occasion I do have business. I like to read your page, but this was a low mark, more off a tabloid paper article, sad to se that! I pay for any parking ticket that I might receive while using this car that I have on loan from NEVS. I have to say that I do not feel like a criminal when on occasion for some reason, I park… Read more »
3cyl
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Well Peter, you obviously were in a hurry to arrive and “business” at a hotel is often tabloid material so perhaps you got off easy on this one. On the other hand, all of this leads one to wonder if those who never park illegally are having much fun in life.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
At what point can we stop calling them NEVS? Is that coming soon (I pray)? Why did it fail? It wasn’t available in most traditional Saab markets, it was overpriced, interior bits were crude and it was not promoted. As well, the parent company had a website that looked like it was developed by an elementary school class using free educational software. That doesn’t instill much confidence, I’d say. The 9-3 failed, that’s true—–but the bigger story is that company, NEVS, failed—-and failed badly. Their failure was due only in very small part to the 9-3 they “introduced.” The stench… Read more »
mk
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Have you seen the car in reality?

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

The car, no, the website, yes. The car—-photos showing how an appendage was added to the dashboard likely looked better in the photos than it did in person—-and it looked horrible in the photos so I can only imagine how it looked in person—-like what a teenager in the 1970s might do to add an 8 track tape player to their Pinto—-hanging it under the dashboard—but at least those teenagers had the good sense to hide the wires.

3cyl
Member
1 year 8 months ago

“1. Way to expensive should have been 33% lower price to make it competitive”

If these cars could be built and sold at a profit for 33% less SAAB would still be in business.

roger
Member
1 year 8 months ago
First in your list, way before “1. Way to expensive should have been 33% lower price to make it competitive” should it be the fact that very few people buy a car from an economically instable producer. This is a fact that seems to be forgotten when speaking sales figures. I don’t think it should be 33% cheaper but of course more people would buy if it cost right below 250kkr instead of right below 300kkr. Maybe they shouldn’t built this version at all but all of us Saab-fans screamed for cars and they reacted to this. Poorly us Saab-fans… Read more »
jouni72
Member
1 year 8 months ago
WTF? I came here simply to write ‘another positive post by Trued’ with obvious sarcasm intended. Also wanted to defend the driver. Thankfully, the driver of the car, Peter, has already arrived and explained the situation. Why he had to do this? I have no idea. Trued, time to call it a day and bow out from this site. Go away and follow whatever rules you like. Remember, they were invented by people – not some deities – and worse than that, people who work in planning offices and county councils. Who, in my experience, don’t know anything about anything.… Read more »
Johnny Johansson
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I am one of the 31 private owners, but I don’t agree with you, Jörgen, that the car is way too expensive and plain. Well, I didn’t pay full price (SEK289 000), I paid under SEK250 000, but I am satisfied and happy with what I got for that money. The Parrot hands-free thing looks terrible on the dashboard, but for me the car is well equipped, it has nearly all equipment I want. But, of course, I am a Saab-fan, and look at these cars through colored glasses, but a I am a Saab fan who really buy new… Read more »
aslak
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Nice to read that there are some enthusiasts in Sweden that have bought a 2014 Saab 9-3!
Do you know if there are still unsold New cars at the factory in Trollhättan, or are all the produced 9-3’s sold?

Johnny Johansson
Member
1 year 8 months ago

I am sure there are still a number of unsold cars at the factory, NEVS has produced totally ~400 cars. Here in Sweden you can still order a new car at NEVS’ home page, nothing has changed there.

