Weekend news snippets

Following on from another increase in US sales in July, Saab have kept up their meteoric rise in the UK, with another increase in sales. The press release doesn’t talk numbers in specifics (I’ll keep hunting) but it does mention a very important increase during a months where overall vehicle sales decreased.

Saab saw its sales fly away again in July 2005 to record-ever levels, as the Swedish premium brand continued on its seemingly-unstoppable growth curve! A monthly sales total of over 2,000 units translated into a year-on-year growth of 40 per cent for Saab Great Britain in July, in a month when overall new car sales in the UK declined by 6.6 per cent compared to the previous year. For the first seven months of this year, Saab has achieved a 41% sales growth when compared to 2004, selling more than 16,000 units.

Jonathan Nash, Managing Director of Saab Great Britain remarks: “The fact that our growth so far in 2005 has come from every single model across the Saab range is particularly encouraging. With the impending arrival of the important new 9-3 SportWagon and the 2.8 V6 9-3 Aero models, which will be the fastest road-going Saabs ever built, we are confident that 2005 will be a year to remember for Saab in the UK!”

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Edmunds have done a study (reported here in Forbes) on the true cost of incentives, with Saab coming out as an industry leader!!!!

I wish that was a good thing…….

Edmunds.com’s monthly True Cost of Incentives(SM) (TCI(SM)) report takes into account all of the manufacturers’ various United States incentives programs, including subvented interest rates and lease programs as well as cash rebates to consumers and dealers. To ensure the greatest possible accuracy, Edmunds.com bases its calculations on sales volume, including the mix of vehicle makes and models for each month, as well as on the proportion of vehicles for which each type of incentive was used……

…..Comparing all brands in July, Mini spent only $28 while Scion spent $102 and Porsche spent $157 per vehicle sold. At the other end of the spectrum, Cadillac spent the most, $6,442, followed by Saab at $5523 and Jaguar at $5,097 per vehicle sold. Looking at incentives expenditures as a percentage of MSRP for each brand, Saab and Pontiac spent the most, 17.8% and 15.0%, respectively, while Mini and Porsche spent the least, 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.

Unfortunately it means that GM has pretty much had to throw these cars at people in order to get them to take the vehicles home. Well, the 9-2x at least.

The small hatch segment doesn’t seem to have a huge piece of the market in the US and Saab have had to throw big dollars at the 9-2x in order to kick start sales. They’ve even maintained the incentives IN FULL during the employee pricing sales campaign. Several smart people (g’day Allan) have rightfully grabbed themselves a great car at a bargain price in the last few months.

Who knows for sure if the 9-2x Aero is going to reappear or not after the 2005 models sell out? One thing for sure, it’ll be interesting to see where the 9-2x comes in when GM finally get around to releasing pricing information for 2006 under it’s “total value pricing” regime.

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3 Comments

  1. I wanted to address your thoughts on the 2006 9-2x.

    The contract with Fuji Heavy Industries is very specific on the price differentiation between the Saab and Subaru versions, therefore even though it doesn’t make sense to do so, the prices aren’t drastically reduced for next year. The 2006s has been pushed ahead since the 2005s are basically sold out. The Linear will no longer be available with the Xenons or 6-disc CD, and the upgraded package will instead focus on the leather. On the Aero, the Sport Package will pair the Xenons with the 17″ wheels, and the sunroof will become a standalone option.

  2. Peter,

    I’ll be quite pleased for that to be the case, though there’s several sources citing the non-existence of an Aero for MY2006. I think GM would have to be absolutely bonkers to NOT do an Aero again. The main source for believing they may ditch the model was the fleet catalogue for 2006, which only had a linear model in it. Since then there’s been several people quoting their local dealers, all of which have conflicting versions of 9-2x model lineup. I’ll be glad when something official is announced….

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