US sales – December 2005

The US sales data for December is finally in and whilst it’d down year-to-year, as expected, it’s not as bad as I thought it might be.

Saab sold 2,766 vehicles in December, as opposed to 3,421 the previous year. That’s a 19.1% drop and hardly worth popping the champagne corks in itself.

but…

The December figure also represents a 32% rise over November sales. The total number of vehicles sold in 2005 is a marginally respectable 38,343 – a token 0.5% rise over 2004. Given that Saab’s core range, the 9-3 was nothing but another year older for most of 2005 (SportCombi sales really won’t kick in and make a difference until 2006), this modest rise for the year is good news.

The silver lining in the December sales data seems to be the numbers for the 9-7x, which had its biggest month of US sales, moving 466 units. The previous monthly high was 248 in November. Here’s hoping that sort of momentum continues through the start of 2006.

The big black cloud you can see in these numbers rests over the 9-2x. It’s confirming its status as a bit of an industry joke now and a car that I’m starting to feel should be taken out of the range, very quietly, and beaten with a big stick until it is dead.

Saab sales, December 2005:

9-2x – 54
9-3 – 1,952
9-5 – 294
9-7x – 466

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In other sales news, Saab set a new sales record in “Oh Canada” in 2005, driving it’s sales up 17.9% over 2004.

UK sales numbers haven’t been released yet as far as I can tell.

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10 Comments

  1. Can’t sell what you don’t have. Many U.S. Saab dealers list their new car inventory on their web sites. Here’s a challange: find a 9-2 on a lot.

  2. Good anaylsis Swade. When is GM/Saab gonna offer you that industry/market analyst position ? 😀

    Yeah the 9-2X is definitely the runt of the litter. Well conceptualized but poorly executed. And speaking of which I think it’ll go out in 06/07 with a whimper. Which makes for a better business case for a new platform to be utilized for next-gen 9-2 ….. and soon ! I thought I read somewhere that production of the current 9-2X is actually to be halted sometime this year, so whatever units are still around will become the sole inventory until they’re all gone.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the new 9-3SC and the “new & improved” 9-5 range sell over the next 12 months.

  3. So are baby horses with broken legs, but they still shoot ’em.

    Saab should learn a great lesson from this. Either do it right, or don’t do it at all.

  4. At this point I have to agree with you Swade. Saab should let the 9-2X go and get the new platform out as quickly as possible.

  5. There are no new 9-2X on the lots, and the 2006 model should solve the torque problem the current Aero has (car is dead until you hit 3000 rpm, but you can feel the 230 horses on tap all the time). The 54 cars sold in December were basically speced up demo cars that no one wanted. We just bought a nice blue 9-2X aero at a massive discount this way, and its not as bad as some people make out. If the interior was slightly nicer it would be better than my 9-3. No one on the East coast has received any 2006 9-2X’s yet, I know because I asked.

  6. Yep Paul said what I was just going to, there is no 9-2 what to sell.

    I hope Saab gives some press release about their Global sales.

  7. On the 92X which we in Oz don’t get, thankfully. Saab ,let it go quietly. I don’t doubt that it is a good car. My little bro has a WRX and I have some Saabs. All good cars, but if I wanted a rex I’d buy one and vice versa.

  8. Hey Swade, take it easy on the 92X. Yeah, it’s a thinly-disguised Subie, but there have been NONE around here (Detroit) to sell since July. I was at the dealer again yesterday, and they THINK they’ll get some in next week.

    So while that 9-2X interior may not have been all that well executed, it IS still an attractive car at that price (low $20s) to people like myself, who was not “empowered” by my domestic financial coordinator to purchase a 9-3. I now have the ability to upgrade the car as I see fit (again without breaking the bank), and at the heart of it, the car is rock-solid, albeit less refined than the rest of the Saab lineup.

    With a Saab interior, and even more NVH work on the chassis, a car LIKE this (the new 9-2) is really something to look forward to.

    So while I can’t disagree with your comments about this car being somewhat half-baked, it’s not worth beating it up, either.

    As I’ve said before if there were cars available here, they would sell. People here in the states are now getting re-sale prices above what they paid NEW for cars with 6-8000 miles on them. That’s not indicative of product weakness in the market.

    I just hope the replacement has the above refinement, isn’t too pricey, has adequate power and has plenty of after-market accessories available for it. Those are what will determine its success or failure, and, I think much of Saab’s as well.

    The 9-2X is not that bad. Really.

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