Sales Spike? Saab Launches New Lease Program for 2010 9-3 Sedan

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To help bolster sales of its 2010 9-3, Saab announced a new lease program today -- its first as a semi-independent company.

The program, offered on all 2010 9-3 2.0T sedans, places buyers into a 48-month lease with a monthly payment of $399, with $3374 due at signing. The offer is scheduled to end June 1.

Although sales events are marketing tools, Saab delayed launching any programs due to a lack of inventory. Because of the company’s shaky 2009, U.S. dealers went nearly nine months -- from June 2009 until March 2010 -- without receiving a single new vehicle.

“We had to start from scratch,” Michael Colleran, COO of Saab Cars of North America, told Automotive News. “We’ve got a great team in place; we’ve got leasing; we’ve got pipeline in place, and inventory is now rising.”

As of now, dealerships have taken delivery of around 600 2010 9-3 sedans, SportCombis, and convertibles. Colleran says there are “only a handful” of 2009 models left in stock, which likely puts total dealer inventory around 1000. By mid-June, a total of 2500 9-3s will have been imported into the U.S, and Saab hopes that figure will have risen to 5000 by the end of 2010.

Those 5000 cars is only one third of what Saab expects to import this year in the U.S. Saab plans on bringing roughly 10,000 examples of its new 9-5 stateside in 2010, although deliveries won’t begin until July. Saab plans on building a total of 50-55,000 9-5 and 9-3 models by the end of 2010.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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