Swedish Saab sales data February 2009: Reconstruction blues

February sales data has been released for the Swedish market today – and it’s not pretty in any way whatsoever.
We’re now looking at a double-whammy situation where people are not only hurting and cautious due to the economic circumstances effecting pretty much everyone, they’re quite possibly scared off Saab thanks to all this reconstruction doom and gloom. Perhaps there’s a Maud effect going on here as well, but that’s just me speculating.
So, to the numbers. There’s no easy way to put it, so here you go.

  1. Volvo V70 -47%
  2. Volvo V50 -25%
  3. VW Golf -31%
  4. Saab 9-3 -60%
  5. Ford Focus -17%
  6. VW Passat -10%
  7. Toyota Avensis +41%
  8. Saab 9-5 -41%

The Swedish market was down 31% for the month, so I’m sure the Toyota people are popping the champagne right now.
For almost as long as I’ve been writing this site (4 years now), the Saab 9-3 has been placed second on this table and the Saab 9-5 has been fourth. That’s changed in recent months, but never this drastically.
Saab 9-3
There were 434 units of the Saab 9-3 sold during February. That’s down from 1,094 in the same month last year.
Saab 9-5
There were 395 units of the Saab 9-5 sold during February, which is down from 668 sold last year.
Addendum: There were only 220 sales of the 9-5 in January, so February was actually a decent rise on last month. Gotta take the good where you can get it.
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In it’s first partial month of sales, there were 276 units of the Volvo XC60 sold, 10th on the list.
And for those who don’t think there’s a viable market for prestige saloons, the 11th best selling car in Sweden was the Audi A4. The 13th best was the BMW 3-series.
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The Saab 9-3 was only 14th on the list of diesel cars sold, with 72 diesel 9-3s finding homes during February.
The Saab 9-3 BioPower retains second place on the ‘green’ sales list, however, with 326 units sold. With those two totals, that means there were just 36 Saab 9-3s sold that weren’t diesels or BioPower.
The Saab 9-5 BioPower is 5th on the ‘green’ list.
There were no Cadillac BLS Flexfuel vehicles sold during February.
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All of this just goes to underline how important it is for a new owner to step forward for Saab as soon as possible. Stability and support are going to go along way to turning these numbers around.
Some positive press will help, too, and perhaps the Geneva show will provide some of that, if Swedish press tests of the Saab 9-3x are anything to go by. That and some gaffa tape on some certain mouths.

Saab lease residuals downgraded in US

Here’s yet another reason why it’ll be good if GM and the Swedish government can sort out their situation in relation to Saab’s future.
US leasing advisory service, Automotive Lease Guide, are cutting the expected residual rating for the 2009 Saab range. These residual estimates directly effect lease rates and also have an influence on vehicle perception and used car prices.
The 2008 Saab range had an estimated three-year residual of 43.2%.
For 2009, this has been downgraded by seven percentage points to 36.1%
A depressed market. An uncertain future. Now, a further disincentive for people to consider picking up a Saab in the US.
I really hope GM and the Swedes can get the act together soon.
Here’s Keith Crain, editor in chief of Automotive News:

Retail customers are starting to shy away from the endangered brands. If GM doesn’t act immediately, it will not make any difference to those dealers whether GM declares bankruptcy. When customers feel that the future of a brand is uncertain, it doesn’t matter whether the company is insolvent. In many instances since World War II, customers sensed that a brand was near the end, and they abandoned it. If GM has any hope of salvaging those brands, whether for itself or a new owner, it must act and act swiftly.

Too true.
Link: Automotive News (sub)

More Saab sales data

European sales data for January has come out and the bad news for Saab continues. There’s no doubt that the uncertainty facing the brand, along with the eocnomic situatioin that’s facing everyone right now, is having a big effect on Saab.
The European market was down by 27% on the same month last year. That’s apparently 9 consecutive months of sales falls for Europe. The Swedish market was down 34%, the UK was down 31% and Germany, perhaps surprisingly, was down by only 14%,
As for the various carmakers, Saab sold only 2,583 vehicles in Europe during January. I’d have to go back to my sales records, but I know there are months where Saab would have sold that many in one major European market alone.
That figure represents a 55% fall for Saab, which is right in line with falls we’re seeing elsewhere for the brand.
A few of the other carmakers went as follows:
Volvo -37%
Renault -34%
Toyota -31%
Peugeot -25%
VW -19%
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Thanks ctm!

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