A collection of new Saab Automobile AB 9-3, 9-4 and 9-5 cars that have languished in U.S. ports following the company's bankruptcy will be auctioned beginning June 28 with a lot in Newark, N.J. It will likely be the last round of new gasoline-powered Saabs ever sold.
As many as 300 new Saabs that have sat on lots at three U.S. ports since Saab Cars North America went bankrupt in December 2011 will be auctioned by creditor Ally Financial, and the first round of 45 will take place in Port Newark on June 28, according to Saab World. The only eligible bidders will be U.S. Saab dealers, but that means that the last gasoline-powered Saabs will be available on dealer lots for as much as 50 percent below MSRP.
All told, 300 new Saab cars will be auctioned to authorized dealers around the country, and an additional 600 will be sold to rental car companies and car exporters, according to All Financial. The total value of the cars was estimated in bankruptcy proceedings at around $32 million.
While the auctions will only be open to authorized dealers, some dealers may be willing to bid for individual cars on behalf of customers or accept a purchase order. The cost of transporting the new Saabs may be additional to the auction price, according to Saab World.
While the cars at auction will be new in the sense that they have not had retail owners, they have been sitting on lots catching a sea breeze for more than six months and have not likely been started for that period of time. The cars will probably need to have brake rotors, batteries and tires replaced, according to Tom Galli, sales manager at Ramsey Saab in Ramsey, N.J.
We'll entertain the idea of buying some of the new cars, if they are at the right price at auction, Galli said. Dealer participation in the auction will be price predicated as there is not likely to be a strong market for full-price Saabs in the U.S.
The cars at auction were made during the tail end of the General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) and Spyker ownership of the Trollhättan, Sweden, company. A Sino-Japanese consortium, National Electric Vehicle Sweden, is in the process of acquiring Saab Automobile and plans to repurpose the company to build electric cars for the Chinese market.
It's unclear at this time whether the cars will be made under the Saab brand that Saab Automobile AB shared with defense and aerospace company Saab Group AB.