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Saab 9-5 priced to match Audi A6

Date: 16 October 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Saab's new 9-5 will be priced to go "head-to-head" with the Audi A6, according to managing director Jonathan Nash, giving the new executive car a start price of £24,000.

The new Saab 9-5 is expected to go on sale in the UK in April, according to Nash.

"Pricing will be bang-on A6, given the specification, which would give it a start point of about £24,000," he said.

"40% of 9-5 customers will come out of other Saabs, the rest will be conquest. That 60% will be split evenly between people coming from other premium brands an those people aspiring for a premium brand," added Nash.

Saab expects to sell 2200 9-5s next year.

"We will put more emphasis on user-choosers and retail customers, than high volume fleet business. We'd expect a 50:50 fleet to retail split, we're currently running much higher than that in fleet."

Commenting on how Saab will sell its cars to fleet following the firm's final separation from GM, Nash said: "Saab should know its customers, not just the leasing company's name. We don't want to step away from the lease companies, just change our approach. The real decision about choice of car is made by the driver.

"Between six and seven months after the Saab deal is done we [Saab GB] will be a clearly separate company [from GM].

"At the moment GM Fleet can offer a scale that will help us, but in future the authority will be different."

Nash also sounded a note of caution given the impending sale of Vauxhall and sister company Opel which would part it from the GM name.

"It will be more problematic if they're called Vauxhall Fleet, rather than GM Fleet."

However, the own-brand leasing operation which switched from Masterlease to ALD Automotive earlier this year will remain in place.

"The ALD agreement has been written with the Saab separation in mind. That agreement is going well, they deliver great customer service," said Nash.