mk
Member
1 year 8 months ago

I agree with you. It’s a good and confortable car. It was not too expensive, an equivalent AUDI or BMW would have cost me at least 10000 € more (the car is Hirsch tuned)! It will log tonight 23000 k and runs like a swiss-clock). For me it was a bargain. By the way it’s one of the rare one NEVS 9-3 not to be registered in Sweden (maybe the only one).
I just wonder how many people are so-called SAAB fans but don’t buy SAABS.
BUYING a NEVS 9-3 was the only way to help them, NOT WRITING about them.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 8 months ago
On another note::: If Mahindra truly buys in,,, NO WAY NO HOW will they be out of the market 8 ,, 7, 6 , 5, 4, years. I can’t imagine anything greater than 3 years max to produce new Saabs . I suspect a whole lot of things are happening as we speak if in fact they are buying in. They are looking at platform sharing, engines,, and designs along with vendors for parts interiors etc Another words negotiations are happening to have a quality cars quick as possible…. Not sure who the sources maybe for platforms ,engines etc. ,… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Right on Doug. I’m thinking 4 years max—-but we’re pretty close. The notion that it’ll be 8 years—-or even 10 years—-makes very little business sense. That isn’t a fast enough return on investment for anyone who buys into this—-Mahindra or anyone else. Platform sharing is a reality, and likely a certainty, not a possibility. Rebranding is also possible or something in between. If Mahindra takes over, I do believe Saabs will be sold in Western markets again, perhaps sooner than many think. I also believe Saabs will have gas engines and turbos available—not just EVs. Again, it’s a return on… Read more »
Paul Willis
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I agree with you, Angelo V, that the new owners will have to produce a conventional gas engine to start with, though EVs could be developed eventually. I don’t know about Europe, where the price of gas is higher largely because of taxes, but in the US gas prices have fallen off a cliff. Its a true global price war, with the low-cost (relative to others) producers trying to damage their higher-cost competitors (like shale oil). Gas is an unbelievable $1.75/gallon in my neck of the woods, and below $2 a gallon in most of the US. This party is… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

I want to see the nameplate live to fight another day. If that means early efforts from Mahindra that fall short of what the faithful are looking for—so be it. The faithful weren’t enough to support the brand anyway. So it might be time to move on to a new demographic perhaps.

Doug R.
Guest
1 year 8 months ago

Angelo sourcing top components, platforms and engines etc. isn’t a bad thing with a heavy does of Sweden influence can produce very nice Vehicles. You can end up with the best of the best. By the way it isn’t uncommon.

If this deal goes down rest assured Mahindra has been working on this for a while now. They may be a lot further along than what we think. They may be getting confirmation (deals pending etc.)…

JST1981
Member
1 year 8 months ago

So parking in a no-parking area is a crime? Come on, seriously??

jxh
Member
1 year 8 months ago

8. No dealers! Direct-only sales might work in the long run, but it takes a lot to bring the customers to the web site, and the site has to be a lot more sophisticated than what we saw from NEVS. Even among the hard core, only Swedish nationals were “eligible”. I’m surprised they sold more than ten cars at all, that way.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
“…and the site has to be a lot more sophisticated than what we saw from NEVS.” You’re being very polite with that comment. Certainly—-it might be possible for a company to move to a direct sales model, but NEVS/Saab was not that company. In the U.S., Tesla is trying this approach. They are well funded, well known, well organized—-politically connected—-and even they are getting push-back for not having a traditional dealer set-up (to be clear, push-back by the other car companies stuck with the dealer model and by some politicians who might be owned by car dealers and manufacturers). I… Read more »
hughw
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Personally, I like the direct sales approach….but in the US, there’s more than “push-back by the other car companies stuck with the dealer model and by some politicians who might be owned by car dealers and manufacturers.” Telsa is actually banned from selling in 26 states……that’s all because of dealer pressure. Unless someone can convince 26 legislatures to change their laws, or bring a successful federal lawsuit (perhaps on the basis of interfering with interstate commerce), it looks pretty problematic to me to have internet sales. Apparently, Volvo is trying an online sales model in the US though.
jxh
Member
1 year 8 months ago
There’s also huge reluctance on the part of the buying public. Remember when the idea of buying clothing online was a joke? You couldn’t try it on! Well, we caught up with that eventually. But a car is big-ticket. It’s more like a house than a t-shirt. The test-drive will continue to have major importance, and who’s going to keep inventory distributed everywhere for that purpose? Also, the relationship with the dealer (or someone) is important to establish, if only because most of your interaction will be post-sales service. I don’t like the dealers (or anyone) blocking innovation just to… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I think the idea would be for manufacturer direct sales through their own outlets. It wouldn’t have to be strictly internet sales—-but instead of having the dealer as the middle-man, the manufacturer themselves would own the rights to sell their car—-they would own or lease the buildings where the cars were warehoused and sold. There could still be traditional car lots—with service centers—-but owned by the manufacturer, not a franchised dealer. Hugh—-that is exactly the push-back I was talking about. Tesla tried to skirt those laws and found real teeth in the laws—-dealer groups and the manufacturers they sell for… Read more »
Marque
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Sorry for referring to just a fraction of your thoughts. I actually stopped buying clothing online, after 15 years. Why? Prices have grown up to near store-levels, while you still can’t try it on, which takes up to 50% to the dump. I have a very big box of brand new, upscale brand garments sitting around for years, because they didn’t fit, and I grew tired of it.

