This article was written in autumn 2011 after the Saab dealer tour in Germany. He was never released because of the tragic events in Trollhättan. At the request of some readers, I now publish this article, which reflects the optimism of last year. A reading for the start of the weekend.
Close to the thirst. That's the right expression when I want to describe the condition of Saab customers and Saab dealers. We literally lick for new models from Trollhättan. Because, let's be honest, after the third Saab 9-5 in a row since 1998 it is getting a bit bland. The most important question therefore at the end of the series: How come Saab 9-4x and Saab 9-5 sports in the fans?
At least with the Saab Germany team there was a lot of enthusiasm during the pick-up in Sweden, which continued over the following weeks. Even with the Saab drivers who filmed us on the highway or spoke to gas stations or ferries, the approval was great.
In the dealerships it went on. The design of the Saab 9-4x and Saab 9-5 sports trolley was considered very straightforward and Scandinavian. Modern but not fashionable. Very often came the comparison with the new Mercedes E-Class, which drops in design and celebrates a beading and Edging Festival. That does not work well.
Even the interior design is considered as typical Saab. The Saab 9-5 sports trolley pre-series model 2012 anticipated and has a new design of the center console. That was very well received.
However, the surprise star was the Saab 9-4x. Actually, we had expected in the team with a diesel discussion. Because a diesel does not exist, and does not come. No matter, there are many customers with relatively low annual mileage, as the question gasoline or diesel no longer matters. The current price development of diesel fuel is doing the rest.
Very often we heard the following words ".. Actually, I'm not an SUV fan. No, I never wanted an SUV. But the Saab 9-4x ... "Also many drivers of" foreign brands "came to the Saab centers and found the Saab 9-4x absolutely great. If our 9-4x had been on sale, it would already have been sold in Hamburg. I dare a prognosis: For Germany 2012 will only give a small number of Saab 9-4x. I bet we'll see a "sold out" on a Saab for the first time in years.
The majority of customers will still resort to the station wagon. The Saab 9-5 with four-wheel drive and powerful engine is high on the wish list. Without exception, the continuous LED taillights were admired on both models. Light on, light off. More than once, our battery was empty.
Is the size of the 9-5 sportswear a problem? Apparently not. Because he is tall, but still looks elegant and also offers in the interior of a corresponding countervalue. This is accepted by the customer.
What about customers who have migrated? Several Saab riders have switched to Jaguar or BMW in recent months. I have spoken with some and the opinion is so clear that I am almost tempted to say that she is representative. The cars are good, but you do not feel well. "That's just not Saab .." you get told. The customers come back.
Then there are Saab drivers who have switched to Gothenburg for the other brand. Strangely enough, they still come to the Saab presentation, they usually still have a second Saab in the family. Some Saab dealers also have the Gothenburg brand on offer. In a quiet half hour, I took a closer look at the alternative from Sweden. After careful consideration, I came to a decision. One is Saab person and feels good in the Saab, and only there. Or you are a fan of the other brand ...
A special mood barometer are petrol stations. If I were an opinion poller, I would build my office there. At petrol stations you can meet people who did not have Saab on the map before. The Saab enthusiasm for the new Swedes went from "Sau-g ... .." (gas station Hamburg) to an immoral exchange offer of a young lady to the blogger (gas station Hesse). Any questions ?
All right then, after the tour. Nearly. Because the tour is just a start. I could see how Saab Germany is ticking and working. I know the ideas for the future and I see the change. Saab moves close to the community.
If I asked my glass ball about the future of the small brand from Trollhättan in Germany, they would say the following:
"The course is right and the first step is done. It is only a small step. Customers and dealers need a lot of attention in the coming months and years. This requires listening and the willingness to go new ways. The road is not easy, but the products are right, the dealers are loyal and motivated, and the Saab fans are unique. "
As always, she would be right, my glass ball. And yes, I know, Frankfurt reads with ...
The Saab Dealer Tour in Germany at a glance: