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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Volvo Canada launched a similar program in 2015. https://www.media.volvocars.com/ca/en-ca/media/pressreleases/167805/volvo-cars-of-canada-offers-lifetime-warranty
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