What Saab's Liquidation Means to You

Saabliquidation

As the automotive industry digests the news that embattled Swedish automaker Saab filed for bankruptcy liquidation this morning, current Saab owners and prospective buyers likely have serious questions.

Breaking: Saab Stops Covering Warranties

Saab is seeking a true liquidation, meaning there will be no future buyers, and Saab will no longer make new cars. GM sold Saab in 2010 to an independent firm in Sweden. At the time, GM said it would honor any Saab warranty because the cars were still built with GM technology and parts.

A Saab representative told us there are no details at this time about future warranties and who will honor them.

New Saabs on dealer lots will likely lose value as you read this story. Right now there are 1,659 Saab models in Cars.com’s new-car inventory.

  • 9-3: 781 units
  • 9-3X: 49 units
  • 9-4X: 135 units
  • 9-5: 692 units
  • 9-7X: 2 units

We expect shoppers will be able to get a good deal on a new Saab even with low advertised incentives. Saab currently is only offering financing deals of 1.9% APR for 72 months on its lineup through Jan. 3. The reality at the dealership may be much different.

However, buying one of these last Saabs poses significant risks:

  • A new Saab will have a lower resale value versus a comparable brand like Volvo. Yet, if the deal you’re being offered is good enough, it may erase that depreciation.
  • In the most recent Vehicle Dependability Study by J.D. Power and Associates, Saab finished above the industry average in terms of problems per 100 vehicles, finishing 13th on a list of 34 brands.
  • This doesn’t alleviate the fact that owners will have a harder time finding a place to service their vehicles even with a valid warranty.
  • Parts for new and used Saabs may be harder to find as demand for them wanes because of weak sales over the past few years.
  • If you currently own a Saab and plan to drive it into the ground, don't worry. If you're planning to sell it, though, the automaker's demise will diminish the car’s resale value. When you go to sell it, don't be surprised if the value has dropped.
  • If you wreck your Saab, it's entirely likely the insurance company will decide to total it and offer you a reduced amount for the remaining value.

Comments 

ADSC

A sad moon is on the rise.

Ken L.

Question for the staff at cars.com. If you negotiate a good deal, and then finance it through Saab, will you still have to continue with the monthly payments after the liquidation?

skippydog

@Ken L - Somebody will buy the receivables and take over the loan. You still have to pay somebody.

skippydog

Actually now that I think about it Saab doesn't have it's own financing. You borrow money from a bank or financing company. Either way you still have to pay the loan. ;-)

kaisersozae

Made from Jets?
I don't think so.
To the dustbin with ye.

Derrick G

You can expect lots of resistance or refusal to finance a new Saab at most institutions unless you make a big down payment and your credit is flawless.

Bowrider

If I was in the market, I'd look at a 9-4X. Maybe GM will be able to service it since there are so many similar vehicles on the market, i.e., Equinox et al.

Highdesertcat

Long overdue!!!

And the same is going to happen to GM, in time. Give it a couple more years on the tax payer dole.

Putting failed auto manufacturers on indefinite life-support, as in the case of Saab and GM, is never a good thing.

Better to bribe someone to take that carcass of our hands, like was done with dead Chrysler and Fiat.

Saab is but the first to march off into the dustbin of history. GM is also way overdue.

Amuro Ray

@ Bowrider & Derrick G,

I'm sure that mechanical parts that are being shared with GM vehicles will be available for the next 5-6 years, and probably aftermarket parts too. The questions really are,
(1) What's gonna happen after that 5-6 years? I'm saying 5-6 years 'coz the platforms started sharing about 8-10 years ago?
(2) What about parts that are unique to Saab (such as, a Saab emblem)? And parts for body work? Almost 0 existence in 2-3 years, except junkyard.
(3) Who will service these vehicles? The warranties will be completely voided, kinda unlike the Isuzu's. Remember Daewoo? Brand new vehicles with 10 yr warranties (I think), but no one to honor those. All Saab dealers/service dept will most likely be closed, and even if they are there, they can't file any claim to Saab to pay for those warranty works.

Thus, if you are on the market, DON'T even think about buying a Saab, unless you are an auto mechanic yourself, and not just an apprentice. Or, if you are a collector and your vehicle is straightly a show vehicle (or if you own a Garage like Jay Leno's).

Carma

HCat,
At least GM is an industry innovator with lots of new ideas and products used by other car makers. GM isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Saab stopped innovating 40 years ago.

Derrick G

Well I certainly didn't mean my comments to be an endorsement of buying a Saab.

Jim M

Carma,

Saab did not "stop innovating 40 years ago". They stopped innovating 20 years ago when GM bought them and cut their R&D funding. It was *GM* who drove Saab into the ground, and it was *GM* who vetoed the deal that would have given Saab financing and a chance to retool and come back.

