US Saab Sales – November 2006

US Saab sales numbers are in and like the Swedish sales data, it’s a mixture of good and not-so-good news.

Saab USA sold a total of 2,497 vehicles in November 2006, a 19.4% increase on the same month in 2005 when they sold 2,091 units in the recovery phase of the Employee Pricing for Everyone sale.

Individual model sales were as follows:

9-2x: 65 units sold (vs 71 in Nov 05)

9-3: 1,623 units sold (vs 1,557 in Nov 05)

9-5: 412 units sold (vs 215 in Nov 05)

9-7x: 397 units sold (vs 248 in Nov 05)

It’s good to see that there’s some life creeping into the 9-5 sales numbers. If I recall correctly, that’s two consecutive months where it’s outsold the 9-7x now after trailing it all year.


The big picture for the US market in 2006 looks negative unless Saab USA can pick Wallace and Gromit’s Were Rabbit out of a hat.

They’re down 7.8% year to date, having sold 32,814 vehicles this year compared to 35,577 for the same period last year.

Hopefully someone over there is asking the hard questions about what they need to do in order to get ahead. In 2006 they had a better value 9-5, the 9-3 SportCombi for a full year and the release of the 20th Anniversary Convertible. 2006 was also the first full year with the V6 Aero in the 9-3.

With all that and a new fangled marketing campaign that was touted at the US Saab Owners Convention as being quite successful with the general public, one could have reasonably expected some form of modest increase – so what went wrong?

I’ll try and seek some answers.

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  1. im not surprised with sales being lower compared to last year. i havent seen a commercial or any other promotional ad or anything with saab usa in it for about a month.

  2. What went wrong? They didn’t do anything new. That’s what went wrong.

    They now have a V6 and a wagon. So what? V6 engines and wagons have been around for decades.

    The 9-3 and 9-5 don’t excite me any more than a 9000 does. In fact, the 9000 excites me more so because it’s cheaper.

    Saab needs to do something(s) that the competetion can’t.

  3. I think the 9-3 sportcombi ate some sales out of the sedan. And since the 9-3 line looks pretty much the same as it did back in 2003, there’s nothing new to attract attention of onlookers.

    The 9-5 is just plain old. And it didn’t really come to the US until the first of the year, so it got a late start.

    And the 9-7x’s sales reflect gas prices and the moving to smaller SUVs. Plus the platform itself is getting to be pretty old.

    I don’t think 2007 is going to be much easier for Saab because there’s less change in the products than there was this year.
    But maybe if a Biopower 9-5 came along or something, that would be enough to get people into the showrooms.

  4. As other folks have said, there really is not anything new to get the average car buyer excited about. I think a dual mode hybrid 9-3 would generate the type of buzz the brand needs. in the meantime I would like to see more emphasis on SAAB’s safety and mpg performance. those are 2 things average car buyers are seeking.

  5. I would add also, the 9-5 refresh does not look good in the metal. The front end just looks odd, and for 40 grand, most folks would just a soon get a BMW 3 series, which is all new. I did have a 9-5 loaner for a day, and the interior while nice, was not a step up from my 9-3.

  6. If i recall correctly 2005 featured a big summer long sale – certainly that would account for the additional sales in 05 vs 06. The big question is profits – is Saab in the US on track for a more profitable year in 06 vs 05?

  7. In 2006 you had a new 3 series, a new Lexus, a new VW Passat. What happened is that the competition got more intense, with more players and more different types of cars appearing in the market. Plus I think car sales were down overall. Saab is probably close to maxing out all the sales from its existing stores. It probably won’t make much more of an increase unless it can break into new areas currently not served by Saab dealers.

  8. Here is a interesting article (in swedish).

    In short it’s about the problem that Saab and Volvo has against the US market. The exchangerate between the the US dollar and the swedish kronor has fallen 13% so far this year. The effect of that is that for every car that is manufactured in sweden and then sold in the US they get 13% less money per car compared to the beginning of the year. This has increased Saabs loss with one billion swedish kronor this year. In the artikel they are mentioning moving production to Mexico for both Saab and Volvo. Saab can’t compete with the price against the german manufacturers due to this.

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