Prospective Saab customers lose key financial support in US and UK

Like a cheesy AOR radio station, the hits just keep on coming……
If the Swedish government need a lesson in backwash, here’s a few examples. Saab are a great company with a philosophy that other companies are now starting to mimic. Saab have a loyal clientele and great models in the pipeline.
But Saab’s credibility in the customers’ eyes is going to be eaten away very quickly if they don’t get some signs of support soon.
Here’s a few examples of the negative perceptions surrounding Saab right now, which are slowly eating away at people’s faith in the brand. Something’s got to be done to help Saab, and politicians hanging out to give GM a good spanking is not going to help Saab one little bit.
Two key financial bodies have recently withdrawn support for prospective Saab customers.
I heard about one in the US a few weeks ago via email:

Just got out of a meeting. We no longer finance any Saab vehicles. Based on the recent news coverage, the bank feels that values are very hard to predict and as such present a larger than acceptable risk to the bank. Stay tuned. If Cerberus pulls any more stunts, their products may join the list.

That was from a bank executive, who wrote it to a friend, who passed it on to me.
I hadn’t thought more about this until today, when Saaboy pointed out to me that it was now part of the Bank of America’s policy as written up on their website.

Are there any vehicles that Bank of America does not finance?
We do not finance the following vehicles:

  • Commercial vehicles and/or vehicles for business use
  • Conversion or delivery, gray market, lemon law, salvaged, rebuilt or branded title vehicles
  • No motorcycles
  • No Isuzu or Saab vehicles.
  • No independent dealer purchases

Just a few hours ago, I learned that GM’s own financing arm* – GMAC – had pulled out of financing Saab leases in the UK.

Saab Contract Hire, the brand’s in-house leasing firm, has closed its doors to new business.
The company is owned by Masterlease, the UK’s sixth largest leasing firm, which in turn is part of General Motor’s finance arm GMAC. Masterlease has also stopped quoting on Saabs.
In an official statement Masterlease said: “With immediate effect, Masterlease will no longer provide contract hire and leasing quotations on Saab vehicles through its own brand or through its Saab Contract Hire operation.
“This is due to the recent announcement by Saab AB (Sweden) to file for reorganisation, which is an alternative to an outright bankruptcy filing.
“All orders which had been confirmed by close of business on 20 February 2009 will be honoured and these vehicles will be processed and delivered as normal.”

* GMAC was formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, but is now owned 51% by Cerberus Capital Management and 49% by GM.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of more bad news on the Saab front, but whilst this sort of story is out there it’s this site’s job to bring it to the readership.
Here’s to better times ahead….

Thanks to the various contributors