By on October 3, 2011


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?


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23 Comments on “Our Daily Saab: The Spindoctor Is In – Trouble...”

  • avatar

    Where did they find 429 suckers?

    • 0 avatar

      All of the 429 buyer’s are probably like my uncle, they have driven Saabs for the last thirty years or so and won’t even consider anything else.

      • 0 avatar

        Yet the great paradox: SAAB was no longer SAAB after GM showed-up, yet the cars were much better as a result of it.

      • 0 avatar

        > SAAB was no longer SAAB after GM showed-up

        True. SAAB was an Opel at that point.

        > yet the cars were much better as a result of it

        False. Post-GM were crap.

      • 0 avatar

        The old 9-3 and 9-5 still had some character left and didn’t feel like Opels. They still had mostly Saab engines and the 9-3 was a hatchback. They were durable and generally fun to drive, easy to reliably tune for more power, and the seats were good. On the negatives the interior materials were not very pleasing, they suffered from torque steer, and the transmissions were a bit fragile with tuned engines.

        The 9-3 lost it’s way when it became a sedan. As for the new 9-5,apart from slightly better materials, feels just like an Opel Insignia. Which is not a bad car, but then there’s really no point in paying more for the Saab. Saabs have also traditionally had good visibility, the new 9-5(and insignia) feels like sitting in a bunker.

        I can’t help but think that Saab would have been better off had they focused on beating Skoda, not Audi or VW.

        This really turned out to be a longer response than i initially thought…

      • 0 avatar

        I am from one of those long-time Saab owning families. The current 9-3SS and 9-5 (bloated barge that it is) are so much better than what what Saab produced before GM bought into them that it is not even funny. Saab had MINIMAL concept of quality control, and thier cost control was out of control. The GM era cars are FAR more reliable than any of the C900s and 9000s could ever hope to be, and have far fewer built in dilemmas.

        The problem is, the competition has improved even more. In the ’80s, a C900 Turbo was a genuine alternative to a 3-series. The current 9-3SS is not even in the same universe as a 3-series. If Saab had a cost structure that let them sell at Camcord prices and make money they might be OK, but they can’t, thus they are doomed. But that doesn’t mean the current cars are not really, really good cars in and of themselves.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        “The 9-3 lost it’s way when it became a sedan”

        Sorry but I don’t buy this [email protected]#%&. I’ve seen here C900 and 9000 with regular sedan bodies.

        Last time I checked they had sold 98 cars down here this year.

        I see plenty of the old ones here, and some of the newer ones too. And I agree with krhodes1 in that they’re very nice cars. At this point I’d compare them more with an Sköda (the Saab and Sköda dealers are just one block apart) than a BMW or even a VW. And the Czech cars are REALLY nice.

        And whoever designed the NNG900/9-3 and the first 9-5 did a good (and much needed) job.

      • 0 avatar

        Athos Nobile-> The problem was it bacame sedan only, at least until the sportcombi arrived. Without the badges it could mistaken for anything, most likely a Vectra. The old 900 sedans were still instantly recogniceable as Saabs. I’m not saying the bodystyle was the downfall of Saab, just that it lost a major feature and at least i could not help but wonder what on earth they are thinking.

    • 0 avatar

      “I can’t help but think that Saab would have been better off had they focused on beating Skoda, not Audi or VW.”

      The problem is that Skoda is suppose to be a budget brand, below VW. If you want that then you have to accept “interior materials [that are] not very pleasing”, and get rid of the turbos and all the bells and whistles that Saab is known for or that most Saab fans want.

      Skodas are great (and completely underrated) cars, and a great value, but they are also manufactured in much cheaper locations than Saab. You, unfortunately, really cannot get much higher in costs in Europe than Scandinavia.

      • 0 avatar

        Most of the current Škoda line-up is turbocharged, including gasoline engines.

        Interior materials in Škodas are much better than in Insignia, and I’m afraid that they’re on par with Saab.

        But other than that, you’re right – Saab should aim at the Ford/VW teritory, Skoda/Renault/Seat/Fiat is too low.

      • 0 avatar

        I wasn’t trying to knock Skoda or anything, I’m aware that they are in many cases even better than VW. As I said though, Skodas are built in much cheaper countries than Sweden, so they do not to cut costs as much in terms of quality/features to have a lower priced car. In addition (and what I didn’t mention earlier), Skoda shares many parts and components with other companies in the VW Group, amortizing costs over an even greater number of than just the ones Skoda builds.

        Skodas are great cars and are actually one of my favorite brands. There is just no way Saab could compete with them without some major fundamental changes, ones that would make Saab basically an entirely new company with no connection to its past.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a dealership by me that was offering $11k off of the 9-3’s, and $16K off of the 9-5’s. I was very close to getting a sportcombi wagon, given the reliability of my ’06 9-3 sedan, but I’m really looking forward to being out of a car payment (4 months), and there are no real problems with my sedan, besides that its not a wagon, and is not RWD…

  • avatar

    all lights fizzle and sparkle a teeny bit, before winking out for good.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    If the price is right.

  • avatar

    With a sales-rate this slow,I’m wondering how bad the “Lot Rot” will be: by the time some of those cars sell, they will have been sitting around for half a year!

    • 0 avatar

      Some much longer ….

      • 0 avatar

        I bought my ’08 9-3SC in March of ’09. It was an 8/07 production car… Of course, it was a white on white 6spd manual station wagon with no heated seats in Boston. That one was destined to sit a long time. Very nice car, but no comparison to the BMW wagon that replaced it.

        Note that the depreciation on a 2yo Saab is very very good when you bought it at $13K off MSRP brand new. Not exactly a viable business plan though.

    • 0 avatar

      AN says the Saab brand has a 241 day supply (as of Sep. 1), the highest in the industry. Next is Jaguar at 98 days, after that is Fiat at 88 days and Ram at 84 days. By manufacturer, Saab is still first, GM had the second-highest at 66 days, Mitsu had 61, then Ford, Chrysler and Suzuki are tied at 59.

      • 0 avatar

        Given that the factory were not even producing cars anymore, well, to have so many days of supply of cars… All the other brand mentioned were still producing cars.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    SAAB is still outselling the Volt.

  • avatar

    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!”

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