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European Delivery

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Message from terra!
Subject: Re: European Delivery
I bought a SAAB 9000 from the European Delivery Program in 1992.

My situation was a little different from that of most of the people who
are reading this, I suspect, so not all the experience will be

When we moved from London to Milan we took with us our 84/85 900 Gli. My
wife really loved that silver car, it was so sturdy and spacious and
comfortable.  Before we even moved to Milan we realized that we wanted to
get another car, for me to go to work in (since my office and our
apartment were both well outside the Metro area in different directions).
For a long time I considered getting a Renault Espace mini-van for  the
family car, but they wer just incedibly expensive compared to the likes
of Voyager/CAravan that take the same niche in the USA. When we realized
that we'd be returning to the USA in 1992, I made up my mind to get an
American modelof something european.
Since we had a good experience
with the 900Gli we had, my wife wanted to replace it with another Saab
900 maybe a Turbo.  I got the data and compared Saabs to the Volvo
740/940s that some of my friends already had.
Because we have threee children we needed a four-door model, and we also
wanted a hatchback.  Such models are
available in Europe in a 900 body, but the model available for the USA
are more restricted so to get a 4dr hatch we had to get a 9000. I don't
regret it, but my wife still pines for that old unique shape.

I contacted Europe Auto Brokers Inc in the Netherlands who can get any
sort of model for european delivery, Mercs, Ausis, VW, Saab, Volvo,
American models...  They were friendly and helpful in providing all the
info I asked for by mail and by FAX.  Though if you already know what
model&options you want, you should probably deal directly to Saab IDS

Antway, to answer your question.  I placed an order specifying all the
options and colours desired, along with $1000 deposit. (All paymenst
were in US$) and the order went to the factory, and I was given a six
week delivery time.  In the meantime I arranged a new car loan from the
credit union.  They wanted to see the order/invoice specifying and order
number to be convinced there really was a car supporting the loan. I
chose my city of delivery (Geneva) and a week before someone faxed me to
confirm the date (since by that time the car was finished and enroute) We
drove from Milan to Geneva through Mont Blanc Tunnel in the old 900 and
stayed overnight in Ferney-Voltaire (the less expensive French side of
the border from Geneva in a cheap but cheerful motel).
The next morning we drove into Downtown Geneva to the dealer. I saw the
car gleaming from a fresh wash standing in the fourcourt.  First we went
inside while the agent had me sign several papers acknowledging delivery,
and the temporary euro-insurance and promised never to use leaded
gasoline because of the catalysator (catalytic converter to you) I was
handed the keys and escorted to the car.  He showed me how to open the
doors and adjust the seat and turn on the radio etc....  It already had
Swedish Export license plates on it, so he gave me a white oval sticker
with "S" on it that I applied, to tell everybody the plates were from
Sweden. (I haven't bothered to take the sticker off yet, too lazy, and it
helps to spot the car from a distance in a parking lot among the other
dark- coloured similar shaped cars.)  And I drove away gently to find a
gas station because the tank was on empty.

When it came time to dapart Europe, we drove it to Antwerp (we were going
back by way of the UK anyway, so I didn't feel like paying to drop it off
at any of the extra-cost drop off points).  I forgot to bring the
bill-of-sale with me, but it is necessary to make the shipping & export
documents. Fortunately the shippers know the brokers very well, called
EAB up and he faxed them a copy so it only took 1/2 hour longer that it
would have otherwise. You need to be good at map-reading and the expected
layouts of Eruopean cities to find the place though.  We stayed in a
hotel in Antwerp and toured the city in the evening and had a good time.

After arriving in New Jersey I telephoned the importer to ask about my
car, but it hadn't arrived, they said they would contact me.  About four
weeks after saying goodbye in Antwerp I got a letter from the importer
(E.H.Harms co) to say it had arrived and I had just a few days to collect
it before storage charges would be applied.  It was more compliated
picking it up at Port #Elizabeth (Newark NJ) than it was in Geneva!  (I
had chosen Geneva instead of the alternative in Rome partially because I
already knew the Italian attitudes to official forms, stamps, signatures,
taxes.) I had to show one set of paper to show my bill-of-sale and claim
papers to the E.H.Harms office.  They game me more claim slips that I had
to take (by car) to the lot by the pier and show to another office.  They
gave me another form I had to walk to a different office to pay the $1
storage charge because I was 1 day late.  He gave me a release form I had
to carry to the guard of the impound lot where we walked around to find
the car.  Then I had to check it all over for dents, scrapes, flats. (There
were none).  Then I drove the car to the gate, showing one or another
document to every guard along the way.  Clearances with Customs and
pollution control were already taken care of.

