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.