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Sydney Dealers & Fleet Deal Failings Slow Saab Sales

Terry Martin
4 July 2008
www.goauto.com.au

SAAB Australia director Parveen Batish has blamed dealer issues in Sydney and a lack of fleet sales nationwide as the primary reasons behind the Swedish brand’s poor sales performance this year.

Saab sales volume is down across all model lines and a massive 28.9 per cent for the marque as a whole in the first half of 2008, following just 214 sales in June - down 36.3 per cent on the June 2007 tally.

With just 806 new buyers and a 0.1 per cent market share this year, Saab could sell fewer than 1500 cars for the entire year, down from around 1850 in 2007.

“We’re suffering in the Sydney market – we’re not getting the sales from that area as much as we should do,” Mr Batish told GoAuto last week. “We had a change of dealerships in Sydney and it always takes a while for dealers to understand a premium brand and to get going.

“The second thing is that we’re getting good traction with retail customers but we haven’t got good traction with fleet. We expected to have more of an input from fleet in terms of our overall sales.

“If you take those two in combination, when you’re only selling 100 to 150 cars a month, having your biggest market in the country (Sydney) not performing, it has a big impact.”

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What was the point of Saab cars again?

SAAB Australia director Parveen Batish clearly states he has “spent the last 18 months or so trying to tell people what the brand is about, rather than just telling people what the price is." and then continues "The plank that we are using is ‘responsible performance’. We do provide performance cars because that’s what people like. But they’re also, at the moment, interested in fuel economy.”

See...clear as a bell. How could anyone not want a SAAB now that we know what the brand is all about.
Apparently you just weren't listening to that irresistable sales pitch. And WTF does he mean interested in fuel economy "at the moment"??? Only a GM man could still think fuel economy is a fad.
 

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0.1 percent market share?! Geez, that's shameful.

I recently went to an art fair in downtown Dallas and Saab had a couple of display booths set up there. In exchange for signing up for a raffle (and thus giving them my name and address), they would give you a hat. Seeing as how it was F 95+ and I was getting a sunburn, it seemed like a fair trade.

Two weeks later I get a 9-3 brochure in the mail. I checked out the website to see what the price was on a fully loaded 9-3 Turbo X, only to see they cost a whopping $42,510. A 9-3 Aero starts at $35,960. That's a pretty steep price for a fwd car, IMO.
 

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0.1 percent market share?! Geez, that's shameful.
I could think of another descriptor

Saab's paltry 100~150 sales per month - spread across their nationwide dealer base of 25 outlets - averages out to a pathetic sales rate of between 4~6 units per dealer, per month. And this ever declining 'achievement' despite an expansive product catalogue consisiting of 61 model variants?

No wonder one nameless Saab-Oz executive described the brand as having "more models than customers"

Time to give up imo and admit defeat
 

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It's even worse in NZ, just look at it alongside other Euros

YTD:
Aston Martin: 17
Bentley: 12
Ferrari: 15
Jaguar: 79
Maserati: 26
Porsche: 81


So you'd think that looking at these exotics that Saab would be have 100 sales by now right? They slot below even Maserati with a measly 19 sales, what's the point again?

The two closest rival makers for Saab have 113 (Alfa Romeo) and 126 (Volvo) sales. This is in spite of Saab offering something like 100 variants for sale.
 

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hmm.... with a 10 year old 9-5 and a butt-fugly 9-3 with newly scabbed together front and rear fascias, i can't believe that Aussies aren't lining up down the block to buy these cars! it must be the dealers!
 

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What I originally thought to be a pretty good advert now sounds like desperation :|
http://www.saab.com.au/main/AU/en/

I still like them but it would still be hard to justify one.

Although, some folk might even leverage some of that desperation. Do you think dealers could hold out against making a sale, to uphold the barely tangible facade they have of resale value?

MY04 9-3 Aero 2.0t
This guy is right in the ball park but that's about 42% retained value after 3 years!!! Who would want to play that game? That's worse than a Commodore and there are 100,000s of them on the road. I'll bet any fleet manager would get "punchy" at the mention of a user chooser heading down the road to Trollhaten.
 

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What was the point of Saab cars again?

I'm only seventeen, but let me tell you, NO ONE MY AGE LIKES SAABS!

Your right,i dont like them, I LOVE THEM!!
 

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The reason why Saabs are not selling worldwide is because GM took a beautifully clean 93 design and whacked the front end with the ugly stick. Saabs are not supposed to be aggressive - they're supposed to be understated and sophisticated to appeal to the "wine and cheese" crowd.
 

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Saab sales volume is down in every country!!
It has nothin to do with the dealer network.

Saab Cars sucks in cost/performance ratio.
The cars are to old.
Why u should buy a Saab (Premium Class)
when u can get an BMW,Mercedes,Audi,Lexus,Cadillac or Volvo for
the same Prizes with better Performace and nicer Design??
 
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