Red October indeed!
Holy cow. All companies had negative sales during Red October, but GM took the cake amongst the bigger companies with sales dropping f-o-r-t-y-f-i-v-e percent in October.
Given that the arse fell out of GM’s sales so dramatically, it’s pleasantly surprising to report that Saab sales actually bucked this trend. They were still down for the month, but at only 13% down, it almost feels like a win!
There were 1,975 Saab sold in the US market during October, a 13.2% drop from the 2,275 sold there at the same time last year.
Year to date, there have been 19,337 Saabs sold in the US, which is still a massive 30.8% drop on the 27,960 sold last year.
SaabUSA sold 1,471 units of the Saab 9-3, down by 12.3% on the 1,677 units sold this time last year.
Interestingly, in the press release, it says the following about Saab and the 9-3 in particular:
Saab retail sales were up 7.4 percent compared with a year ago, driven by the strong retail performance of the 9-3, which was up more than 16 percent.
Retail sales were up by 7.4? Retail 9-3 sales were up by 16? What are the non-retail sales, and how far did they fall through the floor to lead the brand down over all?
I suspect they’re sales to GM employees, etc, which if I remember correctly were going to be restricted for MY09. Perhaps that’s taking hold? If so, those employee sales must ba making up a significant chunk of the total.
Saab USA sold 188 units of the Saab 9-5, down from 282 this time last year. That’s a fall of 33%.
The Saab 9-7x was stable in October, selling 316 units – the exact same number it sold this time last year.
The 9-7x was most likely boosted in the second half of October by a gasoline price that fell to below $3 a gallon.
There were also 506 Saab Certified Pre-owned vehicles sold, which was down by 2%.
From the press release:
[GM's PR guru, Mark] LaNeve announced that GM’s no-haggle Red Tag Event starts nationwide tomorrow, Nov. 4. The Red Tag Event will provide great deals on most new vehicles in GM’s portfolio by offering a special Red Tag vehicle price and customer cash back. In addition, GM’s recently announced “Financing That Fits” program enables consumers to find financing at affordable rates from GMAC and thousands of other banks, credit unions and financing institutions.
A few days ago, Robert Farago wrote at TTAC according to one of his sources, an announcement would come from GM on Monday that would effectively put Saab and GMC on the same starvation plan as HUMMER.
Farago expanded on his doomsday scenario for Saab yesterday when he asked how come you can’t build a 2009 Saab on the SaabUSAA website?
Monday’s come and gone in the US and guess what – nothing. Well, that’s not quite true. There was something…..
I got an email from Jan-Willem Vester at SaabUSA indicating that the delay in getting the 2009 models on the website was primarily due to them using a new vendor for the “Build your own” section of the website. It’s not ready yet, but should be by around mid-November.
GM’s other brands in the US were down during October, as follows: