Another call for Hirsch in the US (and everywhere else)

email This is an email I just got in my inbox. I think the subject field says it all.

I’ve been publishing this website since February 2005 and I think I’ve been lauding the brilliance of Hirsch’s factory-approved performance gear since around April 2005 or thereabouts. It’s available in many countries, but not in Saab’s biggest market, the USA and not in my backyard here in Australia either.

Ted wrote that email to me because Autoblog have published an article, as follows:

BMW has officially thrown its hat in the performance parts game here in the U.S., likely rivaling the products available from aftermarket firms and coming complete with a factory-backed warranty.

Beginning with the 3-series and Z4, BMW is offering a host of components, from brake upgrades to engine kits, that will boost performance and not cause owners to fear a trip to the dealer for service. Some of the parts include carbon fiber and aluminum strut braces, 3.07:1 performance diffs, lowering kits, performance exhausts and a engine package for three-liter models that includes new camshafts and a modified ECU that boosts output to 235 HP and 222 lb.-ft. or torque.

To be honest, I’m surprised that BMW didn’t have factory backed tuning options on sale there already.

But back to Saab and Hirsch. I’ve hit Saab USA with a few too many questions recently, so I won’t be posting this one – but why the heck is it not available there?

I know of heaps of people that like to tune and modify their Saabs. They’d love a chance to do it without hurting their warranty. They’d love the option of getting a genuine, Saab-backed tuning package. One that is made specifically for the car. I’ve been in a Hirsch tuned 9-5 and it was brilliant. No-one can tell me there wouldn’t be a market for a car as visually tastful and flat-out fast as Jeff’s Hirsch 9-5.

So what’s the problem?

Are there rules in the US that Hirsch modifications don’t comply with? Emissions, safety? Is it a warranty issue that they’re afraid of?

A reason would be really good as right now it just seems like the market is out there, unsatisfied, the silence from Saab HQ is deafening and once again, the Saab brand looks like it’s arriving a day late and a dollar short.

Just a reason, that’s all we’re after. Or failing that, some Hirsch-love.

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  1. Please, wait a week or something and then ask them. Really. I’m dying to know.

    Another reason to bring Hirsch to the US and elsewhere is like you say: we need to get more bums in seats. It’s yet another great way to get more people on the lot- park a beautiful Hirsched 9-3 or 9-5 out in front of each dealer! That couldn’t ever hurt getting people in the door- not in the least.

    Or let’s at least get this question to the top of the list of things to ask one of the Saab execs next time someone representing TS gets a chance. And no bullcrap PR answers, either. We wanna know what’s the friggin’ deal, man!

    Other than that, I have no feelings or opinions on the matter. 😉

  2. They are still in clarification work because the US-law is completely different than the european law and the current contract with Saab just includes the europen market. It is just to prevent GM from a class-action lawsuit in case some defects happen. Rene Hirsch confirmed exactly this questions about one month ago when we visited his factory in St. Gallen. Another issue is the sales channel, the way from Switzerland to the US: should they ramp it up themselves or find partner organisations? It is still in discussion as well.
    So I assume that this is just a matter of time until they convinced GM that their products are reliable and it is some good money to earn and then it will be available as well.

    Regards from Switzerland, from a very very happy Saab-Hirsch-9-3-Aero-Driver

  3. Would love some Hirsch support in Oz. Expensive, but in the prestige market people want to dress up and differentiate their cars. Saab should not be an exception.

  4. Turbin, I think any market wants to differentiate their cars not just the prestige… Look at the ricer and teen market… I can still remember digging through magazines, web pages and audio files to find things to make my mustang faster and stand out from the rest.

    I think tuner companies like Hirsch are excellent for anyone who wants to make their car a little bit different from everyone elses… and it’s a bonus when it doesn’t affect the warranty!!

  5. We’ve had this debacle over and over. One thing is for sure, if the Hirschs vehicles are brought over even the local HSV fleet will get their whole thunder stolen. I am convinced that that is one of the reasons why GM ignores the potential there is as it will bring to shame their own high performance stable. There is a clear sector of the market where mature executives want high performance vehicles but will not jump in to the WRX, EVO Japs cars as these are cheap and nasty options that portray more of a “Jobo” , “Yahoo” street kid rebel image. Where these execs go to invariably is Audi as many do not want to pay for a Merc or Beemer. So, the market is definitely there not just in OZ but around the globe.

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