A pre-emptive strike on US sales data

The single most commented post last month was the one concerned with US sales data, filled to the brim with opinions from people on what Saab Cars North America need to do to turn them around.

Many of them were well considered and appropriate. Many others weren’t. Such is life when you open up comments to the public.

Sales data for December should come out in the next day or so and I wanted to mention a few things prior to that happening.

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Expectations for December

I don’t expect December sales numbers to be particularly strong in the US in December. Everything I hear tells me that dealers are still struggling to gain traction with the buying public.

There were quite a few 2010 Saab 9-5s sold at firesale prices. I heard of two selling at a dealership in Colorado on the same weekend, both around $16K off MSRP.

The end of year sales event being hosted by New Salem Saab produced some mized results. Despite having a list of around 70 vehicles on offer, Darryl only expected to sell three or four for the week (most were stock held by nearby dealers) and it looks like he’ll meet that objective. Other dealers participating in the event moved some stock, too. One of the other dealers sold at least 5 of the cars on their list.

One of the positives for the event was the increased awareness that it produced for those markets. Darryl fielded calls from far and wide, even from Canada, and he reported that the local interest level was higher than it’s been in the past. A smaller percentage of people are asking if Saab is still alive and are asking more about the actual cars.

Those are positive side effects, but the challenge of actually selling vehicles remains.

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Marketing

Before you jump into comments and say that you haven’t seen any Saab marketing in your area, please consider the fact that your area might not be a priority area for Saab right now (despite how much of a nice neighborhood it is and how much you like living there).

Quite a few people have dropped notes in comments relating to the fact that they’ve seen an increase in local marketing, including ads during football games, etc.

Saab have limited resources and despite a shaky start to the marketing campaign (She really wasn’t for ….. many people), I believe they’re doing the best they can with a limited budget.

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Website

I don’t know when the change to the US website is going to happen, but I don’t believe it’s far away.

We’ve just seen evidence that Saab are on the move with regard to their IT resources. Remember, these were very much integrated with GM’s back-end IT systems and untangling them, whilst undesireably slow, has been a Herculean task.

It’s a key area, though, and everyone that I’ve talked to at Saab acknowledges this. The impression I’ve got from them is that it’s writ large at the top of their to-do lists.

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Pricing

Volkswagen are said by many to be aiming to be the largest car company in the world and as such, they’ve got the volume to price their cars competitively in the US market. You can now get a Jetta for under $16K in the US.

The unfortunate side-effect is that many people think you should be able to get a Saab for that price, too. Reasons why I don’t think we’ll see a Saab anywhere near that price:

1) Saab don’t have the volume to price the 9-3 anywhere near that pricepoint.

2) The 2011 Jetta on sale in the US market has been panned from pillar to post for being one of the most bland, content-devoid vehicles ever. Dan Neil wrote one of the most scathing reviews for the WSJ. And Pete DeLorenzo had another crack at the Jetta in today’s 2011 kickstarter:

I was driving down the street the other day and I witnessed the manifestation of everything wrong with the Future of VW running right along next to me: it was a black, bone-stock, price-leader version of the new VW Jetta. As bland as any product ever regurgitated by Toyota โ€“ maybe even more so, in fact โ€“ and as forgettable and more frightening than I even imagined it could be, this thing was a rolling monument to tedium, a singular automotive atrocity of the highest order.

The Saab 9-3 is a vehicle that can still make a compelling case for itself. The Convertible is still an icon. The SportCombi is still very sharp and for those who like the standard 3-box shape, the Sport Sedan is well priced and a great driver. Whilst the range lacks a few of the most modern of mod-cons, it’s still well equipped and a great car that offers excellent driving dynamics no matter the season.

To hammer down the price of the Saab 9-3, they’d have to hammer down the equipment and character of the vehicle just as Volkswagen’s done with the Jetta. It’s not only undesireable, it’s just plain unwarranted.

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The market

US sales are slow, but I’m getting a growing feeling that that’s more of a symptom of problems with the US economy and habits of the US consumer than it is problems with Saab’s vehicle offering there.

It’s true that Saab NA and the powers that be in Sweden can do more – warranties, competitive leasing, standard equipment and especially service levels from some dealerships. I’m still hearing from dissatisfied prospective customers who haven’t heard back from dealers or the company for things as simple as the delivery of a brochure.

