Economy. The Saab future is decided now. (2 / 2)

The design of the interior and the materials used are from a past century. This will not change the used parts from Germany. So you can summarize the opinion of the British power press on the MG6. After many years of unsuccessful investment in the brand, SAIC-MG is now seeking the challenge. The MG6 will be available in Germany later this year. A challenge ! But Germany is the measure of all things in the automotive sector. A key market that could also decide the future for Saab 2.0!

Will the Saab brand shine again soon? A challenge for Saab 2.0
Will the Saab brand shine again soon? A challenge for Saab 2.0

Key market = Germany

Germany has long been considered problematic in the Saab world. Permanent changing managing directors, ever shrinking market shares. Which was largely due to GM and the “direct dealer” concept prescribed from Detroit. Not enough freedom for the individual regions and bad for the Swedes. Because Germany is the largest market in Europe and the most prestigious. What's going on in the home of BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen and Co. is going everywhere. There is the “Autobahn” myth, there are Zuffenhausen, Untertürkheim, Wolfsburg and Munich. Terms that electrify PS fans around the world. Every Saab sold here is worth as much as 10 in Spain, Portugal or England.

What could happen if you were allowed to as you want, you could guess in the beginning in recent years. The Saab dealer tour 2011 was an idea and was adopted by other markets. The strongly developing sales market for Saab Parts AB or our joint tour from Kiel to Trollhättan give a small outlook on the potential behind the brand. That the Germans, after the Swedes, were the largest group of visitors at the Saab Festival speaks for itself! And that the former Saab Germany and now Saab Parts boss, Jan-Philipp Schuhmacher, was there as the only high-ranking representative of the markets, is a clear statement.

Saab 2.0 could, that is the charm of a startup, go new, unconventional ways in sales, marketing and customer dialogue. Smaller is sometimes better than bigger, because faster and less bureaucratic. It only depends on what you make of the opportunities. Theoretically, there could be a new, small, fine Saab sales company in Germany next year.

Which is really pure theory. Because we still do not know anything about prices and the distribution channel. However, it would be obvious to use the existing Saab dealer network and to rebuild the market using the existing structures - with the active partners. In Eschborn, ready-made plans with a concept based on a sense of proportion were in the drawer. This would give the Saab brand an opportunity that is no more or less than free time.

Gifted time

Land Rover has the Defender. Nobody expects a winning comparison test or a production record here. Which would not be possible due to the production method. At Saab, the story is somehow similar. The 9-3 is a classic that - if modernized - could be built for a certain period of time. Not a long period of time, maybe it would be 2 years, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. Not a large number, probably a single-shift operation with a low clock rate. Nevertheless, a win-win situation for everyone involved.

The advantage: The plant in Trollhättan is running, the supply chain is in place, and the introduction of the successor, who is working on printing, is easier than with a dormant factory. The dealers - finally - get new cars. The cycle gets moving, the range of used vehicles improves. Saab gets a presence in the media, among customers, because the story around Saab is unique.

A brand that has fought desperately to survive to the end, that has a huge fan base, is coming back to the market. That would be an incredible story! Then Saab could prove to be the other, more individual brand. There are enough opportunities and there are also new ways to go. It could be exciting and exciting. The time until the successor is crucial. It must be used to prepare the ground for the actual restart: the successor to the 9-3, which will probably come in 2015 or 2016.

Chance = electric car

There was the brand Fisker! I'm not sure if she's still alive or not, but the ride in Karma left an impression. NEVS is realistic. A good 60% of the battery-powered cars go to China, and the future in China looks electric for Saab. Which is probably true, because there is the declared political will to electric mobility at home. In Germany, the battery cars bob up idly, which will change. BMW dares the adventure and plunges after the IAA on this market. The brand has a great charisma, and if someone could do it, then it is the Munich, who could make the electric car desirable.

