December sales figures came in overnight….
There were 815 sales of the Saab 9-3 for December. There are 2,803 units of the Saab 9-3 remaining in stock.
There were 259 sales of the Saab 9-5 for December. There are 1,671 Saab 9-5s remaining in stock.
There were 1,074 sales recorded in total in December.
There are 4,474 vehicles remaining in stock.
UPDATE: Including full year sales chart and some comments from SCNA.
The full year sales figure for Saab sales in the US was 5,445 vehicles. Month by month, they break down as follows:
Click to enlarge.
It’s somewhat ironic that the third-largest sales month for 2010 was January, when Saab were effectively in liquidation and the future of the company was very much in doubt. Despite those dire conditions, what Saab had at that time was access to a larger sales infrastructure through GM, and perhaps more importantly, they still had some semblence of life in the minds of the people.
Since that time, there have been thousands of reports by somewhat lazy big-masthead pulications that talk about Saab in the same breath as Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn, with little or no distinction between the sale or closure of those respective brands. Saab are simply talked about as one of the brands “cast aside” by GM.
There have been a lot of reports about the fact that Saab are still alive, too, but if you could collect them all, my guess is that the number of reports talking about GM outnumer the reports talking about Saab by a significant margin (a quick search on Google News turns up 112 for “Saab Automobile” and 10,546 for “General Motors” in the past week). That’s a lot of negative momentum to overcome. More than I’d realised, in fact.
As to the chart above, there’s a definite trend line there and it’s upward. Even when things cooled after the September spike, they cooled at a higher average level. It’s small potatos, but let’s hope that trend line can continue in the same upward direction for some time yet.
I emailed Saab Cars North America to get some comment on the December numbers. There has been some concern expressed in comments with regards to the numbers being ‘padded’ with dealer registrations (i.e. dealers registering vehicles for use as service loaners and counting those registrations in sales numbers when they’re not actual sales to customers).
The response I received is as follows:
I don’t know of any dealer registrations that would be abnormal. Dealers do have an ongoing program for service loaners that they can and do utilize at any time during the year. They may use that program more at certain times than others, but there has been no change to the program.
The driver of December sales was more Saab advertising (we returned to TV) and a good supply of 2011 9-3s and 9-5s which we did not have in November. The Make-a-Wish program also drove strong traffic to the stores that participated. In addition, December was a good month for the industry and we have new Saab dealers that are now selling cars. We also had a fleet deal (good news) as Enterprise returned to being a Saab customer (appx 150 units).
I acknowledge the concerns raised in comments but absent the ability to audit numbers, I can only ask the question and publish the response. My thanks to SCNA for listening and responding.
It seems the US had a better month in December and I look forward to the watching the trends in the first quarter of 2011.
78 thoughts on “Saab US sales data – December 2010”
No need to dig for information:
December (’10 vs ’09)
Total 1.074 vs 868 (+23,73%)
2010 vs 2009
Total 5.445 vs 8.680 (-37,27%)
Source of the numbers:
For the models the numbers are this when looking on 2007 – 2010:
2007 December sales 9-3: 1773
2008 December sales 9-3: 684
2009 December sales 9-3: 699
2010 December sales 9-3: 815
2007 December sales 9-5: 383
2008 December sales 9-5: 120
2009 December sales 9-5: 87
2010 December sales 9-5: 259
So on the face of it, wouldn’t this seem to be positive? Looking at Carl-Henrik’s numbers, this is a strong multiple-year upward trend for both models — including an outgoing 9-3 model. Regardless of dealer padding, can we take this as positive?
I don’t know a bit how dealerships work; but if most dealers are so cash-strapped, and already padded numbers in September with service loaners, is it reasonable to think it’s happening again? I would like to think it’s unfortunately the result of the ridiculously low pricing going on right now.
I would say there is a positive momemtum for Saab going on. The “thing” is just that it is a bit slower than anticipated.
Just look at the numbers for Finland: 199 sold in December 2010. 371 sold in December 2009. But the 199 sold in December is much more than the 35 sold in November 2010. And several others markets also show this increase except the Dutch (but then people say that sales in December are low in NL and sales in January are much stronger instead). I do not know what is the reason for the increase in sales in these “smaller” markets (compared to Sweden, UK, USA), but perhaps the TTiD <120g/Km 9-3 SS can be one reason on the Europe markets.
As for the US I would say there is a positive momentum, but I would never hang up on percantage or so. There is an increase – that is important!
