Canada, The Wait Is Over-Hirsch Is Here

Well, Saab Cars North America rolled out the Hirsch Performance Upgrade to the US dealer body September 1, 2011. Now it’s our turn.

With this one line sent to Canadian dealers this week, I am pleased to say that Hirsch is on its way to Canada. All Canadian dealers have received pricing sheets that cover off all upgrades for performance and accessories. The performance upgrades will take a little longer to be available as dealers just now are starting to put together orders for the iPro tool needed to perform the upgrades. That being said, all accessories are available now to order from Hirsch. A bonus that I wasn’t aware of is that even if your Saab dealer is not an authorized Hirsch dealer for the performance side of things, you can still get all other accessories from your dealer that Hirsch is offering to the Canadian market. If your dealer is not a performance dealer yet, go and talk to them about doing a performance upgrade because as with anything, if you show interest they may just decide to sign up because they would now see the potential because you are asking for it. Hirsch offers a lot of accessories, from a complete carbon fiber body kit with grill and diffuser for a price of just over $6000 plus install to the simplest of things, a Hirsch Performance badge for only $21.54.

Saab 9-5 Hirsch Performance
Saab 9-5 Hirsch Performance


For the performance minded enthusiast, take your 2007 or newer 9-3 and increase your horse power to 240hp or bring your new generation 9-5 XWD up to 330hp. The list of what you can do to personalize your Saab has just gotten a lot bigger and the nice thing with Hirsch and what they have to offer is that when installed by the dealer, it’s backed by warranty and you can do accessory upgrades a little at a time to keep it cost effective. This has been long awaited in the Canadian market and gives dealers the opportunity to sell more than just the great Saab cars and brings a different level of car ownership to the customer.

Check this SaabsUnited car out. It has just about everything Hirsch has to offer on it. We have read many posts on SU over the years about the Hirsch product and what Tim and others have done to personalize their cars the way they want them and now is our chance across North America to do the same. Both Canada and the US can now offer the Hirsch product at Saab dealers and we look forward to working with our customers to make their Saab all that they want it to be. With all the up and down news that we have had for the last six months or so, hopefully this post will cause some excitement for some of us here and rather than thinking finally or it’s about time, we can start planning, I’m going to get this done or that done. Enjoy your Saab, if you’re not in the market for a new Saab, Hirsch your Saab and make it new to you again.

44 thoughts on “Canada, The Wait Is Over-Hirsch Is Here”

  1. This definately is good news … now if we can just get things going for Saab once again in Canada, we’ll be all set.

    Really, before worrying about modifying Saabs, we need to have grass roots support for the brand, such like we haven’t truly had since Magnus was running things here. People aren’t going to be interested in modifying their cars when they aren’t even comfortable showing up at the dealer to BUY the car … hell, people here still think the brand is dead (and shocked when I tell them it isn’t).

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a good step … just not the first step I would have hoped for out of SCNA in support of “the North in North America” …

    Scott Hutchings
    President, The Saab Club of Canada

    • Scott, the only thing I would disagree with is this point:

      People aren’t going to be interested in modifying their cars when they aren’t even comfortable showing up at the dealer to BUY the car

      People out here anyway, that own Saabs love to do things to make theirs different. People will always own Saabs and even if there are not a lot of new Saabs being sold, we on average are selling atleast 4 pre-owned Saabs per month at Springman’s. These are not huge numbers, but as a dealer I can see a potential now even on my used Saab sales that could help to increase profits. I hear what you’re saying loud and clear though about getting grass roots support for the brand and people being shocked to find out that we are still here. That has been a challenge from the begining and with stuff like the 9-4X coming soon hopefully and the Hirsch program, at least we have more to talk about now.

  2. This is great news. I’m looking forward to seeing the Hirsch program show up on the Canadian dealer web sites. I considered their performance upgrade for my ’07 9-3 2.0T, but was put off by the steep price on the Hirsch site ($1,350 USD), especially when upgrades from BSR and Nordic are significantly cheaper and provide more power. I’ll check things out again when the Canadian program gets rolling.

    Stock: 210hp, 221 ft/lbs
    Nordic: 250hp, 273 ft/lbs $599 USD
    BSR: 247hp, 286 ft/lbs $889 USD
    Hirsch: 240hp, 258 ft/lbs $1,350 USD (requires 98 octane fuel)

  3. The pricing is an Outrage. Would somebody please provide the algorithm/criteria/rationale for the nearly 25% surplus in price difference between the two markets? I’m going by the ‘Hirsch Reindeer Index’ (cf. Hirsch’s web site: US Reindeer at $16.57 vs. stated $21.54 CDN + tax?). If anything is going to be cross-border shopped this is it!

