Saab eyes 15,000-20,000 U.S. sales this year
The sales prediction was revealed by Saab executives, according to dealers attending the automaker’s make meeting at the NADA convention here.
Last year Saab’s U.S. sales totaled 5,445 units, down 37 percent from 2009. Spyker Cars NV purchased Saab from General Motors in February 2010. The brand’s top selling year was 1986 when it sold 48,181.
Saab told dealers the sales gains will come from the 2011 9-4X crossover that arrives in May, the 2011 9-5 sedan, which went on sale last year, and the current generation 9-3. The redesigned 2012 9-5 wagon will launch this fall.
Additionally, dealers were told the redesigned 9-3 sedan will go on sale either late this year or early next year.
16 models being considered
The automaker unveiled a photo with images of 16 vehicles being considered for the Saab model line. Dealers at the meeting say there was a hatchback model that might be a 9-3 variant. It had a Porsche-like rear with a fin, said one dealer.
Another vehicle was a sports car.
“I saw it and said, ‘Wow, now that’s a Saab!’” said Lynn Thompson, general manager of Saab of Southwest Missouri, Springfield, Mo. “It was something cool.”
Saab also told dealers it wants to rebuild the dealer network, possibly adding established, well-performing dealers who sell other brands.
“They are looking for a new opportunity as new dealers want a Saab franchise,” said Ray Ciccolo, owner of Charles River Saab in Boston.
In other news, this week Saab will be sending kits to dealers for a new promotion called “Independence Day,” which celebrates the brand’s one-year anniversary since Spyker purchased Saab from GM.
However, some dealers were lukewarm to the promotion which is largely advertising.
“We’ll see what’s in the kit,” said Thompson. “I want more incentives. I want good lease prices. They don’t know what their lease pricing will be yet.”
Saab is planning a dealer meeting in Washington, D.C., in May to launch the 9-4X and celebrate Saab’s 100th year anniversary, Thompson said.
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