Dutch Saab dealers order new Saabs

Several Dutch Saab dealers have ordered new Saabs with the help of a Swedish intermediary. After Ruud Blokhuis, who has three Saab centres in the Netherlands, Driessen Autogroup also placed an order.

According to an article on BovagKrant the new Saab 9-3 Aero Sedans will be presented in the showrooms of Blokhuis in May 2014. For now it is mentioned Blokhuis has ordered three models. The Dutch entrepreneur aims at a positive impuls for the brand experience in the Netherlands. “Saab is and remains a niche brand. We don’t expect to realise substantial sales numbers, but we predominantly focus on the Saab enthusiasts who would love to again drive a new Saab. (…) When there is serious interest we will of course pick up more Saabs from Sweden.” Sales prices and terms of delivery are not yet known.

Also Driessen Autogroup jumped at the opportunity to supply loyal Saab customers with new Saabs, according to an article on Automotive Online. “We have a big and loyal group of Saab fans in Brabant (province of the Netherlands) who are without a doubt happy with this initiative”, says Jeroen Smits, Chief Operational Officer at Driessen Autogroup. Smits also recognizes an interesting opportunity for the business market with the upcoming electric Saab 9-3.

These interesting and positive actions follow the initiative of the Swedish Saab dealer who ordered a couple of new Saabs for his customers, as mentioned here on SU earlier on. It sounds like a good business case for Saab centres. They know loyal Saab customers who want to buy a Saab and they do them a huge favour. Of course it’s a relatively big investment for the companies involved, but they could for example work with a pre-order system.

Hopefully this news can inspire other Saab dealers, at least for now all over Europe. Imagine if multiple dealers per country would order a couple of Saabs, the total sales numbers of new Saabs could get a significant boost during the restart of production. Of course the sale of these first cars can have an advantage as the demand side of fans has been waiting for some time, so it’s no guarantee for a steady increase of sales numbers, but it’s an important start with a hopefully global future of Saab and its future models in mind. Customers waiting for a new Saab can be adequately serviced with a new Saab, and Saab centres can continue working with new Saabs, hereby definitely improving the Saab experience in the respective markets.

Maybe ask your trusted Saab centre about the possibilities, and who knows what little but valuable impulses we can offer for the Saab brand together.

28 thoughts on “Dutch Saab dealers order new Saabs”

  1. I am really pleased for the lucky Saab enthusiasts, and others, in Sweden and The Netherlands, who will fairly soon once again have the chance to go to a Saab dealer and order a new car that isn’t a Lexus, Alfra Romeo, BMW or the like.

    But do spare a thought for us in the UK, because until and unless Trolhattan once again starts to build Saabs in RHD, the experience is not one we’ll be able to share. More’s the pity.

  2. If dealers think it is worthwhile to find a way to bring the cars in, it seems that NEVS should exhibit more initiative to be involved. Perhaps seeing this kind of interest will prod them along.

  3. Devils advocate and everything (yes I know Angelo will have a field trip with this comment):
    I’m not saying that this is bad news but if these are ordered in December the sales for that month are somewhat skewed.
    Selling cars to a dealer and have them standing in a showroom doesn’t equal market demand.
    It does however equal dealers having faith in the brand and that is also important but regardless, if you have all the dealers in the world on board but no one sells the product…

    Just saying.

    But we are hoping for the best ! And hopefully this will get the word out to even more people that the brand is back and alive!

    • Beakon: I don’t know about having a field day—-i don’t want to be responsible for more people staying off the site for six months. But seriously, this seems to be quite the long end around to get the word out that the brand is back and alive—-I mean, there are easier ways to accomplish that!

      • Understand what you mean, Angelo. Personally I agree with you about the importance for NEVS (as new owners of the brand Saab) to communicate to Saab owners that they are back with Saab and are working on it to eventually bring Saab back globally (as they always state their marketing will be global, regardless of certain focus markets). As you mentioned recenlty in a reply, this could be done quite simply (in the bigger scheme of putting the business back on track again) by just communicating more about the fact that Saab is back, letting people know they value their great loyalty as is characteristic for Saab customers and that they can buy a new Saab eventually. And assuring us fans that they value the Saab values (Scandinavian design, smart innovation, good perfomance and the fun to drive).

        But of course these actions of the dealers do two things in one: bringing Saab back to the market and communicating about Saab at the same time. A good beginning, which will hopefully be backed by more communication and advertising (about the current products (which are still in smaller numbers) and future plans with hopefully more Saabs available for more markets). A structure in which NEVS with Saab, importers, dealers/service centers and customers in many Saab markets can all promote and experience an active Saab brand again.

