USA Saab sales data – April 2009

It’s that time of the month once again and whilst the Swedes are usually first with this sort of info, they’re all lazing about doing the long weekend thing.
So it’s to America that we look for our latest bit of heartache, comforted only by knowing that next year’s sales figures will look absolutely awesome when compared to this low base!!
GM lesson in PR #2 is that the only things that matter are the things you say matter. GM’s entire sales press release deals only with how well things are going for GM’s four ‘core’ brands. It’s almost as if by some form of osmosis they’ve already managed to trim their product line.
Nevertheless, they do have some Saab figures in their sales tables. Here they are:
Saab in total: There were 892 vehicles sold in the US in April, which was down by 43.5% from the 1,580 sold in April last year. There have been 3,824 Saabs sold in the US so far this year compared with 8,048 for the same period last year. There has to be some doubt as to whether they’ll reach 10,000 at the moment.
Saab 9-3: There were 584 Saab 9-3s sold in April, down from 1,098 in April 2008. That’s a 46.8% fall. There have been 2,210 sales so far this year, down 59.% from 5,469 last year.
Saab 9-5: There were 106 Saab 9-5’s sold in April, down from 260 last year. That’s a 59.2% fall. There have been 438 sales of the 9-5 so far this year, down 56.1% from the 998 sold to this point last year
Saab 9-7x: There were 202 Saab 9-7x’s sold in April, down from 222 last year, a modest 9% fall. There have been 1,176 sales of the 9-7x so far this year, down 25.6%
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It’s almost fair to say that with the departure of Jan-Willem Vester, coming on the back John Libbos’ departure a few months ago, that SaabUSA no longer exists. It’s all one of those GM Premium Brands things now, which is rediculous in itself because Cadillac’s the only one of those they plan to keep.
Bottom line: Saab has almost zero effective support in the US and dealers are most likely fending for themselves. I’m not sure how much advertising you’d be seeing there in the US, but the fact that GM chose to leave Saab out of their Total Confidence plan is pretty indicative of how much help dealers are getting in selling their cars.
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Metaphor for a car company, part II
In part 1, I showed you a Turbo X sitting dirty and dusty in the back of a dealer’s lot in Sweden. That was sad enough.
Just after that I heard from another dealer, in the US this time, who’s also hanging on to a Turbo X as well as a Lynx Yellow convertible.
These aren’t dirty and dusty, however, though they do go towards showing how hard it’s been to move what are essentially some really great cars.

The story about the Turbo X combi still sitting on a lot is all too true over here; I have one sitting in my showroom right now that is exactly the same story, it was MY demo for 3 months, has about 3000 miles on it, and is an absolute steal of a deal, but nobody will touch it- To give you an idea of what I’m talking about here, the thing was $46,105 sticker, and it’s down to $35,542. That’s 23% off! I’ve bought a suit for 23% off, maybe a toaster…. but a Turbo X?

If anyone’s interested in picking up an X at a bargain price (or a Lynx Yellow convertible), shoot me an email and I’ll put you in touch with John. He’s on the US East Coast, but I’m sure he’ll help out anyone. Ask for the extra special SU discount đŸ™‚
Turbo X Wagon.jpg

March 2009 – North American Saab sales data

First, to the good news.
A real-life, non-April fools Saab sales rise!!
My thanks to Saab Canada for giving us something to smile about with a 126% sales rise in March 2009. That’s off a pretty small base, so take little notice of the large percentage.
But anyone posting a sales rise at the moment gets a tip from my hat!
thanks Kroum!
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And to the United States……..
Saab sales were down once again and we all know why so I won’t keep spinning the record (I’m also pretty busy with real work – go figure!)
Total Saab sales were down by 57.3% in March 2009, with 1,265 vehicles sold for the month compared with 2,962 in the same month last year.
Individual models:
Saab 9-3
Down 67.7%
689 vehicles sold vs 2,133 last year.
Saab 9-5
Down 48.4%
163 vehicles sold vs 316 last year
Saab 9-7x
Down 19.5%
413 vehicles sold vs 513 last year.
Yes, the Saab 9-7x was just 276 units away from being the best-selling Saab in the United States last month.

Saab US sales data – February 2009

It’s time to tell you what many of you already know…..sales in the US for February were a big hulking, steaming pile of crap. That’s all thanks to a combination of a US recession, a somewhat unpopular GM bailout and talk of Saab being cut loose (not to mention a pricing policy that’s a bit like Paris Hilton – too much).
To the numbers, then. Might as well get it over and done quickly.
Saab 9-3
There were 414 units of the Saab 9-3 sold during February, down from 1,071 in the same month last year. That’s a month-on-month fall of 61.3% in raw terms and a fall of 59.7% in terms of sales days for the month.
Saab 9-5
There were just 68 units of the Saab 9-5 sold during February. 68!
In the same month last year, SaabUSA sold 223 units of the Saab 9-5, which means a fall of 69.5% raw, or 68.2% per sales day.
Saab 9-7x
Like it or not, the Saab 9-7x has consistently been Saab’s second best seller in the US market since its release. If you need a pointer as to why the Saab 9-4x will come in handy, there it is.
This month was no different, with 230 units of the Saab 9-7x being sold in February. That’s a fall from 439 sold last year, and down 47.6% in raw terms and 45.4% per sales day.
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I think that once independence from GM is achieved, Saab are going to have to completely re-think their approach to the US market.
Pricing, standard equipment, marketing, customer service, retail, internet, corporate image. Is there an aspect of their business in the US that hasn’t gone backwards in the last 12-18 months?
Only a total reconstruction of their US model will pull this one out. The damage is pretty major.
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UPDATE:
Autoblog have the industry-wide data up now and it’s another sea of red ink. The only exceptions were Hyundai/Kia and Subaru.
Kia and Subaru actually gained on the month, and Hyundai was the only company to record a fall as small as 1.5% for the month.
The next-smallest fall was Porsche who were down 11.5%.

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