• Sweden edition
 

Saab suffers US and Swedish sales slump

Published: 04 Nov 2009 14:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Nov 2009 14:04 GMT+01:00

According to figures presented on Tuesday by US-based owners General Motors (GM), only 513 customers drove Saabs off the lots of dealerships in the United States in October, a 74 percent drop compared with the 1,975 Saabs sold in October of last year.

The sales slump for Saab comes amid an overall sales improvement for GM, which sold 177,603 cars last month compared to 170,585 last year – an increase of 4 percent.

Meanwhile Ford, which owns Volvo Cars, reported on Tuesday that US sales for the 4,437 vehicles sold by the Swedish automaker in October amounted to an increase of 19.4 percent compared with figures from the same month in 2008.

Ford reported overall US sales for October of 136,920 vehicles, a 3.1 percent improvement compared to October of last year and a 21 percent increase from the previous month.

Saab sales in Sweden also suffered in October, according to BIL Sweden, an association representing the auto industry in Sweden.

Only 588 new Saabs were registered in Sweden last month, a drop of 70.3 percent compared with October 2008.

Swedish sales of Volvos were also down slightly, from 4,482 vehicles in October 2008 to 4,355 vehicles last month, a drop of 2.8 percent.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

15:16 November 4, 2009 by oneputt
Saab sales in the US is down because the deal is not finished and people do not want to buy a car not knowing who is in charge. There is a great love of Saab in the states, but they want a Swedish company to run this quirky car company. I am a Saab dealer and I could be selling 200 to 300 cars a year if Koenigsegg Saab every gets together.
18:51 November 4, 2009 by Nemesis
@ oneputt,

The owners of Konigsegg have made it clear they are there as a long term investment.

In the USA a long term investment is about five mintues. In Sweden a long term investment is 10 to 30 years.

Koenigsegg was in Eslöv this week meeting some small suppliers and letting them know they are valued and business as usual.

In the USA you have a strange way of getting news from forums like Fox News. If you want to know what Koenigsegg is doing, contact them and ask them yourself.

That way you will be able to tell the customers exactly what is happening.
20:53 November 4, 2009 by nauticv70
@Nemesis

I'm not a fan of GM or what they've done to Saab, but you need to get your facts straight. If a long term, Swedish style investment is 10 to 30 years, what's wrong with GM's 20 year relationship with Saab? If I'm correct (and I'm pretty sure I am), that's much longer than 5 minutes.

Not everyone watches Fox News in America, and not everyone who watches it believes everything it says. Just like I wouldn't say that everyone in Sweden gets their news from Aftonbladet, you shouldn't make sweeping generalisations based on stereotypes.

And I think the problem isn't what Koenigsegg wants to do, it's whether they'll be allowed to do it or not. That's why people in the U.S. (and it would appear in Sweden too) are hesitant to buy a new Saab.
22:31 November 4, 2009 by oneputt
Thank you nauticv. The last place this person would go for "news" is to Fox. I just read in the Swedish Wire that the EU is having a problem with the guarantees and maybe won't get this approved until January, which compounds the situation. All we want is Koenigsegg to start owning Saab and bring back the car and give us a good selling plan. We can do the rest
22:37 November 4, 2009 by Nemesis
@ nauticv70

GM's first act upon taking over SAAB was to patent strip it. That literally started the first day.

The second act was to start outsourcing for parts outside Sweden and Europe.

They have not invested in the company as they promised they would. It has been piecemeal at best.

What is holding back Konigsegg, is Jantalagning and GM playing games in the background, just as they are in Germany, although it has not got as bad yet in Sweden with them.

The Swedish government is playing at being idiots as usual. They funded GM for years to run SAAB, yet refuse to give less of a guarentee to a Swedish led consortium to run the company, than some fo the hand outs they gave to GM.

I want to see Volvo and SAAB back in prefereably Swedish or European hands. Then the company can grow long term and start to embed itself in the local community again as a good employer, not as a disaster.

