Saab partners did not have it easy. The last years have been turbulent, and I take my hat off to any partner who has brought his company through the hard times. Each dealer has his own approach to master the current situation. Some Saab partners actively trade with used Saabs and do good business. They drive long distances, buy interesting vehicles from all over Europe or import Saabs from the USA or Sweden. The customers thank it. For example, that would be there Saab center in Mainzwhich was able to sell some vehicles via the blog last year.
Or Saab Service Kiel: the company imports from the US and Sweden and has made a name for itself as a competence team for the last vehicles built in Trollhättan. Currently one has one of the last, very attractive Saab 9-3 Griffin sportswear standing in the yard. Or that Saab center in Bambergwhich has secretly developed into a Turbo X center. During one of my visits, there were three cult Swedes in the yard, almost as good as new. They are now sold. Ralf Muckelbauer keeps getting attractive used cars and sells them to his regular Saab customers, mostly without an advertisement.
The list could be continued, because there are only three examples, and there is much more. The Saab Spirit also lives in many other places.
Of course, there is also a sense of sentimentality behind all this, the sadness of bygone times. Like many fans, we live our brand daily. At the top is the preservation and long-term preservation of our vehicles. Even at young Saabs many traders offer a comprehensive rust prevention that goes beyond the normal level. And you actively take care of the older vehicles, the classic cars and Trollhättan classics.
Youngtimers and classics are the topic of the future, regardless of how Sweden can continue. Because this topic can be planned, while in Trollhättan many question marks and possibilities alternate with each other. In Bamberg, a whole collection of small specialized companies, called screw connections, which are completely dedicated to the old metal sheet, are grouped around the workshop building. Painters, upholsterers and sheet metal processing all on one site. The screw connection is well known far beyond Bamberg, and in the middle of the area the Saab center has its workshop.
If we want to keep the heart of the brand going, that's the way to go. Defective mechanics can be repaired, a replacement machine can always be found. High mileage is not an issue in a Saab, the cars are mature, super comfortable and will provide in a few years what we really need. Not what the ads want us to believe, that we should need. Thomas has a great few months ago Appeal on Saab 9-5 written. It really does not need more words. Who cares about his Saab, some money invested in additional rust prevention, which will have many years his turbo-charged fun.
Our dealers, many of whom are small family businesses, help us with our passion. And this unique Saab dealer culture, where some businesses are now managed by the second generation, is a stroke of luck for us. The customer-dealer relationship is often unique because it is particularly close.
Just one example: on our Saab 9000, the windscreen washer valves are defective. Successively, both components acknowledged the service. These are small, cheap plastic parts worth a few euros. What to do? Driving to the Opel dealer around the corner who still does Saab service, but the
maybe does not feel like ordering small parts? Incidentally, he orders big and quick orders, as Saab fans report in the area. Or put in the car, drive 70 kilometers perhaps for nothing, because the next partner may not have the small parts in stock?
For us it works like this: we have something like a non-official agreement with the Saab Center Bamberg running. We call, describe the problem, and the next day the parts come straight to our front door from Nyköping. If the ordered goods are there, we will notify Bamberg. Then the bill comes and we pay. Is there such a thing at a Mercedes, Audi or VW dealer? Hardly likely ! That's just the Saab Spirit or the strong Saab heart that is still beating.
We know exactly what we have on our family businesses. And we appreciate the local Saab-Talk, which only exists there. The traditional dealers are part of the Saab culture, and some of them will be on board when they reboot. That's why it's time to pay more attention to the dealers on the blog as well. From time to time we visit a Saab partner and report about it. On Wednesday I tell about my visit to a Saab partner in the Rhineland.