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GM focusing on Saab revival, sales chief says

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GM focusing on Saab revival, sales chief says

LaNeve says 'Born from Jets' ad campaign addresses Saab's lack of identity

Dee-Ann Durbin / AP Auto Writer

ORLANDO, Fla.-- General Motors Corp.'s vice president of sales and marketing said a new ad campaign and fresh vehicles should help the company's luxury Saab brand.

"We don't need Saab to do a lot of volume. We just need them to do better than they've done," Mark LaNeve said at a conference sponsored by J.D. Power and Associates.

Saab has struggled since GM acquired it in 2000, and sales have been weak. The Swedish automaker posted a 1 percent sales increase in 2005, on par with the industry but down compared to competitors like Audi AG and BMW AG.

Jerome York, an aide to billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian who was voted in as a member of GM's board this week, recently suggested GM should dump Saab so it can focus on its core brands like Cadillac and Chevrolet. LaNeve said GM intends to keep all of its eight brands.

"We're very confident that our portfolio of brands is not a weakness," LaNeve said. "These brands are alive and very much kicking."

LaNeve said part of the problem is that Saab lacks an identity.

"Everybody knows that Volvo stands for safety, and nobody was sure what Saab stood for. The products were just good, not better," he said.

Saab's "Born from Jets" ad campaign launched several months ago aims to change that, LaNeve said. The ads focus on Saab's heritage as a company founded by 16 aircraft engineers, emphasizing the brand's performance.

"People think jets are cool," LaNeve said.

Saab currently sells the 9-3 and 9-5 sedans and the 9-7X sport utility vehicle. LaNeve said Saab has had some trouble with its product lineup in the past, and the ideal lineup would be an improved 9-3 and 9-5 and two crossovers based on those vehicles. A new 9-5 coming out this year is a start, he said.

"It's fair to say we haven't been real tightly focused on what segments we wanted to compete in," LaNeve said.

Link: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic.../602110312/1148

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GROAN....

>>"We don't need Saab to do a lot of volume."<<

Congratulations- mission accomplished!

>>"Saab has struggled since GM acquired it in 2000"<<

saab has struggled since the late 1980s.

>>"People think jets are cool"<<

Maybe this will work, but I doubt it. A vague 1947 reference for another unrealted portion of the parent company shouldn't carry much weight in 2006. It's like Pontiac advertising the Corvette or something.

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>>"People think jets are cool"<<

Maybe this will work, but I doubt it. A vague 1947 reference for another unrealted portion of the parent company shouldn't carry much weight in 2006. It's like Pontiac advertising the Corvette or something.

Here's my problem...why is the head marketer using the term 'Cool'...did he miss the 1990's catch phrase seminar??

Jets are cool...my 7 yr. old nephew is applying for a job as we speak...

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>>"People think jets are cool"<<

Maybe this will work, but I doubt it. A vague 1947 reference for another unrealted portion of the parent company shouldn't carry much weight in 2006. It's like Pontiac advertising the Corvette or something.

Subaru's doing it...so...why not?

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Boo to Saab getting more models. Why should Saab get more models when GM could make a lot of profit if it made kickass Pontiacs, Buicks, and Chevrolets instead with all the R&D money?

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Saab might be on the right track. They don't really need a keck of a lot of investment...not much more than they are getting now. here's what I'd like to see for them:

- new 9-5 on E2 (though global RWD would be B))

- new 9-3 on E2 with 3dr, 4dr, and 5dr (SportCombi) variants

- replace the 9-7x with a Lambda

If they eventually take off (pun intended), reward them with a Kappa Sonnet.

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Saab might be on the right track. They don't really need a keck of a lot of investment...not much more than they are getting now. here's what I'd like to see for them:

- new 9-5 on E2 (though global RWD would be B))

- new 9-3 on E2 with 3dr, 4dr, and 5dr (SportCombi) variants

- replace the 9-7x with a Lambda

If they eventually take off (pun intended), reward them with a Kappa Sonnet.

I think you should take LaNeve's job..... seems that you have a bit of a better recipe....

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