Saab sold 42 cars in Finland in December. The total number for 2010 is 199.
Ah, thank you for clarifying that! 🙂
But am I right that those cars were sold ONLY during September – December (with numbers per month: 27, 95, 35, 42)?
The numbers are headed in the right direction but a lot more work needs to be done. Have been searching for Canada sales but have yet to find anything.
Things are moving. Slower than we would like but at least the direction is right.
That said there is still a lot of work to be done but I’m pretty sure Saab is aware of that.
I just hope the dealers can survive until sales get on a higher level.
I’d venture a guess that part of the reason that most Americans think Saab is dead is because of sloppy reporting by the US media – this example by CNN online – “But gains were limited compared to a year ago, when GM was still selling a significant number of vehicles from its discontinued brands — Saab, Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer.” Reading that and not knowing better would lead me to believe that Saab is gone. Alternatively, the reporter simply says that GM shed the four brands that were either closed or sold, without identifying which one was sold and which three were closed. Worse yet, this is a pattern that is repeated month after month by the press without adding that Saab was purchased by Spyker. The fact that existing advertising by SCNA is spotty, along with confused messages don’t help matters.
Saab is using “Enron Math” to tabulate December sales. I’d be willing to guess that over 60% of the units are service loaners. Just sayin…
Highly doubt that, loaner programs have never been such that a dealer would want to load up on loaners. It cost a dealer more to have a loaner then the discount they get buy claiming the loaner. Loaner programs are set up to let your customer drive your product and hopefully fall in love with it and in the end the credit for those cars go to the customer. I’d be surprised if that number even topped 15%, in Canada we don’t even have a loaner program in place yet.
did you sell those 2 Saabs in December? 😉
Unfortunately no, we didn’t get our Saabs until the 2nd week of December. We have a good selection of 2011 Saabs now in stock and are looking forward to 2011. Remember with the Canadian numbers as well, that we didn’t get 2010 models so we don’t have the blowout type deals you see in the US.
There is nothing surreptitious or devious in the reporting of loaner cars as new car sales. They are reported as such because said cars have to be registered (certificate of origin is surrendered, taxes are paid and state registration plates attached) and the warranty start date is put into play. When these cars are sold, though virtually new, they appear on our reporting and statements as used car sales. It is nearly a semantic matter—if we reported loaners as new car sales only once sold, in the end, the same number of cars would be reported. Can dealers play some marginal games, perhaps to enhance their position amongst their peers at the end of a month? Sure, but that sort of dealer-to-dealer gamesmanship is harmless.
What is not harmless is what a former Saab Cars USA president (who came from and returned to GM after a ridiculous stint at SAAB) did when he instructed dealers to report sales on cars that were not sold or put into loaner service, thus padding his numbers and jeopardizing the integrity of a lot of dealers, and corrupting the warranty start dates of much inventory.
Muller to reviel listing plans in May.
I agree with Paddan that the US media is of atrociously low quality. The reason I come to Saabs United to get my news about Saab.
My dealer was in the top 5 (month-to-date and year-to-date) of our region (consisting of 44 dealers and is the top region in the US). Not one of our sales was service loaner for the month of Dec. As a matter of fact, we retailed a service loaner to a customer so there was actually one more sale that didn’t reflect in the MTD numbers. That’s how these loaners work. You may get a number the month you put it into service, but you don’t get a second count when you ultimately sell them so in the long run, it evens out. It’s always been this way.
I don’t speak for the dealer body with respect to how many sales were loaners but I can say the level of activity was encouraging and I’m hearing less and less concern for the brand’s future. It will take time but it will happen.
Looking at that graph, and knowing the Swedish sales progression for the 9-3, I am less preoccupied for the Oct Nov numbers.
Saab is planning their production to keep the cost under control, therefore they (imho) stop sending MY ’10 cars too early.
You can also see such a drop in sales in Sweden, but two months earlier.
My Congrats to you and Saab…how many units makes you a top 5 dealer in top region?
The 150 sales to Enterprise is an interesting remark- I haven’t seen a Saab in a rental fleet in a loooong time.
Hope Saab doesn’t go overboard with the Enterprise sales and becomes the new rental fleet special…
I wouldnt be too concerned about Enterprise–a lot different than Dollar Rent-a-Car that rents to the Disney World crowd traveling to Orlando. Enterprise tendsto cater to business travelers and really charge a pretty penny for Volvo and presumably Saabs. They also do fleets for company vehicles–so perhaps some firms are putting their sales people in Saabs. It would be great to be able to rent a SAAB when I am on the road.