    I’ll let you in on two Truths:Canadian Saab drivers are cheap…and they’re not stupid. This sort of price discrepancy insults the intelligence. BTW: I see in the Toronto Star today [Canada’s largest circulation newspaper] that 2011 9-5 Aero’s are being offered at $20,000+ off list (and then the real negotiation begins…) as an indication of the dire situation here.

    Saab is a disaster in Canada right now. This helps none.

    For the Record: I applaud the pricing of Hirsch in the United States right now – and have stated it publicly here and on Saab Central (where the REAL skeptics are…and I was one of them) ; and I’m extremely proud of what must be one of handful of ‘Hirsched’ Saabs in Canada today (only Turbo X? Courtesy of Octoberfest direct –thank God for my SUHRT connections! ) at least in terms of grille and springs–with dash to come (but at those prices I’ll be doin’ the ‘Buffalo Shuffle’). Those interested can see the handiwork over at SaabCentral in the Photo Gallery.

    • Not sure about that pricing you’ve stated, from the price sheet I have, the pricing looks more inline with the US pricing. All Canadian Saab dealers have these prices and I think you’d be pleasantly surprised at the pricing.

      • Jason, I’m going by the single price you’ve revealed here [The Reindeer emblem] vs. the Hirsch official website [USA –as of 5 minutes ago]

        If the other items are more competitively priced (within 6% of American ones) then I will recant. And buy you dinner at Lumière next time in town.

        • I will check, I’m on my phone right now so a little hard to check it. I can’t imagine that kind of difference on higher ticket items, often smaller things have higher percentage price differences.

    • If your talking about the emblem and there is a difference of $5, that wouldn’t be a big enough difference for more to want to sit in a border line up and make my way to a US Saab dealer. It would end up costing me a lot more in gas and time. The performance side of upgrades looks to be pretty much the same pricing.

      • I hope you’re right.

        BTW: My purpose here is not to shit disturb: Rather, if the pricing is not competitive….to raise bloody hell now …’pre-release’ and get it changed before the average punters rip it apart. God knows there’s enough people wandering across the 49th for less expensive ticket items (and in this respect Vancouver is no different from Toronto…)

        • Just checked the US pricing for the performance upgrades and from what I’ve seen, it looks like the exact same pricing. Hope that sounds better for you. Its good to converse like this because we can clear things up before they become a problem. Thanks for your comments because now we know and knowledge is the key.

        • “God knows there’s enough people wandering across the 49th for less expensive ticket items …”
          Heh, reminds me about how far south some of you are; Stockholm, in the southern part of Sweden, close to the middle, is at 59°; Oslo and Helsinki are approximately within 70-100 km north (even Copenhagen, in the south, is comfortably north of most known places on the NA continent at 55°). 😀 Or take Chicago, it’s at the same latitude, more or less, as Rome in the south of Europe, at 42° (climate and weather is of course a different matter), and that is way south for us in Sweden. Common knowledge, yes, but it does put things into perspective, Detroit, and all that way up north stuff, is quite a bit south of Turin. 🙂

          Still no polar bears on the streets here, though; but there might be a reindeer, or two, on the cars…

          Let’s hope the pricing is pretty much the same.

          • Latitude is one thing, but actual weather patterns is another. Winters as far ‘south’ as the 45th (around Montreal’s latitude) are extremely harsh and I wouldn’t be surprised if they compare to Sweden way north of Stockholm. Strictly comparing latitudes is interesting however.

            Back OT, I see Hirsch in Canada as a very good thing. Now all we need is the production line in Trollhattan going again and some new cars to modify. Add me to the ‘excited’ list!

    • Seams like Saab Canda should come up with an idea of getting the unsold cars of yearmodel 10 and 11 out of he showrooms.
      Here is an idea. You guys are free to take The bait!
      Have the cars Hirsched. Put on The more aggressive Aero Hirsch front mouldngs etc.
      Make them spark. Make them attractive. Most probably not expensive for Saab at all.
      Go 4 it!

    • I was quoted $1650 by my dealer. And that doesn’t include tax. I asked if I could use my Saab NA membership for a 10% discount, they said NO.

      • Saab Club of North America is not recognized here … however, the dealers in the GTA do recognize and give discounts to those with membership in The Saab Club of Canada.