Koenigsegg is actually more similar to SAAB as it was 30 years ago than most realise. Koenigsegg is patent rich at present and pushing forward R&D in various areas. They actually are a good match, I just wish people would stop closing doors in there face and give them a chance.
23:37 November 4, 2009 by nauticv70
@Nemesis

I completely agree that GM ownership did little good for Saab, my only dispute was that your U.S. bashing was uncalled for considering the standards you provided. And while we're talking about patent stripping and outsourcing, that's exactly what will happen to Volvo if the Swedish government doesn't step in to stop Chinese ownership.

The good news about the possible sale of Volvo though is that now we know the new S60 will be a great car, just like the XF was the best Jaguar made in the past 30 years and it came out about a month after Ford sold the company.
02:34 November 5, 2009 by volvoman9
After reading these comments one fact is glaringly apparent. American ownership of Swedish brands has gone a long way toward diluting the genius that made them great in the first place. Saab is a great example. They were an albeit quirky yet innovative car that was loved by those who can appreciate such things. They seemed to appeal to the better educated and more enlightened set. Over the years GM applied it's money making but short sighted philosophy of producing one platform and running gear with a lot of body styles. In my mind this creates a rather pedestrian offering. No soul.

The same can be said of Volvo but I have always contended that Volvos are loved most by a more practical following. They are the practical persons Mercedes Benz. HOWEVER, both brands offered very innovative and cutting edge design and technology as well as industry leading safety features. These features are contrary to the American industry philosophy of planned obsolescence yet a threat by way of the customer expectations. To kill a threat one simply buys it and then destroys it.
07:16 November 5, 2009 by Nemesis
@ nauticv70

The Chinese will get no intellectual property from Volvo, beacuse the Americans have stripped them out.

@ volvoman9

Exactly.
08:42 November 5, 2009 by spy
Nemesis

I agree on your view of Keonigsegg Group and Saab - I think they could be a great fit we will see how innovative they can be as a partnership when the EU Commission gives to go ahead.

However if you think Geely are interested in Volvo as a brand without any technology then you are mistaken. Geely has many things: The money, good coverage in the Chinese market and the desire but they do not have the know-how - and that is what they are looking to aquire through Volvo.
12:36 November 5, 2009 by Nemesis
@ Spy,

I chatted to a Geely engineer in Lund in the Old Bull bar, a while back.

They have serious know how to a shocking level.

A suggestion.

Goto Shanghai.

Goto the Centre of town to the biggest skyscraper you can find. Talk them into letting you take pictures as a panoramic from the top of the building. Compare it with New York.

Check out the Maglev in China while there.

China is no longer a third world country. We in the west will probably be the third world in the next century compared to them.

China has changed a lot. They have know how. They have good innovative engineers. They have good scientists. They are trining scientists in the tens of thousands.

We are training, bankers, lawyers and psychiatrists. We have our priorities wrong.

We are complacent.

We are standing still.

We need to wake up and realise we are being left behind, not the other way around.
14:37 November 5, 2009 by volvoman9
@ nemesis

I agree completely with this statement. The self absorbed, spoiled, consumer culture is unsustainable. One can only be primarily a consumer if one has the wealth with which to sustain this lifestyle. In the future we in the western world may become the labor pool that the developing nations outsource their work to. What a strange twist this would be.
18:10 November 5, 2009 by Nemesis
@ volvoman9,

I agree.

I have been to South Korea, Singapore, China and Japan. If in my lifetime we become a cheap source of labour for the Far East, I will not be suprised. Also it will be purely our own fault if it happens.

When I was in China, I realised that they were training not hundreds of thousands of scientists, but tens of thousands of scientists at the best universities in every single country.

I think ten years from now we will see commentators asking why we are suddenly so far behind them that all we can see is dust from them flying past us.

That country is changing so fast, it is impossible to keep up with it.
19:54 November 7, 2009 by texasgubbar
It rather humorous that in the solidly red state of Texas, the largest wind power project in the states history was recently signed by a Chinese power investment company which will use Chinese made wind turbines...