Wow – I can only dream of walking into an Enterprise and getting a 9-3 or 9-5 instead of that death vehicle Impala!
I’ve gotten an Impala for the past few rentals I’ve had from Avis. Apart from the base model with cloth seats and column shifter, I have liked them. The base model was terrible, but the ones with the leather and floor shift are VERY nice — roomy, plenty of power, GREAT trunk space, and nice ride.
Still, I’d rather have a 9-3, but I have a feeling that will be classified as their “luxury” rental, with a 100% markup over the “full size” offering.
A couple things — the average buyer does not know there are significant price discounts on the new Saabs. If you just looked at Edmunds or whatever your online source, or did not directly contact your Saab dealer, you might not know of the heavy discounts.
In regard to Saab being dead or alive, I sold my SPG two months ago and the buyer already had previously purchased six or seven Saabs. His girlfriend looked at me and said, “so, no more Saabs now, how do you feel about that?” I was shocked that the girlfriend of a Saab fanatic wouldn’t have heard that the company was “saved.” To me, that spoke volumes about Saab’s inability to get the word out that it is very much alive.
By now, most of us have seen or heard the new Saab ads. What they fail to note to those that aren’t “in the know” is that these are not “leftovers,” GM does NOT still own the brand, and it is NOT being closed down. It is VITAL that this message get out there — that Saab is here to stay, it is not owned by GM anymore, and that it is committed to the future. THAT message has NOT been significantly conveyed here in the states.
Yes. The news has not penetrated as far as we would hope yet….even among Saab fans. If people do not follow sites like SU, Saabnet, etc., they are less likely to have heard.
Swade: Do all my e-mails to you end up in the great spam-folder in the sky, or just the one I sent a couple of days ago? 😉
(sorry, I do not have anything to contribute to the current discussion — I simply wanted to subscribe to this thread)
I’m trying to get to it, Rune. I didn’t think we should bring it up publicly, but I’m waiting for warmer weather before taking those kinds of photos of myself for you…. please be patient – SW (that’ll teach him 😉 )
Here’s the link to the December, 2010 numbers for Canada. Saab sold 2 cars…
Not sure why the link didn’t appear; I’ll just cut and paste:
Most likely it’s because you didn’t select the text you wanted the link to attach to. Don’t worry, a lot of people do this.
Here’s the tutorial….
How to post links in comments.
Not sure if the number is accurate or not. In Canada, when we deliver a vehicle right now we forward the information to IFS and they report the sale. Not sure if this info is based on registrations or not. Also from what I saw of sold orders, most were 9-5’s with sunroofs and the was a supply issue with the roofs. My dealership didn’t receive cars until the 2nd week of December, so we don’t have a full month in Canada yet and Saab is still working to re-introduce leasing in Canada. That said, lets look at January for a better look into Canada.
That’s true. And re-introducing leasing will make a huge difference as well. I for one leased a non-Saab a couple of months ago precisely because I couldn’t lease a Saab through GMAC or whoever. I had my eye on the silver 2.0T 9-3 6-speed.
Well that’s a bit better, albeit with a long way to go yet.
In retrospect, sending 2010 9-5s to the US with no sunroof and with the down-scale green radio display was a significant mistake. People here love their sunroofs, and the green radio display just plain sucks, especially in a car which is supposed to compete with the A6, 528-535, etc.
To give you an idea how much I dislike the green display I took an extra month to find a car in the right color with the Nav display (and paid extra for Nav which I really did not want). Not everyone is a Saab fanatic like I am, the average buyer is going to get in the car at the dealership (or worse look at the pictures online), see the green radio display, and walk away. *Every car in the US should have the touch screen display, Nav or no Nav* For comparison purposes, my wife’s 2005 Mercedes E320 wagon has what was then a start-of-the-art LCD display, but no Nav.
With all respect, I bought my 9-5 last week specifically without the color touch nav display, HUD, and sunroof. I have my own GPS which I use locally and take with me for business travel when I drive rental cars, so I was interested in keeping the ~$1800 in my pocket. (as technology advances, I have a feeling consumer GPSs will be much better than the one in the vehicle within 2-3 years, if not sooner) I also found the color touch screen too prominent and bright on the dash that it kept distracting me during the test drive. I drive a lot at night and didn’t want that thing lighting up the cabin. I also found the HUD distracting and mostly a novelty – I turned it off mid test drive. I’m a gadget freak so I thought long and hard about both options. Initially I was concerned about the green screen looking cheap, but honestly, it works very well and will not strain the eyes (as my brother in law was an air traffic controller, he reminds me that green is the best color to view for long periods of time as it’s the least straining). Here in Seattle, it rains so much that rarely does one use their sunroof…none of my three cars has one and I’ve never missed it.