The US market is still a very tough environment, however. Economic conditions are still very difficult for many, which compounds Saab’s problems in terms of lack of awareness and the loss of customers in the lease cycle.

I think the economic conditions could be accentuating the conservative nature of the US consumer. Whilst some European customers have been happy to consider Saab’s newer model offerings, it’s been a slower uptake in the US – where you have to be very noisy to get noticed and somewhat more secure to lure those on the borderline. A number of US consumers have been almost like pioneers for the new Saab in a crucial market, however, and I’m grateful that they’ve jumped on board.

I think Saab are going to have to build momentum slowly in the US. Either that or do something extraordinary to generate some serious buzz.

——

Saab’s product offering is suffiently varied that it should attract sales in the vicinity of 2,500 or more per month in the US in normal conditions. We might only see 20-25% of that in December and if so, it’ll be a vast improvement over November sales. Such is the challenge facing Saab in North America right now.

I know that they’re working on it and the nature of that work has been covered many times here before.

I also know that many of you are going to have something to say when sales data comes out. I just hope you consider the big picture, what’s being done and the resources it’s being done with.

AJM
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AJM
5 years 8 months ago

I’ve heard, unofficially, that December should be up there with September as one of the best months of the year for the US market. As for our store, it was a very good month with relatively strong 9-5 sales.
AJ
Just Saab

MitchbSC
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MitchbSC
5 years 8 months ago
AJ, Thanks for taking time out of your schedule last week, and just before a closing, to give me a run in the 9-5 Turbo6. Glad we do a Make-A-Wish donation out of an impromptu visit. A couple things we discussed while on the test drive: Resetting the ECU in the OG 9-5 is as simple as pulling fuse 17 for 3 seconds. It’s in the MapTun instructions ๐Ÿ˜‰ . It may help with sleepy ECU syndrome resulting from too many sedate test drives through Mariemont. Also, it’s not only Saab with the lower-resolution dash displays, especially in the center… Read more »
MitchbSC
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MitchbSC
5 years 8 months ago

Correction. Not the iPhone app. I meant the Saabusa.com website you route to when using an iPhone.

etuaz
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etuaz
5 years 8 months ago

I bought a 2010 9-5 Aero XWD (carbon grey) on Dec 30 so I’ve done my part! It was time to put up or shut up…0% for 36 months was too good to pass up. What an awesome machine…it’s on a totally different level than the 2005 9-5 Aero I traded in. Mine is only the 3rd one sold by Larson Cadillac Saab (Seattle-Tacoma, WA). We need more of these on the roads…it’s the ultimate advertisement.

Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 8 months ago
So great of you, and welcome! Please share photos with Swade on your new beauty if you want all of us here to have look at it. And yes, I do support you when you say that we need more of those on the roads. Even if I live in Sweden i haven’t seen a NG 9-5 here in my home town yet, and when I spent the last week of 2010 in Stockholm I did only see 1 NG 9-5 at all. So from now on you are a moving advertisment for Saab, as it is through you the… Read more »
Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 8 months ago

Oh – one more thing I forgot about: It would be wonderful if you want to share peoples reaction to your new car. Do you notice people looking one more time when you drive pass them? What are your friends impression after riding with you in the car? These are questions I’m rather curious about, so please share with us if you want.

etuaz
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etuaz
5 years 8 months ago
It makes a big impression on the road…the styling is surprisingly aggressive at certain angles and it can’t be mistaken for anything else, IMO. I’ve only been driving it a few days but I’ve already noticed on 4 occasions where a BMW, Audi, or Merc was “lingering” in my blind spot to get a closer look. I’m told there were only 600 2010 9-5s imported to the U.S. so it’s definitely a rare vehicle. Some notes on my purchase: I did not get a “fire sale” deal on this car. Saab gave $1000 for loyalty credit and I was able… Read more »
Nate 9-3
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Nate 9-3
5 years 8 months ago

*Knuckle Bump*

Way to SAAB up!

Kurt Schirm
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5 years 8 months ago

Etuaz,
We need more enthusiasts like you out there. Great to see how much you love your new 9-5. Sincere thank you on behalf of all the dealers in the US!
Kurt
International Saab Falls Church VA

Allan
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Allan
5 years 8 months ago

It is good to see that someone at International Saab is checking in. I have an office in DC and have heard your Saab advertisements on WTOP numerous times. “Two Thumbs Up”!

Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 8 months ago

So great of you to take time to share your impressions with us. Now I can’t help to wait for the pictures. Or just tell us.. color? interior? rims? ๐Ÿ˜‰
And how is the weather conditions where you’re living? Is it winter or “almost summer”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

etuaz
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etuaz
5 years 8 months ago
Carl-Henrik – mine is carbon gray with the jet black leather interior; 18×8 wheels (14 spoke “Rotor”) and came with 245/45 Continental ContiProContacts (all-season). No nav, hud, or ventilated seats…the standard Aero XWD package w/o options. The standard stereo sounds great, has 9 speakers, and controls my ipod nano via USB cable perfectly. Seattle winter weather is relatively mild, generally above freezing, and very wet; however we do get occasional (and now infamous, thanks to youtube) “black ice” conditions and maybe 1 or 2 snowfalls/year that might last 2-3 days. We mostly get heavy downpours and hydroplaning conditions on freeways… Read more »
Nikolai Rusanov
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Nikolai Rusanov
5 years 8 months ago

Now its clear, why we do not see good us sales… Leasing

SouthSider
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SouthSider
5 years 8 months ago
I’m in Chicago, an area that seems to have been targeted for more advertising. I noticed both TV and radio spots on a number of stations promoting both cars as well as a offer that donated $50 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation if you took a test drive. I’m not in the market to replace my 9-3 anytime soon and was very upfront with the salesman but did take the opportunity to take my first drive in the 9-5 and I did have a couple of folks give me a thumbs up while I was driving. Saab did not reach its… Read more »
zippy
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zippy
5 years 8 months ago

If Saab were to offer a warranty that was the best in the business for the next two or three years until sales got back to normal levels sales would increase dramatically. It could help residuals too.

Kanundrum
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5 years 8 months ago
In all honesty I have not seen a Advertising blitz, word of mouth will only do so much. I am trying to shove Saab Down everyone throat I know who is in the market for a new car telling them you can buy a luxury esk vehicle for the same price you would pay for a honda accord. How ever besides a flyer or 2 in the snail mail I have not seen anything else telling people of the massive discounts. I imagine a tv commercial by a local saab dealer listen features of a honda accord and then a… Read more »
Quijote
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Quijote
5 years 8 months ago
Saab is offering crazy lease deals on the 9-5… I’ve seen $399/month with $3k down (plus fees…) and $429/month with little down. And I too have seen $12-$15k off 9-5s as well. If Saab can’t move 9-5s with these great deals, it may be a sign of bigger problems at bay. I wish I could get into one of these deals, they truly are incredible value. In the meantime, my girl is looking to replace her aging 2004 328. Surely, it hasn’t aged as nicely as my Viggen, hence the need to replace the BMW with a 9-5. I’ll surely… Read more »
smoke_jaguar4
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smoke_jaguar4
5 years 8 months ago
The other shoe with VW is depreciation. VW’s and Audi’s value bleed is heartstopping, and that cheap stripper Jetta will be even wors – after all, who’d want to buy it??? Unless you bring a huge down payment, that car will be upside down until you’re nearly finished paying off the loan, and they you’ll get peanuts if you sell it or 1/2 a peanut if you trade it in. From what I’ve seen, at least used Saabs are fairly retaining their value, especially compared with the ‘competition’. Getting into a price war with VW (and Audi) is like getting… Read more »
Chris Carrier
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Chris Carrier
5 years 8 months ago

Just bought a 2010 9-5 Aero today from True Saab in Downers Grove (Chicago). So, so cool.

Swade
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5 years 8 months ago

Congratulations, Chris. Good to hear another one sold to a happy home. Excellent news.

Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 8 months ago

As I’ve written to “etuaz” above – please share photos with us! ๐Ÿ˜€
And congratulations to your new car!!

Jรถrgen Trued - SUHRT
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Jรถrgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 8 months ago

At what price? Just curious…. Since I hear of dealers with lines of unsold 9-5ยดs

Nate 9-3
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Nate 9-3
5 years 8 months ago

Thanks for SAABing up, Chris.

zippy
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zippy
5 years 8 months ago

I wish I was in a position like Chris to get a new car.

