Saab Remains in Demand
While new cars no longer roll from its production lines, Saab still refuses to die. At least fourteen bidders (at the time of writing) have been reported as expressing more than a cursory interest in buying the Swedish car company. Yet, while Saab lingers in no-man’s land, the company’s recent torpor could not save its UK arm, Saab GB, which went into administration last November. This not only raised questions about the warranty status of recently-sold new cars in Great Britain but also many owners were worried that their cars might be rendered obsolete by the potential termination of a spare parts supply.
Yet, as Rover owners will testify, obtaining spares for a popular marque, after the manufacturer has ceased making new cars, does not present problems. Sure enough, on the 1st January 2012, Saab Parts UK was established, to provide genuine components to the aftermarket, as well as maintaining the ‘Saab Service Club’, which utilises the current 87-strong nationwide dealer network that services the needs of approximately 15,000 customers. In February, Saab Parts UK reported that ‘the last’ 200 unregistered Saabs were stored at dealerships, awaiting new homes. The question was, who would want them?
The answer might be, quite a few people. While demand for Saab’s plummeted late last year, the online auction company, CD Auctions, has reported that used examples have not only attracted brisk bidding but that ex-fleet cars have also been exceeding their book prices. While used car dealers might have been cautious about stocking Saabs prior to Christmas, CD Auction’s Managing Director has reported that they are now attracting a rarity value, especially as Saab buyers are highly loyal to the marque and seem keen to snap-up the remaining latest examples.
With a UK parts operation, warranty and a nationwide repair network secured, the wranglings over the longer-term future of the Swedish concern does not have to remain a worry for new and used buyers. In the UK at least, buying a Saab still remains a left-field but an immensely attractive proposition.