Hats off to Saab Chief Executive Victor Mueller and Company – they tried their best. After months and months on end of back-and-forth drama, the Saab story is over. The company filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday, after a deal between Saab and Chinese automaker Youngman Automotive was scuttled by General Motors due to concerns over patent protection.
It is a scenario GM was worried about back in 2008 and 2009 when discussions were ongoing to sell the brand to Spyker. From a purely business perspective, it makes sense. We’re still sad to see the beloved, quirky Saab go though.
For fans of the automaker who have been on a roller coaster, bankruptcy offers some closure. There is little consolation in though, especially for recent buyers of new Saab products (scarce as they may be). Saab sales have been depressed for the past few years, all down to the fact that no one wants to buy a car from a brand that is headed for bankruptcy.
When making a big purchase like a car, purchasing one from a near-bankrupt company just doesn’t make sense. That logic has proved to be correct. Autoblog has obtained a memo to Saab North America instructing dealers on what to do next. For one, payment for all warranty-related items is being stopped – likely for good. The money just isn’t there. If you bought a new Saab in the recent past, this is a major headache on your hands. In addition, your resale value just dropped a lot, after already being at record lows.
What about the inventory of new cars in Saab’s inventory? The company is instructing dealers to sell them “as is”, with no warranties expressed or implied. This is going to result in some really cheap new Saabs being sold. Without a warranty, it isn’t clear who is going to buy them though. We’re sad to write this – we hoped Saab would survive, even if they didn’t have the money to do so. What a shame…