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Pre-registering is not an issue, says Saab

The chairman of Saab’s national franchise board has rejected claims from some Saab retailers that the brand’s strong sales this year are being heavily led by dealer pre-registrations.

Steve Binns, managing director of Breck Saab in York, says the vast majority of the network is not needing to pre-register cars thanks to a revised model range that is finally allowing it to compete in the executive sector.

“Inevitably you will get one or two dealers who pre-register because the retail volumes are under pressure in the current market. But we’ve not done pre-registering in at least two years. It’s not going on in the network as a whole, dealers are not sitting on a huge quantity of cars,” says Binns.

Saab’s sales stood 11,229 units at the end of May, an increase of 36% over the previous year. Of these, 6,605 were fleet sales, 1,888 were retail, and the remaining were to business users. One Saab retailer had told AM that the increase was almost solely through pre-registered cars under a policy driven by Vauxhall.

Saab has been boosted by a portfolio sales approach to fleets, with Vauxhall selling the executive brand alongside its own range. Since November 2003, Vauxhall’s fleet sales team has been given targets for Saab across their designated areas.

Members of Saab’s franchise board are looking closely at Vauxhall’s new Centralized Service Reception to see whether it would be worthwhile adopting a similar model for the prestige brand.

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