9-7x Snippets

Saab 9-7x Altitude EditionI’ve been advised of some pricing information for the 2008 Saab 9-7x. For anyone considering picking up what will likely be the final version of the SUV, here’s what you’re up for from an MSRP point of view (in other words, this information is reasonably redundant as incentives will no doubt hang around on this model).

The MSRP of the 2008 9-7x has been trimmed slightly from the 2007 model. You’ll pay $39,190 for the 6 cylinder model and $41,290 for the V8. These represent reductions of $745 and $645 respectively.

There’s no mention of the Altitude edition in 2008 (a $2,300 extra in 2007) but with a supposed limited edition of 500 units it seems like it failed to gain altitude anyway. You can still price it on the Saab USA website, which would indicate to me that the 500 units haven’t sold out yet.

You can, however, pick up some bright polished alloy wheels (possibly the ones that came with the Altitude package) as a $1,200 option.

Other packages and options from 2007 remain at the same prices:

Prestige Pack – $800
Rear Seat DVD – $1,300
Navigation – $2,145

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Saab will be happy to sell as many of the 9-7x as it can as it makes bucketloads of margin on them. I’d suggest dealers, however, will be hankering for the release of the 9-4x.

The 9-7x was Saab’s second-best seller in the US almost since it’s initial release and up until last month, when it was overtaken by the Saab 9-5. As I’ve stated here many times before, I’m a fan of the job they did on the 9-7x and the role it’s played in the Saab lineup. I’ve never heard a complaint from anyone that actually owns one or has driven one. But I think it’s time is running out.

Sales would indicate that in this time of car-based SUVs – crossover vehicle – the 9-7x has found most of the market that it’s going to find. Here’s the chart:

9-7x sales

These are sales figures for the last 18 months and as you can see, with the exception of last December it’s been tough going since the end of the last US summer. Numbers in 2007 have been consistently under 2008 for most of this year.

The market is changing. Fortunately for Saab, the 9-4x is coming soon and the 9-7x can be consigned to retirement having played it’s role very well.

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7 Comments

  1. i saw last night that my dealer has them discounted $7,000. and add another $2k for “owner loyalty.”

    what a paradox–save on development costs by using another brand (to increase the profit margin), only to have it heavily discounted, thus giving back the would-be, sneaky profit margin.

  2. Swade mentioned in a post during his trip to Trollhättan that he spoke with someone “in the know” who said that the profit margin on each 9⁵ is a multitude of times greater than that of each 9³ sold due to the fact that the development costs have already been earned-back due to the model being so dated so each one sold (though they don’t sell so well anymore) is very profitable (high profit margin).

    I’m imagining the 9⁷X is similar in that most of the development expenses were incurred by GM as part of the platform development. It probably cost SAAB very little to turn it into the 9⁷X.

    So given a choice, it’s better for SAAB to sell a single 9⁵ or 9⁷X than several 9³s, I would think. Basically selling these models is like “gravy”.

  3. Another thing (I need to learn to wait until I get all my ideas out before I post…) is that when looking at SAAB’s U.S. sales numbers you’ll notice that the other models’ sales need to make up for the lack of the 9²X being available anymore. Luckily the rise in 9³ sales this year for the most part have made up for the hundreds of 9²Xs they’re no longer selling.

  4. Indeed, Gripen. IIRC, the ratio was somewhere in the order of 10p for a 9-7x and 20p for a 9-5. I assume this would be on sales made at MSRP.

    “p” is the margin earned on a 9-3.

  5. That’s great info you dug up. So when you show the U.S. sales it kind of puts it into perspective with lower sales of those two models but knowing that possibly more profit is coming from them.

    Take the June U.S. SAAB sales for example. The 9³ sold 3,185 units. The 9⁵ sold 607 units, but at 20 times the profit of the 9³ that is equivalent to selling 12,140 9³s profit-wise (am I figuring this wrong?). Similarly the 9⁷X sold 543 units, but at 10 times the profit of the 9³ that is equivalent to selling 5,430 9³s profit-wise.

    So unless I’m figuring this all wrong, the 9⁵ and the 9⁷X each actually bring-in more money for SAAB than the much-better-selling 9³.

  6. let the profit margins on the 9-7x & the 9-5 subsidize the aero-x.

    seriously though, what should saab’s strategy be: 1) aim for higher sales of low-profit-margin models; or 2) be comfy with lower sales of high- profit-margin models?

    in a premium niche, it seems dangerous to go with the high-profit-margin-model approach (#2, id.), as you’d have to cut too many corners on quality, design, ethos, etc., and settle for lethargy and shallowness. that results in a huge disadvantage because those things definitely are not associated with marquees in that segment.

    if saabs wants to be in an “up-scale” market, it has to be willing to do things the right way:

    a) develop core products that resonate:
    * keep designs fresh and interesting.
    * don’t rebadge (it’s too hard to disguise another car; but if it could be done right, it’s probably cheaper to start from scratch);

    b ) stay abreast of the trends, including:
    * awd
    * bluethooth
    * led’s
    * plushness
    * fuel economy

    c) be more proactive, rather than reactive.
    * could probably do cool things with lighting.
    * what happened to the 9-x?
    * what happened to the 9-3x? (both ahead of their time)
    * what happened to the aero-x (with regular or winged doors)? (again, ahead of its time.); and

    d. don’t copy to just copy.
    * easy on the chrome
    * stationwagon overindulgence. one is plenty. bring back the hatch, or make the smaller one a hatch.

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