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.

92 thoughts on “Last Batch Of 2012 RHD 9-3 Convertibles Available Now In The UK”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    • Yes that is my opinion. Anything that adds to production costs, I do believe will be evaluated even in the other models too. I did state it’s my opinion and for that matter I may be wrong, but if I’m not it may make it more important to try to secure one now. Yes the production facility is flexible but you have to look at the cost of having suppliers build a limited number of RHD dashes and so forth, if Saab elects to not make RHD vehicles in the future, they would not be the first to do so.

      • But that would take Saab away from the British public, and the Aussies, South Africans and Japanese to mention just a few.

          • Jason, I can not quote but it is rare to see a “brand new” car sold in LHD only, sometimes very limited edition models are, as in a Fiat model. All the VDubs I’ve seen are RHD but I don’t look at every car. LHD cars are normally imported ones as in USA brands.

              • I think Jason is wrong too. India drives RHD and Britain was the second or third export market for SAAB. New SAABs will be RHD or SAAB will give up sales in what has historically been one of the strongest markets for these cars.

                • Tim Sinclair, I’m okay if I’m wrong. It’s not the first time this subject has come up and it probably won’t be the last. I never said that they won’t make one as if I knew that, it is just my opinion that this may happen. Let’s face it though, lots of things may happen and none of us can ever be sure that our markets will survive in the beginning as there will be lots of things to sort out.

      • I see your point, but it’d be rather stronger if the UK proportion of Saab sales were similar to the UK proportion of global sales. I wouldn’t be contributing to a website about cars if I wasn’t sad enough to go look up some sales figures on a Friday evening … so here goes:

        The UK appears to be the most popular market. On the basis of these figures, Saab would lose approx. 25% of their sales if they stopped selling cars in the UK (and only selling LHD cars in the UK amounts to much the same thing – we’re not exactly awash with Fiat Barchettas, for instance). Lancia stopped making RHD cars 20ish years ago, presumably for the reasons you’ve given, but I doubt they were ever more popular in the UK than Italy and other parts of continental Europe.

        The UK accounts for rather less than 25% of global car sales. If Saab’s advertising is to be believed, then we just have a larger proportion of smart people than anywhere else 🙂

        • Exactly my point, 25% of sales are UK and I’d wager that worldwide about 35% of Saab sales are RHD. If Saab could continue without supporting RHD then they’d have to be selling *extremely* well. for the minimal cost of developing RHD versions as a total cost of vehicle engineering it would be commercial suicide for any owner of Saab to not make them.

        • You also have to look at the price and earning potential… what is the price of a car in the UK compared to the production cost in Sweden. From what I’ve heard there were a lot of cars sold but very little money made in the UK market =(

            • Yep, it is… but in the end the numbers still have to end up with a positive figure on the other side of the equal sign… I do hope that Saab will justify the costs of making RHD versions in the future…

              But right now, we should just be happy if there ever is a new car built with a Saab logo on it at all!

              • If SAAB do not make cars RHD in future then that will be the end of sales in the UK (and Australia, NZ etc) and importantly, India. I cannot imagine that a reborn SAAB would be unwilling to sell new cars to this massive emerging market.

                • I never did think much on India as a market for Saab and not knowing the area except for what I’ve read, I didn’t think most cars were ideal for their roads. I thought their roads were the reason why Mahindra focused on trucks and SUVs.

              • A new SAAB will have to restructure production so it can make money in the US like BMW, Audi and MB. That may mean design in Sweden and increasing production in India etc.SAAB does not have enough brand appeal to sell a few cars at high prices. SAAB tried and failed at that. The bankruptcy makes that strategy even less likely to succeed. There is obviously a problem with SAAB costs if other luxury car makers can make money in the UK and USA and SAAB could not. IT is SAAB that will have to change,

                • If Saab ever only designs cars in Sweden and then produces them in third world countries like india, then I’m leaving Saab forever!… that is a promise!

                  By stating that you prove to the whole world that you know absolutely nothing about car production and what it takes to make a car! There is a reason why we don’t see chinese and indian cars every minute on the road in Europe! Its because they simply don’t have the capability, knowledge nor the educated workforce in order to pull such a thing off!

                  • Tim Sinclair said ‘increasing production’ – no mention of not producing in Sweden.

