On March 30 at dealer meetings in Boston for Saab Cars North America, Fred Beans accepted honors on behalf of his Parts sales team for #1 in Saab parts sales in the U.S. At the same event, Fred Beans Fleet Sales, managed by Fred’s daughter Barbara Beans, was recognized as #1 in the U.S. for Saab sales volume.
“Saab Cars North America” is the new incarnation of Saab on this side of the Atlantic since General Motors sold the Swedish brand to Spyker Cars NV, the Dutch luxury sports car maker, in a deal concluded on February 23. The March gathering marked the first dealer meetings since its purchase.
Barbara Beans, who saw the 9-5 in Boston, was impressed. “When I sat in it, I just wanted to turn the key and drive out right through the hotel.”
It was announced at the Boston meeting that as part of the sales negotiations, General Motors agreed not to pull any Saab franchise: the only Saab dealerships that would close would be those whose owners opted to drop their franchises. Fred Beans anticipates a resurgence in the Saab nameplate as vehicles arrive from overseas and production of exciting fresh designs picks up.
According to reports, the new company intends to run Saab tightly, with only 45 people managing the operations here in the U.S. That’s good news for dealers like Beans, who likes to be able to talk directly—face-to-face, when possible—with the automakers, getting answers to his questions and contributing his own ideas and experience from four decades in the business.