Final words on sales data – January 2011

Another month has passed by, and Saab sales numbers are out once again.

Saab is in many Countries way behind the 2008 figures, and in some few even behind 2009 figures, at least January 2011 is better than January 2010.

I have access to the sales numbers of 19-20 countries, which I’ve classified in two groups. S,UK,US is the first group and the other 16-17 Countries are the rest.

If I compare the retail data of all those countries compared with the global data published by Saab, I see that the rest of the world accounted in 2010 for 6% of the retailed units.

In 2010 group 1 accounted for 71% of the retailed units, group 2 for 23% and the rest of the world accounted for, as I’ve already said, 6%.

While I’m still missing the data of 3 countries from group 2 (Denmark, Greece and Poland), and I don’t expect those figures to come out today, I can still say something about the total outcome.

Note: the unknown data has been filled with the monthly average of 2010

My predicted total retail figure for January is 2.700, this means Saab has to retail more than 7.000 units in the next 11 months to reach the 80.000 figure at the end of the year.

This can be divided into
59% group 1
41% group 2
6% group 3

I don’t want to say who has performed well and who not, but continental Europe is doing quite well, and Sweden and UK could have been better.

I think even Saab expected to sell 100 more units this month, but as Swade already commented, the spring and the summer will look much brighter as new model will enter the Swedish market.

And what about the UK? Well if they perform like last year taking the retail numbers of January as base they will be able to retail 20.000 units in 2011. So they are not really that bad at all.

One last note to those who like to misuse numbers. The numbers I have access to are retail numbers, but the Saab forecast is on Wholesale numbers. I expect that this years difference between retail and wholesale will be at about 4.000 – 5.000 units, thus if Saab retails about 75.000 cars they will be reaching the forecast.

And now after all that numbers something to relax

I’ve seen this picture in some east-Europe sites(roadlook.sk; automedia.bg). I don’t know why this picture has appeared now, and if it is based on some leaked pictures or not, but I like it.

till72
Guest
till72
5 years 7 months ago

Well done on the numbers. I think judging a year on January numbers is the wrong approach. Even more in a year that will see some new models.

And that pic… Wow! I like it though it has a bit of Mini in it.

till72
Guest
till72
5 years 7 months ago

Looking at the pic a bit longer I even see Citröen in it…

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Or a Mini Clubman. All these little thingies start to look the same to me.

saabdude
Guest
saabdude
5 years 7 months ago

My thought exactly.

Saabheart
Guest
Saabheart
5 years 7 months ago

I quite like that picture as well! If Saab puts that in showrooms for 2012-2013 I’ll buy it in a second!

As for the sales figures. Thanks for summarizing everything for us. Till72 is right, next year will be more accurate, but the fact is, Saab still needs to pick up the pace, they must be pretty far behind their original targets now.

StefanH STHLM
Guest
StefanH STHLM
5 years 7 months ago

The pic. Don´t like it.

I….

…love it!

MrY
Guest
MrY
5 years 7 months ago

.. it`s a Mini with a Saab front ……… , noting spectacular.

Oscar, from Barcelona
Guest
Oscar, from Barcelona
5 years 7 months ago

I agree totally. Too much Mini in the windows and roof to my taste.

David Z
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Agreed. It just looks like a mini, slightly modified. I’m not a fan. Its stubby. I have faith that Saab can come out with something WAY better than that.

Sappy
Guest
Sappy
5 years 7 months ago
At least from the position of a private motorists SAAB in the UK is invisible. I stopped buying car magazines years ago so cannot comment on any advertising in those publications but there does not seem to be any attempt to raise the profile, announce and advertise the 9-5 or support the 120g 9-3 anywhere. The market here is impacted by the huge number of company cars with private motorists coming second. The company drivers choose Ford/Vauxhall/BMW/AUDI/Merc, at least that’s how it appears and that is the market SAAB should chase if it wants big sales, the 120g should be… Read more »
Saabulon
Guest
Saabulon
5 years 7 months ago

Is the UK a “wagon” or a “sedan” market, or a mix of the two?

