US Sales Strategy: The Price Is Not Right?

It’s no secret that I think one of the biggest keys to getting the US market on the right track is refining the current pricing strategy. Clearly something is off with the current model when Saab only sells 1/3 of Porsche’s volume. There are obviously other key issues to focus on like brand identity, confidence in Saab’s future, and model competitiveness; we’ll get to these in the near future. Today I’d like to focus our attention on how best to price Saabs in the current marketplace. Be sure to take the poll at the end of the article.

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Using actual sales data from Truecar.com, one can see that the new 9-5 averages a 5% lower sales price than sticker (the 9-3 is about the same). In car sales numbers, that’s actually pretty good, right? As of yesterday however, we can see that Saab’s current inventory of 9-5 sedans alone in the US sits at 1,776 cars and of the over 200 dealers selling them, only 93 were sold last month. Clearly while some cars are going at 5% off, even that won’t move most of them off the lot. The sad truth is that there are still tons of brand new 2010s left over that haven’t sold and are going for 26% off, and even the 2011s are being marked down and advertised in many cases near 15% off.

Some might argue that Saab’s financial situation is the sole reason that it hasn’t achieved sales success in the US yet, but I wonder if that’s really the whole story. To the SU reader, the idea of buying a Saab right now is almost like going to an outlet mall and getting a great deal on a designer suit– they’re amazing bargains yet no one seems to know it. We clearly understand the value, but it’s not easy to convince a buyer that not only are the cars reliable, safe, loaded with new technology, uniquely designed, but that they actually sell for way less than sticker. The casual buyer is left asking, “What’s the catch?” Could it be that the sticker prices themselves are turning away customers who otherwise don’t know enough to find the real pricing info? Do huge discounts instead of attracting buyers actually turn some away?

Could the idea of a No-Haggle pricing strategy that Saturn once used be a turning point for Saab’s image in the US? By coming across as an honest, solid value proposition instead of trying to compete at an image level on price with the luxury European brands, it could perhaps be argued Saab might be able fill the void that Audi has pushed itself out of and Volkswagen seems to be shying away from. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s basically that dealers aren’t allowed to haggle with customers over price– a price is a price. That obviously has downsides when the cars are in high demand, but when the opposite is true it reinforces the brand’s value. For a good summary, try reading this 2006 article from CNN.

We’ve already had a pretty spirited discussion over in comments on May US Sales data, but I think we’d all like to hear each other’s viewpoints in greater detail and come out with some general conclusions to take to Saab management from a grass roots customer level. Without giving out too much info, I’ll have a chance to do that within the next 24 hours– your voice at SaabsUnited actually matters and will be noticed by top sales execs at Saab.

In comments I’d like you to keep a few questions in mind:

  1. Do you think Saab should align their prices more closely to their current final sales prices and adopt a no haggle strategy that gets customers in the door. If so, do you think this will hurt the brand image or improve it by coming across in a Saturn-like honest way?
  2. What are you willing to pay for a new Saab 9-3 or 9-5 and with what options? Be realistic and fair in your answers, what price would you be comfortable paying a dealer if you had the resources to go buy a new Saab tomorrow?
  3. Do you think Saab should have a referral program to pay loyal customers who act as brand ambassadors towards the purchase of a new Saab (example: for every customer you get to buy a Saab, you get $500 off the purchase of a new one down the road).
  4. Do you think it’s possible for Saab to compete at an image level with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes while charging (high end) Buick to Infiniti prices?
  5. What are other ways Saab could get out the news that their cars have more for the price than any competing model bar none? Do you think they could leverage the power of new internet discount sites like Groupon, Gilt (as VW did with the new Jetta), and the like to gain huge publicity and focus on Saab’s enormous value?

If you’re going to post a comment and you’re comfortable doing so, please mention if you work for a Saab dealer or are current customer. It’s nice to have a perspective on everyone’s thoughts. Please feel free to throw out your own questions. This post can continually evolve and be a place for dialogue. Keep it respectful and more about helping find solutions, not lecturing us on why you think Saab is bound to fail if they continue on the same road. Keep it positive.

Finally and especially for those anonymous folks out there who would rather not comment but still want their voices heard, here’s a quick poll you can take to help us get a broader opinion of what you think Saab Cars North America can do to use price to their advantage, not detriment. Ignore the weird formatting, I’m not sure why the margin is so massive.

How should SCNA change their pricing strategy in the US?

View Results

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UPDATE:

Call to volunteers- if you’re interested in summarazing key points from the comments section and making an outline with me, I’d love some help. We’re going to use as many ideas from this post as the basis for a new project we’re working on with SCNA. Big news to come, for now we could use all the help we can get 🙂

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Darryl Carl
Member

Thanks Jeff. Et all – Be cauious blaming dealers. We do not have an endless bucket of money nor any government aid for additional bail out funds. I’m a perfect example of a DP who went all in and did everything I could to help the brand remain. Now that I have exhausted all my time and money “waiting” for the comeback I am forced to the business model to accomodate what over all sales profits there are or were. The only group left as a dealer in my shoes to ask for help from was SCNA. I did and… Read more »

zippy
Member

Great attitude from SCNA! Not! 🙁

JasonPowell
Member

That really sucks, but I don’t know how they could help when even they weren’t able to pay bills.

Alex740
Member

Funny that this came up, I was just pricing new 9-3s and 9-5s last night and I found it really disturbing how expensive they were. No one in the US is going to pay almost 50k for a 9-3x, a 9-5 aero or a 9-3 convertible. Overal I felt prices were about 10k over what they should be, especially on the old 9-3. I’m a current owner of a 9-5 aero that I bought as a CPO and that seemed like a reasonable price but unfortunately if my car died today I would not be shopping at Saab at these… Read more »

SAAB_Andee
Member

don´t dream on fully loaded 93x for under 30k – if it´s that what the so called US saab nuts want saab should close SCNA and let them buy acuras and ovlovs.

a basic loaded 9-3x fwd is about 22k euro without any taxes and with some rabate !! in europe. thats still over 30k dollars. and europe sells more than the US market. why should europe finance the fully loaded cars for the US !!

Alex740
Member

A fully loaded 9-3x is 46k according to multiple ads I found last night, that’s a far cry from 30k. 36k would be perfectly reasonable, I don’t expect to get one for under 30k but the point is Saab is not seen as a company that can charge those kinds of prices on models that are a decade old.

Because the US is still one of Saab’s largest markets, that’s why they need to make it work.

SAAB_Andee
Member

the question is what you will pay for a fully loaded 93x (wich isn´t a decade old) – and when you mention the fully loaded tsx from your friend i also expect you wanna see the sticker under 30k

It would be nice to hear what SU readers want to pay for a fully loaded !! 93x or a 95 without huggling ?

PS: and because of the (BIG) US market europeans should buy the basic saabs at the same price (price without any taxes) you get the fully loaded.

Alex740
Member

The 9-3x is built on a platform and model range that is a decade old with an interior that shows it. Doesn’t matter if the 9-3x isn’t actually that old.

I agree, I thnk it would be very interesting to see what people would pay for a 9-3x or 9-5. Like I said, 36k seems pretty fair to me, maybe up to 39k.

What you pay in Europe means nothing to us, it’s what we pay for comparable cars here that matters to consumers.

SAAB_Andee
Member

@alex but if the factory price for a basic model is about 18k eur and you have to sell it in the US it´s uninteresting what you pay for comparable cars.

36k for the 93x i hope 🙂

Alex740
Member

It’s undoubtably a tough situation for Saab, they may just not be able to afford the price they need to be at to impress US consumers but they have been selling cars at a much reduced price here so someone is taking the loss of profit or complete loss. I just suggest that until they can refocus on smaller premium cars that Americans associate with Saab this market may just require permanent rock bottom MSRPs to survive and rebuild the Saab image.

MarcB
Member

With May volume of 383 Saabs, and 3,113 to date, across 200 dealers in the USA, per dealership volume is just under 2 new cars for the month per dealer … across all models … and 15.6 cars per dealer across 5 months … Not a pretty picture. Even the biggest Saab fans, and I’m certainly one, need to come to grips with this poor market performance, and what it tells us. There are three major and inter related problems that drive the current price / volume / inventory challenge. First, many Americans still lump Saab with Saturn, Pontiac and… Read more »

Curvin ORielly
Member

Absolutely… but the story that’s told shouldn’t be the fact that Saab survived where others didn’t but instead that the cars currently for sale at Saab dealers are emphatically competitive, on a dollar-to-dollar basis, with brands such as BMW, Audi and MB.

