After having never turned a profit under General Motors, Saab is looking to break even next year. According to company CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, the automaker is in good shape now thanks to loans and cash obtained by selling the rights to the old 9-5 model to China’s Beijing Auto. According to Jonsson, the turn-around is expected to occur in the second half of 2011 and Saab intends to hit the break-even point with sales of just 80,000 to 85,000 units – down considerably from the 98,000 units it sold in 2008.
Jonsson even commented that the Swedish automaker sees the possibility to sell as many as 125,000 units annually – which would generate significant profits for the small automaker.
To achieve the break-even goal Saab is planning drastic cost cutting measures but Jonsson didn’t comment on what those might entail.
The automaker is also looking to boost sales, particularly in the United States. Saab Cars North America CEO Micheal Colleran divulged that Saab is once again leasing cars and that the company plans to begin marketing its products once again – using not only traditional print, but also social media and online outlets.
As for vehicle sales, the new 9-5 model has already launched in Europe with plans for it to be on sale in the U.S. this July. Colleran also commented that come 2012, the new 9-5 will be the oldest vehicle in the Saab lineup.
In addition to the U.S. market, Saab is also looking to begin expanding into developing markets like China, Brazil, Russia and India. “You could see the day when there are more Saabs sold in China than in the US,” Jonsson said.