WooDz
Guest
WooDz
5 years 7 months ago
UK is actually more a Hatchback market… Ummmm (Rolls eyes) On your normal mainstream market. Premium brands have only recently introduced a hatch variant and it’s quite likely that many may still see a saloon premium vehicle as the one to buy. It took a while for people to buy diesel convertibles because it just didn’t calculate right. (loud rattly engine in a car with no roof) but once driven, people realised it was only a slightly louder engine noise whilst stationary but the low-end torque and great fuel economy more than made up for it. It’s quite possible that… Read more »
Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I don’t think SAAB is letting the company drivers down.

Do you know about this.
I think this Zero Hero campaign is not bad at all.

Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Saab takes out a full page in The Daily Telegraph to advertise its 9-3 TTiD Saloon as “the most powerful zero road tax car on sale today”.

(04 February 2011)

Source: mediaweek.co.uk

David Pugh
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
As one of the people responsible for the UK marketing activity, I guess I should respond. The cricket thing is not intended to be our main communications effort – it’s a targeted campaign that is the icing on the cake rather than the cake itself, and should be seen in that context. To list the main points raised: In the UK we spent a considerable amount of money announcing the 9-5, including on TV, in cinema, posters, radio, newspapers and on-line. We have been pushing the 120g message in national press and online since we launched the revised TTiD engines,… Read more »
Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

David,
Thank you for sharing all that information.
Sometimes people come here simply to say something, just, as Swade says, because they can and not because they should.

I from my side can only say that i sometimes hope that other European markets did perform as good as the UK.

Please keep up the good work.

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago
My initial thought on the cricket sponsoring/advertising was that it’s a good idea and niche like Saab, even though I know absolutely noting about the game :). I guess the only concern was the cost (% of the budget) as Saab marketing should especially go (worldwide) for good scores on price-to-exposure/target group potential. In other words, David -if you will- is or do you think golf sponsoring is out of Saabs league in terms of cost nowadays? One would think the demography should fit the new 9-5 like a glove. A huge number of golfers drove the 9000 in the… Read more »
ivo 71
Guest
ivo 71
5 years 7 months ago

S we like/love a Mini with a Saab nose? Come on, guys, New Saab really doesn’t need that kind of rebadging stuff. Had enough of that over the last 30 years, don’t you think?

Ivo

TimR
Guest
TimR
5 years 7 months ago

The PIC… dont like it at all… build a SAAB not a MINI!!!

Alexandros
Guest
Alexandros
5 years 7 months ago

Hi RedJ,

I have sent the numbers for Greece to Swade a few hours ago: it is 30 Saabs sold in January 2011.

Don’t have january 2010 numbers…

x
Guest
x
5 years 7 months ago

With sales I think the problem is that SAAB underestimated the cost of re-building confidence and awareness of the brand. They got a hard blow from GM when they announced and started the closure of SAAB. I really think that it would be a great investment to spend a lot more on marketing and building the distribution network. The problem of course is that they don’t have that money so they have to raise it from investors. But I guess it’s easier to raise money for developing new cars and technology than “soft” investments.

peeceepeh
Guest
peeceepeh
5 years 7 months ago

The red car is, in fact , a merc from 1977. 😉

Fordonsidentifikation
Registreringsnummer: AAL888
Fabrikat: MERCEDES-BENZ 220 D
Färg: LBRUN Fordonsslag: PB
Fordonsår: 1977 Fordonsslagsklass: I
Chassinummer: 12312610019622
Typgodkännandenummer:
Typgodkännandedatum:
Senaste EU-regbevis del 1: 2004-09-14
Senaste EU-regbevis del 2: 2004-09-14
Handelsbeteckning:
Upplysningar:

Ägare/Brukare
Namn: H&K BILDEMONTERING AKTIEBOLAG
Adress: NYKYRKA INDUSTRIOMRÅDE
Postnr: 591 97 Förvärvsdatum: 2007-05-26
Ort: MOTALA

Fordonsdata
Fordonsstatus: Avregistrerad (2007-05-28)
Tillfällig registrering: Nej Privatimport: Nej
Antal ägare: 10 Yrkesmässig trafik: Nej
Fordonet tillverkat:
Producentansvarig:
I trafik första gången i Sverige: 1977-03-25
I trafik första gången i utlandet:
Ägarbunden dispens: Nej
Ägarbunden dispens upphör: Nej

peeceepeh
Guest
peeceepeh
5 years 7 months ago

And it’s not red but light brown (at least now – recoloured?)… Owned by some car deconstruction company… 10th owner…

Make your own story!

TuuSaR
Guest
TuuSaR
5 years 7 months ago

You would need weeks of Excel work to predict production for the entire year and still the error marginal would be ridiculous.
1. sales are moving up, it’s quite hard to formulate/guess this mathematically
2. product progress, it’s very hard to predict how this will effect
3. new markets opening

Even if Saab would be normal car company and we would know all January sales in great detail and could compare them to past 5 years in great detail, there would still be considerable error marginal.

Only thing certain is that Saab will sell considerably more than last year, like sales data shows.

J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 7 months ago
Well, as I mentioned in the other thread, 1200 cars in 2 months in the UK is a solid starting point to build on – because that’s 1200 cars (driving around hopefully and not sitting in dealers) that people will see. I think it’s about building momentum. I used to work in a shop that sold lotto tickets. The shop had ~0% margin on the tickets, but it was the tickets that got people into the shop, who would then buy other things with a high profit margin. Saab just needs that 1 killer model, that 1 lotto ticket, to… Read more »
Niklas D
Guest
Niklas D
5 years 7 months ago

Japan sales:

Jan 2011: 6
Jan 2010: 1
Dec: 2010: 13

theSandySaab
Guest
theSandySaab
5 years 7 months ago

I like the pic – I’ll have one, plug-in hybrid if available…
Hopefully the 2nd half of the year will be spectacular, with all models being delivered, 9-4x, 9-5SC and the 119g 9-3SC…
It can only get better…
80.000 is achievable!

Rodney
Guest
Rodney
5 years 7 months ago

I think J Fan hit it on the nose. Once people see the new 9-5 driving on the roads more people will get interested. Come late summer the demand will be huge and Saab won’t be able to meet demand! Lets just hope the business plan can weather a few more months of low sales.

J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 7 months ago

Come late summer the demand will be huge and Saab won’t be able to meet demand!

It would be great if there was a spark and the whole thing spread like wild-fire! I was in a multi-story car park today and saw three black 2008 9-3’s – one of which was a convertible with a beige roof. It’s hard to believe how quickly things can go from good to bad.

Let’s hope they can go from bad to good in a similar amount of time.