        Anyone outside of the GTA, if you are interested in joining the Canadian club and getting a dealer discount would help you make that decision, let me know and I will be happy to speak with that dealer.

        Having said this, it is still up to them whether or not they would honour a discount on the Hirsch product. Only they know what their costs and mark up are.

  4. I agree with Mark,

    if the prices are crazy, no one will bother to look into this aftermarket idea. I am pretty sure that most Saab owners know nothing about their offical tuner, so in that aspect getting the info out is great. However, if prices suck, then they will not be able to sell. I look at the “cost” price on ebay uk from some dealers. I got my 9-3 grille for under 250 shipping in to Canada. And I think they want like 500 or so on their site. I know the stuff is made in Germany but come on. Leather items I will agree are different, they should demand a higher price since they are hand made. And being an owner of a hirsch carbon dash, it was worth the discounted price I got it for, not that 1 grand they want.


  5. Saab Australia appears to be following the decline of Saab Canada. The last few dealers continue to “screw” the few remaining customers. i no longer am one and am enjoying the freedom.

  6. I applaud the availability of Hirsch parts in Canada.

    But that little, otherwise inconsequential reindeer emblem price set me off [ The Economist often talks of a ‘Big Mac Index’…like to be more Saaby]. Hirsch is the only warrantied game in town right now…and those 9-3s and 9-5s growing mouldy on the lots with their 210/220 HP engines need all the help they can get — when I can lease an S4 for not outrageous sums (or even, mon Dieu, an ovloV s60 R edition —with 325 HP and 354 lbs torque…had to aggressively tune the Turbo X in order not to be embarrassed by one!) . We talk often about following the ‘Porsche Model’ (or should be!) when it comes to successful niche branding…well they’ve radically adjusted option and car prices in Canada to be in line with the Americans. Tires: Bridgestone Canada is notorious for a huge price gulf between US and Canada…good tires…and they’re cross-border shopped like crazy (via TireRack etc.).

    What Brother Trued suggests above is hardly a Moon-Shot. Tim Colbeck and Co: Whadda ya think? A good excuse to get one of those cars into a local journalist’s hands? That Carbon or Natural leather facade immediately rectifies most issues with dash surface…people don’t have to delay purchase until 2012 models come off the line (gulp…). Why wait: :). What about: Give a fully Hirsched Aero 9-5 to Michael Bettencourt at The Globe and Mail [‘Canada’s National Newspaper’] to re-review [famously, he rendered a NG 9-5 one of the worst point scores in the last 10 years pointing to it’s ‘unfinished quality’…’like Saab ran out of money…’]

    [@baas900i: I don’t mean to bash the dealers…their position is difficult, tenuous (be said: had SUPERB, TIMELY SERVICE AND PART REPLACEMENT at Queensway Saab the other day in respect of a warrantly claim for ‘back plates’ –causing a ‘tick, tick when cornering sharply at low speed)].

    • Brother Marcus, sound like You have read The holy scriptures.
      Slashing prices does harm to The brand. Make them wantable & desirable before they rot away.
      Check all The Hirsch goodies above.

      • I’ve had an extra hour of sleep today (Cuckoos rolled back here an hour) so I’m in a positive mood :). But seriously: Not a marketing Stunt and moves product for Hirsch and Saab and at volumes I would think… discount for Saab too no doubt (cost + 20%?). Puts cars on the road…focuses on the product…excitement…brings the Enthusiasts back into the showroom to see ‘new stock’. Seems so bloody obvious to me.

        SCNA could probably fully Hirsch every car in Canada that sits on lots ( 100?) for a couple of hundred thousand. I have no frickin clue what SCNAs marketing/advertising budget in Canada is (or is it ‘Fleet Sales’ …the invisible distributor) but whatever else they’re doing….they should abandon and take up this cause.

        Might not be a bad strategy for US either…

  7. Pricing is out of hand and some of things are just silly. Leather grips for $1000? Many of the providers have raised prices and in this bad economy it is a sure way to go under unless they are using the “Titanic Marketing Model”, where you suck on things till the ship sinks.

    Hirsch, they trumpeted the coming and crowed loud and long for so long and I held off only to find that they would not be doing the 280 engines. I finally went to someone else after a long wait. I would never after all of that false fanfare give them a dime.

    My take on the US and Canada? (who cares, I know), they wait till the company is on the ropes and they need to dump as much as they can. Yeah, Hirsch is even more frightened than we are probably. They will just end up as another domino that falls along with, sadly, other aftermarket providers.