Marque
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Firstly, the _no dealers_ would convert any brand to a still-born, this is a no brainer… Also, I agree that the price levels were a bit far-fetched. However the 2014 9-3 seemed to me a very decent and desirable car, really not something to go dumping on. The lack of engine-color-etc choice was again a clear showstopper. But I’m already starting to get tired of reading the general bashing of the car and brand over and over again. The future hi-tech mania is a bit overdrew here, principally because the 9-3 NEVS was never meant to be the magic bullet… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I agree with you that the last generation 9-3 was a competent car. I also agree with you that many, many drivers do not want or need their car jammed up with high tech gadgets that eventually break or need software updates that cost hundreds of dollars, etc. I believe there is still a big market for a fun to drive car—safe, reliable, well built—-like the 9-3. But again, the trade off needs to be fewer high tech gadgets, less features, old platform with tooling that’s been paid for over and over and over—-and that should save enough money for… Read more »
Marque
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Yes, agreed it should have been sold for much less, and I think doing so would’ve been a much better strategy by NEVS (or the only appropriate strategy?). This wasn’t the thing to make NEVS profitable, afterall. More sales, more fresh cash in, and more publicity could have paid off more eventually. Opel (and others) tended to call the late model “Classic” and sold for an attractive price. NEVS should have done the same, but probably without the “classic” wording.

3cyl
Member
1 year 8 months ago

The combination of low volume (which would have been the case even if NEVS had sold 100 times the cars it did) and selling at a loss does not create positive cash flow. The concept that SAAB’s owner should sell cars at a loss for years to build volume is a very expensive business model that would not have changed the ultimate outcome for NEVS.

Marque
Member
1 year 8 months ago

I didn’t mean it as a busines model, rather just a short to mid term strategy to sell a few cars to keep the brand and it’s presence afloat, while the electric cars arrive with the facelifted 9-3 outfit. I think this should have make sense.

hughw
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Perhaps you’re right, but this bunch at NEVs never were going to bring a competent EV to market……and facelift?….that was a bad joke. How hard would it been to have a freshened up and modestly facelifted 9-3N rather than the 2011 model they released with a kludged up navigation system,

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Hugh, let’s agree: This bunch at NEVS never were going to do anything competent. The fact that they could tie their shoes and figured out which end the food goes in and which end it comes out is a small miracle.

OddJob
Member
1 year 8 months ago

I totally agree with you. And I don’t think the main reason for the sales failure had to do with the car and price. Selling a Sedan in Sweden is hard enough and especially so if it comes from a not trustworthy or questioned company (Nevs).

Paul Willis
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I think much of the discussion of why NEVS failed is largely beside the point. The real problem with NEVS was not that the car was priced to high, or it had limited colors, or was a design that was long in the tooth. The real problem was simply a lack of capital. Whatever production that NEVS was able to literally screw together on the fly was just a stop-gap measure till it could get a fully-developed product and full production up and running, which would have taken a couple of years at the very least. In the meantime, there… Read more »
3cyl
Member
1 year 8 months ago

That is the problem. Any investor will have to approach this venture with “fingers crossed”. Hopefully there is more money out there to pour into this hole, but it would be interesting to see on what basis an investor concluded that it is the best use of corporate cash.

aslak
Member
1 year 8 months ago

I have also visited Trollhattan and tested the 9-3 at the factory, and I liked it! I liked the good old manual handbrake, and the analog instruments. The Aero spec is good, and it felt quick with the 220bhp engine. And I think it’s still a good looking car!

