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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if someone's already posted this, but according to automotive news, as of 2/01/05:

Saab 9-2 - 3,200 units in stock, a 379 day supply.

Saab 9-3 - 18,900 units in stock, a 398 day supply.

Saab 9-5 - 4,900 units in stock, a 397 day supply.

In January of 2005, the average Saab dealer sold 7 cars, down from 15 for the month of January 2004.
 

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With the only new cars being the 9-2X and the 9-7X I am not at all surprised. It really upsets me that the once unique and innovative SAAB is now a joke.
 

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Saab Woes

Local dealer here in the Chicago area just cut prices on new Saabs by $7000 to $10,000 US because no one is buying, leasing, or even dropping by. The problem is Saab (Snob) has just 7 dealers in IL and all are located in affluent areas. Lexus is all over the place and selling tons of cars in the same price range. Volvo is also selling lots of cars, but they have lots of dealerships. Get the drift? You don't sell cars if no one is selling them!
If Saab/GM wants to sell cars they should sell them through Cadillac dealers and start a major expansion of their dealer network. You can't sell cars if your customers have to drive 30+ miles to purchase them or get service.
 

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midway said:
Local dealer here in the Chicago area just cut prices on new Saabs by $7000 to $10,000 US because no one is buying, leasing, or even dropping by. The problem is Saab (Snob) has just 7 dealers in IL and all are located in affluent areas. Lexus is all over the place and selling tons of cars in the same price range. Volvo is also selling lots of cars, but they have lots of dealerships. Get the drift? You don't sell cars if no one is selling them!
If Saab/GM wants to sell cars they should sell them through Cadillac dealers and start a major expansion of their dealer network. You can't sell cars if your customers have to drive 30+ miles to purchase them or get service.
This is partly what killed Alfa in the US. Having to overcome a bad rep from early problematic cars. They tried selling through Chrysler dealers but it didn't do the trick. Both my 164 sedans (base and "S") and 2 Spiders I had (86 and 91) were gems, very good cars. Saab's sales numbers and reputation is heading in the wrong direction I'm afraid. I love my Aero, it's been a great car aside from some grinding from 1 to 2 on the manual gearbox.
 

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midway said:
Local dealer here in the Chicago area just cut prices on new Saabs by $7000 to $10,000 US because no one is buying, leasing, or even dropping by. The problem is Saab (Snob) has just 7 dealers in IL and all are located in affluent areas. Lexus is all over the place and selling tons of cars in the same price range. Volvo is also selling lots of cars, but they have lots of dealerships. Get the drift? You don't sell cars if no one is selling them!
If Saab/GM wants to sell cars they should sell them through Cadillac dealers and start a major expansion of their dealer network. You can't sell cars if your customers have to drive 30+ miles to purchase them or get service.
This is why the expansion of the vehicle line has been a number one priority for SAAB leadership. To sell you need dealers. Dealers must make money to continue in business and provide quality service. Selling only two models did not offer many dealerships, except in the larger markets, sufficient volume to make the investment in dealership facilities and training to operate a quality dealership. In order to create more dealerships, SAAB needed to offer more vehicle types to increase dealer volume. SAAB also, about 6 or 7 years ago, began a dealership upgrade plan in the United States to require dealers to build seperate dealership facilities and to upgrade their services. These efforts take time, but are beginning to bear some fruit.

I don't necessarily know why some criticize SAAB for trying to expand their vehicle offerings. Some would have SAAB selling only 2-door hatchbacks or, if more liberal minded, 4-door hatchbacks. Such a choice would limit the total potential maximum market for SAAB's. Unfortunately, with the high development and regulatory costs of modern car design and with the need for volume to support dealership networks, the sale of only 2-door hatchbacks makes no business sense - regardless of whether SAAB is independent or owned by GM or Toyota or whomever. With the exception of a few, high-price, low-volume niche and specialty producers, car makers need to offer a wide variety of vehicle types to ensure the critical mass necessary for continued development.
 

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My local dealer is SAAB only. I know the owner pretty well. I asked him about SaabUSA forcing him to remodel his dealer. The dealer is in the rundown part of Portland. Its been in the same location for 40+ years. The street was full of new car dealers back in the 60-70's. The Saab dealer is the only new car dealer on the street, the rest are crappy used car places. He bought a new 20K Saab sign for the front of the dealer. He said thats all he's buying. He can't afford to remodel the dealer when he only sells 4 new cars a month. I totally agree with him.
 

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Why do car manufactures insist that every car in their lineup must have a huge sales volume?

Why can't they target a car for a smaller sales volume and work to that number?

If SAAB/GM knows it can only move 50,000 cars a year, then why set goals of 100,000 and then become surprised when it doesn't happen. (The numbers are probably off, but the example still holds!)

I would imagine that some cost cutting or price raising would be in order, but it just seem ridiculous to try and have every car in the lineup with an unrealistic sales volume.

I know SAAB will never sell more cars than Volvo. So why can't they just accept that and work within their volume to become profitable.
 

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Saab Woes

You won't sell any cars if you do not have dealers where the potential customers are. GM/SAAB blew a great opportunity when GM dumped Oldsmobile. Some of the former Olds dealers should have been converted into SAAB Dealerships. They already had locations, staff, mechanics, and local reputations. Instead in Chicago SAAB dealers hide in virtually gated communities, and if you read the dealer stickers on the cars in traffic, 90% of the Saabs on the road here came from neighboring states. My first mechanic thought there was only one SAAB dealer in IL until we had to search for a rare part! Even then we had to order it from New Jersey.

You can argue all you like about the content of McDonalds menu, or howmany burgers sold, but if there is no McDonalds in your area it is moot.
 

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The lack of dealerships is an interesting question. We've only ever had one here in Hobart (small city - 200,000 people) but there's a huge proportion of Saabs here. We just had our national car club touring down here over the Easter weekend and all the mainlanders were very surprised by the number of Saabs they saw on the road.

I guess the more exposure people get to the cars and the more they realise the value for money they are getting, the more likely they are to pick one up in the future. I had some family visiting from the mainland over Easter as well, and it was my brother-in-law's first Saab experience and he came away pretty impressed (the car club tour and exposure to a bunch of different vehicles helped a lot too).

I just found a review of the 9-3 Convertible and it's interesting as it was obviously the cadet motoring journo's first time in a Saab (You put the key in between the seats - like, Wow!!). All those little quirky things getting noticed for the first time.

I think maybe the marketplace needs more of these first experiences.
 

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As now part of the Saab Team - the inside report of 9-2X Sales from the dealership I work at in Doylestown was about 5 or 6 sold.... now that's just pathetic, and not the fact that they can't sell these cars, the fact that someone thought it was a good idea to produce.....
The sales for the 9-3's aren't great but they are still moving those cars - the 9-5's are doing OK however considering the price. Currently they aren't even thinking 9-7X but rather the word Combi is on their minds. The hope that this new car will turn the Saab world back around is the thoughts in everyones mind. As long as they don't dumb that car down and get "GM chinky" in the long run, I personally think it will make the grade if the advertisement is there. The future is there - just as to which direction they go all resides on the GM/Saab team now. I jsut wanna get the training and become a Saab certified Master Tech before they go under, if they do - that's all I ask! (then it's specialty shop time :roll:)

~BurnsSide42~
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree; I think that the Combi needs to be what draws people into the showrooms. The buzz (as far as I can tell) seems to be pretty positive
 
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