Mark Orr
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Mark Orr
5 years 8 months ago

There is also some REALLY brutal competition out there. The Hyundai Sonata (esp the Turbo), Kia Optima, Kia Sportage (vs the 93x) are all really superb cars with incredible fuel milage. The 9-3 uses to much gas for a car it’s size. VW sells EVERY SINGLE TDI it imports with very little discount. SAAB really needs to get it’s TDI here pronto.

Carl-Henrik
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Carl-Henrik
5 years 8 months ago
Yes, I do think that it would be an advantage for Saab to get the TTiD’s approved for the US/CA-market. Perhaps we can see some changes in that with the NG 9-3 when it is launched – but the sooner the better. People say it is an expensive thing to get engines approved for the US/CA-market, but as I do not know of this I would be very happy if someone could explain the costs and why it has to be approved in this way? How does the US/CA-market see on emissions and so on? Please enlighten me as I’m… Read more »
Tomas TL1000R
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Tomas TL1000R
5 years 8 months ago

+1 Carl-Henrik
It would be great to get more information about this.

Knape
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Knape
5 years 8 months ago

I do agree! Everyone says that diesels arent selling in the U.S but almost no lyxury brand have diesels in their lineup. Volkswagen have some (but they aren’t luxury) and mercedes with their SUV:s. Why not try to marketing the 9-3 TTID 180 hp for those americans who loves to drive fast but still thinks of the enviroment? I think the TTID engine would help the sales a lot!
Just a thought ๐Ÿ™‚

BoeBoe
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BoeBoe
5 years 8 months ago

Mercedes has BIG plans for diesel in the US. At the moment they only have the ML, R- and GL Class with diesel engines. But within a few years the GLK, C- and E-Class will follow.

The auto maker is pleased with the take rate on its Bluetec engines, which ranges from 12% to 20%, depending on the model.

โ€œOverall, our goal is to be somewhere in the range of 15% to 20%,โ€ he says. โ€œAnd weโ€™re slowly growing this.โ€

http://wardsauto.com/home/diesel_glk_set_101117/

Nate 9-3
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Nate 9-3
5 years 8 months ago

US gas prices are projected to rise to $4.25 – $5.00 per gallon in 2011. That is not enough time to get the diesel to the US, but that is what will make it happen sooner rather than later.

Mark Orr
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Mark Orr
5 years 8 months ago

I think Euro 6 emissions will be the same or lower then US NOX so european certified cars will be able to pass without modification. At that point I think we will see a lot of diesels crossing the pond.

Kjetil
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Kjetil
5 years 8 months ago
First of all, I would say thanks to all of you Saab enthusiasts. This site is relative new for me, however I`m familiar with Saab. (Within my fathers immediate family there`s about 15 Saabs of different models). I`m very impressed how much you people cares about this unique brand. Congratulations to all new owner of the new 9-5. You`re doing the best advertisment Saab can have. I think the most important thing is to get the new veichles on the roads. Here in Oslo, Norway I still haven`t seen many new cars for a while. That`s bother me, since Norway… Read more »
RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

Hopefully work we’ve done here: http://www.tv2underholdning.no/broom/saab-95-sjelden-har-en-bil-hatt-mer-dramatisk-foedsel-3377577.html will help get Saab even more recognition in Norway. Up from fifth place (6,38%) just before New Years Eve.
It’s so easy to overtake in a SAAB ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rune
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Rune
5 years 8 months ago

Thilo even SMSed me (and others I guess) when we were only a few percentages in the lead. ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking good now! ๐Ÿ˜€

Rune
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Rune
5 years 8 months ago

Kjetil, I drive through Oslo every week. Keep your eyes open! ๐Ÿ˜€

Keith
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Keith
5 years 8 months ago
I love this site – but the following post: US sales are slow, but Iโ€™m getting a growing feeling that thatโ€™s more of a symptom of problems with the US economy and habits of the US consumer than it is problems with Saabโ€™s vehicle offering there. That may be a growing feeling, but it couldn’t be more wrong. Sales are down in the US, but when a brands sales are down 50% or 75% – blaming the economy just escapes all reality. I am not claiming to know what Saab should do to increase sales, or that I have some… Read more »
maanders
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maanders
5 years 8 months ago
It is a combination, Keith, but I think Saab is impacted even more by the economy than some brands because the pool of potential customers who even look at and consider purchasing a Saab is so much smaller to begin with. So, you take an initially smaller customer base and then if a majority of those folks gave up on Saab during the sale process (and even missed the fact that Saab was actually sold and not closed), then the remaining pool of potential customers is very small indeed. Now, if the majority of people in that small pool are… Read more »
RS
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RS
5 years 8 months ago

Sounds to me like fleet sales (selling Saabs to people driving for their living) will be the only way to start the sales moving quickly. How do you guys reach those?
I’d suspect a superior product with a lower price than the German competition could interest more than a few companies or are they only buying American these days?

