IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Safe to buy a new Saab

Swedish car magazine Vi Bilägare web edition has an article about why it still is safe to buy a Saab. In these times of financial turmoil, it's good to read in a fairly Saab critical car magazine that buying a Saab pose no big risks.

Below is a summary of the article. Their starting point is if the worst case scenario happens and Saab is closed down.

First they consider the availability of spare parts:
Among the most important collateral [The Swedish Government has in Saab] is the right to manufacture and sell original spare parts to around 1.5 million Saab cars all over the world. It will be profitable to run the spare part business for perhaps the next ten years, which means that consumers can feel safe that in the foreseeable future there will be spare parts for the cars sold today.

Then they look at guarantees:
Many are concerned that the guarantee is worthless if Saab disappears. But the warranty is an agreement between the car buyer and the seller - Saab Automobile is not part of the agreement. This means that the dealer is responsible for the warranty given to the consumer, and the warranty is valid whether Saab is still in business or not.

Finally they consider the second-hand value:
The second-hand values could suffer if Saab is in danger of disappearing. That became obvious in 2009 when many companies removing the ability to choose a Saab as a company car. For Swedish companies buyers, this is now solved by a residual value guarantee, in which the dealers (not Saab Automobile) guarantees the resale value of your car. For private buyers, there is no such guarantee.
But we must also remember that it was the old 9-5, a model that was totally out of date, which was hardest hit during last year's residual turbulence. Residual values of the new 9-5, especially the Sport Combi model which goes on sale this summer, is likely to be much better if Saab would not survive.

 They conclude that buying a Saab is riskier than buying a new Toyota or a Volkswagen [my note: But the price to not have to buy a Toyota or VW can not be measured in money! :)], but the risk of buying a Saab is still just the risk of losing a very limited amount of money. The car will have access to spare parts and service for many many years to come. And I would like to point out that even 20 years from now there will be spare parts to buy. Just look at 20 year old cars today. As long as there is money to be made by manufacturing and selling parts, there will be parts available.