Tag Archives: retail channels

The New Saab Cars North America Team Starts Today

Posted on 05. Oct, 2009 by .

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As we all learned a few weeks ago, the new Saab Cars North America team starts today . The team led by Chief Operating Officer, Mike Colleran, formerly the National Sales Director for Saab Automobile USA, is excited to get things underway.

This new sales, services and parts team will be working hard from here on out, with the most critical work transitioning the company to be a separate entity from GM over the next three months as January 1st, 2010 fast approaches.

The new products that the team will be introducing here in the short term within the United States include the 2010 9-3x, 2010 All New 9-5, 2011 9-4x and the 2011 All New 9-5 Wagon.

The 222 Saab retail channels (dealerships) in the United States will all need to obtain a number of key items in order to support the new team’s objectives. The items needed by the dealerships include new agreements, floor planning and leasing, among a host of other necessities in order to make these products available to current and prospective customers. It is my hope that this new team will do all that it can to develop new relationships with these retailers and get them what they need from here on out.

Of course to be able to get the word out that these new products exist, it’s critical that the new team launch a robust advertising and marketing plan that clearly communicates that they are starting to become an truly independent company from GM. That news should receive great results for both the customers and the dealerships.

I welcome this new team in starting the 4th era of Saab from 2009 onward.

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Could Subaru / FHI Buy Saab Automobile AB?

Posted on 01. Mar, 2009 by .

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There has been a lot of speculation lately, but I want to throw this out there prior to any official news hitting the wire about who will buy Saab Automobile AB.

We know there are 7-8 prospective buyers as Saab Automobile AB have recently indicated, so who are they? We also know who are not prospective buyers, given the homework I have done over the past few months.

I am thinking now there is a chance that Subaru / Fuji-Heavy Industries could buy Saab Automobile and here are my reasons:

Subaru, #2 in global sales this past year (ie.$$$)

1) If we look at the global sales last year, it was Subaru within the top 5, up 1.2% globally for sales opposed to the rest of the entire industry down more than 16%, so they could have the cash to pull this off.

Saab, The Up Market Model From Subaru?

2) If Subaru is also looking to go up market, they could eliminate a competitor and include Saab Automobile as their upmarket product.

All-Wheel Drive / Cross-Wheel Drive

3) Since Subaru has had an all-wheel drive system for years now, they could capitalize and reduce competition with Saab’s new Cross-Wheel Drive system (XWD).

Previous Relationship/Partnership

4) Saab Automobile has previously collaborated with Subaru, with the production model 9-2x dubbed the “Saabaru” for MY 2005,2006 models, as well as the 9-6x that never production given that GM sold their remaining stake in Fuji-Heavy Industries. Hypothetically, Saab could have continued with Subaru’s FHI group had it not been for GM ending the relationship, eliminating that possibility under GM ownership.

Established Market Presence In United States & North East Region specifically

5) In the United States, Subaru has a massive market presence in the North East that has far outshot Saab’s, presumably due to their utilitarian all-wheel drive vehicles that are now ubiquitous. This would allow Saab Automobile to re-establish itself in a major way, given the large number of retail channels in addition to using existing Saab dealerships to sell Subaru’s to help drive their profits as well. The same could be said across the rest of the United States.

Motorsports & Rally

6) Subaru has probably the largest motor sport and rally division fully funded by the company, and if Saab Automobile wanted to re-enter this, there could be a chance as Subaru’s premium product.

I have sent in an inquiry a week ago, no response yet, will send some more to see what they have to say.

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Saab History On The General Motors Business Plan

Posted on 18. Feb, 2009 by .

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The “public version” of the General Motors Business Plan submitted to the U.S. Treasury today at 6:00pm has been posted on GM’s website.

You can download this 117-page PDF document titled “”GM 2009 – 2014 Restructuring Plan”, clearly a summarized version in comparison to the 900+ page official document.

Please click here to download directly at this link.

One thing is clear, GM states that basically on March 31st, 2009, Saab Automobile AB has effectively 9-months to become a completely independent business entity before January 1st, 2010.

It basically looks like Saab Automobile AB needs to secure the loans, both the $400 Million Dollars from the Swedish Government in addition to the $600 Million Dollars that was recently applied for with the European Investment Bank before March 31st.

I guess that at this point, the Swedish Government should rest assured that their money should not be going to General Motors in Detroit, but those loans need to be specifically applied only to Saab Automobile AB in their home country and I hope that both Saab & Sweden ensure that they do.

For the next 9-months following these loans, Saab Automobile AB would to secure a buyer somewhere between March 31st and January 1st, 2010.

Here are the areas that I captured from this “public” version of the GM Business Plan for your reference, but again please feel free to download it yourself and search for “Saab” and you’ll see what I have below.

Saab is to be an independent business entity Jan. 1, 2010, which is 9 months from March 31st, 2009

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4.1 Competitive Product Mix and Cost Structure—General Motors Restructuring Plan calls for rationalizing vehicle sales and marketing operations in the United States through reducing brands, nameplates and retail outlets. This will help to concentrate product development resources on ―fewer, better‖ entries, and generate more competitive dealer
economics.

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Brands and Channels—The Company has committed to focus its resources primarily on its core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. Of the remaining brands, Pontiac—which is part of the Buick-Pontiac-GMC retail channel—will be a highly focused niche brand. Hummer and Saab, stand-alone retail channels and brands, are subject to ‗strategic reviews‘, including their potential sale. A Hummer sale or phase out decision will be made in Q1 2009, with final resolution expected for both no later than
2010. Saturn will remain in operation through the end of the planned lifecycle for all Saturn products (2010-2011). In the interim, should Saturn retailers as a group or other
investors present a plan that would allow a spin off or sale of Saturn Distribution Corporation (SDC), GM would be open to any such possibility. If a spin off or sale does
not occur, it is GM‘s intention to phase out the Saturn brand at the end of the current product lifecycle.

Provisions have been made in the pro-forma financial statements for all brand-related restructuring costs related to an assumed phase-out of the Saturn, Saab and Hummer
retail channels and brands, should a sale or spin-off prove unachievable.
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The impact of moving from six to three retail channels, and eight to four core brands will not only result
in structural costs savings in areas such as marketing and human resources, but will enable GM to achieve greater focus on core brands and channels. The Company believes
the ongoing effect of fewer brands to be limited in terms of unit sales, while improving profitability, as over 90% of the Company‘s U.S. aggregate contribution margin (revenue
less variable cost) is derived from core brands.

U.S. Market Share Assumptions

4. Chevy, Cadillac and Buick gain share due to future product plan as well as reduced competition from HUMMER, Saab, Saturn and Pontiac

Saturn, HUMMER and Saab have generated an average annual EBIT loss of $1.1 billion (E2)

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Production Concept