Saab drivers in Switzerland have received special mail in the past few days. Saabian in every detail ... a new generation of Saab is announced. What is behind it ... or better asked who? The answer can be found on the last page of the prospectus.
Mercedes Benz plays the Saab card. Would you have expected that? The colors of the brochure can be assigned to Saab. The choice of words - boarding, fast seat belts, take off ... also! Everything stays the same. Only the brand changes. Made intelligently! Mercedes wants Saab drivers. The offer includes 5 days of driving a Mercedes, because that simplifies the uncomplicated getting to know each other.
Direct actions courting Saab drivers are not new. Opel wanted to impress 9-5 customers for the Insignia, BMW was 2012 behind Saab drivers ago. The car market is highly competitive, every target group, no matter how small, is advertised.
The automakers currently steer in rougher sea. Europe's largest manufacturer is in a situation whose outcome is difficult to predict. To keep the steamer on course, the price screw is turned. The leasing rate for conquest purchases is calculated mercilessly small.
An Audi convertible, an SUV, a new VW, there is the monthly lease price of a good lunch in the fine dining. What has happened to me in the last few weeks in the mailbox, has the smell of sell-off prices. The car will be canceled, lands on the garbage table, if prices apply only today, only this week, only this month.
The perception problems of the manufacturers.
The times are good for buyers! Especially when it comes to a conquest purchase. Third-party brand is delivered, but the manufacturer takes deep into the pocket with subsidized leasing rates. Which should not obscure the fact that the car companies suffer from perception problems. No sooner is the customer with his own make on the way, all the pretty promises and nice kindness are collected. An existing customer is less than the possible conquest. Brand loyalty is a generic term for company blind people who can not lease or buy their vehicle at the great prices of the first customers.
It gets bitter when you return your leased vehicle after it has expired and not take another vehicle on the terms of an existing customer. There are a few brands where inspectors sneak around the used sheet metal with a magnifying glass, note every deviation from the new car condition, and send a hefty farewell invoice. It doesn't matter that the customer is lost forever at this moment. Only conquest purchases count.
Brand loyalty - the Saab situation.
Saab no longer has any new cars. Conquest purchases - does not appear in vocabulary (anymore). The situation is much, much more difficult. How does Saab keep customers with the aging car brand? Maybe we should first define who Saab is. It's certainly not the blog, it's a private matter. It is not NEVS, and if it does, then you hide it terribly. If Orio stays, the Saab dealers fight upright.
With regard to the brutally cheap lure offers - how do you want to counter this? Are everyone involved pulling together? Do we find ourselves in good hands, rewarded for brand loyalty? Do we feel that enough is being done? I'm not talking about two mailings a year now. It's about soft factors, the fun of the brand, the special feeling of owning a Saab. The special philosophy, the bond between the Saab drivers. Do we trust that everything possible will be done so that we can drive and live Saab for the next 5 to 10 years, or as long as we like?
I am unsure of the answers. There are Saab partners who live the brand. It's fun to drive into the yard there; and if the bill is a little higher, you can forgive it. Because they are Saab with body and soul. That's the positive side. Unfortunately, there are also workshops with Saab signs, so customers can expect the opposite.
What do we expect for the next years? What could further immunize us against being wooed by other brands? There were already some suggestions on the blog. Orio and Saab partners read with. Ideas are welcome, our readers have the word.
Back to Mercedes and the advertising idea. I find it successful, courageous, with a wink. "So everything stays different ...”Shows that you have understood. Nevertheless, dear Mercedes people, your cars are respectable. But I'll stay with Saab. To put it in the Mercedes language: the original, or nothing!