So many times we have heard over and over again that price is the most important thing to a successful brand and was where Saab went wrong. Do we all believe this though? Was Saabs biggest mistake simply price? For me it is not that simple. Of corse price is important but it’s not that simple and you need more than just a good price.
The average consumer is not like most of the readers here and do not know their intended purchase like a Saab owner does. This makes the need of salespeople to help get the purchaser familiar with the car they intend to purchase which is partly why I so strongly disagree with Teslas sales network. This post is not about Tesla though and I wont focus on why I so strongly disagree with their way of business but to say that I feel a dealer body is needed no matter what kind of car you sell and as a consumer it gives me more confidence in a brand to see dealers who are happy to sell the product.
Back to price. Now it must be said, I am not comparing cars here because there is hardly any similarities at all. When we talk about price or even type of car needed for the market, people often say that Saab needed a small car and a low $20’s price in the american market. Another auto maker with small cars and low prices is Suzuki and just last week American Suzuki Motor Corp announced plans to leave the US market. I know, I know, Suzuki is nothing like Saab. The comparison though is that if Saab had brought out a small and cheap car, would it had sold? Sure it would to some extent but how many would they need to sell to make it worth doing? In the first ten months of this year Suzuki sold 21,000 vehicles, a feet that Saab hadn’t reached since 2007. With the sales Saab had seen in the last years, 10,000 units a year seemed hard to crack but sales were steadily increasing and I believe the 9-4X would have added to that year end total but Suzuki couldn’t make it work with sales of 21,000 cars in the US and one analyst stated rather harsh the comment below.
“Basically, Suzuki does not need the United States, and the United States didn’t need Suzuki,”
So, a small car or cheap car, is that what was needed? I think not, would it had been nice to see? Sure it would. In all fairness to the great people at SAAB, I think they were headed in the right direction with the 9-4X. The 9-4X would have ignited the North American market and because it wasn’t built in Sweden meant that it was possible to make money on it. The trouble would have been that GM could limit how many were built and therefore how much success SAAB would have with it.
It will be interesting to see where SAAB Cars goes with NEVS and what they introduce to us in the future. As far as what they need to be a successful company selling cars to the masses, heck, I’m in the business and even I don’t think I have a clear enough picture as to what they need to say what it is. My personal thought is not in line with people who figure cheaper is better or a small car is the make it or break it. I think that wether we like it or not, EV’s are a part of the future and they should invest into it and build from SAABS success in the past. Look at where Saab has experienced success and build from it. Make another cross over down the road to replace the 9-4X because it was an anticipated vehicle that was going to sell well but don’t rush into anything without clearly understanding the cost and payout.
We all want to know everything that is going on in NEVS and feel that we have a right to know because we love everything Saab, Saab is our drug of choice and we all have opinions as to what is or isn’t needed. In the end, they have the right people doing the right research who are way more qualified than me or any of us and I trust that they will know what is or isn’t needed for the brand to rise again wether that be price or model.