New Salem Saab Closing

As Darryl Carl has hinted here before, sadly after a half century of being the go-to Saab dealer in the capital region of New York, New Salem Saab will be no more come August 12, 2011.These past few years have been incredibly difficult for Saab dealers, especially the stand alones. One can only hope that the next few months give potential Saab buyers a reason to have confidence in the brand’s future, or this will be the first of many first class dealers who need to shut their doors not for lack of excellent staff or facilities, but because of market conditions.

I just want to say on behalf of the whole SaabsUnited community how sad I am that New Salem is closing. The nearest Saab dealers to Albany are 50 miles away, so I feel for every owner in the city and hope that someone else can open soon in the Capital region. It’s a great city, it’s where I was born, and it’s dead center in Saab country of the Northeast US. If there’s anywhere that should have a Saab dealer, it’s Albany, NY.

You can read Darryl’s thoughts on the closing in his letter after the break.

Dear friends of New Salem Saab,

In 2011 Fred Carl’s New Salem Garage d/b/a New Salem Saab hit a huge milestone that very few other Saab Dealer’s in the Country can match.  New Salem Saab celebrates its 50th year as a Saab dealer, which is a monumental accomplishment and we are very proud to have achieved this mark.

However, I write you today with troubling news.  On August 12, 2011, Fred Carl’s New Salem Garage, Inc. d/b/a New Salem Saab will be forced to close its doors forever.  In the past four years the Saab Franchise has been experiencing the most challenging period of time since their inception and introduction in 1947, which troubles continue to this very day.  This fact has dramatically altered the ability of our exclusive Saab dealership to sustain a profit since 2008 when the financial, housing and automotive industries collapsed.

As a result and by no fault of my dealership, or its personnel, the unthinkable is about to occur; we must close.  We are beside ourselves in disappointment and frustration.  As all of you know, my team has feverishly tried to reduce expenses and the size of our operation and its business plan for the last several years.  Although this allowed us some additional time, the continual disruptions of the Saab brand and its operational difficulties put us at a disadvantage that is uncorrectable with Saab’s current state of affairs.  We are sorry and saddened to express this news to you.

The Carl family truly appreciates your friendship and business over the years.  We have successfully maintained your Saab for your family for a very long time.  We still love the Saab brand and would like nothing more for them to recover from their difficulties and continue to grow; Saab is still a Swedish wonder.  Although we have lost our personal battle, we will continue to cheer and support the brand in hopes Saab’s resurgence is long, strong and soon.

Every great book has an ending.   This is ours.  Neither by intention nor plan was this the ending I had envisioned.   There is not much I would have done differently if I had to do it all over again. The knowledge and experience I have gained over the last 20 years and especially the last 5 will serve me well in the future.  For this experience and knowledge will again be applied to our personal future endeavors.  We hope to see you all in the community in the very near future.


Sincerely and truly yours,


Darryl F. Carl


New Salem Saab *** 1961-2011 ***

45 thoughts on “New Salem Saab Closing”

  1. I am really disappointed to hear this news…but I am not surprised. I fear that this is the beginning of many dealers who are forced to drop Saab or close unless there is some positive news from/about Saab in the near future. Saving Saab the brand will be academic if there are no remaining dealers to sell and support it. Saabs inability to get funding and reassure the market and their dealers spell the end of the brand. What’s amazing is that there is no news from Saab, VM–or anyone–to indicate anything other than a collapse. I fervently hope that i am wrong and I can buy a new Saab in years to come.

  2. Oh men….
    I feel for you guys…
    I know you looked for all options…. and a share buildinhg with another make could buy you more time… but i feel sad for you…
    This is a sad day for a 50th year Saab dealer…………………

  3. There is a class act. I think I speak for the entitre Saab community when I say how remarkably sad I am. Godspped to Darryl and his family.

    And hint to TTAC: it would be a real good idea for you to back off and not bask in this kind of news or else you confirm what you are about.

  4. This is truly sad, and I wish the owners all the best. It seems that the current economic downturn in the US is compounding the pressures that North American SAAB dealers are facing in light of the turbulence in Trollhättan. Even as SAAB recovers, the US economy will require some time to rebound from the various economic challenges we are currently facing.

    I plan to visit my local SAAB dealership in Walnut Creek, CA soon and see if I can get a reading on their situation. I actually see a number of SAABs driving around the SF East Bay, so It seems they do have a thriving customer base.

  5. Daryl,

    I feel so badly for you and your family (and SAAB family). I know that you are a rock in the SAAB community. I want to thank you for all of your candor and insight dating back to the days.

    I am sure that you have a plan, but my prayers are with you.

  6. This is really sad news and I hope that there is a silver lining to this dark cloud! In the past years we lost Lighthouse Motors in Brewster, then Roberti, now you. I’m in North Texas now and the Saab dealers have all closed too. It’s an awful epidemic!

    Again, I hope there is a silver lining and everyone is able to weather the storm!