RS
Member

Two things sells cars. “Cool” and “Smart”. Saab can compete in both categories but until we have the image, interior and hp to make the cars mainstream cool we have to go with smart. My question is why isn’t SAAB playing this card worldwide?! I haven’t seen any advertising in probably 20 years that would outline why it’s smart to buy a Saab. It’s like the best kept secret in the automotive world that Saab actually is one heck of a car for the price. How hard is it to make an ad about that? Short story I’ve told before.… Read more »

SCVA
Guest
SCVA

Right! Saab is the “smart choice” for balance of so many aspects – and there is just no conversion of that message outside those in the “know.”

chris74
Member

I am a nine-time Saab owner … several new, and several not so new. I have never, even remotely, paid anywhere near the sticker price for the new Saabs that I have purchased; Neither has any one I know. There has always been several stackable rebates, and owner loyalty. Several folks ask me why I keep buying them since they are so “overpriced”. As a proud owner of a Trollhatten product (albeit my current one is a bit beat up) my initial discussion with someone shouldn’t be about the deal I got. it should be about the vehicle; its comfort… Read more »

DAVID W
Member

As a third time SAAB owner, until they get stable in the eye of the general public, they should be stickered at a more realistic transaction price here in the US. To me, a bit higher than VW and lower than Audi. I bought my last two SAABs at clearance, mainly to help make up for the huge depreciation. Otherwise, I would have held off until they were on sale. Audi can charge closer to sticker due to their low depreciation and their high demand. Right now, I do not think SAAB can compete with Audi at close to the… Read more »

Uddo
Member

2009 Volvo sold 10792 C70
2010 Volvo sold 10150 C70

SCVA
Guest
SCVA

1 – Of course. The chance to get someone willing to pay higher sticker is not worth the loss of people who will not even consider based on the starting price. More leads = more sales. 2 – Until a new smaller entry level car comes into the picture there should be: 1) A stripped down base 9-3 for $25,500 for new buyers, young people, and people who jump from used to new – tease them with the chance to upgrade cheap radios later. It gives you a base model – a starting from price to advertise – and a… Read more »

Jonas Axelsson
Member

Let me be short but to the point. We don’t have any money left to buy things with and for major purchases such as a car people will have to price shop and haggle just like buying cabbage or beets. The sad irony is that here we are all trumpeting the joys of the deals with China to keep Saab alive and we Americans are living hand to mouth in a Wal-Mart economy. You can America bash all you want but we are squeezed out. Yeah, yeah we should have paid more attention to our own home issues and not… Read more »

JasonPowell
Member

I read today where the Canadian dealerships have started to fold (Turpin is first but others are on the ropes)

Where did you read this? I haven’t heard of this and just checked their website and it seems up to date with Saab programs. They are a Saab/Suzuki location, so two products to offer. I can not find anything online to support that they are folding.

JasonPowell
Member

rallyho, you are quite right about Turpin as I just confirmed it. But Turpin was a very large GM store and had upgraded their facility (which would have cost a lot of money) while still being a GM dealer and then got their letter from GM saying they were no longer a GM dealer. They tried to fill the void by being a Suzuki dealer and then added Saab when it became available. As a GM dealer they did well but when they lost GM and focussed on Suzuki a lot of things changed. Suzuki doesn’t have profit margins or… Read more »

scand
Member

IMO, The 9-5 is the center of Saabs cashflow problems. Its selling more or less at the same monthly rate as the $110 000 to $200 000 Audi R8 , there are 1700 or more units in US inventory (thats $70 m worth tied up even if they are on average $40k). At current sales levels that inventory will last 18 months!! On top of that a Swedish kronor to dollar exchange rate that has gone from 8 to the dollar last June to 6.2 now – a 20 percent decline. So we have 20 percent losses in the currency,… Read more »

Uddo
Member

Regardless of everything else, the first Saab needs it´s a new CEO. He must be appointed quickly! As someome said: “everyday with Muller as president is a lost day”

There are many important decisions (not only in US) to be taken and this decisions must be taken by the new CEO.

For Saab today and for Saab.s survival an EXTREMLY IMPORTANT person!!

Jonas Axelsson
Member

OMG run, they will have your head on a pike. This is the VM and VA fan club. Who would you suggest to replace him. I too have lost confidence in him. That is why I was trying to get a handle on the Canadian problems. They blamed Canada on a former GM guy but VM should have stepped in and sent cars to this market, on another forum that has been a complaint for the past year. No product and what they had was so high in price. You can not blame GM for that. Canada, not being in… Read more »

SAAB_Andee
Member

@rallyho be serious saab is a 3500 person company – no one man show. for such decisions you have an executive team. and JAJ retired only weeks ago.

and for Uddo – Tim Colbeck started a few weeks ago -he will do something and these decisions are HIS job. It´s not a CEO theme.

Uddo
Member

Do not really know how the decision-making is done. You have three persons. CEO, Matthias Seidl (Executive Director Sales) and Tim Colbeck. CEO has, I guess the last word. MS has already decided that the number of U.S. dealers should be about 100. Not todays 200. Probably nothing TB can change.
Or…?

SAAB_Andee
Member

MS hadn´t decided – he mentioned that it should be 100. Thats something TC can change.
Of course the CEO has the last word but usually as in a normal business these decisions must be taken by management in the US and the global sales exec.

SaabR
Member

Canada, not being in the credit crunch that the US is in should have been a ripe market? Yes, it should be but… We have a busy service department, with a constant flow of Saab vehicles getting regular maintenance to warranty work to collision repairs done every day. We have late model pre-owned Saab vehicles on our lot that sell very well. We have a better than average selection of new Saabs on the lot. Of all the people that come through that we talk to from service for example, I rarely hear “That’s too much!” On the contrary, most… Read more »

JasonPowell
Member

Another point to that same customer scenario Rob is that we got a list of Saab owners from GM and marketed them and this customer was not on the list. I can’t think of any reason why this info for this customer was not provided. Part of the initial deal with GM and Saab was for Saab to be able to market Saab customers. Had this customer been on our list he would have at the very least gotten one of our emails that you send out with program updates or a phone call.

Börjesson
Member

Here’s a thought: Couldn’t Saab NA just get the name and address of every Saab owner in the US and Canada out of the vehicle registry or whatever it’s called over there, and send them all a brochure or something? Wouldn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe something like: “Thank you for driving a Saab. We thought you might like an update on what’s happened to our company in the last few years. You see, there was this crisis at GM, but then something funny happened on the way to the scrapyard… Oh, and here’s our current lineup. Looks good,… Read more »

SaabR
Member

A great idea in theory. Unfortunately due to many variations of privacy laws here, it would never get off the ground. We had enough trouble getting the Saab customer contacts from GM when the change-over took place and this was just to ensure continuity with regards to warranty and servicing. We do run our own email/snail mail/telephone contact at various times to keep contact with the customers we do have information for but it is limited.

Jason Petho
Member

I suspect it is the same issue here in Calgary.

I would be happy to leave a small pamphlet on any parked Saab I see. I usually walk past two on my commute to work.

Börjesson
Member

Really? I’m surprised that you have tougher laws in this regard than we do here in Sweden. After I bought my Golf (which was three years old at the time) I started getting the Volkswagen magazine sent to me, as well as the occasional personally addressed offer from VW service companies, so I guess the car registry here is freely available to businesses.

Uddo
Member

No, I have no proposal of a successor but it must be someone with rating “five stars”.
The question is, where is he (she)?

The only reason for Muller become CEO must be that all they asked said “no thank´s”.
Don´t know if one should be surprised? They said Muller is given a poor “track record” in the automotive industry.
We will wait and see what happens.

Clay McNeely
Member

Wow, lots of great comments. I’ll admit that I haven’t read through all of them, so I may repeat a few sentiments that others have stated. As a way of introduction, I currently reside in the United States (panhandle of Texas, to be exact). I’ve never purchased a new Saab before, but I currently have a 9-4X (which will be my 5th Saab ever) on order and hope to take delivery of it later this month. Although a bit off-topic, I have seen a few comments regarding other incentives offered by various manufacturers, such as free oil changes, maintenance, etc.… Read more »

SpinM
Member

It’s more or less about perception. I can’t really say for America, but in Slovenia I suspect it’s like this: japanesse cars are percieved as realatively costly, but reliable, korean cars as rather reliable and good value for money, french cars as fresh I guess and german cars save Opel are percieved as solid, costly, but well made and reliable. BMW sceams great driving characteristics, Merc screams comfort, and Audi, hmm… technology (actualy I still have to find out what’s the deal with Audi, because they only scream “look at me, I can afford one” to me ). These brands… Read more »

JasonPowell
Member

Jeff, I thought I’d try to answer your questions the way they were listed out. I am the sales manager at Springman’s Saab in Surrey, BC, Canada. I have two salesmen and have been with the company for 10 years and in the business for 15 years. My answers to your questions will be based on my experience in the Canadian market and may not be the same as the US market. Your going to get people mad too by saying keep it nice. lol Do you think Saab should align their prices more closely to their current final sales… Read more »

Donald North
Member

I live in So. Cal. and see numerous ads for the 9-5, advertising it for the “Left Lane Driver” while showing a photo of a boring looking car. Who wants to buy that?! Certainly not me. If you’re going to advertise it to the BMW, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti crowd, then show a beautiful photo of an Aero version with some aggressive wheels. This isn’t rocket science. Also, Saab has a history of making their regular trim cars look cheap and unimpressive. Compare that to a BMW, where everything 3-series looks awesome. If Saab wants to play in that arena, then… Read more »

SAAB_Andee
Member

please buy a Bimmer or something else , but don´t call you saab fan/enthousiast or something else

Keep it nice Andee 😉 Anyone who cares enough to comment on how they think Saab can succeed is fan enough for SU. Opinions are meant to be expressed and we’re all here to express our own and hear each other’s voices in a respectful way, yours included :). -Jeff

Donald North
Member

I already own 3 Saabs. I don’t believe their ad campaign is working here in So. Cal., having only seen 1 new 9-5 on the road…

peter
Member

He isn’t saying he wants a Bimmer, he’s commenting on Saab’s base models versus the other entry-luxury makes’ base models. I agree 100%. In ’03 and ’04, the 9-3 was still offered with 15″ wheels as standard. They looked boring. The 16 inchers from ’05-’07 were just as bad. From ’08 until now, the design changed but the 16″ design still did not provide the stance that a Saab really needs to be visually exciting. The Griffin model is a huge leap in the right direction if you ask me. Somebody up on high within Saab made the long-overdue decision… Read more »

SAAB_Andee
Member

Sorry for being a bit rough – But when i look at the saab history – SAAB stands for unimpressive cars (with enough power) – that´s the same with scandinavian design.

