Is the TX Edition Saab 9-3 the best value Saab ever?

I just prompted to this one by our old mate and Saab author, Lance Cole. As I had a closer look at it, I figured it was possibly the best new car value I’d seen from Saab.
I should say right here at the start that this stuff is from the Saab GB website and may or may not be applicable to other markets. You’d have to check your local Saab site.
A few years ago, Saab released some 60th anniversary models that were snapped up like hotcakes and were widely regarded as representing excellent value. I haven’t compared those to these TX editions, but with the availability of the TTiD engine and the TX pack, all for less than the standard 9-3 price, it’s pretty compelling.
The TX package builds on the “Turbo Edition” cars that Saab are selling at the moment.
The Turbo Edition model in the UK see you get the following kit as standard:

  • Leather seats
  • Climate control
  • 5 Spoke 17″ alloy wheels
  • Heated front seats
  • Cruise control
  • Rear parking assistance
  • CD player with MP3 compatibility

Upgrade further to the TX edition and you get a bunch of Turbo-X inspired goodies added into the bargain:

  • Aero front bumper
  • titanium finish grille
  • front fog light surrounds
  • special 17″ 5-spoke alloy wheels
  • perforated leather sport steering wheel
  • carbon fibre effect decor
  • carpet floor mats with grey edge piping

img_TXPack_304x173.jpg The alloys that come on the TX edition are the ones I have pictured at left, and they look absolutely sensational. The other trim pieces etc are all subtle inclusions, but add up to a very classy looking package.
Fancy floor mats? I hear you saying. Well, go and price some really good ones and you’ll see that that particular small part of this package is actually worth some reasonable coin.
Let me put it this way – when you’re a Monte Carlo owner who really wants a Viggen, you realise how much it costs to upgrade the various bits and pieces necessary o do the job. It ain’t cheap.
The best part about this TX edition is the price. I can’t see a specific price for a TTiD version, but the “Turbo Edition” with the TTiD engine is priced at £20,495.00 OTR, which is exceptionally good.
The only TX edition price I can see is the 1.8t price, which has a £500 price premium over the base Turbo Edition.
Theoretically then, applying the same difference to the TTiD car, you may well be able to get a TTiD version with the TX package for under 21K, which is bordering on insane!
When you consider the next TTiD model up the range is the Vector Sport at over £25K, this really does look like a pretty good package.
You can check all the TX edition details at the Saab Offers page for Great Britain.

Wednesday Night Snippets

Amidst all the frustration we’re feeling, there are signs of life on the Koenigsegg-Saab deal.
Dkup Strupe tells me that the K-Segg movers and shakers have been in the US this week, which is significant in that the GM board were meeting for the first time this week since emerging from bankruptcy.
Further to this, Swedish Radio tell us that there will be K-Segg meetings back at home in Sweden later this week:

Saab’s future is determined by the negotiations taking place between General Motors and Koenigsegg Group, discussions are extremely secretive. So far, however, the negotiations as intended, it says Paul Åkerlund, klubbordförande for IF Metall in Saab in Trollhättan.
– Hopefully, we see the results of this in the near future, “says Åkerlund to Radio West.
– My impression is that they have a high work tempo.
Saab information officers, Gunilla Gustavs says that Saab is pleased so far, and she says that discussions are progressing. Mer vill hon inte kommentera. More wishes she did not comment.
According to data from Koenigsegg as Koenigsegg Group will meet for meetings at the end of this week.

Potential good news for UK Saabers looking for a lease.

ALD Automotive will manage GM’s own lease operations, which include Vauxhall Leasing, Saab Contract Hire and Chevrolet Lease, from the end of the month.
Masterlease had managed the operations for the past eight years but cracks in the agreement between the two companies became apparent when Masterlease stopped writing new Saab business in March.
Despite other lease companies renewing their Saab business at the end of June Masterlease kept its Saab order book closed.
Now General Motors UK (GMUK) has moved the contract over to ALD, which will see the country’s tenth largest lease company manage the entire GM UK leasing operation.

