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This conversation is in the right direction
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Posted by Noel [Email] (more from Noel) on Thu, 7 Apr 2011 06:32:14 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: target Subaru + Volvo, not BMW + Merc., James, Wed, 6 Apr 2011 13:34:24
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Saab cannot compete with the high-end Euros--BMW, Audi, Mercedes--if for no other reason than there incredibly strong branding that has been established over decades.

Saab cannot compete with commodity cars like Toyota, Honda and Mazda even intruders like Hyundai. Those are high volume cars meant to appeal to a broad audience--one of the reasons they tend to be bland.

The idea of Saab really competing with Subaru and probably Volvo is likely the best niche. I remember looking at Subies a few years ago, seeing the price and thinking, "Gee, I can buy a Saab for that much money," and walking out. Drive them back to back and there's no doubt which feels the best. Compare the features and Saab wins there, too, unless someone insists that AWD is essential.

Saab needs to get people into Saabs for test drives, provide assurance that the company will be around and offer a range of trim levels that let Saabs appeal to a broader range of buyers. I think putting cars into some rental fleets would be a great way to let people experience Saabs first hand. (the previous, "people who test drive a Saab usually buy one" thing)

A 10 yr/100K warranty would definitely get people's attention, especially if it was well-run (not like Kia, which seems to routinely deny warranty claims).

And using 9-3 as a platform for multiple models would be great. Even keeping the existing one and rolling out new models based on it has potential. Other companies do this all the time.


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