Btw those who spend 2-6 hours in the car daily will be the ones who appreciate a good car the most and start putting their family into Saabs after a while.

maanders
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maanders
5 years 8 months ago

I am sure SCNA would like to have fleet sales of Saabs here in the USA, but I am not sure how many companies purchase that type of car (e.g., BMW 5 series, Audi A6, etc.) here for fleet sales. With the economy, there is a little bit of backlash against companies giving lots of lavish “perks” to their employees, so I would expect fleet sales would tend more toward American cars and/or Acura, Lexus, etc.

max
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max
5 years 8 months ago
Loaner cars sold to Saab dealers (Not retailed) will carry the day for US sales again in December. It’s a big game to delay the inevitable which is large scale advertising to re-introduce Saab to the American market. I posted this fact in October and was quickly rebutted by Kurt Schirm of International Motors (who happens to sit on the Saab Dealer Council,) I let that go by but what I posted was factual then and is factual now. I wish it was not the case that Saab NA was fudging sales but the quicker Sweden comes to grips with… Read more »
neggiv
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neggiv
5 years 8 months ago

Max, You couldn’t be more correct…..the sales numbers are the same illusion that gm used….they also include Fleet Sales for Dec. Swade, it is time to also include SCNA as part of the problem, the leadership doesn’t know anything other then the gm model. VM should also take note of the inventory that sits at the US port that Saab has produced but been unable to sell to dealers……in part because their inventory has not been decreased, like the sales data would indicate……not the way to rebuild the brand !

hughw
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hughw
5 years 8 months ago
Over and over, many of us have been knocking SCNA for, you name it, inepitude, slothfulness, stupidity, wrong-headedness, and plain having their head up the wrong end of their body. And by and large, I think in one way or the other, most of us have been fairly spot on. By this time, it’s must be obvious to VM what’s going on, or not going on, here. Hell, I even wrote him a personal letter about it. We all know that it is not likely that VM or anyone else is going to say “we screwed up, we’re doing this… Read more »
Jim Warford
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Jim Warford
5 years 8 months ago

Guys; one thing is certain…people here in the American Mid-west (and all over the US for that matter), are spending again. Big ticket items, including new cars, are selling. Here in the Kansas City area (which has a long history of being a pro-SAAB area), I have only seen a few adds on TV – mostly while watching the Food Network. I get the demographic thing, but clearly more needs to be done. I’m thinking that too many folks here in the US still need to hear some good news from Sweden/SCNA.

Joe
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Joe
5 years 8 months ago

I think the attitude towards SCNA reminds of the one towards JC before he started to communicate with us. They don’t seem willing to elaborate on what’s going on and what’s in the planning – do they? There could be some discrepancy.

Brett
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Brett
5 years 8 months ago

Well, I just passed a new 9-5 out in the wild for the first time in Connecticut this morning!! VERY exciting.

Tompa
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Tompa
5 years 8 months ago

Marketing, interested salemen and “thinking outside the box” would solve the US problem.
There are still those dealers I guess that has staff that cares more about moving the “done deal” instead of showing the more expensive but oooh so much better Saab.

Cheers/Tom

BoeBoe
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BoeBoe
5 years 8 months ago

Does any of you know how many Saab dealers there are in the US? I read a lot of stories about dealers that close their doors and some stories of new dealers.

I was just wondering how many dealers there are at the moment and maybe how many there were a year ago? It would be nice to have a map of the US with some dots on it so you can see where the dealers are.

