I’m looking for some Saab selling advice. A couple of years ago I convinced my girlfriend that she would love the functionality and performance of a 2002 Saab 9-5 turbo wagon (5-spd)… perhaps in some small part because I wanted one myself. As she fell in love with the Saab I grew to hate its constant need for attention and respect its ability to find new and creative ways to fail. (Read More…)
For years, my wife and I have enjoyed the carefree enjoyment of running around without a care in the world. Then we had a baby, who is soon going to go from an only child to a big sister. The wife has owned the same car that she bought new when she graduated college: 2000 Honda Insight. Regardless of which side of the hybrid fence you are on, as a car guy, this car continues to amaze me with almost 230,000 miles and no major problems. I have on the other hand gone through a few more cars: Saab 9000, Saab SPG, Ford Bronco, VW Jetta, Nissan X-Terra. My current ride is the X-Terra chiefly bought so I could arrive on muddy construction sites and be taken a little more seriously than my European sports car driving bosses.
Back in 1983, my father, entranced by its idiosyncracy, nearly bought a Saab 900 Turbo. He even would have bought one, but with Detroit showing new signs of life I was on a “buy American” kick (the decade ultimately cured me). So he ended up buying the second-place finisher in Car & Driver’s infamous Baja comparison test instead. Down the road very different qualities drew him to Lexus. Apparently, Saab wants him back. How else to explain the new 9-5?
In recent years Sweden’s car makers have staked out an uneasy position above the mainstream brands but below the premium European marques. With profits elusive, both were recently sold by their American owners. And both are about to introduce new sedans that they badly need to sell well. How does the pricing of the new 2011 Volvo S60 and 2010 Saab 9-5 compare? Has either been priced aggressively to pump up sales?
US-market details about the long-awaited 2010 Saab 9-5 are starting to emerge, and they’re painting a bit of a frightening picture for the struggling entry-luxe brand. In order to capitalize on the desperation of Saab fans who nearly saw their beloved brand give up the ghost several times in the last year, Saab is releasing the 2010 9-5 in Aero spec only until the 2011 model year begins. Did we mention that, including destination charges, the 300 hp AWD flagship model will get you only ten bucks change for your $50k check?
Bloomberg read it in Sweden’s Dagens Industri that General Motors will send the tools for Saab’s new 9-5 model to China. Mind you, these are not the old 9-5 tools sold to BAIC. These are the tools for the new Epsilon 2 based 9-5, or what Dagens Industri calls “the crown jewels of Saab.” (Read More…)
Saabsunited ran a recent piece by Sweden’s Dagensindustrie through Google Translate, and came out with a possible (and very old-GM) outcome for the new Epsilon II-based Saab 9-5:
According to Dagens Industri’s sources, GM is planning to use the new Saab 9-5: an own model program, including a future Buick in the U.S.. GM is also in a letter to Saab’s sub-contractors have estimated the time of closure of Saab to five years.
There are sources in Saab Automobile in the Dagens Industri – DI – indicates that GM now see positive opportunities to closure of Saab. By making use of Saab’s technology, tools and production equipment for GM use the new 9-5: an – that would be launched in the spring – to a future Buick in the U.S..
In the GM is also talk of exploiting Saab technology for the production of a new premium car for Opel, “says DI’s sources. It would then be about the reopening of the closed trial with an Opel Senator in Europe.
GM’s CEO and Chairman Ed Whitacre confirmed today that Dutch boutique sportscar firm Spyker is the only bidder for what’s left of Saab after the BAIC deal. Saab insiders insist that the firm can continue without the old tooling and technology sold to BAIC, and they still have their hopes pinned on the new 9-5 model. But, as the WSJ reports, Spyker earned a mere €7.9m in 2008 revenue, and has already endured an €8.7m net loss in the first half of this year. Spyker’s in no position to be saving struggling Swedish automakers. But behind Spyker is Convers Group, a Russian banking group with deep pockets… and a uniquely Russian reputation.