Saab dealers starting to lose interest in the Swedish brand

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 28, 2011

As Saab’s problems persist, its dealers in the U.S. are faced with a shortage in products, parts, and consumer interest. As a result, they are now making plans for a non-Saab future.

Production was stopped last March when suppliers halted delivery of parts in Trollhattan, Sweden, due to non-payment. Since then, Saab’s production workers have not been paid. Collection proceedings began last week by the Swedish government upon the request of some suppliers.

Swedish Automobile CEO Victor Muller has told dealers that Saab is about to secure bridge funding that will tide Saab over until mid-October and so they should remain optimistic, according to Autonews.

He said that Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., a Chinese auto distributor, is expected to soon make a payment of 245 million euro ($352 million), which will enable Saab to resume production. Last Friday, told Automotive News that he is “very confident” that he will succeed in turning the company around and he hopes that no one will give up just yet.

There is at least one major exclusive Saab dealer that is in talks with other automakers to replace its Saab offerings. Apparently, this dealer has had enough after only being able to sell only one unit since June 1. This dealer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that he wants to sell his Saab franchise but it has nearly no value now.

Another dealer -- Lynn Thompson – has had a difficult time in selling the three Saabs that remain in the inventory. This dealership, which is located in Springfield. Mo., also offers Saabs, Cadillacs, Buicks and GMCs.

Not a lot of customers are considering the two 2011 9-5s and the one 2010 9-3 convertible in this dealer’s showroom and those who show some interest later back out due to concerns on warranties and availability of parts.

Topics: saab, sweden

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