As time is called on SAAB UK, for those who have taken out extended warranties, or just taken out a new car or van insurance policy, it looks as though they’ll have to dig deep again if their elitist car, SUV or van suffers mechanical breakdown.
Not only have the 58 dealerships in the UK, 20 bespoke SAAB outlets and 38 SAAB incorporated with other showroom brands, been left with no further instruction, should they be approached by its top-earning customer base on directions for having their automobiles serviced under warranty, no one body is taking responsibility, here in the UK. The thought of SAAB UK going into administration is bad enough, but with the main arm of SAAB Auto in Sweden contending with its own filing for bankruptcy, there is little hope of immediate rectification for this issue.
Vauxhall can throw no lifebuoy
The US are in a similar position, but it is only drivers who have purchased their SAABs in the last two years in The States who find themselves in the same stark predicament as those drivers in the UK.
Although the UK is the largest EU market for the manufacturer outside of its home country, it has never entered into an agreement as it did with General Motors (GM) in the US. Prior to Jan 1st 2010, GM were the owners of SAAB and have raised the bar of customer service in light of occurences in Sweden by confirming that, even though they no longer are beholden to any warranty since they parted company, they will honour any warranty agreements if the car or van was bought in 2009, or beforehand, whilst GM retained ownership.
SAAB USA, although still in business, are washing their hands of paying any bills for these warranties undertaken by GM and can offer no news yet to the drivers who’ve bought their cars in good faith direct from them or other US SAAB dealerships in the last two years.
In a round about way, this presents UK Vauxhall with a unique opportunity, but are they in a position to accept, or fund, that challenge against the backdrop of an economic downturn forecasting reduced vehicle sales for 2012?
Likewise, will you, as a SAAB car or commercial owner, be able to foot the bill for the almost certain meteoric rise in your next car or van insurance policy?
All in the next article – SAAB, a way back in?