Those make it aggressive, wheels rim theme is for me masquerade. It´s like putting decoration elements on an beautiful modern corbusier house.

GerritN
Member

There is a difference between “understated” and “unimpressive” although both can quickly slip into “boring”. Scandinavian design is very much about clean lines and “form follows function”, it’s actually very difficult to make something pleasing to the eye with a couple of pen strokes while staying away from boring. The 2003-2011 9-3 design language, imho, has unfortunately strayed too close to boring and needs some window dressing to become more appealing. I think Saab managed to do exactly that with a couple of cosmetic make overs the last couple of years, without increasing the bling factor too much.

michael
Member

That’s what I’ve been talking about! Why are the press and advertising photos so boring and bland? White and grey base models on the white plain background? Why???
Advertising should feature the most exciting exterior and interior colours, most big and beautiful rims, and all the options (if Hirsch available, show the car hirsched to bits!). It also should be an interesting photo by itself, you should like it even if you do not look at the car! Just hire a great photographer a couple of times!
Make people want the car, not choose it pragmatically, that’s German and Japan’s territory.

CYQB
Member

Hi! I am living in NA but in Canada, precisely in Québec city. I think the main problem for Saab is the customer’s perception. Saab’s survival is the best secret in town! Most people think Saab is dead or about to die. I consider myself as a loyal customer. In the past, I got brand new 9-3 in 2001, 2005 and 2008. Today, I will take delivery my fourth one, a 9-3 2.0T Aero. But even with many thousand dollars rebate and 0% financing, I was not sure to buy one because the future was not looking good. Anyway, I… Read more »

JasonPowell
Member

Nothing on Saab site Canada!!!! Zero! Most dealers are not better. It’s funny you say this, because I have though the same thing. We all have websites of our own and need to get the message out wherever we can. I also wish there was a way that I could man the saab.ca website to update it and put offers up so people would know the programs because you are quite right, there is nothing there to promote the programs now. I do have the programs listed on my website front page and on my facebook page as well and… Read more »

CYQB
Member

Saab Canada will have to take the lead on this. Get every dealership look the same to give a professional image and keep poeple in the loop when there are good deals.
Now, I have to go to my dealership. My new 9-3 Aero is waiting for me! 🙂

JasonPowell
Member

CYQB,
There is no Saab Canada, we have an importer “IFS” who brings the cars in for us and it’s up to us after that. I agree with your point on the websites and I have made mine as Saaby as I can. Glad to hear you’re getting a new 9-3 Aero, wish you were coming to us.

CYQB
Member

Jason,
Thank you for the info. I am surprised to learn there is no Saab Canada. That could explain a lot of things. If I move to BC, chances are I will be one of your customers but it’s a long way from here, 4760 Km. We are living in a very large country!

Sven van Dijkman
Member

Focus on key areas of US, keep prices fixed (no haggle, it should be a SAAB thing, only losers start haggling), fill cars with everything, just a very few extra options to keep all produced cars attractive, appoint a big famous US guy as CEO, make positive noise, get the cars on screens (Hollywood) and let VM support dealers in trouble, be human!, make a story out of that, hire the best PR guys in the US, (not he most expensive, but the SAAB best), do Talladega style innovative things, use real world crash data to show off on safety,… Read more »

SAAB_Andee
Member

Inside saab has a livestream online of todays Autoline after hours episode – in which Tim Colbeck is guest.

meccano
Member

No one wants to pay sticker for a car – EVER. Of course it really is a silly song and dance that the customer needs to go through with the car dealer, but it is a well established routine and like everyone who walks into a casino, every new car customer thinks THEY are the one that is going to be the one who beats the house against all odds. In that vain and in theory, people liked the “Saturn” no haggle policy. In practice and reality, see #1. No one wants to pay sticker for a car- EVER. Saturns… Read more »

Chicago Fred
Member

It seems that if SAAB is to sell cars in the US (or anywhere for that matter) is has to do two things: 1. Offer value for money compared to its competition (or perceived competition) in the marketplace. 2. Make people believe it will still be around in 10 years from now–or 6 months for that matter. Currently, the list prices are that of cars that are perceived as being better cars and more premium cars–BMW, Audi, and Merc. I for one don’t want any of the above–but I cant see paying the same money for a SAAB. Obvisouly neither… Read more »

zippy
Member

Saab needs money – a HUGE amount of money and they need it soon.

saabdog
Member

Hi Curvin, I have always thought “The Most Intelligent Car(s) Ever Built” tagline and campaign that followed are the best Saab ads ever. I totally agree that Saab can turn itself around again…and I think the “Most Intelligent” tagline should be brought back asap.

Curvin ORielly
Member

Thanks, saabdog! I presented a bunch of “intelligent” AdLobs (ad-like objects) at last summer’s SOC. People seemed to like it. Since then, on a purely speculative basis, I’ve written a pile of new ads that follow the same theme. Would it sell cars? Probably. No, make that most assuredly! “Intelligent” is an idea that’s true to Saab’s brand personality.

saabdog
Member

I’ve been watching a number of older Saab commercials on YouTube with the “Intelligent” theme. Each of these spots was smart, entertaining, engaging and to the point: Saab is a serious high performance automobile that does things its own way. This is definitely the direction Saab should be taking with its marketing, and YES, the “Intelligent” theme could do wonders to help turn around Saab’s perception in the marketplace…and sell cars. I find it interesting that BMW has started to turn away from the tagline “The Ullitmate Driving Machine”, and Mercedes has ditched its iconic tagline “Engineered like no other… Read more »

Börjesson
Member

The problem is that back in ’79, Saab had a car that was at the top of the game in many ways. The public only needed to be told about it. Today, that simply isn’t true. The product isn’t good enough to live up to a tagline like “most intelligent”. Maybe, hopefully, the autumn of 2012 will change all that.

rokhiggins
Member

what model is coming for autumn 2012?

rokhiggins
Member

Living in Northeast U.S., one tends to see many more Saabs than any other part of the U.S. Driving the 8 miles to work each day I easily spot 5 to 6 other other Saabs on the road. One thing missing — the new 9-5. The only place I’ve seen it was at a dealer showroom. Price has to be a major hindrance. Most buyers with 40k to drop, would buy from a car company with a clearer future. Saab needs to be realistic and honest in assessing what’s achievable competing with the established luxury Euros. Audi, BMW have excellent… Read more »

saabdog
Member

Do you truly believe that BMW’s new tagline “Joy is BMW” and Mercedes’ new tagline “The best or nothing” represent what these brands are all about? We are talking about branding here…and yes, I do believe Saab automobiles can and should brand themselves with the “Intelligent” tagline. Would you rather Saab’s tagline be “Saab — Sorry, wer’re just not good enough.”? In order to begin planting the seed of Saab’s success in the minds of consumers, they must push the brand’s image forward. By falling back on the iconic tagline and positioning statement of “The most intelligent car ever built”,… Read more »

Börjesson
Member

BMW and Mercedes could market themselves as “the Marshmallow Car” or “Humpty on Wheels”, and they’d still sell. Unlike them, Saab has to build something from the ground up, at least in the US. And as Curvin has said over and over, a good tagline has to have some substance behind it. I’m frankly not sure what Saab’s unique selling point is at the moment. It’s not really better than the competition at any one thing. But maybe, like we’ve discussed earlier, it’s the best allround car out there; sporty and fun, practical and user-friendly, safe and fuel-efficient, all at… Read more »

saabdog
Member

I would argue that the positive attributes you just mentioned about Saab equate to a truly intelligently designed car with a pile of substance. And as Peter De Lorenzo has pointed out at Autoextremist.com, BMW and M-B have most assuredly taken their eye off of the ball lately in regards to product and marketing and are by no means invulnerable. I think Saab’s unique selling point is how it takes its own road when it comes to design, engineering and performance — they are simply unique among today’s cookie cutter cars. Personally, I love the fact that I don’t see… Read more »

RS
Member

Sorry Börjesson, but Curvin is right. ”Intelligent” is absolutely the way forward even today. As you said it yourself Saabs are probably the best all-around cars out there, but nowadays it’s impossible to know this unless you drive one. I could argue that those who don’t hold Saab as competition to the big three or don’t see the value of the brand don’t own, or drive their Saabs much. Ones you start putting lets say 30 thousand miles on the car yearly, boy will that perspective change. The ”Intelligence” of SAAB hasn’t gone anywhere. I could make a very looong… Read more »

Bravada from GMI
Member

PS. the next 9-3 needs a comfy Scandinavian interior design and color scheme that reflects this. It’s plain stupidity to build Saabs that only looks good on the outside or has a color palette like every mass producer on the market.

QFT!!!!

Send to Trollhattan post-haste and make sure everybody in product management, development and design has this at eye level over their desks!

