Saab US Sales Data – May 2011

It’s been a busy week for me, but I’m still around 🙂 I’ll have a big interview coming up in the next week to look for, in the meantime lets all be sobered by US Sales data.

I’m actually amazed that this many cars sold in the first place, seeing that the brand seemed to be teetering in the press. It just shows how good the cars are, and how receptive customers are to a strong dealer message. Sales for May 2011 were up 121% from last year, still not ideal but again better than I expected. Now that Saab is back on track and has a new team in place, I’m confident some strong moves will be made to reinforce Saab’s position and move the increasing stock that’s built up at dealers.

 

9-3

May Sales: 292                    (May 2010: 130)     Increase: +125%

Year to Date 2011: 2,607         (May 2010: 880)       Increase: +196%

Stock: 2,178                               (May 2010: 632)        Increase: +245%

 

9-5

May Sales: 93                       (May 2010: 25)      Increase: 272%

Year to Date 2011: 543            (May 2010: 170)       Increase: 219%

Stock: 1,776                               (May 2010: 44)         Increase: 3,936%

 

Total

May Sales: 385                    (May 2010: 174)    Increase: +121%

Year to Date 2011: 3,150         (May 2010: 1,130)    Increase: +179%

Stock: 3,954                               (May 2010: 699)      Increase: +466%

Belfast_Saab
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Remarkable in the circumstances…..well done Saab NA. Is pricing message getting out i.e. that ticket price includes loads of kit others charge extra for?

No 9
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Heading the right direction!
Griffen up

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

At least they have enough cars in stock for the rest of the year.
It doesn’t matter if the factory stops or not 😉

Toby K
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Ha Haa!
Cheeky

Perian
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Let’s not get excited here.

Saab dealers here in the USA were not really ‘selling’ vehicles in May – they were just about giving them away.

Example:
$19,295 for a 9-3…what an incredible deal. $13,600 off the sticker for a 9-5…wow.
http://www.northshoresaab.com/CurrentAd?siteMapItemName=4483001268329827024

Frank Wulfers
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Those are 2010 models and $10K-$13K discounts are not uncommon when they clear them out. I think current discounts on 2011 models ar about $6-7K.

Toby K
Member
5 years 3 months ago
to be fair-with the lack of strategy as this operation starts back up again that is not such a bad thing-at least some folks are buying them-albeit at rock bottom but it will have a positive net effect on the market eventually if the product is as good as its reviews-they will drive it around. people will see it and say “oooh” they will tell their friends what a lovely car it is etc, etc. I’m not saying it should be “The Strategy” but even this meaure in the absence of sustained and coherent marketing we have heard much about… Read more »
Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I agree with Wulf. Those are 2010 models and that makes all the difference. The 9-5 was released so late in the year that discounts were pretty much instant, much less halfway through 2011.

Peter, Sweden
Member
5 years 3 months ago

BoeBoe, what makes you think it would?

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Just a joke 😉 If the factory stops it will have a (huge) negative effect on the sentiment of buyers, but at the moment there are enough new Saabs for sale in the US to make in till the end of 2011.

YTD 3,150 Saab’s were sold in the US in the first 5 months and at the moment there are 3,954 new Saabs in stock for the coming 7 months.

Steve C.
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I see what you were thinking. Hopefully, Saab will do better in the US than just selling the current stock in 2H11 plus the 9-4X that wasn’t impacted by Trollhattan production and the 9-5 SC in the Fall.

Steve C.
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Addendum…Victor Muller was quoted in a Bloomberg story during April 2011 where anticipated US sales for 2011 were expected between 15K and 20K vehicles. The low side of that range would be double the current sold plus current stock. He’d like the US to get back to 25-30K/year “pretty soon.”

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

And the goal for the UK is still 15.000
INTERVIEW: Saab GB managing director Charles Toosey
http://www.just-auto.com/interview/saab-gb-managing-director-charles-toosey_id111558.aspx

People are continuing to come into our dealers – the momentum is still there but is definitely lower since we got a production block [but] 15,000 cars is a very realistic ambition.

