Auto blogFri, 22 Jun 2012 18:00:00 EST
If you've been wanting to get your hands on one last new Saab but missed out on the great Saab sell-off when Saab Cars North America declared bankruptcy, well, your ship has now come in.
Actually, it came in last year - but hundreds of new Saabs got waylaid at ports in California and New Jersey because of the bankruptcy, according to SaabWorld.net. Those cars are now slated for auction, some 900 of them, which will be available for dealers, exporters and rental car companies to bid on beginning next week. Eventually, 300 of these cars should make their way to Saab dealers, where they're expected to be sold off at 30- to 50-percent discounts. The other 600 will either be exported or used as rentals, according to the report, so "the price of Saabs will not be severely depressed."
Besides the new cars, some 67 company cars, including some interesting stuff like a 1960 Saab Quantum IV and a 1970 Sonnett III, will also be auctioned off, according to the report. Of the new cars, just over half are 9-5 models, some 400 are 9-3 sedans, another 60 are 9-3 wagons, and about a dozen are convertibles. According to the report, 28 are actually 9-4X crossovers, which is more than 10 percent of Saab's total 2011 sales for that model.
The brand formerly known as Saab is still intent on teaching The Little Engine That Could a few ticks about persistence. We say "formerly known" because it turns out that National Electric Vehicle Swedent (NEVS), the Sino-Japanese investment consortium that just bought the majority of Saab's assets, minus Saab Automobile Parts AB, may not actually own the rights to the Saab brand name. According to a report in Di.se via Saabs United, NEVS will need to negotiate with Scania and the Swedish aerospace and defense group, Saab AB, for the right to name its forthcoming electric car the Saab 9-3.
NEVS is hiring 200 engineers now to work on its electric car program, and reports are that it will hire more as it gets closer to the 2014 launch. It will be based on the current (read: ancient) 9-3, and we hope NEVS is succeeds in getting the naming rights, because the NEVS 9-3 just doesn't have the same ring. NEVS will likely target China as the model's main market.
However, it's rumors of their second negotiating ploy that we're really rooting for: to work with Mahinda & Mahindra, the Indian company once in the running for Saab's assets, develop a petrol-powered 9-3 on the next-generation Phoenix platform, based on Jason Castriota's design.