        • Ward: I have another analogy to describe how I feel about NEVS lack of communication and how I think other Saab “family members” feel about it: If your sister announced that she has a serious new boyfriend and they’re talking marriage—-and she brought him over for your Mom’s birthday to meet all the relatives, people would be very interested in meeting him/getting to know him. If he sat in a room watching television and wouldn’t circulate and meet everyone—-you’d probably think that was strange. If he gave abrupt one word answers to questions and was aloof—-looked away when you tried to engage him—-wouldn’t answer questions about his relationship with your sister, where they will live if they get married, etc.—-you’d probably feel some hostility toward him based on distrust. He might be a great guy—-in love with your sister and would be a good husband and Dad, but his lack of social skills would have you upset about what your sister was getting into. Conversely, if the same guy was outgoing—-friendly toward the family, offering to bring a drink to your elderly grandmother, talking to little children, etc., you’d say, “Sis made a great choice, I like this guy!” Well, NEVS is behaving like the first scenario. Whether they are competent/capable or not, they are being judged because of their absolute tone-deaf approach toward people who love Saab. (I happen to think they have smart, talented people on board—-and can actually do some very good things with Saab—-they have to improve on how they interact with us though.).

          • It could be that he is the type who doesn’t want to invest his time in her small eccentric family until he is convinced that the marriage will be accepted by his large homogeneous group of friends. If he ever comes around to wanting to know you. you will have to decide if you will put on a good front because you like his wife so much.

            On the other hand, some family members might be happy enough that he proposed to the sister no one else wanted.

            • You know 3cyl, everything you said makes sense—-points well taken, especially the last one. Sometimes carrying a metaphor further teaches the person who came up with it in the first place something new.

    • I e-mailed NEVS re the Dutch sales – this is their reply.
      No! None of those cars where orderd by any of the Dutch Saab Dealers! I hope that we can Saab can return to the Netherlands someday.

      Hope this from NEVS Customer Support clarifies things.

      • Hi, I don’t think this really clarifies things, I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Quite a strange reply from an official company beginning with “No!” and exclamation marks. But of course, if they look into their orders, the orders are placed (as is mentioned in the post) by an intermediary. One of the Saab centers in question, Saab Utrecht, communicates about the news itself here: http://www.utrecht-saab.nl/
        Their intention is to make it easier for Dutch (potential) buyers to experience the car and they can also help them with ordering a new Saab.

        • I asked NEVS if any of the 31 December sales were to Dutch dealers. Their reply “No! None of those cars where orderd by any of the Dutch Saab Dealers! I hope that we can Saab can return to the Netherlands someday.” is clear enough.

          • The only thing I can conclude out of what you’re trying to say with ‘clarifies’ and ‘clear enough’ is that you think the Dutch Saab centers just make this up. Why? With news items from various sources, clear explanation from the entrepreneurs in those news items and personal communication with the centers, I can only say that the Saab centers ordered new Saabs.

            A couple of points in the quoted sentences appear quite strange to me, such as the beginning with “No!” and the following exclamation mark trying to stress the fact that no cars would be ordered by Dutch Saab dealers (not a very official way of answering) and after that the use of “I …”. Wouldn’t that be “We…” (as it is NEVS answering a question about their future plans)?

            Again, a Swedish intermediary is the one who placed the orders directly at NEVS. So maybe they just don’t recognize the placed orders as orders placed by Dutch Saab centers. Technically, an intermediary is their direct customer. But I think they should and do know that the cars in question have the Netherlands as their destination. Or, if you specifically asked them about the mentioned 31 sold cars in December, maybe the Dutch centers ordered the Saabs after December and NEVS just answers in a very strict way about only the December sales, but I can’t imagine that.

            Either way, new Saabs are ordered by Dutch Saab centers so Saab customers can have a closer look in the Netherlands. The Saab centers receive unanimously positive reactions, so I expect a small but nice beginning of following orders for new Saabs.

            • I emailed NEVS IN response to a post from Beakon, who felt that the December figures were “somewhat skewed”. I take your point re the intermediary placing the orders and perhaps I should have asked if the December sales were all to individual buyers. And, yes, the answer from NEVS was in clumsy English, but the exclamation mark simply emphasised the negative answer.
              I don`t doubt, and am happy to hear, that Dutch dealers have ordered cars.

  4. I find it disturbing that I have to find out about SAAB other than from SAAB(Nevs).

    They have a heading listed as “news” on their website but perhaps it should be listed as “history” because by the time they post the “news” I’ve seen it elsewhere.

    No excuses for Nevs — PR is at best — lamentable; at worst — contemptuous.

  5. ” Imagine if multiple dealers per country would order a couple of Saabs, the total sales numbers of new Saabs could get a significant boost during the restart of production.”

    You have to be kidding with this remark. I have no idea how many former dealers there or or how many countries, although actually there are no dealers. But for the sake of argument, lets sat 10 dealers and 15 countries. That’s 150 dealers, and if they each order 2 cars that’s a grand total of 300 cars. Granted, that’s a “significant” percentage increase over the 31 cars so in December. But for a car company, that’s not “significant,” that’s pathetic. Even when the real Saab (as opposed to the Saab in name only company we have now) was down to only about 100,000 cars a year in 2008, that’s more cars per day than what the dealers would buy under this scenario.

