Taunus Tower, 6. Floor. Gently whispering, the elevator door opens. In the center of attention is the Orio logo, on the left and right the walls in bright colors. Here a Scandinavian company has its rooms, the color choice reveals it. Only companies from the Saab homeland can play with these colors.
The way into the 6. Floor was very long. He started 2011 / 12 in winter in the former premises of the Saab branch in Carl Benz Strasse in Frankfurt. He led over the intermediate station floor 17 of the Taunus Towers, until the rooms no longer met the requirements. Between level number 17 and the move to floor 6 were name changes. Saab Automobile Parts AB, Swedish Distribution Services, Orio Germany GmbH.
Orio Deutschland GmbH, a modern distributor
The doors at Orio Germany open - I am welcomed by bright, modern, Scandinavian offices. My eyes immediately fall on a large display in the entrance area. If guests are in the house, the ad is switched to the individual welcome mode. Not with me, the blog belongs to the team after all these years, so I can see what guests normally don't see.
On the panel you can see transactions and demand in the different markets in real time. Current orders, activities in the portal system, which products are in increasing demand, product groups, sums, bars, diagrams. This has something about the stock market and gives Orio the opportunity to react immediately to trends. The system is new and state-of-the-art. It is based on the new web portal, which offers items from other brands in addition to Saab products.
Managing director Jan Philipp Schuhmacher welcomes me warmly and cordially, then we start a tour of the rooms. Sales, marketing ... I meet employees who I only know from phone calls or emails. In between a familiar Saab face, it goes on. The purchasing department ... in Hessen negotiates with German suppliers and purchases them for the global market. An office has not yet been completed; the call center is being built here and will go into operation from the summer. The conference room - this is where the Orio country heads will have an international meeting the next day; then a room that serves as a place to rest and relax. Everything is subtly Swedish, the Saab heritage is present everywhere.
Success in new markets so that we can continue to be Saab
We withdraw to the office of managing director Jan Philipp Schuhmacher for a meeting. From Carl Benz Strasse to the Taunus Tower. A great challenge, an immense development. Orio Germany is stronger today than it was in Saab times. From the German department of Automobile Parts AB is a company with responsibility for Germany, which Switzerland and Austria become, with regional warehouse and with more staff than at Saab times.
Orio expands. New brands are also in the portfolio. On the screen, I was able to see the sales of these products in real time. Still, by far, Saab leads the list. Brands like Opel, Volvo, Ford are still following in the respect gap. From summer, Orio will start up the marketing activities, show in September on Automechanika flag. 3 years warranty is a promise to trade; an argument that could make the competition ponder.
The traditional Saab dealers benefit from the extended product range. You can access the articles of all other brands via the Orio Portal. Conversely, Orio customers who do not have a Saab contract can not access the original Saab parts. A protection for the workshops, which have a special Saab qualification.
The broad product portfolio will secure Orio and thus the Saab spare parts supply for the future. An efficient sales network and high purchasing volumes make the company an important player in the market at a time when Saab sales will decline. I experience very clearly: Orio is committed to Saab and the Saab drivers. Sales in the German market with Saab original spare parts are at the level of the previous year. Germans love their Saabs, and Germany ranks second in the Saab world behind North America.
Not all over the world it is so round. Other markets are declining, but Germany is in a reference position for other countries. The new premises, the implementation of the new sales concept, everything will be successfully set up in Eschborn for the first time and then transferred to other markets. Success in new markets so that we can continue to be Saab. I hear that again and again that day.
Orio, the classics and youngtimers
The talks are open as usual for years. When exchanging views, even unpleasant topics are not left out. What does not make me happy, that is the passive handling of the theme classic and youngtimer. A tricky topic, but I can not bring any solution from Eschborn on the blog.
My impression: You understand the problem, see the opportunities, recognize the need - in Eschborn, in the Taunus Tower. But, without saying it that way, I see differences in perception in Sweden and Germany. In Nyköping, classics seem to enjoy less attention than here. We are discussing various proposals, some of which seem feasible, at least in part, and we agree on closer coordination in the future. The coming months will show whether we can make a difference ... but I have the impression that Eschborn is on our side.
Orio and the Saab Community
While walking through the office, I noticed boxes of Saab shirts. The silhouette of the Ursaab on the back, the "Saab - more than a car" lettering in the chest area, the logo with the griffin on the sleeve. What's it all about?
2.000 of these T-shirts was commissioned by Orio Germany. They are part of the summer campaign, and Orio supports Saab events in Germany. The Troll Rally of the Saab friends Erftkreis is on the list, and for “Pilots Wanted 2016” in Kiel I get a big, heavy box with saaby textiles packed in the trunk.
Orio, as the conversations with managing director Jan Philipp Schuhmacher showed, is breaking new ground - without forgetting the roots. The Saab brand and the Saab partners are the foundation on which everything is built. In a few years the new business areas will secure the Saab business with their earnings.
What a challenge, I think at parting. Involuntarily, I look at the screen with the real-time system. Think back to the narrow spaces in the former Saab branch, the improvisation, the obvious difficulties. It was a long way to the 6. Floor of the Taunus Towers. Jan Philipp Schuhmacher has paved it with reliability and continuity, built up a powerful team. Orio can do it, I think. We follow the way further, see you again.