LAS VEGAS -- Tim Colbeck, president of Saab Cars North America, told about 25 dealers at the make meeting that the automaker will not contest a move by dealers to force it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
"We're not going to fight the bankruptcy," Colbeck said. "Our No. 1 priority right now is insuring the flow of parts to North America."
Colbeck said he told dealers he would work with them "as long as I could help." Dealers described the meeting, which discussed the formation of a parts distribution company, among other issues, as cordial.
The Swedish carmaker filed for bankruptcy Dec. 19. Saab stopped making cars last April.
Last month 165 U.S. Saab dealers filed a Chapter 11 petition to have Saab Cars North America placed in Chapter 11 in an effort to get the best deal possible for themselves. Colbeck said there are 180 to 190 current U.S. Saab dealers.
Among the issues dealers now face: how to get paid for warranty claims; how to get warranty coverage for 2010 and 2011 cars; how to reconstitute the parts distribution network; and how to get a reasonable price for new cars that are now distressed merchandise.
Dealers report cars are selling at 35 to 50 percent below sticker price.
Ray Ciccolo, owner of Charles River Saab in Boston and NADA line representative for Saab, said he worries that about 700 cars still held by Saab will be released into the market at fire-sale prices, further undercutting the prices dealers are able to get.
Ciccolo, who still has 25 cars on his lot, said: "Nobody wants to liquidate the cars and kill the market."