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
Off topic, or maybe not…. I consider myself a Saab target customer, i.e. have owned Saabs already, reasonably smart, reasonable income, etc. etc. I watch television (or at least have it on), read the New York Times (online). I maybe have seen one Saab commercial (the one with the stupid ants) but nothing else, nothing, nada, niente, zilch. Every time that people on this forum see a commercial there is an outbreak of hope and joy that I’m not able to join because I didn’t see anything. I’m really getting worried that I’m going blind,that Saab is just not interested… Read more »
74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago
But it’s somethingthat is reachingsomebody which is a lot better than the nothing that we have had for the last year… I stopped by Fred Beans Saab today to buy some goodies. My friend at the parts department and I were chatting and he told me even still customers ask “Saab is still around?”…. It’s a big wall, but we gotta chip away at it somehow. Saab might not be always what we like or envision what it should be…. but we gotta keep spreading the word. For me and my lifestyle,I would want to see the 9-4x loaded with… Read more »
Freddy
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
I can offer a unique perspective on US sales numbers as I sell in the US. Not cars, but production built homes for America’s largest home builder. You might think that buying a home and car are totally different- and unless you live in the States, you are right. But here in the land of consumption, it’s not so different. I could explain why but this is not the time or place for that. What I would like to point out, and what has seem to have been left out of recent conversations about sales numbers is the state of… Read more »
GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
I wish I could share your optimism, but I don’t. The stock market has no impact whatsoever on the daily life of most people, Main street doesn’t see any of Wall streets profit. The job market is still pathetic, the 1% percent improvement is well within the statistical errors. Most people who have a job haven’t seen a real increase in income (after inflation correction) for many years. Real estate taxes, however, have been steadily going up. Prices of oil related products (gasoline, heating oil, etc.) have been steadily going up. Cost of living has been steadily going up. Insurance… Read more »
GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
Let me explain the depreciation issue a bit further. If you’re buying a $40k to $50k car and take a long term loan (6 to 7 years) to keep the monthly cost down then a depreciation like we have been seeing for Saabs will cause the car to have no left value after about 3 to 4 years. This means that the balance between the cars value and the remainder of the loan is zero. Btw, a reason for many banks to turn down such a long term car loan. So, at that point you have to decide whether to… Read more »
RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago
Saab being the car it is, should be marketed first and formost to those who ‘drive for a living’. Business people and self-employed who sit behind the wheel more than two hours a day and cover more than 30.000 miles a year. I know several who buy a new Saab and then take it as far as it can go. No need to worry about resale value as there’s nothing left when the car is done. It doesn’t matter if it’s Toyota, Merc or Audi. There where probably no demand for 3 year old Saab in the US thanks to… Read more »
max
Guest
max
5 years 7 months ago

Your points are all well and good. But, why were alot if not all of Saab’s competitors sales up? Reality is that people in the US market DON’T know Saab is alive and has a bright future. Saab AB has got to get out there and tell them, and not in some small way. The market needs to hera it and hear it, over and over until it is clear and known.

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Yes, I agree, ramp up the PR machine to let people know that Saab is still making beautiful cars. The bright future is the hard point to sell.

Swade
Member
5 years 7 months ago

They are ramping up the PR machine. We covered it here and it’s going to go on at a petty high level for at least three continuous months in order to kick start things for a more regular campaign later. Just because they’re not putting them right in front of your face doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

Freddy works in a sector involving large purchases with a particular sensitivity to economic conditions. Personally, I think he’s probably got pretty reasonable antennae when it comes to these things.

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
“Just because they’re not putting them right in front of your face doesn’t mean it’s not happening.” I’m sorry Swade, but I have to disagree with what your saying here. If I, as a Saab addict, don’t notice anything around me that signals that Saab is still alive and kicking, then how should the general public be aware of Saab at all? Mind you, I’m just talking about what I see of Saab in the North East of the US. I also read Dutch newspapers online and there has been a huge Saab campaign for the last three months, very… Read more »
Swade
Member
5 years 7 months ago
I’m sorry Gerrit, but I have to disagree with what you’re saying here. Just because Saab’s US ads haven’t tweaked the Gerritometer doesn’t mean they don’t exist. We’ve possibly only covered a portion of Saab’s recent advertising here and what we’ve learned is that you don’t read the WSJ, Glamour Magazine and you’re not hooked up to Saab’s Facebook page. Multiple hundreds of thousands of people do, and are. The WSJ has a print circulation of around 1.6 million (I’ve rounded it down as I don’t want to seem too shiny-happy) and Glamour magazine has a circulation of around 1.4million.… Read more »
GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Thank Swade that we are on a forum where we can respectfully disagree with each other.

“maybe you’re not in the demographic that they’re trying to reach in the US at this point.”
—> this is what I’m afraid of and what is making me very sad….

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

“why were a lot if not all of Saab’s competitors sales up?”

Marketing, marketing, marketing……..
and the offering of a broad spectrum of new models

andyb
Guest
andyb
5 years 7 months ago

its a mini with a saab nose ,not for me.I sincerely hope Saab can do better than that .In fact I am sure they can.