While I have no doubt the green screen and lack of sunroof on the MY2010 launch vehicles are deal killers for many, the $3-4 grand I saved allowed me to buy the car in the first place. My Aero XWD handles, accelerates, and looks as good on the outside as anyone elses, which were ultimately the most important features to me.
I do think you have a good point there. People buy what they want. Some people want everything. Some want just a few things. The important thing is that people do get what they want. Enjoy your car!! 🙂
The Nav/radio screen dims quite nicely at nighttime, and you still have the Night Panel option to turn it off.
Perhaps there’s a way to design the design the dash which looks better with the green screen. It fits in a hole designed for a larger unit, and the whole thing just looks like a half-assed effort to fill too big a space. I’m going to be driving this car for a long time, and every time I get in the car I did not want to look at something that looked (to me) like an unhappy compromise.
A breath of fresh air…Saab needs more people like you.
Often, we don’t see the forest for the trees, but you did and I’m happy for you. This is showing true Saab spirit. Is the driving that matters, not the gadgetry.
Any info as to which Enterprise locations have these SAABS? I’d love to go rent a new 9-5 over the weekend!!
I rented one today here in sweden 🙂 My MY-09 was in for service and I “upgraded” the loaner to a Turbo4 Vector! What a car, I was very impressed!
3 key things affecting US growth:
1. US Dec 2010 sales beat Dec 2009, but total 2010 is still down vs total 2009. Factory shutdowns and slow re-fill of pipeline hurt, but also significantly affecting sales comparisons is the lack of a 9-7X replacement. From 2006 to early 2009, the 9-7X generally outsold the 9-5 in the US. Saab will not return to its 2007 sales levels without an SUV. They have a huge hole in the lineup until the 9-4X arrives this summer.
2. 2007 and earlier saw higher sales numbers before economic downturn, but even more importantly, Saab generated many sales with regularly advertised cut-rate lease deals on 9-3s (in particular).
3. The lack of a 9-5 SportCombi hurts here in the US too. Although demand is not as high for the SC version as in Sweden, SportCombi’s are easily 33% of 9-5 sales. If a 9-5 SportCombi existed, US 9-5 sales in Dec 2010 could have equaled Dec 2007– or another way to look at it, Dec 2010 9-5 sedan sales were probably equal to Dec 2007 9-5 sedan sales assuming a 67% sedan / 33% wagon mix.
A friend of mine bought a new 9-3 sedan at a ridiculous discount, a few weeks ago. A week later, he went back and bought another one (for his wife, that one with an automatic transmission). I can’t believe the numbers he’s telling me. I said he should get one for me, too.
Will I score such a discount on a 9-3 hatchback in future years, if/when they exist again (and I can afford one again), if I buy it between Christmas and New Years, preferably at -30F ambient, as I am advised? Anyway, I plan to try the tactic.
OK so what happened in November? Was that an anamoly or is there an explanation? It looks like an outlier in a brief trend upward, but I guess we willl have to see what the new year brings
Perhaps it was a glitch between the 2010 and 2011 models. People might have waited to buy a 2011 instead of an 2010.
I guess this is the new reality. 1000 car a month, in the US, is very low for a company that sold as many as 50,000 or more in the past. The direction is the important thing here, and it is up! In comparison European numbers are very strong. What I find very interesting is that 9-3 sales are as strong as they are, when in fact, Saab spent all of it’s ad money on the new 9-5. Victor is very right in rushing the new 9-3 to market. Can come soon enough.
I think the European numbers are proportionately much stronger because GM and the media didn’t destroy Saab in Europe the same way they did in the USA by excessively, and prematurely, announcing Saab’s death!
Saab has such a massive marketing hole to dig itself out of here in the USA. Frankly, I think the mainstream advertising budget could have been better distributed in not only advertising the all new 9-5, but by announcing the SAAB is ALIVE AND WELL. It just doesn’t seem that announcing the new 9-5 was enough for the public to assume the brand is alive.
