Saab 2011 sales target progress

If they’re going to sell 80,000 vehicles this year, Saab need to sell an average of 6,666 vehicles per month.

We’ve tallied the figures for 16 markets here and the total I’ve come up with is 2,470 2,506 vehicles (Japan and Greece added). I believe Saabs are marketed in just over 50 countries around the world at the moment but obviously, none of the markets we haven’t missed are big enough to cover that shortfall for month 1.

That said, I don’t think anyone expected Saab to sell the required monthly average right from the beginning of 2011. Sales will build. It’s whether they build enough that matters.


Different markets have different cycles. The Dutch have big Januaries. The British have a big March and September. Sweden has lower sales in the first few months of the year. On and on it goes.

New models are still rolling out. Later this year we should see a sub-120g/km Saab 9-3 SportCombi, which will be big in much of Europe, especially Sweden. The Saab 9-5 will come to market in the second half of the year. The Saab 9-4x will come to market in the US around May. The Saab 9-3 should also see a re-fresh and a Griffin edition come to market.

A good potential market in Russia should be opened up this year. As should China and some other smaller markets in Japan and Australia (first vehicles have arrived in Oz).


Saab sales will build as marketing becomes more prominent and as new models roll out the doors.

The challenge will be for Saab to make every sale they possibly can and build momentum throughout this year. It’s a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

For the tenacious, no road is impassable.

24 thoughts on “Saab 2011 sales target progress”

  1. By the end of February, that 6,666 a month sales is sure to jump above 8000 given that February is a short month. They’re going to have to revise the sales forecast down at that rate, the question is when is the best time to do it to avoid the asinine Swedish press from jumping all over the write down.

    What’s the best month of Saab sales on record from the past 5-6 years? Does anyone remember? What was the reason, lease deals? Incentives?

    • If they miss the sales target by a wide margin again this year, after having insisted repeatedly in discussions about last year’s revisions that the 2011 target still stands, then they deserve a drumming in the press, and reporters would be asinine to not jump all over them.

      • Fair call, but let’s not give them a pass to do that until the year’s out, eh?

        More premature negativity instead of objectivity isn’t going to help anyone. Give the product and the company a fair chance to do it’s job.

        • I think the new low-emission 9-3 SC will sale amazingly well in Sweden, and hopefully in the UK and some other parts of Europe as well. But we’ll need at least one more big success story in order to reach the goal. I’m not all that optimistic about the 9-5 SC, but I have a hunch that the 9-4X may just surprise us all. The US is the kind of market where, once something starts to gain momentum, it can go “viral” and go right through the roof.

          • You might be right about the 9-4X, but then my only concern is if GM has put a limit on how many 9-4X they will maximum produce in their facility in Mexico…

          • The 9-4x production must have been very much in detail negotiated and they surely have an agreement with GM about the maximum amount of 9-4x they can order, and probably for the minimum amount too.

          • Barbapappa: Yes, something like that is of course in the papers between Spyker and GM.. I guess.

          • Red J, I have heard thous amounts too and I personally think they will have no problem selling them. I just hope that the amounts we heard is not represent the theoretical maximum amount they can order from the factory.

    • I would love them to stop throwing revised sales forecasts at Industri and leave it with the fact that they are working their rears off (successfully) building a new organization and will get back when it’s possible to make quality forecasts again.

  2. For the tenacious, no road is impassable.

    Hmmm…. Where have I heard this before? Something about a dutch supercar maker but can’t quite put my finger on it… 😉

    Excellent piece Swade

  3. Good piece, Swade. I think we can only really judge things when the 9-4x (for NA) and the 9-5 SC (for Europe) are on sale. And the Griffin should attract some more buyers, too.

    And remember that the sales numbers Victor (Saab) has in mind are not nessesarily identical wirh those registration numbers we get every month.

    2011 will be a very interesting year.

