With Saab’s sales for 2009 down 62 percent so far, you wouldn’t expect the Swedish automaker’s biggest problem to be a car shortage. But that’s exactly what dealers are facing, after the General Motors brand cut production earlier this year in an effort to cut costs.
Production at the assembly plan in Sweden has been slowed even further as General Motors works to retool parts of the facility as it prepares to begin production on the all-new 2011 9-5.
GM is also, understandably, not interesting in pumping out a lot of product as the Saab brand is set to be sold to a group led by Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg – which could occur before the end of the year.
The result is a shortage of cars on dealership lots and increased wait times. Rick Wehle of Parkfield Saab in New Jersey said he only has 30 new cars on the lot and last month the dealership sold 10 cars. Problematically, along with slow shipments of other models, the new 9-5 isn’t likely to arrive until the Spring in the U.S.
And the problem isn’t just isolated to North America either, with dealers in Saab’s home market of Sweden facing similar issues. Lars Kopp, a Saab dealership manager in southern Sweden told Bloomberg that wait times have been extended to eight weeks, and that he only has 20 vehicles in stock with orders for 50 more.
Saab spokesman Eric Geers has said that the reduced production and associated delay of product will continue until the deal to sell Saab is completed.