Nothing Lasts Forever, but Your Saab Might (if You Sign on to a New Parts Warranty)

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

One day, if we’re lucky, we’ll see a documentary showcasing old Saabs in their natural habitat. The slinky 9-3 plying the interstate between Burlington, Vermont and the Connecticut coast, a valiant 9000 prowling between a Denver lawyer’s office and home, and a black 900 convertible sneaking up on a rural farmers’ market.

David Attenborough will handle narration duties.

Until that time, we can draw comfort that a conservation program exists to keep this extinct brand on the road. Started last fall by the defunct automaker’s official parts supplier, the warranty program means Saab owners in the United States, Britain, and the brand’s Swedish homeland can look forward to smaller maintenance bills in the future.

How this slipped past us, we’ll never know. The “Parts for Life” initiative, launched by Orio North America (exclusive supplier of Saab Original parts) back in September, offers owners a lifetime warranty on non-wear items installed at designated Saab service centers. After having a part replaced (at cost), owners can send the bill and part number to Orio, along with their contact information, and receive an unlimited warranty on that item.

Should you require another brake master cylinder, for example, or water pump in the future, Orio has that covered. Orio North America is a subsidiary of state-owned Swedish parts and logistics company Orio AB.

The initiative aligns with Orio’s support of a Swedish nature conservancy. Endangered species, get it? While a list of eligible parts isn’t available on the Parts for Life website, a list of eligible models is. It’s not just late-model Saabs covered by the warranty — owners of everything from the first 92, launched in 1949, to the Detroit-tastic 9-7X. A noticeable (but not surprising) omission is the Subaru-built 9-2X.

Given that the majority of Saab service centers are found at dealerships, and that dealerships make most of their coin through those centers, Orio’s warranty could be a boon for retailers facing declining sales.

“It’s a low-risk, high-image thing,” IHS Markit senior analyst Stephanie Brinley told Automotive News. “It can help highlight the Saab service centers, and it can drive some business there. Saab certainly has a good fan base.”

Orio CEO Tim Colbeck said as much, claiming the initiative aims to “make the dealership the preferred choice of service.”

After declaring bankruptcy in 2011 and disappearing from the marketplace, Saab’s remaining assets were passed around like a joint at Woodstock. A Swedish attempt to keep the 9-3 in production as an electric car also ended in bankruptcy. Currently, an electric version of the Saab 9-3 is anticipated to become the “ national car of Turkey.”

We’re no holding our breath.

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • La834 La834 on Feb 20, 2018

    The Saab 9-3 reminds me of the modern equivalent of the Studebaker Avanti, the car that WOULDN'T GO AWAY. Not decades after the original manufacturer croaked, not even after other tiny dompanies tried reviving a car that was uncompetitive even when new. Some little companiy was always building the parts, updating the ancient Nash factory, and upgrading the parts, the faith.

    • Shortest Circuit Shortest Circuit on Feb 20, 2018

      Isn't that reassuring though? That people still get passionate about cars appealing to them? They put money and time towards keeping them going despite the best efforts of the beancounters/darkgreens/gov't trying to reduce our automotive experience to a generic bland CUV with 9 airbags? And I'm not even a SAAB fan. (currently building a Volvo 960 to be a T6-powered sleeper)

  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars
  • Ede65792611 Got one. It was my Dad's and now has 132K on it. I pay my Mercedes guy zillions of dollars to keep it going. But, I do, and he does and it's an excellent vehicle. I've put in the full Android panel for BT handsfree and streaming with a backup cam.