Some clarity on those sales figures

Yesterday I posted Saab’s sales figures for May and admitted some confusion as to how an apparent 72 unit decrease for the month leads to a 7.6% rise in sales for the month.

Well, you know you’re in helpful, thoughtful and insightful territory when you click on a Saab link. Thankfully this has (again) proven to be the case here at Trollhattan. From comments in yesterday’s post, this is AlanH:

A few comments.

First, the 9-2X is included in car sales, not truck sales. The delta between the ‘car’ number and the ‘vehicle’ number is due to the sale of 47 9-7Xs in the month of May.

Second, the apparently suspect math regarding the year-over-year increase for May is due to the fact that GM calculates the increase/decrease percentage based on the number of sales days in the month. May 2004 had 26 sales days and May 2005 had 24 sales days, therefore, even though overall volume for the month of May was down .65% the sales per sales day number was up 7.6% (159.8 vs. 148.5).

Finally, there were 1,042 9-2Xs delivered in May. That’s nearly as many as the number delivered in all of the first four months of 2005 combined (1,184). It’s also over 58% of the total number of 9-2Xs delivered in all of 2004. Whoa!

Those 9-2x numbers are particularly encouraging. It’s taken a lot of hits but for what it is, it deserves a better run that what it’s been getting. Is this important in any way? Well, yes, if you read Forbes magazine:

Emerging Trend: Eye-catching minicars and microcars are making their presence felt in the U.S.

Why: “Basically, they’re cool,” says Find/SVP analyst Karen Swanson. “Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers are following a time-honored tradition of wanting vehicles different than those their parents drove, namely large sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and minivans.” Younger drivers don’t need to think about packing in entire families and the dog, and models such as BMW’s Mini Cooper, which got its start in crowded European cities, are finding themselves welcome in urban and suburban America. And, they get much better gas mileage.

Opportunity: Most major players are in this market, though not all are making money yet. The Mini Cooper launched itself with a hugely entertaining ad campaign (Minis loaded on SUVs–you get the picture), and BMW has come out with a convertible version of the Mini. Other models include Audi’s A3, which is expected to be launched in May 2005; Toyota Motor’s Scion, which has done well with alternative financing plans; and the Saab 9-2X.

The 9-2x is likely to undergo a major renovation in the next few years, with Saab input from the get-go. So what? This means that some good vibrations from the current 9-2x will mean a greater foot in an emerging market’s door once a 9-2x with greater Saab running gear influences and importantly, a Saab interior, becomes a reality.

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