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Originally posted by desmo9@Feb 13 2004, 02:30 PM
Let's really milk this brand for all it's worth... who cares what we put the badge on, cuz it'll sell!
i think they DID care what they put their badge on. that's why it's a subara WRX and not a suzuki areio. if you're right about the $5000 premium over the subaru then this car deserves to fail, but i don't think the idea was a bad one. i wouldn't drive the WRX... i don't like the look of it OR care much for being a 'subaru' guy, whereas i'd be very happy in a 9-2x. not at $5000 more though...

i'm a little less supportive of the 9-7...i think GMC and all its fancy hardware fills whatever market the 9-7 will be after. curious to see who saab grabs sales from with the 9-7 (if any). i think the 9-7 steps way out of saab's 'place' on the map.

hmmm... what do you think would make a more welcome addition to saab's lineup? can't blame them for wanting another vehicle... but instead of a large SUV, what would serve them better? larger sedan? crossoverUV? roadster? if anyone even DARES to say minivan... grrrr... :)
 

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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.
 

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Originally posted by desmo9@Feb 13 2004, 05:46 PM
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.
I think there is a customer subset that would be willing to pay the extra $3-5K for the 9-2X over the WRX based on looks and name brand alone. Is that a "financiall responsible" thing to do? Probably not, but that's a customer behavior aspect.
Why do people pay $500 for a tote bag with "LV" plastered all over it, when they could go to Longs Drugs and get a tote bag that does exactly the same thing for $5.99? Why do people buy a $500 iPod (which outsells any brand by at least 3-1) when a Dell player costs $299?

Quite simply, there are people willing to buy the 9-2X, rebadged or not, just because it looks better than the WRX and has comparable performance. That... and the fact that "it looks cool."

Is it a good idea that the 9-2X is a rebadge job? Probably not. Could GM have done better than revising the front, rear, rear spolier, and the hood? Most likely. Is it going to meet its sales target? More than likely. is it going to bring traffic into Saab dealerships? Absolutely.

So you're saying a "rebadge" job for the Aztek would be a good idea? But not for anyother GM model? :blink: Aztek did very well on auto show circuits. Everybody loved the radical design. Then when it was launched, it flopped. Whereas the Rendezvous is giving the RX330 a run for its money in its luxury crossover market. Go figure. But you need to look at statistics here. Customer satisfaction for the Aztek is the highest in the segment. people who buy it, absolutely love the Aztek. Pontiac needs to tone down the styling and keep the Aztek functionality to make it a real success. That... and give it a better engine and bigger tires. :D

 

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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.
 

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Originally posted by Rex Raider@Jan 3 2004, 04:50 PM
I don't think it will be a mistake.

I don't think enough Americans really know the Impreza all that well (especially those in the Southern states where 4wd isn't necessary).

Also, in general Saab and Subaru aren't sold in the same dealerships.
It's not like the Cimmaron situation, where Cavaliers were being sold in the same room as the Cimmaron. Also, the Cavalier was (pretty much) the cheapest Chevy at the time. Basing a Caddy off of it was a bad idea. The Subaru is not a cheap car. Although it's the least expensive Subaru, it's still significantly more than Civic, Corolla, the Koreans, etc...

For those that aren't aware of the 9-2x's lineage, it will make a nice addition the the very small Saab Line-up (essentially 2 cars for the longest time (9-3 and 9-5)).

And there's really nothing wrong with Impreza. So for those that do know it is Subaru based, they won't have much to complain about other than "It's not pure Saab, and where the ignition is located". It's not like Saab is rebadging the cheapest thing out there. They are giving an already recognized and well reviewed car a second chance by offering it in two markets.

The front end styling is reason enough for some people to be turned off of the Subaru, and go for the Saab.

I think this is a much smarter move than the 9-7. There are way too many trucks on that platform already.
I reside in Greenville, South Carolina and they do in fact sell Subaru and Saab from the same dealership. I was under the impression that GM and Subaru had some form of partnership
 

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Originally posted by DSL@Feb 25 2004, 04:59 PM

I reside in Greenville, South Carolina and they do in fact sell Subaru and Saab from the same dealership. I was under the impression that GM and Subaru had some form of partnership
THe Saab dealership in the Sf Bay area was a Saab/Kia dealership.
So glad the Kia part of it moved elsewhere. Now it's just Saab.
 

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Originally posted by Canadian Camaro SS@Feb 13 2004, 12:54 AM
I think GM chose the right car to re-badge, If there ever was one. GM has a lot on their plate right now, and even though they are rebadging a Subaru Impreza WRX was a good choice. It will draw those who aren't fond of Subaru's styling and the Saab loyalists, I just wish they had a sedan and an Areo version, à la STi (I believe Aero is Saab's Preformance line). That in my opinion would draw more enthusists into the Saab fold.
Amen.
 

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I saw the review and read about it in C&D and other mags. All the mags think the 9-2x is an awesome car, even better then its WRX sistermate. They said that the handling was better, quality was better, everything felt good and solid, and over all a better car.
I think it looks better and much sharper then the WRX as well. I think its more of a Saab car then what people would like to give credit for. Its very Saab. I think they did a good job in taking a good car and making it better. But since GM didnt spend millions of dollars in developing a car that would come out 5 years from now, and probably miss the market or Saab could just die off, its a bad move. No problem taking the Mazda 6 to rebadge across the Ford brand, or taking the Mazda 3 and doing the same...no, thats fine. But, oh no when GM does it...
 
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