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Back in the day, a write-up in Motor Trend was the ticket to automotive notoriety. I was a subscriber in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and I learned a lot from reading those articles about cars that I’d never seen and perhaps never would see.

I think that a little of the gild is off the lily so to speak, but Motor Trend’s treatment of the Saab TurboX, while cursory, is mildly positive, and I’m assuming that they still have a large number of readers. That’s great. Good exposure.

The comments on the article, on the other hand, aren’t so kind. Only two at the moment, but they are sneering at the thought of spending US$42,000 for a Saab. One that in their minds isn’t as good as the competition based upon whatever criterion they consider foremost. There is something to be gleaned here: most people are ill-informed about Saab and they don’t care to be educated. That’s it. In selling parlance one would say that the “incumbent wins the close ones”. That is, the current favorite won’t lose unless the challenger wins out right. Saabs are not in the position to win outright. The BMW’s are more powerful. Subarus are cheaper. Toyotas are more reliable. Hondas hold their value better.

Saabs are great cars. But you have to value things that aren’t easy to communicate to the masses to appreciate them. That’s a real challenge for the Steve Shannons and Parveen Batishs to meet. How can you bring those values to fore in a 30-second sound bite? It’s not easy. Not easy at all.


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