I had left rather more gasoline in the tank at Antwerp than they had
suggested.  There is only one gas station in Port Elizabeth, a mile or
two from the yard where the cars are stored.  If I hadn't locked the
locking gas cap I suspect someone in Antwerp would've drained the tank
and I'd run out of gas.  (And I forgot to bring the key to the gas cap
when I went to Port Elizabeth, so for a while I thought we'd have to
abandon the car in the street and drive home to get the key and a can
of gas, and then come back out.  My wife was not pleased.) However, as it
turned out, I did have plenty of gas and drove all the way home.

But it still had the white&red Swedish export plates on it.   My wife
tried to register it at the local DMV office, but they wouldn't take it.
They only do run-of-the-mill things there, and I had what came under
their classification of a "gray-market" car. And no New Jersey
Certificate of Title.  After a few weeks of calling investigation, we
eventually took it down to Trenton (a good hour's drive, and you have to
do it when the office is open) to queue at the Master office of the DMV
with all the documenti and pay for converting the Swedish "Certificate of
Origin" to a NJ "Title" pinks slip.  then we got the registration card
and license plates at the same time.  And we had to take it to be NJ
inspected within 10 days.  It's the safest, cleanest-burning car in NJ,
but we had to get it inspected.   Oh, and the thing that burned me the
most was that the State of NJ insisted we had to pay Sales Tax.  I thought
that when we bought on the European delivery program that things like
that were built-in. Well, the importation and Customs and federal
emmissions-control certificate were covered, but not the state sales
tax.  If you want to know what I did about that you can mail me.

Bob Duncanson tel: (908) 580-4604
 AT&T Bell Laboratories,room LC 3N-H06
 184 Liberty Corner Road
 Warren NJ 07059-0908
The SAAB Network

Message Summary
Subject: Re: European Delivery
Message from
If you pick up the car in Gothenberg, that city (and a
good one to visit) is about 40 miles from Trollhattan,
home of the Saab factory and the museum.  The IDS material
available from the dealer mentions some of the options
for a Gothenberg pick-up.  This might include a factory
tour (I just can't remember) but you can certainly visit
the Saab Museum in Trollhattan.

As for places to go in Scandinavia, there is plenty to
do depending on what mix of things and driving you want
to do.  You could drive to Stockholm via many routes.
You could go to Oslo, then up to Lillehammer and visit
the site of the Olympics.

You could travel to other countries with higher speed
limits and take in some of that driving experience
and the scenery of those countries.

Steve Carrellas
Message from
I did a Volvo European Delivery, from Gothenburg in 9/90.

You say you're planning a 1 week visit - I thought you must stay for
at least 2 weeks.  And don't forget to get the total real cost, which
includes Swedish registration for a month and car insurance for the
time you're there, and cost to get your to California from Europe.

When we were there, we took the overnight car ferry from Gothenburg
to Germany, and on return, went to the top of Denmark to take the
ferry back.  Be sure to have reservations.
The SAAB Network

Message from
Subject: European Delivery
SAAB 900 SE Coupe review
My wife and I purchased a SAAB 900 SE Coupe via European delivery.  I
make no pretense of being an automotive reviewer because of my lack of
experience driving a wide variety of cars.  Heck, the only type of
SAAB I've driven is a V6 900...

Autobahn cruising
The 900 SE has great brakes and a great engine.  Acceleration from
90mph to 115mph is strong and sure.  The 5 series BMWs and E class
Mercedes are never quite sure what suddenly appeared in their rear
view mirror, however, and are reluctant to move out of the way.  My
wife and I found that flashing the pesky Germans out of the way was a
bit tricky due to the deft touch required to operate the high beams.
You can drive no handed at 120mph, although it gets a tad loud over
105mph.  Furthermore, the speed sensing stereo does not dial in enough
volume above this speed.

If you plan to do alot of driving in Europe, don't forget to keep tabs
on your SAAB's break in mileage.  Ours was broken in, but we never
revved it above 5K.  Still, in 5th gear at 5K, you're doing 130mph...

Off roading
If you ever have the fortune of visiting the Cinque Terre region in
Italy, do yourself a favor and don't take the road into Monterroso al
Mare unless your vehicle is owned by Mr. Hertz or Mr. Dollar.  The ZR
rated Michelin Pilot tires did not puncture, but they did not handle
the conditions with aplomb, either.  For that matter, the Sport
Suspension that comes with the Coupe could use about 3 inches of
additional travel at all corners.

The mudflaps are very loud when they hit the ground (which they did
frequently), and I hope the car did not suffer any lasting damage.  It
drove straight on the autostrada afterwards, and no chunks appeared to
be missing from the tires.

There are cobblestones everywhere you go in Europe.  They are used for
speed control because they make your car feel like it is falling apart
and driving over them is extremely noisy.  The latter applied, and I
worried about the former, so I can attest that cobbles work better
than speed bumps.

