Saab Lowers 9-3 Pricing, Starts Shipping New Cars to Dealers

By Brendan Moore

After a six-month interruption in deliveries due to the fact that the parent company’s survival was decidedly tenuous, Saab Cars North America has shipped new product to their 218 dealers in the United States.

Saab dealers in the US should start receiving new 2010 9-3 models sometime this month. And in a bid to jump-start sales, Saab’s new owner, Spyker, has lowered prices.

How much? Quite a bit – anywhere from a 4% to 12% reduction in base price, depending on the model.

As an example, the 2010 9-3 base model has an MSRP of $29,725 USD, compared to the 2009 9-3 base model, which had an MSRP of $31,135.

The 2010 9-3 Convertible has an MSRP of $40,815, compared to the 2009 9-3 Convertible, which had an MSRP of $42,905.

The pricing decision puts Saab in a more competitive position against the cars the brand gets shopped against, i.e., Volvo.

“This pricing action allows Saab to be in line with the market and maintains accessibility of Saab’s rich Swedish heritage, innovation and responsible performance for our many loyal owners, enthusiasts and potential new customers,” commented Mike Colleran, president of Saab Cars North America.

The new Saab 9-3X, motivated by Saab’s 2-liter turbocharged engine and available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, will start at $37,800.

The new 9-5, which was delayed due to the previous uncertainty over Saab’s future, will be launched this summer. The new 9-4X follows on its heels.

Saab sold only 8,680 units in the US in 2009, so the new owner should be able to better those numbers without much trouble at all.

The overarching question for Saab is the same question that no one has been able to answer for many years – can Saab turn a profit? Almost anyone, including the previous-owner General Motors and current-owner Spyker, can build a good (or even great) vehicle and lose money doing it. It takes no special sort of vision to do that.

With the 9-5, the 9-4X, and a new 9-3 on the way, and even a potential 9-1, to compete in the small car segment, Saab’s prospects for sales certainly look rosier. But Saab has sold far more units in the past, and still lost a great deal of money, so there you are. Volume is no determinant of success in this case.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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