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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nothing lasts forever but your saab might if you sign on to a new parts warranty

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.

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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)

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
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