I’m going to do something rare around here and pat GM on the back for this as well.
The ability to lease a vehicle is an important sales carrot for dealers working with business customers and the inclusion of Saab into the lease list will be a major gain for UK dealers.
I know that US dealers are hurting, too, due to a lack of lease availability. Here’s hoping that some of the US banks start to view Saab favourably once again, too.
The other takeaway from this the further evidence that Saab’s systems may be tied into GM’s systems for some time to come. This announcement so close to Saab’s sale indicates such, much like the recent advertising announcement.
That has it’s good and bad sides, but I guess we have to trust that some of those decision makers know what they’re doing.
Thanks Per!
And here’s a brief note that I found interesting for writers….
The Wall Street Journal will no longer honour embargoes on stories, unless it is a story they get as an exclusive.
This is, of course, not directly related to the car business, but it’s an interesting development that reflects the electronic age that we live in.
Embargoes had their place when print ruled the world. Recent events with the 2010 Saab 9-5 images tend to show that they don’t work in the internet age.
Yet another reason why Saab should consider what I’ve been saying all along – that they should control their own newsflow and relationships with enthusiasts.

News: Some Saab discount programs to be halted

People who are currently eligible for various discount programs might want to hurry up some of their purchase plans in light of this.
This came in from a Djup Strupe US-based dealer.

It’s just been announced this morning that starting July 1st, Saabs (and Hummers and Saturns) in the U.S. will no longer be eligible for the GM supplier discount as offered through the Military, College grad, and Credit Union member discount programs, so anybody who has been on the fence about one who may qualify (is an active member of a U.S. armed services branch, is a member of a credit union, or is a recent college graduate) should probably snap one up while they still get the discounts.

I assume it will mainly effect US customers. If you think you might be cut off, best to check with your Saab dealer and make sure. It sounds like you’ve got 24 hours.
GM are our friends, aren’t they?

Turbo Xs for sale! Germany and Australia

After hooking up Mark O with a Turbo X in the north-east United States recently, I thought it might be good to advise where the other Turbo X’s are for sale.
It’s somewhat disappointing and little bit silly that there are still a quantity of these cars available. I know several people who have bought one and are absolutely loving it. Maybe it’s Saab’s decision to build some with auto transmissions that’s part of the issue?
Anyway – here are some Turbo X’s that are still available and I imagine you’ll get a very very good deal if you’re interested in one.
Site sponsors, Mobil Forum in Dresden are refusing to acknowledge the worldwide recession, preferring instead to remain positive and stock their yards.
As you might know, 2009 is the last model year that the Saab 9-3 will have a V6 engine available. In 2010 the Saab 9-3 will be 4-cylinder only as the Saab 9-5 comes online with a V6 option.
MobilForum have snapped up some of the last V6 models to be produced and they have these 2009 models, as well as several Turbo X’s now in stock.
If you’re keen on a V6 Saab 9-3 and you’re in Germany, then this year is the last chance you’ll get to pick one up new.
And the chance to grab a still-new Turbo X should be considered as well.
If you’re interested, please contact Andre or any of the other guys at Mobil Forum Dresden.
Heartland Saab in Sydney have just one Turbo X left.
It was only registered in March 09 and it’s only got 243 kilometers on the clock. It’s essentially brand new and comes with 19 inch wheels, auto transmission and a sunroof.
These retailed for $105,000 last year. Heartland will include all transfer fees and send it out the door for $79,000
Turbo X 001.jpg
If you’re interested in this Turbo X sedan, then call Kurt at Heartland Saab on (02) 9685 8423. Tell him Swade sent you.

Saabs United – bringing people and cars together….

May 2nd, 2009:
I posted a story about Saabs sitting around on dealer lots with rather large discounts sitting on them. A Turbo X with 23% off, for example:
From the dealer:

The story about the Turbo X combi still sitting on a lot is all too true over here; I have one sitting in my showroom right now that is exactly the same story, it was MY demo for 3 months, has about 3000 miles on it, and is an absolute steal of a deal, but nobody will touch it- To give you an idea of what I’m talking about here, the thing was $46,105 sticker, and it’s down to $35,542. That’s 23% off! I’ve bought a suit for 23% off, maybe a toaster…. but a Turbo X?

From me:

If anyone’s interested in picking up an X at a bargain price (or a Lynx Yellow convertible), shoot me an email and I’ll put you in touch with John. He’s on the US East Coast, but I’m sure he’ll help out anyone. Ask for the extra special SU discount 🙂

I got an email in my inbox about a week later from a guy named Mark, which I passed on to JohnC, the dealer who originally wrote to me. I hadn’t thought any more about it.
June 11, 2009:
From JohnC:

Thanks for putting Mark O in contact with me, he’s now the proud owner of our last Turbo X 🙂
Here he is lining up for takeoff!

