Last Batch Of 2012 RHD 9-3 Convertibles Available Now In The UK

As reported earlier by Robin, the UK now has the final batch of RHD convertibles ready for sale. A report today in This Is Staffordshire covers a little more detail.

THE very last 26 hand-finished, right-hand drive Saab 9-3 Convertibles are up for sale – after which there will be no more of what has been a remarkably popular car over the past 25 years.

Now I for one am not sure or positive that these will in fact be the last 9-3’s or 9-3 convertibles ever produced, but I can almost as a betting man bet on the fact that they may in fact be the last RHD’s ever produced. I think personally the cost of running a small number of RHD’s on the production line slows production and becomes an unneeded expense to the business plan. This has not been confirmed to me by anyone but is my opinion based on numbers.

They go on to mention that these 26 are available in three levels, SE, Aero and Independence. They also mention two engine options of the 2.0L turbo gas engine and the 1.9L diesel. For us in Canada, we didn’t even get 26 convertibles last year and had one engine option. I would say if you want a convertible, the time is good in the UK now.

It is said that these cars are available through some of the network of Saab authorized repairers, but there is no list of who has them. Some dealers have opted not to purchase any.

Mike Shotbolt, manager at the former Holdcroft Saab, which now has the Chevrolet franchise, says: “We have not taken any because by the time we have added a warranty, they will be quite an expensive car and we are doing extremely well with used 9-3 Convertibles, which we are selling from around £12,000 for a typical three-year-old example. We give a 12-month warranty on these used cars and they are in excellent condition, so I am not sure that someone would pay nearly double for one of these last ones.

I can see the point of the dealer not wanting to risk buying a bunch of these cars when they don’t feel they need them. I also know that where I’m standing that if I had them, I could find people for them. A three year old 9-3 convertible buyer is not the same buyer as the new car buyer. The new car buyer is typically the one trading in that three year old convertible to buy a new one. I understand too that I am not in the UK market and different markets command different trends. If you are a dealer in the UK and you have some of these cars, please respond in the comments and let people know where to go to find them.

Kyle Hudson
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Mike Shotbolt obviously does not understand his customer base then. sure, I can understand his point on the used 9-3 verts with the 1 year dealer warranty, but these last 26 verts are considered COLLECTIBLE. Any dedicated Saaber would bite the bullet to have one of these rarities, especially an Independence edition.

robgillingwater
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Well I bought one on Wednesday and traded in my 07 Convertible. A unique event that only would have been better if I could have picked it up from Trollhatten. Some dealers are still dedicated to Saabs.

cakewalker
Member
4 years 4 months ago

You’re of the opinion that Saab won’t bother making any RHD cars? I can’t see that making RHD convertibles in a (very flexible) production facility already making RHD examples of other bodytypes of the same car is such a big deal.

spacy
Guest
4 years 4 months ago

Do I detect a slight Canadian jealousy here…

The UK was one on Saab’s largest markets, so why would they not produce RHD cars for it, if they come back??.

Saab convertibles were always regarded as one of the best soft tops around, for virtually all of it’s production years, including it’s German counterparts.

Interesting that RHD cars are driven on the left though…!!

http://chartsbin.com/view/edr

cakewalker
Member
4 years 4 months ago

If anything, more interesting on that map than the UK is India – if Mahindra and Mahindra end up with Saab I can’t imagine them trying to grow their new acquisition in their (quickly growing) home market by selling cars with the wheel on the wrong side.

phermansson
Member
4 years 4 months ago

How many people in india can afford to buy a 40k Euro car… there might be a billion people in india but the ones able to afford that, are VERY few compared to Europe…

The problem is that very few in Europe or the rest of the world for that matter can afford a car like that at all =(

The next gen 9-3 will end up in that price range…

cakewalker
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I perhaps didn’t make my point very well. I’d imagine M&M would be keen to show off their new acquisition (perhaps their flagship?) in their home market, regardless of how many actually sell.

nb., India has roughly the same number of architects as the UK. No idea how much they get paid, however. I rather doubt that the rampant inequality, corruption and desire for bling that’s normally so beneficial to luxury car sales would be particularly influencial on Saab’s target market.

