In many countries around the world, Saab fans were on the road this weekend to show their commitment to their brand. Somehow, it leaves me with a proud, but also a sad feeling. I was not there for the weekend, partly because of family reasons, but also because of reasons that are due to our brand with the Greif. Maybe more at a later time.
The Saab community is alive, as we showed on the weekend. In Germany, I count the events in Berlin, Bremen, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart together, over 200 Saabs on the wheels. Not bad for an event that started at an unfavorable time of year and under the not-so-ideal conditions.
Because somehow part of the community has gotten tired of what I understand. We have been fighting for Saab for almost a year now and the patient is now in intensive care. But, the Saab story has not yet reached the end of the road. There is a lot of activity behind the scenes in Sweden, even if nothing is in the press about it.
It's not over yet! It wasn't just the Saab meetings that showed it. Other indicators also suggest that this brand will not simply go away. All over the country, new Saab groups of friends and get-togethers are emerging. Many of the traditional Saab partners will, as it currently seems, stay with the brand and continue to offer workshop services. The best indicator, however, is the used car market.
The old Saab 9-5 MK III, as I now call the chrome glasses, is developing into an investment. A good 9-5 station wagon from 2007 with reasonable mileage and good equipment is more expensive today than a year ago. If, yes if, you get one at all. It is easy to see that the rare chrome glasses will be a sought-after and rare youngtimer in, say, 10 years.
The development of the 9-3 is not quite so. A much, much larger range than the 9-5 and no original Saab engines and gearboxes, but a little more GM - which, however, is not a drawback in everyday life - make the 9-3 not quite as desirable at first glance. However, once you have taken a seat in the Saab 9-3, you will appreciate it as a confident and relaxed, turbocharged, Swedish car.
Because fans love and buy Saabs. Many would lack the understated brand from Sweden if the gates in Trollhättan were closed forever. The poor German registration numbers from 2011 are only part of the truth. The market would be there, so would the demand, it depends on what you make of it. An established Saab dealer in the north of the republic sold more Saabs in 2011 than in 2010. How does it work? Simply get new Saabs from all parts of the world on your own initiative. You just have to have ideas ...
Other dealers who have contact with me see the situation as relaxed. The stocks are not sold out. A new Saab, or a demonstration car, in the right color or equipment will find its buyer, either way. "Just be patient, because there are many who want a new one now," a Saab partner said to me.
And some Saab customers prove to be as stubborn as if they had Swedish roots. Orders for new 9-5 or 9-4x will not be canceled, but will be kept and confirmed again. Even if there is currently relatively little hope that we will get these new cars.
The Saab Events were a strong signal. It shows that the brand is desirable. For the Saab drivers, but also for the potential buyers. What other car brand can mobilize fans in 4 countries within 42 weeks? Without the support of the manufacturer ...
An investment in Saab will pay off in the long term. The market is there. The buyers too. We are waiting for good news. My potential favorite investor has been reading along for a few days now. Welcome to Saab!