Bankrupt Saab Suspends Warranty Coverage

It has been a long time coming, but Saab’s curtain call seems to be just around the corner. Yesterday, Saab filed with the Swedish courts for bankruptcy proceedings. Today, Saab North America announced that all Saabs sold from December 19th forward will not have warranty coverage. This move follows a significant period of financial turmoil for the brand as they continue to struggle after being sold by General Motors in 2010. It is not known at this time what will happen to Saab post bankruptcy, but suspending warranty coverage is not a promising sign of Saab returning to produce cars any time soon.

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End of the road for Saab?

Looks like the end of the road for Saab unless a profitable car company wants to take a chance. The bigger question here is, will any of GM’s brand that were announced to be sold during the bankruptcy filing actually ever be sold?

From Autoblog.com:

It’s now or never. By the end of December General Motors will either divest itself of Saab by selling the Swedish automaker or by permanently closing its doors. And there is but one company bidding for the Swedish automaker — Spyker — which has yet to turn a profit. GM Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre told a group of reporters at the company’s Detroit headquarters that Spyker is the only automaker left bidding for the perennially struggling automaker. Whitacre reportedly told attendees that striking a deal was “possible,” but he then reiterated that Saab would close if the deal isn’t struck by the end of the year.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

Saturn may bite the dust

saturn-sky-2009

The GM restructuring plan is now expected to be rather bold, and many are predicting that the Saturn brand will not survive.

“I haven’t heard about what is in General Motors’ plan in detail, but it looks like it will be more maximum than minimum. In other words, it will be quite aggressive, and I don’t know whether this will include plant closings or elimination of brands,” said David Cole, head of the Institute for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Meanwhile, Bob Lutz, who is slated to retire as GM’s vice president of product development, told the Automotive News that Saturn likely would not survive the restructuring plan.

“My personal favorite would be to see Saturn survive and prosper. But frankly, the reality is that that is probably not going to be the outcome,” Mr. Lutz said. Neither he, nor other GM officials could be reached for comment on Saturn’s future.

“We spent a huge bundle of money in giving Saturn an absolutely no-excuses product lineup, top to bottom. They had a better and fresher lineup than any GM division, and the sales just never materialized. So we have to act on that. It’s our duty,” Mr. Lutz told Automotive News.

Working against the idea of axing Saturn is the enormous amount of money that would have to be spent to settle with dealers and the potential lawsuits from them that would probably follow. That happened with Oldsmobile.

Rob Cochran of No. 1 Cochran in Monroeville and Robinson said he held out hope that Saturn would continue as a brand.

“I know that Saturn is … exploring a lot of options. The dealers met last month in New Orleans and there were three or four options on the table,” Mr. Cochran said. “We are waiting to see what those alternatives are.”

He added, “Mr. Lutz is famous — or depending on your viewpoint, infamous — for just winging it. He’s a great product person, but a challenge from a PR standpoint.”

Saab is expected to survive, as the Swedish government will likely invest billions to make sure Saab and Volvo remain viable, though details are not yet clear.

  

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