Saab USA sales targets

A quick analysis of Saab USA sales for 2006.

Saab USA stated a few months ago, right here on this site, that for 2006 they’d be aiming to equal or slightly better their efforts for 2005. They were looking for steady month-to-month numbers rather than the roller-coaster ride of 2005.

In addition, Saab Sweden said the following just yesterday:

“This year so far we are behind in the US by 5,800 cars compared to last year, but the comparison is misleading as GM introduced big price reductions last June and July, meaning we sold an unusually large number of cars then,” said company spokesman Christer Nilsson.

So. There’s four months to go in 2006 and they’re nearly 6,000 behind last year in the US.

I know and understand the impact of the Employee Pricing Scheme last year, but the fact is that Saab USA are going to have to do some special things to recoup that missing sales volume.

Time for something from the dept of charts and graphs…..

USA sales 2006.jpg

That red line you can see represents monthly sales for 2005.

The blue line represents sales so far in 2006.

Those 5,800 missing units occupy that big hump from May to August last year, where the Employee Pricing schmozzola boosted the numbers. Now whilst I fully expect Saab USA to stay well above the red line for the rest of 2006, it’s another matter altogether to predict how far above the line they’ll be.

Saab USA sold 38,343 vehicles in 2005.

So far, with four months remaining, they’ve sold 24,517 vehicles in 2006.

That’s a shortfall of 13,826 vehicles that they’ll need to make up by December 31st. The math says they’ll need to average 3,456.5 vehicles a month over that period. I’m not saying they can’t do it and I sincerely hope they can as I believe they’ve got a very good team leading the charge.

But i’ll let the numbers speak for themselves as to the challenge that this poses: Needing 3,457 vehicles sales a month for the rest of the year, a quick look at the numbers tells me that Saab USA have reached this required average just once so far in 2006 – in July.

Go Hard, Saab USA. The road ahead ain’t going to be easy but You. Can. Do. It.

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4 Comments

  1. Personally, I think it was folly to set a sales goal this year so high. As you mention the reason they sold so many cars last year were the deep discounts. Why did they expect to sell an equal number of cars this year without the discounts? It’s not like there’s a bigger demand for SAABs this year than last.

    The only “newish” models they could hope would sell strongly would be the 9-3 Sport Combi and maybe the Anniversary Edition ‘vert. I think those potentially stronger sales would simply offset the very weak 9-5 sales.

    SAAB USA really needs a desirable model (to Americans). Americans in general are not “wowed” by either the 9-3SS or the “updated” 9-5. The 9-2X is dying a slow death and the 9-7X reportedly sells well but I almost NEVER see one on the road here in L.A.

    2009 can’t come soon enough. I just hope SAAB survives until then.

  2. Is that what Americans call “Monday Morning Quarterbacking”?

    The 160,000 forecast at the start of the year was actually based on an analysis of 2005 sales in several markets, not just the US, with increase factored in based on early sales trends in those countries.

    160,000 was definitely over the mark, but I really believe that with a good year in the US and sustained growth elsewhere that 150,000 could have been attainable.

    Why expect an increase in the US at all? As you mention, new models for starters. But there’s also more effective advertising and more advertising over all.

    Australia’s done some model and price shuffling in 2006. Maybe it’s time for the US to try something similar?

    I don’t know, but back in January with an 11% rise to start the year, things were definitely looking better than what they do now. And they’d been growing in various markets for the last few months of 2005 as well so there was no warning that the main market was going to flatten out so much.

  3. Well, Saab USA did some price and package reshuffling for 2006 and I think it has helped keep them competitive, but not necessarily get ahead of the competition. The 9-2x isn’t going to sell even half of what it did last year, so Saab is out at least 5,000 units over last year. The fact the 9-5 is selling so poorly against what it did last year seems strange, but after all it doesn’t get the same attention as others in its class. The 9-3 and 9-7x seem to be doing well, but again they are older designs than what’s new in their respective classes.

    Either way, I’ve seen quite a few new 9-3 SportCombis, new 9-5s and 9-7xs roaming the streets.

  4. http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060905/FREE/60905001/1024/newsletter02


    What’s behind GM’s sales rise?

    Five of General Motors’ seven domestic brands helped the corporation post its August sales gain.

    The losers were Buick, down 1.0 percent, and Pontiac, off 8.7 percent.

    On the plus side for August were GMC, 11.1 percent; Saturn, 9.4 percent; Hummer, 5.4 percent; Chevrolet, 5.2 percent; and Cadillac, 4.0 percent. Add Swedish cousin Saab to the mix, and GM was up 3.9 percent in August. Saab gained 16.2 percent over last year.

    For eight months, sales of GM’s domestic brands were down 12.1 percent. GM’s sales were down 12.2 percent when Saab is included.

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