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

10k 9-4X sales + 9-3 & 9-5 = 15k-20k?

Frank Wulfers
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Inventory numbers for Saab in the US on May 1st:

01 May 2011: 157 days – Industry average for cars: 43 days
01 April 2011: 141 days – Industry average for cars: 46 days

Production could stop for 4-5 months and dealers will still have new Saabs on their lot. Saab has the highest US inventory numbers in the industry, followed by Suzuki with 97 days, Mazda 81 days, Chrysler 70 days, VW 69 days.

PJPHughes
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I’m ready to buy…but amwaiting for a 9-5 SC when they finally get here. I will be ordering a Fjord Blue one as soon as I can. The 9-3 really needs a refresh ASAP and that is no doubt hurting the sales. And the 2010 9-5s came with no sunroof. Most people who buy a $50K MSRP car expect a sunroof. The 2011s 9-5s I saw in LA were all base cars with heated seats and nothing else (no nav, HUD, nothing…). Sorry, that’s just not appealing to me either. I’m sure many other Saab buyers feel the same.
Steve C.
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Based on the 2011 9-5 US specs (published on SU in September 2010) you have to get the Turbo4 premium to get panoramic moonroof and Nav is available starting with the Turbo4 premium. The HUD is only available with the Technology package but can be had with the Turbo4 premium on up.

Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I bought a 2010 and I’ve never liked sunroofs. I always keep the shade closed and hardly ever open it. If I were bald and it was cloudy out, maybe.

I note that I saw a Volkswagen ad for their CC where the camera panned over the top and there was no sunroof. I’m wondering if that is a bit of a trend.

looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Fjord Blue for me, too. I hope they post photos soon. When will the SC make it to the US?

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

How many Saab dealers are there in the US? A few 100?

Uddo
Member
5 years 3 months ago

How many dealers in US?
Today about 200.
2014-2016 there will be approximately 100.

From an interview with Matthias Seidl in “DN.se” march 2, 2011 (in swedish)

http://www.dn.se/motor/saabs-saljschef-vill-upprepa-succe

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

So every dealer only sells 1 new Saab every 2 weeks?

aaron c
Member
5 years 3 months ago
The 9-5’s sales are particularly pathetic. 543 through May is shockingly bad. I really do think the car, especially in the top levels, is priced too high. Having driven one recently, I can say that the Turbo4 doesn’t really feel like a $41,000 car. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really nice to drive and look at, but there’s far too much cheap plastic on the inside. And a $59,000 Aero V6 is really too much given Saab’s current position in the market. My message to Saab North America: cut your 9-5 prices by about 10 percent and advertise the hell… Read more »
SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

After nearly 2 months of bad press and bad news sales were quite ok. And sales in europe were broken down because it´s an order market. without delivered saabs no registrations.
But you have to stop dreaming – There is no big advertising budget and the american market is a no margin market. Concentrate on the new markets (china) and europe and give SCNA the 94x.
The Saab crisis has also to do with the inventory in the US

Perian
Member
5 years 3 months ago

With 6050 miles on my NG9-5 manual transmission sedan, I have averaged 28.9 miles per gallon in a 50/50 mix of city/highway driving.

That is just a stellar figure for this (wonderful) large vehicle.

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

On the plus side, Saab is more successful than Bentley & Maserati in the US:

Saab: 385 vs 174 (+121%)
Maserati: 206 vs 152 (+36%)
Bentley: 226 vs 134 (+69%)

aaron c
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Yeah, that’s hardly a plus. Have you seen Porsche’s sales figures? 2,817 in May. Those are the numbers Saab needs to be pulling in. I’m sure the 9-4x will help, but they need to figure out a long-term strategy in this market. We can’t keep using qualifiers like “Considering the bad press…” to justify Saab’s low sales figures. It’s not sustainable.

jim
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I agree Aaron, and I think it belongs with pricing. In the early 1990s BMW, Mercedes and Audi all slashed prices. And sales rocketed. Recently, Volvo slashed prices far below Saab. It seems incredibly odd to me that Saab prefers to discount cars secretly, rather than publicly advertise the excellent value of Saab cars.

