While the UK importer says it has no plans to either take control of the network or shrink its present 100 outlets, four new showcase and sales formats are being unveiled. Saab president and chief executive officer Peter Augustsson told Fleet NewsNet: 'The UK is leading the way in the development of Saab Unlimited because the dealer structure is probably the best we have.'
The concept will see the launch of Brand Centres in the world's leading cities, particularly aimed at attracting businessmen and women to the Saab brand. Owned 100% by Saab, rather than by individual dealers, the finishing touches are now being put to Brand Centres at Terminals One and Two in London's Heathrow Airport and at Birmingham Airport. It will be possible to book test drives at the Brand Centres.
City Centres, which will be jointly run by Saab and major dealers, will be opened in major cities - the first one has recently opened in Berlin. Over the next three years, Saab aims to create 100 City Centres worldwide with Saab City, the importer-owned outlet in London's Piccadilly, being revamped ready for a June opening. In addition, Saab is looking at opening other City Centres in locations such as Manchester and Glasgow which are also expected to be operated by the importer.
In the future all Saab dealers will operate either as Unlimited Partners or Certified Partners. Unlimited Partners will be exclusive Saab dealerships located in major towns and cities offering the full range of dealer services including a fleet of test vehicles and aftersales. Certified Partners will offer similar services to the other new formats but will be located primarily in rural areas.