US sales, the “Oh crap!” edition

Saab USA were hoping for a seventh consecutive month of positive sales data. Hopefully no-one’s job depended on it happening.

Saab USA sold 2,221 vehicles during February 2007, which was a massive 20.3% slide from February last year. Individual model numbers were as follows:

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Saab 9-2x – 26 units mopped up as opposed to 61 for the same month last year.

Saab 9-3 – This is where the damage was done, with 1,419 units sold as opposed to 1,969 in the same month last year.

Saab 9-5 – 348 units sold, a slight rise from the 325 units sold in Feb 2006.

Saab 9-7x – a steady month with 428 units sold vs 432 last year.

Year-to-date – Saab have sold 4,583 vehicles so far in 2007, a fall of 8% in comparison to the 4,983 vehicles sold for the same period in 2006. That’s 400 vehicles less. With a shortfall of 550 9-3 sales this month alone, it’s easy to see why.

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Whew! What the heck happened?

9-3 sales have absolutely, positively tanked. They’ve moved more than 1,900 units for February in each of 2005 and 2006 and now only 1,400??

I just went and checked the archive and there was no big incentive in February last year that would have bumped numbers up. It’s just totally perplexing.

I’m flummoxed and seeking some thoughts.

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24 Comments

  1. I can tell you from personal experience that the incentives on the 2007 models have been terrible here in the US since GMAC took over from SAAB Financial.

    All of the deals and incentives have been on 2006 models and there is no inventory left. Even less since we bought a new 2006 Aero last month! 😉

  2. saab needs new models, fast; not “refreshes.”

    if the next-gen(eration)”saab” doesn’t look a lot like the aero-x, then it’s over. don’t ask me why, but as some see it, even the 9-7x won’t be able to save us, at that point.

    where’s an up-to-date 3/5-door (“hatch”–dirty word, i know) from saab???

  3. whoops, i forgot to ask about a comparo if this year’s sales to last year’s–the first two months of each year.

  4. Ok, is this total sales data on ’07 units only? Or does it include new ’06 units that sold in Feb ’07 also?

    I have to agree with Mikial. I’ve scoured the earth, ok just the southern and eastern US region, for an ’06 Combi, to no avail. So, I’ll either get an ’07 later in the year once the incentives can offset my 9-2x neg-equity (choke) or wait for an ’08.

    I’m waiting with for the new 3/1/07 US rebate amounts, checking the website every 10 minutes. So, it’s 6:04PM, and they still have the incentives that expired 2/28 on display. 🙁

  5. They still haven’t updated the Southeast region. I’ve checked both GMBuyPower and Saabusa.com.

    I guess I’m anxious that there may be some dramatic bump so that I may not have to wait to go get one!

    Oh, how I’d love to be a part of the March ’07 sales figures!

  6. I’ve just put the 2006 offers up in a new post. Unbelievable! Up to $10K off a 9-5 using customer cash and loyalty bonus.

    Only in America…..

  7. Saab of Troy, which is the number one Saab dealer in the world only sold 84 new Saabs and was forcasted to sell 143. That is only 58%. Any way you add it up that is ugly!

  8. SO from what I can gather from the guys above, there’s 07 stock but nobody’s buying because of poor incentives. But there’s now even greater incentives on 06 models but no stock anyway.

  9. There’s no 2006 9-3s left here in CT. Even if there were any, I am waiting to get a 9-3 with AWD.

    I’m new to this site. I read it every day! With some of the comments here, I sense that some of you think Saab won’t be around much longer. Is that right?

  10. SAAB needs fresh product that doesn’t require massive incentives to sell. Or, spread the total of incentives/losses they incur on each car sold across the entire fleet rather than just on those cars sold as the new model year starts. Frankly, if you’re going to buy a new SAAB you’d be a bit foolish to buy the current model rather than wait until you can get a leftover of the previous year at massive discounts. It’s the only way to make the depreciation reasonable. This is the vicious cycle in which SAAB finds itself.

  11. Guys, guys! Any good car salesman will tell you that bad weather is a perfect deterrent to car sales.

    The North Central and North Eastern US were positively plastered in snow for the month of February. This is the strongest market area for Saab. I’ll bet that ALL car sales are down in those regions of the country for the month of February.

    Of course, the above mentioned product availability issues haven’t helped at all.

  12. I bought one! Just doing my part to help out. Of course that was purely due to the incentives. Good luck finding a 2006 now! I talked with the dealer about financing through GMAC, 8.9%, yikes!!! GMAC can bite me.

