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The latest detail in what’s become a sad saga of failure has to do with dealerships and their reaction to being caught in the fallout. It’s probably easy to forget, but if an automaker goes belly-up, the folks who made a living pedaling their products have to find a new source or go home.
That’s exactly what’s happening with many of the 900 Saab dealers worldwide who are either giving up the ghost or getting creative to stay in business.
Depending on their plans for the company, anyone trying to resurrect the defunct brand may find a dealer exodus too great a burden to overcome.
Without a conduit to sell cars, there is very little an automaker can do to bring their vehicles to market. Given this development, there is only one realistic business option: a company absorbing Saab purely to own their patents and to adopt their engineering.
If that were the case, we could start seeing Saab drivetrains and tech popping up in other cars around the world.
Brand names changing hands isn’t uncommon in the automotive world, Fiat now owns Chrysler and Ferrari, Volkswagen is the master puppeteer behind a myriad of companies including Porsche and Lamborghini and the automotive smorgasbord is hardly finished.
That said, we’re anticipating Saab will continue its slow somersault into the scrap bin with fewer hands reaching to catch their fall as the months wear on.
[Source: the Detroit News]
Many dealerships are looking for ways to liquidate their inventory as all 188 US dealerships were also notified that all factory incentive programs and payments to dealers have been suspended. But as expected, the biggest hurdle for these dealerships to jump over is the fact that there’s no warranties offered with the sale of Saab vehicles.
Some dealerships are taking matters in their own hands by offering their own warranty out of the store’s pocket. The 36,000-mile/three-year General Motors Protection Plan warranty has an estimated cost of $2,000 to $2,500 per vehicle sold. Other dealerships are turning towards aftermarket warranties, but it’s still not a manufacturer’s warranty.
As of last week, there were about 2,400 Saab vehicles left in US inventory with the majority of dealerships focusing on liquidating their inventory as quickly as possible. Saab of Troy in Detroit has been the nation’s largest Saab dealership and had roughly $4-million in inventory last week.
[Source: Automotive News]