With all of the excitement surrounding NEVS winning the bid for the Saab bankruptcy estate, and the clamoring for information on enticing rumors of Mahindra & Mahindra getting back in the game for a full-on restart of the Saab brand: there is a piece of news that slipped under our radar.
Most of us probably remember, and frankly would rather forget, the tear-jerking sight of hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful new Saabs sitting idle at USA seaports (with the Newark port in New Jersey gaining the most attention). As reported by SaabWorld, A total of 900 Saabs at USA seaports are being put up for auction by Ally Financial.
So why is it that this bank is getting involved? As you may recall, in January of this year, SCNA defaulted on outstanding loans to Ally Financial. As a result they have filed suit against SCNA and have seized the complete inventory of 151 cars at Port of Hueneme, California starting in January. Now a date has been set and starting June 28th, the first batch of 45 cars will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Initially, only US Saab dealers will be eligible to participate, but the next batch will be fair game for rental car companies and car exporters. Of course, company cars will be auctioned off as well.
What does this mean to those of us that live here in the United States? Chances are, higher-volume dealerships (which tend to be towards the eastern end of the country), are especially likely to have some of these cars up for sale. But what’s the chance that the next time one of us rents a car, that it will be a Spyker-era 9-3, 9-5 or 9-4X? That remains to be seen. Perhaps Hertz could use this opportunity to add some Saabs to their Prestige collection? If you ask me: renting a brand-new Saab would be dangerous, as I wonder if could bring myself to return it.
What we know for sure is these cars have suffered a fate that was never meant for them to endure. But, as Saab is about to start a new chapter in it’s life, we should take heart in the fact that many of these cars will find happy owners. And during their very first drive, it is my hope they will take a step back: and realize what they have been missing.