Strenghts: •Experience •Knowledge •Worldwide known brand •Innovation Experience Saab has experienced a lot since entering the car industry. They reached successes with cars which had huge competitive advantages. But they also faced near bankruptcy, saviour by GM, loss of identity, and collaborations. Assuming that Saab has learnt from all this failures, but also small successes, would not be peculiar. However, Saab was not able to climb out of the trouble they were in. To their relief, two Chinese companies recently reached out their hands and got Saab back on the track again.
Knowledge Saab is a company with a history. It began by building airplanes, and reacted to the decreasing demand for airplanes and increasing demand for cars by start building automobiles. Their experience in building airplanes gave them the knowledge to make cars with a drag coefficient which is impressive, even for today’s standards. Furthermore, Saab has increased their knowledge from collaborations with Spyker, GM and BMW. Worldwide known brand The advantage of being a brand like Saab is that it is already known over the entire world.
The brand awareness is a strength since people are more likely to buy a car which is already in the industry for a long time, than to buy a car from a new entry. Innovation They were a success in the beginning, since Saab was the only one oriented on safety. When biofuel became a hot topic, and opportunities to reach new customers grew, Saab did a great job. Where other cars could not perform as good as when running on gasoline, Saab could. Their cars actually performed better on biopower. http://www. thefreelibrary. com/The+undeniable+strengths+of+Saab. -a0144875191 http://www. carsales. om. au/news/2007/saab/93/saab-builds-on-its-strengths-4142 http://www. topgear. com/uk/car-news/saab-sells-victor-muller-pang-da-youngman-2011-10-28 Weaknesses: •Weak brand image •Lack of competitive strength •No fixed organisational structure •Poor brand positioning •Capabilities Weak brand image The brand image Saab nowadays has, is, unfortunately, not even close to what is used to be. The safe car that was known for its turbo engines, made place for the unattractive, odd one. Saab’s cars are not innovative and do not appeal to the customers anymore. Lack of competitive strength
Saab is being put offside by competitors. It is being outdated in technology, innovations, price-quality ratio, etc. No fixed organisational structure Since the takeover by GM, Saab had a lot of different CEO’s. This way, no clear and fixed organisational structure could be maintained. Poor brand positioning Saab’s strengths were and still are poorly communicated. Therefore, consumers often don’t include these strengths in their mental positioning of Saab. Capabilities Financial resources and knowledge of new technologies restrict Saab’s abilities to react to competitive innovations. ttp://www. saabsunited. com/2010/11/saab-brand-analysis-and-why-gm-failed-with-saab. html http://www. swedecar. com/saab_history. htm Opportunities: •Niche markets •Information and research •Market development •Business and product development •Production developments Niche markets Since Saab is being outdated by its competitors, they could start focussing on niche markets. They could build up their brand image by being successful in niche markets. Information and research Saab should conduct research to gather information to reach the right group of customers with the right product.
Next to this, research about competitors, new technologies, etc. should be conducted to come to a product which has competitive advantages. Market development Saab should take advantage of the uncertainty that prevails in the market. The economy is slowly recovering, but there is no prove that this will continue to happen. This means people will not be attracted to luxury attributes like technological innovations, since this will higher the price. Saab could offer a car that covers the main reasons for customers to buy a car, like reliability, safety and comfort.
Where competitors are focussing on developments because the economy is recovering, Saab should focus on providing these cars for a (relatively) low price. Business and product development Building a strong business with a clear mission and vision. Next to this, continually development of products should be implemented to get, and, to stay ahead of competitors. Production developments The collaboration with the two Chinese companies could play a major role in this. Production could be outsourced to China, where wages are relatively low. This means lower cost per product, which result in lower prices for the customer. Threats: •
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