Trip Computer
The SID3 trip computer was very handy, although the CLEAR and SET
buttons became somewhat stuck after the first week.  We found out that
European road sign distances to destinations are always off by 2 to 3
km, and we learned how to understand gas mileage expressed in liters
per 100km.  I only hope we can figure out how to switch it back to US
units when the car arrives in California.

SAAB Antitheft System
Our car was never broken into, and as far as we could tell, no break
ins were attempted.  The alarm locks the hood, ignition, transmission,
doors, and hatch.  The '95 model adds a glass breakage/rabid dog
sensor and remote alarming capability.  Perhaps the biggest deterrent
in most places we visited was the lack of other new SAAB 900s for the
local criminals to practice on.  

Muddy feet
We got our feet muddy more than a few times.  Our car was ordered with
the beige interior, and came with beige floormats.  These floormats
tend to blend in well with the mud in Austria and Germany, less so
than with the mud in Italy.  We found the floormats easy to remove and
replace, and they did not slip when reinstalled.

Picnic capability
The SAAB 900 is a great car to host a lox and caviar picnic for two in
the rain in Sweden, although this tends to make the rear hatch area
smell a bit fishy for a few days.  Do not place food items or napkins
on the rear speaker grilles.  These items will slide off due to the
curvature of the speaker grilles.  On the plus side, there is lots of
room for two, and mustard stains blend in well with the dark grey
hatch lining.  The stereo provides excellent picnic entertainment.
Eating a picnic does tend to make the windows fog up and provide a
good opportunity to test out the effective rear window defrosters.

The trip computer buttons, as mentioned before, got stuck.  Reverse
gear is a bit high.  Everyone who drove the car stalled it in reverse
at least once.  The parking brake is pretty weak.  When we stopped for
the above mentioned picnic, we really hadn't, really.  

The rear brake lights must be pretty bright by Italian standards.
They illuminated the Italian driver's face behind us well enough for
me to see through the rear view mirror that he was using his hands to
shield him from our 3rd spot light, ahem, brakelight.

Dos: Take European delivery of a SAAB, drive on the autobahn, have
picnics in the car, chase motorcyclists up and down the Austrian Alps.

Don'ts: Offroading, muddy feet, overestimating the break in period
while in Germany.

Questions or flames may be sent to
The Saab Network

Message from
Subject: Factory Tour
Our SAAB Factory Tour
My wife and I toured the SAAB factory in Trollhattan on September 14,
1994.  Our tour guide, Gronan, is the head of SAAB International and
Diplomat Sales (IDS, or "European Delivery").  This article describes
what we saw on the tour.  Unfortunately, no cameras were allowed.

This was the second time I've visited an auto manufacturing plant; the
first time was in the late '70s when our class went on a field trip to
the GM Fremont plant when they were building Monte Carlos.  There
really isn't much of a comparison between the two.  The GM plant was
loud, dark, and dirty, plus we were all scared and relieved when we
finally got to go outside for lunch.

SAAB has several factories in addition to the factory at Trollhattan.
There is a factory in Finland where the convertibles are built.
The Scania in SAAB-SCANIA refers to the big trucks, which are also
built in Finland.  I don't know whether the convertibles are built in
the same factory as the 18 wheelers, though...

The factory in Trollhattan is spotless.  Workers do not eat or smoke
anywhere near the cars, parts are tidily arranged at work areas.  Some
parts arrive at work areas in a just in time fashion - more about that
later.  The only vehicles (besides the SAABs) inside the plant are 16
inch wheel bicycles and a few forklifts for transporting heavier

SAAB employs 5,000 people in the Trollhattan area, down from a peak of
8,000 a few years ago.  I think the split was 3,000 employees in
manufacturing and 2,000 employees in R&D.

What we didn't see
We saw the 900 assembly line, where SAAB 900 Coupes and Sedans are
assembled.  We saw engines, transmissions, dashboards, seats,
etc. being fitted to the 900 chassis.  We did not see body panels
welded and formed and painted, engines assembled, or stitching of
leather cover on the steering wheel.

We also did not see any of the 9000 assembly line or manufacturing
area, except for final inspection.  9000s are assembled in the same
building on a different assembly line.

Work Areas
SAAB has eliminated all foremans on the production floor.  A group of
people work on a particular area, and their is a worker who is
designated the group leader.  A typical work area would be the
undercarriage area, where the brake lines, mufflers, catalytic
converters, and other underbody parts are assembled.  A team of people
specializes in assembling this part of the car, and no one works on
their task for more than two hours.  Everyone shares in administrative
tasks, which keep track of build quality in their particular area.
There is also time to discuss how to improve the manufacturing
process.  Charts are posted showing manufacturing defects and the
amount of schooling each individual in the work area has.  Everyone
working there looked happy to be doing their jobs and no one was
rushed.  It was very organized and efficient, and you definitely got
the sense that quality cars are being built!

