Sales are down up month to month in the US, from 363 to 429, and the numbers look good for the 9-5. It’s overtaken the 9-3 in total sales for the first time in the US, but they still have a ton of stock left on 2011 models. I don’t foresee a problem with US/Canadian Saab dealers running out of stock before production comes back online. Another huge credit to dealers like Kurt Schirm at International Saab, AJ Murphy at Just Saab, and Jason Powell at Springman’s Saab for keeping the momentum despite the bad news. If you’re a dealer and you’re interested in a profile on our site like the one Jason did for Springman’s, shoot us an email and let us know, we’d love to help drive customers into dealers.
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28 thoughts on “September 2011 SCNA Sales”
Interesting to see how 9-4x sales play out until the restart. There’s no marketing for it, and the first drives from auto magazines appeared a while ago. Will sales be remain this way until production restarts and Saab gets the funds for a marketing offensive, or will word-of-mouth play a factor?
As of Friday, Canada had 6 delivered for the month of September. Obviously not a huge number, but the fact that there is 12 dealers in Canada and what we have been going through, it’s somewhat understandable. We eagerly await the 9-4x and production start up, there are great incentives announced today as well for Canadian buyers.
That’s a big drop in Canada from 24 last month. Then again, it seems my dealer had very few in stock last time i visited a month ago.
Some dealers will have some stock issues, but remember that we will all work together to get cars from other dealers, which means that if you don’t see what your looking for, don’t assume that means you can’t get it. We don’t have the luxury at this point to have the 9-4x that will surely bring people into the showrooms, but we continue to what we do and provide a 2nd to none customer service.
As noted by Jeff, at least is some countries there is stock left and it is just not finding buyers. The worrying part is that when (and if) the production is restarted, how can Saab build consumer confidence again. It’s easy to say that “of course we are not selling, since we are not producing”, but this is not entirely true.
A simple “we are once again making cars and we are (once again) fully funded”-announcement simply wont do to trick. And clearing out that 2011 stock with huge discounts in US isn’t something that would build confidence in the market either…
Several things mentioned that won’t cut it; so what do you suggest that they should do, moose? They may have thought about one or two things.
(Being a pessimistic naysayer(!) and only commenting on a small amount of the posts, as usual, I see.)
People are not stupid to think that the *only* reason sales are low is because of interrupted production, but it has a pretty darn big impact, don’t you think. Those that try to make smarty comments often do the mistake of thinking that there is not a single person with more intelligence, education, experience etc.
Please familiarize yourself with the rule no. 1 “No more personal attacks or comments about the writers” of the ‘New comments policy’ of SaabsUnited. For you convenience, the rules can be found from http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2011/07/new-comments-policy.html.
After that, if you would like to continue discussing about the challenges which Saab faces I’m more than happy to continue the discussion.
You ar not one of the writers.
You are a commenteer.
And I would like to repeat the question from Tripod an continu the discussion from there:
So,, What do you suggest that they should do, Moose??
We need that little part of the input from you
Yepp, moose. You seem to know what should be done and what shouldn’t, please let us know.
Actually a member of SaabsUnited staff (Jeff) pointed me those very rules when I made a comment to a comment which you were able to intrepid as an ‘personal attack’. As such I’m pretty sure the intention has been also to limit the personal attacks in the comments section as well 😉
That is the billion dollar question, to which I never claimed to have the definitive answer to. Luckily I do no even need to have one.
However my personal view is that only way that Saab can get itself out of this mess is by finding a huge company willing to pump 1+ billion € in to the Saab’s coffins in the next 5 years just to keep it afloat. I think that it’s completely unrealistic to expect that Saab would be selling ~100,000+ cars in the next 5 years – that is how damaged the brand is.
Unfortunately I think that Victor is an true optimist – and nothing kills companies faster than unfound, and unrealistic optimism. When Saab/Victor announced the sales targets for 2010 & 2011 after the takeover, they were widely even ridiculed by automotive press. Sure the automotive press did not have the details – but they had common sense.
