Swedish sales data – June 2009

Another month, another sales data entry. And if you listen to Saab (and Aftonbladet), perhaps a small ray of light.
Saab sales are still way down on previous years, but dealers are getting to a point now where they’re more confident of Saab’s future, even if the Swedish government isn’t.
Sales of the Saab 9-3 totalled 555 vehicles in June. This is still a rather large fall from the 1224 vehicles sold in the same month last year, but it’s a significant increase on the 390 sold last month.
396 of the Saab 9-3 sales were BioPower vehicles, and the 9-3 is still in 4th place on the “green cars” sales table.
Sales of the Saab 9-5 totalled just 295 vehicles, well down on the 862 sold last year. Again, though this was up from 169 sold last month. 252 of the Saab 9-5 sales were BioPower vehicles.
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Aftonbladet reports as follows:

For the first time in a long time, the figures up for the ailing car manufacturer:
– We can see a general increase in confidence for Saab’s future, “says Gunilla Gustavs.
The deal with Koenigsegg, which is now approaching its final stage, is reported to be a contributing factor.
Car with Saab in Sweden will now increase after holiday periods. This is to meet the market’s increasing demand.
…..A ring-around by Aftonbladet to Saab dealers in the country also shows that the current stocks are about to die.
– You can no longer pick and choose among the Saabs [in stock] as you could have done before,” says Johnny Schmidt at Järna Car in Stockholm.

Numbers are still down, but it’s nice to have something good to report in a sales data article.
This coincides with Saab’s identified need to lift production in the near future. They’ve been saying they’d need to increase production for the last few weeks and Jan-Ake Jonsson mentioned a need for bridge finance to do so just yesterday.

Glad Midsommar och skal!

It’s midsommar holiday time in Sweden this weekend so there’ll be beer and schnapps, potatoes, herring and lots of grown men dancing around maypoles.
For those who are new to it, here’s a few introductory notes:

midsommar-w2001.gifMidsummer is a national holiday in Sweden and is celebrated on the weekend nearest June 24.
Swedes celebrate Midsummer with equal gusto to Americans partying on the Fourth of July. Families and friends gather and are especially fond of doing so in their summer cottages located around lakes and along the shore.
Every Swedish town, city and province celebrates Midsummer – the longest day of the year.

And of course, the good news for we Aussies is that it’s around the shortest day of the year. Geez I hate winter!!
My guess is that midsommar celebrations around Trollhattan will be particularly enthusiastic this year given the story of Saab’s survival and new ownership we’ve seen in the last week or so.
Live it up, Sweden!!!!

Saab sales data – Sweden – May 2009

Saab sales are down, alright.
They have been for some time and it won’t be until we see some upswing again that we’ll get some rises that look as monumental as the falls that we’re experiencing now. Let me tell ya – if Saab can announce an owner soon, hit the ground running and get the 9-5 and 9-3x in dealers yards then May 2010 is going look like a party month when compared to a base like May 2009.
So on to the numbers during what is hopefully Saab’s last sales month as a subsidiary of General Motors.
1 Volvo V70 -2% (-24%)
2 Volvo V50 -2% (-21%)
3 VW Golf -20% (-36%)
4 VW Passat +7% (+10%)
5 Saab 9-3 390 cars (1320 cars YTD), -70% (-66% YTD)
– actually 6 more cars than April 🙂
13 Saab 9-5 169 cars (1300) cars YTD, -76% (-61% YTD)
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The numbers are interesting as there’s a few models in the Swedish top 20 that did, or are doing amazingly well.
The Passat you can see, above.
Then there’s the KIA Cee’d, which is up 25% for the month and 18% for the year.
The BMW 3 series is up 11% for the month
The Toyota Auris is up 25% for the month
The Swedish market – in total – was down 31% for the month.
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The Saab 9-3 BioPower has slipped to fourth in the ‘green’ market. The big mover there seems to be the VW Golf Multifuel, which was the third best selling green vehicle for the month.
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Thanks ctm!!

The most powerful BioPower Saab – the Saab 9-5 Aero Griffin

Many markets around the world are getting a Griffin edition Saab 9-5 for the car’s last model year in 2009.
The Swedish market, however, are getting an extra-special model, the Saab 9-5 Aero Griffin.
Saab 9-5 Aero Griffin.JPG
You Swedes can read the full details in your native tongue at Saab Sverige.
The rest of you will have to put up with my laborious (and I mean laborious) translation.
In a nutshell, the addition of a Hirsch tuning package means that the Saab 9-5 Aero Griffin is the most potent BioPower Saab you’ve ever been able to order from the factory.
From what I can tell, the car features the following standard kit:

  • Groovy leather trim
  • Harmon-Kardon sound system
  • CD Changer
  • Bi-Xenon headlamps
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Aluminium pedals
  • 17 or 18 inch light alloy wheels
  • Sports Chassis
  • Double rear exhaust system
  • High Gloss black interior trim

….and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t translate (there’s no cutting and pasting from Saab’s flash-based website, so I’d have to type this stuff all in by hand).
It’s not quite the TS Edition that I promoted as the 9-5’s swansong back in 2007, but it looks like a very nice goodbye model all the same.