Börjesson
Member

OK, so we’ve agreed that being the best allround car is Saab’s strongest selling point. But I fail to see how that is best portrayed with a tagline like “intelligent”. Coming across a car marketed like that, and having no previous knowledge of it, I would expect it to have clever and original solutions to common problems – like ingenious ways of folding the backseat to allow for more luggage space, or a nifty way to prevent ice and mist on the windscreen, or a passenger seat that can be folded into a flat and comfy bed, or a system… Read more »

RS
Member

The car is still intelligent but no one outside the Saab community knows about it. There are a LOT of smart engineering and details especially regarding the engine that doesn’t show on the outside. You see this when you compare Saab solutions to Opels (Buick). One would think a DTI is the same as TID. Far from it! You simply have to make the cars better to be reliable between October and March north of the Arctic Circle where help isn’t around the corner. Ask any trucker in Scandinavia and he’ll tell you only Scania or ovloV are reliable. It’s… Read more »

Curvin ORielly
Member

RS… Studying Saabs for months wasn’t in the cards when the agency I was working at, Ally & Gargano, landed the Saab account in 1979. Bob Sinclair had just taken over the reins of the company and it was in desperate shape. He set up a ride & drive at Lime Rock where I got a sense that the cars were terrific. Back in the office, I wrote a tagline and some “for instance” headlines. Then I disappeared into the agency’s library for two weeks where I read every single automotive magazine that was there, along with some government reports.… Read more »

ajknut24
Member

I think SCNA should answer the fundamental question: would the US automotive landscape change for the worse if SAAB went under? Obviously for all of us the answer is a resounding yes! However, I think that SCNA needs to convince the general car-buying public that Saabs are unique vehicles that are fundamentally different from Ze Germans and the other automotive powerhouses- in a good way! A solid way to start is by getting back to the roots that brought many people to the brand here in the US. For example, when I was 8 years old, my parents bought a… Read more »

Bravada from GMI
Member

+1 for no stripper cars

mike saunders
Member

I think SCNA should answer the fundamental question: would the US automotive landscape change for the worse if SAAB went under? Obviously for all of us the answer is a resounding yes! “For all of us…” is the operative phrase there, but it’s preaching to the choir. For “all of them” — rest of the potential market of US car buyers — the answer is a resounding “meh.” Most people wouldn’t be affected if Saab stopped desperately treading water and slowly sank under the waves/ Why? Because there are multiple competitors, all within Saab’s price point, that offer most, if… Read more »

Bravada from GMI
Member

Nah. I bought a stripper model, mind you, perhaps the cheapest Saab available at the moment. Yet still, I don’t want Saabs to be affordable. I want them to be great cars that I might stretch to own, finance over more years than usual, hold onto longer (and perform more maintenance in authorized garages using Saab Parts and branded consummables for optimal performance – and here’s where longer warranty comes to play) and treat like a special choice. I know many people here only got into Saab when they’ve become the “upscale Hyundai” and a 9-3 missing this or another… Read more »

mike saunders
Member

I completely agree with the point about margins. Your strategy is a perfectly valid one — price high, stress the inherent “special” qualities.. Absolutely on target.

Except that Saab already tried it and failed.

Miserably.

It’s not upscale enough to lure eyes away from BMW, Lexus, and Infiniti, and it’s getting undercut by Honda, Hyundai and Audi. Where does that leave Saab?

What’s the image? What’s the story to bring to people? What’s the message to send to potential buyers?

Rafael
Member

I would only like to add that, as a Saab driver (I have owned three Saabs), if I go to a dealer and see the advertisement of the picture, I would run away as fast as possible. It is the same impression I get when walking along a touristic promenade and waiters standing in front of the door of their restaurants try to catch me in: I refuse politely and I scape from that place! If Saab wants to compete in the premium segment they have to act accordingly. Saab can only sell distinctiveness (Mercedes, Audi, BMW… they can all… Read more »

Bravada from GMI
Member

I believe the 1990s “find your own road” are the best TV ads Saab ever did with regard to presenting the core brand values. They did not rely on product superiority, which is always relative, but rather on the unique values that bond certain people with the Saab brand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxCM47eG5DE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t8XYXyXKxA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af6hWII0ORI&NR=1

zippy
Member

I like the Find Your Own Road ads too but I do think “Intelligent” is the way forward. And WTF is ‘Joy is BMW’ all about! It’s awful. Maybe Saab should take The Ultimate……. moniker off of them? 🙂

Bravada from GMI
Member

I actually prefer the stress on individuality over intelligence. Are Audi, BMW or Mercedes not intelligent? They indeed are, but when they tell you about it, it’s in a condescending way that makes you feel you need to prove you are intelligent as well and get “the best car out there” (fastest, safest, most technologically advance, ultimate driving machine etc.) Saab doesn’t tell you that. It tells you that you can choose freely and go against the tide and that’s all very fine, and it will follow you along as an independent spirit itself. There is some inherent value in… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

It’s not just price. There are additional issues with the American market, most of which have already been pointed out here: 1) OK, yes this is probably #1. The cars are MSRP’d too expensive for sure, and people rule out a Saab before they even get in the showroom and realize they can get $10K off. If people are looking at Saab MSRP prices from the start, they are going to buy an Audi or Mercedes or BMW, not a Saab. Saab needs to compete FIRST in the Subaru/Buick range before it can compete in the Merc/BMW/Audi range. I’m not… Read more »

SAAB_Andee
Member

I think 2 is a very important point you mentioned. That´s something SCNA has to improve fast.

But to 5) SAAB cannot do the Saturn way – They sold lots of cars but always with a loss and with that low dollar it´s very hard for SAAB to give you that price. (ex. the 94x)

SPG900NY
Member

Yeah, maybe I hit that a few $K too low, but the overall thing is that people who are buying $50-60K Mercedes and BMW’s don’t want a Saab, even for $10-20K less. People who are buying Toyotas and Hondas don’t want Saabs. Saab has to carve out its own niche, and it has to stop (for now) looking at European brands. Keep them in focus, but you will not be there for 10-20 years. Your best bet right now is to compete with Subaru. You’ve got the AWD platforms, but they’re upscale. Sell them around the same price and you’ll… Read more »

Bravada from GMI
Member

Most of your points are spot-on, but lowering MSRP’s would have very little impact. As you said, people looking for the other brands won’t look at Saabs. The exception being people looking at BMWs and Mercs – once all of the people you know have one and 99% of them are pretentious douchebags, how do you avoid becoming one? I do believe in the short-term, activating the dealer base and direct marketing can revive the sales tremendously. The base is so low even doubling it wouldn’t be too difficult. In the longer term, well-directed product updates (interiors, equipment mixes, smart… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

I know many people that own BMWs and Mercedes. I’m telling you they won’t even look at a Saab. To them, Saab is so far below those two brands that they wouldn’t even consider one. Volvo buyers look at Saabs. Audi buyers possibly look at Saabs. Otherwise, it’s a smattering of a bunch of other brand-hunters. I agree that Audi is “second tier,” but I think it’s largely because of their association with VW and the perception that their build quality is about on par with VW (poor). Never mind that Merc is right there with them on that front.… Read more »

SAAB_Andee
Member

@SPG900

the 95 as the 9000 was a well known an good selling car.
the size of the new 95 was a decision of detroit – SAAB has to live with that – and reality is any 92 is far far away and we should talk on products that are now available and what to do yet. there is not second chance

but for an sedan the new 9-5 sales aren´t that bad in europe – the sport combi is hardly needed.

Bravada from GMI
Member

Chrysler was a luxury brand once in a lullaby… http://www.graphicmania.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/000_8532.jpg How quickly people forget… Anyway, you’re very right that their current advertising, no matter how good, is Dodge advertising. Olivier Francois doesn’t have a clue about brand identity, but we’ve known it for years now after his tenure at (or should I say burial of?) Lancia. Buick isn’t selling at lower margins, their margins have actually improved somewhat, although very slowly and mostly thanks to extending to a new cash-cow segment of oil tankers, I mean big CUV/SUVs (Saab did that too with 9-4X, in another cash-cow segment). Buick is… Read more »

peter
Member

@SPG

Here are the four trade-ins/replaced vehicles of the 9-5s that my dealership has sold/leased:

Mercedes-Benz S500
OG 9-5 Aero
Mercedes-Benz CLK
Audi S8

While I admit that I wish there were 10x as many sales, those are some solid cars that these buyers chose the 9-5 to replace.

SPG900NY
Member

OK Peter, I stand corrected. I just know that that people I talk to who own BMWs and Mercedes would not look at a Saab. I’m glad they’re not typical.

looking for new car
Guest

Wow, these posts are overwhelmingly negative regarding Saab’s viability and pricing in the US. Makes me second guess my desire to replace my 2003 with another 9-5 SC, but I still want one – unless they’re delayed for a year. Also, as pointed out above, celebrity endorsements are both risky (Tiger Woods is an obvious example) and expensive. Product placements are not cheap either. The most important aspect of pairing product and endorser is making sure the values and goals of the parties are in sync. It’s rare to see direct sales increase from product endorsements. The benefits are typically… Read more »

aprusan
Member

I bought a 2010 9-5 AERO demo in N.J. on April 27th 2011 in part because I really wanted the car but also to show support for efforts being made by the Saab team:Victor Muller and all the employees of Saab.We have an Audi Q-5 and have had 2 Saab 9-5s before. I think Saab is on par with Acura not quite Audi or M-B or BMW. That being said,I feel the Saab says something “different”.I think Saab is like:Apple but unlike Microsoft,Dyson not Hoover,Zipcar not Avis. The car says about it’s owner:” I think outside the box!” I don’t… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

If Saab was like Apple, I’d never buy another Saab again.

