Saab car sales halved

The number of Saab cars sold in Sweden during the first half of 2005 halved in comparison to the last six months of 2004.

But Saab Automobiles, a subsidiary of General Motors, said that it expected sales to rise in the second half of the year.

Örjan Åslund, information director at Saab Sweden, admitted that the company’s sales were down somewhat in the first six months, “but we believe that this will be compensated for during the autumn.”

Åslund said that the fall could be explained by the fact that Saab is launching new models in the autumn, adding that Saab had expected such a fall for some time.

But Swedish Radio reported that the size of the fall had been a surprise. Sales in June were down 52 percent on June 2004. Sales for the first half of the 2005 were down 30 percent on the same period last year. Saab’s market share in Sweden fell from nine to six percent.