Saab UK sales – April 2006

Ouch!

The 150,000 sales target took a kick in the cohunas with the recent release of UK sales data.

After a bumper month in March, Saab sales for April were down 28% on the year before, in a market that was down 9-1% overall. That’s the first downward month for Saab for some time in the UK, a division who have been kicking goals for over a year now.

Saab are still up 6% for the year.

The Swade-imposed sales target of 150,000 counted on Saab maintaining growth rates in key markets like the UK. Combine this with a likely fall in US figures in the next few months and that target just grew a little more distant. Remember the ‘Employee Pricing’ sales from summer last year? These are going to create some negative numbers this June and July, unless GM pull another summer sales scheme out of the hat.

Interesting times. The cars are definitely good enough to sell in greater numbers. It’s a matter of bums on seats. Saab USA and UK – get to work!

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3 Comments

  1. Had to expect it…look at how much product(minimal Ds) is hanging around. For UK to outsell US(pop50M?vs300M?)for how many? months now is extraordinary. Good job regardless.

    At USD6+ a gallon(god we hate that)go figure.

  2. Something you’re probably not aware of is that the UK registration plates show when the car was registered. In the past the 1st letter of the REG plate gave the year of registration which changed every August. This created an unnatural peek in August, because people would wait for the new plate letter. This has now changed to numbers and we also have a system where the plate change occurs in March and September.

    Before I get into why this is NOT good for the used car market I’ll quickly move on.

    April is expected to be a ‘slow’ month as all those who have been putting off buying a new car since December bought new cars in March. (a 06 PLATE) there was also a few 06 Plate Pre-registered cars on car lots which were sold, but didn’t count in April’s figures. (They would have gone on March’s)

    Expect a steady increase in new registrations which will start to taper off in July and August, because in September. All new registered vehicles will get a ’56 PLATE’.

    (Is this starting to sound confusing???)

    So instead of one peek sales month in a year you now have 2 with more of a bias toward September registrations. What this means to the UK car buyer is.

    If your car is registered say December 2004 you will have a ’54 PLATE'(referred to in the trade as 04/54) that car will be worth about £300 less than if the car was reg’d from Jan-Mar 2005. (this car is referred as 05/54 by the trade)

    If you car is registered in February 2005 (05/54 plate – So still a 54 Plate but reg’d in 2005 as apposed to 2004) it will be worth about £500 less than a March 2005 registered car (05/05).

    And lastly if your car is registered in August 2005 (05/05) then it will be worth about £500 less than a September 2005 car (05/55 – September gets a new plate number [55])

    This all sounds a bit of a headache. (Which it is)
    Basically the worse time to buy a ‘NEW UN-REGISTERED CAR’ and I must stress unregistered, is February, August and December. If your car gets registered in any of these months, for the sake of 4 weeks you could potentially be throwing anywhere from £300 – £1,000 of your money away when you go to sell it again.

    Saab UK is now controlled by Vauxhall. Vauxhall is led by a gentleman called Bill Parfit. He is also the executive in charge of GM’s fleet and commercial vehicle sales across all European markets and has over 18 years experience in the fleet market sector.
    Saab UK has to register 32,000 cars this year and Bill Parfit will make sure they do.

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