                    TimR – I understand you wish to protect (future) production in Sweden, but trying to convince us and yourself that China and India are too backwards to produce cars isn’t going to achieve that. They already have the know-how, investment ability and workforce to produce everything from heavy industrial equipment to top of the line electronics. I’m sure if they wanted to they’d be able to manufacture cars to European standards, and they have kind of demonstrated that, if they don’t have the right design knowledge in-house, they seem quite happy to source that from elsewhere. I think the only hope for Western manufacturing is that Chinese, Indian etc. workers start demanding the levels of pay and working conditions that they deserve. In the case of cars it may be that ‘place of construction snobbery’ might hold out anyway and keep Western manufacturing bases open, but for everything else it’s likely to mean a jump in price back to more sustainable levels.

          • Isn’t very little money better than none? How much profit was made on cars sold in other markets? It seems a shame to throw away 25% of sales just because the marketing men can’t persuade the buyers that the cars are worth more. The German manufacturers must face the same issues but they seem to be OK.

          • Surely that was the case all around the world?! If it wasn’t then Saab wouldn’t have gone under!

            The US market was the biggest drain on Saab by all accounts, Saab were having to sell cars to GM at less than cost price. For some reason GM wanted Saab to open up the US market at the expense of the Euro markets, it’s hardly any wonder that Saab went under in the end. Given the market price of a car in the UK compared to the US then the sensible thing to have done would have been remove Saab from the US market about 10 years ago.

            • Absolutely agree, almost no money was made at all on the US market =(

              But I think we will need to have a lot of patience when it comes to Saab in the future… Things will take a long time to get back up and running…

              • I also doubt that any money was made on U.S. sales. But without the production that was supported by those sales, wouldn’t the cost of manufacturing cars for other markets have gone up? It would appear that this was a big problem for SAAB. Namely, they couldn’t afford to give up the volume on the large, probably unprofitable U.S market (even if they wanted to) without undermining their margins in markets that may have been profitable.

  3. 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…!!

    • Terry, the only jealousy would be that we didn’t get nearly enough convertibles. I have three convertibles on my lot as we speak and I have had to bring them in from the US. I also agree with the fact that the UK was a large market, my point is simply that producing RHD vehicles adds to the cost of production and global manufacturers have been taking notice of this. I do not in any way think this to mean that they would sell cars in the UK, I only think that the RHD would in the future be LHD.

      • So, producing cars that people want to buy adds costs? If a new Saab wanted to kill 30% of the market because of a small amount of cost involved in producing items in RHD then the company would be dead again within months. Why would you reduce the market size again after the obvious failures due to Saab already having a very small market?!

        There’s no way people who want a Saab soft top would consider having a LHD car in the uk, at very best you’d sell single figures in a year.

        • Adam, is this true though and why? I see lots of left hand drive vehicles being offered in the UK at the moment. The 30% market is not something anyone would want to lose yet I think a big portion of the 30% is gone as a lot of dealers from what I’ve heard switched to Chev stores including the dealer above.

          • Like what? I can’t name a single LHD only car available in the UK right now!.

            I don’t see (m)any LHD cars in use in the UK at all, nobody I know would buy one apart from some extreme exotics.

          • As a UK car owner I can tell you LHD is a very poor option in the UK when all the competing cars are available in RHD (Audi TT, A4 vert etc). I see the occasional Ford Mustang imported from the US in LHD but no company cars will be purchased here in LHD. SAAB will not be able to re-attract a dealer base in the UK if it does not sell in RHD. Or sell cars in India.

              • I teach students from India in England. If they can afford to come to England and pay our high tuition their parents can afford a SAAB even at inflated Swedish prices.

                According to this report there are 50 million Indians at this level now. In 2025 there will be more than 500 million people at this level. This is why India is attractive to any car maker.

                Indian cities are full of cars. I’m sure the 9-4x would sell well there but so will SAAB cars. Jaguar are selling cars there. A revived SAAB will have to sell cars there.

      • Jason, that was my point, hardly any [except imports in CA].

        NO manufacturer would even consider trying to sell LHD cars only in a RHD market, it just would not work…

        • The only exception I know of is perceived high level cars sold in Japan.
          Lancia sold LHD only in Japan, Saab was 50% each. The Japanese think that LHD are imported, therefore expensive.