AusScot
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AusScot
5 years 8 months ago
I took my 2005 9-3 in for service here in Austin last week, and was talking to one of the service folks. I was a little surprised when he said that they had not sold any 9-5 yet since there are a lot of 9-3/9-5 around town. Didn’t ask about 9-3 sales. The only one I’ve seen in the wild was a dealer car in a restaurant car park. Related topic – Beasley in Austin now look to have a small dedicated portion of the showroom set aside for Spyker, with Saab and Maserati in the remainder. Fisker to come… Read more »
Nate 9-3
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Nate 9-3
5 years 8 months ago
I am not a naysayer. I believe in the people of SAAB. I would like to make a point without being thought of as a naysayer. That point is that many in the US do not trust their banker, their employer, their mortgage company, etc…. For years the US consumer was told to live off of credit and throw caution to the wind and a good deal were happy to oblige. The US consumers got caught with their pants down and they are cautious about going back to the habits that got them there. Now all of our newscasts and… Read more »
maanders
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maanders
5 years 8 months ago

That is a very good point, Nate. I find that many people I know are now managing their money the way I have always done…borrow as little as possible, keep debt low, and don’t overspend. But, as you say, that does mean people are more selective about large purchases. But it is that good value, safety, and driving fun that has kept me very happy with my 2000 9-3….and I look forward to the new 9-3. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nate 9-3
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Nate 9-3
5 years 8 months ago

You are wise with your money, young padwan ๐Ÿ™‚

Tompa
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Tompa
5 years 8 months ago

Marketing as said so many times before is so important. Itยดs a big cost ofcourse, but still..

TV-series is one channel where Saab has had some nice exposure. Sad that so few would see that Leonard in “The Big Bang Theory” now has traded his Prius for an OG 9-5.
And would it not be wonderful if the caracter “Patric Jane in “The Mentalist” traded his old Citroen DS for a 900 turbo? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cheers/Tom

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago
Yep, I agree. Short of inundating the roads with hugely discounted 9-3’s, product placement in well watched shows gives a huge exposure. Saab was doing this pretty well a couple of years ago, but lately everything has been taken over by Hyundai and Ford. The only show I can think of which still has a Saab in it is ‘Royal Pains’, the main character drives a 900S convertible. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets replaced by a #%$^%$ Prius when the new season starts in a few weeks. Btw, offering large discounts for the 9-3 seems to work as… Read more »
Steve C.
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Steve C.
5 years 8 months ago

Royal Pains started with two NG 900 convertibles. The one owned by Jill, the hospital administrator, was switched to a Prius. Given that the show’s setting is the Hampton’s, there has been neat cars to be seen on this show both in use and in the background. When the last season started, the new Porshce Panamera made an appearance with one of the major characters. The new season starts Jan 20th as I recall.

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

Yes, there supposedly were two, practically identical, NG 900’s, but you never saw them together. I strongly suspect that there was just one car.
The Hampton’s is a great place for car spotting. I’m pretty close and love to sip my expresso in Southampton and see the all the exotics cruising on Main Street. Darn, can’t wait until Winter is over.

Steve C.
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Steve C.
5 years 8 months ago

Saabs still manage to appear on TV shows fairly frequently. I too noticed Leornard’s OG 9-5 in a recent episode. Good eye!

Neil
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Neil
5 years 8 months ago
I’m going to touch upon something, that’s probably going to draw a few critisisms. So be it. Anyway, concerning the pricing of Saabs: Whatever happened to the mindset of learning to earn more to have more? Appreciation. Years ago, when you saw something you wanted to have that was out of your range, your price, you’d simply save up or earned more money for it. Then, you’d be able to afford to buy it, appreciate it. Why, because of the VALUE. Now, alot of people expect a manufacturer to give in to THEIR demands, while they remain fickle-minded, disloyal, spoiled,… Read more »
maanders
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maanders
5 years 8 months ago

Behavior that is rewarded tends to be repeated. In tough economic times and very competitive environment, there are always companies that will try and undercut prices just to try and survive. The auto industry in the US, especially, has resorted to “fire sales” the last few years to just try and move product. As a result, customers have learned to expect those sales, unless they want a specific model for certain features/value.