OK, I hate to dampen the festive mood a bit, but I really think that a big percentage of the higher sales numbers in December are due to the huge discounts. I’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of 9-3’s lately and I’m pretty certain these are not all Saab fans coming back to save the brand but rather people looking for a good deal.
If I’m right then we’ll see a drop in sales as soon as the discounts disappear. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
I think you’re quite right, there, to a large degree. It’s a worry (to me) that SCNA are still using the same GM tactics of years ago. They’re just training buyers to sweat it out because the incentives will come eventually.
As I wrote in a follow up to last month’s sales story, I really think they need to pack some more value into the cars and fight for the market segment they’re looking to occupy. Sure beats begging for it.
Unfortunately, it looks like Saab in fact offered the largest incentives in the industry in December, 2010:
“Comparing all brands, in December Subaru spent the least, $522, followed by Scion at $881 per vehicle sold. At the other end of the spectrum, Saab spent the most, $7,998, followed by Mercury at $6,448 per vehicle sold. Relative to their vehicle prices, Mercury and Saab spent the most, 21.6 percent and 19.3 percent of sticker price, respectively; while Porsche spent 1.6 and Subaru spent 2.0 percent.”
I did not know this number, when I wrote my first comment below. If this number should be true, Saab has to to review all, the whole strategy, but certainly the focus and approach to the US market, but not alone. Obviously, such discounts are hurting for the short run revenue, but they are much more damaging for the future. To be forced to give such incentives is a disaster with respect to resell value, future leasing conditions and overall sales. Potential buyers will just wait for the next large discount action. It establishes the brand as cheap, not worth the price, and in fact destroys the value of the brand. Just the opposite of what the intention is. I think there is a deep strategy and in fact management problem.
Elements of a strategy review should include:
– Focus on US as a key market, but with very low sales even in new and competitive products (9-3x 9-5 sedan), and apparently at extremely lousy prices and margins, given the exchange rate and exchange rate outlook. Just to give you one example: A fully equipped 9-5 2.8l aero in Switzerland, a market with a intact dealer network, roughly costs 100k CHF, which translates into 105k USD, If corrected for the exchange rate, import duty and VAT (both low in Switzerland), then Saab or the country organisation must have double the revenue on any car sold in Switzerland, with a skyhigh margin on it compared to the US. Similar price relationsships refer to the rest of the product range for the 9-5 as well as the 9-3. Lower the prices in the markets with high margins, and sell much more, and stop discounting ridicolously in the US. The pricing has to be coordinated internationally to optimize global sales and margins.
– The product specifications in the US market offered. (For the 9-5 see my comment below) With respect to the 9-3, the new 1.6l engine with 163 hp is not available in the Unitied States. Again the only fuel efficient engine is not available at all in the US, despite the importance of the 4$ per gallon mark. According to the website , XWD is only available for the 9-3 sedan, but not for the 9-3 sc, not even with the most powerful 210hp engine. Who ever decided that, and for what reasons, it is an absolute disaster, given the importance of fuel efficiency and driving characteristics/ winter conditions in key sales regions.
– List prices should be brought into line with more realistic market prices, particularly for the 9-3. The shortcomings in the product offering (cheap interior) should be tackled with in the mid 2011 refresh. For the interim period, the prices should be lowered, or prices discounted.
There is definitely a management problem. If one of the three defined key markets shows such shortcomings in product offerings, specifications, pricing to market, marketing, someone has to take the blame. i have no clue, who is involved, but this is not a small issue, and certainly a key for the survival of the company.
Well, I don’t think that Saab had much choice. They could have kept the prices high and, because of the lingering uncertainty about Saab, the cars would have sat on the dealer lots and loading docks rotting away. As I understand it Saabs business plan doesn’t ask for a profit to be turned until 2012. So financially it’s probably OK to sell the cars with close to no profit, as long as their production costs are being recouped.
The upside is that we are seeing a lot more Saabs on the road, i.e. instant advertisement for the brand. The downside is instant depreciation of your beautiful new car. Time will tell if the brand image will be eroded by the huge discounts. It is clear though, that by the time the new 9-3 comes out these huge discount practices should have stopped. The old 9-3 doesn’t cost much to produce, I assume that all design and setup costs have been recouped already. Of course this will not be the case for the new 9-3 and the profit margin will have to be as large as possible.
Strangely enough the new 9-5 and 9-4x probably also can be sold with small profit margins, design and production cost have already been paid by GM (and the American tax payer).
