Picking over what's left of bankrupt Saab will result in an influx of the final cars imported into the U.S. hitting driveways.
This week, the first two of a series of auctions got underway, according Ally Financial. About 900 Saabs have been stored at ports around the country, including Brunswick, Ga. Ally Financial started seizing the cars after Saab Cars North America missed payments on outstanding loans, according to saabworld.net.
The first 45 cars were due to be auctioned only to Saab dealers through a system called Smart Auction. Of the 900 cars to be processed, slightly more than half are Saab 9-5s, according to saabworld.net. Saabworld.net goes on to to report many of the 9-4X vehicles won't be able to be titled.
Seeing a new Saab 9-4X or 9-5 on the road is a rare sight, although I did run across a final generation Saab 9-5 recently in Tampa. The final 9-5s, were based on GM's Epsilon platform, which the Buick LaCrosse shares.
Despite GM parts bin sharing for things like the steering wheel, Saab maintained its style until the end, including a nod to the past. Saabs were well known for their console-mounted ignitions. The final Saabs featured console mounted engine start buttons.
The 2011 Saab 9-5 got generally good reviews. Car and Driver called it a "knockout," saying "taut styling invites long stares" and "cool touches abound inside."
One of the performance features was what Saab called DriveSense, which offered comfort, intelligent and sport handling modes. At launch, the cars were made with a turbo-charged 2.8-liter V-6, although plans called for a 2.0 liter turbo four to be added to the mix.
They also featured a high degree of technology with a lane-departure warning chime and heads-up display.
It's almost certain the 2011 Saab 9-5 will be a collectors item given it was practically stillborn as GM went through its own bankruptcy, jettisoning the once proud Swedish automaker.
As for what's left of Saab, it might still have a future. National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB and Sun Investment are looking at the bankrupt companies, according to greencarreports.com.
The talks are still in the early stages, so Saab fans shouldn't get too excited. But if one of the deals were to resurrect the nameplate, an electrified Saab just might point the way to the 9-5's future.
First Coast News