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Saab story gets even sadder for owners

The quirky, troubled Saab brand finally calls it quits. Owners should look at adding gap coverage to their car insurance.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 21, 2011 2:22PM

This post comes from Des Toups at partner site on MSN MoneySaab's 20-year death spiral ended Monday with a liquidation filing in a Swedish court.


That's bad news for the "Born from Jets" automaker's hardcore fans, whose hopes for a Chinese rescue had been dashed again and again and are now gone for good.


And it's worse news for the 9,000 or so buyers who braved a Saab dealership since General Motors set the marquee free in February 2010. The company announced Tuesday it would suspend warranty claims currently in its system and no longer provide warranties on the roughly 3,000 brand-new vehicles remaining on the lots.


That means your Saab is no less quirky than it was last week, but it is certainly worth a lot less.


"Demand for used Saabs will start to drop off 2%, 3% immediately," Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told SmartMoney.


New Saabs, already advertised at $10,000 off sticker, will fall even further. Post continues below.

If you're a Saab owner who bought high, drive carefully. Factory replacement parts may become difficult to come by (though many internal parts still bear the fingerprints of GM and Subaru, previous manufacturing partners).


The bigger reason to be careful?  If you walked out of a Saab dealership last summer, happy to have scored a new 9-5 Turbo AWD sedan at 20% off, your sweet deal may have turned sour.


With the cars worth less, the chances your car insurance company will total your Saab after an accident are higher. "It costs just as much to replace the airbags today as it did last week," says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst at, "but the repair makes up a bigger portion of the car's value now that a Saab is worth less."


And the size of the check your car insurance provider will write you just shrank. No one knows for sure by how much. Anyone know what a Daewoo is worth these days?


You can buy gap insurance on a Saab even now that will cover the difference between what the car is worth and what you owe. In fact, Gusner says, it's usually cheaper to buy through your car insurance company than it is from your lender. Figure the cost will be 5% of whatever you're paying for comprehensive and collision coverage.


The good news for some buyers is that GM will honor warranties on Saabs sold through its dealerships before February 2010.


More on and MSN Money:

Dec 21, 2011 4:17PM

As a former Saab owner (and "never again a Saab") owner, I say it could not have happened to a more deserving company. Always breaking down. Electric system hopeless. Costs for parts astronomical. On my Saab 9000, in 10 years I went through 4 trannies and an equal no. of exhaust systems. And anything that had electricity coursing through it at some time broke.


Good riddens.

Dec 21, 2011 5:37PM
When GM bought Saab, thats when the ending began and I'm surprised it took this long.
Dec 21, 2011 6:08PM
Another General/Government Motors SuckCess story.
Dec 21, 2011 4:34PM
Hippies can take the bus when their Saab breaks down.  Notice I said when, not if.
Dec 21, 2011 5:01PM
I have a 2006 Saab 9-7x and I love it. It doesnt have a warranty is powerful..full of convenient features and has never given me a problem.  It's been a great vehicle..
Dec 21, 2011 8:52PM
Thanks Government Motors - I will never own another GM thanks to this. Go Ford.
Dec 21, 2011 6:54PM
@jazzblue - '93 was the last year of the Saab designed chassis.  You are driving a rebadged Opel, my friend.
Dec 21, 2011 7:28PM
I owned a 1983 Saab 900 and it was one of the best cars that I ever owned. I know the only qualified Saab technician.  His name is Darryl Quick and he works at Crest Cadillac Saab in Nashville, Tennessee.  The cars were modeled after the Drakken and the Viggen Swedish fighter jets. I used to call the car Sky Pilot after the Animals song. The car was bought from a shady used car dealer and the brakes and the clutch controlled the transmission by hydraulics. I paid 800 dollars of my Social Security check to have it replaced at Thoroughbred Motors in Nashville, Tennessee and never had trouble with it after that. The car was rear ended in a crash and since the title was a salvage title that the previous owner would not release, I let it go to the junkyard.  Sad to see the Sob Stories. I then switched to Volkswagens after I figured I could not ever get them fixed unless I took it to Nashville.  I had that car thru 3 years of college.
Dec 21, 2011 4:35PM
GM blew the Chinese deal, so shame on them.  Have a '97 900S with 233,000 + miles, pre-GM, and still running GREAT.  Only hear bad stories of GM-made Saab's.  
Dec 21, 2011 4:56PM
@jizzblew.  Why would GM give up the technology to a potential competitor?  The guys at GM finally stuck a fork in the Saab brand.  It's about time. 
Dec 21, 2011 9:30PM
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