• 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
Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

979
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