The 9 3 electric, if done well, is also a chance for Saab. Not by the numbers, at least not in Europe. But from the image. The good old classic from Sweden shows that it is modern under the body. That too would be typical Saab again. Back on the market and at eye level with Pioneer Tesla or the people of Munich. Electric drives can be incredibly chic. It is still only a niche and may stay in Europe. But it would be a strong signal for the Saab future.

Text: tom@saabblog.net

Image: Richard for saabblog.net

20 thoughts on "Economy. The Saab future is decided now. (2 / 2)"

  • The 9-3 SC made a yellow exception in Trollhättan:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/46386541@N04/6951705959/
    And there are some people who are discouraged by a lack of color from buying a car. In Ingolstadt z. B. one gets for much more money much more choice than in the prospectus.

  • The question of the Lord was very credible and explanation of the Magna-Manager regarding the paint-possibilities also.
    At that time Magna had a paint shop for all vehicles on the production line; So once a Mercedes G, then a Saab, then a Jeep was painted, etc. the color Magna would really have been no matter. Yellow they had to mix.
    Perhaps Saab wanted to prevent someone from writing “Monte Carlo” on it later ... but I think the main thing is to sell 20 pieces at a time and get them on the street.

  • It is hard to believe that they were so intolerant, especially since there have always been yellow convertibles

  • 9-1! That's what Saab could get back into the black - mMn!

  • That's unbelievable if it's true ...

    And it would probably be more SAAB than GM to blame.

    So much autonomy SAAB has always had - even under the thumb of the Rabenmutter.

    Technical stubbornness and a certain stubbornness are reflected very nicely in the SAAB automobiles - in details and features, which one appreciates as a SAAB driver so much about the brand.
    What may be technically good and welcome has absolutely no place in other departments (sales, marketing, management). How did someone here recently ask: “Are you Swedes like that?”

    20 yellow SAAB convertibles! I just can not believe it.

  • @Bergziege
    I see that as well, the 9-3 SC is visually far from the old iron. With modern technology, such as a plug-in hybrid similar to the V60 from Gothenburg or other ideas could attract attention in a small series on itself. A hatchback classic 9-3 (III?) Would of course be the culmination.

  • Flexible would be desirable. Years ago I was at a factory tour in Graz (Saab convertible production). There was a Saab dealer with the following story told. A corporate customer wanted to order 20 yellow Saab convertibles for his operation. Magna could paint the paint without any problems only GM / Saab lay down because there are only the colors in the catalog. The customer then grudgingly bought 20 yellow Mercedes CLK. I do not understand that under the flexibility of a small manufacturer.

  • Start a new SAAB life with the 9-3 ... why not! The front view is still great! Recognizable AND elegant! The sports suit from behind: factually Swedish and yet clearly individual! The “drive” is certainly looked at in D. Economical turbos and e-mobility are not a contradiction in terms. E-mobility in particular would stand for innovation in “old” clothes. And bring the SAAB brand into the headlines! If SAAB 2.0 wants to occupy a niche, when would it be a possibility to maintain a “classic” and to change only a little. I am thinking of the example P.911. It works great! The SAAB 9-3 as a “classic”, of course also as a hatchback version (!!!) and then the other offers: 9-1, 9-4, 9-5 That would be my dream! With the “classic” you can possibly win back many old customers and fans of the hatchback, with the 9-1 possibly winning women and other hip small car fans. The 9-4 for those who want to go a little higher and the 9-5 for those who want a little more SAAB than the “classic”. But please also arrange it so that 185 cm people can get in COMFORTABLY at the back AND enjoy legroom on the long journey! The German market (customer) is also getting older!
    The fact that the Land Rover model also works has been evident for several years: here too, the “classic” Defender as a work car, the Range Rover for elegant travel options and the Land Rover “Eclipse” for hip customers! The story about the brand has to be right! And that's where we can really score with SAAB! Let's wait and see what the NEVS owners make of it… .. There are certainly committed people and dealers for SAAB in Germany! Thanks for your detailed report, Tom!

