Finding Some Truth

As many have read the article in the Automotive News titled “Steady Drip Of Bad News Wears On Saab Dealers” , what some may not know is how much was left out of this article. Below is a copy of an email we received from Aj Murphy, General Manager of Just Saab, a very loyal Saab dealer and friend.

Gentlemen: As you are well aware there was a very grim tone to the article.  I was quoted as saying “Saab needs to get production restarted and stop the bloodbath on perception”, which I stand behind and believe needs to happen sooner rather than later.  Further, in the context of what I said was that perception and image improves once production restarts; One follows the other.  I believe the media is creating Saab’s image more than Saab is.  Which is sadly, just the way it is right now.   Unfortunately what wasn’t written was the comments about the faith I had in the long-term outlook of Saab once we get through this short-term crunch.   And I stand behind that statement 100 percent.   Unfortunately all that matters is what was put on paper to paint the picture of what they wanted to write.  Saab dealers losing faith in the brand.  Well, I’m not that dealer! Please put me on record as a dealer who has all the faith in the Saab team in what they are doing and they can count on Just Saab Cincinnati and Dayton 100 percent to stand behind the brand all the way.  I know Victor Muller and I have great respect for him as well as Tim Colbeck and his team.  They are the right people for this job.   Just Saab is not a dealer that will give up on the brand.  We believe in Saab’s future and are very excited to be part of it. No dealer stands behind Saab more than the Just Saab family and you can ask anyone who knows us.

I personally have known Aj for the past year and being a Sales Manager at a Canadian Saab dealer who has to rely heavily on SU and my US counterparts for news and information, can honestly say that he has proven to be a man of his word. Aj sums it up quite well when saying that the media paint the picture of what they want to write and we should take note when reading headlines, especially right now and know too, that there are plenty of other Saab dealers out there that feel the same way as Aj and Just Saab.

32 thoughts on “Finding Some Truth”

    • .
      Just worked it out.

      It allows you in Once & to read a story, then when you click a link again, it asks you to Subscribe…
      To gain access more times for free, you need to clear your browser history.

  1. It seems like there may be an undercurrent of frustration at the dealer level about a lack of official communication from SAAB HQ. Is this true? I would think that in the midst of a crisis like this, the management would be overcommunicating to it’s satellites, even if the message is “no new news right now–we’re working on it.”

    Totally ignorant of how the dealer/carmaker relationship works–but is there no regular line of communication in place? Maybe that’s one take-away for the better days ahead?

    • WM – Saab Cars North America tries to keep us informed. They hold ALL Dealer conference calls 2 to 3 times per month to gives the network updates. Due to the sensitivity of the negotiations, sometimes they don’t provide more than what we are able to read on SU, but they at least validate stories and provide insight into the confidence level. To answer your questions in short, Saab does what they can to keep us informed.

  2. One thing that MUST be done is NOT allow a critical parts shortage. Im speaking specifically about 93 ignition switches 12801010 and fobs 12783781. I dont know how many cars are disabled, but theres a ton of both of these on back-order and everyday that goes by with this not resolved does NO good on many levels. Saab Auto needs to go above and beyond to stand behind their products and dealers. Frankly, thats THE only goodwill that present and future customers will see and appreciate.

  3. I find this account from Aj Murphy extremely reassuring. As Jason would surely attest to, this crisis is making life extremely difficult for dealerships. So, to hear guys like Aj, out there on the front-line, insisting that VM & Co. is going to pull through … is wonderful to hear.

    • Ryan,
      For Aj, being in the US and part of the dealer board and knowing VM, he has more insight then I and for him to be upbeat and insist that the right team is in place to get us through this is definitely wonderful to hear. Remember, unlike some dealers out there, Just Saab has two stand alone Saab dealers and rely on new car sales more then used, so if anyone could have negatives to say it would be them and they don’t. Just Saab is not alone when standing behind Saab and being committed, we are equally committed at Springman’s where I work and I know of plenty other dealers that feel the same way. Any other dealer can comment on here too about how committed you are and let customers know that we are Saab and proud to be.

      • cool, I guess I’ve indadvertedly understated the value of this account 🙂

        Anyhow, this is awesome news and makes me very happy to hear that both Springman’s and Just Saab is staying loyal to the automaker. Keep up the spirit and the great work guys … I too am confident that this will soon be all behind us.

      • Where was this reported on SU? I haven’t seen it…
        No article on SU mentioned this. The only thing mentioned here is that the salaries might be explained.

          • Oeps, delayed indeed.

            Also there was an article in the Dutch press that Kronofogden already took 320.000 euro out of Saabs account. And Saab needs to pay 17 million euro (11 million salaries and 6 million Kronofogden) within 10 days or else they will ask for bankruptcy.

        • As JasonPowell wrote below, some posts (including Swade’s posts) have addressed the issue somewhat. The part about the Union perhaps pushing SAAB into bankruptcy procedures I have only seen reported on TTELA. However, from what I think I understand about the procedures, requesting that the company be put in bankruptcy procedures will only happen if no payment of salaries occurs 7 days after the Union files its claim demanding payment (which I believe they haven’t). I don’t know if I understood the procedure correctly, though.

          Also on TTELA (reported Aug 23rd 2011) there’s a tiny piece of news on the exit from the Head of Advertising & Marketing from SAAB to Volvo. ‘Head of Advertising & Marketing’ is the best translation of ‘chef för reklam- och marknadskommunkation’ I got from Google Translate.

          • Also on TTELA (reported Aug 23rd 2011) there’s a tiny piece of news on the exit from the Head of Advertising & Marketing from SAAB to Volvo.

            Thank God! Maybe the advertisements will finally get better again (if there ever are anymore).

            Because when they were making commercials like this, they should have been making commercials like this.

            Not necessarily the exact same tone or attitude… just the same focus on the car and it’s awesome lines, doing some nice driving. Instead of a moose. And some people screwing around at a design desk. And ice cubes. Ugh.

            (I am aware that this exists, but I never saw it on television. Only the first moose-desk-lamp-ice-cube advert.)

          • @Will: that Mazda ad could be advertising just about any car and the ‘Introducing the 9-5’ ad isn’t much better. I like the Mazda 6 – it’s handsome, capable and good to drive (we hired one for a week 6 years ago) – but it is just a well executed, ordinary car. Saabs are supposed to be more than that, they’re supposed to appeal to people wanting something a bit deeper than a shiny metal blob capable of kicking up dust. Mazda try to sell their cars on the emotional experience of fun driving – I’d guess they’d like to be seen as a Japanese Alfa – and their advert is basically all that’s about. Saab’s Anglepoise Moosecube advert is far more creative – Saabs are valued for their intelligent design and the ad does a decent job of explaining the alternative thinking that creates such cars.

  4. Just-Saab rocks! I wen to school in Ohio (Kenyon College) and frankly don’t mind not hearing the constant drone of “let’s go bucks”, however these guys make me think I made a mistake. They continue to sell cars, push the brand, they are the ultimate Saab dealer. Griffin Up guys! Forget “Joe Pa” – “go bucks!”. lol

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