SAAB in the BRIC countries

Saab is struggling to get serious sales figures in saturated markets like the American and the European. So it is logical for Saab to enter markets with a bigger expected growth, the so called emerging markets.

And on top of the emerging markets are the BRIC countries. BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The contract with the Chinese distributor was signed in December 2010 with China Automobile Trading Co. and it is expected that the first cars will arrive there in July.

The information about a contract with a distributor in Russia is still unofficial, but in an interview that Mr. Antonov gave to the Russian News-Site last week, he stated that the contract with Armand was just signed. Armand was the old Cadillac and Saab importer in Russia, and is the Russian Peugeot importer.

Today the Brazilian newspaper Mogi News has published, that the 9-4x will be imported to Brasil by the current Spyker, Koennigsegg and Pagani importer Platinuss. It seems like Mexico and Brazil have some kind of treaty, as the 9-4x will not have to pay importing taxes/fees to enter the Brazilian market. Later on Platinuss will introduce the 9-5 and the 9-3 in Brasil.

We have the C the R and now the B. Mr. Seidl should search now for an appropriate I to have the full BRIC.


25 thoughts on “SAAB in the BRIC countries”

  1. I have been advocating this for years. Also countries with robust economies like Israel. Even a couple of thousand sales a year is an impact. That is similar to Norway, Denmark or even Canada.

    I have been visiting England for nearly 2 weeks now and the same old per-conceived notions still apply as back in the USA. I went to visit Saab GB Head Office only to find that the imbeciles at Google directed me to the old Griffin House and when I arrived there Vauxhaull directed me to Milton Keynes. This was too late and NOT the fault of Saab but Google.

    We need to roll up our sleeves as now Japanese cars are going to be scarce, along with their spare parts. I only pray that Japanese parts for Saab will not be in jeopardy because of the tremendous damage of the auto industry, cause by the Tsunami. This the sad truth to what has happened to Japan.

      • Some (dated) info from the ‘About us’ / ‘Armand Premium’ section over at
        “Company ARMAND-premium is the official dealer of General Motors and on the Russian market car brands Cadillac , Hummer and SAAB.”

        • All the information which can currently be found on the Armand websites relates to the time when they sold Saabs as a GM dealer. Nothing has been confirmed (or denied) by Armand with regard to the new information from VA yet. However, a person on a Russian Saab forum had mentioned back in December last year (and has confirmed it a few days ago), citing the Armand staff, that such an agreement had already been reached back then.

          There were also some insights into the negotiation process from people working for other contenders. AFAIR they mentioned that the pricing suggested by Saab was too high and that was the key issue.

  2. Price will be 70-90k Reals according to the Mogi article.
    Quick browsing shows that: Audi Q5 starts at 206k. VW Tiguan starts at 100k. BMW X5 starts at 300k.
    Are we looking at a huge price advantage because of no import taxes? That’s what I read out of it.

  3. I don’t think the 9-4X will cost less than 110k reais (US$ 65k) in Brazil due to the big engine taxes.

    early this week, Brazilian magazine AutoEsporte said Platinuss would sell Saabs here too. since they have a single dealer (in São Paulo) it would be better to sign a deal with a group that could open dealers in five or six major Brazilian cities.

    IMO the best case scenario would be the back of Senna Import, which was ran by the family of the late Ayrton Senna, into import car business.

    they brought Audi to Brazil in 1994 and quickly made the brand become a top player at the local import cars’ market. their know-how and legacy would be highly appreciated when bringing Saab to Brazil.

    • @Palandi

      That is interesting about Senna Import. Platinuss is the easy short term solution because of the Spyker link. I do think that Saab needs to do it properly from the beginning when entering the Brazilian market. Saab is for the large part “igconito” here in Brazil so they need to enter with a bang. There is a positive side too that, most brazilians might not even know that Saab was almost gone a year ago?.

      110k reais voor the 9-4x should be alright for the brazilian market if you look at Volvo XC60 is around 150k and the germans over 200k!! (ridiculous pricing imo).