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
It’s definitely still a good looking car and so is the wagon version and so is the convertible. I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear this—-but I’ll say it anyway—-there’s still life left in this line if Mahindra wants to get something to market quickly. It’ll take a big investment—-big in plain terms but relatively small in comparative terms, to modify the line to meet new government requirements. But if they could sell these “veteran” cars at competitive prices—-with the right marketing push, they could and would still sell in respectable numbers, at least I feel… Read more »
John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

I like the look of the exterior, but I’ll be buggered if I’ll ever buy one with that woeful interior, which to me just doesn’t seem to adhere to Saab values in the past, which had build quality that bordered on the astonishing. If the interior were revamped (especially that tedious dash and cheap vent controls) and the hard seats eschewed, I’d have no problem with it.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Less is more sometimes. Less crap on the interior would be just fine with me. Give less but make it better.

John
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I’d agree it was a bit fiddly in there, and I have no problem with elegant simplicity. Just makes the plastics nice to the touch for one thing. Get in the first gen 9-3 or the 900 that preceded it, and the cabin is a lovely place to sit, and everything is tactile. The 2nd gen 9-3 is very cheap feeling, especially around the auto’s shifter, and that handle (or whatever it is) that is so obviously a leftover from the RHD and LHD conversion process is just yuck. The 2nd gen lacks *class*, and that’s my chief gripe with… Read more »
aslak
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Agere with you Angelo. I think there are a future for the 9-3, especially if they get back the sc, and xwd. It will take some time for Mahindra to get new models on the line. And i think it will be good for the Saab brand to have some production and cars for sale in the period when we are waiting for the new models. It’s not good with a long “silent” period. So the best they can do in the short time is to let the 9-3 live…. . Then Saab exist in peoples mind.

John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Do you think it may help if they went exclusively xwd, drive-train wise? Expensive, but could be a good image for the brand. I’m looking at buying a 2001 9-5, with the only bit of “shame” being that it’s FWD. As far as chats down the pub go, I’d be much more comfortable saying my car was All Wheel Drive! 😉

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
John: No. Not everyone wants or needs XWD and it’s going to be critical to have some cars that are affordable to more people than the old Saab. If anything, I’d offer a base model that has less—-textile instead of leather, even manual seat adjusts instead of power, less expensive tires/wheels. Find ways to trim the price to put out a base model that is thousands of dollars less than what people were paying. Of course, offer a top of the line AERO or XWD too. Also, other companies (Subaru) already sewed up that image—-Saab doesn’t need to copy it.… Read more »
John
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Fair point, BUT…. why would someone buy one? If that’s the angle you’re going form then sorry… I’m going to buy a Skoda Octavia, because I know from all of the satisfied customers that it’ll be good, and do all the things you just mentioned. Why would I want to buy a Saab without a unique selling point? (AWD isn’t unique, but FWD on a large car is very boring in comparison). I mentioned it above, so apologies to others who have already read it and seen it, but given the price premium for this technology was only around $1100,… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Well maybe—-but on the other hand, why not just make it an affordable option package? I still think $1100.00 cheaper and FWD only brings more people to the brand. And they could make the AWD version something special and sell it as such and you could still have that car. Truth be told, sometimes, people prefer a simpler system that costs less to begin with, has less to go wrong with it and might eek out better fuel economy—and still fits their needs. In a good many places, there simply isn’t a compelling need for all four wheels to drive… Read more »
John
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Yeah, I can see that. But you’ll need something that genuinely draws people, like in the Eighties with the [much more desirable] 900, people will have asked, “ooohh, is it a turbo?”. Whether it’s the higher-performance P1 style of hybrid or AWD, you’ll need large enough numbers of something desirable to draw customers and their association to the brand to breathe new life into Saab. If the main package is a boring FWD car without any distinguishing features, it’s just not going to sell. I originally didn’t get Saabs at all, because my first experience was a mid-2000s 9-3, and… Read more »
Doug R.
Guest
1 year 8 months ago

Angelo it would require a Facelift..remember pedestrian federal regulations.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Yes, and that is why I said it would take a big investment, but comparatively a small one. In other words, yes it would take a lot of money for any such facelift to meet the ludicrous pedestrian regulations in those places unfortunate enough to have been swindled into passing those laws. But still—-compared to a whole new platform or new model, it would be a relatively small cost and it would get cars in showrooms faster.