And secondly: GM? An "INNOVATOR"? You're referring to the same company that sold the EV-1's battery technology TO TEXACO. Thus guaranteeing that when they went to try an electric car or hybrid again, they had to start from scratch. GM, an innovator? The same company that bought DAEWOO'S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY? Seriously? You've got to be kidding me.

If you were to ask me to name a GM vehicle to buy today, I don't know that I could. Maybe a Buick. But Chevy is garbage, and Cadillac is the testbed for all the technology that the lower brands eventually get.

My answer? Buy a Ford. GM can kiss my ass. Maybe when they get a CEO who understands basic economics, they'll have a clue.

Mike

Too bad Saab couldn't get it turned around like Volvo. Volvo is a solid competitor now with Audi, BMW etc...Saab just needed too much work in too little time to fully ressurect the brand. Saab had potential, but unfortunatly; as usual, GM squandered that and really suceeded in destroying the brand. I guess you could say Saab got "GM'd".

Carma

JIm,
I'm sure there's plenty of blame to go around for Saab's downfall. The fact is they stopped innovating 40 years ago and let themselves get into a position where they had to be rescued by GM. Not a good idea.
LIke it or not, GM is an innovator. In 2007 they introduced the newly improved cylinder deactivation system on their V8 engines, allowing them to switch seamlessly to four cylinders in low load situations saving lots of gasoline. Now Audi has copied the system and is touting themselves as the innovator of cylinder deactivation, the same Audi whose president just called the Chevrolet Volt a "car for idiots." That means it won't be long before Audi copies the volt, as many other car makers currently are. GM introduced magnetic fluid shock absorbers to instantly tighten up the handling of the corvette with a flip of the switch. Ferrari borrowed that idea. Finally GM was the inventor of Neodymium magnets, the most powerful magnets ever made, the magnets that make today's electric cars possible. The GM onstar system is being copied by everybody. They built turbocharged Corvairs before Porsche built a turbocharged 911. They invented the airbag, the electric starter, and more other innovations than I can list. Give credit where credit is due.

Mike

If Audi does copy the Volt, hopefully they will make it without the "catch on fire" feature.

Londo Bell

What do ya know? Saab has just announced that it is voiding all warranty claims as of now, and all new vehicles will be sold "as-is" (no warranty, or no charge maintenance).

Reported just now on automotive news and Edmunds.

@ Carma,

Yes, GM has a lot of innovations, but same can be said for almost all other vehicle manufacturers. However, you seem to thinking that GM is the ONLY innovating company, which is wrong. Since most manufacturers of the auto industry have innovations, it makes your argument, kinda, pointless.

Londo,
We have the full warranty story up now. It's pretty extreme but any GM purchased Saab will be honored.

Carma

Londo,
I don't think I said GM is the only innovator, I said they are "an" innovator. Your distortion of my words and meaning makes your post totally pointless.

justin

I just bought a new 2010 Saab 9-3x loaded (comfort package, upgraded paint, nav, etc).

The sticker was 45,150. I wrote a check for 25,500 (this includes tax, tags, registration, etc.)

I then bought a 5yr / 60k mile warranty from GM for 1500.

Good deal or dumb idea? Thoughts?

cb

where did u buy

Phil

Hi Justin,
How did you get a GM warranty? how did you buy it?
Best Regards,

Anthony

i just bought a 2008 Saab 9-3 yesterday for 12999 with only 47,000 miles. I was able to buy a 3 year 48,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. This warranty would cover everything that a warranty would cover on a brand new car. It was a warranty that ford was offering.

Deb s

Ok...late to the party was out of the country on a deserted beach with not a care in the world. Came back and BAM. Saab ...I have a beautiful 2008 turbo convertible I ordered, waited 8 months for and am still in love with it!! Who knows of a dealership in CA close to San Fran that has diagnostic equipment and is honoring the GM warranty? Any help would save me a Kleenex box because I do not want to sell my beauty!

George V

Buy now.....SAAB later.

chris downing

Carma - I'm not sure anyone in Europe would see American cars as a platform for innovation. I'm sure its in there somewhere but its buried deep. There a lot of home enthusiasm for USA product but like those scenes in films where the Ford cop car chases and keeps up with the crook's Porsche - there's a fair bit of delusion in the mix.

justin

Answers to the questions I got:

I bought the Saab in Central NJ.

I bought the GM warranty from the dealer. I went online to buy it through GM, but the dealer gave me a better price.

KeithK

As a long-time Saab owner, I have some suggestions for those with "new" Saabs. There are integral parts on a Saab that you will need. I have been told by my dealer that these parts have been impossible to get for 2-3 years.
Ask your local independent Saab repair shop, not your dealer, for a list of these parts and start collecting. For instance, your DI cassette will fail at around 45-65,000 miles. Without this part your car is junk. There have been few DI cassettes on the market.
Get that list. A warranty is worthless without the parts.

