Saab US sales data – January 2011

Sales for January 2011 are as follows:

Saab 9-3

– 512 Saab 9-3s were sold in January 2011. This is a rise from the 429 sold in the same month last year.

There are 2,798 Saab 9-3s currently in dealer stock in the US.

Saab 9-5

– there were 146 Saab 9-5s sold in January 2011. This is a rise from the 65 sold in the same month last year.

There are now 1,840 Saab 9-5s currently in dealer stock in the US.

Total

There were 658 Saabs sold in the US in January, which is up from the 511 sold in the same month last year (incl 17 units of the Saab 9-7x).

There are now 4,638 Saabs in dealer stock in the US.

——

On the bad side……

Comparing all brands, Subaru spent the least in January 2011 at $548, followed by Porsche at $656 per vehicle sold. At the other end of the spectrum, Saab spent the most – $8,124 – followed by Cadillac at $5,641 per vehicle sold. Relative to their vehicle prices, Saab and Chrysler spent the most, 19.9 percent and 15.6 percent of sticker price, respectively; while Porsche spent 0.75 percent and Subaru spent 2.1 percent.

Someone’s going to have to come up with a sales strategy that doesn’t involve giving cars away. I still prefer the better equipment theory, with a touch of competitive leasing thrown in. To their credit, Saab are now working hard on the awareness side of things.

Thanks to John.

maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 7 months ago
Yup. Subaru and Porsche certainly have the brand awareness their companies want here in the US and nobody has any worries that they will stay in business. While other brands had “end of year” deals going on that stretched into January, I do not remember seeing many ads for end of year deals on Subarus. I find it really interesting that Cadillac had to do that much discounting to move cars. Cadillac certainly has brand awareness, but perhaps they are losing sales to European brands and Lexus, Acura, etc. The numbers show Saab dealers in the US have inventory so… Read more »
Kikaluka
Guest
Kikaluka
5 years 7 months ago

I think the article Swade refers to is about money spend on advertising, and not discounting.

maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 7 months ago

That is what I thought at first, too, that it was advertising cost….but Swade’s last comment about “a sales strategy that doesn’t involve giving cars away” I assumed meant that the cost in incentives offered was also factored in to this “cost per car sold”.

Phoenix
Guest
Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago

It is a pretty important difference πŸ™‚ I couldn’t read out from Swades reference what’s it is all about.

Perian
Guest
Perian
5 years 7 months ago
Swade – I agree with your statement. I just purchased a 2011 9-5 turbo 4 (manual transmission – base), and received $3850 in cash incentives. I did not get a sunroof, HID lights, HUD display, HK radio etc. I think Saab should consider making some of this equipment standard which may reduce the need for incentives. It’s a tough call – and I will state right up front – that I would not want to be the person making these decisions. The US market is insanely competitive right now. I could have waited a few more weeks and went home… Read more »
J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 7 months ago

Congratulations on the new car πŸ™‚

Swade, I wish you’d put up a ‘my car’ section where people could upload a picture of their car/themselves, just so we can see who is who. I’d love to see these new 9-5’s that people have. And I’m sure people would love to see the old Volvo’s that I spend most of my time in πŸ˜€ When you did the forum, I think it was the most popular section. Any thoughts on this, or plans for the future?

Toby
Guest
Toby
5 years 7 months ago

To me that just makes Saab better value. to saab it’s a short term proposition-eg unsustainable…but it’ll come now the ad campaign is going…I am not unduly worried, I think it’ll be momentum building now..and with clear focus on newer markets I think that are covering their backsides and maybe even stealing a march (smaller=more nimble) on other major brands. At least that is my hope.

Curvin O'Rielly
Guest
Curvin O'Rielly
5 years 7 months ago

It’ll take a while for the incentives wave to go away, basically because awareness and momentum are so difficult to build.

michaelb
Guest
michaelb
5 years 7 months ago

This is disappointing above all the 9-5 sales. Continuation of the bad numbers from Q3/4. Will be a difficult task to get up. Hope marketing, the new models, and 9-3/9-5 improvements will help to get into 1 or 2 gears higher.

J Fan
Guest
J Fan
5 years 7 months ago

Ouch!

