I first mentioned the pending wind-up of Saab Cars Australia last night. That story, of course, posed some uncertainty for Saab owners as to the availability of parts in the period between now and when the new operator comes online, believed to be on February 1st.
I received some more information from Saab Parts in Sweden overnight, which should help to clarify the situation. The short story – a new parts distributor has already been found, parts continue to flow and the number of service outlets will remain the same.
Throughout 2012 we supplied Saab Genuine Parts to Saab Cars Australia Pty Ltd, the former distributor of Saab cars and parts in Australia and New Zealand that is currently owned by the administrators of Saab Automobile AB in bankruptcy. For much of that period we were also in negotiations with the administrators regarding the future of Saab Cars Australia Pty Ltd, as we were for subsidiaries in other markets. Unfortunately in the case of Saab Cars Australia Pty Ltd we were not able to find a mutually acceptable agreement and the company has been put into administration.
This will clearly be cause for concern for Saab owners in Australia. At Saab Automobile Parts AB we want to ensure that Saab owners around the world can obtain Saab Genuine Parts and Service. We have therefore already put plans in place for an alternative distribution channel to continue to supply of all our customers in Australia and New Zealand. We have signed a contract with Brookart Pty Ltd, Artarmon (Sydney), New South Wales, to take over the distribution of Saab Genuine Parts in Australia. We have a long experience of working together with Brookart and they are very familiar with our business. Shipments of parts are already en route to Brookart Pty Ltd.
We would like to reassure Saab owners and repairers by confirming that:
We do not anticipate that there will be a significant gap in parts supply during the few weeks it will take until the new importer is fully up and running. We are not planning any changes to the Authorised Repairer network – we intend to create supply agreements via the new distributor with all the current network and you will be contacted shortly.
We will do everything we can to make sure Saab owners in Australia and New Zealand will have continued good access to replacement parts and other services during the transition period until our new importer, Brookart Pty Ltd, has replenished their stock with Saab Genuine Parts. We are looking forward to working with them and with the existing Authorized Repairer network to develop the Saab Genuine Parts business in Australia and New Zealand.
My thanks to David at Saab Parts AB in Sweden for the extra information.
As mentioned yesterday, it’s my understanding that Brookart are related to Mildrens, who have had a long relationship with Saab as a dealer in Sydney. They’re definitely familiar with the landscape.
The only hiccup for Saab owners and repairers might be the short time period between now and when Brookart actually come online and incorporate Saab’s ordering system. Indications to me were that that would be February 1st, though that date is not mentioned in the correspondence above. If Feb 1st is indeed the starting date, there might be a short waiting period between now and then where people will have difficulty getting an order into a computerised ordering system.
Bottom line: Some might need to have patience in the immediate short term, but we’ve been assured that a new organisation will be taking over soon and that parts are shipping, even now. That’s good news for Australian Saab owners.