August 3, 2009

Saab leads Sweden’s car sales decline

New automobile sales fell in Sweden in July, but were down sharpest for struggling automaker Saab, which has not made a profit in five years.

Saab, which General Motors Corp. agreed to sell to Koenigsegg Automotive in June, sold 93,000 cars in 2008, an average of 7,750 a month. In July, the automaker sold a scant 391 new cars in Sweden, the Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported Monday.

Saab sales were 71.8 percent below July 2008 while Volvo sales rose 13 percent from the same period a year ago on sales of 2,985 cars.

The sales decline was worse in July than it was a month ago, but Bil Sweden Chief Executive Officer Bertil Molden said, There is much to suggest that we have got over the worst.

A lot of people pushed forward their purchases of green cars before the phasing out of the green car bonus on July 1, Molden said.