JESSE SNYDER

Saab swan song sparks online flurry

Jesse Snyder is senior writer for Automotive NewsJesse Snyder is senior writer for Automotive News
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Apparently nothing piques interest in a Saab like declaring bankruptcy and dropping warranty coverage.

Dataium, which tracks electronic researches of vehicles on all automotive Web sites, says overall online inquiries on Saabs has jumped 10 percent since the Swedish automaker declared bankruptcy on Dec. 19.

But the number of new shoppers tripled during the first four days after the announcement -- including the two days after Saab suspended warranties. And the volume of first-time shoppers jumped 50 to 100 percent each day for the following two weeks.

Newbies checking out Saab and looking for super discounts on discontinued models?

It seems so. Dataium says upticks in online research typically translate into higher purchases 30 to 45 days down the road.

That would be good news for U.S. Saab dealers, who still had 2,200 unsold Saabs on Jan. 1, which the Automotive News Data Center translates into a 221-day supply.

You can reach Jesse Snyder at jsnyder@crain.com.

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