But I take comfort that no other country will top the USA in junk food and lousy TV programs.
13:45 November 9, 2009 by steve_38
Stop whining about what the Yanks did or did not do to SAAB. It was losing for 20 years before GM bought it fact.

The real issue for SAAB and for VOLVO is the emergence of BMW/MB/AUDI into the niche they occupied and the fact that they are years ahead in terms of engine design and almost everything else.

I drive a new V70 in the UK and get hamered in TAX due to the tractor engine under the bonnet compared to the German high efficency/performance and low CO2 engines.

In the UK people buy more BMW 5 series than V70/S60/80 together due to this.

BMW more green than VOLVO or SAAB.

SAAB is finished and needs putting out of its misery sooner rather than later, it cannot compete with the competition and its too late to start now.

Be a realist in this.

Save VOLVO if you can.
Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Reinfeldt in US for first post-election speech
Fredrik Reinfeldt after a previous meeting in the US. Photo: TT

Reinfeldt in US for first post-election speech

Outgoing Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is at a UN climate summit in New York where he is making his first public appearance since election night. READ  

Elections 2014
Loophole lets neo-Nazis onto Swedish councils
Members of the Party of the Swedes march in central Stockholm in August 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Loophole lets neo-Nazis onto Swedish councils

Two neo-Nazis who received only a handful of votes have won seats on Swedish councils thanks to a kink in the country’s election laws. READ  

Assange extradition battle
Sweden pours doubt on Assange extradition
Julian Assange is currently living inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Photo: TT

Sweden pours doubt on Assange extradition

Swedish prosecutors said it was "far-fetched" to think that fugitive Wikileaks founder Julian Assange could be extradited to the United States if he returned to Sweden, in a statement released on Tuesday. READ  

Police drop case of thief caught on camera
Happier times at Park Lane: Charles Simonyi and Lisa Persdotter celebrate thier wedding in 2008. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/Scanpix

Police drop case of thief caught on camera

Damning video evidence and an apology from an alleged thief’s daughter were not enough to convince police that a well-known criminal had stolen hundreds of thousands of kronor worth of equipment from one of Gothenburg’s most popular night spots. READ  

Opinion
Sweden 'missed' global opportunities
Sweden's outgoing Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Photo: TT

Sweden 'missed' global opportunities

As Stefan Löfven attempts to form a coalition government, Social Democrat MEP Jytte Guteland says her party needs to focus on Sweden's international image. READ  

National
Politics 'most shared' topic in Sweden
Photo: Shutterstock

Politics 'most shared' topic in Sweden

Swedes are more likely to share posts or articles on politics than on any other issues, according to a new report from Mid Sweden University. READ  

National
Fears schoolboy murdered in Sweden
Photo: TT

Fears schoolboy murdered in Sweden

Police in Halmstad say the results of forensic tests suggest a 16-year-old boy found dead in a creek was murdered. READ  

National
Elk hunters risk injury in Sweden’s woods
Hunter Ingela Olsson loads her rifle at sunrise in Norrbölla, northern Sweden. File photo: Gunnar Lundmark/SvD/Scanpix

Elk hunters risk injury in Sweden’s woods

Sweden’s vast annual elk hunt spells danger not just for the majestic animals but also for hunters, with crumbling towers and over-tiredness just two of the season’s perils. READ  

Malmö
Rat invasion closes Malmö preschool
Rats like this one have been found in a kindergarten. Photo: TT

Rat invasion closes Malmö preschool

Children in central Malmö are staying at home on Tuesday after a rat infestation was discovered at their kindergarten. READ  

National
Sweden's benefit agency site restored
Photo: TT

Sweden's benefit agency site restored

UPDATED: Sweden's Social Insurance Agency website is working again after being out of action since Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week - Torslanda
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: September 20th
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Blog updates

22 September

Welcome National Geographic! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What comes to mind when you think of the “The Arctic”? Crystal-encased cliffs jutting from the sea, baronial Polar bears scavenging over sheets of cracked ice or a lone explorer heading north into the night. The image my mind invokes is of three sparkling green lines splashed across the sky like graffiti— the Aurora Borealis— our..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

858
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN