In a few weeks 2020 will have passed, and soon it will be 10 years since the last Saab rolled off the assembly line. Really 10 years? The reflection gives me goosebumps, also because I've been reporting on the same topic for almost a decade, with slight variations. Ten years ago, I would never have dreamed that Saab would still be a good basis for business and an object of speculation.
The sheet metal dreams are made of
The business with the last Saab models is interesting. 9-5 NG and 9-4x are the sheet metal dreams are made of. Would you have wanted to bet on it, 2010 and 2011? Probably not. Today they are legends on four wheels, and there is no end in sight to this story. This leads to speculation, and it usually works out.
The latest example is a Saab 9-5 NG Aero from Switzerland. Manual transmission, 43.000 kilometers. A private sale and, to be honest, too cheap. The price well below CHF 20.000 made it clear that this car would disappear from the virtual marketplace within hours. And so it was.
One can wait with excitement to see where the car will turn up. Has a Saab fan made a proud booty, has he ended up at a dealer? And if it shows up in the latter, which is not that rare, what will the price be? Of course, a trader also has to make money. It repairs, often warrants, and takes a reasonable surcharge. Reasonable, that is an economically sound calculation that is fun for both parties. Customers and dealers.
How is it when there is no market
Only, the market for used 9-5 NG doesn't actually exist. Not for the people out there, beyond the small world of Saab. Because the Saab microcosm is only designed by a few, actually quite reasonable actors. Back to the Saab 9-5 Aero. It didn't take long since he reappeared. At a dealer in the Swiss Jura, not far from Lake Geneva. The price? Exciting, with a premium that is more than healthy.
Well below 20.000 CHF turned into a price idea of just under 30.000 CHF. Oh, I thought to myself. And maybe with me the readers too. Is that possible? But a 9-5 Aero with only 43.000 kilometers is an exceptional car. And a rolling legend, part of a saga. There is a lot going on.
Our world is so poor in stories
Instead, it is rich in computer cars and a lack of affordable, automotive dreams. The lost Saab brand is contributing some of these dreams. The Saab disappeared from the dealer's page quickly, very quickly. Just a few days - and most likely sold. Where? We will see. Somewhere, that's for sure, the Saab will reappear.
What would have happened if Saab had survived and there would have been no dramatic, sad saga from Sweden? The very likely fate can be seen when looking for the first Opel Insignia generation. Technologically, the Opel had to lag behind its very close Saab relative. The strategists wanted it that way back then.
Still, the comparison is legitimate. Used Insignia of comparable years of construction bob about on the used car market. Long standing times, the price level is 40 - 50% of the relationship from Sweden.
Not a big drama, not a saga.
Just an old car. And that's not good for speculation or as a business model.