Congratulations to both Mark and JohnC on the deal.
These cars need good homes. I’m pleased to see another X making it’s way to a caring owner.

Wednesday morning snippets – BAIC and cash for clunkers

Autocar have a special bit on Saab in their print pubication this week. UK readers might want to check that one out as I know that Hilton Holloway has recently visited Sweden in person so there should be some juicy stuff in there, in addition to the 9-5 stuff they published earlier in the week.
News reports started swirling again about Beijing Automotive being interested in Saab. This was thanks to a (big publication out of China) Gasgoo report that mentions the following:

Beijing Automotive Industry Corp (BAIC), the local partner of Germany’s Daimler in China, may bid for General Motors’ Saab unit after its attempt to acquire Opel looks unlikely to succeed

BAIC were one of the original three suitors for Saab a few weeks ago, but seemed to lose interest when they put in a last-minute bid for Opel. I haven’t heard anything of them since that time from any sources.
My take: This is weeks-old news and personally, I’ll not spend any more time with it. It’s just one paper dredging up some old news and a bunch of others following.
One of the Dagens papers in Sweden has a far more interesting (and as far as I can see, accurate) story saying that Saab people are now in Switzerland and in final discussions with their three real potential buyers: Renco, Koenigsegg and Merbanco.
I’d love to be a fly on the wall in that room!!
And with that meeting in mind, Autocar has published a story online stating that Koenigsegg, in a partnership of some type with the Swedish government, will be the winning bidders for Saab.
I’m quite unsure about this, especially given Maud Olofsson’s recent mumblings, and the PM’s as well. I can’t see the government taking any risk with Saab other than loan guarantees to the right bidder.
The US house of reps has just passed the cash for clunkers legislation.
From Autoblog:

…..if your car gets 18 mpg or less and you trade in for a new vehicle the achieves at least 22 mpg, you receive a $3,500 voucher, or $4,500 if the mileage of the new vehicle is 10 mpg higher than your previous heap. SUV, pickup truck and minivan buyers are eligible for a $3,500 voucher if their vehicle gets at least two mpg higher than their trade-in and $4,500 if the vehicle gets five mpg more than their older model. The vehicle has to have been insured for the last year and there is no trade-in value beyond the voucher. The program is also available for leases. Dealers are required to provide proof that the vehicle (1984 MY or later) has been crushed or shredded, and the government estimates that around 25 million vehicles are eligible.

So if you’ve got an old(ish) clunker Chevy out in the back yard, this might be the time to cash it in for a new Saab.
There are plenty of good incentives around.

It’s-good-to-be-back-online Snippets

The April Fools Day jokes are coming out thick and fast on the automotive interwebs today.
The Autoextremist is now going to head up a new Chinese motoring consortium that’ll swallow both GM and Chrysler, called Fu-king Motors.
Swedish tuning company BSR have a new electric assist motor that they can attach to your car for an extra 30hp.
And with just 59 days to go before bankruptcy restructuring, GM have a new car-buying incentive program they’re calling Total Confidence.
What? That last one isn’t a joke?
American Saab nuts considering a purchase at the moment (are you out there?) should read up on the tax break you can get on your 2009 income tax return if you bought/buy a qualifying car between Fenruary 16th and January 1st 2009.

The deduction is limited to the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle.
The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers.

I thought there might be a hitch on the “qualified new car” terminology, but it seems like the only limitations are the price and the qualifying purchase period.
So if you’re thinking of it, go see your local Saab dealer and make him/her smile.
Speaking of Saab dealers…..
After I noted that Justin Lin, the guy behind the new Fast and the Furious movie, drives a Saab, I got an email from Anthony R at Martin Cadillac/Saab of Beverley Hills.
Anthony’s the guy who put Justin Lin into his Turbo X last year and says that Justin chose the Turbo X in favour of a BMW 5-series, in large part because of the large number of Beemers already on the road in LA.
Thanks Anthony and hang in there, bud!
Any other dealers put a celeb in a Saab? Apparently Billy Gates drives one. Who sold that?
A Saab 9-3x spotted on Flickr.
That looks like the carpark just downslope from the Saab Museum to me.
I’m still catching up on all the news I’ve missed in the last few days due to living in a cave. I’ll hopefully get up to speed soon.

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