Merry Christmas From The Dealers

Tim had asked me earlier this week to do a post about the dealers and to tell everyone that we are here and still ready to help. Truth of the matter is I was so angry at the start of the week that I couldn’t see myself writing anything that didn’t come across that way. As the week has gone on and my mood has shifted, I thought now would be a good time to speak.

Our dealership and many others are and will continue to be in business and are ready and willing to help you in every way we know how. It is true that warranty work is on hold right now as we await further clarification from SCNA and we expect that shortly. As our world is so web based now that I have noticed countless Saab dealers addressing this on their facebook pages to their customers and friends. What I would say most of us are not doing is, we are not and will not be taking part in any kind of “FIRE SALE”. I have seen and heard of some very silly ideas of what kind of credits people assume they can get now and at least one dealer that has decided to somehow do this.

We the Saab dealers have weathered many storms and have a lot of that same Saab fight in us that you see in Sweden and we will keep fighting. Our dealerships are more than just a way to make money and sell cars, our dealerships are also our family and friends. Take a look at your Saab dealer and find out how long most of their staff have been together, we are a family and it shows through the service you have come to expect and in the way the we will continue to fight for this great company and you our friends.

The upcoming “We Are Many, We Are Saab” events are truly touching to see take shape. You can imagine that the dealer staff has been upset by the events that have happened and for us it is a nice reminder that Saab fans across the world are coming together for us too. This event is about every part of Saab from the suppliers to the employees and dealers. Remember that we are with you all the way and nothing can ever take that away from us.

I do feel a great amount of hope in Saab emerging from bankruptcy as a stronger company with strong financial backing. I think that with Youngman in Sweden and other possible owners looking to submit bids or possibly already submitted bids, the hope has never left and as I type I feel my strength coming back to me. We are an incredible group of people who believe in Saab and I don’t think another brand can truly compare when it comes to a love of a brand. We are many, we are Saab and will continue to be Saab.

From all of the Saab dealers worldwide, Merry Christmas and happy New Year. To all my Saab friends at dealers across the world, Merry Christmas to you and yours and we will get through this as we stand together as Saab. I invite all other dealers to add a personal message here as well.

53 thoughts on “Merry Christmas From The Dealers”

  1. Well our dealership in the UK today became the latest victim of this dreadful mess…..the whole dealership closed down today and went into administration. Within an hour we were all out! 3 of us that worked there between us have 98years of experience and dedication to Saab! What a dreadful Christmas this is going to be for the Saab community.

    • I read your post and couldn’t think of anything appropriate to say without sounding, well I think the word is ‘trite’. It’s simply gut-wrenching to hear things like this while still grasping for hope that it is not the end of Saab as a company.

      • Hi Jason, Thank you for your kind comments, I have been with my current dealer here in Ca for 17 years, I think the same way you do. We are not going to do a firesale, we will offer discounts but nothing to what people may think. My wish for all of us is a better 2012 with a new owner and a much better advertising to help us rebuild the brand.
        Wes Harris
        Dirito Brothers Saab

    • That’s dreadful news and without any warning, it’s made me very sad. I personally know everyone at Concept Saab in Cardiff. They are such a good bunch of people and very knowledgeable about all things Saab. We have lost not just a main dealer but a resource that we will never get back. I wish all at Concept the very best and if I can help in any way you know where I am. Chris.

  2. “We are many, we are Saab.” I like that! Happy Saabing to all, and to all , a good night!
    P.S. I wish I knew where Jason’s dealership is.

  3. Thank you tilley. I have even been working on a 50% reduced salary most of this year rather than desert this brand i love so much in the hope we would get through it.

  4. Until today I was a UK Saab dealer with 36 years of dedication and loyalty to this wonderful brand. I have always compared Saab to an incurable infection….those that get it are infected for life! What other product on earth can have that kind of impact? What other product or brand can boast of such deep rooted passion and dedication? We are a family like no other. I could drive to any country in the world and bump into another Saab owner and instantly we would feel like long lost friends. GM never ever could see or respect this Saab infection, they didn’t get it nor ever will! Those of us that have it just do not want to be cured! We live and breath Saab and always will. I look back on my 36 years of working with this brand, as at first an apprentice body repairer, then parts manager and then on to sell these glorious cars with very mixed emotions. I never did like the GM involvement but we do have to ask ourselves, would we still be here today without them? It could have all ended 20yrs ago. But for now that is all retrospective, we must now focus on the future. I firmly believe in my very heavy heart that we may still just get what we have dreamt of for so long, that chance to be rescued by a passionate owner that also may get catch this infection if they do not already have it and once again show the motoring world that we can be a force to be reckoned with. That we can show that innovative flair and spirit for which we are renowned. To all my ‘family’ worldwide I wish us good luck!

    • Martin, you embody why I wrote this. Your personal situation with your dealer is sad, but you are strong and not coming across as bitter and are still hopeful for the future of Saab and I don’t doubt that you will find yourself working in a Saab environment again soon. Martin you in a way are Saab, and don’t ever let go of that.