Bravada from GMI
Member

There you go. This is why I am happy Saab chose Android. I don’t know about the Apple stores in the US, but around here I didn’t find them especially pleasant. I think IKEA is more relevant, and I do mean it!

Curvin ORielly
Member

I bought a MacBook Air at an Apple store a couple of weeks ago. The experience was GREAT… and the computer is even better. Everything I expected it to be.

I can understand why Saab would choose Android for its iQon system. Android is an open system while Apple’s is closed. FYI: I was an early adopter of the Android phone. Bought it instead of an iPhone because I wanted to do business with Verizon Wireless, not AT&T.

Bravada from GMI
Member

I use both MacBook and PC, iPhone and Android-powered HTC. The MacBook looks great and makes an appropriate impression. It also weighs a ton compared to a Lenovo twice its size, MS Office for Mac is a joke (this is the most bug-infected, crash-prone and lagging computer I’ve worked with period), I cannot access / dunno how to access vital computer functions, the interface is counter-intuitive and I find myself reverting to PCs whenever I can. Same for iPhone and HTC. Any person raving over the iPhone must have never experienced the newer HTCs with Android. People at the Apple… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

HTC really has started to create some incredible phones. High quality, stable, and I LOVE that they have PLEDGED to keep their bootloaders unencrypted/unlocked. That is showing support for the user community, something Apple will never do. Apple is all about keeping a tight lid on things in the name of the “user experience.” That’s fine if you like things the Apple way. They can claim all they want that things “just work,” but the fact is, they often don’t. But any Apple service center will be happy to overcharge you to fix them when you have a hardware issue.

Curvin ORielly
Member

Seriously? Most people, rightly so in my opinion, believe that Apple is a paragon of virtue when it comes to design, innovation, sales and service – and success.

Bravada from GMI
Member

In the electronics business, Apple is BMW/MINI. We need Saab to be a paragon of common sense in the end, don’t we?

SPG900NY
Member

Paragon of virtue. Ha! Apple is the worst kind of company. Don’t even get me started on this. It’s a religious issue and if you’re on one side of it, you’ll never see the other side. It’s as simple as that. I’m not saying Google or Microsoft are the second coming either, but when I get screwed I like to see it coming. Apple has made a habit of screwing over its customers time and again over the years. It’s a pattern. And if you want censorship, go Apple. They won’t even let a blogger who writes about Android have… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

I’m an American and since 1999 I have bought or leased 14 different Saabs for my family. I buy them for their safety and value. I have bought and leased them new, I have bought CPO’s, and I have bought them used. But right now, new Saabs, are way too expensive in America. The new 9-5 does not really distinguish itself from the Buick LaCrosse. According to Wikipedia, Buick sold 61,000 LaCrosses in 2010. Why has Saab sold a couple thousand in 2010 and LaCrosse 61,000? The difference is clearly price. I went to the Buick website, loaded up a… Read more »

Niklas D
Member

Buick LaCrosse is not the same car as Saab 9-5. Buick Regal (Opel Insignia) is smaller than 9-5.
9-4x is developed by and feels like a Saab. 9-2x and 9-7x are basicaly badge engineering.

SPG900NY
Member

9-2X might have been badge engineering, but it’s the car that got me back into Saab, and it was VERY different feeling than my Subaru Impreza Sport (same car basically) that it replaced. On this, at least, I speak from experience.

davidgmills
Member

You and maybe a couple of other people on the planet. If the 9-2 was supposed to get other people into Saab showrooms it failed. It was $5000 more than a comparably equipped Subaru and very few people could find the added value, if any added value there was. And for that price you could get a WRX. I spoke to many Subaru owners who weren’t about to switch.

mike saunders
Member

Actually, David…

During the last year of its lifespan, the 9-2x was selling for LESS than a WRX, prompting several people I know to pick the Saab over the Scooby. Saab dealers were discounting them heavily to move them off the lots.

The 9-2 just ended up poaching some buyers from Subaru — but not many.

SPG900NY
Member

Just to further expound on this — in my case, it was the 9-3 that almost killed Saab for me. When the 9-3 SC came out, I was ready to turn in my 9-2X. Then I drove it. That was the end of that. Cheap plastics, horrible ride, shudders up the frame whenever I hit a bad asphalt area. It felt like a cheap car. No way was I spending $32K on it. I bought a Mazdaspeed6 instead. Saab actually drove me away for a while, until I bought a CPO 9-5 (I don’t know why someone ever paid $43K… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

Curvin, if you’re reading this, I’d be curious what the Marketing 101 take is on directly attacking the type of consumer that would buy a BMW? Really bad idea? Could it be successful? On my way into work Wednesday, I saw a BMW 6-series convertible weaving in and out of traffic in my rear view mirror. He finagled his way around traffic and eventually ended up in the right hand lane passing everyone while throwing littler from his car out into the open air, way up high apparently to make sure nothing landed in his back seat. All I could… Read more »

Curvin ORielly
Member

It’d be unwise to directly attack a prospective buyer, though it’s perfectly okay to mutter obscenities about them privately if and when you see them driving a bit too recklessly. (Where are the cops when they’re needed, right?)

Give yourself an A+ for remembering one of the ideas in my SOC AdLobs (ad-like objects). I was thinking about autobahns and Interstate highways, along with the serpentine roads through the mountains, down the Pacific Coast highway, etc., etc.

michaelb
Member

I am not living in the US and I cannot judge many issues, but the nearly 300 posts here give a lot of good information. Moreover, a few factors are common globally and do not refer to the US only. With respect to pricing, I think we have a complex interaction of factors. 1) Consumers care about long-term survival of a brand: Saab in the last 15 months was twice nearly dead. The present business model with cash ensured for the next 2-3 months – and then everything is unclear – is not sustainable. Sales will rebound only if a… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

It’s not just the 9-5 where some serious mistakes have been made. My dealer actually has more 9-3’s sitting than 9-5’s. I was appalled to see so many 9-3 $45,000 convertibles that came with a passenger seat that did not have power. I simply refuse to buy a car that does not have a power front passenger seat. There are many people with bad backs (like me) who simply can’t get comfortable in seats that don’t have the adjustability of a power seat. These cars were discounted about ten grand, but I wasn’t even tempted. There was not a single… Read more »

solvy
Member

“I simply refuse to buy a car that does not have a power front passenger seat.” then please order your car with all the options you want and wait for it. from my point of view the american system – buying from the stock is stupid. dealers have to order fully loaded cars otherwise customers won’t buy because of missing a little feature (like your powered seat). fully loaded means high prices which won’t attract customers. buying from the stock = high inventory costs. maybe saab should be (think) different and start ot offer ordering on demand only in the… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

I have never ordered a Saab that way but years ago I bought several by ordering them. Most people in the US won’t order their cars. They want to see what they are buying.

JasonPowell
Member

Most people in the US won’t order their cars. They want to see what they are buying.

Have to agree with that, people like to touch and feel what they are getting and without a crystal ball, it’s hard to have the exact car for everyone. I do think though that if you have something for someone to drive, they will most often place an order off of the car they drove or have you search through dealer inventory.

Bravada from GMI
Member

Solvy, I am with David. I have a Linear without the power seat, years without the power seats made me think it is redundant. But after having them in my previous Saab, I now see the obvious benefit – for me, it is the ability to tilt the front and rear sections of the seat cushion separately, which for a long-legged driver is a whole different world. At any rate, if Saab invents a feature that is favorable, it should be made standard. I fail to see the benefits of “individualization” by removing useful features. I might live without certain… Read more »

solvy
Member

i know that in the us people want to touch and feel what they are buying but i think that as a consequence the should not start whining when they have to pay a lot for fully loaded cars with features they don’t need because of dealers only ordering those cars. ordering only doesn’t mean that there are no cars which can be bought from stock. there could be some fully loaded and some at a special price with the most common features available. i would say that even a waiting time of 3 months will improve the image of… Read more »

Bravada from GMI
Member

Yeah, let the customer suffer and bow down to our mighty sales policies because they deserve to. The most successful companies treat their customers like mindless slaves who need to be told what they want and command them from a position of power to choose and purchase the good on their terms… Umm… Actually Apple does so. But still, I said before I don’t want Saab to be like Apple 🙂 PS. Having a limited number of specs available also helps deal with cancelled orders. Those happen far more often than you’d expect in automotive retail. PS2. The notion of… Read more »

solvy
Member

@bravadi “The notion of “features not needed” should not exist. ” i meant that a feature not needed is a feature i can’t afford. why should i pay extra for a dualzone climate control if it makes the car more expensive and unaffordable for me when there is a the option of a cheap standard climate control available? you can get those features in every car from every brand and they don’t make a saab a saab. i buy a saab because of it’s driving characteristics, safety, design and those “thought through” extras like nightpanel or follow-me home which are… Read more »

Bravada from GMI
Member

There you go – why should you pay EXTRA at all??? Most of the extra equipment costs manufacturers pennies compared to what you get charged – the idea is that they might even be losing money on the car itself, but the manufacturer and the dealer will recuperate that by charging you for the options, this is why you suddenly end up with offers of half of the extras for free, it’s not like they rob a bank to offer that, they just give up their fat margins. And if you factor in the costs of building “alternatives” for the… Read more »

