The Good News and The Bad News

The Good News is that Saab sales for the first quarter are indeed at record levels. Thanks to Tobias for the following in comments, which is his take on an article from Swedish paper (link in Swedish)……

Saab global sales 34200 up 24%.
Best market is Europe with 11 600 units, up 1000 units compared with last record in 2000.
March figure total – 15 800.

Big increase in Sweden (but last year was bad for saab in sweden).

More fun is UK-sales: 5 279 units and also new reecord sales in Spain and Belgium. (I heard that Opel in spain started to sell Saab just now).

The orderbook is thick; the trollhattan plant is at a max-2 level. Which means that all personnel must work overtime. (they have some kind of agreement that saab can switch worktime at the plant) Now it is at a Maximum if they need to produce more I guess they have to hire more.

Saab really is on a wave so far this year. The result of some better marketing and a broader range of desired products.

And now for the not so good…..


The bad news is that Swedish paper, Dagens Industri, is running a story saying that Kirk Kerkorian and his representative on the Saab board, Jerry York, are still keen in the idea of selling Saab from the GM stable. I know many people would see that as a great thing, but right now I’m all for maintaining some hard-won momentum.

Olav’s provided a dodgy internet translation of the Dagens story (thanks mate), the pertinent bits of which are as follows:

The danger that General Motors, GM, may sell out Saab Automobile is not over. GMs greatest proprietor, financier Kirk Kerkorian, still has the idea that Saab Automobile has to be sold for GM to reduce losses. “Dialog with Jerome York is not over devoid aggressive still. I am soon to meet him for discussions , but is sure on that he will accept ours strategy “, says Carl – Peter Forester for General Motors Europe. He is of the idea that GM should retain Saab , as the majority of the GM board is believing SAAB economy is strongly improving.

The rest of the story recounts York’s initial grumblings about Saab and Bob Lutz’s famous “he’s changed his tune” comments, which were later refuted by York.

I’m not sure how much new news there is here, but it’s worth noting that there seems to be some dialog between Saab Europe and York. Here’s hoping that Carl-Peter Forster can talk some sense into the man.

Or negotiate a sale to Porsche.

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  1. Some good news from US.2005 yr was closed with about 200 european deliveries for new SAAB, plan for 2006 is 300 and in the end of march we had already 150. For some, small reason to smile but still.In fact It’s hard for me to understand americans(and I have been living here for 16 yr) why they don’t do that european delivery program more often, you can save up to 8% on MSRP and SAAB will give you $2000 spending money(cash).Since january I had only 2 deliveries like that and I’m working on few more telling people that in europe they don’t bite and probably more people speak english there than here in Houston Tx.

  2. That’s good news indeed, Jacek!!

    300 planned for the year and 150 booked already?

    Sensational! Will post again on the EDP tomorrow. It’s midnight here and I need some Zzzz’s

  3. Hmm, wonder if Porsche is interested in GM Europe as a whole… I know they are in bed with VW, but there are also some tension in the relationship. And VW has some problems ahead with brands that compete and/or loosing money and too many factories. Buying GM Europe (without the crappy Chevrolet, of course), they would as a company cover almost all bases.

    Opel – family car
    Saab – premium car
    Porsche – sports car

    And the brands do not compete with each other today.

    Somehow, I do not think that GM want to sell Saab and keep Opel, or that a buyer want to have Saab and not Opel.

  4. Be carefull what you wish for fellows.

    Saab owned by Porsche will have prices for purchase, service, and parts, that will water your eyes, sweat your brow, and tremble your hands, all in in one fell swoop.

  5. JACEK: One reason that Americans don’t take advantage of the European delivery option is that we’re working. Most American professionals get just two weeks of vacation each year — I’m fortunate to have negotiated three weeks per year in my new gig. Going to Europe for 10 days to pick up your Saab means that a lot of things that you would like to do during the rest of that year will not be possible. For me, that was the case when I bought my first Saab in 1986 – straight off the lot. I would have liked to take delivery in Trollhattan, but as a young engineer fresh out of college, I had no vacation time accrued — I literally had ONE day of vacation banked at that point. Not enough to even get out of the US, much less to Sweden.

    After that, it’s been only used Saabs for me, so no trips to Sweden!

  6. Saab in on target for ~ 137000 sales this year and there are talks that some at GM want to ditch the company. Have they taken leave of their senses? Saab seems to be on a roll but I wouldnt be averse to GM selling Saab to Porsche – or to anyone else who would take care of my fave car company!

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