GerritN wrote: “Time will tell if the brand image will be eroded by the huge discounts. It is clear though, that by the time the new 9-3 comes out these huge discount practices should have stopped..”
It’s definitely affected me personally, but it was GM’s fault. I bought a brand new 9-2X back in I think 2005. I don’t recall. It was the Linear model, first year. It was Subaru reliability with the Saab suspension and tuning and redesign that got me back into Saab. Not four months later, GM introduced their “friends & family” discount, and fully loaded Aeros were selling for cheaper than I bought my Linear. Suddenly, I was so under water it wasn’t even funny. I was pretty ticked off. The current crazy incentives and discounts reduce the value of every Saab on the road, and I’m not even sure Saab is benefiting from them because people who aren’t up on Saabs have no idea just how cheap they can get one.
You are exactly right. but is it economically feasible for Saab to do that?
I have not driven the new 9-5 yet, but based on the reviews there seems to be a lot to like.
The only thing that turns me off is the dashboard/IP. It’s not as bad as some of the reviews indicate, but in this segment it needs to be better, and lets face it Saab needs to make a big splash with this car, a stunning interior would really help.
Audi has survived on it for years. Even though their cars, for the most part, are nothing great dynamically, and are not a great value-yet they have success because of that perception of quality, that in large part comes from the design and build quality of their interiors
I don’t think that it is a very good deal for SAAB selling cars in the US right now. First of all the price in US$ is pretty low but then also the US$ is dropping in value towards the Swedish Kr. All in all, very few Swedish Kr coming back to SAAB Automobile that produces the cars.
I read an article that suggested that the petrol price would double during the next 24 months. In the comments to the article some people (in Sweden) stated that it wasn’t very likely. But I actually think it might if you consider that the value of oil is set in US$ and the person stating this was from the US. If the US government doesn’t start taking care of their budget they will probably see the US$ hitting very low values in the next couple of years making it impossible for companies to export to US without raising the price.
I foresee that the BRIC countries (and especially China) will be much more important for SAAB than the US in just a few years. So setting up a production plant in China will probably be the key to success (together with some will placed commercials).
The numbers are somewhat reassuring, but reveal a need for action as well. The sales numbers for the 9-3 are more of a positive surprise. It is an old model, overpriced compared to competitors (but as a few contributors have pointed to, may have benefited from extreme discounts).
The numbers for the 9-5 are clearly disappointing, I would even qualify them as catastrophic if put into right perspective. It is a brand new car with advanced features, and fairly priced relative to competitors, as we know from Edmunds. The US is the market for large sedans, not Europe. Furthermore, at the factory level, a range of different and competitive gasoline engines are available, while for diesels needed in Europe just the lower end is covered. It is not just brand awareness, as the numbers for the 9-3 indicate, but really 9-5 specifications, pricing and marketing, that hurt sales of the new 9-5 in the US:
– Just the top model for 2010 model year available, but with no sunroof and a cheap radio.
– No 1.6l 180hp engine, the best in terms of fuel efficiency, available at all also for model year 2011. This is important, as the price of gasoline approaches 4$ per gallon.
– No xwd or drive sense available at all for the 220 hp model for model year 2011, this is holding back sales.
In key regions in the US for Saab sales, snow and winter conditions are an important consideration for buyers, some regions just had one of the worst winters since years. Saab has one of the best all wheel-drive systems overall, but does not even offer it at all except for the top model in the main market for that model. Sorry this is crazy, suicidal, and needs to be corrected not for future model years, but immediately. I think Saab should review the 9-5 offering for the US market thoroughly, and take action on the apparently bloated 2010 model year inventory as quickly as possible. Either sell it at highly discounted prices, what I would not recommend, or change the negative points (sunroof, radio) at the expense of Saab, not of the dealers, even if it costs. Immediately introduce the XWD/drive sense in combination with the 220 hp model as well as the fuel efficient 180hp model, make the drive sense as an option available for them as well, and make Hirsch upgrades available as soon as possible. And start a marketing campaign that promote the new 9-5 with the right arguments, those that have been mentioned by Edmunds.
This is one of the many reasons why the 2010-2011 SAAB is not selling in the U.S. Check out these inflated prices (taken from cars.com):
1. 2010 Saab 9-5 Aero – $56,680
Dealer: Dirito Brothers Nissan, VW, Saab of Walnut Creek
2. 2011 Saab 9-5 Turbo4 Premium – $50,140
Dealer: Symes Cadillac Saab
Call: 866-515-6163 – 50K FOR A 4 CYLINDER 9-5???? ARE YOU KIDDING????
