Dealers Affected by GM’s Decision to Close Saab

General Motors spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said two weeks ago that if the deal with Koenigsegg failed, GM would have to close down all brand operations and all the US dealerships. And just when everybody was confident that things were heading in the right direction, the Swedish supercar manufacturer which was supposed to buy Saab backed out of the deal, wrote.

“Obviously, this was both a disappointment and a surprise,” GM spokesman Chris Preuss said. “We believed that we were on a pathway for closing this deal and that GM had met all of its obligations.”

Asked what will happen with the dealerships, spokesman Ryndee Carney said: “I don't feel that it would be accurate to say definitively that that's what's going to happen … that the dealerships would be closed.”

Kevin Jones, co-owner of two stand-alone Saab stores in suburban Los Angeles, sais he is going to try selling used vehicles, especially Saabs. His two dealerships sell 40 used cars a month and most of them are Saabs, so the decision makes a lot of sense. He still has 13 new Saabs in stock. “So if they wind down, we've got 13 cars to move. And I'll be out there buying all the other guys' '08s and '09s,” Jones said. “We've basically been in the used-car business for the last two years with Saab's reorganization.”

Other dealers are looking at different possibilities. Ted Nicholas, president and CEO of Three-Way Automotive Group in Bakersfield, California, dropped the brand. “It's never been a volume unit for us,” said Nicholas, who also sells Chevrolet, Cadillac and Hummer. “You have to look at the return for your investment.”

On top of the 35 percent drop of last year, Saab’s US sales dropped another 62 percent in October.
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