Saab Cars North America (barely) lived through a horrible 2010, with sales of only 5,445 units. For perspective, Toyota makes that many Camry sedans by Thursday of most weeks. Part of the problem, no doubt, was Saab's flirtation with oblivion and the resultant crippled supplier base and a lack of consumer awareness, but a lack of new product also played a big role.
Automotive News reports that Saab execs are assuring dealers that 2011 should turn out a lot better, with projected U.S. sales of between 15,000 and 20,000 units. That's a significant sales recovery, and at least part of the increased volume should come courtesy of a strengthening auto market. But increased sales alone won't enable 400 percent growth. Luckily, Saab has some new product in the pipeline, with the 9-4X crossover scheduled to arrive in May, while continued sales of the 9-5 sedan and the upcoming wagon variant (scheduled for Fall, 2011) should further boost the bottom line.
Will the 9-4X prove popular enough to move Saab over the sales hump? We don't doubt it, if only because the company's sales bogey is so low. And it helps that the 9-4X is attractive and poised to hit the market at a time when customers are clamoring over high-end CUVs.