Swedish Sales Data – March 2009

Saab sales rose by 50% in March 2009 thanks to a sympathetic Swedish public listening to submliminal messages in a recent speech by Maud Olofsson.
Whilst people thought she was saying “Rick Wagoner’s a very naughty boy” there was a secret message at an alternate frequency, previously only audible to those living in the rugged Canadian Nanuvut territory whilst they were chewing fish. The secret alternate message was “I had my first kiss in a Volvo”, which drove a large number of unsuspecting and sympathetic listeners into Saab showrooms, albeit with a desire to chew raw fish.
OK, none of the above actually happened, although Maul Olofsson may well have shared her first kiss in a Volvo. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.
April fools???!!!!
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March’s sales data was every bit as miserable as previous months since this whole GM’s going to let Saab drift thing happened. Whlst you and I might be happy about it, the market’s a little scared and when you combine fear of a car company with fear about the economy in general, you get low sales.
CTM has slotted them into comments and here they are again for your perusal.
Sweden March 09
Total market: -23%
1: Volvo V70
2: Volvo V50
3: VW GOlf
4: VW Passat
5: Ford Focus
6: Saab 9-3 – 390 (1188) – down 67% / YTD: down 63%
7: Kia Cee’d
8: Toyota Avensis
9: Audi A4
10: Saab 9-5 – 279 (664) – down 58% / YTD: down 56%
Saab’s market share now under 5%.
Cadillac BLS: 1 sold car in March (-94%) and 2 so far this year (-98%).
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Well, at least we can still rag on Cadillac.
At this pace they’ll need two hands to count their sales for the year!
Thanks ctm!

Friday Quick Snippets

Light-hearted stuff. It’s been another heavy week.
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Hemmings covered Mr Saab’s 80th Birthday on their blog today. It was good to see Mr John Libbos, formerly of SaabUSA, chime in in comments.
Thanks Gripen!
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Did you know:
In 1974, when Saab released the Combi Coupe Saab 99, they had 15% market share in Sweden.
It seemed like a lot to me when I read it.
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Some of the Saab Expressions merchandise on display at Geneva. Thanks Golfhunter!
DSC_0026.JPG
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The Local – Swedish news in English – has a great pair of articles on people’s favourite Swedish words.
Part 1 and Part 2.
I’ve been trying to learn a bit more Swedish with all these news reports from Swedish papers that I’ve had to read. It’s been fun. I hope I get to learn more some day.
Let’s hope Saab can be a bit like the kackerlacka and live through these current circumstances.
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I’m not sure this one’s working……
SaabConvertibleRedTop.jpg
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I have joined a gym, a move intended to compliment my recent return to basketball after a four year absence.
I did a circuit today that would have a taken a 25 year old Swade (who was not a model of mid-20s fitness) around 20 minutes to complete. Late 30’s Swade took twice as long. And the pain……oh, the pain.

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.

2009 Saab 9-5 Griffin – Sweden

I covered this in snippets last night, but have just received some more information about the 2009 Saab 9-5. Bottom Line: If you live in Sweden and want a 260hp Saab 9-5 – get in quick.
Please bear in mind that this is just for the Swedish market at the moment and may not be the case for other markets, but one of the headlines for 2009 is that the 260hp engine variant, and the Aero badge, are not options in Sweden for 2009. If you want a Saab 9-5 Aero with a 260hp engine, it looks like you’ll have to sift through 2008 model stocks
The Saab 9-5 will only be available in a special “Griffin Edition” and will come in two levels of trim only – Linear and Vector (with a sports variant available). The details I’ve received so far are as follows:

First week of November (week 45) Saab will start to manufacture an “enhanced” version of the Saab 9-5. It will be named Griffin.
The Griffin model has gone through a few careful design updates and it will have additional standard
equipment.
The Saab 9-5 will be available in two different versions, Linear Griffin and Vector Griffin. The Griffin models will be open for order 1st of October. And will replace all existing 9-5 models.
Exterior changes:
* Aero rear bumper including spoiler.
* The finish on the metallic frames on the headlight grill will be more like the 9-3 (not so shiny)
* New contrasting seams on handbrake and gear stick
* SPA (parking sensors standard)
* Front foglights standard
* Linear Griffin will have tinted metallic inserts on doors etc.
* On Griffin Vector Bi-xenon is standard, rain sensor, ALU63 rim (Aero MY08).
You canʼt order anymore Aeros, no 2.3t biopower as an Aero model, and there’s no 260hp engine. The following engine options are available for both the Linear and Vector trim levels.
2.0t (150hp)
2.0t BioPower (180hp)
2.3t BioPOwer (210hp)
1.9 TiD (150hp)
1.9 TiD HP (175hp)
Prices will range from 239,900 skr for the 2.0t Linear Griffin sedan and top out at 296,900 skr for the 1.9 TiD HP SportCombi. The full range and prices are as follows. Click to enlarge:


The seat you see is the new standard seat for vector griffin, itʼs available in black with beige accent, black with grey accent and beige with black accent.



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