          It would be hard to argue that producing both RHD and LHD is a problem for car manufacturers. The Japanese seem to have done quite well in LHD markets ?

          All industry analysts see RHD growth exceeding LHD growth over the next 20 years. This makes sense as nearly 70% of the worlds population live in RHD markets.

          RHD markets …

          1. Anguilla
          2. Antigua and Barbuda
          3. Australia
          4. Bahamas
          5. Bangladesh
          6. Barbados
          7. Bermuda
          8. Bhutan
          9. Botswana
          10. Brunei
          11. Cayman Islands
          12. Christmas Island (Australia)
          13. Cook Islands
          14. Cyprus
          15. Dominica
          16. East Timor
          17. Falkland Islands
          18. Fiji
          19. Grenada
          20. Guernsey (Channel Islands)
          21. Guyana
          22. Hong Kong
          23. India
          24. Indonesia
          25. Ireland
          26. Isle of Man
          27. Jamaica
          28. Japan
          29. Jersey (Channel Islands)
          30. Kenya
          31. Kiribati
          32. Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)
          33. Lesotho
          34. Macau
          35. Malawi
          36. Malaysia
          37. Maldives
          38. Malta
          39. Mauritius
          40. Montserrat
          41. Mozambique
          42. Namibia
          43. Nauru
          44. Nepal
          45. New Zealand
          46. Niue
          47. Norfolk Island (Australia)
          48. Pakistan
          49. Papua New Guinea
          50. Pitcairn Islands (Britain)
          51. Saint Helena
          52. Saint Kitts and Nevis
          53. Saint Lucia
          54. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
          55. Seychelles
          56. Singapore
          57. Solomon Islands
          58. South Africa
          59. Sri Lanka
          60. Suriname
          61. Swaziland
          62. Tanzania
          63. Thailand
          64. Tokelau (New Zealand)
          65. Tonga
          66. Trinidad and Tobago
          67. Turks and Caicos Islands
          68. Tuvalu
          69. Uganda
          70. United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)
          71. Virgin Islands (British)
          72. Virgin Islands (US)
          73. Zambia
          74. Zimbabwe

    • 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.

      • 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…

        • 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.

          • 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 than in Europe, living costs are close to the same! I know several people working as pilots in Asia, its tough!

            • 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 pay would be about the same and I’d sleep at home every night.
              Also, in North America the profession has been ruined by greed and pensions funds emptied in Ch11 proceedings. For the first 5-10 years in your career, building time, you are nothing but a serf, eligible for food-stamps, still paying for your expensive flight training, probably living with parents or in your truck. I would never get into this profession today, but I consider myself lucky having experienced a decade of the “golden years”, before 9/11.

              Now, I have seen there are over a 150,000 $-millionaires in India, some possibly interested in our favorite car brand, especially under a new M&M management. I believe the RHD issue is not… In any case I assume a new owner will get access to Saab sales data and it is not very difficult to do a case study for the economical viability of the development and production of the RHD vehicles)…

              (getting a “new” for me LHD Turbo X in a week! :-))

        • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • I found that too but that is talking traffic so based on that 66% of the world would drive LHD cars because we drive on the right hand side of the road.

      • These figures seem to support the idea of selling RHD – losing 1/3 of sales must mean more lost profit (and smaller, costlier runs for the parts that are shared between LHD and RHD) than stumping up the cost of selling both LHD and RHD.

        nb., ‘world’s people’ doesn’t equal ‘world’s cars’ or ‘world’s drivers’ – are the proportions the same for those?

        • Those statistics are wrong, I found them too… they only count the number of countries where RHD / LHD is used and not the amount of cars on the road in the RHD countries compared to the amount of cars in the LHD countries…

          Count the amount of cars in the US and compare that with India…

            • I know about growth potential but you have to look at where they are now and how long it’ll take to where we are now.

              If the economy grows by 30% in one year still isn’t that much if the starting point is very low…

          • It’s about growth Tim. India has this potential. The growth potential in the US is surely low by comparison. Europe has very little growth potential. Car makers have to think about the future and where the rich people will live then.

