As General Motors' premier European brand, Saab hopes to attract customers from BMW, Volvo, Audi and Mercedes-Benz to reach U.S. sales of 70,000 by 2005.
The company's U.S. sales in 2001 were 37,557.
"Unlimited" is a certification that dealers can achieve by meeting certain requirements. Among other things, dealers must: Commit to having an exclusive showroom. "That doesn't mean a separate dealership, but all customer interaction must take place in one location," said Randy Bills, Saab's director of retail network development. Saab's new showrooms must have black-and-white decor, including furniture and white tile. Score at least 92 points out of 100 on Saab's internal customer satisfaction index. Use Saab's Web-based lead-management program and respond to potential customers within one business day.
In return, Saab Financial Services Corp. lends dealers money at a 0 percent rate to help fund renovations and construction.
"Saab provides furniture, graphics, car display information and an Internet kiosk," said Robin Horstmeyer, an Unlimited dealer and co-owner of Just Saab Fairfield and Just Saab Dayton in Ohio. "The dealer is then responsible for installing floors and a lighting system."
Horstmeyer finished updating her showrooms in February. She said she already has seen a small sales increase to the average 60 cars a month that the two stores combined sell.