RS
Member

I couldn’t agree more with solvy. Are you guys (in NA) really buying cars on a whim or just on sunny days? I’ve always known way in advance when the car change is going to become actual (lease or loan expires, you’ve saved enough money etc.) and it’s actually a joy to wait for your new customized Saab. Ask any Swede. As I see it there are two groups of people here. Those who want so save as much as possible on a flagship Saab -which in itself deserves a big questionmark- and then there are those who aren’t getting… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

You really illustrate the problem very well because as a European (I presume) you don’t understand American automotive tastes and needs. Americans do not buy cars like Europeans do and the Europeans think we should do it their way. Part of the problem with Saab has always been that it’s management, even when it was part of GM, thinks that Americans should have the same tastes and needs that Europeans do in cars. We don’t. We spend a lot more time in cars than Europeans do for many reasons. Our city commutes are much longer. We have much farther to… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

David, I think your list here should be required reading for anyone in this thread who is from Europe and who thinks the US buyer is crazy or stupid. You nailed it. I’d invite anyone to take a drive on I-95 from New Haven, CT to NJ through the Bronx. One drive through during just about any day would illustrate most of your points on road conditions, comfort, and trucks. I live on Long Island and our roads are full of potholes and broken pavement. The Expressway near me has just been resurfaced, so that should be a nice surface… Read more »

Red J
Member

David, I really do believe that what you are saying is true, but why are so many American Saabisti asking for such the opposite, it means power, power and more power. If you have lots of power you need a sports suspension, and if you have one the ride will be harsh, and I forget all those asking for a manual Turbo6 AWD, otherwise they wouldn’t buy a Saab, although no other brand has such an offer in the US nowadays. All in all, I think you have described the real needs of a car driver in the states, but… Read more »

RS
Member

The ability to drive and ride for long periods of time in comfort on poor roads is much more important here. For which Saabs are (one of) the best cars in the world, but has SCNA’s marketing done anything to highlight this fact? We unfortunately know the answer. Again, no wonder sales is slow over there. David and all, please try to understand I’m only looking for ways to improve the situation and imho if only price had been the answer, all the discounted MY10 9-5 would have flown of the lots months ago. Maybe it’s simply time to re-think… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

Red: Americans have always wanted horsepower, lots of it. But they mostly want it for 0-60 times not for top end speed. You can go as fast as you can up to the speed limit without breaking the law or getting a traffic citation so Americans want any car that goes from 0-60 in a hurry. Unfortunately, 0-60 times are not a four cylinder’s forte, which is why GM always pushed Saab to develop 6 cylinders for the US market. Unfortunately, Ssab’s 6 cylinders were never as good as their fours so the Saabisti didn’t want them. But Americans in… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

What Saab is to me is the “best all around car.” It does more things well than any other. Maybe if it could develop that reputation, it would have an image that would get Saab somewhere.

JasonPowell
Member

davidgmills, I was appalled to see so many 9-3 $45,000 convertibles that came with a passenger seat that did not have power. You were appalled? Most dealers for dealer stock would order it this way to have stock match what they sell, because believe it or not, most customers buying a convertible have actually said to me “I don’t sit there so I wouldn’t want to pay for it”. If you refuse to buy a car without power front passenger seat, then like solvy said, order one. Don’t be “appalled” that they have ordered based on their sales results, dealers… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

I guess a cheap Canadian would not care if his passenger has to suffer while he has it great in his seat, but not me. Besides, I know good and well there will be a time I am in the passenger seat of one of the cars I buy.

Are all these people single and self centered?

JasonPowell
Member

David, I don’t think it’s fair to say cheap Canadian or anything of that nature when we spend $7000-$10,000 more then our counterparts in the USA and our dollar is higher. Most of the models we have up here are loaded with the power passenger seats and most convertibles up here are Aeros anyways. I just know that people have told me they didn’t think they should have to pay for it. I also don’t see anywhere on a base convertible that you can order that option on its own. Is it self centered when a prospective buyer says they… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

Jason: Why don’t we just do away with the front passenger seat? Then we wouldn’t have to worry about whether people can get comfortable in it or not. I guess thirty-year olds would never think of driving their parents around in the car anyhow. For cars of this price, a non-power passenger seat should not be standard and a powered passenger seat should not be an option. Power passenger seats have been around just about as long as rear view mirrors. And a US dollar is 98 cents Canadian. Finally, a 2008 9-3 2.0 with 36,000 miles fairly loaded out… Read more »

JasonPowell
Member

For cars of this price, a non-power passenger seat should not be standard and a powered passenger seat should not be an option. Power passenger seats have been around just about as long as rear view mirrors. David, as I said, the passenger seat in the vert is standard equipment now and if you read what I said at the end, I personally think this should be a standard feature and a non issue on the car my thoughts exactly. And a US dollar is 98 cents Canadian. And we pay a lot more for our cars. maybe with that… Read more »

whoozy2002
Guest

the systematic discounting policy is spreading to Australia and from the number of posts on this thread there are more negatives than positives with product delivery….

Hoop
Member

I’m sorry not to have a coherent train of thought on these issues, but here goes. When car shopping for my friend a couple years ago, the salesman at the Mercedes dealership asked me what car I drove. When I said SAAB, he said I must be an engineer, because practically everyone he knows with a SAAB is an engineer. Of all the (mostly pejorative) stereotypes of car owners, I think that has to be one of the kindest and, to my mind, most flattering. It is true, though; SAAB is a smart person’s car. I think most companies would… Read more »

Bravada from GMI
Member

This post -> Straight to Tim Colbeck!

zippy
Member

+1

SAAB_Andee
Member

This thread is pure toxic for someone who is interested in buying a saab – Too much negativity in here.
– main conclusion everything that saab does is false. and brand enthousiasts that only have to say why they were not buying saabs.

-not to forget the US car market is a big bubble.

michaelb
Member

The sales reality is brutal, numbers do not lie. There are definitely huge flaws, and somewhere they have to be addressed. There are many proposals mentioned here, that reveal what to do.

SAAB_Andee
Member

Yes numbers don´t lie – but fact is that we can´t make huge changes at the product yet and this thread should be about marketing and pricing strategys.

We self write the products of SAAB down as the swedish press does with saab!!

100%Saab
Member

Yes, but Saab is still my preferred brand.

Just a thought.

davidgmills
Member

We are not writing down the products. What we are complaining about is whether Saab is truly competing on price in the US or whether its products are priced too high for the market.

SPG900NY
Member

No, it just pains us to see what Saab is doing, particularly with marketing, in the US market. There is an argument to be made whether or not their pricing structure is too high, but also as pointed out by many here who are more knowledgeable than myself, perhaps if their marketing firm was capable of: 1) clarifying the brand identity 2) conveying the message that Saab is still alive and 3) offering why buyers should pick a Saab over any other car we wouldn’t be arguing so much about this. I mean, did you see “She is not for… Read more »

Curvin ORielly
Member

When I attended last year’s SOC and gave my keynote presentation with Willy Hopkins, it felt like a love fest. It felt the same way at last year’s Swedish Car Day in Boston. What happened, folks? When I read through this thread, which I’ve done a couple of times, there’s so much snarky vitriol that I honestly wonder if there’s any hope of us reaching any consensus about anything whatsoever. This isn’t the SU I remember from the good old days.

GerritN
Member

Well, I think there are 2 reasons. People are getting really nervous about the Saab situation in general and the Saab sales in the US. However you turn it, the sales are pathetic and the SU request for opinions has turned (too) many people into instant experts. The second reason, imho, is that good Ol’ Swade usually cut off the thread as soon as the comments started heading in a too destructive direction.
This thread has run its course (how did you manage to read it a couple of times?), time to close it for comments.

Curvin ORielly
Member

Read it a couple of times because I wanted to absorb everything!

Curvin ORielly
Member

I agree, by the way. Time to shut down this thread before we all go nuts!

RS
Member

Maybe it’s just the fact that people have been more or less in crisis mode since early 2009 and a) we’re are getting a bit wary, b) frustrated of all the trash Saab is getting even on SU after all BS especially in Sweden. Swade (he too can speak for himself) also had at times/all the time, his handsful ”defending” Saab from all the attacks. PS. I’d love to see Saab adapt the ‘Intelligent-theme’ with the JC 9-3. Well if it the car is any good ofcourse 😉 I can’t believe there wouldn’t still be a few hundred thousand smart… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

Curvin, I was there and it was awesome. I think we were all swept up in optimism — the new owners were there, there was a thought perhaps they’d listen to you and Willie and take your points to heart. It wasn’t long after, as I recall, that “She is not for you” debuted, along with a couple of other questionable ads and it was clear they were gaining zero traction. As time went on, it was also clear that GM saying it was “shuttering” the brand did far, far more damage in the US especially than anyone could have… Read more »

Curvin ORielly
Member

@SPG900NY… Exactly 373 days have zipped by since I started work on my part of the presentation that Willy and I gave at last year’s SOC. Whether or not the work would pass muster with some of the harsh critics that have emerged on SU, I have to say that the enthusiastic response the two of us got that night was palpable. Our audience laughed in all the right places. They gave us a standing ovation when we wrapped things up. It was one of the best experiences either of us had had in a long time. Best of all,… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

@Curvin You’re talking about a revolutionary ad campaign — do you think Saab Corporate has the constitution to do something like this right now? I’m getting the feeling they don’t, and that’s my issue. Like I said, I think it requires a Hail Mary Pass, and you just called the specific play. But I think the coaches are scared to run with it and I’m not sure why. The ONLY point I disagree with you about (and this may be a very personal reason not applicable to anyone else) is the survival issue. I have said for the last few… Read more »

Curvin ORielly
Member

A car is the single biggest purchase decision most people, so I understand your concern. The specific problem you mentioned – the availability of parts and warranty service in the event Saab happens to go down for the count – is one I frankly haven’t thought about. If you buy a new car, a Saab or any other brand, I would guess that the company is legally obligated to provide warranty service (and parts) for as your warranty lasts. Somebody have the answer on this?

