A little more on Jan-Ake Jonsson’s appearance in the Swedish news yesterday.
He did indeed indicate that Saaab will be looking for sales to hit 140,000 this year – a record for Saab in any year. Several European markets like Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland are up by at least 40% and other external markets are up as well. He mentions that the only markets that are down in 2006 are the US and Germany, and the US still has an outside chance of levelling out.
With that sales number comes the remote possibility of turning a profit. JAJ gave no guarantees, saying that they’ll all be watching the numbers right up until December 31st, but that it’s possible that Saab could finally contribute something positive to the GM bottom line.
The big booster in the Euro market seems to be the Biopower car, with 80% of 9-5’s sold in Sweden having the flexfuel setup. Given that 9-5 sales in Sweden declined considerably in 2005 this has been a major bonus. Other markets are now opening up to Biopower – Edusaab left a note in comments just this morning to let us know that Spain is now selling them as well.
The other intereting bit of news from the Swedish story is the little bit of name-dropping that appears there. It turns out that one of Biopower’s more famous customers is none other than global entreprenuer and Virgin-everything head honcho Richard Branson.
I don’t think he’s tackled the fuel industry yet – could we see a Virgin Pump in every town by 2012????? The mind boggles!
Thanks to Carljohan for the link