US Sales – the quickie edition

Thanks to ctm and Gripen – the US sales numbers that came in whaile I was sleeping:

US Sales Data

Saab – Oct
9-2X: 0 vehicles (143)
9-3: 1677 (1926), -16%
9-5: 282 (355), -24%
Total: 1959 (2424), -22%

Saab – Jan-Oct
9-2X 118 (1293), -91%
9-3: 19774 (20376), -3%
9-5: 3713 (3892), -5%
Total: 23605 (25561), -8%


Commentary will be provided by you in comments as I don’t have time.

I’m about to go have a drive. And having a look at the program for the day, I’m pleased to report there’ll be a special guest there that I wasn’t expecting.

Seeya later.


My quick challenge to you – go read that BFJ case study again with these sales numbers in mind, and cancel out the “best January ever” claim of a 34% rise with the knowledge that the prior January to that was a really, really bad one.

Just sayin.

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  1. Those are terrible numbers..! I hope it is because the 2007 models are not selling and everybody is waiting for the 2008s to become available. Or the price increases and new 9-3 were a mistake and consumers are going somewhere else.. Either way, not good for anybody.

  2. I’m a bit concerned as I thought the poor sales in recent months leading into and including September were people holding-out for the 2008 9³, but the ’08 9³ went on sale in the U.S. in mid-September (I believe) and yet sales are still down. Hopefully it’s that buyers are holding-out for XWD and/or the Bose Centerpoint surround sound audio system…

  3. Some numbers from other makes for October and YTD compared to 2006:

    MB: +10.8% (Oct) 2.8% (YTD)
    BMW: +9.6% (Oct) 8.2% (YTD
    VW: +10.8% (Oct) 0.6% (YTD)

    Total for USA: +1.2% (Oct) -2.5% (YTD)

    I couldn’t find numbers for Volvo yet. Ouch, -22% for Saab really hurts..

  4. Wait until November numbers are released. There are very very few 08 9-3s in circulation at this point. Most of the “first” 08 9-3s will be sold in November.

  5. Bernard: I was typing the next post at the same time Swade was typing this one, apparently. I guess he isn’t out of town like I had thought. You’ll find the 9⁷X sales numbers in the next post.

    I don’t know when the 9⁷X Aero goes on sale, but hopefully when it does we’ll see slight 9⁷X sales increases. This model will be the second-quickest Saab sells (judging by the advertised 0 to 100 km/h time of under 6 seconds. This is second only to the Turbo-X with its 5.7s 0 to 100 kph for the manual sedan and 5.9s for the manual combi), though it’ll be fairly limited-edition and only appeal to a small niche market (the same consumers who consider a vehicle like the supercharged Range Rover Sport) so overall affect on Saab sales may be negligible.

  6. Just to clarify, Swade is here in Melbourne for the Australian launch of the 2008 9-3. This is the media day and I expect that everyone will be getting the royal treatment. I wonder which track they will be using, Lang Lang (GM Holden) or the Phillip Island GP track, or other ?

  7. Thanks, turbin. So at least I got the city that Swade is in correct, and the fact that he is indeed away from Hobart. 🙂

  8. Unfortunately the TS map is now defunct but maybe we need a Swade tracker. Also I imagine that while he treated well, he won’t be treates as well as you were at the US event Grip.

    Come to think of it they may even head to Avalon airport. Can’t wait for Swade’s reports.

  9. turbin: what, they’re not putting Swade up at the Ritz-Carlton and giving him a “goodie bag”? Actually, if they knew about his Viggen track exploits they might not even let him drive the ’08 9³ on either Lang Lang or Philip Island! 😉

    I thought Swade already had a court-ordered tracking ankle band. Can’t we tap into that and follow his GPS coordinates? 😛

  10. Don’t let the fact that the 9-3 is just arriving fool you. There are plenty of them here in the US. They just aren’t selling. $2500 is too much, and an extra grand for 5 spoke 17″ rims? I don’t think so.

    Saab did not price the MY08s correctly, and it shows. Worse than that, they didn’t increase the incentives for November!

    Who’s making the decisions over there??!?!

    Not to sound completely pessimistic, but is anyone surprised about the 9-5? That dinosaur should have been put to bed a while ago.

    That’s really too bad about the incentives. Looks like I’ll have to wait another month. Maybe Saab will wake up by then. Sorry Saab, but how long can we hope for you?

  11. joemama: when you price a 9³ with all its included standard features against a BMW 328i or an Audi A4 with the same options that are standard features in the Saab I think you’ll find the Saab is a heck of a bargain, even if considering MSRP. When you consider the discounts on the 9³ bring the price down to Honda Accord level you’ll wonder, like I do, why Saab isn’t selling more 9³s. The 9⁵ is completely uncompetitive, so I can understand that one.