The entire listing is on this web page:
Someone from SAAB N.A. or (Swade) should call these guys and educate them on how overpriced these models are… I thought you can find 4 cylinder 9-5’s with XWD for less than 45k?
1. There are no XWD 4 cylinders in the US. Not until MY2012.
2. I’ve embedded your links for you. Folks, please learn how to use links properly to help prevent the uglification of the comments section.
Hi Calisaab, You are right about the price of the 2010 Saab 9-5 aero. But this car is as loaded as you can get a 2010 9-5 aero. If you checked our website you would see we are taking $6000.00 off msrp on all 2010 9-5’s in stock, and 1 I have taken $8000.00 off Msrp plus your bet the owner loyalty of a $1000.00. So we are doing what we can to reduce the price and move the cars.
One should not stare at percentage number back and forth. It is actual sales thats matter. NG 9-5 can not be compared to OG 9-5. A car that was over 10 years old the last years on sale. A new 9-5 should sell better it is a NEW car with excellent new technology etc.
Sorry to see that so many cars remain unsold.
How are the unsold 9-5s specified? Have heard that it is low spec vehicles with 17-18 inch wheels and monochrome SID and monochrome central instrument. Seams like someone believed that US/CAN customers would settle for low end cars.
As far as I remember US spec 9000 and OG 9-5 where very well equiped with all the bells and whistles. What has happened?
You bring up a great point. I will lease a new 9-5 in late February when my current OG9-5 lease ends.
Please tell me why I can not buy a base NG9-5 with a manual transmission, sunroof and nav system.
I am leasing this vehicle because it’s a Saab, and I love the way they drive – but I am not totally happy spending $550 a month with no sunroof and the most god-awful radio/hvac display in history.
The general population will consider this equipment level a deal-breaker however.
That said, I am looking forward to my 6th new Saab, and am grateful the company still exists.
I agree, in theory, Jörgen, but here in the USA, 2007 was prior to the economic recession (and the 9-5 was not as old then as it is now). So, although a new 9-5 should sell better, than 2007, I think it would have but the new 9-5 is more expensive as the USA is just beginning to come out of the recession, and there are fewer dealers….plus the continued lack of awareness of Saab’s survival.
I expect the sales will pick up quite a bit in 2011 as the economy improves, the 9-5 sport combi becomes available and as more people become aware that Saab has viable products to sell. (A number of people may be waiting to see if it looks like Saab will be there to service the car going forward.)
A quick read that sums it up the economic state in the USA for the average American.
The “paradox” of our recovering economy
9-5 SC is still missing. Should make some numbers, too.
I’m not sure about the situation in NA, but in Europe at least 70percent of the 9-5 were always wagons….
In US, the station wagons are not big sellers. The US customers are going for the SUV’s instead. Actually, Volvo recently decided to withdraw it’s European best seller V70 – which is a station wagon – from the US market to promote their XC60 / 70 / 90 SUV’s instead. .
Thus, do not have the hopes to high for increased sales of the 9-5 SC in the US market.
Saab has never been a mainstream US car. It sells very well in specific niche markets (the Northeast, Colorado, upper midwest). As someone who lives in the Boston area, I can provide anecdotal evidence that both OG9-5 SCs, Volvo V series, as well as other wagons (Subaru Outback, for example) do exceptionally well around here. We’re not terribly bothered about what somebody in Miami or LA might think about our (lack of) style!
To be fair though the new 9-5 in more expencive than the old so it harder to sell more of them. This also means they would have more profit margen.
Right! the new 9-5 indeed is an extended wheelbase version, like the A6L is for Audi. in comparison to the previous 9-5, it is 17 cm longer, placing it in the same league as the Audi A8 in respect to internal space. Therefore, it is more expensive than the OG9-5. Maybe a bit too expensive and too big for some people. The problem for Saab is that there is now a huge gap between the 9-3 and the 9-5 (that presumably, in GM’s master plot, was to be occupied by the Insignia).
Anyway, as long as Saab refrains from producing more cars than they can sell, they have a good chance to survive until the numbers get better.
For now, the new 9-3 will be slightly bigger too.