To prove my point let’s take Q4/2010 and Q1/2011 under closer inspection. Those were the months when the production and company was at full swing. These were the months when there were no excuses.
The original target for 2010 was 55000, which equals to 4600 cars/month. Taking in to account that there were no production in early 2010, the Q3 & Q4 sales should have been higher than your yearly monthly average of 4600 cars!
In Q4/2010 Saab sold 11448 cars, or ~3800 cars/month. (http://media.saab.com/press-releases/2011-01-06/saab-automobile-sees-ongoing-momentum-2010-sales)
The original target for 2011 was 100000, which equals to 8400 cars/month.
In Q1/2011 Saab sold 9393 cars, or ~3100 cars/month. (http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2011/05/on-saab-sales-figures.html). Less than half of the of the target.
These are sad figures which clearly demonstrate that Saab’s management grossly underestimated the damage that the brand has suffered. Sorry to say, but even without production problems Saabs were not, and will not be in short term, selling in the numbers which viable car company needs.
let me put my grain of salt in your personal view.
Saab is working to get those companies willing to pump money into Saab till is able to run on its own feet.
The Chinese will put some money to enter the club, they will also finance the development of 3 further models, and will open the gates to a big market, so maybe this doesn’t sum up to 1 billion € for the next 5 years but it is not that far away from that.
In your Q4/2010 Q1/2011 analysis you have a too simplistic view on things.
Q1 is not a big sales quarter, the progression in Q1 was showing that Saab could reach at least the lower target of their 80.000-100.000 cars, as the introduction of the 9-4x and the 9-5 SC, and the 9-3 SC <119g, would have boosted the sales.
The original target of march 2010 is of no interest any more, it makes no sense to repeat what they told back then.
Saab was moving in the right direction to sell 70k-80k in 2011, and this is what counts. I do understand that people are not buying Saab cars now. As it is not easy to fully understand the real current situation of Saab.
I'm not stupid, but if Saab manges to come out from this mess (restarts production), Saab will be able to double the 2010 sales figures in 2012 (60k), and if the next Saab reaches the market in 2013, maybe by then the figures will have 6 digits.
And a last point, the comment from Tripod was NOT a personal attack, OK?
I’m first one to admit that my analysis was extremely simple. But to be honest there is really no need to start digging deeper in to these numbers. The reason is simple – if during 6 months of full uninterrupted operation Saab manages to sell less than half of the target, it is clear that things are not going as they were supposed to go.
The only scientifically proven way that Saab would have reached it’s sales targets for 2011 would have been that fairies from Neverland would have landed on earth and all bought a Saab. It did not happen.
Could not agree less. The sales target given in 2010 (of 80,000 – 100,000 cars) is still as valid as it was were then. That is absolutely the minimum figure that Saab needs to survive (and some doubt that whether that is enough).
Also we have to remember the sales targets which were given by the Saab’s management in 2010. It cannot be forgotten. It after all tells a telling story of it’s own about the management, and Saab’s PR. If we don’t learn from the past how can we thrive in the future?
Sure the sales were going up, but in March 2011 Saab sold only 4,700 cars, and year’s total was the before mentioned 9,300 cars. To reach sales target Saab would have needed to sell nearly double that figure for every month of the remaining year (and there were still some really slow months coming).
I just have to ask you – without the help of the fairies, do you really honestly think that would have happened?
Ps. It just always puts a smile to my face when you guys at SaabsUnited consider yourself as the real insiders :). It’s just so darn cute!
Let’s hope they have not yet heard in Neverland that the Saab is bankrupt (as most people on planet earth currently mistakenly think).
Thanks for clarifying the line of what is considered as personal attack. I think I have already taken some liberties in expressions I use, and will continue to do so in the future as well.
I agree with your line that the sales expectations were exaggerated in 2010.
I also agree that the 80.000 cars are the absolute minimum for break-even
Where we don’t agree is in a few points
1. I expect the new investors to be able and willing to put up €1+ billion and even more if needed
2. I expect new partners to be able to take as much production as needed for break-even
3. I expect the damage in EU to be gone after 6-8 months stable production and twisting some arms at leasing companies
With regards to NA, I never expect the damage to go away until there is a full factory building US equipped cars at US prices and aimed solely at NA.
