SAAB in Vienna has always more or less been synonymous with SAAB Oberlaa. Many Austrians bought their SAABs there and the dealership has always felt really as the heart of SAAB in the country. It was therefore extra sad that they had to close down their operations earlier last year, yet this didn’t mean the end as last week, Autohaus Himberg opened its doors!
Some 250 SAAB fans from around the entire region came out and visited the new company in Himberg, a small town in the outskirts of the capital Vienna. The streets were filled with SAABs on this sunny Saturday and the spirits were high! While not as large and maybe not as fancy as its predecessor company, the Autohaus Himberg facilities really breathe customer focus and most of all: SAAB passion and experience.
SAAB passion and experience
Mario Milincic was born in a true SAAB family. His father worked at Oberlaa for many years and Mario himself started to work with SAAB already back in 1999. The family really caught the “SAAB-virus” as they collectively own more than 25 different ones. “While I respect other brands as well, I really cannot imagine owning any other car than SAAB. I’ve grown up with them!” said Mario. Over the years, he actually has owned and driven an impressive number of SAABs: 9-3OG Hirsch Convertible, 9000 CD 2,3 turbo, 9000 CS 2,3i, 9-5OG Aero 2,3 turbo Hirsch, 9-5OG 2,0 turbo Hirsch, 9-3NG Aero Hirsch, 9-5NG Aero 2,0 turbo XWD Hirsch and last but not least a 900 turbo series 1 Convertible with APC. “It was really unfortunate that Oberlaa had to close down in April 2014 but I am really happy that I have now been able to open a new SAAB workshop in the Vienna area to service the large group of SAAB drivers”.
There are a few other car brands standing in the Autohaus Himbergs car park, waiting for service. The goal however is to focus for 90% or more on SAAB. “What I am seeing is that our customers are really devoted to their SAABs. Most actually own more than one and want to keep them on the road and in top shape. Sometimes they own other car brands as well and we are offering maintenance on these too”.
“I actually see a very bright future for SAAB and I am hoping that things will really work out now with Mahindra. In the meantime we are selling used cars in addition to doing maintenance. One of the reasons I decided to start my new company is that the demand for (2nd hand) SAABs in Austria actually has increased significantly since they stopped producing new cars in Trollhättan and given the limited supply in Austria we sometimes even have to get them from Germany or Italy. I’m quite impressed to see that many customers want to trade in their cars from other brands and get a SAAB, a real testimony of how amazing the SAAB quality and how timeless the design actually is!”