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by Tim Beissmann

Warranties held by Australian Saab customers are no longer valid after the Swedish car maker filed for bankruptcy overnight.

Saab Cars Australia, the company’s local subsidiary, confirmed today that the warranties of more than 800 recent Australian Saab customers would not be honoured.

“The warranty is a manufacturer’s warranty provided by Saab Automobile AB, not Saab Cars Australia,” said Saab Cars Australia managing director Stephen Nicholls. “It is no longer valid.”

Saab Cars Australia has sold 139 cars in Australia so far this year, as well as 14 in 2010 and 663 in 2009.

Nicholls said Saab Cars Australia would continue to support local owners by supplying parts for their vehicles. Unlike Saab Automobile AB, Saab Automobile Tools AB and Saab Powertrain AB, Saab’s parts division, Saab Parts AB, has not filed for bankruptcy. As a result, parts supply will not be affected. 

Nicholls said the local division was not applying for bankruptcy and remained optimistic about its future and that of its parent company. He said it was relatively easy to emerge from bankruptcy under Swedish law if the right investor came along, and said there were still a number of people interested in the brand – and not all of those from China.

“Saab Australia is not filing for bankruptcy. [Following last night’s announcement] we will now review our overheads and review the business. We are still planning to carry on supplying parts to our dealers for the foreseeable future.”

Nicholls said Saab Cars Australia plans to continue trading and hopes to sell the remaining 40-50 unsold new vehicles from its local dealerships. He said it was too early to predict the future of Saab’s Australian dealer network, which includes eight showrooms, conceding that a lot was dependent on what happened in Europe over the coming weeks and months.

Saab Cars Australia was set up after Saab achieved independence in February 2010. Holden was previously responsible for the brand as part of General Motors’ ownership of Saab before it was sold to Dutch sports car maker Spyker Cars.




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