Our Daily Saab: The Spindoctor Is In – Trouble

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

According to the September sales report, Saab sold a grand total of 429 units in September in America, down 62 percent compared to September 2010. With 4,647 sold for the year, that’s about par for the course as far as the monthly run-rate goes.

Now how do the faithful at Saabsunited celebrate this achievement? Let’s have a look.

“They still have a ton of stock left on 2011 models. I don’t foresee a problem with US/Canadian Saab dealers running out of stock before production comes back online.”

That’s one way of looking at it. According to Saabsunited, there are 3,051 Saabs in stock, that’s an inventory to sales ratio of seven months – assuming August sales. In the worst days of carmageddon, the industry’s average inventory to sales ratio stood at around 5 months. Automotive News [sub] is even more generous and concedes Saab an 8 month supply. (241 days in September, to be precise, down 1 from 242 in August.)

Recently, 7 week’s supply were considered the norm. At Saab, seven months or more are considered good news.

Here is a tidbit the budding Saab spin doctors missed: According to data presented by Automotive News [sub], Saab sold 2,626 cars in the U.S. in the first 9 months of 2010, versus a whopping 4,647 units in January-September 2011.

“Saab Sales Up 77% This Year!”

How can one miss that juicy headline?

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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4 of 23 comments
  • Acd Acd on Oct 03, 2011

    The amazing thing about these numbers is that even with all of the gloom coming out of Sweden they actually sold more cars in September than they did in August which sounds like an achievement. My first hunch was that it was the new 9-4x but the increase actually came from the 9-5 which almost doubled in sales from August to September. Go figure.

  • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Oct 03, 2011

    So you guys missed out on the 9-5 Aero's that were $20,000 off? I know one who bought one at an amazing deal.

  • GS650G GS650G on Oct 03, 2011

    SAAB is still outselling the Volt.

  • Its_Magic Its_Magic on Oct 04, 2011

    Saab sold 3,234 cars in the U.S. in the first 9 months of 2010 and not 2,626 cars! You forget the 608 Saab's that were sold by GM in the first two months of 2010. So the "plus" this year is not 77% but only 43,7%. The correct "juicy headline" should be: “Saab Sales Up 43,7% This Year!”