Looking at the SaabUSA website just shows how hard other countries have it. You choose the base 9-5 in the USA – and you get the 2.0T engine and almost EVERY option – and all for a lot less than anywhere else…

Hope sales pick up soon.

Red J
Member
5 years 7 months ago

I think selling those 500 MY’10 9-5 was more difficult than SCNA thought. I hope the new sales structure and the new people on charge will make less such decisions.

aaron c
Guest
aaron c
5 years 7 months ago
Incentives right now are certainly not helped by so many 2010s still on dealer lots. A lot of dealers will still being shipped 2010s in August and September, if I recall. That’s unusual, but a product of the mid-model year launch in the US. I still maintain that if Saab NA were to realign their sticker price closer to the actual transaction prices, it would be better for not only the marketing department and dealers, but the bottom line. I think it’s silly when people look at the MSRP of a 9-3 convertible or 9-3x, balk and walk away to… Read more »
aaron c
Guest
aaron c
5 years 7 months ago

Having said that, the US numbers are a little higher than I would have guessed. January is such a soft month, and the eastern states have had a series of storms – like the one pummeling Boston today. In Saab strongholds, I can’t imagine anyone standing on a car lot right now. But when the snow clears up, it could help XWD sales.

Larry G
Guest
Larry G
5 years 7 months ago
As one of those 512 (new 2010 9-3 picked up last Friday from JMK) I would say the 6K rebate made all of the difference. I looked back in my records and I paid $17900 for a 1985 900T brand new, delivered to me when I was stationed in Germany. $23K for a new 9-3 25 years later is a great deal and while I wanted to wait for the new 9-3 hatchback in 2 years time I couldn’t afford to! For 23-25K a new 9-3 is a great deal compared to a BMW or Audi. If Saab can still… Read more »
Stan
Guest
Stan
5 years 7 months ago

My lease on a 08 9-3 is up in 2 mos. My residual is ~21K. Throw in $2K more, and I could buy a new one. Yowza! To bad I never really bonded with the 9-3 (drove 9-5s from 99-08)…

motnot
Guest
motnot
5 years 7 months ago
I completely agree with aaron c — if the price is in line with what people will pay, then Saab has a huge marketing point. Have a low MSRP and don’t discount. For me, personally, I first looked at buying a Saab about 4 years ago, and I saw the base 9-3s were around $27K MSRP. In my case, that was effective marketing, as I could get a 9-3 for not much more than, say, an Accord, which I didn’t want anyway. But I’ve never understood the idea of starting with a high price and always discounting, whether it’s cars… Read more »
100%Saab
Guest
100%Saab
5 years 7 months ago

Still, the number’s are better. As I remember I bought one of the 500+ or so 9-3s sold in January, 2009.

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 7 months ago

I know I have said this before but how about a warranty to beat all warranties. It got Hyundai ALOT of attention (and sales) when they did it a few years back. It would definitely sell more cars and help with residuals. SCNA needs to get more creative.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

+100000.

10 years/100,000 is what Hyundai offers. How about 15 years/150K? Not enough? Check out Chrysler. Could that be replicated?

Swade
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
I might run a book one who’s going to run the first “infinity” warranty. Then the Infinity+1, followed by the “My Dad’s a Policeman” warranty. OK, serious note, then. It would indeed be good if they could up it. But I’m sure the relative size of some of those companies has something to do with the warranty they can offer. Eg. Hyundai is a massive industrial complex and small engine claims wouldn’t bother them too much. The image gain from the 10/100,000 far outweighs the relative cost to the whole business. Either Chrysler are throwing a Hail Mary there, or… Read more »
zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 7 months ago

Swade, it’s not very often Saab has problems with engines is it? I bet that Chrysler warranty has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

Stan
Guest
Stan
5 years 7 months ago

I’ve seen a lot of complaining on Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep message boards about how difficult it is to make warranty claims. The consensus is that they will always try to blame you, and you better have every bit of documentation required or they’ll deny.