SPG900NY
Member

I believe they ARE obligated by law for ten years or something like that. But the question is not so much what is the obligation, but what is the enforcement? I have no doubt that GM will try to make good to Pontiac and Saturn owners, as they want to retain their business and they have a lot of Chevy dealers who will do service on those cars. However, what happens when someone like Saab, a niche player who doesn’t have another “arm” as it were (Dodge/Chrysler/Ram/Jeep or Ford/Lincoln or whatnot) goes out of business and the dealers fold or… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

Excellent point, and I will take it to heart. To be fair, my dealer has continued to send (at no small expense to them, I’m sure) glossy adverts for service, and they at least made an attempt to send me a few promo emails (I say attempt because they were not formatted correctly, but still)… They have product now though, and they should display it, not hide it behind the VWs. How about arranging a discounted rental through a nearby rental place? That’s one of the biggest headaches for me since my dealer is a ways away — getting a… Read more »

Curvin ORielly
Member

@RS… I understand what it feels like when you find yourself in a crisis mode. I’ve been in the situation a couple of times during my career, including Saab in 1979. The best way out of them is invoking the 80/20 rule. That is, getting as close to perfection as you can, but not waiting around until everything’s 100% perfect. The great Winston Churchill famously said, “Perfection is spelled ‘paralysis.'” Decisions should always be good ones, never forced or made in a helter-skelter way. Still, waiting and waiting gets you nowhere, while the problem only grows worse. The JC 9-3… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

“The future is now.” Is that the new tag line? Sounds like code for extreme desperation. Well, anyway, I don’t think anyone of us is going to solve Saab’s problems, because none of us here have enough of the main ingredient — cash. Maybe the Chinese infusion of cash will allow Saab to reduce US prices to more competitive levels. One thing the US has become very good at, is finding unique ways to use Chinese cash. The Chinese are probably as dumb as the Americans in this respect. Both think the US government will eventually pay them back.

SPG900NY
Member

Or said in other words, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Unfortunately, Saab needs perfect with its next ad campaign.

And if taglines and campaigns get people in the showrooms, but they won’t buy unless the car has the fundamentals, how is it that “Imported from Detroit” is so successful? I mean seriously, the Chrysler 200 is a turd, yet it’s selling like hotcakes, when dealers couldn’t get rid of the Sebring. How does this happen?

rokhiggins
Member

probably because it has a price commensurate to it’s turdiness

Red J
Member

It is so well priced compared to the Sebring?

I think the SuperBowl campaign with Eminem was really good, and knowing that he also comes from Detroit makes it even credible.

Red J
Member

Hi everyone,
I don’t know if somebody has said this before, as I will not read all the other 379 posts, but the US is the best performing market this year.

And the 9-4x won’t make it worse. 😉

SPG900NY
Member

I thought the UK was the best performing market? The 9-4X is sure to help.

Red J
Member

While the UK is selling the most cars till now, the US is having the highest absolute increase over 2010.

UK
YTD 3.244 units
Increase over 2010 1.431 units

US
YTD 3.115 units
Increase over 2010 1.985 units

Curvin ORielly
Member

@davidgmills…
Not a tagline, but instead the truth.

davidgmills
Member

Taglines can’t be the truth?

rokhiggins
Member

curvin, you’re such a know it all. but with good points and interesting old war stories. keep ’em coming.

Curvin ORielly
Member

@davidgmills…
Stop sniping! You knew what I meant. Or should have. And yes, taglines should be the truth. Now, can we finally put this issue to rest? Thanks. 🙂
@rokhiggins…
Sorry if I act like I’m a know-it-all. Or worse, an imperious bastard. It’s just that I’ve been around the block a few times. When I see things that don’t seem exactly right, I say something. Just keep in mind that I’m not out to take anybody down or generate a verbal fight when I make my comments. I have Saab’s best interests in mind. That’s it.

rokhiggins
Member

curvin, keep the imperious attitude for the sake of stoking a ‘good’ thread. been pretty dead on SU lately

davidgmills
Member

Quit sniping? I’m having a good time. In fact this thread is the most interesting thread on SU in about a year. Why? Because people are venting. People are pissed at the mistakes made by Saab, not just last week, or last year, but from way back. Many of the mistakes from yesteryear are being repeated still. Saab apparently has a hard time learning from history. Of course the obvious intent of everyone is to make Saab better by venting about the mistakes Saab makes. Hopefully, the criticisms won’t fall on deaf ears. I was at my dealer’s today and… Read more »

JasonPowell
Member

I wonder how many times that situation was repeated around the world in the last sixty days. How many times has that same thing happened over the years? I wonder how much effect people like yourself and the viral way that some of these post get spun has on those potential customers. If all we do is gripe and complain about what Saab does wrong and don’t praise them when things go right, we are not helping to shine Saab in a good light. That being said and the fact that you’re having a good time as you said, what… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

So this has become a political board now? Reminds me of all those political websites where if you criticize the party line in any way you get banned.

I wouldn’t worry about things going “viral.” What a sad thing to have to worry about.

As for me and my Saab loyalty, I am working on buying my 15th Saab as we speak. I put my money where my mouth is. Maybe I have paid for the right to bitch a little bit. Let that number go viral if you are worried about something going viral.

JasonPowell
Member

Not sure how this is polictical as nobody is banned, when you have people on here like “looking for new car” and comments like some of the ones that have been made, you don’t think that is counter productive? I hope your loyalty of 15 cars is what people would take away from your comments and not just the negative..

RS
Member

David, if you’re driving long stints on bad roads, have you tried DriveSense (the active suspension) with 18″ wheels? It should work very well for you.

Again, would it be a good idea to mention these USP’s BIG in ads somewhere, not just in the small print on brochures? Saab needs to highlight the facts why people would want to consider these cars.

davidgmills
Member

I am hoping the new 9-5SC will have it in the US. I want another wagon, like my 03 Aero wagon which was my favorite car despite often being brutal on my back (really long drives only).

SPG900NY
Member

So how many people who aren’t already in our choir will, for their next car, turn their heads from their Hondas and BMWs and Fords and think, “hey, what about Saab? Let me see what’s going on at SaabsUnited?” Then when they see us all debating what is, in fact, a very important topic, they’ll say, “pfft — all this negativity — hey honey, let’s skip the Saabs… How about Fiat? I hear they’re back!”

Answer: Zero

🙂

looking for new car
Guest

Yes, you’re right. I have a 2003 9-5 Aero wagon whih replaced a ? 900S. But I did come here looking for info on getting a new car. I love my car, and have been surprised to read so many negative comments (on the other hand, I also find it strange for the site to be self-censored when anyone says anything negative, as I want to read both the pros and the cons. So at least in this thread there is freedom of speech.

RS
Member

I don’t see self-censoring on this site. If you make a good case against Saab that’s fine. But if someone comes here and says Saab is no better than any GM brand or has no advantage over a RWD in snow they’re going to get a reply they might not like.

In fact I’ve been criticising SU for posting every negative article they wrote in Sweden at some point, so nobodys hiding anything.

Jeff, could you guys come up with a way to close comments (if sometimes needed) without losing all of them like in the past?

Red J
Member

RS, what do you mean with loosing them?

AFAIK, if we close a thread the comments will remain until deleted. But i think that some of the comments got lost on their way from Tasiland to Sweden.

RS
Member

Sorry Red, I’ve probably should have said hidden. Can remember a few occasions when Swade had the close comments and then you couldn’t see any of them anymore.
Maybe some sort of ‘no more comments allowed’ thingy.

looking for new car
Guest

Sorry, it was late at night and I was on my phone when I posted that. By negative, I don’t mean mean-spirited. I mean that I was genuinely surprised to see the overwhelming perception by those posting here that the Saab 9-5 was overpriced. I planned to negotiate and get the best deal I could, but I had no idea how deeply discounted those cars could be. Further, when I added in all the included options (all the tech I love), the 9-5 was substantially cheaper than BMW or MB, etc. So that’s what I mean by negative. Once I… Read more »

MarcB
Member

What an amazing flow of consciousness … all kinds of ideas on all kinds of subjects … way beyond price.

How about this for a new Saab positioning … EXCLUSIVITY!

Rolls / Bentley / Maybach?

Where else can you drive such an exclusive automobile at considerably less than 6 figures!

SAAB, when you want an automobile that is unique on the street, delivers every bit of quality and value that you will ever need, at an affordable price.

davidgmills
Member

Saab does have exclusivity no doubt. But as we kick around the notion of coming up with a slogan of some kind that encompasses the identity of Saab, I would think the identity would need to be broader than that. I think it would also turn off people who feel comfortable being in the pack and not the lone wolf. I have read the criticisms of my idea of “best all around” and I think they are all valid because best all around does have a connotation of being “ho-hum.” But I still like the idea of promoting a car… Read more »

Curvin ORielly
Member

The second Saab ad I wrote in 1979 had a section in it that covered “all-around”:

Prestige.

“With a Saab, you will not find yourself forgoing room, performance, efficiency, utility or rugged construction.