  12. New 9-3 first arrived in mid-October. Very little inventory prior to then. Saab should market the re-faced 9-3 just like in 1998 with the re-faced 900 when it became a 9-3. The jet ad is silly. Same with the whole born from jet ad campaign. As to incentives for purchase, Saab is offering $2,500 plus loyalty of $1,000.
    Just purchased 2008 Aero Munual and it is wonderful.

  13. A Saab with a 6-cylinder engine is $35K. A BMW with a 6-cylinder engine is $32,500. Americans want 6-cylinders in their cars and the BMW is less expensive. Hmmm, difficult choice.. Saab USA needs to get their head out of the sand and offer an Arc with a V6 for $30K. Hello, Mr. Shannon, are you listening??

  14. Wulf – exactly. But I disagree that Americans want 6 cylinder engines. Gas is way too expensive now-a-days. My wife wanted a BMW, but I told her right of the bat no way, not because I don’t like them, but because they don’t offer a 4 banger that gets good mileage.

    Grip – I can understand that logic, but at the end of the day Saab needs to either bring up the quality of their cars (interior mainly), or lower their price.

    Saab fanatics know the 9-3 is a steal, but JoeQ public doesn’t see it that way. They see a 9-3 and think for that price I can get a BMW or Audi. Can you really blame them?

  15. joemama – let’s assume the 2.0T gets 28mpg and the 2.8T 23mpg. When you drive 15,000 miles a year, the V6 consumes 117 gallons more per year which comes to about 10 gallons = $30 a month. If you spend $400-500 on monthly car payments, $134 on gas and $100-150 on insurance, would you really care about the extra $30? That’s a buck a day.. 🙂

    A lot of people make too big of a deal of gas mileage. Gas is still cheap in the US. Maybe it’s important when you buy a $10K Kia but not when you can afford a European luxury car of $30K.

  16. Wulf: the thing is the 2.0T 9³ has about the same performance as the 328i (almost as much horsepower and more torque), so if you’re comparing performance the Saab is a better deal. Also consider that with the Saab you get leather seats, power driver’s seat, and rear folding seat, all are options in the Bimmer. The Saab powertrain warranty is twice the mileage and another year more than the BMW powertrain warranty.

    Adding the moonroof option to the Saab (it’s standard in the 328i) it options-out to around $29.5K. The BMW optioned-out with similar features to the Saab options-out to around $31.5K best I can get the two to be equal.

    That means that the Saab equivalent to the BMW 328i is around $2,000 cheaper and add to that the incentives you can get on the Saab.

  17. Yes, but with the 2.0T you don’t get that lovely noise that the V6 makes.

    I’ve had the hood down a few times now on my ’08 Aero V6 ‘vert and let me tell you, those pipes sing a glorious tune :).

    My car arrived mid October, so I’m guessing that next months figures should be better. The ’08 car is much better. I’m not surprised about the 95, the new one can’t come soon enough. We should get an idea of how good the platform is soon enough mind, the Vauxhall/Opel Insignia is almost ready and the next 95 and 93 will be using the same building blocks.

  18. My mom picked up an 07 9-5 this year. I have seen lots of them in the metro detroit area and did not realize how few they actually sell in the US

  19. Brian: when I was in the metro Detroit area in August for S.O.C. I saw a heck of a lot of Saabs in general, and didn’t know if a large portion of those were people in town for the S.O.C. or if there are just that many Saabs around. I also saw WAY more 9⁷Xs on the road there than where I live in L.A. I see a 9⁷X maybe once a week in L.A.

  20. I imagine most Saab drivers in the Detroit area are GM employees who are thankful they can safely drive a quality European car and not being scrutinized by the UAW at the same time 😉 When I was living in Southern California, I hardly ever saw a Saab on the road either but there are many in most of Michigan.

  21. Kaz – By that logic, everyone should go buy an old Camaro for that beautiful Chevy small-block V8 roar :p

    Also, Wulf is right, gas is painfully cheap here in the US. $3 a gallon for the good stuff? That’s a bargain, my friends. Anyone who can really afford one of these cars can afford to quench a V6’s thirst. A V8, possibly not (unless it’s the V8 in the Corvette, *I* could afford that).

    I’m going to agree with Ubermich about the November numbers being the real thing to watch for. However, if they aren’t up then, we have a real problem, and it’ll be a real nail-biter until XWD becomes available.

  22. Oh, also, Wulf – When I went to Southern California, I saw more Saabs in 20 minutes than I saw the entire previous 2 months here in Maryland. What part of SoCal were you in where there were no Saabs? :p

  23. I lived in Orange County and there are not really that many on the road there. At most, I noticed one a day and only saw two other 9-3 SC’s in an entire year.

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