UWb
Guest
UWb
5 years 7 months ago
This discussion always comes up when it comes to US sales. It revolves around; 1. Trim level including motor / gearbox issues (missing certain US like things) 2. Incentives (too large rebates – wrong initial price). 3. Warranty issues (prolong, change) 4. Service – included or not and for how long 5. Lease deals 6. Awareness, related to PR 7. Dealer network 8. Other stuff I could in this note discuss this more in detail, but I think it would be interesting to have a separate post (or posts) discussing these items and see what is most important for the… Read more »
RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago
Rant warning. I thought the discounts would only apply to MY10 9-5s (without sunroof)? What is better business policy, put money into product improvement/marketing or go head to head with GM that ”can” produce cars at a loss as the tax payer -unwillingly- comes the rescue after they’ve done it long enough? The independent Saab went south in the late 80’s thanks to lack of profit to develop their products. Don’t do the same mistake again, please! Just put the correct asking price and market/make a superior product. The world can easily absorb 150k true premium Saabs a years (interior… Read more »
Stan
Guest
Stan
5 years 7 months ago
If nobody buys them new, there will be no CPO cars in a few years time. Until there’s a bigger market presence and people see these cars on the road, only the Saab faithful will buy this car. Unfortunately, the Saab faithful have been trained to expect huge discounts. Also, do you seriously believe that ~$50K for a loaded Turbo4 Premium is a reasonable price? I think it’s kind of high… if it had an Audi quality interior and a little more oomph, perhaps… but it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong… it’s at the top of my list right now,… Read more »
Larry G
Guest
Larry G
5 years 7 months ago
Ref RS comments above… As one of the persons who bought a “Swedish Audi” for the price of a Buick while I agree that Saab can’t lose money selling new cars forever the problem now is there are very few new Saabs on the road. If people don’t see Saabs the doesn’t exist! My new 9-3 is doing 130 miles a day in Fairfax County (the richest county in the US) and that is great advertising. I had never seen a new 9-5 in the “wild” until I went to JMK to pick up my car. Get new cars out… Read more »
Stan
Guest
Stan
5 years 7 months ago
I completely agree. I’m on the fence right now with respect to buying a new 9-5, but if it were not for the large discounts, I would not even consider it. Buying a 9-5 is big risk – what happens if Saab doesn’t make it, and they fold after their 3 yr business play runs out? There goes any resale value so I’m stuck with it (and the plastic wood interior) until it dies. No way I’m going to drop ~$50K… ~$40K maybe… for $35K, it’s a tremendous value and I’d jump – I don’t see a problem subsidizing early… Read more »
RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago
Larry and Stan I’m glad you replied. I mean this whole thing with the adopted (GM) discount policy is very very important for SCNA (Saab Automobile) to get corrected now at the beginning of a new era. I have no doubt Saab will be around in one form an other for as long as we drive cars. To say you’re only going to buy their product if I get it 20% cheaper is what WILL fail any car company and destroy the products residual. I’d rater take a sale of 100 units/month in NA with 5K profit than a 10.000… Read more »
Stan
Guest
Stan
5 years 7 months ago
I mostly agree with you, and I truly hope that Saab can get to this some day (because if it doesn’t, there will be no Saab. I do “get it”, Saab cannot sell cars at a loss and survive)…. BUT, today, Saab doesn’t have “a flagship 9-5 in the US (with the hp/engine and fit & finish) with some excellent marketing.” I almost had my wife sold on the 9-5 until we sat in a Lexus (similarly equipped, MSRP about ~$7K less than Saab). She’s said “how come the Saab can’t have a nice interior like this?”. Yes, I know… Read more »
RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago
Saab listening? I had to set you up a bit with the flagship thing to make a case that Saab is going to need one in the future to truly compete with the Germans (‘some’ think so here on SU). Maybe that’s what Saab is up to? I don’t know -haven’t heard anything- but sure hope so. I’m also hoping they’re taking the interior material ‘quality’ seriously as it’s affecting US sales probably more than anything. With Hirsch the four banger is not weak, but the specs should show up on the SaabUSA page for comparison. A separate higher quality… Read more »
Stan
Guest
Stan
5 years 7 months ago
Not sure if I agree with this “halo car” business, but this wasn’t the main point of your comments so I didn’t comment. I’m not so interested in “armchair marketing’… I’ll leave these decisions to those that get paid to make them, and just be glad it’s not me. I just thought I’d share my opinions (which, unlike marketing, I do know) as 4 time/12 yr Saab owner who is in the market for a new car in the next month or two, and has been wrestling with what to do. To summarize, I’m almost ready to buy a new… Read more »
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