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 8 months ago
Not sure what you are trying to say here. Should Saab go-with-the-flow and sell cheap or hope for customers to recognize the exceptional features/value and plunk down the cash without thinking? Imho, it is important for Saab to rebuild their customer base. The only way of doing this is to get them to drive/buy a Saab and love/like it for the duration of the ownership. Again, imho, the best way of doing this is to sell the 2010-2011 9-3 models at rock bottom prices and offer exceptional service and warranty. Make the new owners as comfy as possible. Hopefully with… Read more »
maanders
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maanders
5 years 8 months ago
I am not saying Saab should “go with the flow” and sell cheap. I was just trying to highlight some of the reasons that explain why Neil is observing more people willing to act as consumers instead of “customers” as he defines it. Saab is having to rebuild its brand in midst of a “perfect storm” of economic and cultural conditions in the USA that make it hard to get people to purchase/pay for value if they do not see the brand as offering more value for the money, or customers are concerned about the future viability of the company… Read more »
Chris
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Chris
5 years 8 months ago

I think one thing that may be holding back some sales is concern over warranty, i.e., what happens is SAAB does not survive and the owner is stuck with an orphaned car. Migth SAAB consider a third party warranty coverage?

John Schroeder
Guest
John Schroeder
5 years 8 months ago

GOOD NEWS!!!

SAAB SOLD 1,074 VEHICLES IN DECEMBER HERE IN THE UNITED STATES IN DECEMBER!!

jcs

http://www.autonews.com/article/20110104/RETAIL01/110109973/1448

Carl-Henrik
Guest
Carl-Henrik
5 years 8 months ago

You just dropped the bomb everybody was waiting for. Really interesting. I would love to no the division into each model if it is possible.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great work of SaabUSA.

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 8 months ago

It will also be interesting to see the discounts involved. GM is claiming a substantial increase in sales without offering much incentives!

Allan
Guest
Allan
5 years 8 months ago

This is indeed some good news. The stock price closed up almost 7.5% today, which was a very good 1 day move.

BoeBoe
Guest
BoeBoe
5 years 8 months ago

That increase was caused by one single transaction of 750.000 shares at ones. On a normal day only 30k shares are trades.

Today there was one order of 750k shares and as a result of that also another 250k shares were traded (multiple transactions).

The who, what and why of the 750k transaction is unknown at the moment. But is an “abormal” transaction.

maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 8 months ago

VA?

ivo 71
Guest
ivo 71
5 years 8 months ago

I’ll bet it was an investment company based in Cyprus…

Ivo

rpg
Guest
rpg
5 years 8 months ago

It’s definitely slow in the States. I live in Boston and have yet to see a 9-3X or NG9-5 on the road and believe me I am looking. If they are not selling in numbers in the Boston area, they are not selling well anywhere. No finger pointing, just an observation.

Dippen
Guest
Dippen
5 years 8 months ago

“Victor Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Dutch Spyker Cars NV, the owner of Saab Automobile, will tell shareholders in May whether it intends to list the company on the Stockholm stock exchange.”

http://www.swedishwire.com/business/7969-spyker-to-announce-listing-plans-for-saab

BoeBoe
Guest
BoeBoe
5 years 8 months ago

December (’10 vs ’09)
Total 1.074 vs 868 (+23,73%)

2010 vs 2009
Total 5.445 vs 8.680 (-37,27%)

Red J
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

BoeBoe,
where do you have the Total sales numbers from?
The AutoNews link shows only 4.837 as total.

I’m trying to get the total value for 2010.

BoeBoe
Guest
BoeBoe
5 years 8 months ago
Red J
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Thank You.

Allan
Guest
Allan
5 years 8 months ago

Toyota’s US December sales fell 5.5%.

TuuSaR
Guest
TuuSaR
5 years 8 months ago
Tim
Guest
Tim
5 years 8 months ago

Yip. Q4 and full year results will be presented in March.

Jim
Guest
Jim
5 years 8 months ago
Saab has pretty good advertising. At least, I see Saab ads a lot (maybe due to Google cookies). The inclusion in publications (television auto shows, blogs, mags, NYT) has been exceptional. That review ran in the Minneapolis paper as well. The MSRP for the test car was $54,000 (!) The same week, the household purchased a showroom new zero-mile AWD BMW 3 for around $34k. In reality, the transaction price of Saabs is quite low. To publicly acknowledge the low price in the MSRP would be dynamite advertising. Today, the MSRP is pretense not reality. If they can get a… Read more »
hughw
Guest
hughw
5 years 8 months ago

rpg & Jim: โ€œ ‘I live in Boston and have yet to see a 9-3X or NG9-5 on the road’ Same in Minneapolis.” Same in New York.

Paddan
Guest
Paddan
5 years 8 months ago

I live in NW NJ and have seen only 1 NG 9-5 on the road. A stunner of a car, but disappointing that’s all I’ve seen.

