GM Reduces Length of 2009 Saab Warranty. Huh?
July 29th, 2008 7:40 AM Share
The WTF factor out of GM simply knows no bounds. The AP reports Saab's decision to reduce warranties for 2009 and later model year vehicles. Saab already is in a sales tailspin and is losing GMAC lease support. It seems to me that if a vehicle is designed, built and maintained properly there should be very few powertrain failures between the four year, 50,000 mile "new" Saab warranty and the five year, 100,000 mile warranty in effect for 2008 model year vehicles. True enough, most of Saab's competitors offer warranties similar to the new Saab plan… but Saab is very much the underdog is this market and needs some kind of persuasive selling point. Why exactly does ANYONE buy a Saab instead of a Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Audi, BMW, Mercedes or even Volvo? GM spokesperson Joanne Krell "said lower costs and a more competitive edge over other importers were factors in the decision." Apparently Saab expects a lot of powertrain failures between years four and five, otherwise there wouldn't be much cost savings to be had. As to the "competitive edge", WTF indeed.
Published July 28th, 2008 10:25 PM
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If my 06 9-3 is any sort of barometer for the brand (and I'll accept one example is purely anectotal), then chopping off that fifth year of warranty coverage is indeed a money-saver. So far, after 26k and 25 months of ownership, our car has had just shy of $7k worth of warranty work performed by the dealership. Everything from faulty stability control sensors to the steering system. And there's an electrical gremlin the dealer can't replicate in the service stall, and still hasn't been fixed. That's an annual warranty cost of $3.5k per year so far. Something tells me that the next two years will be even costlier than the first two. So that fifth year of coverage may be quite punishing to GM. Understand, all manufacturers have a very good idea when their cars will begin to suffer from major failures. The warranty costs for each model are studied with the same degree of precision as insurance tables...incredibly precise and prescient. Yes, yes. I know. Saab only sells eight new cars a year. Understandably. Given that nothing good could come from this announcement in the press, that fifth year of Saab coverage must be catastrophically bad. I for one wouldn't want to be on the hook for repair costs year-five on my car. And I won't be.
Saab's total sales in June 2008 in the US was a mere 1,872 units. 162 9-7xs, 1,442 9-3s, 266 9-5s, and two left over model year 2006 9-2xs. That's it. It looks like GM is Isuzuing Saab, IMHO. That is, deprive it of anything good until sales get so low that most of the dealers give up voluntarily so GM doesn't have to bribe them to shut down the brand.
I have had four SAABs, each racking up over 140000 miles with very few problems. The modern day car, with regular servicing, will give years of trouble free motoring, SAAB is no different.
capeplates: Similar experiences here, including a 9-3 at 140k miles still on the original clutch/turbo and a 2004 9-5 doing fine with 75k miles, even with the original warranty expired. Of course, our experiences count for little to others if they're convinced the brand is totally screwed. And yes, the warranty reduction is a stupid move on the GM beancounters' part.