Sometimes 1 is not 1, and 2 plus 2 is something different than 4. What has this got to do with Saab? Nothing but at the same time a lot to their sales figures.
We are able to monitor 30 markets from the 51 markets Saab is available. This are in no special order:
- SWE, US, UK
- BEL, NL, ITA, GER, ESP, FRA, CH, NOR, FIN, IRE, AUT, POL, GRE, PT, DK, LUX
- AUS, CAN
- CRO, SVN, SVK, LAT, BUL, ROM, CZE
- SIN, JAP
As you can see, we are very European centric, and we don’t really know what is happening in South-East Asia, but I’ve heard that markets like Taiwan are on the hundreds, so not being able to monitor them should have an effect on the total registration figures.
Looking at the sales data of 2010, comparing the data gathered of official registration agencies all over the world an the official figure from Saab on retailed cars, the difference was of 1.231 cars or about 4%.
I used this 4% to forecast the total values for every month, and I wanted to use the official value from H1 2011 to correct this 4%, so my totals could be more accurate.
So for the first 3 months we have a total sum of 9.408 cars retailed on those 30 markets (still missing about 20 markets), using the 4% mistake of 2010, we sum a total of 9.780 cars.
But the official data shows lower figures. From the Q1 2011 report from Spyker Cars NV we learned that Saab retailed 9.393 cars in Q1, and the wholesale figure was 9.674.
In only 30 of the about 51 where Saab is present 15 cars got new registration plates, although they have not been sold ?? Is our data wrong?
I don’t think so, I really do think that about 9.500-9.600 new Saabs got new plates on Q1 2011. But this has to be somehow different to what Saab accounts as retailed cars. I know from one European market, the the values from Saab were lower that the official values from the official source.
Wholesale vs. retail
In 2010 there was a group of people moaning about the fact that retail value was that much lower that the wholesale value (~28.300 vs. ~31.600), about 3.300 units, and in Q1 2010 the wholesale value was 1.100 units lower that the retail value, thus in the other 3 quarters Saab retailed about 4.500 units less that what they sold to their dealer network.
Knowing how the US market works, and knowing the situation of the US stock in 2010 those figures were quite on line with the reality, as Saab had to restock the US dealership with about 5000 units. Nevertheless some tried to use them to criticize Saab for trying to use false or wrong figures to reach their sales forecast. The Q1 2011 report from Saab shows that, being a momentary situation. The Saab dealers are now retailing almost the same amount of cars Saab is selling to them (the difference if Q1 2011 was less than 3%), although the Australian + NZ market had to be filled with stock during the first 3 months in 2011, and in Canada not every dealer, as far as I know, has a full stock.
That said, on Monday we will have the April sales figures for the Swedish market and a handful of other small markets. I expect to see quite low figures, because of the production break-down. Nonetheless the figures for Q1 are quite encouraging and I expect to double the figures of 2010.