The markets are so different that they are almost incompatible, and most US customers seems to have forgottten that what made Saab in US was NOT being a US car, but being a relatively small Euro Turbo 4-banger that drove better than the rest.
It would be easy to blame GM for that but I won’t.
It is also one of Saabs problems today in NA, and I think the only chance Saab has of selling cars in the long run is to be anything else than a US-car or a US build Euro-car.
A lot of socalled Euro Cars build in US only make it to EU as very expensive imports.
And are not really suited for other markets that NA.
That is the most serious problem in my view.
Re-establishing Saab as what it was, not what the average consumer wants
Consumer confidence is not really high on my list.
There are a lot of suggestions coming up here often that could instill that.
Long warranty periods, better financing/leasing, etc et al..I think most of them has been mentioned often by different commenters
Not really something Saab specific, but it works.
I probably forgot something 😉
moose October 4, 2011 at 19:55,
As Red said, Q1 is not a big sales quarter. Your “scoop” was to look at 6 months, with full operation, and compare that to half of the sales target.
The original target was perhaps too optimistic, anyhow it has been revised (and we don’t know what they had included in that).
That said, during a year we usually see some ups and downs in sales, it’s very noticeable in for example the UK, true the March peak is in Q1. But there are also other things happening during a year; new MY models, or even completely new models, such as the 9-5 SC etc., and these things have a great impact on sales.
You looked at Q4 2010 and Q1 2011; the new model then was the new 9-5; the 9-3 was more or less the same since the 2008 face lift, even if there had been some changes; and I think that the 9-5 didn’t get all the attention it deserved, then, but it was launched just some months after Saab became independent, and I guess it was difficult to spend a lot on marketing. And things that had happened in the period before, the reconstruction, GM’s winding down process etc., had of course an impact on customer’s confidence at the time.
I guess you would say that they shouldn’t have been so optimistic then; but the sales target was revised, and they surely had some new great stuff ready for 2011.
So as Red has already pointed out; looking at six months, even if in full production, when nothing of the above happens, i.e. new models, and including months that are not the best in terms of sales, is not going be a solid ground for estimates about sales for whole year.
The production stopped a month or two after the Geneva show; the new 9-3 with all its new engines and facelift never got a chance. The 9-5 SC never got a chance during 2011; the 9-4X never got a chance in Europe, Canada and elsewhere during 2011. Saab was moving forward at a too slow rate compared to target during some months, yes, but it had sold more cars every month than the previous month in almost all markets, I think, so it was going for a quite good 2011, given all it had in its portfolio.
True, one can call them being too optimistic, but one has to look at the whole portfolio and all markets, who know which new markets they had in mind during 2011; and if some of them, models or markets, are not included in 2011, it comes as no surprise that the target isn’t reached. So it is useless to look at the original target for 2011, and stop before they have launched all new models.
And then add to that an interrupted production, and media badmouthing…
That’s just silly; on the one hand you admit that your analysis above was extremely simple; but your conclusion is that there was no chance what so ever to reach the target.
Ok guys, cool it 🙂 Moose has a point, we all know it. But I also think that if you’re going to come a SCNA with criticism, you owe it to them to offer a solution. I’d normally just shoot Moose an email here quick to let him know to cool his jets, but I think this is a good example for everyone. As I’ve said more times than I care to count here, please offer constructive criticism or none at all. So on this, you’re all right 🙂
As far as promoting Saab, that Media Competition Contest didn’t get cancelled, it just got postponed until Saab could brace and stabilize itself going forward. Basically we’ll have a great opportunity to create a ton of viral marketing for Saab that has potential to reach millions for free for Saab right here at SU. Once we see a little more clarity from Trollhättan, you’ll be hearing about the launch of the contest. It’s going to be on par with October Fest or greater in terms of the amount of time and resources we throw at it. That’s our constructive way of helping Saab, feel free to throw out your own ideas. Just please don’t use language like, “Saab must do this or it will die,” etc.
