GMSA has begun a programme that will provide full support to the Saab brand in SA following the company's June announcement that the struggling Saab would be added to its product portfolio.

GMSA has begun a programme that will provide full support to the Saab brand in SA following the company's June announcement that the struggling Saab would be added to its product portfolio.

Bob Smith has been appointed as the Saab brand manager to oversee the development of the Saab brand in SA. The distribution, sales and after market structures have been identified as key areas and more appointments are expected to be announced soon.

GMSA is also responsible for Saab in some South African export markets. The team is currently establishing a network of domestic and export dealers to handle the region's sales and servicing needs.

"We can give customers the assurance that all existing service and maintenance plans will be honoured. We are also in the final stages of evaluating new Service and Maintenance plan options for customers," GMSA director of sales and marketing Malcolm Gauld said.

However, Gauld identified the first priority as having to support existing Saab owners during the transition period. The manufacturer has started a network of approved service agents for the brand. Service support in Cape Town will be offered via the Reeds Group, and via the Key Group in Durban. Sandton Saab will continue to provide support in the Gauteng region.

An existing call centre has also been extended to handle Saab customer queries too. Saab requests will be forwarded to a dedicated help desk offering specialised technical assistance from a mobile service team. The number to dial is 011 806 4681.

But Saab's future in SA is promising, Gauld said. "We have an exciting range of product available from Saab and we are currently developing our product orders and stock requirement.

"A limited number of new Saab vehicles are already available through Sandton Saab, and a full range of Saab products will soon be freely available in the local market via the expanded network."

Along with this a range of Saab demos and used vehicles are available from Sandton Saab. Most are covered by the standard Saab factory warranty and/or a maintenance plan underwritten by GMSA.