Saab's US dealers face an uncertain future

Saab dealers in the United States say they have been uninformed bystanders to GM's on-again, off-again negotiations to sell the Swedish premium brand.
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Chris Cerrina, co-owner of Parkfield Saab in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, and a member of the Saab National Dealer Council, said today that he was uncertain about the significance of GM's decision to restart some Saab production.

“We're in this kind of purgatory waiting for a decision,” Mr Cerrina said. “I don't have any details. I don't know who really knows, to be honest with you.”

Reuters has reported that GM had extended tomorrow's deadline for bids for Saab, which has drawn interest from Dutch luxury manufacturer Spyker Cars and others.

Saab's US sales this year plunged to 7,812 vehicles through November- a 61 per cent year-on-year fall. By comparison, GM's sales fell 32 per cent during the same period while the industry as a whole saw a 24 per cent decline.

In November, Saab sold 371 vehicles in the US, down 56 per cent from the same month last year.

Mr Cerrina said his store's sales were down about 50 per cent this year to about 10 new-car sales per month. He said a lack of leasing, rather than the mystery surrounding the brand's future, was the main hindrance.

“We were told on December 18 we were going to be wound down, and you mentally process that,” said Mr Cerrina. “Then two days later, they are negotiating again.”

CarAdvice will keep you posted on any developments in Saab's progress as they come to hand.