Thanks Jeff 🙂
It seems that you are however blocking (?) my reply containing the statistical analysis of Q4/2010 & Q4/2011 sales numbers, and the only viable solution I personally see for the current situation.
As I’ve mentioned several times before, over-optimism does more harm than good. If we want Saab to survive, we unfortunately have to face the cold hard facts, and act accordingly.
It was a gloomy month for overall car sales in Canada, as we may be entering another recession after a second quarter contraction. Meanwhile, U.S car sales are surging, except for the Japanese makes. Mercedes-Benz sold over 23,000 cars in the U.S last month. Imagine…Saab couldn’t even sell 500.
MB = taxi cab. 😉
Zippy you Magnificent Bastard. Ive often thought that this “quirky niche” BS is just that. Here in Chicago weve replaced our CVPIs with Tahoes. Beyond ridiculous in a world of beyond $4 fuel, DYT??. Point being, maybe Saab needs to go after 5door/Combi 95/93 diesel and/or battery business worldwide. These cars make the RIGHT size police/cab/light delivery vehicle and made competitively would be a GREAT quirky niche to be in. Get even 10% of this business and there will still be plenty of Hirschs to be made out there.
Look at Buick, even BMW…now 2L turbos are all the rage. And Saab wants to go 1.6L!!!
1.6L in addition to eLSD. A combination any addict could find interesting. 🙂
Any special reason comparing September 2011 with August 2010? 🙂 Something Im missing?
Or should it be Sept 2011 compared with Sept 2010?
That’s what happens when you use August table as your template to save time but forget to edit the header. Oops ;). All fixed now, if you flush your cache and reload it’s fixed. I was too concentrated on making sure the numbers were right. All is now right with the world. -Jeff
it is supposed to be September 2010, just checked the stats and the numbers are right
Weve all been there. Reusing tables.
BTW Can You all imagine this. We, hrm Saab I mean, has still sold more cars in 2011 than in 2010. Up until today. And that is with a factory that has been closed for half of the period.
This just shows what a great sales momentum there was in jan-april 2011.
Clearly there’s a dramatic decrease in the number of 9-3s sold in Sept. 2011 as compared with 2010. Although, I did purchase a 2011 9-3 in September, so I’m proud to know that mine is one of the 190! But really, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The news in September was just about as bad as it could be with reconstruction uncertainty and bankruptcy threats. And, as we know, it is also the case that the 2011 9-3 is no different than 2010 and not much different from 2009 and 2008. So, those that were sold speaks volumes about the dedicated Saab drivers who were willing to take a risk. And really, even more so for the buyers of the 9-5s and 9-4s, since those vehicles are less tested and there’s a greater uncertainty about parts. Nonetheless, Saab is still ahead of where it was in terms of US sales a year ago. That’s great news.
The crazy thing is that my area Saab Dealer (International Saab) has a healthy stock of brand new Saab’s on their lot – including four 9-4X’s, several 9-5’s and plenty of 9-3’s.
Ironically, my area Volvo dealership (Don Beyer Dulles) has virtually zero new stock – this at a time when Volvo sales (worldwide) are skyrocketing.
Unfortunately for Saab, this appears to be a huge opportunity missed! Just think “what if”???
Does anyone know about US figures on the 9-3x? My dealership said several months ago that they haven’t been able to get in and the ones they had , sold very quickly. I am curious to know if there are any in the US.
Also, I talked to an international economist a couple of weeks ago. He said that if the Euro value goes down due to the 4 European countries that are having financial issues, the Kronor will be stronger and Saab will be able to buy parts sooner from those sources in other parts of Europe.
I think Saab could easily sell 100,000 in the US alone, if its MSRP = transaction price * 1.1. Right now MSRP is like 1.5 times transaction price or so. This is ludicrous — highest msrp premium in the industry by my estimate. SCNA cannot afford to (do / not do) that. Dilemma. Solve it and the company survives. Not solved yet.
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