The potentially crazy and totally subjective case of Saab in San Diego

“Non-subjective means” were apparently used to select the 137 Saab dealers that will remain with Saab in the United States after November 30. Consider this a case where a little bit of subjectivity may have helped.
This is a G-map of southern California. The focus here is on San Diego, which by all accounts is a very nice place to lay your hat and a good place to own a Saab convertible. IIRC, Saab USA did their 60th Anniversary gig there back in 2007.
The “A” you see on that map, in San Diego itself, is Marvin K Brown Saab. ‘Ying’ made some enquiries as to whether they were one of the dealerships selected to stay on and the advice provided to him was that they are “hopeful” and that they had not been contacted officially either way as yet.
The mail must be extremely slow in San Diego.
Assuming positive news is coming their way (and I sincerely hope it does, eventually) then San Diego will retain a Saab dealership.
If, as I suspect, they received negative news and just don’t want it disclosed as yet, which is their decision and fine with me, then the nearest Saab dealership to San Diego is Continental Motors (F), located 32 miles away at Oceanside. After that, it’s another 56 miles (78 in total) to Saab of Santa Ana (not marked).
This post is primarily about Continental Motors. As I wrote the other day, there are some dealerships with a rich a deep connection to Saab and a rich history. Continental are one of these. Ziggy Galleisky, the owner of Contental Motors was kind enough to chime in via comments with a little backstory about his dealership:

Well, I’m much like Brewers. We’ve been a dedicated Saab dealer for 41 years here on the west coast…… The oldest dealer west of the Mississippi.
Saab is the only thing we do, we treat our customers well and their loyalty in itself proves it. Although some work or live near another store they won’t go there because of feeling unimportant.
The way I see it now my customers will be required to drive and hour or more to reach the next store, longer if its during rush hour drives, which typically is when customers take their cars to service. Considering we’re not in a rural area but more a semi-metropolitan populated area, for Saab to think they will improve customer base by spreading the dealers so far apart is unfathomable. It’s more likely to have the reverse affect.

I’ve read plenty of people in comments lamenting the demise of Continental Motors. They all had great things to say about their customer service and the fact that they felt good going there. Considering its proximity to San Diego and the fact that the future of Marvin K Brown Saab is unknown – not to mention that you don’t shaft good, loyal people – it seems ludicrous to me that they’d be on the cut list.
Ziggy said in comments that he’ll be appealing this decision and I sincerely hope that some common sense prevails here, as with some of the other long-established Saab dealers in other locations.
SCNA – ask yourself this….. What would Bob Sinclair do?
To all those who think it’s only about big new shiny buildings…….. the car industry, as far as I can tell, is all about two things.
If I can channel Peter De Lorenzo for a moment, the car industry was, is and always will be about the product. That’s #1.
Then you’ve got customer service. The link between the product and the consumer.
Customer service isn’t provided by a big shiny building. It’s provided by people. Dealers like Continental, Brewers and Kunkle might have older buildings and smaller numbers, but the incremental cost to Saab of supplying these high-satisfaction dealerships would be negligible and all you get by cutting them is dissatisfied loyalists and lost sales.
Disclosure – I’ve got no links with any of the dealerships mentioned in this post. I just think it’s crazy.

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