Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 18:17:27 GMT
From: "X" <xnopsamm>
Subject: Re: Low demand for 1999 off lease Saab 9-5's?

Here are my experiences: I recently bought my 1999 9-3 5-door at a three-year lease. The contract residual was $17,500, the lease company sold me the car for $13,500, with almost no haggle at all. Between the lease payments and buyout, we got a $31,000 car for just over $26,000! Here are the two main issues with Saabs, based on my experiences here in the Northeast, which is Saab's best territory in the United States: 1. Perception as an expensive pseudo-exotic car. Saab doesn't have an extensive dealer network, and a lot of people have a percetion that the smallest repair will cost a fortune because parts are expensive, labor is expensive, and everything has to be ordered from Sweden. There is some truth to this, I've heard either very good or very very bad about Saab dealers and service repairs. Unlike Volvo, VW, or BMW, Saab is viewed as a niche car bought only by the very rich who also want to be different. Perception is that it's not a mainstream vehicle unlike Acura, Lexus, Honda, or Toyota. The same niche appeal that makes us Saab owners also scares away a lot of people as well. 2. I can tell the difference between a 900, a 1999 9-3 and a 2002 9-3, the vast majority of people can not. This lack of differentiation between model years and model ERAS also solidifies the perception of Saab as a niche car catering to a niche market. Not much to get excited about, the same solid, but tired formula year after year. Hard to get people interested or excited in your ride this way. Not many other luxury/sports car manufacturers suffer the same problem - you can quickly tell the difference between an old and new Maxima, Lexus, or BMW. These marketing problems are easy to fix, but they take time. It took time for Nissan to break out of its funk, and when they did, they did it in a big way with the new Altima and the next Maxima (coming up soon.) Infiniti shares the same problem as Saab, maybe even worse. What Saab needs is some excitement - kill off the 9-3 and 9-5 and replace them with cars that turn heads - get noticed, build on the reliability factor, and the sales will come. Xorg "AJ023" <aj023nopsamcom> wrote in message > After reading the consumer reports review, and fooling around with a 9-5 in the > dealerships showroom where I work which was an offlease return, I am curious as > to why the resale value is very weak on the 9-5's when the car seems to have > top notch reliability and was highly rated? The Saab 9-5 SE's in terms of > price for the 1999 models are selling for the same prices as loaded Honda > Accords + Nissan Maximas for the 1999 model year assuming similar mileage. > The Saab is considered an upscale car and was much more expensive than the ones > now selling in the same price range for the 1999 models. Is it just that the > brand name recognition of Honda + Nissan is very powerful, and the general > public is not aware of the increased reliability of the Saabs? Or is there a > real reason why these cars are not selling, such as reliability or problems > which did not show up in the 2002 edition of Consumer Reports? > > > >

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