Date: Mon, 01 May 2006 00:43:27 GMT
From: "Walt Kienzle" <>
Subject: Re: saab 9000 best model year / best configuration ?

"Johannes" <> wrote in message > > > Walt Kienzle wrote: >> >> "Johannes" <> wrote in message >> >> > >> > >> > Walt Kienzle wrote: >> >> >> >> >> That brings up an interesting point. I don't recall the OP stating >> >> his >> >> location, but there is no such thing as a 2.0L in a 9000 after 1991 in >> >> the >> >> US. 1990 was the last year for 2.0L Turbo, and 1991 was the last year >> >> for >> >> 2.0 NA. By 1992 all US bound 9000's were equipped with a 2.3L engine. >> > >> > I think this applies to most imported cars for the US. Fuel taxes are >> > much >> > less and you prefer automatics, so the manufacturers don't bother about >> > importing lesser engined models. But ironically, you also drive slower >> > as you have lower speed limits. >> > >> > However, a 150bhp LPT is nothing to be ashamed of, and it can take a >> > lot >> > of >> > abuse as the engine contain 10% more metal than the modern 9-5 >> > equivalent. >> > At 122,000 miles my 9000 2.0 LPT is still sweet. >> >> Actually, this applies to anything shipped long distances. It has less >> to >> do with buyer preferences and more to do with economics. Are shipping >> fees >> from Sweden to the US substantially different for a 2.0L equipped model >> than >> a 2.3L? No. Can a seller ask a higher price for a 2.3L model than a >> 2.0L? >> Yes. Does it cost more to maintain inventory for multiple SKU's/Model >> configurations? Yes, even more so if everything is shipped from far >> away. > > Hmm. Not so sure about this explanation. We get a lot of small cars > shipped > from South Korea. The recently named 'Chevrolet Matiz' is a good example. > In spite of the name, it's a tiny 5 door hatchback, 0.8L engine and 3.5m > in > length. Hence the name is a bit of a joke. It was actually a 'Daewoo', but > GM took control, so they could put the more attractive Chevrolet badge on > the car! Luckily, they didn't put a Saab badge on... > > Perhaps if the carrier can take large numbers, then the shipping costs can > be kept in proportion. > >> So importers ship the configuration that will let them realize the >> highest >> profit. As you state, taxes also play a role. Some countries charge >> higher >> taxes for cars with bigger engines, and the insurance costs are often >> higher, so configurations with smaller engines can be cost justified in >> certain markets. The US typically doesn't have those taxes, costs and >> restrictions to make low end configurations cost-effective for importing. >> Mercedes doesn't ship anything lesser than the "C" class and Toyota >> produces >> their most popular models in the US as their way to address these >> economic >> factors. > > I think it is dictated by what the market wants. You're used to large cars > with big lazy engines. You also spend much time driving around to visit > all places in the US. My apologies, I was unclear. My statement was to the fact that when cars are shipped long distances, they don't ship many variations of the same model. Is the Matiz you mentioned available with 4 or 5 different engine types, or is it available with just one or two? I meant to say that the 9000 has typically been available in the US with no more than 2 engine options at a time (maybe 3 if you consider the LPT to be a different engine than the FPT; I consider it basically the same engine, minus APC, etc.). We never had the option to select a 2.0 turbo and a 2.3 turbo in the same model year. When the V6 showed up, the 2.3L NA engine was gone. Additionally, the engine choice was determined by the trim level; one engine type per trim level. I understand that diesel was also available in Europe. We never had that option even though Volkswagen does a noticeable diesel business here with their one diesel engine offering. My example with Mercedes was likely a bad one. Their decision not to sell "A" class here was likely to maintain their luxury aura. "E" class owners are complaining that the lower forms of life ("C" class owners) are clogging up the service areas and distracting service personnel with their (comparatively) cheap and less important cars. Just think of what those snobs would say about "A" class owners. Clearly car manufacturers want to place a model in a market if they think they can sell it. I'm just saying that when the shipping costs are great due to the distance, they limit the selection to the more profitable configurations. Your comment about US drivers wanting large cars with big lazy engines is a stereotype that started to go obsolete about 30 years ago at the peak of the big car era. Today, your typical young US family is likely to drive something like a Chevrolet Cobalt, Dodge Neon or Ford Focus with a 4 cyl engine, . My retired parents downsized from a 5.0L 8 cyl car they bought in 1976 to a 3.1L 6 cyl model (Chevy Lumina) that is typical of a car that older people drive. The 3.0L Ford Taurus was the most popular car for many years until Honda and/or Toyota overtook it a few years ago with their 4 & 6 cyl Accord and Camry models. I, of course, drive a 4 cyl Saab. I also own a Taurus (with a stick shift, so not all of us in the US will tolerate automatic transmissions). I know it is different in other regions, but none of my friends or relatives own an SUV or any other kind of truck. While your stereotype may apply to some areas and demographics of the US, it doesn't apply very well to people in this newsgroup. You don't have to preach to the choir here; we already understand the benefits of operating economically.

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