  4. Do we have any idea what the 34 other markets could bring ? are they so small that their could be just 1 or 2 cars from them? or is 10 to 20 a possibility?

    My guess is that they’re likely at the lower end of that range per market, but a few could be higher. – SW

    • @Swade
      1) Will you be able to get the official sales figures from Saab for the complete ww market?
      Doubtful – SW
      2) What sales did they materialize in Jan 2010(last year as copmparioson) and 2007(peak as comparision)? DO you have these figures? Not for the world market, no – SW

      If we would see sales in the 4-5k range ww from February and onwards, I believe there is still a fair chance as the 94x ans 95SC will add substantioal volume at the end of the yer without to much cannibalism on the current version up for sale.

  5. On a slightly related note, the Swedish government is adjusting the tax benefits for company cars, meaning that ethanol fuelled vehicles will be much less beneficial. This will most likely mean the end of ethanol cars sold to company’s in Sweden. Fortunately the new <120g diesels should be able to recoup much of this. Had it not been for the diesels the Swedish SAAB market would have looked very harsh.

    Reference (swedish):

    • The problem is that they are doing some arguing that the threshold of 120 g CO2/km might get lowered. In that case the new sub 120 g cars from Saab won’t be available for leasing for many company car drivers. But, even if this happens the change won’t happen until the 1st of January 2012 so there is still plenty of time for Saab to sell their cars. More information to come in April 2011.

      Mest intressant är kanske ändå beskedet att regeringen ska skärpa utsläppskraven för miljöbilar. Det innebär sannolikt att nuvarande gränsen på högst 120 g/km sänks, eller att man inför någon typ av “trappa” med flera nivåer. Mer besked om detta ska vi få i vårpropositionen, som kommer i april.

  6. We can all agree that the month of January in many market has been weak, on the positive side usually better than one year ago but on the negative side usually worse than the year of 2009. Nevertheless, as pointed out, the figures for Q1-11 might not be better than the Q4-10 figure but with the upgrade vehicle program being launched, the rest of the quarters of 2011 will be much better than the Q4-10.
    Assuming (including all the small markets) that only 50 % or the target was reached during Jan-11 (3 333 cars), SAAB would with an average 10 % increase of sales per month reach 70 000+ cars during 2011, which I think that even the Swedish press would accept without any big bangs on the drums.
    The Q4-11 sales would then be about 25 000 cars which is, for me, an absolute minimum to reach the year 2012 targets of better than break-ever = a small profit.

    • As has been mentioned before on another thread, many stronger areas for Saab in the US (northeast) have had severe winter storms each week for the past seven weeks. This has been a very unusual January in the US (for example, 4+ inches of snow in Dallas, Texas last night!). Dealer traffic should pick up as the weather improves and this coincides with the new marketing/advertising effort.

  7. The problem is that they cant reach there goal because they have dropped the production phase! They need to soon go up to 39cars an hour otherwise it doesnt work with there goals!

    • It is no good upping production if it just makes the stock of cars grow-it must be a sales lead increase. Their is no sense in making a production target if Sales don’t support that currently. Further ramping up of Marketing and general promo and sales operations is key in Q1 2011 along with better lines of supply to emerging markets.

    • “They need to soon go up to 39cars an hour otherwise it doesnt work with there goals!”

      Not necessarily, Saab has the option of going into two shift when needed(most likely after the summer) and that output volume can be considerable, easily covering the slower early year.

  8. I don’t know why SAAB has to reach the goal right away. Last year was a starting point, if they can do better this year that would be good enough for me. Somewhere in the 50K range would be great. It’s too optimistic to reach break-even point this fast…..

    …..however optimism is a good thing 🙂

  9. I was a Saab owner. I love their cars. After reading all the discussions on production targets and cars roll outs….It strikes me as odd, that such a low volume manufacturer should offer so many car models. It is very costly and increases production costs and manufacturing complexity. Saab needs to focus on a smaller select product range.

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