I would like to add one question, something what maybe I have missed : One of the strong points of Saab’s engine supply is the availabiltiy of biopower or E85 capable engines. In the US, there is a network of roughly 2500 filling stations offering E85, furthermore, E85 is significantly cheaper than gasoline, roughly by 15-25%, depending on location. Biopower engines sell quite well in Sweden. Why is Saab USA not at least offering the highly competitive biopower engines? Is it due to environmental concerns, as ethanol is won not from wood, but from agricultural production?
All 9-5 Turbo4 sold in USA and Canada are BioPower capable engines.
Biopower is not a strong sales argument in the US, most people just don’t care. E85 is kind of an uphill battle. Many states are pushing for higher alcohol content but there is quite some anxiety that many cars will not being able to cope with it, i.e. law suits etc. Personally I don’t like alcohol as a gasoline replacement. It is mostly pushed by the corn lobby to sustain mid-west farmers. It’s an utter waste of farmland to use corn for alcohol while a big part of the world is starving. Sorry for mixing in politics, but that kind of happens naturally whenever alternative fuels get discussed.
Mu solution: as much solar, hydro and wind power you can manage augmented by nuclear power as necessary. Whenever that happens I’ll be happy to trade in my gas guzzlers for fully electric vehicles.
GerritN, that is a false argument, and it’s clear where your politics lie.
From the E85 FAQ: the production of ethanol from corn uses only the starch of the corn kernel. All of the valuable protein, minerals and nutrients remain. One bushel of corn produces about 2.7 gallons of ethanol, 11.4 pounds of gluten feed (20% protein), 3 pounds of gluten meal (60% protein) and 1.6 pounds of corn oil. Bt-corn is a genetically modified version of corn which has been studied for use in foods and as a renewable fuel resource.
I say use the GM corn for ethanol and the regular corn for the animals and people anyway. Besides. What else would you rather grow on that farmland that would feed all the starving people, and how would you ship it to them?
And while we’re at it, let’s kill the other argument (that it takes more energy to make ethanol than is worth it): “Research indicates an approximate 67% gain in the overall corn-to-ethanol process and use of that ethanol for fuel. Corn yields and processing technologies have improved significantly over the past 20 years and they continue to do so, making ethanol production much less energy intensive. ”
I run E85 in my 9-5 almost 100% (well, in the winter, it’s more like E70). I think the biggest battle E85 has to win is the fuel mileage issue. I get about 18mpg with E85 as opposed to 24mpg average in mixed driving. I feel like I’m constantly going to the pump. That can get annoying, particularly when I can’t fill up at just any station. Fortunately, there are currently eight stations in a 20 mile radius that I can choose from. And with E85 at $2.75 a gallon and super at $3.65 a gallon here on Long Island, I’m still saving a few bucks and burning a cleaner fuel in my engine with fewer tailpipe emissions.
Gerrit, starving countries do not have much money. If you give them the food for free, you will completely ruin what little agricultural activity they had left.
There are no easy solutions. And increasing the world’s population by improving food distribution sets us up for even bigger disasters in the future…
E85 is not the big bad wolf in this picture. It is also worth asking what happened with all that farm land they subsidized into producing nothing back in the late 80s? (in Russia, Europe and the US)
Here is a link to E85 pricing in New York State. E85 Price There is lots of real ,relevant and current data there. It shows an average of 17.5% price savings per gallon across the state.
Now ethanol has approx. 80% by volume of the enegry of gasoline. So on the surface it appears to be an increase of cost to use it. However there is much talk that Saab 9-5 can do significantly better in real world application. As much as NO loss. See the Saab references in this Wiki Article.
It would be most interesting to hear from those who have 9-5NG, what is their experience regards E85 vs gasoline fuel economy. This could be an area to be publicized and help the languishing sales in the US of th 9-5.
The highest and best use of Saabs in America is to turn around and export them to Europe. The discounted prices we saw in December will continue if Saab wants to sell cars in the US. This will not change with new 9-3’s. Wages are simply too low and job security is simply too questionable and will remain so for many years.
Why there is such a disparity between the prices in the US and Europe, I have no idea. But when I tell people here that a new 9-5 costs 100gs in Europe, they are absolutely stunned. Stunned me.
I really wonder what the used Saab car market is in Europe. Here they are worth nothing. About the best business opportunity I can think of is to sell used Saabs back to Europe. I’m game.
+1 I don´t undstand how Saab can make money on a tubo 6 aero for around 50k $, thats what the entry-level costs here in Sweden which is cheapest in scandinavia. Is it taxes?
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