GM Inside News Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4,494 Posts
Yeah, but see, we HAVE seen the Subaru... we've seen the $17K Impreza wagon for a couple years now, and many of the car-folks that would look at Saabs will see the lineage quite clearly. No matter how you look at this car, the front fascia is the only fresh piece. Everything else is color.

This really reminds me of the Cadillac Cimarron debacle. It's big step back for GM, but a much bigger step back for Saab. It probably won't be too damaging if they are working on a genuine 9-2 for the next release. Let's hope. Our real measure of how much GM wants to massacre Saab will be revealed by the 9-7 SUV this spring. If they take the same approach, mildly rebadging a Trailblazer, then Saab is history.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,494 Posts
Originally posted by Rex Raider@Jan 3 2004, 09:50 PM
I don't think enough Americans really know the Impreza all that well (especially those in the Southern states where 4wd isn't necessary).

Well, then these people probably are not at the heart of 9-2's target market, right? Seems to me the people who'd shop the merits of the 9-2, seeking an imported small wagon with AWD in the $20K range, would be the very people already acquainted with Subaru...or maybe I'm having a total brain fart here.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,494 Posts
Post those two images together again.. the silver Impreza wagon and the 9-2.

Differentiated, huh? Saab's unique identity has been dwindled down to nothing but a fascia on this model. If this were the only example of such stupidity, and it were just a stop-gap until a more genuinely-skinned 9-2 appeared, I'd be more content with it. Unfortunately, though, seeing the current 9-2 makes me think about the upcoming 9-7 which will be an even greater sacrilege. In 2006, there will be as many rebadged models in the Saab lineup as originally-skinned models. Hell, rebadge the Grand Prix as the next 9-5 and finish the job. Let's give Saab a Chevy pickup, too. And heck, Escalade is hot, so let's offer one of those in the Saab lineup. Let's really milk this brand for all it's worth... who cares what we put the badge on, cuz it'll sell! Increase utilization of those U.S. plants, cuz we gotta keep those $27 and hour UAW people working!!!

I'm glad at least the magazines share my sentiments. This month's C&D dubs the 9-2 as an Impreza wagon with a $3500 premium on the sticker. And that's the real problem for the business case. Not gonna get that premium from a fascia and badge alone. They'll sell about 5000 of these things a year.

Volvo is going to chew Saab apart. And it didn't have to be that way.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,494 Posts
Originally posted by paul8488@Feb 13 2004, 02:51 PM

i think they DID care what they put their badge on. that's why it's a subara WRX and not a suzuki areio.
Oh, now I think an all-new skin and new interior on a WRX platform would have been great. Has nothing to do with the Impreza WRX. Just make it look and feel like a Saab, not like your neighbor's Impreza wagon. My neighbors, in fact, just bought a well-equipped Impreza wagon for their kid and were bragging how they only paid $17K. Great deal. I'm not a keepin' up with the Jones type, but why would I spend $4K more for the same thing carrying a Saab fascia. The Impreza is the entry-level Subaru. Nice car, with AWD and a good boxer engine. But Saab really needed to set the 9-2 apart, and it was achieveable with all new sheetmetal, new interior, and maybe even that console ignition switch. Everything else could have stayed. GM doesn't know where to spend and where to save. They could have done a sporty Rendezvous, slightly restyled as a Pontiac, and called it an Aztek...kind of like an Xterra is to a Pathfinder. It would have been a good seller and a nice crossover for Pontiac. Instead they give the Aztek exclusive skin and interior and it flops. The 9-2 they do as a rebadge when it needed to look distinctive... and it will flop. These strategies are flip-flopped.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,494 Posts
Look at those two! Or is ot one and I'm seeing double?

If I had my way there'd never be any rebadging. But sometimes it can be balanced successfully and cash can be reserved for other stuff. Again, you differentiate what matters. The Xterra is almost like a rebadged Pathfinder, but the two have such a different focus they barely overlap. I wouldn't say do an exact carbon-copy of a Rendezvous as an Aztek, but a more rugged spin on the Buick's conservative profile might have been a bigger success than the polarizing skin the Aztek got.

I understand your branding point. Believe me. I've seen people pay $200 for handbags when there are similar knockoffs available for a tenth of that. The first type of 9-2 buyer you mention fits the $200 handbag profile. They want an affordable fashion statement, and the Saab brand promises an upscale, European cachet. So for the few seeking the Louis Vuitton of Imprezas, the 9-2 will find homes.

But I think a lower-priced Saab still attracts far more of a second sort of buyer...those seeking its individial, Scandinavian flair. These people wanted a new 900 in the 9-2, me included. I never really cared much for the 9000 or 9-5, no offense. They are great cars, but "BMW chasers" that are more sanitized than the 900. The appeal of the 900 is that it never chased anything. It was what it was. Even the real old ones have that appeal, like a Volvo 240 wagon. Those seeking the attributes of a 900 -- good value, hatchback, sprightly performance -- would have comprised a huge pool of prospective 9-2 buyers. But THESE are the types who will reject the 9-2 as it is. The real irony? Alot of these people bought Impreza wagons after the 900 went away!!! The Impreza is a great platform for a "new 900". But here's the rub -- these folks are too pragmatic to pay a $4K premium on a copy car. They're the antithesis of the brand name handbag-toting yuppie. But if the 9-2 offered something for that $4K... different skin, Saab interior offering a little quirk, and a few other features not found in the Subaru... it would have flown out of the showrooms -- yet STILL catering to many of the brand-oriented folks in the first group. Best of both worlds.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top