By on December 23, 2011

Thinking of cashing in on Saab’s misfortunes? Contemplating your own bankruptcy deal, where you can buy a brand new (well, nicely aged on the dealer lot) Saab for pennies on the dollar? Think again. Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed says you will be in for a nasty surprise:

“Consumers shouldn’t expect a fire sale on unsold Saabs just yet. While incentives are no longer being offered for now, our research indicates pricing remains unchanged at Saab dealerships. Dealers are taking a wait-and-see approach since this situation is changing rapidly. But Edmunds.com analysts estimate that the True Market Value price of new vehicles will be discounted by an average of 28 percent from MSRP — and as high as 33 percent in some cases.”

That may happen, down the road. Currently, prices at some dealers are going up. Yes, you heard right. Up. Edmunds found a Saab dealership in Los Angeles where new Saabs are sold in “as-is” condition as if they were used cars, but they are priced at full MSRP. The reasoning is that some models had $12,000 in incentives the previous day, but these price breaks were no longer available because of the bankruptcy.

One reader told us that he went to a Saab dealer, made a lowball offer, only to hear the story that because Saab is in bankruptcy, the company will buy back all cars on dealer’s lots. Sure. And low flying pigs were sighted of Trollhättan.

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32 Comments on “Saabstermath, Bonus Edition: Let’s Play Lowball!...”


  • avatar
    John R

    Just wait out the stages. “Denial” is now, but I reckon “Acceptance” should occur sometime between mid to late summer.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Exactly. New, two-year-old Saabs that have sat on dealer lots for 18 months. Talk about your toxic assets!

      Especially when the same age Saab, having had one owner, would be worth ~50% of its original MSRP on the used car market.

      Anyone know if any 9-4Xs made it into the real world? Might be an interesting buy, considering that GM will produce most non-styling replacement parts for a few years due to the relationship with the Caddy SRX.

      • 0 avatar
        CaptBlackberry

        There is a 9-4x sitting on the lot at Herb Chambers in Boston next to two new 9-5 sedans. I looked at them longingly as I rode the elevator up to the third floor to order my Mini Countryman.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    About a year from now, when the dealers are ready to cash out for whatever they can get, it will be Buy One, Get a Parts Car Free!!!

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    There’s obviously the hardcore Saab enthusiast or two who have visited the dealerships and wanted to get one while they still could. Once they’re done, then the low-ballers will have their day. My nearby Saab store has already filled up its lot with what looks like trade-ins from their affiliated BMW dealer.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    My local mega-dealer still has 20 new Saabs on the lot, with an average MSRP of $40k.

    When Saab first filed a couple months ago, on the same day he put all his Saab inventory out front with firesale reductions on them. Now, the cars are hidden from view, but he still has a lot of inventory to clear out.

    I wouldn’t take one at half price.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Hmm… Several months ago, new 9-3s were offered for prices that wouldn’t get you a lightly used Accord or Camry in So Cal. Perhaps now that they’re being sold as used cars, they can be sold to people with horrible credit for obscene prices like with other late model used cars. If I had someone come to me looking to buy a Saab today, I would ask him how much he can pay. He’d probably answer me too, provided he was addled enough to consider buying a Saab.

  • avatar

    I purchased a new Aero last month at about 22k off MSRP, a price every other dealer in the country is refusing to come close to then and now despite what has happened.

    I’m also thinking of picking up a 9-3X wagon and am lowballing a couple of them across the country. One dealership called me yesterday to inform me that they will be dropping the Saab franchise and they are taking their wagon I wanted and all their other new Saab inventory, registering them and are going to use them as service loaner cars for the other brands they sell. He said that way the dealership can write down or off the loss for them or something to that effect.

    I guess we will see all sorts of things like this happen now that the liquidation ball is rolling.

  • avatar
    skor

    “I’m gonna buy a new Saab for 10 cents on the dollar.” Right. Typical dumb-ass Americans who have no idea how the auto biz works. I have a friend who was lead tech at a Chrysler dealer that got the ax when Chrysler went into bankruptcy. Wiseguys were walking into the showroom, pointing to Ram pickups with $40K stickers, and saying, “I’ll give you $5K cash for that truck right now.” Most of these schemers were immediately shown the door. Any of you every hear the term, “floor plan”? Get real, those cars will go to the crusher before any of you gets to drive one off the lot for $5K.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Typical dumb-ass Europeans think their healthcare is free.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        No they just think it comes out of their taxes – and they are right.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Do you actually know any Europeans?