phermansson
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Just because a person is an architect doesn’t mean that one makes money… I’ve found that the majority of these “high-class” jobs really aren’t that high class. Look at pilots for example, the majority of the pilot workforce in Europe will never afford to buy a New 9-5 for example, considering their student loans with normally is at about 100’000 Euro’s excluding living costs for the time, they can’t afford a car like that… Becoming a pilot in India is just as costly as becoming a pilot in Europe… and the wages in India for pilots are about 50% lower… Read more »
theSandySaab
Member
4 years 4 months ago
TimR – well said. I believe that from having been a well paid and well qualified profession, pilots now are only well qualified. Once you have some 20 years experience and work for a decent employer compensation is adequate, but having looked into a newly opened B787 position in Scandinavia, they want you to work as an independent contractor (simliar to Ryanair) and (contractual) base in Asia. If I was to live in Sweden having to pay all taxes and fees that a “egen-företagare” has to pay, I might as well flip burgers on weekends and evening shifts. Net the… Read more »
mpprh
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Tim …

The point is that in a market of 1,000,000,000 you only need 0.1% to be able to buy cars in the €40,000+ segment to have a potential of 1,000,000 cars. If Saab could take c10% of this segment we are talking 100,000 sales per year.

The Chinese market was regarded as being a waste of time 20 years ago. Now they sell more cars than US, and as it is lead by the wealthy the mix is relatively rich.

Tim Sinclair
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Indeed, India means any car maker with global ambitions will make cars in RHD.

Saabseller
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I know that in my market it would be difficult to shift a number of new Saabs, even cabs, and even (especially) the last run. In my experience, Saab buyers are “careful” with their money and would only buy these if they were CHEAP. Sure, one or two may pay a decent price but most won’t … I wouldn’t want my forecourt loaded right now.

RobinM
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Found on the internet, Today about 66.1% of the world’s people live in right-hand traffic countries and 33.9% in left-hand traffic countries.

phermansson
Member
4 years 4 months ago

I find it interesting that you can buy a three year old convertible for 12k pounds in the UK… for the similar amount of money you can’t hardly even buy a 6 year old sedan in Sweden… the ones available at that price here are more or less scrap…

adamb
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Cars in the UK devalue _extremely_ quickly. I know when I was looking at moving to Sweden about 6 years ago I had what I thought was a very poor 9000 which was worth maybe £500, we looked at moving to Sweden and thought that we’d find plenty of cheap and ratty 9000’s for cheap, then we saw that an equivalent car would be in the region of £2500! Five times as much money…. it still amazes me though that people here think cars are expensive, the main problem is that garage labour is expensive and the staff are poorly… Read more »
cakewalker
Member
4 years 4 months ago

We don’t appreciate people with practical and technical skills here as much as we should. Good tradespeople and engineers are scarce. There’s an appalling snobbery around these kinds of jobs – I think the people perpetually concerned about our precious ‘City’ can’t cope with the idea of someone’s employment having any connection to reality.

phermansson
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Interesting, but also look at the price of new cars, they are much lower in the UK compared to Sweden for example…

Which is why, Saab never earned any serious amount of money on the UK market… =(

Tim Sinclair
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Why do Audi, BMW and MB make money in the UK and US markets? Because they are more efficient producers than SAAB. SAAB will have to be as efficient as they are or it will fail again as a car maker. This really is the fundamental problem with reviving SAAB faced by any new owner. How do you sell cars in competitive markets like the US and UK and make money like the competition does? SAAB will not be revived to make a few cars for Sweden and the Nordic countries.

rune
Member
4 years 4 months ago
Presumably earning small money per produced unit does not hurt as much if you are pushing more units? I think part of this puzzle also comes down to having the right models at hand. Didn’t Volvo pull out their wagons from the US market? The 9-4X was introduced too late (and with absolutely no marketing efforts). If future Saab won’t even have the 9-4X at hand, then where to turn next? North America remains a challenge AFAICT. I hope Saab will eventually succeed even there, but it won’t be easy. Especially not if you guys insist that a 9-3 should… Read more »
mpprh
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Tim …

You have to look at this in terms of the market. Sweden “enjoys” 25% sales tax that drives all prices up.