“What could be more prestigious than buying a car and, for once, getting everything you want?”

davidgmills
Member

I like it. But you left out safety although rugged construction could include the concept.

I like the idea though of not foregoing anything. Much better way of saying best all around. Kudos.

No need to forego anything of importance or necessity in a Saab. Forego nothing.

Curvin ORielly
Member

This portion of the ad – “Prestige” – was a summary of everything else in the ad. We used words and pictures to make the points. Very effective.

JasonPowell
Member

I actually like “all around” because it could be used in so many ways like “all around” comfort, safety, style, all sorts of things. I wish there was a way to show just how fun a Saab can be, like a black on black windows tinted out 9-3 or 9-5 doesn’t matter, Hirsched up car flying down a country road.

Anddeu
Member

A little bit Off-Topic but…
It took me three days to read all the posts (no native speaker) but there are so many good points towards the questions of Jeff in here (if you ignore small fights between some posts- especially to the end) that I can´t stop reading it. It was interesting to see an American perspective towards the situation and add it to my European point of view.

Kikaluka
Member

Saab should start behaving like the smart independent challenger. Challenge the BMW 5, and show that the 9-5 is $10,000 cheaper if equally equipped, has the most advanced 4wd, has class leading leg room, has more character and looks more stylish. Organize testdrive events where people can test the 9-5 and the 5 side by side. Give a free Hirsch upgrade to anyone who picks the Saab over the BMW. Get movies out there of people blindfolded testing different cars (in the dessert ofcourse). Show that Saab has the smartest, pricewinning assembly line in the world, producing all models on… Read more »

Red J
Member

+1

davidgmills
Member

I really like the idea of the challenger, especially the challenger who foregoes nothing.

davidgmills
Member

Very good post by the way. Kudos.

JasonPowell
Member

Do you think that Saab should celebrate the fact that we’re smaller then the big guys? Kind of like “the company that cares” kind of thing. Or what about that when you buy a Saab, you’re not just buying a car, you’re buying a lifestyle. What other manufacturer can boast the same kind of love affair with a car as Saab?

Kikaluka
Member

Now the big guys start selling their knowledge instead of keeping it to themselves, it might be a good opportunity for a small and flexible manufacturer to do some cherry picking. It should lead to better cars for less development cost. All competitors are huge companies that first of all have to use their own technologies. So who will be able to keep up with Saab? That’s changing the game.

davidgmills
Member

Regarding your comparison comment — I have done lots of comparison, especially to the Buick LaCrosse and Regal, GM’s 9-5 Epsilon II stablemates. You are forgetting the Americans and that’s the problem. In Europe, Opel doesn’t have a LaCrosse or 9-5 equivalent. With the LaCrosse, America has a direct 9-5 competitor. The LaCrosse is $15,000 (MSRP ) cheaper loaded up than a loaded 9-5 Aero. The high end LaCrosse has about 300 hp ( a six cylinder non-turbo) if I recall correctly, AWD, and Hy-per strut. I don’t think there is much a loaded Aero could have that you can’t… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

Meanwhile, Saab’s other GM competitor, Cadillac, has seriously striven to change its image from a stodgy luxury boat to a high performance sedan, a la BMW. For several years now Cadillac has been adopting Corvette technology — drivetrains, engines and suspensions, and some Cadillacs are real screamers now boasting top speeds well in excess of 150 mph. The ultimate Cadillac is the rear drive Cadillac CTS-V, whose engine produces 556 hp from a V8, all married to a Sigma II platform. It’s a screamer. According to Wikipedia: “The CTS-V sedan achieved a lap time of 7:59.32 at the famed Nürburgring… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

Postscript: Didn’t know about Cadillac’s CTS-V sport wagon until now, when I looked up the CTS-V.

SPG900NY
Member

That CTS-V sportwagon has been my dream wagon since I heard about it. Excellent writeup on Winding Road about it recently. And you can get it in a stick for under $70K. Rock!

davidgmills
Member

Apparently more American competition from Cadillac upcoming next spring — a Cadillac version of the LaCrosse. According to Edmunds: The 2013 Cadillac XTS is expected in the spring of 2011. It will be based on the all-wheel-drive XTS Platinum concept version that debuted to critical acclaim at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. It will likely replace Cadillac’s current DTS and STS sedans. The XTS Platinum concept is said to be pretty close to being in production form. It’s based on the same platform as the midsize Buick LaCrosse. Engine selection for the production XTS is unknown, but the… Read more »

MarcB
Member

436 Comments … is that a record? Talk about passionate owners … wow. Looking through all of this … and I posted earlier … copied below … some new thoughts and a reinforcement of some old thoughts. We can structure this with the 4 P’s from the old Marketing 101 Textbooks … PRODUCT / PRICE / PLACE / PROMOTION PRODUCT: Beyond not being able to get the JC 9-3 out any sooner, the product is terrific. 9-3 being freshened with the Griffen Model will continue as the workhorse of the line, 9-5 is a beautiful car which dealers will have… Read more »

Börjesson
Member

Take a look at one of Talladegan’s entries into the ad competition last winter:
http://images.saabsunited.com/TWO-ROADS-TALLADEGAN.jpg

🙂

davidgmills
Member

As I mentioned above, price is Saab’s problem. Maybe you didn’t read my posts above. GM is putting the price squeeze on Saab. It is building very similar cars and Cadillac has more prestige. Buick is a good brand and selling its 9-5 clone at a much, much lower price. The new Caddy, may come in at close to Saab prices. GM can absolutely strangle Saab if it wants to or feels it needs to.

RS
Member

Sorry David, I just think you’re a bit too hung up on price. As long as Saab doesn’t have to sell by Opel/Buick numbers it’s -thank god- about value. It’s the 9000 thousand years old story why anyone would buy anything else but the ”most cost effective” item or services in the world to do the job? We have a saying around here that ”-It’s too expensive to buy cheap” that sums it up nicely. If you would need an attorney to represent yourself, would you pick the one with the lowest rates? What about a clothes, house, electronics, food… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

RS: Are you an American? I would seriously doubt it because you sure seem clueless about the American market. No Regal is going to remind an American of an Opel. We don’t have Opels in the US. The last time an Opel was imported here with the Opel name was about 30 years ago or more. The Cadillac Catera, was an Opel, imported here about 15 years ago, but it didn’t use the Opel name. Opel has no stigma in the US. As for rust, almost no American cars rust here anymore. All have had galvanized undercoatings for years. And… Read more »

RS
Member

You think all other brands are trouble free? How is it possible that Saab was on the top of reliability statistics in Germany last year? The DI and turbo always come up when people have owned 9-5’s for many years. Maybe they learned their lessons and the late OG 9-5’s (Dame Edna) don’t have those anymore? Don’t know. With very little marketing and PR the perception remain amongst US Saabers apparently even with the all new 9-5. The thing that bothers me is that if you want to improve a car/model, parts used, service, customer experience, advertising etc. etc. how… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

The Regal is also a car on the Epsilon II short wheel base similar to what the new 9-3 will be. It is not on the Epsilon II long wheel base platform. Only the La Crosse is on the same long wheel base as the 9-5. The La Crosse costs about $7500-$10,000 more than a Regal. So the proper comparison is not with a Regal, but with a LaCrosse, except for the engines. The Regal has the same engine as the 9-5 four, except it cranks out 260hp instead of 220hp. When you are comparing a loaded Regal and a… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

David said: “As for people complaining about the quality of their Regals, I would wager that most of those Regals are base model cars. You can load these cars up with lots of options to dramatically improve the quality of the materials in the cars. I bet the top end loaded up cars don’t have near the complaints that the base models do.” I experienced this phenomenon for myself when I rented a few Impalas when my 9-5 was in the shop. The base model with cloth seats and minimal accessories, column shifter, and it seemed like a real cheap… Read more »

SPG900NY
Member

@RS, David is correct (and yes, I think he could tone it down as well, Jeff). Remember that perception is everything. People PERCEIVE that Toyotas (well, not so much anymore) and Hondas are trouble-free or are low-maintenance even though they have their issues. People PERCEIVE that Apple products don’t have problems (even though they do). The Dame Ednas also have the DI cassettes, and yes, I am one of those people who always travels with an extra lest I get stranded somewhere. I am seriously considering replacing the throttle body as preventative maintenance. I am definitely replacing the Crank Position… Read more »

RS
Member

Sounds like TC sure got his work cut out for himself. It’s good to get everything out in the open for Tim as I believe the only way to clear the air (any reservations NA Saabers may have about the brand) is to deal with these issues mentioned. I must admit I haven’t had to fight with DI cassette personally (I’d carry one in the trunk also) as the OG Saabs or the diesels haven’t had one, but this is clearly something that now seems to prevent at least some people from coming back to Saab. Especially with the all… Read more »

GerritN
Member

Wow, this should be called the Energizer Bunny thread, it keeps going and going….. David, I totally agree with your observation about pricing and the American competition. I’m not an American citizen but I’ve been living here for more than 15 years. I know that most Americans are shopping for as much car as they can get for their money. The amount of car mainly refers to how it looks and the amount of horsepower, driving characteristics usually take second place. Right now there is a large number of cars similar to the 9-5 that can be chosen from, a… Read more »

davidgmills
Member

Absolutely right Gerrit. The new Taurus is another major American competitor that is substantially less than a 9-5, and when loaded up can seriously compete with the 9-5 AWD Aero for about $15,000 less.

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