UK sales: Go Go Go!

In the UK, they’re almost threatening the US for the title of Saab’s biggest market in 2005.  OK, maybe not, but they have beaten the Yanks in March, September and October and came within 13 units of doing it again in November.

Saab UK sold 2078 vehicles in November 2005.  This represents an increase of 20.88% over Nov 2004 and a 17% month-to-month rise from October.  Saab continued to defy the trend in the UK.  Whilst it lifted its month’s sales by 20%, the market as a whole actually fell by 7.91%.

Saab UK have now sold 25,674 vehicles in the UK in 2005.  That’s a 36.64% increase over the equivalent period for 2004.  Way to go, Brits!

Apparently there’s some tax incentives for diesels that will end January 1, so it’ll be interesting to see the spike in December and the levelling off in January.  Saab Uk needs a further 4,326 sales in December to break the 30,000 mark.  Can it be done?  Well, they’ve cracked the 4,000-in-a-month mark twice this year, so anything’s possible!

Thanks CTM in comments for the heads up on the preliminary numbers.

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  1. Please please please stop running these articles as some kind of great achievment.

    I cringe everytime I read how fantastic the UK sales are going.

    The UK are crippling the used car market.
    Do you really want to buy a £24,000 car that is only worth £13,750 a year later?

    Well if so, go buy a 9-3 Vector Sport 1.9TiD 150hp Saloon.

    Im sorry but this gamble will not pay-off in the long run.

    and with a 9-3 facelift due in the next 2 years where are used car prices going to be then?
    My guess is that Trade prices will be around the £12k mark for a 1 year old saab.

    Sorry but this thought just makes me feel ill!

  2. WooDz,

    If you’re asking me to categorise Saab’s success and growth in the UK as a bad thing, then sorry, can’t help.

    Why do cars hold their value? Because they’re of good quality and gain a reputation for such. You and me and everyone else needs to be petitioning Saab to ensure they build cars of such quality over a prolonged period of time. That’s the long term solution.

    For Saab to stay afloat it needs to build and sell exceptionally good cars. They’re starting to improve the selling part and I can’t see that as anything but a good thing.

  3. When Saab 1st launched the 9-3 SportSaloon in 2002 the price of that car was £20,495 for 9-3 Vector 1.8t.
    The used price of that car was 16,500 a year later.
    The same car today which is now a lesser spec vehicle now costs £21,800 and the trade price for a year old model is worth around £12,500.

    This Marketing strategy is totally detrimental to the Saab Brand. I am very doubtful if Saab UK are attracting any potential premium brand customers at all.
    It is more likely they are just stealing customers from Vauxhall

    Since 2003 ‘Retail Sales’ has actually fallen.

    The fact that approximately 60% of all new car registrations this year are ‘fleet’ sales meaning that cars are heavily discounted to sell in quantity. So less profit at the end!

    Approximately on average Saab lose nearly 2.5% of their value per month as opposed to 1.5% 3 years ago. So we are talking about £200 to £400 per month!

    It leaves Saab owners feeling ill when they are looking at exchanging their 3yr old 9-3 and want to buy a new 1.9TiD 9-3 and have to find £17,000 to get a new car !
    What this means is that existing Saab owners are either not buying new cars or moving away from Saab completely.

    I could write more about the disastrous effects this Campaign has had on the UK market but just before I end I will tell you one more thing.
    3 Years ago I could sell the 9-3 Vector 2.2TiD SportSaloon for £15,768 Vat Free.
    Today I can sell a 9-3 Vector 1.9TiD (150hp) for £14,500 Vat Free.
    I should be feeling overjoyed that I can offer such a great discount. But the sad fact is that even at this price the customer will lose money when they sell it.

    So please explain to me how this is a good thing?
    Because I cannot wait for the day that this stupid suicide mission that Saab UK are on, finally ends and residual values return to normal.

  4. Oh and Forgot to tell you why Residual Values are so bad.
    It’s not because of any Poor Quality build.
    It’s because Saab UK are selling Saab to hire car companies at a heavily discounted price.
    Saab then buy that car back for a very low price a year later. And filter them out to Dealers to retail.
    Then Mr. Boggs comes in with his immaculate year old Saab and it’s worth about £500
    more that these high mileage Ex-Rental cars. That’s why.

  5. Woodz, I’m not privy to the breakdown of UK sales and would be more than happy if you can provide a link where I can find that information. I’m not sure what the solution is here, though.

    I’d imagine Saab in all regions is under pressure to move the metal. If a fleet/rental company comes along and says “we’ll take 500 of these”, then what are they supposed to say?

    Thanks for giving me the info on the breakdown. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on a solution.

  6. Unfortunately this information is not on the open market.
    However The used car prices is based on information provided by ‘Glasses Guide’
    and at present trade prices are between £1,000 to £1,500 behind that.

    I don’t have any problems as such about selling to Fleet.
    These sales are an integral part of Sales and usually make up the main bulk of yearly registrations.
    I do however have a problem when cars are sold at such a low price that they cause such a negative effect on the used car market.

    If a company wants to buy 500 units then fine, but make them pay the right money. If BMW want to sell for less then let them. and BMW can suffer the effects.

    If less Saabs are sold but with more profit at the end of year then that must be the correct marketing strategy.

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