    • Hi Martin
      I am truely sad for what you are going through right now. I suffer the same infection and I only worked with the brand 17 years. I wish you all the best and would add I was made redundant from the trade just over 3 years ago and made it through. I no longer work with cars but enjoy driving my Saab daily. I wish you all the very best at this difficult time.

  5. I have read many of your posts Jason with admiration as so much of what you say is spot on! So when Saab is reborn if you require any additions to your staff then please do not forget me!

  6. Thanks for a very brave and encouraging post, Jason!

    Merry Christmas to you, all Saab-dealers, Saab-employed and Saab-fans!

    Still hoping for a solution which includes manufacturing and developing Saabs in Trollhättan. !

    • Martin…really sorry to heare the news about Concept….i even made a few phone calls up here, what line u in, sales or service ?
      I know it might sound futile but wish you and your family all the best for xmas and i know something will be around that corner

  7. Thanks Jason. We have been through a lot in the past. This is one more go-round on the Saab roller coaster.

    I can say also that Saab Cars North America is trying hard to find a solution. There are some great, hard working and passionate people there.

    Sales have taken the brunt of it at our dealer. Parts and Service is doing well. We have a fantastic customer base and are very thankful for their continued support. The news was here and did this story on our shop. Largely sums up where we are today.

    Looking forward to a much more concrete and un-eventful 2012. If things do go forward with Saab, I’m sure it will take some time to get things ironed out.

    Wishing everybody that has anything to do with making their day involved with Saab, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Jeff Mox
    Fox Saab
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

  8. To all of the Saab Dealers, Saab sales people, serive techs, parts people, My wish is for a Safe and Happy Hoilday Season and wish all of our pray’s are answered for the new year. Jason you have alway written good stuff and I am proud to be part of the Saab family for the last 17 years. We will carry on until the lights go out.

    Wes Harris
    Dirito Brothers Saab
    Walnut Creek, CA

  9. The two SAAB dealers closest to me are GM automalls. This came about because SCNA (possibly prodded by GM) preferred the fancy automall approach and pressured two excellent long-time SAAB dealers by “encouraging” them to build expensive new facilities. Both of their dealerships ended up transferred to GM automall dealers. I went out of state to buy my SAAB from an established SAAB dealer that was independent from GM. It will be intersting to see how the GM dealerships will hang in there with SAAB compared to the independent SAAB dealers. GM automalls with SAAB may have more financial wherewithall to keep going, whereas the dealerships indepemdemt of other GM brands might be more committed in continuing as a SAAB resource regardless of what happens in Sweden. In any case, I wish all of them Merry Christmas and a Better New Year.

  10. Firstly to Jason and everyone at Springman’s a Merry Christmas and a better 2012. To Martin T16s, no guessing what you favourite Saab is. 🙂 Here’s hoping that your expertise and passion for Saab can be put back to use very very soon.

  11. Jason: thanks so much for your post – straight from the heart, and so full of the SAAB fighting spirit. This really is an incredible brand and an amazing community. I’ve really appreciated your contributions to SU over the past few months. My best wishes to you and SAAB dealers everywhere for Christmas and the New Year.

    SAAB UP in 2012!

  12. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our Saab friends everywhere. Never lose faith. As long as dialogue is happening in Sweden we have hope. Long live Saab!

  13. Talked to my dealer in Dayton, OH today – Just SAAB. They are a great bunch – hope to see them through all this. With the events of this week, they CAN’T sell new cars (no warranty, no rebates from Saab NA) and will depend on service to survive until SOMETHING clarifies the situation. Couldn’t ask for a better bunch of folks; they need our help.

    If you want to help your local dealer – bring them service NOW. I’m putting my 9-3 in the shop next week to get her back to 100%. $$$ in the door (service) will help them keep the doors open until this mess sorts itself out.

    “KEEP CALM AND DRIVE ON”. Better yet, “GET YOUR SAAB TO 100% NOW”.

      • Great post Jason. Thank you for your great representation of the dealer body.

        Carter, Thank you. The calls, emails and visits from customers and friends with support has been overwhelming.

        Happy Holidays to our Saab Family,
        AJ Murphy
        Just Saab

  14. Great post, Jason. Like you, we also will not be participating in any kind of “Fire Sale”. With parts supply not being of concern in the future, plus our ability to put warranties on any new Saab in the event that SCNA is unable to reinstate the factory warranties, our beloved Saabs are worth just the same that they were prior to the bankruptcy filing. We continue to hold our heads high and are anxious to see what lies ahead.

    From all of us at Saab of Bellevue, we wish you and your families a warm and wonderful holiday season.

    • My sympathies go out to all those who are financially affected by the demise of SAAB in the US market. In one of the former strongest markets, Northeast NY, the dealers already gone. Great people and thousands of SAABs sold and no support left.

