Farewell: Kunert Automobile AG Bonn

Today ends a chapter of Rhenish Saab tradition. Kunert Automobile AG, Saab's 1977 partner, closes its doors. Almost 40 years with Saab are a long phase; if a longtime dealer goes, then we lose a piece of brand culture.

Saab Center Bonn, Kunert Automobile AG
Saab Center Bonn, Kunert Automobile AG

Company founder Hans Jochen Kunert's automotive career began with the other Swedish brand. The relationship with Volvo was a success story ... the Kunert dealership was once the largest Volvo partner in the old Federal Republic. The end of the Volvo marriage was a break, what followed - a brave new beginning.

Saab was largely unknown to 1977. Hans Jochen Kunert was one of the first Saab dealers in Germany and the beginnings at the new location Bonn Beuel modest.

Success can be reproduced if the passion for the product is right. What was already going on with Volvo was also successful with Saab. A year later, a Japanese brand was added as a further mainstay, but space for both agencies became scarce over time. The Kunert family, daughter Inka Spira, was meanwhile also working in the company and was plagued by a problem. Give up a brand or expand?

The solution was within one's grasp - in this case across the street. A factory hall was acquired in 1993 and converted into a modern car dealership. The original 3.500 square meters of hall space was reduced to 2.000 to create space for parking spaces and outdoor exhibition space.

An impressive, bright dealership with large glass surfaces was created. 1995 was the first construction stage completed, Saab was able to move into the new domicile. At Kunerts it continues to stormy. Three years later, the company is transformed into Kunert Automobile AG, daughter Inka Spira is appointed to the Executive Board, parents Hans Jochen and Theresia Kunert appoint the Supervisory Board. At the same time, the family is selling the original business across the street and relying heavily on Saab.

The times for and with Saab are getting harder in the following years. Saab CEOs in Germany are changing faster and faster, and where Trollhättan headed was hard to say. Nevertheless, Kunert is Saab, wants to live and survive with Saab. Two legs are better, and so the Saabs share the showroom with cousins ​​from Gothenburg starting at 2005. Volvo is back, as a workshop, the family returns to its roots.

The recent past is quickly told, we all know the circumstances. GM wants to close Saab, Koenigsegg take over. Then comes Spyker Koenigsegg. The second 9-5 generation rolls into the Bonn showroom, the 9-4x is in the starting blocks. Optimism and hope.

Then the end of Saab Automobile AB, an option to restart when NEVS moves into the Stallbacka. Hopes that did not come true. Of course, there was no shortage of options. Other brands were interested in the Bonn location. Only what is Saab compatible, what can you expect from customers? Because the Saab drivers are loyal, the workshop is going well and continues to do so until the end. An online shop for Saab and Volvo parts is launched, highly praised and successful.

All of this is not enough, there is a lack of new car sales to fill the big dealership with life. The consequence is logical and courageous. "Close, as long as you can still do it yourself"Says Inka Spira to me on the phone. So one looks for a tenant for the rooms - with the responsibility for the long-term customers in the background. Find a partner in the Thomas group of companies who will keep some of the employees and want to continue operating the Saab workshop.

So, in parting, a good solution is found for the Saab drivers in Bonn. In the tradition of the Kunert family, who have always supported the Saab community. Not only did our blog and the charity project always have a big heart, other forums in the Saab world were also considered. All of this fits into the image of a responsible entrepreneur family. Founder Hans Jochen Kunert has - for years in retirement, who is not - established a foundation that helps young people in need with training and studies.

So is a piece of tradition! I say goodbye Thanks for 38 years of Rhenish Saab culture!

22 thoughts on "Farewell: Kunert Automobile AG Bonn"

  • Meanwhile, the new parts shop is online and your guess, Tom, aimed the bullseye: A former employee of Kunert, the spare parts employee, operates it. Does not look wrong, find here: http://www.schwedenparts.info

    Exciting for me, because the shop is based in my hometown, almost around the corner - so I will be able to save postage.

  • not everything is as you would like it to be. If you want to survive as a dealership, you have to worry about vehicles in the showroom. And the prices must be in line with the market. Good Saab workshops we have here in the Cologne / Bonn area (still) enough. New, or nearly new Saab hardly exists at the moment. The north also shows how to do it. Kunert could not or did not want to help entrenched Saab driving. Then 30 years of customer loyalty helps in the end nothing. I can not comment on the online shop because I have other sources. I wish the colleague more luck in the path to independence.

  • I'm not sure about 100%. According to my information, a former employee dares to jump into self-employment.

  • Who is behind the new online shop, which should run from today actually, the new tenant Thomas?

  • As sad as it is to see one of the SAAB “lighthouses” for the west of the republic disappear, one must understand the economic decision. It is difficult to live only from SAAB repairs, and even more so without a second brand - and not everyone travels long distances to the workshop, especially when it comes to acute repairs. But if the workshop is “parked” under the umbrella of another group of companies and is retained, then at least the most important part of the company at the moment lives on.

  • Generational change, that occurs in all brands. In such a situation, it is entrepreneurial sense to have a Plan B despite the passion for SAAB. All the more so when SAAB rumbles about the products for years with a completely open outcome and invests less than nothing in communication with its customers.

    At my local former SAAB base, skodas have been in the showroom for a long time for the same reason.

    You can tell when talking to those responsible - the passion for SAAB would have been there and the other brand is a bread and butter solution. However, we live on bread and butter, with all our passion.