Mark Orr
Guest
Mark Orr
5 years 7 months ago

I would buy that car, it looks superb. A SAAB take on the Mini

olaf95
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

A mini with a Saab Front? Aargh! Saab design is not about following or copying forms, its about Shaping clear and sculptural designs, for ex 9-X! People who cant Identity with Mini, Alfa Mito, Fiat 500 or Citroen Ds3 Look for alternatives, Not for copies. Move your mind:)

andyb
Guest
andyb
5 years 7 months ago

agree 100%

WooDz
Guest
WooDz
5 years 7 months ago
GerritN: I can only conclude that you’re not a Saab customer. you have written nothing here that even resembles a desire to own a Saab. It’s ok I get it, you feel Saab just isn’t a strong enough brand to compete, not enough marketing, too smaller portfolio, and lower then average residual values. If people are going to sit on the fence and wait for the so called right product to arrive, it will be too late. We know all the cars that are in saab’s business plan; there are no more surprises, no White rabbit and certainly no 2nd… Read more »
74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

Woof!

Carl-Henrik
Guest
Carl-Henrik
5 years 7 months ago

Sign me up on that!

J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 7 months ago
I kind of agree with you, but then I kind of don’t. Yes, Saab cannot possibly have a huge budget for marketing like BMW et al. And, to have gleaned such a little return on what they’ve invested already is probably disappointing for the number crunchers at Saab (I’m assuming this based on the actual cars sold in 2010 versus predictions). But… then you mention, ‘ to all those that frequent this site ‘ etc. GN’s point was that he is not seeing any advertising, and if he is not seeing any, then how many others are not seeing it?… Read more »
Freddy
Guest
Freddy
5 years 7 months ago
If Egypt were a place that sold a lot of Saabs, I could imagine that the current tumult there would put a damper on sales. Then in this hypothetical scenario we would get the low sales numbers, some people would interpret the low numbers as Saab failing because they didn’t advertise to the “right people” or in the “right place” or at the “right time”. Or that it was a sign that their products were all wrong, when in fact the low numbers would have more to do, in this case, with the political environment than the growth strategy being… Read more »
J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 7 months ago
I agree with everything you have said. However. Take Ireland as an example. From the years 2000 – 2008, Saab sold about 2,000 cars every year in Ireland. In 2010, it sold ~83. In January 2011, Saab ‘sold’ 25 cars. Now, according to your argument, this is because Ireland’s economy is up the creek. Yet, in January 2011 alone, Mercedes ‘sold’ 524 cars and have a 2.5% share of the market. BMW and Audi each sold a lot more than that. As I live in Ireland, I know Saab Ireland has been running quite a few advertisements, especially in the… Read more »
GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Thanks, you got my point.

GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
OK, count to 10……….pfew. WooDz Let me, in a reasonable way, try to dissect the crap that you are pouring over me. The 2 Saabs in my drive way prove that I’m not a Saab customer, not too mention the ones I owned before. Saab not strong enough to compete: huh, didn’t say that. Not enough marketing: just said that I (as a Saab fan) didn’t see it. Too small portfolio: didn’t say that. Lower than average residual values: true, whether you like it or not. Do I understand correctly that only those who are willing to fork over $40k… Read more »
Jelger
Guest
Jelger
5 years 7 months ago

I miss out on so many advertisements, I must be a totally detached consumer who is nobody’s customer.

David Pugh
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Sorry for slow reply RS – been travelling a lot this last week promoting Saab… Anyway – the cricket is a small percentage of our budget, but it’s a good target and with world cup coming up we hope to get lots of coverage for a decent price. Plus we’ve had some fun with the creative and found lots of ways to get our message over in a way that works on the site. We are spending MUCH more in press etc. on the Zero Hero campaign promoting the 119g TTiD. Golf is an interesting one. Of course there’s a… Read more »
RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago
David, thanks for answering. Out of the box thinking and smart decisions is exactly what Saab needs now. I came across Zero Hero a few days ago and I liked it (I see others have found it too). We are unfortunately (quite) often concentrate -even here- more on the negatives and haven’t given the praise for clear improvements Saab GB has done in the past months. Well done. Cannot pass up on the opportunity to express one personal observation on sports sponsoring/advertising though. I believe it doesn’t necessarily have to be done in grand scale or with a large budget.… Read more »
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