Swedish luxury car brand Saab is re-launching in Spain and hopes to sell as many as 6,000 cars annually once it’s up and running after establishing its first company owned subsidiary in the market, Saab Automobiles Espana.
“We are working very hard to re-launch the brand in Spain,” a spokesman told just-auto, adding that last February’s GM sale to Spyker hurt the brand’s reputation and the ensuing restructuring meant sales fell sharply in 2009.
“We want to get back to 400-500 cars a month,” which is what Saab was selling in the pre-crunch years. However, the spokesman refused to provide a specific sales target for this year.
To do this, Saab will launch a major ad and marketing campaign in coming weeks to coincide with the roll-out of its new 9-5 sports sedan. The company will also introduce the 9-4x next summer.
Saab sells its full line in Spain but the new Iberian office hopes that a more direct relationship with its 50-strong dealership network will help boost sales and cut costs.
The new Spyker-owned unit will employ up to 12 workers in its Spanish office in Madrid.
General manager Manuel Alcazar said: “Saab re-launch project in our country is a passionate challenge. Our immediate goal is to re-establish our most exclusive and distinctive products to position ourselves as an undisputable icon in the market’s ‘premium segment’.”
But given that Spain is mired in one of its worst recessions in decades, with consumer confidence and purchasing rates at an all time low, the automaker’s sales targets may be hard to achieve, at least in the near term.
The spokesman conceded that much: “We hope to get back to our best sales numbers but we also appreciate this may take some time.”