    A company must survive even if nothing new comes from SAAB for years. Passion for hot air dissolves at some point by itself. Only with Old- or Youngtimern can not survive operation in the long run.

    Nevertheless, know-how and tools are still available and the service book of my SAAB bears the stamp of the same company.

    SAAB's are durable. However, only cars and therefore replaceable.

  • Well ... here with us in the wider area the Saab dealers have unfortunately been “dying” since the 90's ...

    Unfortunately, we had to look for new dealers again and again (we were only able to buy the first and second from the same dealer) massively expand the term “proximity” until today…. Dealers left - Saab stayed!

  • Just sad if you read that! Such a great traditional workshop that leaves us and Saab, but you have to understand it. Only with hope and optimism you can not live and survive.
    Who will be the next?
    In my Saabfolder of 2013 I still have your report from the 11.04.13 with the conversation with Mrs. Inka Spira. A very nice article full of Saabspirit. Too bad it ends so.

  • Thank you, you are talking to me from the heart. Our Saab dealers need our support and our vehicles for service in the workshop. Only in this way can we ensure our saabiges driving pleasure!

  • The SAAB friends in the Erfkreis have statistics that show the “shrinkage” of the SÄÄBE: within the last 10 years, approx. 1/3 of the registered vehicles (from road traffic) “disappeared”. Deregistered in the garage or with an H license plate were not taken into account. That shows: every support of “our SAAB dealer” is good! If the dealer / service network should be thinned out further, it will be more difficult for everyone involved …… 🙁

  • Well, that's the way it is unfortunately ... Fewer and fewer Saabs on the streets, no new cars roll off the assembly line and the information situation in Trollhättan is just as modest. For the future, this also means increasing uncertainty for workshops. Unfortunately, I can understand such decisions too well. Step by step, NEVS is also destroying the (international) workshop structure and brand loyalty.

  • If I read this, it looks quite as if the dealership, no matter under what leadership and what owners, could immediately continue with Saab, so finally there are again cars for sale. Not all that dramatic, except that the Kunert family was guilty of innocent and loyal burning.

  • This will certainly not be the last well-run SAAB company that one (NEVS, SAAB AB, new investor etc.) is starving to death with endless and at the same time annoying breathlessness - trust in Swedish "managers" is noticeably dwindling !!!!

  • Too bad, sad, shattering: This piece of Rhineland Saab history will remain in good memory.

    As a Kunert customer, I received a letter from Kunert and from VW Thomas, the tenant, who will be selling Skoda vehicles on the Kunert property a few weeks ago in a common envelope. The information of the closure hit me, despite all Saab doomsday scenarios, yet unexpectedly, I always had the hope and the belief that Kunert would survive the crisis. With it the last Saab dealer from the region says goodbye and with him a tradition cultivated for decades.

    In this dealership I had an exciting experience, well advised and fairly negotiated, bought my used vehicle and had it converted to LPG by Helmar Düx, “my expert” in Saab, Turbo and LPG matters. The workshop did a first class job. The house was always reliable and every Swede was in good hands there.

    Nevertheless, the letters were a bit comforting: the Saab service will be continued at Auto Thomas. A phone call with the future tenant made it clear that Saab customers should not change anything except the label. Thomas claims to take over the workshop staff (including Mr. Düx), the complete spare parts inventory, special tools, diagnostic equipment, etc. and also the unabridged customer base with all available data on the vehicles and workshop visits. The LPG service continues. And precisely because of the convincing competence and reliability, I will cling to this staff, although the sight, it may be possible to see them in the future in Skoda workshop suits, should get used to.

    At Kunert I address my thanks and the best wishes for the future. I wish the Saab screwdrivers remaining at Auto Thomas every success with the new employer and thank you in advance for the hopefully continued flawless Saab service.

  • Unfortunately, this will continue if something does not happen soon. In the end, new cars also have to be sold, which unfortunately are not there. Despite prophecies of doom and slight undertones (What a bankruptcy car?) I got a SAAB 9-3 KOMBI (BJ end of 2010) for not little money. I hope you will maybe be able to catch your breath again. But there is not much time left ... Greetings from the north

  • I was never there, but the name was known to the north!
    Thank you!

    And this great contribution unfortunately brings with it the bland aftertaste that this will definitely not be the last traditional SAAB company that will stay on the routes in the next few years ....

  • A pity.

    E.g. Mr. Waldorf from the “shop” was always a very helpful and humorous contact!

    All the best "from the north" ...

  • I agree with Tom: Thanks for so much SAAB spirit!

  • Too bad a good and helpful Werkstatt.Musste had once Kunert in the Saab workshop when I am left with my old 900er with a broken washer hose. Had I signed up that I would not make it to the end of the day, was not a problem for Kunert they will wait for someone. The tow truck then brought me to Bonn a replacement vehicle was ready for me could continue my journey and the next day at noon my Saab was ready to drive again.

  • THANK YOU, also for this report. A report of the sad sort. Pity about this family run company! Good for a part of the staff, who are apparently taken over.
    May there be enough SAWS in the garage at Fam. Kunert so that they too can continue to enjoy the fun! 🙂
    THANK YOU for your commitment to SAAB!
    All GOOD, you family Kunert!

  • Too bad, the online shop was first cream, the advice too!

  • A great text that makes you sad. I'm really sorry to read that. Sc .... Gm! I still drive saab no matter what

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