    Sorry Hirsch, you missed selling two performance packages in our house. I am pretty happy with “the little guy” and his offerings.

    • “Hirsch, they trumpeted the coming and crowed loud and long for so long and I held off only to find that they would not be doing the 280 engines.”

      Old subject and has been discussed, but since the post is about Hirsch, this time in Canada, I guess it pops up:
      Is the 280 > 300 upgrade available, now, in other countries? If it’s not, then why should the US/Canada be different?

      It says “Not Available”, i.e. phased out, in, for example, the UK, in Sweden, in Switzerland etc.; so the “Not Available in your market” for the US, isn’t much different, though some might take it personally.

      (And what is “leather grips” for $1000?)

      Though I do agree with all that are concerned about different prices for the same product in markets very close, such as the US and Canada, if that should be the case. On the other hand, here in Sweden we have seen for so many years that, for example, everything computer related is much cheaper in the US; and the folks in the UK gets annoyed when they find that the products are sold at $1 = £1, so, for example, that router for $100 wasn’t suddenly as cheap when it was sold at £100 etc.

      • The first word was that it was not on the California Emissions list. But it was

        Then some other excuse, like they only made so many units. Baloney, it is a computer re-map, hit the button. They said they sold out and only had a few left. Does VT tuning “run out”, well only if Brian’s finger gets tired of pushing the button. If they owned the program that is, or perhaps MapTun would not allow another license? My hunch is that it was a market decision not to compete with the other 300 horsepower machines.

        Still keeping us on the fence for a year with all of the fanfare. I know I am silly and picky but I do not need faux-carbon fiber (that adds weight, a fancy gas pedal or spoilers. This is a 300 horse Saab for Lord sakes. I want things that would make me need them but I think I can control this (nominal) 310 to 320 horse upgrade. I don’t think that that little deer is going to intimidate a “6” series Beeemer.

        Negative? Heck I was the guy calling our local dealers to get them aboard.

        I am happy with the VT tune.

        The prices are still high for what you are getting, but that may be our economy here. It looks like State of Nine prices went up since the change. I was going to get an air cleaner from them and it looks like a hefty increase from the other fellow’s price. If others can afford it, all the power to them, but still I would have spent my dollar on things that make it go not gee whizzz gee gaws. But who knows, with that Map air filter putting me from (a very nominal), 310/320 horses, that 2 hp increase may have me wanting those high performance precision machined aluminum petals. (I know) 🙂

        And, Jason, the word is intact, as in whole or unbroken, not “in tack”. 🙂

  8. Looks like my other comment was pulled. I used the name of another performance provider.

    To answer your questions Tripod, first they said they would not do the Turbo-X because it was not on the California Emissions List. But it was and then they said finally that they ran out since the TX was limited in production. That, I have to question because there were many other 280 horse engines made afterwards. Actually, one poster made a good counter argument and said (Jason can answer this and I would love to know the answer), that you probably could not buy a 255 Aero after the Turbo X?

    I will guess that since the upgrade is a matter of a re-map of the computer, they decided:
    – not to compete with the 300 horse engines that were being introduced?
    – they could not agree on licensing (unless they owned the re-map)
    – they were having problems with the first run on the TX.

    I mean, it was a simple plug and play and took only a few minutes so why they did not continue it is anyones guess?

    Since you have a 280 … let me phrase this carefully, and you are from Canada, there is a fellow in a northern US state and I was quite pleased with the results.

    • Sorry, my fault with your last comment, tried to copy and paste one of your comments with my iPhone and accidentally deleted. If you repost I won’t even try to to comment. Lol

  9. The idea to Hirsch cars as an incentive/value booster has been floated around at SCNA for a long time now, this isn’t some new idea. There are obstacles related not only to warranty but insurance that need to be tackled first, last I heard they were working on it but that was July.

    • Your comment is like a breath of fresh air being one of the first to makes sense.

      It sure beats publishing a list of participating dealers like was done and those dealers were not even aware. That is not a rumor, I spoke to three that were on “the list”. Before getting as Jason puts it “lol”, I was one of the guys who went to the dealers to get them to sign up even after that.

      Sour? Sure, a bit because I waited and waited.

      They ran out of upgrades for the 280? At least the insurance problems (regarding the wider delay), sounds real. I would love to get your take on why the 280/TX upgrade was “deep-sixed” Jeff.

      Honestly, that is the first that did not sound like a stab in the dark.

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