  • Really economical, it is not enough to build not only middle or upper class vehicles. Especially with the small lifestyle-flitzers, the sales figures are rising and this with partly very self-confident pricing

  • How well there are so many economic methods on board 🙂 Who says that a win - win situation depends on economic success? Or do you think NEVS is so naive and think you can earn money from the first hour? As Tom wrote, the whole thing has to start. You don't just switch an automobile factory “On” and it works. So always slowly ……… .Dult?

  • The question is what is more economical. The factory still good 2 years on standby, or build new cars with a small crew? Black numbers do not exist either way in the medium term.

  • Congratulations, Tom! Once again a very interesting, realistic and informative report.
    I didn't know that MG was still producing cars or that they were again producing cars - even though I was once the proud owner of a chic, small MG Roadster ... which I then exchanged for a second Saab at some point. The fact that I am no longer just a touch interested in “MG 2.0” is - as the picture in Part 1 of this report more than clearly expresses - because today there is hardly a big difference between an MG and, for example a Dacia (or something in this league) ... and the historic, once desirable emblem on the front grille doesn't change anything!

    As for Saab, I'm a hopeless optimist; but unfortunately I haven't seen anything so far in which NEVS would differ from SAIC-MG ...

  • Correct is 2007 and 2011

  • My impression was indeed in recent years (new car order 2007 and 2008) that the effective prices were noticeably lower than at Audi or BMW, probably a reason for the economic decline.

  • That paragraph (probably rather small) and the response of fans (relatively large) have little to do with each other, I'm afraid too.

    Few but convincing SAAB drivers showed a lot of solidarity. However, even this small community is anything but homogeneous, consisting of motorists that SAAB has served in the past with a range of engines, propulsion concepts and bodywork.

    These drivers cannot all be combined on one model. But that's exactly what NEVS will try to do for a few years after all the scant information. This means that even SAAB drivers fall out of the target group initially targeted ...

    One can really only hope that SAAB 2.0 takes this into account. A resumption of 9-3 production should be in the NEVS business plan under “Marketing” (category “Signs of Life”) and be firmly planned as “Output”. But maybe that's the way it is or something like that? That would be great.

  • "Not a large number of items, probably a single-shift operation with a low clock rate. Still a win-win situation for everyone involved"
    Small quantities are called comparatively higher costs, are called higher prices, means higher sales risk, means loss risk. Low cycle rates are called inefficiencies, which means higher costs than necessary. So economically, that's not all. Therefore, I very much doubt that this would be conducive to a win-win situation. Nevertheless I keep my fingers crossed for NEVS and the Swedes!

  • "Saab 2.0 could, that is the charm of a startup, go new, unconventional ways in sales, marketing and customer dialogue."

    ... that's absolutely true. Unfortunately, you hardly see it at NEVS. If production is to start in autumn, the beginnings of unconventional marketing and customer dialogue should be visible. But summer is here, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Space for positive surprises 🙂

  • Hi Tom,

    if only it would finally start ...

    Apart from that, I still see the problem that Saab must first come back into the public consciousness and that means advertising, advertising, advertising. Because in public Saab is dead (even before the bankruptcy, because the marketing was too low), deleted from the catalogs of all leasing companies (one of the fastest ways to be present on the market again) and quite a few consumers have now looked elsewhere ,

    That means, in my eyes, that the sales of the vehicles will most likely be much lower than you expect after the previous response of the fans. I hope that will be considered in the whole planning.

    Greetings Cetak

  • Even if the last 9³ is an “old” car in itself, it does not look old at all alongside current models from other manufacturers! On the contrary: it still exudes a certain otherness and stands out pleasantly from the everyday soup on the streets! In addition, it is practical and chic.
    The last 9³ should actually have a chance on the current market - but the price must also be right!

    If it were well above the Munich, Ingolstadt or Sindenfingern, then it would be very, very difficult ...

Comments are closed.