  7. Really sorry to hear this. Darryl is a great guy that has supported the Saab brand forever and has always been someone very approachable. I hope this is not a forever thing and that we will see the likes of a rebirth of New Salem Saab somewhere somehow. Darryl, I know you’re reading this and I also know there are no words I can say to make this better, but I am truly sorry.

    Jason Powell
    Springman’s Saab

  8. 🙁
    And do you still don’t think that this is unfortunatelly all about money…?
    Will Saab help them? No.
    How many Saab dedicated dealers will share the same scenario?
    And how many will lose faith and confidence?
    Many…. 🙁

    Dear beloved Saab!
    Could you finally please tell us where and when are you going!?!?
    Saab Fan

  9. Meller, You are absolutly right!! SAAB need to communicate now what will happen otherwise its to late. If they cant make it please tell us now not in the last minute!!

  10. Darryl:

    I am so very sorry to hear this but am proud to know you. You are true Saab hero and you and your team did nothing deserve this. You always did good for Saab and your customers, through thick and recent thin. In these difficult times, know that many of us are fans of you and NSS. You have our respect, admiration, and heartfelt condolences.

    You and I have become friends and reach out anytime at any hour. Best of luck, my friend.

    Nothing more to say other than this is bad news for Saab. I too am disappointed and frustrated to see this happen.


  11. What an irony . Only this morning as I drove to Albany on the Northway in my 9-3 NG Convertible I had another OG 9-3 convertible, also with the top down come up behind me. As we 2 crossed the twin bridges we found a 3rd 9-3 NG convertible and we were 1 2 3 down the road.
    This was unusual but not a surprise as typically I will see any dozens of Saabs -900’s 9000’s lots of 9-5 OG and 9-3 SS.
    And most of them came from New Salem Saab.
    Less than a year ago I was with Darryl and Meg in the Catskills when we met with VM and discussed the exciting future for Saab.

    There was no one with more enthusiasm than Darryl for Saab. Go to this link and click on slideshow to see New Salem Saab in action

    This is a sad day for all of us and my thoughts go out to all who have labored on so mightily. Please know that you have enriched and saved the lives of many.

    Bill Hubert

    • I read this with true sadness and a tear in my eyes. Meeting Darryl at several Saab venues I reflect on the struggles he has been going through in the last 2 years and the fight he had to stay open putting his family and health on hold.
      Darryl you are a man that held on true to the brand with a dream, but now difficult choices had to be made….my respect for you is endless. My thoughts to you, your family and the folks at NSS for doing all you could do in these trying times. Thanks for everything you have done, and for my fond memories of the NSS Fall Festival.

  12. Time is running out for more dealerships around the world. Good dealers with The local market is probably the most important part of the Saab-chain. Even if Saab gets production up an running, there must be passionate dealers who can sell the cars.
    Have driven by a Saab dealer in Norrtälje 1 hour north of Stockholm à few times the last weeks. No Saabs outside or seen through the windows, scary….
    Pre-owned Saab car prices moving up now in Sweden, how should that be interpreted?
    I bought (saved) two historical Saabs some days ago à 1983 900 EMS and a 1980 99 Turbo Sedan.

  13. This most have been one of the worlds oldest Saab resellers.

    I sure hope that the production line will restart in 23 days as promised otherwise this blog will turn in to a obituary over Saab-dealers.

  14. Its the same in the UK. My old dealership is now running on minimum staff and is very close to closing the doors. There are lot of showrooms in a similar position.

  15. Tears… 🙁

    I´m still hopeful for a small local dealer here in Sweden and I think they will do pretty well for some time due to the service they offer, but… well.

    We are all feeling worried I guess. But still there is hope!

  16. Very bad new. We talk a lot about Saab factory but not too much about the dealers. In Canada, Turpin Saab Suzuki Ottawa auto closed his new cars sales department few weeks ago. They will continue to provide factory warranty for some times. That left 12 dealers in Canada. In july, 20 news Saab have been sold. An average less than 2 cars per dealership! The production stoppage in Sweden is not the main problem. There are cars in stock, good rebate and 0% financing for 60 month! I think the problem is customer’s confidence in Saab and poor advertising. As soon as VM secures the future for Saab, start an advertising campaign to say “Saab is back to stay” in NA. Get those cars on the road.

    Meantime, there is a nice sunshine outside, I will wash my car (guess the brand 😉 ) and have a ride!

  17. Every time I call my dealer for service I worry about if they are actually still there or not. If Saab doesn’t get their house in order SU better have a whole section of the site dedicated to these types of letters.

    I think its amazing that these dealers have held on this long.

  18. This truly sad. I always popped in when traveling east on I-90 to New England. Last year when I helped my daughter move to New Hampshire we encountered a loss of coolant in her 9-5 Combi. The dealership was an oasis in the desert.

    Thanks Guys.

