Always bet on black?

Last week I posted the rather sensational news that Saab have a new ‘compact car’ in development. This story appeared in a Swedish newspaper, Dagens Industri. The news about the compact car was only a part of the article, however.

70% of the story was concerned with Saab’s financial result for this year. It’s been previously reported that Saab were expected to break into the black in 2007, the first time in some years.

Dagens are reporting otherwise, however. This is my dodgy internet translation (sorry ctm, I lost your version).

The turning for Saab Automobile goes sluggishly…..

….Saab Automobile lost 1.1 billion kronor during the first half of 2007, according to a fresh semi annual report.

The result is an improvement of 34% compared with the same period last year, but nevertheless it is more evidence on that the car giant’s journey toward profitability goes slowly.

CEO Jan Åke Jonsson:

“We have had quite a dramatic improvement in the result this year and the margins are all better”, says he, but emphasizes concurrently that the market is tougher and the road to profitability is difficult…..

…..The result is partly the result of a weak exchange rate…..

“We have an internal calculation of the result for Saab, but we do not communicate to the public”, says Jan Åke Jonsson.

The report shows also that the 26% increase of the number of cars sold in the first half-year gave a revenue boost of 28% to 15,4 billions sek…..

…..The permanent costs has also been lowered with a third after the rationalization 2002…..

…..“Saab need a long-term volume of 150,000 – 200,000 sales a year in order become a good business”, says Jan Åke Jonsson, and has a forecast on 137,000 sold cars during the whole year.

The is a record that bases itself on big successes this year for new Saab 9-5 BioPower and the Saab 9-3 Sport Combi.

During the ten first months this year Saab increased sales by 7% to 112,000 sold cars.

It is uncertain about the whether Saab will see a profit next year.

Some new model probably will not be launched and the sale volume is predicted to be on same level.


I’ve had to edit a few bits to get them to make sense as the dodgy internet translator is just a machine.

I’d also advise the following:

Last week when I emailed Saab Sweden to seek confirmation on the ‘compact car’ part of the story, I also received advice from them that there were certain parts of this story (the financial result etc) that the reporter had misinterpreted. They stressed the point that the document used as a basis for this report is for the Swedish entity only and wasn’t representative of the global brand situation.

So don’t bet on red, not just yet.

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  1. One thing that was also mentioned in the article as a reason for the result of Saab Automobile AB:

    “…the financial part of Saab Automobile has been moved to the GM parent company.”

    GMAC Financial services now handles all vehicle financing for Saab This is the division of most car companies that are ususally profitable… 🙂

  2. as mentioned by ctm, some of the profit sectors has been moved to the parent company. Financing is one part. Put it was mentioned in plural.

    I tink that GM doesnt mind that Saab is in red. If they wanted to they could make the numbers go into black.

  3. “It is uncertain about the whether Saab will see a profit next year.

    Some new model probably will not be launched…”

    i thought the new 9-3 was going to be ready for the 60th anniversary, and was to be shown at the saab convention in detroit in 30-somithing weeks.

  4. 9x, that bit had me worried as well. I’m currently considering a multi-thousand dollar trip to Sweden next year for the Saab Festival and the unveiling of this car.

    When I read this I had a good, thorough review of everything the 2008 9-3 posting was based on and I’m still confident that it’s accurate.

    I think there’s a language/translation problem here. For example, does ‘next year’ include models that are MY2008?

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