Jan-Ake Jonsson and Victor Muller entertained some of the automotive press on the way from Trollhattan to Paris overnight and Automotive News Europe have written a story based on the conversation on the plane.
Saab Automobile CEO Jan Ake Jonsson says it will take longer than anticipated to gain the hearts, minds and eventually the wallets of U.S. car buyers.
The automaker has reduced its U.S. sales target this year by at least 33 percent to below 10,000 units.
“The U.S. is a huge country,” Jonsson said. “There are many areas where they still believe we are gone. It will take time…….”
……Global sales are expected at about 48,000 this year, down from a range of 50,000 to 55,000 forecast in June. Jonsson estimates Saab will sell 80,000 vehicles globally next year, of which 16,000 to 20,000 will be in the United States……
That article goes on to talk about current incentives available in the US, like the conquest incentive available to owners of various marques until the end of September.
“Having all these tools in place is resulting in the great month we are having nationally,” said Fred Shaw, owner of Shaw Saab in Norwell, Mass. “We are on a roll.”
Shaw did not provide any national sales numbers. He is a member of Saab’s national marketing and advertising council.
I definitely think sales will be light years better in September than what they were in August. For example, my mates at New Salem Saab told me a few days ago that they’d sold 4 new and 10 used vehicles so far this month. It may not sound like a heap to some of you, but it’s way ahead of previous months and when you consider that around 200 Saab dealers sold just 290 cars nationwide in August, well, you get what I mean.
We don’t have long to wait and see, but I’m confident of a better month and much better times ahead.