    I’m afraid that the further into this we’re getting, the more proof we have that this is a rinky-dinky operation that is thinking small about just about everything. The investors are afraid to go all in. They can’t identify whether or not they’re coming back to the US. They can’t lay the groundwork in advertising or even free media for the reintroduction of Saab as an EV car or petrol face-lift. They can’t put together a sales network whether dealer based, or otherwise. They can’t even have a reputable web site. Why will the public, whether present and former Saab owner or new buyers, give them any trust for a major purchase, assuming that they even know the’re Saabs to be had?

    • No dealer network organized to sell new Saabs—-so the desire is for non-dealers (former dealers) to pool their resources to get a blanket order in the dozens. Here is a question to ponder: At what point in time (what year) will NEVS produce its 100,000th Saab? Previous question: WILL NEVS ever make it to 100,000 units? Because instead of talking in the dozens or hundreds, realistically, we need to be talking in the tens of thousands, relatively quickly, for this to have any chance at all in China, Sweden, other parts of Europe, North America, the former planet known as Pluto, etc.

    • @ Hugh: I’m certainly not kidding. Instead of just saying what’s not working good, we can also try to support the rebuilding of Saab as a brand. Just like we did in difficult times during the bankruptcy. Now with positive initiatives like these. It is extraordinary how much Saab fans care for the brand and what they do for the brand. That support is needed just as much now as it was then. Like you say yourself, an order of a couple of hundred Saabs is not much, but it is a couple of hundred more than there are without these efforts. More customers can drive new Saabs. Saab gets more orders and is getting more visible again. That is worthwhile.

      Of course, it’s a very important and lucrative action for a company to move towards (loyal) customers. This is happening a little (via SU, the appearance and information during Saab Festival, the content of their communication), but it can still be improved a lot more. But, as is clear in many many instances, Saab fans are very enthousiastic. They support the brand to the fullest, many times against what would financially be the most sensible choice. Think about Muller, think about Saab dealers, think about Saab drivers. Because they are passionate about Saab and they love to drive Saabs. You can choose to sit and wait, while being right when ‘demanding’ that NEVS comes to you, even if that is a risk that you have to wait a long time. You can also be proactive, like the Saab centers in Sweden and the Netherlands, who go to NEVS and bring Saab back. By doing that, we can ourselves try to contribute to the return of Saab, as that is eventually what we are all going for.

      • I don’t disagree really with anything you say, every little bit helps. But a lot of us think that “a little” won’t mean much unless NEVS starts spreading the news that Saab is alive, that new models including an EV are on the way. Use free media, use paid advertising, but start creating a little buzz, a little anticipation, etc.

        • I agree with you. I don’t think the sales numbers are strange at the moment with the publicity and advertising in mind. Hopefully, with the face-lift, line up of convertible, sedan, SportCombi and the 9-3 EV, there will be much more advertising and publicity. And eventually with an all new Saab based on the Phoenix platform.

  6. Ok, here is my 2 cents, way to many assumptions about why Nevs hasn’t done this or that. In Angelo’s analogy the Dude shuts his mouth when meeting everyone because there is a screw job coming,,, No marriage,No future just a good screwing at least for the dude.

    The agenda of this company thus far, by its lack of communication absolutely goes against Marketing 101,,, its not because they don’t know better,, it doesn’t matter to them. No other way to put it.. They have plans alright,, just not what we think or want.

  7. Ok, here is my 2 cents, In Angelo’s analogy the Dude shuts his mouth when meeting everyone know why?less is better, he doesn’t want to be exposed because there is a screw job coming,,, No marriage,No future just a good screwing at least for the dude.,

    The agenda of this company thus far, by its lack of communication absolutely goes against Marketing 101,,, its not because they don’t know better,, it doesn’t matter to them. No other way to put it.. They have plans alright,, just not what we think or want.

  8. I think in all fairness that it’s probably not worth their while doing a lot of marketing given they are only licensed to sell 1000 units per year, plus it’s an old model so it makes sense to hold off until the new model is ready for sale to the general public. Don’t get me wrong, the current 93 is a beautiful car and I’m very disappointed that our market (UK) amongst others will not see this model for sale, but I can understand that they don’t want to overspend at the moment until they have a new model and a stronger sales model they can entice new and old SAAB customers with.

    Things are moving, slowly but moving and we just have to be a bit more patient. I think the end result will be a pleasant surprise to us all!

  9. Great news for those few enthusiasts that are willing to pay a today’s price for a yesterday’s model. This Dutchman will wait until real new SAAB’s come available. Hopefully 2015.

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