By on January 31, 2011

Can Saab overcome a miserable couple of years that saw global sales plummet as the Swedish brand was kicked out of the GM kingdom? If so, you will be seeing lots of this, the first US-market ad from Saab since the brand’s sale to Spyker was completed. Meanwhile, with Volvo in rebuilding mode as well, seeking to maximize its marketing spend per vehicle, America had better get used to the Swedish turnaround storyline. And, for the sake of these two marginal brands, consumers had better respond to their heritage-heavy pitch.

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13 Comments on “Saab: Don’t You Forget About Me...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    I would expect a strong demand in the northeast quadrant of the US as it has in the past. Also a more likely olve where you will not see the Korean invasion. Is US still a big market for Saab?

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    I’ve always held an affinity for SAABs. Of the two Sweedish marques, it seams like one would buy a SAAB because you genuinely like one, not for Volvo’s mindless yuppie ‘safety’ cred or hipster irony (i.e. the 240 wagon). Plus, newfound Chinese ownership isn’t a +1 in the ‘yes’ column.

    Oh, and the new 9-5? Finally saw an ice blue one on the roads. Gorgeous. Period.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Dead brands walking.
     

  • avatar
    Acubra

    I wish I would look at buying a SAAB again. #7, just to continue the 900/9000/9-5 line. But I do not see a single one that would appeal to my inner hardcore saabisti. What they have now is either untried and prohibitively priced 9-5 (and this one will not surprise me to rival early 9-5s in its reliability, being developed during all the turmoil years), or an outdated and quite fragile 9-3SS with very little space inside. 

    Now if they built a limited run of 9000s – I’d be seduced. But the way they are now – thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick with the Outbacks.  

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The 9-3SS is hardly fragile. The very early ones had some issues that were worked out in the first couple years. They are now far and away the most reliable cars Saab has ever built. FAR better than even the late 9-5s, and don’t even get me started on what 9000s are like when they get older. The 9-3 SportCombi is to me the re-invention of the 900. Fast enough, plenty of space but still fairly small, great in snow, and more than a little different. The sedans are forgetable, but I just don’t do sedans.

      I think it is telling that when you go on any of the Saab forums, 9-5 and 9000 owners are fixing stuff, and 9-3 owners are mostly complaining about squeaks and rattles. I’ll take squeaks over HVAC failures and sludge any day.

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      I will agree with your fixing vs squeaks argument after the 9-3SS hits at least 10 years mark and sufficient number of them will have passed 150-200K mark. Besides, their largest shortcoming is that they lack individuality. The all-alloy 4 cylinder engines produce most horrible whine when asked to perform.
      But I guess I am just prejudiced. :)

  • avatar
    snabster

    I think it less about marketing dollars than distribution.
     
    SAAB should raise some money and start buying out US dealers.  Gives you a chance to microtune marketing, and with low volumes you don’t worry about inventory so much.  Case in point:  all the dealers who ordered low end 9-3SS with automatics who can’t sell them, while the higher end aero and convertibles are gone.
    I’m more worried about visibility.  If I was saab, I’d get a few 9-5s to drive around big markets (boston, NYC, DC and SF) just so people can spot them. Do it as a facebook game.

  • avatar

    Well, it looks very attractive to me…

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I’m not sure how that heritage spot is gonna play in Peoria.

    Oh, sure, the Saab loyalists in North America will “get it.” They’ll see famous and historic Saabs and footage of rallying and understand the Saabishness of the message. But will the mainstream car-buying public?

    Very few of these old Saab models ring the bell of recognition, let alone register pangs of nostalgia and desiere among consumers. Instead, this spot says, “We made a bunch of obscure, quirky cars you’ve never seen before. Here’s our new one.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Saab. I would like them to survive. But I think they need to sell the current 9-5 on it’s long list of solid feature-benefits and technological attributes. It’s a good car. The best of the Buick-Opal iterations of this platform. 


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