Jonas Axelsson
Member
5 years 3 months ago
More successful? You compare the profit line on a few high end cars that Saab can’t even come close to as more successful like Bentley or Maser. They get good money for those cars. Not the paltry but fair $19k USD for a 2010 left over. These cars are not as unique of sports and quality oriented. My son is an older Saab fan and driving both sets of cars from our parents (Avalon and Accord), and then our cars which are a pair of XWD’s he said they were nice and perhaps Saab built an acceptable Avalon? That was… Read more »
RS
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Would a ‘factory order system’ one we have in use in Europe help? The huge advantage is that you get a car precisely the way you want it, even though you have to wait for it a few months. I have a feeling the biggest ‘problem’ is that Saabers are a nit-picking bunch of people (in a good way) and if they don’t get exactly the spec they want, in come demands for discounts? IMHO the MY10/11 cars should all get a sunroof and be Hirsched to start moving off the lots. Remember MY12 has an upgraded interior that will… Read more »
quickening
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I would say this is mostly true for already established Saab fans. My next car must last me a while, so I want it to be EXACTLY how I want it.

Saab needs to cut the prices by at least 10% and include Navigation. The non navigation setup is just too bland/ugly for most US consumers.

BoeBoe
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Americans want to drive their car of the lot instantly. They don’t want to wait weeks/months.
Even Rolls-Royces are sold from stock in the US instead of ordered by customers.

74StingSaab
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Not always true… most dealer want to sell of the lot and simply will not order the one you want to order. They will “try and locate” one off another dealers lot, but hardly ever will special order. Myself, I would prefer to order and wait when possible…

Jonas Axelsson
Member
5 years 3 months ago
RS, in theory with Mercedes you could but the fact is they will never build you a base car if you order it. I had ordered a base 190 when it came out and then a base ML320 and never took delivery after waiting almost a year. Finally one salesman took me out back, out of earshot and told me they would never build the car. With the ML I was hounded by calls from the factory to upgrade and I was one of the first with money down before production. Total baloney. To add insult to injury it took… Read more »
sconnie
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I don’t believe the production problems in Sweden had much of an impact on US sales during May. I didn’t see any mention of the problems in the mainstream press, so unless someone is a car fanatic, they probably don’t even know about anything going on at Saab or that Saab even still exists. The US May numbers are reflective of the entire auto market in the US for May. Both Ford and GM’s sales were down as was expected. A spike in gas prices along with general market jitters led people to be conservative with their purchasing.

Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Except for that damn Consumer Reports warning.

looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I thought the CR article was fair. It’s advice and their job is to point out the pros and cons. The purchaser goes from there. FYI, CR will review the 9-5 in the September issue, which means that the results will be available online in August. In their little blurb, they’ve said nice things so far. How do I know? I asked them and they emailed me back. They also did a little online Q&A, but I can’t find the link. I think they said that they like the car so far, but wait until August or September to read… Read more »
E
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Denver Post ran short AP articles twice during the stoppage, but nothing close to being a headline. Certainly didn’t see anything on national news regarding SAAB’s stoppage.

CurtInFalcon
Member
5 years 3 months ago

The problem in the US is a total lack of advertizing by Saab. Many Americans still think that Saab went under a year ago. I haven’t seen a single newspaper, magazine or television ad since Saab was sold. Until the American public is again aware of Saab, car sale totals will be dismal.

Chris Carrier
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I, too, would like to see a TV ad, just once, please. However, I’ve seen billboards in several places near Chicago and when I was recently in the Miami area.

looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Looks like the billboards on 95 outside Philadelphia have come down. Advertising would certainly help the negative comments from other brands’ dealers who say Saab is gone or about to be gone when you mention what other cars you’re considering.

SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

SAAB needs the money to produce cars for markets with margins not for making big campaigns in the US. They have to grew up there with the 94x and raise the brand image.

(also the germans ex. Porsche) were selling cars with low margins in the US – you can sell some volume there but no profit if you produce in europe

CurtInFalcon
Member
5 years 3 months ago

SAAB_Andee, Saab needs some exposure here in the US. No one will buy the new 9-4X if people are unaware that Saab still exists. My local dealer still has 2010 9-5 and 9-3 cars on the lot in addition to the 2011 models. And this is in a traditionally strong Saab market.

SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I think Tim Colbeck is a good man- he will do something but SAAB cannot afford big campaigns (that will cost much more than the money from pangda for the latest order) . My thought is that there are some dealers out there who make a good job – they promote there cars – but if youre waiting on the lot for an big ad campaign and that the cars sell from alone … keep dreaming. It´s no wonder why matthias seidl talked about reducing dealerships to 100. And the american market wasn´t a real good market for SAAB through… Read more »
solvy
Member
5 years 3 months ago

the dealer is the direct contact to the customer. it’s his job to inform the customer because he wants to sell a car. there are several ways of telling the story of saabs survival. for example per mail, e-mail, phone or (my favourite) talking to the customer when servicing his car.

those small marketing activities are cheaper and more efficient than any tv commercial saab can’t afford at the moment.

CurtInFalcon
Member
5 years 3 months ago
I’m predicting here that if Saab can’t find a way to get the word out to the American consumer that Saab is alive and well, it will never reach it’s sales goal. Starting with zero money against the likes of BMW, Audi, Acura and their nearly endless advertising budget will be like spitting into the wind. If you can’t afford television ads, then look at magazine and newspapers – all much cheaper. Dealers can only do so much, especially if their cars are not selling. Saab needs to reach the mass market to overcome the stigma of the GM era… Read more »
JasonPowell
Member
5 years 3 months ago
solvy, I wish it was that simple. I don’t know of a lot of dealers that don’t do that already with service customers, emails and mail outs. It takes time to restart a brand and that’s what we are all trying to accomplish. To say it’s the dealers job to inform the customer in a blanket statement like that is just not true. Yes, we want to sell them a car, but Saab also wants us to buy cars from them. It needs to be a partnership, I would be happy if Saab would do 50/50 advertising for us, it’s… Read more »
SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

@curtinfalcon

The US market is the market where you need the highest budget of all markets and for that size has an really non existing output. 385 cars with 200 dealers ….. thats a joke

SAAB has to bring on the business with Pang Da and cut business in the US if nobody wants to buy the cars there.
Ad campaigns in the US market is like burning money – if people still think saab is dead they are silly or simply not interested in SAAB or only want cheap deals.

JasonPowell
Member
5 years 3 months ago
SAAB_Andee, cut business in the US if nobody wants to buy the cars there. That would be foolish though. People maybe are not buying Saabs in the US right now, but if you think it will stay that way, you’re crazy. Maybe we forget ads of the generic type and look at strategic placement of cars. Look at the Volvo C30 from the Twilight movies, I’m sure that car sold a lot after the movies and maybe even brought people in to look at the other models. In North America, people buy quite often what is perceived as “cool”, most… Read more »
solvy
Member
5 years 3 months ago
@jason i can understand your message and i know that it’s also in saabs interest to support the dealer in form of advertising. i’m european so i don’t have a real insight to the NA market. from my point of view it’s easier to get an existing customer in a new car than to convince a new customer. it’s what vm always said ‘we don’t need new customers we only need the old ones’. saab is or should be aiming for the old ones and that is possible with a little amount of money. and this group of customers know… Read more »
malutki
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (VCNA) reported U.S. sales of 7,359 units, a 58 percent increase from May 2010. Year-to-date sales are up 25.8 percent over the first five months of 2010.

RS
Member
5 years 3 months ago

malutki, would you have a breakdown of the models and variants (engines) that ovloV sold in NA?

Uddo
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I don´t take all models but

1. S60 = 2405
2. XC60 = 1386
3. XC90 = 885

malutki
Member
5 years 3 months ago

malutki
Member
looking for new car
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Yes, the redesigned S60 and relatively new XC60’s are the big sellers for them. Lots of criticism that the XC90 is “old.” Been researching the XC60 in case the 9-5 SC comes out too late for me. 🙁

SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago

ovloV also sold 346 cars in austria – compared to our 16 saabs – but you can´t compare this.
they have some real good selling suvs – the XC60 is topseller. and a network of 54 dealers compared the approx 16 saab dealers. They have real premium ads and Tv spots …. So it´s no wonder.
our austrian newspapers only write about saab crisis not about the product – the same for most of the german car mags… and most of the old saabistas live in the 900era and ignore everything new…

SAAB is an underdog and it´s not that easy.