John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

You could keep the floorpan, etc., but the external appearance is going to change by necessity. Why do you think newer versions of cars like the Suzuki Swift and the Mini are so munting? 🙁 It’s going to be a significant bit of re-styling, certainly enough in Saab terms to look like another generation.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Yes, but looking like a new generation doesn’t make a car a new generation. If they keep the platform (is it Epsilon?) and go with a lot of the same interior bits, drive train, etc., it’s just a restyled 9-3. Would it have to change from the “A” pillar back? Or would only the front bumper, grill and hood change, along with the front fenders?

John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

No idea what would be entailed in the change, but you said something key there: “Yes, but looking like a new generation doesn’t make a car a new generation….it’s just a restyled 9-3”. Don’t you think that might be a reason consumers wouldn’t buy it?

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Depends how they price it and where they sell it. For some developing markets, it would serve the purpose of a luxury nameplate European sport sedan/wagon/convertible. For established markets like the U.S., if the car was priced right, Saab purists would still buy it. I’m not saying it would set any sales records or make a lot of money for Mahindra, but it would get the game started.

3cyl
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Priced right in this case means giving them away. Even before the GM shutdown, the 9-3 sold at huge discounts. Now it is an even older design that needs investment to meet regulations. Producing this model will involve putting money in to bring it into compliance and then selling it for some time in low volume for less than it costs to build. If this is a strategy that a new owner embraces to get things started they will be a worthy partner with NEVS.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
A lot of manufacturers and upstarts lose money for a while to get established. Give us a good alternative? Nobody wants to hear my ideas about using existing Mahindra/Ssangyong platforms and vehicles. Nobody wants the 9-3 production to resume—-it seems everyone wants to wait 8 years for something from Phoenix—-or to start fresh with a brand new Swedish supercar. yeah, right—a $75,000 Saab, and maybe it’ll even come with a sunroof this time. That’s going to do REAL well. The world is impatient, waiting for a Saab that’s more expensive than a comparable Mercedes or Audi—-just what we need.
3cyl
Member
1 year 8 months ago
A long wait is most likely the way things will go. SAAB is somewhat like another iconic brand, Indian Motorcycles. The Indian Company went bust in the 50’s. Over the decades there were revivals by various new owners all of which failed after absorbing owner/investor funds. Recently Indian production began again, apparently with some success this time. SAAB has already embarked on this path as the last three owners have run into financial difficulties and stopped production. Hopefully it won’t take 60 years for SAAB to successfully reemerge. Compared to that, eight years is a relatively fast turnaround…
John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Looking at Mahindra’s continued interest in Saab, and applying my admittedly stereotypical but positive image of an Indian approach to business, my guess is that Mahindra wouldn’t mind playing the long game. A long wait may be on the cards, but maybe that doesn’t scare them.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
The waiting game is one issue—-if they’re going to wait 8 years to bring the name back, why even bother? Go with a new name without the baggage. But okay, assuming an 8 year wait is okay with people who want to buy a new Saab—-the next question becomes, what will this 8 years in the making new Saab be? Will it be another overpriced Saab that not enough people want or can afford? Not enough people could justify spending $55K on a Mullermobile. News flash: Not enough people will justify spending that much on a Mahindra Saab either.
Paul Willis
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I think we need to be careful about thinking that Mahindra will come in and revive Saab as we have known it. They could care less about the Saab faithful because, let’s face it, there are not enough of us to matter. What they really want is a brand to use for getting into international markets and developing global volumes that are profitable. Again, I think it is helpful to look at the recent announcements concerning Volvo vehicles to see what will likely be the future of Saab if Mahindra decides to move forward. Volvo is planning on being the… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Positive thoughts and I would love to see Mahindra/Saab pursue some of this. As for the dealers—-yes, it would be difficult to put together U.S./North American distribution again. But some of these old Saab indies are still around, selling used cars and servicing Saabs and other makes. Multi-Line large dealers might take a stab at it if they think it’ll be a good addition for them—-and won’t compete directly with what they’re selling already. One tip for Saab is to carve out a niche so that they AREN’T directly competing—-and more dealers will be likely to take on the franchise.… Read more »
John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Reply to Angelo:
Because a name means an awful lot, and more than rationality can account for (the badge alone was a major point for NEVS, for instance). Not many people will even know who Mahindra are, so Saab will unlikely be associated with them buy the majority of the public. People were initially scared by Tata’s ownership of Jaguar-Land Rover, but they’ve gone from strength to strength, and no one’s saying, “haha, you’re driving a Tata!”.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Well the same can probably be said of Geely/Volvo too. But while I understand your point, I’m not sure I know how it applies here. The fact of the matter is that Saab’s name has been dragged through the mud for a long time now. They got bad press when GM was going to wind them down—-before GM figured out that dumping Saab on Muller was better for GM—-they were able to get out from under the expense of winding down the brand (cost them millions with Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, etc.) and conversely, they got paid for dumping Saab.… Read more »
Paul Willis
Member
1 year 8 months ago

