The Tale Of An Online Deal Gone Bad

Jim McGuire is someone I’ve known for a while through social media and from comments on SU. For as long as I can remember, he has been talking about his dream car, a 2008 9-3 and it HAD to be Laser Red.

Through his endless searching, he finally found one and we had planned for him to write about his fantastic adventure. He was beyond excited and started posting on Facebook about his upcoming travel to pick up his dream car and putting up photos like the one below from Turbo Nines with text that just said simply “soon baby soon”.


Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out so well on this big adventure. In my eyes Jim did everything right, he contacted Saab friends in dealerships and found out the history of this vehicle with tools such as Carfax.

Even when doing things right, there is nothing like touching said car and seeing it in real life for yourself. For Jim, that meant a flight and an hour long drive to the dealer from the airport.

Some dealers purposely oversell a vehicle and some give you the honest facts. I have a sales person who works with me that received an out of town call the other day and the guy on the other end asked what he would rate it out of 10?

To me this vehicle was at least an 8 out of ten but my salesman told the person on the other end that it was a 6 out of 10. When the customer arrived, he bought the vehicle on the spot and thank the salesman for not over selling the vehicle as he had been to a few other dealers that day that had. The problem with a salesman’s word is that he may truly believe he has a 10 out of 10 vehicle but to you it may be a 6, we all have our own way of gauging this though as I said, Jim really seamed to take every precaution that I myself would have. So here is Jim’s story.

Three years ago I began my search for a 2008 9-3 Aero in Laser Red. My preference was red with parchment interior, transmission was negotiable but it had to fall into the right price for the condition.  I looked locally but never  seemed to locate one so I expanded the search regionally.

I finally came across what I was looking for at a Buick/GMC/Caddy dealer in Indiana. The mileage was more than I wanted it to be but from the pictures it looked like a winner! I contacted a friend who assisted me in having its warranty work (IRIS) report looked at. Between this and the Carfax the Aero got two thumbs up! Next I contacted the dealership who offered it for sale and the salesperson was more than accommodating in sending me many pictures and answered all my questions truthfully, so I thought.

I had asked the salesman to give the car a very thorough look as this was not only a car I desired but a early retirement gift to myself. This coming August I will hit my 20 years mark in the military and while some people go for a Harley-Davidson or BMW, I only wanted a 5 year old Saab.

Read moreThe Tale Of An Online Deal Gone Bad

Tumbling dice

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Today it was once again time to put the summer wheels on my 9000 and change the oil; I decided it was time to visit my local dealer. This visit was long overdue– I had not seen the guys for at least a week, maybe even two.

I usually try to catch a few words with one of their veteran sales persons there. Anders has held the fort since the mid-90s. He was head hunted by the local Opel dealer as they managed to snap up the Saab franchise following GM’s take-over of Saab. They needed someone on their team with proper Saab knowledge and roots. Who better than a born and raised second generation Saab salesman?

Anders has sold six new 9-5s in our borough. Two linears, two vectors and two aeros– one of these to me. Today he was putting together an offer for a 9-5 SportCombi. The customer in question wants the works: 2.8T, navigation, metallic, etc. “Adaptive cruise control?” I asked.

“Yes, of course” Anders replied. I was impressed. A week ago I was completely unaware that adaptive cruise control would finally feature on the 2012 9-5s, and now someone was already requesting it.

A year ago, in June, Anders and I picked features for for my fjord blue 9-5. Things were very different back then. Saab’s website was incomplete and one of the snags that caught me was the auto-tiltdown action on the side mirrors. You need memory seats for that to work, and I don’t think they corrected their website to reflect that until December. I’m still extremely pleased with the result, and it’s an incredible car and one of the first BioPower versions of the MY11 9-5.

Speaking of the works, recently a reader in Radu, Romania e-mailed the SU team. Last week he took delivery of a fully loaded 9-5 2.8T. He wanted to know if he had made a mistake, trusting Saab. I answered “No.” Actually, what I really answered was:

I think the answer to your question depends on yourself. How long do you plan on keeping this car? As someone who grew up with Saabs, of course I am worried about their future. Fear, uncertainty and doubt is at full play. But Saabs have saved both myself and members of my family several times. We would probably be resting underneath the soil had we chosen any different brand. I am willing to take a potential monetary loss on my new 9-5 — it is the least I could do in return!

Money, although an important factor in many of our lives, isn’t everything. You can’t take it with you to the grave. What you can do is pass your spoils on to the next generation. What better treasure, 20 years from now, than a very rare Saab 9-5? (assuming in the unlikliest case that the worst happens) Remember: all art is cheap and uninteresting until the artist buys the farm. And the 9-5 is one heckuva piece of fine art!

With this idea fresh in mind, I asked Anders what to expect from a worst-case scenario. “Why are you worried? You bought your car from us,” he told me. “It is this dealership’s problem to cover your warranty claims regardless of Saab’s fate.” Good to know. It is safe to buy a Saab in Sweden at least, and given the guarantees in the US Saab customers should feel just as comfortable plunking down the cash for a new one.

The hardest question I have ever faced surfaced back in December 2009 as I felt the last opportunity to order a new Saab was quickly deteriorating in front of my eyes. I put everything on blind faith and decided to wait. That new 9-5 was just too delicious to pass up, even if it meant possibly missing out on one of the last 9-3s to be made. In light of that, Radu’s question found me somewhat unprepared. In case Saab disappears tomorrow, make sure you have at least one new Saab in your garage. This is my advice to all of you.

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