      • 0 avatar
        solracer

        It’s not free but on average Europeans pay half what us in America pay for healthcare with better outcomes. The last stats I saw (2007) put the per-capita cost of healthcare at $3000 in France vs over $6000 in the USA. Plus France was ranked #1 for outcomes with the USA ranked 8th. Since then I believe the cost gap has widened and the USA has fallen out of the top 10 for outcomes. Not anything to be proud of IMHO.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        How did this turn into a Tea-Tard rant?

        BTW, Saab was still a viable company when it was run by Europeans….before Detroit got its hooks into it.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        You live in a fantasy world. Saab was dead weight when GM bought them. That’s why they were for sale, and why they were already offering rebadged junk like the 600 and 9000. Detroit hasn’t been well run in many, many decades, but they prospered while Saab went from making reverse engineered DKWs to putting stickers on Lancias.

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        Saab 600? Never heard of them. Are they new?

        Anyway, the old 900 (pre-GM) is an indigenous, 100% Saab model, not rebadged anything. Though the 96 did use Ford V4 engine and early 99 used a Triumph engine.

      • 0 avatar
        nvdw

        The Saab 600 was a badge-engineered 1st gen Lancia Delta, only sold in Scandinavia.

        The original 900 model is essentially a development of the 99, and the engines are all derived from the Triumph Slant-4 engine that was used in the first 99’s.

        I wouldn’t say that GM was a good mother to Saab, but Scania (that sold Saab Automobile off in the first place) wasn’t that good a guardian either. The fact that both the 900 and the 9000 had to be replaced with cars on GM platforms proves to me that Saab itself had absolutely nothing in the works to replace these cars themselves.

        As much as I like the brand, it was simply too small, too eccentric and too dependent on others to survive. Paul Niedermeyer hit the nail on that in his eulogy.

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        So, the last pure Saab design (designed by the home team) was the 99. The 99 started out in 68. The 900 was a 99 with a new front clip. Everything else since them was based on someone else work (600, 9-2x, 9-7,9-3,9-3,9-5) or in collaboration with someone else (9000).

        I’m surprised at the lack of effort in the 600 appearance. Stick a different logo on the car and call it done? At least they were honest enough to call it what it was – a Saab-Lancia.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Any of you every hear the term, “floor plan”?

    I don’t think that most people have. And they should, because I would expect floor plan will play a large role in determining much of what happens next.

    Now that Saab is bankrupt, there probably are no more factory incentives (who would pay them?) and the dealers won’t earn a holdback. Meanwhile, the dealers owe a lot of money to their financing companies (in most cases, probably GMAC.)

    At some point, GMAC is going to have to take a bullet on the value of the remaining inventory. They probably aren’t at that point yet. The dealers will want to be able to get some deep discounts that they can use to sell the remaining cars and perhaps to make some sort of profit for themselves.

  • avatar
    spyked

    Not sure if anyone will take any SAABs, even at fire-sale prices. We’ve always had one in the immmediate family for the last 10 years or so, but the value quotient has really decreased with the spare parts issue and resulting insurance issues. There was a time when a new 9-3 was an excellent alternative to a loaded Civic or Mazda3 or Jetta. Now, not so much.

    I’d love a new 9-5 2.0T but the 9-5 (and 9-4) are so obviously GM that I don’t have faith. Sure, the old SAABs were GM too, but the kinks were worked out. The SRX has been a nightmare, so the 9-4 will probably be too. And the LaCrosse and Regal aren’t exactly trouble-free, so it doesn’t bode well for 9-5s either.

    Too bad really, as until very recently SAABS were a great alternative to Acura and VW. Overall, I think the biggest worry is insurance companies totalling your new SAAB because they can’t/won’t get replacement panels.