  19. This, unfortunately is to be the way of the future…..

    I am always impressed with the buildings (just look @ Salem Saab’s above) that Saab dealership live in… Very futuristic in design & style.

    Sadly, VM, should be saying something now, as honestly, the ‘buck stops with him’ over this situation, as this is disastrous for the Brand

    • I completely agree… It’s long past time to hear something, anything, from Saab HQ.

      Saab’s not going to be a very valuable worldwide brand for someone (Chinese, Russians, etc) to buy if the worldwide distribution network goes out of business…

      • Yes, Saab must do somthing to support it’s dealer network financally real quick, at about the same tiimeframe as the production restart august 29.

  20. It is so sad ! In Bordeaux (France), the Saab dealer has closed too. But not completly as he deals other brands. He just doesn’t sell Saab cars anymore, but Land Rover, Jaguar, Mazda… That’s why I think One Solution could be in the brand diversity. Saab dealers should extend their market to more than one brand, so as the Saab pole would just be in sleep during this tragic periode instead of just disappear. And car services could be done.

  21. This is a terrible situation – and one which will only occur at an increasing rate. In the UK dealers have reduced staff and costs to such an extent it is difficult to see where any profit will come from – new cars are stalled with used cars being effected by the grey skies over the Saab brand name at present. That leaves an ever decreasing service park to prop up the dealership financials – I feel for these guys they have put their lives into Saab and are currently blowing money across the business- not even a business genius can fix the dealer financials in the UK – one of saabs stronger markets. Come on VM get some capital and support into the network FAST before you have no network left…. if production starts again it could be march next year before dealers see a new car profit return….simply too late- very sad

  22. I can make a bet that the best Saab dealer are the standing alone Saab dealers. I guess Saab forgot about this while keep making false promises about the factory restart.
    Which dealers will be able to sell the new and more premium Saabs like Saab 9-3 eg?
    Can you imagine Opel or Chevrolet dealer selling car priced twice as high as his beloved Insignia???
    No way! I don’t believe it can work. But the Saab network is currently mostly multibrand GM dealers. I do not believe these are guys with passion for Saab any more… 🙁
    Sad Mr. Muller…and BTW where are you?!?!

  23. Tynan’s Saab in Fort Collins, Colorado closed in early July. It appears that the independent Saab dealers are the ones who are hurting the most. For the USA market, it’s not a lack of cars but a lack of advertising that is really hurting the brand. Dealers can’t subsist on selling one or two cars per month, if that.

  24. Super sad. I agree the stock at my local dealer is extremely good. It suggests the prices are too high. Yes I know market conditions for Saab are difficult. To achieve sales volume in a difficult environment, you cut price if you want to book sales. My suggestion is cut the MSRP for 2012 and you will get foot traffic again. Otherwise this is a bad situation without the attitude necessary to escape from it.

  25. Saab of Orange County in Santa Ana, California, one of the larger Saab dealers on the west coast, closed a few months ago. They were a stand-alone Saab dealership but part of a larger dealer group. They also had another in Mission Viejo but that location closed last year.

    This is not good.. not good at all.

  26. Being on the board of the oldest Saab Club in the world, I am more than saddened reading this news.May I on behalf of our members state that we are very very sad to read this news. Let’s all hope things will brighten up, not just for the guys at Salem, but for all those out there, fighting to stay in business!.

    God’s speed to Daryll and his team, we hope you guys can survive!

  27. New Salem Saab has been taking care of my family for years. We have had many Saabs and they have helped us with all of them. I really like the guys over there, Eric in parts, Harold in service, and all the other guys have been absolutely great. I hope Albany Speed continues so I can still bring my Lotus to them.

    This really stinks… 🙁

  28. Sorry to hear this news.

    I live down in Binghamton and bought my Saab at Forno’s in Endicott, but I remember the two dealerships New Salem Saab had, one in Halfmoon, and one out in Slingerlands. I get to Albany often on business, and I would sometimes drive by and look at the cars in the Slingerlands lot. Beautiful buildings, and I always liked how the Saab dealerships are often off the beaten track, in this neck of the woods where I live.

    So many good businesses going out these days, and it is definitely a poorer, less interesting world becuase of it.

  29. Hey all I am here.
    I so appreciate the world wide out cry of sympathy.
    Although our current situation is bleak, the future is bright.
    Come Aug 16, I can explain.
    Until them i must remian silent in written words.

    I can however take your call. 518-528-4083

    yes thats my cell number and I care about Saab that much to give it to all of you here.

    Dont feel like you cant call. I have a good news story as well… 😉

    Stay tuned. The New Salem Saab story has just begun…..


  30. I was on vacation in the Adirondacks in early July with my 2006 9-5SC. Since I had to make a run to the Albany airport, I called to make a 35,000 mile service appointment. In fact, I called twice and never got a return call. So on another airport run, I went to PJ’s in Burlington. I have heard great things in this blog about New Salem but apparently the took their eye off the ball.

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