Saab: The End Of An Era – Potential Used Car Value

by Don Elliott on March 28, 2012

The quirky Swedish car manufacturer, Saab, filed for bankruptcy on December 14, 2011, ending a 65 year run as the carmaker known for curvy designs, mid-seat ignition, heated seats, and turbocharged engines.

Saab car owners have a cult-like relationship with their cars. Rudiger Hossiep, a psychologist at the University of Ruhr in Germany, concluded that Saab drivers have, “the highest level of ‘psychological involvement’ with their cars: more than 10 times the passion of the average Volkswagen driver.”

With the probable shutdown of the Saab brand (Indian and Chinese investors are still trying for a takeover as of early March, 2012), is this a good time to find a good used car value from the car maker’s remaining inventory?

Saab production has been limited in the past two years as the Swedish company struggles with life after GM ownership. This is good news for the remaining Saab new car dealers who have only a few new 2011 Saabs left to sell. However, Saab car dealers will need to offer deep discounts to sell their inventory with uncertainty over the new car warranty and availability of parts for repairs.

A recent check of car dealer advertising shows discounts of 35-50% off of the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. For example, a new 2011 Saab 9-3X Sport Wagon SUV is being offered in the Midwest for $25,974, 40% less than the list price of $43,290. New car financing is available at 2.9%. To cover the warranty problem, 4 year, 50,000 mile service contracts are available on this car for an additional fee.

Buying a used Saab may prove to be an even better opportunity. GM owned Saab up until GM’s financial troubles in 2008. After much negotiation, GM announced the sale of the brand on January 26, 2010. As part of the deal, GM agreed to honor the new car warranties through the 2009 model year.

Used car prices on pre-2010 Saabs have certainly suffered as the combined result of bad press and fire-sale prices on the 2010 and 2011 new Saab vehicles. That said, used car shoppers will have a hard time finding a large selection of Saab’s in the market, even with concerns about the manufacturer closing up shop.

Confusion over the brand creates confusion over pricing. Checking auto shopping sites like Cars.com and Edmunds.com will reveal a wide disparity in used Saab asking prices, providing an opportunity for good used car values. A smart shopper will compare all the offers to find the one that best fits their budget and comfort level. You may find an even better deal on a used Saab at your local auto auction!

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