US Sales Figures – March 06

I’ve slept and sure enough, the US figures are in, with a mixed bag of results.

Saab recorded a modest increase of 2.47% in total units sold during March. There were 3,239 units moved in total compared with 3,161 units moved in March 2005. GM’s total sales were down 14% compared to a year ago and the industry-wide prediction was around 12-13%, so any gain, however modest, is not a bad result.

The mixed news is in the individual model sales. It seems that the 9-7x is once again the reason why Saab’s sales numbers are up. Both the 9-3 and 9-5 were basically steady (well, very slight falls actually) so the addition of 9-7x sales that weren’t around a year ago have given total sales a lift.

Individual models below:

9-2x – 91 untis sold (430 in 2005)
9-3 – 2,255 units sold (2,258 in 2005)
9-5 – 411 units sold (473 in 2005)
9-7x – 482 units sold (zero in 2005)

Against the backdrop of some falls in the industry over all, this is pretty good news. So well done Saab USA.

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  1. Great blog. Are you a dealer? My URL will lead you to my blog. I am a Chevy-Cadillac dealer attempting to tell the GM story, so far, some success. I hope you will visit sometime. I have bookmarked your site. Once again, very informative, well done blog!

  2. Maybe they should start selling that 9-7x in Europe… It’s better looking than the Audi and BMW SUVs anyway… 🙂

  3. saaaloonng 9-2x. Hopefully next one will be some Scandinavian designed sports roadster that isn’t rebadged.

  4. CTM: I believe the 9-7X is being sold in several Euro countries as we speak. Goto the Saab Global site, and go through the Saab websites of each country. Many will mention the 9-7X. Even several Middle Eastern countries are selling them. Dubai and UAE are two that come to mind (previously mentioned by Swade here).

  5. What’s up with the 9-5? I can’t believe it’s still selling behind last year’s pace, which was still behind 2004 sales. The last few times I’ve been at a Saab dealer, I’ve seen more people looking at the 9-5s than the 9-7s. Maybe it’s lack of inventory still. My local dealer sold their first and only one so far in January and hasn’t had one in stock since then, but their two 9-7s have been sitting on the lot since well before then.

  6. So, the 9-7 makes it again for the 2nd month in succession as the savior ??? It can not be because this vehicle is so bad and out of sink with the rest of Saab’s range. Common, let’s accept reality and what the market is telling all of us. The introduction 9-7 has been a brilliant move. It may even be the saving grace Down Under if only Saab OZ got their act together for once.

  7. Jason: I agree with you on the 9-5 — what gives? I think that it’s got a great deal of competition in the US market: BMW, Volvo, Jaguar, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Lincoln, Cadillac, Buick, etc. That’s my take on the lackluster sales.

    Joe: I don’t think that the 9-7x is a bad vehicle per se, but I’ll agree that it is out of synch [sic] with the rest of the Saab line. I’ve always been baffled by GM’s brand marketing — very similar vehicles sold with different badges through different dealers. So, why does Saab need the 9-7x? Because it pacifies the dealer network at a time when GM needs them most. The sales numbers bear that out as a good tactic.

  8. Me thinks they put(cramed) the around-the-world V6 in the wrong vehicles. The 93 never begged for it…for the 95 and 97 it would be an interesting option.

  9. Swade,

    I hope I don’t offend your Saab sensibilities when I write that I find it absolutely remarkable that Saab actually suckered 482 people into buying a 9-7X last month. If ever there was an in your face case of GM brand engineering- this trumped up, Scandinavianified Jimmy is it!

  10. Gunnar, no offence to me. I can’t own one even if I wanted to. But I hope you’re not taking the fast-track and shouting “badge engineering” without having investigated the work that was done on the vehicle prior to its release.

    The 9-7x was a quick solution to a hole in Saab’s product offering. It’s not ideal but it’s reportedly one heck of a good effort. Much better in execution than the 9-2x (which consumers are picking up too by the looks of things).

    Hit the 9-7x category and read through the reports. There’s also an entry there containing all the press info on the 9-7x, and in that entry there’s a summary of all the changes made to the standard GM900 vehicle for it to become the 9-7x. There’s a heck of a lot more to it than just relocating a key.

  11. Ah but Swade,

    I honestly can write that at any given point, from any given angle inside and out – the 9-7X is just rebadged GMC. It’s sad but true.

    I understand that GM spent $60 or was it $90? on putting the ignition in the center console. And I’ve heard about the wonderous revamped suspension that actually handles.

    So too, have I received word from Saab dealers who say that their customers were just itching for the day that Saab would make an SUV.

    It’s just a pity that the 9-7X is the result. I would argue that the 9-2 is more traditional Saab (despite being an obvious Subaru copy).

  12. Gunnar,
    The 9-7x is a rebadged GMC in the same way the Cadillac BLS is a rebadged 9-3. It’s more than just an exchange of badges and relocation of the ignition, but it’s not quite as far as platform sharing. The 9-7x has a significantly modified interior, completely different fascia, and much improved suspension. Trust me, if anyone has ever driven a Trailblazer or Envoy, the 9-7x is a whole different animal. With that said, it’s still a truck. It’s still missing something that says “Saab” and has too much that says “Chevy/GMC/Buick.” I’m sure it’s appealing to people who are already in the market for a midsize SUV, but it needs to start selling a bit more than it already is to avoid the need to have a summer blowout like the 9-2x did.

  13. Common guys, we are having a tussle on a practice that has been around since back in the 70s and mastered by no other than VW re-badgeing their vehicles as Audi and even Porsche. I am sure we are all aware that the Cayenne is nothing more than a glorified Tourag which for the purist is a massive insult. However from the business logical side it has been an outright success for Porsche to have their own badge SUV. I STILL CAN’T GET WHY ALL THESE NEGATIVE FUSS ABOUT THE 9-7 KEEPS HAMMERING THIS MOVE BY GM. OK, IT’S NOT PERFECT, IT’S NOT A PURE SAAB BUT IT’S DOING THE JOB !!! THE FIGURES ARE THE TRUE QUALIFIERS OF THE SUCCESS.

  14. I have just checked the web sites of the four closest Saab dealers. None have more than 4 new 9-5 sedans on their lots, the closest only has 2. Same with convertibles, very few available in New England. Maybe the reason the sales for March are not great is that they don’t have the cars to sell, what is going on?

  15. Competition against the 9-5 is brutal in the proce range. Saab electronics stink versus the competition which doesn’t help. $500 for satellite radio installed at the dealer when everyone else has it factory standard? Things like that don’t help.

  16. I was wondering about the 9 5 sales in the US, do they only offer one model? Only one engine, 260 hp ? They don´t even say that it is an Aero, only 2.3T. Could this be a reason for a slight decrease in 9 5 sales?

    Great site, thanks for it.

    Best regards, Jón Gunnar Kristinsson, icelandic SAAB club

  17. Just tested Lexus IS-250, Acura TL and Infiniti G35 — very, very over-rated (and boring). BMW and Audi were much pricier when similarly equipt. The 2006 Saab 9-5 was the most fun to drive and best value in the class (XM is standard, btw), not to mention much cheaper to insure in NYC. Just signed the lease.

  18. Congrats Rick. Try telling C&D that those cars are over-rated and boring. Enjoy your new 9-5. 260hp should be fun. SOTW pictures of a new 9-5 would be most welcome.

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