Fix it again

Why not dump the Saab now and forget the parts collection hassle? Almost any car on the market today is a newer design than what saab was selling when they went under.

Franc

I agree, SAAB was the most innovative company - around 40 years ago. In the late 70's I wrote my master's thesis on Saab-Scania; conclusion: Saab would have to sell out or go bankrupt because of a lack of economies of scale resulting in very high new model tooling costs and amortisation periods.

GM bought Saab primarily for their technology. GM cars all now have Saab based pollution controls. Also Saab was first with passenger compartment safety cage, turbo-charging for passenger car use, 5 mph bumpers, chest safety belts, collapsible steering column, orange lighting on dials and I could go on.

As to GM, it has been grossly mismanaged for decades and still is. The US builds world class cars, just not in Detroit. GM failed to deal with labour's untenable demands. I also believe that the jury is still out regarding GM's future and the fiasco regarding the Volt supports this and why government should not be in the business of business.

In fact if the government had allowed it to go through bankruptcy GM would have emerged a much leaner and stronger company instead of simply being a payback to labour and a regurgitation of its former self.

Volvo has not been a viable entity since before Ford acquired it (and never made a profit on it). Had Ford not bought it it would be in the history books now. It has not been turned around in any way. It was acquired by a Chinese company. The Chinese are buying technology to take back to their own market (nothing inherently wrong with this). But, the reality is that if history is any predictor of the future, the chances are that they will most probably strip Volvo of its major assets and eventually leave the carcass OR more likely, ship it to China were it will be a Chinese company with a Swedish presence('We promise that if we can buy MG/Rover in the UK we will add capacity and jobs in the UK!' Months later they closed down all the plants in the UK and moved the the tooling to China). Compared to twenty years ago how many Volvo's do you see on the road today?

But there is still opportunity for newer, well run and innovative companies like Hyundai for example.

Finally, I have a friend who is a staunch Republican. He grew up in Detroit, his father worked for one of the Big Three in Detroit as his grandfather did as he did when he first started. He became thoroughly disgusted with the union. His shift would meet their 'quota' after only three hours of work; the balance of the day they spent playing cards and drinking beer. He left, got an education and pursued another career. How can any company be competitive like this? They can't.
Do look at Ford though, this is the most innovative car company around today.

JJ

GM - you suck! If I didn't have a good reason before not to by GM vehicles any more, well I certainly have one now...and that's the 2011 white elephant sitting out in my driveway, that, thanks to you and your endless GREED, now has NO WARRANTY, NO PAID maintenance and I only have 5,000 miles on it. I still love my SAAB...wish you had never got your greedy hands on the company in the first place! But all is well in Detroit, since you got the taxpayer bail out...that I don't remember even voting on. You will never, ever, get me to walk into any GM dealership, EVER! What goes around, comes around. Americans almost put you into bankruptcy once by not buying your cheap, low quality vehicles....it WILL happen again and my hope is next time around, you don't get the LUXURY of a tax payer bailout. GREEDY BASTARDS!!!!!

Eric

I have a 2008 SAAB 95 2.3T, manual drive with 54,000 miles on it. I purchased it in Jan. of 2011 for $!8,500 I still owe $16,000 on the car and went to go trade it in and 2 dealers offered me $6,000 for the car. I was blown away. I am so upside down on my loan now and made attempts to sell it...no one will buy it, for obvious reasons. Each year the car's value is going to drop and parts will be difficult to obtain. Too bad as I love my SAAB. Thinking of calling the bank and telling them to pick up their car. Very discouraging.

Jose Mateos

Saab was teh 1st car company to use turbos in passenger vehicles. Their fuel economy and eco-friendly design made them some of the best cars to own. I personally own a 9-5 2.3t and I love it. Parts aren't hard to find they are all over the place and just as cheap as any other car. There are certain parts that need replaced often, DI cassette as mentioned above, BPC solenoid, obviously the turbo will need to be changed eventually. Have you not noticed that MORE and MORE and MORE companies are putting turbos in their cars. They learned from Saab. Turbos are the most economical way to gain HP. I avg 30 mpg in my saab. I just ordered a new Elio Motors 84 mpg 3 wheel vehicle that I will be rec'g in Jan 2015. Super syked about it!! Born from jets was the GM slogan because the guys who create Saab were jet engineers, thus came the idea of the turbo in a passenger car with a diverter valve to recirculate the Blow off air back into the system to keep the turbo spooling. Anyway, it's true GM SUCKS NUTS!! Think about it...Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Daewoo...Do I really need to go on?

sam pisani

I would just like to say I bought a used Saab Aero an 01 now this car had been totaled and fixed. I never owned one before but have driven others so for a 1500 dollar purchase and a 69.00 repair of the abs,this thing runs like a champ,only has 110,000 miles on it. It was to be my second car like a beater, but I find myself loving this car for all that it is. quality little number.

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