Reports: Saab retailers lower Swedish sales forecast

There are reports coming out of Sweden today saying that Saab retailers are lowing their sales expectations for 2010 – from 12,000 vehicles to 9,000 vehicles for the Swedish market.

It should be noted that Spyker are due to release their quarterly report on Friday and this chatter might be a prelude to that.

Saab have sold just under 5,500 vehicle in Sweden so far this year. The forecast would see them selling just over 1,100 per month for October, November and December, which should be quite achievable. Saab sold 1,022 cars in September 2010.

The report has come via Dagens Industri, who have a history of taking a negative line with Saab reporting in the last 18 months or so. On this occasion, they are quoting a Peter Hallberg, CEO of the Saab Dealers Association in Sweden.

“We miscalculated the time it takes to build trust. We lost a lot of pace when we were in abeyance. Everyone else was not quiet, but obviously took on. People have had time to make new contacts,” said Peter Hallberg.

The Swedish Saab dealers has lowered its sales target for this year. Previously it was thought of almost 12 000 cars sold. Now it looks to be around 9000 cars, according to Hall.

“Sales are better week by week, but it is from low levels,” he says.

Sales are indeed getting better and the new, low emissions TTiD models for the Saab 9-3 are only now being made available for order. The new 9-5 Combi, which will be the main seller in Sweden, is still more than six months away, according to plan.

Maybe this has indeed taken longer than forecast, but I don’t think it’s any cause for doom and gloom.

Saabs order books are reportedly going well. Swedish sales figures are based on what they can deliver in a given time, not on what’s ordered. Saab have seen sufficient orders to start planning for a second shift at the plant in Trollhattan. These are plans that you don’t make lightly because they can’t be un-done easily.

We all knew it would be a big challenge for Saab and so it is. But nothing’s over until the fat lady sings and right now, the fat lady ain’t even fat yet.

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