I received some feedback from Saab Oz in relation to my query about Hirsch availability in Australia, or the lack thereof. Unfortunately the email’s on my other PC, but the explanation went something like….
All cars that come into Australia have to comply with Australian Design Rules. The ADRs govern all aspects from taillight function to emissions, from door latches and hinges to internal sun visors (yes, really!).
The problem isn’t that Hirsched Saabs don’t comply with the ADRs. The problem is that Saab Aust have to get each new model tested to prove that they DO comply with the ADRs, and that’s the crux of the issue. It ain’t cheap, and given the small numbers of Hirsch modded cars that would come in, these compliance tests add a cost that at this point make a business model harder to establish. I didn’t ask, but I’d imagine any individual mods would also be subject to ADR scrutiny too, not just full vehicles.
Saab Aust indicate that they’ve received quite a few queries about Hirsch availability. They’re aware of the demand for the product and are working on a solution to be able to get it to market. Here’s hoping it can work out soon so they can add some hot sauce in the showrooms.