  4. Isn’t ethanol a big thing in Brazil? Maybe that could give Saab an edge on the Brazilian market.

    • Yes, ethanol is big in Brazil. It will not give such a big edge because the locally produced GM, Volks and Fiat cars already have the petrol/ethanol combination motors (they call here FLEX motors). Although the locally produced cars are for the most part of really crap standard.

      Kia/Hyundai are making a big hit in Brazil since the Brazilian real is very strong against the US dollar so makes importing cheaper than before. They started offering petrol/ethanol engines recently to boost further their sales.

      But yes, I think Saab should offer the BioPower in Brazil. At least, as long as they are manufacturing them.

  5. Along with Brazil, Saab should also look at the rest of the MERCOSUR nations, particularly the more affluent ones – Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia.

  6. India will be a difficult one for Saab because of their Car Customs at 100%
    India is a market that has implemented a thing called CKD – Completely Knocked Down. To put it short: The Indian legislation is protecting its domestic manufacturers from foreign car makers by forcing them to arrange the final assembly of an imported vehicle in India. This is a way to go around the hefty Customs in India. In many of these cases the local manufacturers are doing the assembly from these imported CKD-kits. Several imported brands have been doing it for years but are now in doubt if they can still continue to be present in India because of this.

    So in my opinion Saab is not entering India any time soon… But Never Say Never…

  7. Last time I played was a very, very long time ago. I’ve had this username for nearly two decades.

  8. A black 9-3 turbo X is in Mumbai. There’s no dealer network. Some foreign cars are sold in India but they are much more expensive than locally assembled cars, including the BMW 3 series. The Indian BMW 3 series that I rode in had Indian sourced tires and, according to a newspaper article that I read while in India, the inside door panels are also locally sourced. The article said everything else was imported but didn’t mention the tires.

  9. Considering the enormous pressure Saab is under to actually move sales significantly in the markets they are in makes it rather silly, IMHO, to go on about setting up new markets. The work involved is easily overseen by the avergae punter but to set up a new export market is no small thing.

    Saab needs to concentrate on getting the basics right. Provide the best possible support for the current markets and not get lost in the quagmire, or perhaps the blue eyed hope, that a new export market will be the saviour.

    Saab has enough markets to rech ists targets. These markets have been exposed to the Saab brand before and they still needs a re-education about the brand. A brand new markets needs to worked heavily to generate any sales at all.

    New markets means lost focus on where it is needed. We can come back to the BRIC markets, and others, when Saab has a stable footing. Now is not the time for a nice to have wish list.

    • They need to start preparing in these countries. The sales in the US are lossmaking so if the dollar-swedish krona exchange ratio gets even worse then there wouldn’t be much idea to continue there… Better to get into more prospective markets

  10. Been living in Brazil now for six months. Emerging market obviously, the problem with Brazil is the infrastructure. Mercedes and BMW, you see a few of these cars, more of the latter but I recently heard of the hefty taxes for the bigger engines. When I first arrived I couldn’t understand why more than 50 percent of cars were struggling up easy gradients! They’re all 1000cc engines, and it’s not because people haven’t got the extra cash. I’ve seen 4 Volvo’s – sad yes, I’ve been counting, I’ve left the biggest point til last and it is this: the roads are attrocious here, every other shop is a ‘Borracharia’ or tiny garage which do balancing, suspension, tyres etc, etc. I know (apart from the heavy taxes and more expensive cars) people are put off of buying these types of cars simply because they wouldn’t last long. Insurance here too is not compulsory. I’ve lived in Africa for over 10 years and the inner city roads are far worse here. Saab, it’s a gamble and the risk is way to high even if the import tax will be lower than usual. Open up a branch in SP and see how it goes but education is the priority. The police force here is very weak in Brazil and a lot of the municipalities are employing foreigners (they call them Gringos here), I’ve met a Canadian who has been employed to teach the police how to enforce their own rules! This was regarding bicycle lanes. Sorry to get off the point a little but Saab look at Volvo sales, whether you like it or not you’ll be lumbered into the same category as them and then take of 50% as no one here knows what Saab is here. I know you have to start somewhere but I agree with Grumpy as I too probably sound that way but when you do sell your cars here one day you want them to be well perceived, well they won’t at the moment. See how far this economy will boom then think your strategy again! Good luck

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