      In regards to remaining vehicle inventory I can understand that no dealer wants to have a fire sale. But that is brave talk that can only be backed up with deep financial pockets. Most remaining dealers will need to sell the cars and frankly no warranty made up by an aftermarket insurance company can actually fix a broken CIM module unless money can be used to buy one. And most importantly without the factory training and diagnostic equipment support there will be no piece of mind for the normal customer. As others have said they would not touch a new SAAB. Inevitably there are just too many unsold vehicles to be absorbed by a very skeptical public. Circumstances will arise , just as the SAAB bankruptcy, where assets will be sold to the highest bidder. In the case of the cars many will end up being bought and prices that many might call “firesale”. But the term is not as applicable as they will be sold for as much as the market will bear which frankly in the case of NG 9-5 will in many cases be $20k- $30k less than the sticker price.

      Sad but true.

      There is no joy in any of this mess, but SAAB effectively is gone from the US market. The remaining loyal and dedicated dealers that are SAAB only can continue by providing service and selling used SAABs for many years to come. But a scattering of dealers in a vast country is not a supportable market.

  15. Hoping everybody has a merry christmas and a happy new year. In recent years our dealership has cut employees, from 5 techs to 1, from 4 salesman to 1 but we have tried to keep the brand alive. We are working for less money because there is less traffic but because of our love for the brand we have pressed on. Now with recent events the fight is going to be even tougher. Here in the northeast we do have a strong customer base and a loyal following, but I think people will begin to rethink ownership if parts are going to be an issue. The last parts delivery was on Monday and customers are becomming frustrated already, which is understandable especally now when you are looking to drive to grandmas house.
    I picked a good time to be on vacation, hoping by the time I get back there will be some developements in the shipping of parts and the status of Saab and SCNA as a whole. Youngman seems interested in the pheniox platform, which with no GM technology might make the sale possible, but can the dealers out there wait 2 years for a new product? Can we as techs and salesaman wait 2 years? Customer retention will also be a challange with nothing to show for 2 years. Looking for the bright side in all of this is difficult to say the least but if after reading some of the comments of dealers already closing there doors the ones that remain open will at least have a good service business.

  16. Kudos to you, Jason, for sticking firmly to your panic-free plan. I think it shows a lot of dedication and confidence in the product. I hope you and the other dealers who’re keeping calm are able to benefit financially from doing so.

    I suspect you (and other dealers) can survive awhile from repair and servicing, while maybe acting as like a used Saab dealer if the new stuff were to run out. I know the independent Saab mechanic I go to has loads of business and happy repeat customers. I hope Saab Parts stays up and running for a long time.

    I always enjoy reading your posts, and not just because we share the same name 😉 Best of luck to you and the remaining Saab dealers.

  17. NO FIRE sales, that is quite right, there is no reason to discount any further. I’m sure demand still exists, even with the bankruptcy – in fact some people probably were not paying attention at all, until they saw ‘bankcrupt’ in the headlines.

    In terms of ‘inhibitors’ maintenance plans and warranty are not the issue some imagine them to be. The maintenance plans are usually funded by Avis or some other company external to Saab. Same goes for warranties. In fact, even if you need to pay for one, they are not that expensive to buy… so no warranty should ever be an obstacle to a sale. Your sales staff should be trained on the warranty options out there.

    I’m sure you could even work out a better than average deal with an insurer, since most of these aftermarket warranties are built for older cars – the risk of something going wrong in the first 3 years is very low, so the warranty insurance shouldn’t cost that much. I spoke to a director at an insurer the other day, and he said they often get people calling in asking for unusual/unique insurance packages to suit a specific risk or event (they often approach a reinsurer in such a case). So I am sure as dealers you could work out a very reasonable package if you teamed up internationally and approached a Swiss Re to offer underwriting for local insurers.

    • John,
      I wish I could find solace in your statement ” NO FIRE sales, that is quite right, there is no reason to discount any further”. The realities of the market are that the “current” discounts were established when there was still a warranty, current model year and the hope of a continued company and dealer network. Much of the monetary value of a luxury car is associated with perception of value. Even discounts of $20k – $30k still leave prices that will buy many competent vehicles with full support.

      You are sure that demand exists against all the other factors. That of course will be seen in the coming weeks how much demand there is. The issue of maintenance plans is relatively minor of course , no one is overly worried by that. But aftermarket warranty without factory support, training, service bulletins, software upgrades and parts is very much one of the problems. It is somewhat like having an insurance policy on a irreplaceable item. In that case all that can be done is pay you money for a loss

      . Now that kind of insurance is unheard of in the new car automotive realm, but would be the only real answer. Imagine , if it can’t be fixed after 3 attempts , the insurance company takes it away and pays you an agreed value, based on time and mileage depreciation off of your purchase price. The risk of a critical part being unavailable or not finding someone who can diagnose what is wrong after reasonable effort is removed. But probably is fantasy!

  18. Hi Jason, thank you for your kind words last evening. I feel a lot better today and looking forward to a new era in my career and life. I hope no other dealers start a fire sale either as once one starts it then people will travel to get that deal. Excuse the pun bit it should be ‘Saab,s Dealers United’! Despite my dreadful news yesterday I do wish our ‘ family’ a very good Christmas and hopefully a better year next year. Take care and good health to you all.

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