SAAB_andee
Guest
SAAB_andee
5 years 8 months ago

I Iive in Graz Austria – (2500000 pop) I have seen 2 NG 9-5 in real life ๐Ÿ™‚ the last time in my town. 2 last time in vienna . could also be better. but there were new saabs on the roads

SAAB_andee
Guest
SAAB_andee
5 years 8 months ago

Sorry one only 250000 pop :-))) one 0 too much

Arild
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

I live in a really small town in Norway and I see a NG 9-5 each and every day ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry, I couldn’t resist ๐Ÿ˜‰

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 8 months ago

๐Ÿ™‚ but only the interior right?

Arild
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Yeah, mostly the interior, but I also tend to secretly admire the exterior every time I approach the car ๐Ÿ˜‰

Henrik
Guest
Henrik
5 years 8 months ago

Anything else would be a crime!

By the way I see more and more 9-5s around Gothenburg, today I saw 4, two on the little island Tjรถrn (!), but thatยดs close to THN. (I drive alot.)

Beren Erchamion
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

For the US market the 94x is key, not because every soccer mom in the US will get one (maybe some will), but because it really shows Saab has a full line of cars and is serious. Just having a new 9-5 is not enough to convince people here. You need a full line.

saaaabdude
Guest
saaaabdude
5 years 8 months ago
Swade, I love this blog and I love SAAB. I currently drive an ’07 9-5 CPO vehicle that I paid 20k for in ’09 which was an incredible deal. I love the car but if I had to buy it new I would look elsewhere.The only regret I have is the terrible service I get from the local GM dealer in town. As an IT person myself (25+ years in the biz) I know it does not take that much effort (or this long) to have SAAB NA develop at least a beta version of a website and get on… Read more »
saaaabdude
Guest
saaaabdude
5 years 8 months ago
Swade, Thank you for your reply. The Buick contention is not bunk it is true no matter how you spin it. They share the same platform, some similar switchgear and componentry with the Buick. Maybe not enough to call it a Saabuick but enough to dissuade customers from buying (and saving lots of money in the process) and purchasing a 2011 9-5. I have driven both vehicles (the 2011 Lacrosse and the 2010 SAAB 9-5 Aero) and I can tell you that there are subtle differences (a little better grip and tighter handling with a tad more torque from the… Read more »
RS
Guest
RS
5 years 8 months ago
I just canโ€™t afford or rationalize the stiff price differential to my wife or family? Dude, in my experience (and an old saying around here) is that it’s very expensive to buy cheap… Give the low priced product some time and costs start piling up. In the end you have to buy two of the same crap. Not only did you lose the money but all that time you where using/driving the inferior product (without the smile on your face), so basically buying ‘a bargain’ you’re just fooling yourself. Until the last few years we’ve always had an other brand… Read more »
saaaabdude
Guest
saaaabdude
5 years 8 months ago
Swade, Thank you for your quick reply. Trust me if I did not have family or other financial obligations that I would spring for a 2011 9-5 in a New York minute. Yes in many respects the driving experience is subjective, a.k.a. “in the eye of the beholder.” I fell in love with the lines and design of the 2011 9-5. I wanted it the first instance I saw it at the dealer. However reality set in after computing the #’s for both the SAAB and Buick. The 42k price you computed for the Buick was with nav and 18… Read more »
saaaabdude
Guest
saaaabdude
5 years 8 months ago
Swade, Wow… The A6 with a 4 banger? I test drove the A6 (2009) and I was not impressed at all save for the quattro but the interior was too much bling for me. Believe it or not the spartan, minimalist nature of the SAAB interior was always a selling point for me. I cannot put my finger on why I love these cars so much… I will keep you posted. I sent an email to my SAAB dealer here in Fort Lauderdale to arrange for a test drive of the 4 cylinder version on Friday during lunch. Will keep… Read more »
Rob
Guest
Rob
5 years 8 months ago
Ok, I’m going to start off with telling you guys why people love SAABs in the first place, or at least why I do. They’re different from every car, in a fun and interesting way. I finally managed to pick up a 9000 CSE turbo recently, which has been my dream car since I was a kid. I love driving this car more than any other car I’ve driven, and am finally about to finish getting the last bit of it replaced (the transmission). I think the worst move you guys have made as a company is slowly shifting your… Read more »
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