Rearview mirror. Speculative bubble.

The look back: Bloggers rearview mirror
The look back: Bloggers rearview mirror

The Saab auction in Sweden ended on Wednesday. There was already great interest in the run-up to the event, and even on the day of the auction, e-mails with questions came in here. I answered very few of them. Because it was mostly the "usual suspects" who have been on the hunt for bargains for more than a year. Who then do not want to understand, even after a long phone call, that no dealer will give a 3-year guarantee for a Saab model year that has never been produced. Or who simply don't want to see the risk of buying a model like the Saab 9-4x that has never been launched in Europe. No, this is a blog. No Saab Helpdesk ...

The auction was - clearly - an event for fans and collectors of the brand. No vehicles for everyday use, that was communicated openly by the auctioneers ... so it was a fair thing!

The vehicles of the auction were usually not new cars, but, like the Saab 9-5 models, Saab test vehicles or returns of the suppliers. Used cars just, with a few kilometers from the hard test everyday.

Still interesting for collectors - and only for them. I was there too to bid for a 2012 Saab 9-5 sports sedan for a friend's Saab collection. We had chosen two vehicles, a V6 and a 9-5 BioPower, and were already certain that we would get one of the cars with our budget. Because the 2012 model year has some pitfalls that you should be aware of. No dealer in Germany can program the software for a car from this year. The competence of the Saab partners ends, with good reason, with the 2011 vintage.

Single Auction: Saab 9-5 with 245 PS Powerdiesel
Single Auction: Saab 9-5 with 245 PS Powerdiesel

Anyone who buys such a car should know what he is doing. He depends on help from Sweden. The team of Saab Service Kiel can help because of good contacts to the north, and so you are alone in Germany - and maybe even lonely in large parts of Europe.

Our budget per vehicle was 150.000 kroner, which is just over 18.000 €. With fees, taxes, freight, registration and other expenses then you are at 25- to 26.000 €. What is alright for a vehicle that really only has collector status and is something for sunny exits. Used Saab 9-5 from 2010 and 2011 are traded at similar rates, but are vehicles for everyday use. To make it short: we went out empty! We were outbid on both vehicles, and my friend's Saab collection will not get 9-5 of the 2012 model year.

What happened? The customers of the past auction are divided into three groups. Saab fans, suppliers and speculators. The fans were at a loss, and it is estimated that 15 or 20 cars will have come into their possession. Then there were Saab suppliers who, unrecognized, bought back test vehicles. Because some innovation should not go to third parties. And there were the speculators, mostly from the land of tulips, who had licked blood.

In the previous auction, some vehicles were bought by a certain dealer and sold with a margin that even ex-German banker Josef Ackermann would have forced to applause. However, at that time there were few, exclusive vehicles, cheaply acquired. This time in large style relatively expensive bought, also limousines and predominantly the model year 2012. Vehicles without papers, without helpdesk, without possibility to program the software.

Many fans, including us, were deprived of the opportunity to purchase a pre-production car at a fair price. We can live with that, it's just a hobby, because such a car is “nice to have”. Nothing more, nothing less! Now the speculation is on and I think it's a bubble that is going to burst. Because the market is small and not everyone buys at every price. Let's see how business develops in Holland. If you want to know how which Saab was sold at what price, you can find the results of the auction at Marcus Bergfeldt. The internet makes a lot of things transparent. Bad times for Saab speculators.



5 thoughts on "Rearview mirror. Speculative bubble."

  • The 2.9 TiD will probably not return to the road. Maybe maximum in the Eastern Bloc outside of Europe!

  • The 2.9 TiD did not go to Venza, but was sold to a private person (or a hidden supplier)?
    Is it possible to move this car at all? That's something else again with a new, otherwise never built in the model before motorization.

  • Hi Tom,
    I am glad that I was not the only emptier.
    2x the prices shot up hopelessly, once I was close ... and with my click the auction ended.
    I wanted an 2. Put diesel away, well, I keep on driving my one.
    Best regards and a question:
    In which hotel do you spend the night at the festival?
    Greetings from Zwickau

  • Hi Tom,

    Thanks for this open summary! I too was one of these “usual suspects” and entered my upper limit at 200, which in the end was far away from the price achieved. As you wrote yourself, it would not have been a sensible purchase anyway! Nevertheless, the behavior of the tulip speculators annoys me, but I think that they will go very badly with it. The motto is now to wait and see, these vehicles will eventually go to real Saab fans like us at real prices. Even then it won't be sensible, but if it stays within a financially manageable framework, it is just an attraction that stays!
    Saab lives on and I just noticed it again today on my way from Geneva to Zurich when I had surely overtaken or met 20 Saabs, 2 of them new 9-5IIs like I drive one. Nevertheless, we will continue to remain exotic, at least there are still enough people who take a look into the cockpit at the parking lot and sometimes also ask if Saab is back and this is the new model ...

    Greetings from Switzerland

  • Well written! There is speculation but I think that our friends from Venza Exclusive Cars gambled too high this time :-). It's a shame that you didn't get a SAAB ...

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