Uddo
Member
5 years 3 months ago

You have 16 dealers in Austria. Sell ​​any of them only Saab?

solvy
Member
5 years 3 months ago

no – as far as i know all multibrand

SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago
yes but there were 2 highly active dealers in vienna – which sell nearly the half of a month. The rest could do better – but they aren´t that active as the others. And if look at the dealer in the second largest city – he sells saabs from his backyard facility… You have to be an enthousiast and old customer to find there. the third largest city has non own dealership in town…. It´s hard selling cars if they couldn´t be seen. ovlov is sold maily by the denzel group in austria- they have premium multibrand facilities and a… Read more »
jim
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I still think they could sell many times that many 9-5s, if priced more in line with the Volkswagen CC or Acura TL. 1,000 9-5s / year is ridiculously low volume… it’s near zero. For a well reviewed car in the mass market! Sorry, as a Saab fan and 9-5 admirer. That is Ferrari type volume. Bentley sells more Continentals than that.

SAAB_Andee
Member
5 years 3 months ago
do you want SAAB to survive or do you only want a cheap car. SAAB can lower the MSRP instead of some incentives or bonuses but they cannot sell the car to a non profit price….. It´s a car produced in europe , workers get SEK for it not $$ . If i get more margin in china i will sell the car there and keep the prices in the US. SAAB has a limited production volume and they don´t want to make 300000 cars in trollhättan in 2 years… I can´t understand this … the lower price argument must… Read more »
sconnie
Member
5 years 3 months ago
The fact is that no one needs to spend $50K on an automobile. People that do so are looking for prestige or something they perceive is simply the best there is. In a few instances, like me, people do it so they can have something unique and beautiful. Most people with $50K will be driving MB, Audi, BMW, Lexus, etc in the US. Saab does not have the cache of these other brands. Saab has never been known for reliability either. Therefore, it will always be a tough sell in the US unless you have some passionate dealers who do… Read more »
JasonPowell
Member
5 years 3 months ago
Bentley YTD sales in the US 665 TOTAL, Saab US YTD 3150 TOTAL and Bentley is up by 16.3% from last year. I don’t see how your comment can be true. The 9-5 is NOT a VW CC or an Acura TL, drive them and then make the same comment, the 9-5 is not even a 9-5 if you really want to compare. This car is so completely different then the previous one. I don’t think pricing is the big issue, I think for most dealers it’s traffic and it wouldn’t matter if you priced a 9-5 under $30,000, people… Read more »
No 9
Member
5 years 3 months ago

Voilà! The new 9-5 should have been called a 9-6.

Bruce
Member
5 years 3 months ago

I agree with the fair fixed pricing idea. We own a Saturn L200 and Dame Edna from such a dealer. I think it is especially kind to many infrequent car shoppers. No risk of being “ripped off” by not being offered the discount. Just make the Xenons standard–wow are they fantastic on the highway at night, and the self-leveling on the old 9-5 keeps them out of other cars’ rear-view mirrors or oncoming eyes.

Has the North American Dealer Council raised this possibilty? I’m sure it would also help dealers predict income more accurately.

Bruce in Montreal

theSandySaab
Member
5 years 3 months ago
So, I just played around a bit with a direct competitor – the A6 quattro. It starts at over 50 , it does not even include standard rear airbags and I find even the new interior extremely uninteresting. Great car, but I’d take the 9-5 (loaded) at the SAME price point! I would agree get a starter/step-in version at the 9-3, then build it from there. The 9-5 should only have a single Turbo4 and two Turbo6 versions (Turbo6 and Aero), all with HUD and sunroof. Then keep XWD optional, make the NAV standard in the Aero, make purchasing (decisions)… Read more »
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