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.