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News of October 30, 2002


Demand For New Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan Exceeds Expectations

Worldwide, strong demand for the newly launched 2003 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan far exceeds supply, with the volume of orders more than double the number of cars that have been built during the first two months of production. Internationally, over 14,000 cars are on order and only half that number have been manufactured. By the end of the year, Saab expects to receive 40,000 orders.

Norcross, GA - The first retail sale in the U.S. of the all-new Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan was recorded at Saab of Troy, near Detroit, Mich., kicking off the American launch of the new Swedish-built car. Saab dealers and customers throughout the U.S. and in markets worldwide are taking delivery of new cars and the manufacturer is trying to keep up with the overwhelming demand for the newest Saab model.

The first Saab 9-3 was a black Linear model with Launch Package, five-speed automatic transmission and heated seats, leased by Shirley Kennedy of Troy, MI for her 21-year-old daughter, Katie, a student at Michigan State University. According to Mrs. Kennedy, "Since Katie's lease was about to be up on her Toyota 4-Runner, we looked at a lot of cars, including BMW, Land Rover, Acura. She wanted to wait before making a decision until the Saab 9-3 was out. I was worried about our deadline and wanted her to make a decision. She insisted on waiting for the Saab. I admit, I am very glad we did.

The introduction of Saab's new 9-3 Sport Sedan has followed a carefully planned strategy, including special-invitation previews, direct marketing and Internet publicity. During the pre-launch period from May to September, approximately 45,000 potential customers requested additional information on the new Saab 9-3 in the U.S., the Swedish company's largest single market. That figure is approximately four times the number of annual sales of the former 9-3 hatchback model.

Right from the outset, the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan was designed to fulfill a role as a dynamic car loaded with driving pleasure, and this message was spread to the general public long before the launch itself got underway.

In European markets, the official launch kicked off in July with a special event in Stockholm, where more than 1,000 journalists, 4,500 sales staff from dealerships and 1,000 specially selected customers experienced the all-new 9-3 for the first time.

In the U.S., the 9-3 officially began selling on Oct. 11, but in other international markets, approximately 7,000 cars have already been delivered to Saab dealers and their customers. During the last two months, more than 14,000 orders have been received in various markets. While the Saab 9-5 has a global market share of 9 percent in its segment, and the former Saab 9-3 hatchback had 3.5 percent in its segment, the sales objective for the new 9-3 Sport Sedan is set considerably higher, according to Eliasson.

"By the end of the year we will have received orders for 40,000 9-3 Sport Sedans, and of this we expect to be able to deliver 32,000 cars. Of those who have ordered, and in other ways demonstrated an interest in the 9-3 Sport Sedan, we know that many are owners of competing products who are taking the step to change marques. As we intended with this new car, we are clearly appealing to a broader audience," Eliasson said.

(October 25, 2002)

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