SAAB DEALERS RANKED #1 IN USE OF GENUINE OEM PARTS
NORCROSS, Ga.- Saab Cars USA, Inc., the U.S. importer and distributor of Saab 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles, has undergone a major effort to improve the loyalty and satisfaction of its dealers' Parts Managers. That is why Saab is pleased with the results of the 1999 Parts Policy Monitor study conducted by Industrial Marketing Research, Inc. The study ranks Saab dealers number one in loyalty, ordering 97.4 percent of all parts from the manufacturer.
"This study shows us that Saab Parts Managers are happy with our prices, availability and delivery speed," said Doug Williams, Saab's Parts Operations Manager. "It's gratifying because we've worked hard to improve all aspects of parts operations."
Saab has met frequently with dealer Parts Department Managers to discuss ways to improve the customer's cost of ownership and make it easier for the dealer to do business with Saab Cars USA, Inc. "We started this process by asking dealers what we were doing that they didn't like," says Williams. "We made it much easier and less costly for them to do business with l.S. Then we asked each other what our customers want. We targeted parts pricing and eliminated the need for anyone to go anywhere else to buy their parts. For example, we can now even compete on light bulbs, wiper blades and antifreeze.
"Even Saab customers who have their cars serviced at independent garages can be assured they are getting genuine Saab parts, if the shop is ordering their parts from their Saab area dealer," said Williams. "This is very important since genuine Saab parts offer the highest quality and some, like shock absorbers and mufflers, carry a lifetime warranty."
To improve customer satisfaction, Saab has set up a system that allows many dealers to receive an out-of-stock part the very night it is ordered. Therefore, when the Parts Manager comes in the next day, the parts are there waiting and the service technician can get right to work, making the car available to the customer quicker than ever.
"I feel that Saab has fully addressed the needs of today's automotive retailer," said Timothy Martino, Service Manager at Charles River Saab in Watertown, Mass. "We now have the ability to truly service our customers' interests by having 24 hour turn-around at worst on getting the part to fix their car. Saab owners value their time, and that's precisely what we're able to save for them. If we don't have it today, we will by tomorrow morning.
"Having this option also translates into increasing profit," added Martino. "When our customers are offered a repair combined with the convenience of having it completed by the next business day, they frequently give us the go ahead. If we offer the repair but need to take a couple of days to get it back to them, then they often decline. Saab has done the right thing for the customer and for the dealer."
In addition to its high score in loyalty, Saab finished fourth in overall Parts Manager satisfaction out of the 25 OEMs who participated in the study.