Fleet News

Saab goes all out for diesel power

AN ALL-OUT drive for more diesel car business will get under way when Saab launches heavy-oil versions of its 9-5 saloon and estate range next year. And the lack of premium pricing could form a key part of the campaign, fleet operations manager Andy Dunsdon revealed at the show.

'The cars will not be reaching the showrooms until next September, so it is too early to finalise marketing decisions. But our current pricing policy with the 9-3 diesel means customers pay no more than the price for the petrol version.

As the new compact 3.0-litre V6TiD unit was unveiled on the company's stand at the NEC, Dunsdon said he was confident the versions it would power would win conquest business for the Swedish marque.

'Diesels now account for 20% of sales in the executive car sector and we think there is plenty of evidence that suggests further growth. Our 9-3 diesel is performing well and accounting for 10% of sales for the range. I'm looking for diesel to account for more than 20% of our total business in 2002, the first full year of 9-5 diesel availability. We've identified diesel as the key to more fleet sales - there is no doubt that executives are now happy to run the latest cars, which are powerful and refined as well as being economical.'

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