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!
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.
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.
Image: Richard for saabblog.net