see my comment above, which apparently posted just now instead of yesterday.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Paul: Your comment was great and I responded to it above.

John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Call me optimistic, but looking at Mahindra’s continued pursuit of Saab, I get the feeling that Saab may be an object of affection for Mahindra’s manager. I think if it were a more cynical exercise, Mahindra would have given up long ago.

Call me crazy, but maybe Saab should look at sports cars again, and given the size of original Saabs, surely they should look at hatch backs (as in Golf shaped, not like my NG900). I don’t know about the styling, but a Saab hatchback would probably be a pretty formidable piece of machinery.

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

John: If Mahindra can develop a Golf sized hatchback with a rounded shape, harkening back to old Saabs, I believe we’d have a relative hit for Mahindra/Saab. Make it a purposeful style—-something quirky and nostalgic even—-but also functional and timeless/tasteful. That could be the bread and butter entry level car I’ve been asking for from Saab—-forever. Yes, that suggestion is a good one and if Saab reads your post, they should definitely look at finding a way to make that happen.

John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Whoah, had no idea about the 9-2 that Muller planned. I think that pretty much looks like what I was thinking of. As the Canadians would say, check it oot:

http://www.saabplanet.com/saabs-mini-rivalling-9-2/

Joe
Guest
1 year 8 months ago

John;
As Angelo would say…”it went Poof”!

Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Yeah, I would buy that car. That car would sell nicely for Mahindra-Saab. Do it.

John
Member
1 year 8 months ago
I’d definitely buy that car. Not sure about the front styling (even if it does reference the old Saab), but it’s pretty cool all the same. I’ve left a proposition on the forum under Off-Topic, but I still think the fastest way to re-establish the brand would be to make a re-bodied, re-badged supercar at Tollhattan, such as a Koenigsegg if they’re still interested. Something low volume, high margin, that would fall under the ’boutique’ low volume threshold that would get around certain EU restrictions, etc. I don’t think anyone would object to a Saab supercar. Big claim I know,… Read more »
Angelo V.
Member
1 year 8 months ago
Certainly, they can license the name Saab for a low volume supercar. Heck, Elon Musk could have bought Saab and instead of creating Tesla, Saab would now be the electric leader. But yes, they could go the hand-built supercar route and perhaps they would even be successful in their own right. They would only have to build a handful of those a year with a huge price tag—to be considered successful in some way. But I’d rather see them go back to basics and really try to compete with a mass production vehicle. I know that super car might be… Read more »
John
Member
1 year 8 months ago

Groovy, would you be able to post that again in the forum, here?
http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/su-forum/news-group3/off-topic-forum20/saab-halo-model-supercar-idea-thread997

I’d be keen to get a discussion going there, but I think it might be a bit far off topic from this story, hehe!

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