GM Confirms Saab Warranty Coverage Reduction
By Kevin Miller
For several years, Saab has offered a 4 year/ 50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on its vehicles sold in the US, as well as free scheduled maintenance for 3 years/ 36,000 miles. These warranty and maintenance programs are fairly standard for premium vehicle lines sold in the US.
In early 2007, GM rolled out their 5 year, 100,000 mile extended powertrain warranty across all model lines sold in the US, including Saab. This extended powertrain warranty picked up where the 4/50 bumper-to-bumper warranty left off, and provided roadside assistance and courtesy transportation for the entire 5/100 term of the warranty. This warranty exceeded that offered by Saab’s competition.
For 2009, GM will not be providing the 5/100 extended powertrain warranty on Saab vehicles, which will instead revert to the prior 4/50 warranty. Saab dealers were informed of the change last week on Friday, and GM confirmed this change to the media yesterday. GM’s other premium US brands, including Cadillac and Hummer, are still slated to have the 5/100 extended powertrain warranty.
This announcement closely followed GM’s announcement earlier in the month declaring their intention to cut $10 billion in costs. With margins already thin on Swedish-built Saab vehicles, the generous warranty which is not matched by Saab’s competitors is a relatively transparent way to cut costs on those vehicles. A GM spokesperson indicated that buyers of premium import vehicles look for the basic warranty and free scheduled maintenance in that class of vehicle, leaving unsaid the fact that most buyers in that segment are not expecting a longer-term powertrain warranty.
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