  6. The LHD/RHD wasn’t supposed to be the big thing in my post guys. I have been wrong before and I won’t be upset if I’m wrong again. My only point on RH/LHD was that I have heard many companies struggling with this issue now and it may be something we see change in the future. More importantly is the fact that these cars are there now and ready to be sold. Before we get too excited about what side of the car our wheel will be on, let’s see if we get another convertible with the new company. None of this really matters until we get to the point of having a new owner and knowing their direction. If you live in the UK and may want a convertible, I would suggest you go and get one because regardless of anything else, it will be a while before you see anything new.

    • I think we’re just utterly confused as to your point, if there are many companies struggling with this issue now then name them?! I can’t think of any big auto manufacturer that struggles with making RHD cars…. All the Japanese cars are RHD for obvious reasons, you’ve kind of drawn attention to this post as it’s just crazy talk and we really don’t have any idea what you’re saying 😉

      • Adam, if memory serves me correct, the BMW X series was never built in a RHD, Audi A1 and Hyundai Genesis also were not made in RHD. There is a cost involved in all this and the only reason I pointed that out was for that purpose. I didn’t mean to cause a stir but I’m kind of glad I did because it shows the strong emotion we all have. I think you can agree with me that BMW, Audi and Hyundai are all big companies that have chosen to not offer certain brand new cars and technology in RHD.

        • Sadly there are lots and lots of RHD BMW X-series cars on our road and a fair few RHD Audi A1s. The Genesis isn’t sold here, but also Honda doesn’t sell their Legend here nor Toyota it’s Camry – we just don’t do large saloons unless they’re German or Jaguar (or possibly Swedish).

      • It is funny Robin. I found this article today and mainly wanted to highlight on what you had said earlier in your post because this one had a little more detail. I really wish we could get a list of the dealers so people would know where to go to get one. Hell, there’s some Indy’s in the bunch too. I had two of those sold and if we had one here now I’m sure we could sell it.

        • All I know (at the moment) is that 26 convertibles were offered and 10 satched up almost instantly. I’ve no idea which dealers got them.

  7. 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…

    • 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 trained so you can easily end up with massive bills for poor workmanship.

      • 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.

      • 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… =(

        • 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.

          • 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 be pitted against a Hyundai rather than an A4. I understand the desire for a good bargain, but the 9-3 and 9-5 were the best of the best of bargains, yet failed to attract sufficient attention in the NA marketplace. (or so it seems — as I understand it the numbers were on schedule once you take the six month postponement into consideration)

        • 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.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!!

    • 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.

    • 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?

    • 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?

    • Tony, I am hardly ill-informed and I am not suggesting that they should drop the RHD vehicles, what I said was in a nut shell that it wouldn’t surprise me when considering the costs involved. I really don’t get why when you don’t agree with someone that you feel the need to insult…… I am hardly a controversial writer or someone that just tries to stir the pot. If this is not something I had ever heard spoken of in the industry, I would have never mentioned it. This is hardly my idea, it has been kicked around many times in the past. I have been in the business for 15+ years and have heard this argument from many manufacturers in the past, there isn’t a manufacturer out there that wouldn’t like to only have to build one way. Unfortunately for most, this is not possible based on their business plans. I hope that RHD vehicles continue to be built because if nothing else, this post has shown how strongly people in the UK feel about what side the wheel is on. Martin, I thought we were friends lol, I hope you aren’t agreeing that I am the most illogical thinker in the motoring world?? This idea was not mine, I just brought it to peoples attention.

      • ‘this post has shown how strongly people in the UK feel about what side the wheel is on’ – I don’t think this is unique to the UK! Just like drivers anywhere, we expect the wheel to be on the correct side of the car for the side of the road we’re driving on. I’d expect just the same response from you if you were expected to drive RHD cars. Manufacturers just to have to accept that there’s a worldwide variation, just the same as electronics manufacturers have to cope with varying domestic voltages. Not to mention the investment in variations worldwide due to different fashions, general tastes, cultures, languages, climates etc.

      • Jason, I`m sorry if you felt my criticism was was insulting – it was not meant to be, but your continued apparent stance against RHD does seem illogical to me, (and did get me a bit hot under the collar) especially considering one of the bidders is Indian, a RHD country with a massive potential market.

  11. 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.

    • 🙂 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!

  12. 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 than Audi or BMW and I live in London…

    Somebody get these cars back in production….All I want is a 9-3 or 9-5 Aero 2.0T auto….

    • 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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