When a brand goes belly-up, it's natural for analysts to wonder where that brand's consumers will turn. General Motors has mothballed more car brands the last decade than most other automakers' have in their entire portfolios, so "Where did [insert brand here] buyers go?" has been a common question asked of The General. According to reports, it didn't do so well at retaining Oldsmobile owners (who supposedly went to Hyundai), or Hummer and Saturn buyers, but did get some return love from Pontiac owners.

A consultant with Polk has turned the loyalty lens on Saab. The Polk Disposal Loyalty Methodology tracks owners selling vehicles within six months of buying a new one. In 2010 and 2011, Polk found that when Saab died, owners went right up the middle of the mainstream to Honda. It was close, though, with just 0.2 percent separating Honda from number two Volkswagen. Audi comes in third.

After that it's back to the masses with Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford trumping import luxury brands. And if you combine all of the General Motors brands that Saab owners have migrated to, GM more than doubles Honda with a 15.2-percent share, so all the love is not lost.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      gofast182
      • 2 Years Ago
      To be fair, if you combine the Honda brands to include Acura just like the author already combined the GM brands there's only 4.2% difference in GM's favor, not more than double.
        JW
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gofast182
        Same can be said if you combine VW and Audi, which are both part of VAG.
      turbomonkey2k
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is defecting the right word here? wouldn't there still have to be a SAAB in order for them to defect? They aren't defecting, they're seeking refuge.
      Trevor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Except that Honda owns Acura, so Honda got 11%, all during the Great East Japan Earthquake, which does not look bad compared to GM's 15.2%
      Matthew Dawson
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not fond of these kinds of surveys, because they don't really tell you anything. These results are from Saab owners in 2010 and 11 who sold their Saabs within 6 months of buying a new car. No actual data on what models these were, how old they were, and for what reasons they were sold. No data on what new models were bought, either. Which would be the real thing you'd want to know. I mean, I'm sure one of these people is an old penny-pincher who is finally selling his ruined 900, so he can finally get a nice, soft Avalon because all of his friends have them. And even a few examples of that'll skew results in an odd way. It's like the Pontiac one. Yeah, sure most of them stayed with GM. That's because most of the cars were G6s or Grand Ams being traded in Malibus or the like. G8 and Solstice owners mostly still had their cars, and so didn't show up in those stats. And when they did, they clearly were shopping in different vehicle categories now, as GM has yet to sell something similar to either of those cars. So, these surveys aren't really telling you brand loyalty, but what cars have been bought by people who have previously had different kinds of cars.
        qzephyr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Matthew Dawson
        Everytime I see a Solstice or Sky, I feel bad that a lot of time and money went into those cars to end up both being on the cut list. They received good reviews too. I though maybe GM would redesign the car and give us that Bel Air concept from years back.
      Nick H
      • 2 Years Ago
      As one of those Saab drivers, i'll start buying Alfa Romeo's (if and when they ever get over here, that is). If I were to buying a car today, the most appealing models are the Fiat 500 Abarth, Chrysler 300, Jaguar XF and Buick Regal GS. The Fiat and Chrysler have loads of character, and after all, that is what drove me to Saab's in the first place. The Jaguar is just fantastic, if often overlooked - but I like that you don't see them everywhere. The Regal GS (but only the GS) reminds me of what a current 9-3 would be like. I just wish they gave us the more potent European version. None of those are sensible cars, nor do I like them for sensible reasons, but hey... it's not like Saab drivers are usually known to be a sensible lot.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick H
        [blocked]
          Nick H
          • 2 Years Ago
          OK, so I probably should've said "As a Saab driver", but that doesn't affect my point that those are the cars I find most desirable.
      JonZeke
      • 2 Years Ago
      We bought a Mini Countryman after getting out of our Saabs - if you wondered where Saab "quirkiness" can be found, look no further. Saab got too conventional at a time when polarization was just taking root in the market. Had the 9-3SS been a bit weird, small and spunky it would've been back in the zeitgeist just as Mini arrived on our shores. Instead GM made Saab go boring, and instead of capturing imagination it disappeared from it. That Mini? Lots of fun ideas, good ideas... and some seriously wack ideas too. They turned quirk from a matter of function to one of style.
      sick of stupidity
      • 2 Years Ago
      I know numbers don't lie...but I'm struggling with the Saab to Honda story. I guess I'm thinking of the type of people/drivers I know from the pre-GM saab days. I remember at one time Saab owners has the highest level of education (yes over tools in BMWs and entities in Mercedes) with Volvos not far behind. Where did me and my family of loyal Saab owners go around the years of GM and post GM? Volvo and Vw...I'm rather surprised that Volvo was down the list. I really cannot think of one Saab owner I've ever known that would drive a Cadillac! I guess under GM the buying public became more generic w/o really selling any more cars! RIP Saab that 9-5 at the end was one amazing looking hunk of metal!
      phreshoneTX
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the number of Saab owners was significant enough to be worth studying, it would be still be a part of GM (current owner of 2 Saabs which were bought used at great prices the past 2 years)
      get real
      • 2 Years Ago
      Amazing hoe General Motors bought SAAB only to suck them dry, then leave them for dead..... and YET, GM still has nothing to show for their vampirism---- they STILL make a shitty product!!! How could they NOT glean something positive from SAAB... not the reliability, the longevity, build quality, NADA!! SAD.
      bluebeamerm3
      • 2 Years Ago
      saab stands for : Some Azzhole Actually Bought it. ;-D
      sp600
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh just another sob story :)
        Myself
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sp600
        nice pun, sadly, not many here would appreciate it
      pilates121
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's very sad that the choices out there can't compare with Saab there's just no car that in my mind can ever come close.
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @pilates121
        Seriously?
          JP93
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          YES! The Saab was a great package of function and comfort, every model had a emcees amount of engineering. Also you cant beat the GM era prices.
          JP93
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          YES! The Saab was a great package of function and comfort, every model had a emcees amount of engineering. Also you cant beat the GM era prices.
    • Load More Comments