  • avatar
    50N40W

    I’d think of a 9-3 as a manageable risk, especially in sedan form.
    The comm bus changed in 2007 I believe, and there was a minor styling change in ’08. Other than that, there have been a few hundred thousand (?) made and sold in the US over the last 8-9 years.
    As it was sold prior to ’10, GM has an obligation to keep parts available for 10 years past 2009. The design wasn’t gaudy, and in my eyes at least it’s aged well. Aftermarket service contracts ought to be available for reasonable prices, as these are a fairly well known quantity. I.E. the bugs have pretty well been worked out.

    • 0 avatar
      dejal1

      “I’d think of a 9-3 as a manageable risk, especially in sedan form.”

      Just don’t have key problems.

      http://www.lostsaabkeys.com/RemovalInstructions.aspx?carType=Saab93Sport

      • 0 avatar
        50N40W

        Most cars have some thing that isn’t so great. I’ll accept this risk. I’ve had to replace one (1) key over the last 30 years.
        On GM’s other Epsilon platform, the Malibu, you have to drop the front bumper to replace the headlight. While I MAY lose a key, I’m GOING to replace headlights at least twice during the period I typically own a car. 1/30 is about 0.033. 0.033*600 is expected cost of $19.
        At 80 bucks for shop time to swap out the headlights (a 5 min job on the Saab that requires a washer, nickel, or dime), that’s $160 over the course of ownership, minimum. I’ll take those odds.

        Like I said, for me it’s a manageable risk.

  • avatar
    Jasper2

    So who is TTAC going to pick on next now that SAAB is out?
    Cheap shot way to make a living guys. Get a real job.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Part of The Truth About Cars is that Saab has been dying for a generation, providing uninspiring, undistinctive vehicles for high prices.

      Is there a different truth about Saab you would suggest? That it’s all Bad GM’s fault? If so, tell us why Saab was acquisition fodder to begin with, and keeps getting passed around like a cheap date.

      As for whom TTAC ‘picks on’, there are plenty of foolishly-run car companies out there to choose from, and bad products to critique.

    • 0 avatar

      So, Jasper, what do you do for a living?

      Thanks for visiting TTAC. Traffic pays the bills.

  • avatar
    Jasper2

    ?
    Nothing new or surprising in your remarks. I even agree to a degree.
    I.e., what the hell were all those well paid SAAB engineers doing all this time?
    We know all that, including the “cheap date” crack.
    You totally missed my point. Don’t kick someone when they are down bucko.
    That is cowardly. Are you cowardly?

  • avatar

    Telling us what not to write is a waste on bandwidth. It will be ignored. Also, I am not your bucko. If you don’t know what a civilized discussion is, then your posting privileges will be revoked.

    • 0 avatar

      Jasper2: Please note that this website’s name is not the “thefeelgoodabout cars.com.” And heed Bertel’s warning. We’re not intolerant of dissent around here, but you’ve got to keep the confrontational zeal under wraps. There’s lots of internet for you to rant at, we try to keep things as dinner party as possible around here.

      Luckily you’ve caught us at our most festively jovial and tolerant. If you make me start thinking about the fact that a children’s crusade has dumped an entire town on its backside the week before Christmas, I’d seriously run the risk of losing my holiday cheer.

      • 0 avatar
        dreadnought

        “If you make me start thinking about the fact that a children’s crusade has dumped an entire town on its backside the week before Christmas, I’d seriously run the risk of losing my holiday cheer.”

        ?????????

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    WTH would be the point of Saab buying back inventories? More bad money after bad? Same logic as cash-for-clunkers. Morons.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Well, what’s happening right now is what economists call “price discovery.” That is the market (i.e. buyers and sellers) is “discovering” what the price of a Saab should be, now that the company is bankrupt, the car will be sold without a manufacturer warranty and, at some point in time, parts availability and the availability of knowledgeable mechanics will decline.

    That has nothing to do with “floor planning,” MSRP, dealer holdbacks, what the dealer paid or any of that stuff. If you’re an American and you want to see how this works, take a look at the residential real estate market in places like Nevada, California, and Florida. In those markets and probably some others, the market has not “discovered” the new pricing for residential real estate . . . to the distress of buyers and sellers alike, not to mention lenders holding paper secured by houses purchased in, say, 2006.


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