  13. Here are three reasons.
    1. tired product line. The only thing that makes the 9-5 competitve are the incentives.
    2. Newer products from Audi and BMW.
    3. weak dealer network that rarely focus on SAAB

  14. I’m not so sure the sales drop can be attributed to folks waiting for the ’08 facelift. I doubt most SAAB buyers even know anything about it.

    As for SAAB needing new models instead of “refreshes”, remember that the current 9-3 is only four years old! If we’re looking to shorten product cycles to have full replacements every five years, SAAB is in trouble!

    I’m telling you, I’m waiting for the new facelifted ’08 to come out and then I’m going to try and get myself an ’07 Anniversary Edition Sport Wagon CHEAP!!!

  15. as much as we all love saabs if you look at the US sales numbers it is not unfair to bestow on saab the title of ” most unpopular car in america”
    total US saab sales are a tiny market share leading to the need for big incentive selling. to add to the difficulty is that in the last few years saab has adopted perhaps more realistic(lower) “value” MSRP pricing but throw the big incentive on top of the new lowered MSRP and their is a fair loss per 06 sold. i think it will take some really exceptional new products and marketing to get to a point of a viable market share.
    the drop in 07 sales to date is not industry wide, BMW sold over 11,000 three series in february up 28% from 06!
    i wonder what saab/GM management forecasts as the target # of cars sold per year neded to sustain the brand long term?

  16. I am concerned that GMAC seems to be neglecting SAAB as far as incentives go on the 2007 models.

    27 month leases with $3,000.00 are no deal, and the 6.8% interest rates on 2007 models negate any rebate savings being offered.

    We were lucky to p/u a 2006 Aero with $6,000.00 in incentives, $1,000.00 in customer loyalty, and 0.00% financing for 5 years in January.

    A 2007 Aero would have cost us over $200.00 per month more.

    GMAC needs to fix the situation of SAAB will be in trouble… SAAB Financing seemed far more competitive with financing and offered much better lease deals.

  17. I am concerned that GMAC seems to be neglecting SAAB as far as incentives go on the 2007 models.

    27 month leases with $3,000.00 are no deal, and the 6.8% interest rates on 2007 models negate any rebate savings being offered.

    We were lucky to p/u a 2006 Aero with $6,000.00 in incentives, $1,000.00 in customer loyalty, and 0.00% financing for 5 years in January.

    A 2007 Aero would have cost us over $200.00 per month more.

    GMAC needs to fix the situation or SAAB will be in trouble… SAAB Financing seemed far more competitive with financing and offered much better lease deals.

  18. Mikial: You may not be aware, but GM was forced to sell off controlling interest in GMAC recently. Therefore, GMAC is not able to offer the subsidized financing as previously done, so GM has been putting all of the incentives into prices and rebates.

    However, it is an interesting notion that being without a captive financing arm will hurt company sales. I would assume that competition for the financing business would take care of that.

  19. Swade –

    Since SAAB financial disappeared there have been no good lease deals at all on SAABs.

    Compounding the situation is the fact that most SAAB dealerships are shared dealerships with other GM brands (Caddilac here in Las Vegas).

    With SAAB having poor lease and finance deals, more and more business is being sent to the other GM arms who are offerring more competitive rates. While we all love SAABs, it isn’t that difficult pursuading the unitiated to buy a Caddilac CTS (with more horsepower and better amenities on paper) for less money per month…

    We were lucky to track down a 2006 Aero, and would have had to leave SAAB after having been a loyal customer for 10 years if we had not been lucky enough to find a 2006. As state above, a comarable 2007 Aero would have cost over $200.00 per month more.

    I am worried, and am very concerned about the situation.

  20. Saab dropped the prices at the end of 2005 in the USA to stimulate sales and vowed that the days of huge incentives would soon be over. 2006 has been and gone and Saab sales in the USA were, at best, flat.

    BMW, Audi, Volvo and VW interiors make Saab’s look and feel like cheap Chevy cars. An A4 and BMW3 have starting prices here in Canada within $$$ of each other but how do you convince Joe Average that Saab cars are the same quality-wise as said German sedans? Hell they have a hard time convincing me and I have been a Saab-addict for 25 years!

    So there you have it, it’s all about quality and Saab really needs to get that sorted within two years….or else….!

  21. There’s a reason they’re not selling 9-3s: they’re crap. This car (a 2006 9-3 Aero SportCombi) has been the most disappointing purchase of my entire life and I’m going to file a lemon case to force a buyback. Saab actually admitted that the rattles they have failed to fix are a “characteristic of the vehicle”. To paraphrase “we know your car is crap, tough luck buddy, we’ve got your money already”.

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