Saab in Sweden was priced as a family car. Saab in Europe was priced to compete with BMW and Audi.

Comparatively, Saab was more expensive in Europe than in Sweden.

Tim Sinclair
Member
4 years 4 months ago

This doesn’t make a lot of sense Tim. On this logic SAAB would never have bothered to sell any cars in the most competitive market in the world, the USA. The sad fact is that car makers rip off purchasers in Europe and the Nordic countries. They cannot get away with that in England or America.

phermansson
Member
4 years 4 months ago

It’s pretty clear that you have no clue as to how much it costs to produce a car! =)

The profit margins are not very big!

cakewalker
Member
4 years 4 months ago

TimR, what point are you trying to make here?

talladegan
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Saab has sold cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side in largish numbers for years, especially in Sweden and the USA. The 35% or so that they made with the wheel on the correct side were sold mainly in the UK and other right-handed nations.

dezzer
Member
4 years 4 months ago

+1…lol

Kevin Robinson
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Hi, We have three new convertibles here in Ayr (Scotland), two of the new model year 12 cars, one red and one white and we have a new MY11 diesel 160bhp in Carbon Grey. We have been doing very well with new and nearly new Saab’s and are still trading normally as a Saab dealer. We also have three new and unregistered new model 95 1.9TTiD’s available at a huge discount.

TonymacUK
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Jason, I`m sorry, but you must be one of the most ill-informed and illogical thinking people in the motoring world. Every point you have raised is way off beam. In any event, the whole discussion is possibly irrelevant as, given the financial turmoil in Europe, I wouldn`t be surprised if the the remaining bidders walked away. If any of you was the CEO of a large car manufacturing company, would you seriously consider buying SAAB at the moment – if I held such a position, I certainly wouldn`t. And to seriously suggest dropping RHD production to cut costs!!

Tim Sinclair
Member
4 years 4 months ago

This all makes sense to me. But if you look at the history of economic and financial crises such as the 1930s they are times when very long term investments in plant and machinery, and R&D have been made. I think this is because these investments are often quite cheap at these times because there are lots of fire sale assets – such as SAAB – that can be purchased super cheap. Companies are sitting on massive piles of cash right now. The questions is, when will they put this money to use.

Martin T16s
Member
4 years 4 months ago

And let us not forget that not only was GB one of the biggest markets for Saab, Saab Gt. Britain was also one of the most profitable. Were they not chosen to pump in a lot of money to support the VM deal?

Martin T16s
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Sorry this was meant as a reply to you Tony in support of your view. And let us not forget that not only was GB one of the biggest markets for Saab, Saab Gt. Britain was also one of the most profitable. Were they not chosen to pump in a lot of money to support the VM deal?

Moody Saaber
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Well Rune, old buddy, I’ve decided that now is a good time to purchase my 29th new SAAB. i want it to be what I consider to be the ultimate SAAB. I’ll bet you know what, for me, which variant that is: a 9-5 300 hp AWD Aero. I already have a 9-3 SportCombi Aero.

Sylvie Garceau
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Assuming you ll buy one of the remaining 2012 RHD 9-3 Convertibles ! I envy you… wish I could….. sigh

rune
Member
4 years 4 months ago

🙂 I still object to AWD in general, but that 9-5 will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face. I love everything about the new 9-5, except for the keyfob that will unlock the doors when you keep the ‘fob inside a pair of tight jeans.

Send us pictures!

welshwizard645
Member
4 years 4 months ago
I’ll join in the chorus of protest….In the VM era Saab sales in the UK were extremely buoyant, if other markets responded in the same way then there would be more than just 11000 NG9-5s in existence… Historically, the UK has been Saab’s No,3 biggest market after the US and Sweden, but post-GM I think the UK was the biggest….so to basically deprive 20-25% of the customers doesn’t make sense just because of the inconvenience…. Also I think the UK was a major market for the cabriolets…you can’t imagine how many I see day after day…they are far more prevalent… Read more »
TonymacUK
Member
4 years 4 months ago

My area has a strong SAAB presence, due to the performance of the dealer, Concept SAAB, especially convertibles which greatly outnumber any other make. Combis are also seen in numbers. Strangely, none are LHD!

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