Falcone mourning Saab

December 18, 2009
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Bob Falcone, who was the only Saab dealer in the Indianapolis area until he closed in April, says he could foresee today’s announcement that General Motors would kill the brand.

Falcone swung a deal with Fifth Third Bank to unload his $5 million in Saab inventory and close the dealership in exchange for the bank’s financing his takeover of the former Duke Gold Volkswagen Subaru on the outskirts of downtown.

But Falcone is still mourning the passage of a brand he sold for 20 years and continues to service at Falcone Volkswagen Subaru & Saab Service.

“I’m crushed and heartbroken beyond a shadow of a doubt. But I’m going to survive this,” he says. “I’m just very glad to be a survivor.”

General Motors announced it would stop trying to find a buyer for Saab after it decided earlier this year to unload the brand as part of its turnaround strategy. Dutch sports car maker Spyker Cars has rebuffed GM after a Swedish sports car manufacturer, Koenigsegg, turned down an offer to buy Saab in November.

Falcone thinks Saab would still be a going concern if GM hadn’t insisted on such hooks as forcing buyers to continue using GM platforms.

Nevertheless, it’s over. Falcone sold 600 cars a year, making him the 7th-largest Saab dealer in the nation. He also often was recognized by the company for heavily outselling rivals Volvo and Audi in the Indianapolis market.

Saab buyers were a tough crowd, Falcone recalls. They ranked among the highest—if not the highest—users of the Internet. So, they made decisions slowly and deliberately. Not the kind of people who respond well to high pressure.

But Falcone is heartened that a number of former customers are moving with him to Volkswagen and Subaru even though few, if any, of the models of either brand are considered entry-level luxury buys. The Saab customers are splitting their choices roughly evenly between Volkswagen CC sedans and Subaru Legacy and Outbacks.

“I will be 100 percent fine,” he says.

What are your thoughts about the end of Saab? Of Falcone’s migration to Volkswagen and Subaru?

 

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  • Saab Story...
    ...it's too bad that GM screwed Saab too...while I never owned one (Volvo driving liberal of course) always thought they were unique and solid cars, plus more affordable and practical than the high-end German cars. I understand Hummer and Pontiac getting axed but Saturn and Saab were worth saving for a number of reasons...and the GM execs that did these deals are all long gone with their golden parachutes!!!
  • sob story
    Sob story....whoops!... I mean SAAB story.
  • Screw GM
    GM sucks. They screwed over Saturn [personal favorite] and Saab. Makes me want to consider changing vehicle brands. GM's screwing over Saturn was a big middle finger to some of the most loyal customers the american automotive world has seen. I'm giving that middle finger right back to the fact cats at RenCen. Ford is looking better and better every day.
  • Even though
    Even though I never owned a Saturn or SAAB, I still held them with the up most respect. I have been a chevy man, but if worst came to worst and I had to choose a different vehicle (when they exists), I would have gone with Saturn or SAAB for reliability.

    Just like some of the other comments, I can see Hummers going down. They were monstrous machines which had a bad rep. But Saturn and SAAB? Not just that, but back in 2003, Chevy Axed the S10 and replaced it with the (what is called) new truck. Are they trying to kill themselves?

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