In some work areas, there are computers that check parts before they
are assembled onto the car.  For instances, there are computers that
test the SID (SAAB Information Display) and computers that test the
climate control before they are assembled onto the car.

Zero defects philosophy
SAAB is currently using a "zero defects" philosophy, and 95% of the
cars coming off the assembly line have "zero defects" upon final
inspection.  The work areas also try to strive for zero defects
individually.  If you think about the most common 900 defects (bad
brake rotor design, weak air conditioning, computer buttons getting
stuck), they seem to be related to engineering, not manufacturing.

Cars that have defects are taken to a special area where defects are
fixed by hand.  People working in this area are very skilled at
quick troubleshooting and repair.

Just in time parts delivery
At the start of the assembly line, painted, galvanized body shell is
stripped of its doors and the doors go to the door assembly area.
More about what happens to the the doors later...

Every 900 produced by SAAB has been custom ordered by a SAAB dealer
somewhere in the world.  SAAB's world dealership community, not SAAB
headquarters, determines the mix of models produced.  Once a model is
ordered, its specifications are entered into a computer, and the VIN
number and a bar code identifying the model to be built are generated
by the computer.  A sheet describing the build details of each car
accompanies the body shell to the start of the assembly line.

  Aside: Regional marketing may place restrictions on what model mix is
  offered to a particular market.  This is the reason you cannot buy a
  SAAB 900 with Sensonic in the US, for example.

Cars and parts are queued up on the assembly chronologically according
to the date the order was received.  Because of computer aided
manufacturing, SAAB does not need to group together cars on the
assembly line based on such characteristics as coupe/sedan, RHD/LHD,
stick/automatic, etc.  All types of cars are interleaved together.

At the wheel assembly work area, for instance, wheels are stacked so
that the four wheels at the top of the wheel bin match the next car on
the assembly line.  If the next car on the assembly line has the sport
suspension, the Viking wheels will be at the top of the bin.  If the
car after that is a US 900 SE Sedan, the four wheels below the Viking
wheels will be SAAB long spoke wheels, and so on.  This just in time
parts ordering applies to everything from RHD/LHD items such as
steering wheels, fuse boxes, and dashboards to symmetrical items like
cloth/leather seats, transmissions, mufflers, and rear passenger trim
(which differs between the coupe and sedan).  I asked what happens if
the computer delivers the wrong part for a car.  If this happens, the
whole assembly line is stopped.  The assembly line has been stopped
before, but not because the wrong part shows up.  Typically, the
assembly line may be stopped if a component such as the climate
control fails a computer diagnostic test (see work areas).

The doors are assembled near the end of the assembly line.  The doors
that came with the car body when it was built are put in a queue and
arrive when the car arrives at the door work area.  They never get the
wrong number of doors or doors in the wrong color!

Design for manufacturability
The new SAAB 900 was designed for ease of manufacture, and this is
best reflected in the amount of time it takes to build a new 900.  The
old 900 took 75 hours to build; the new 900 takes only 36 hours to

There are many robots on the assembly line, and they help with heavy
tasks and tasks where people could be exposed to nasty chemicals.  For
instance, a robot applies the glue from the body to the body of the
car where the windshield attaches.  Another machine holds the
windshield, and a worker guides the windshield into place using this
machine (not a robot).  The windshield can only snap into the body in
the correct orientation, and the worker presses the windshield onto
the car.  This whole process takes about 25 seconds.  Other parts such
as the dashboard, steering wheel, and transmission look similarly easy
to attach to the car.  I hope this makes servicing the car easier as well!

Human factors engineering
The cars are tilted sideways for some operations, such as securing the
brake lines to the underbody of the car.  The car is raised for other
work areas, such as the marriage of the chassis and the body, and the
work area where doors are attached.

The pace of the assembly line is pretty relaxed - workers have plenty
of time to complete their tasks.  Of course, wrenches at work areas
automatically torque screws to their recommended torque.  Furthermore,
any worker on the line can stop the assembly line if they think there
is something seriously wrong with the cars that are put together.

Closing Comments
The SAAB factory is a very sophisticated operation.  They are
currently producing about 260 900 series cars per day in three shifts
and about 160 9000 series cars per day in two shifts.  This works out
to be a worldwide production of about 100,000 cars per year.  The
current factory tour will only show you the 900 assembly line because
it is more modern and up to date than the 9000 assembly line.

I would not miss the SAAB factory tour.  We definitely got a warm
fuzzy feeling about the build quality of our new SAAB, and were amazed
at the computerized efficiency of their manufacturing facilities.
The Saab Network

Message from
Subject: European Delivery
Our SAAB IDS Experience
This article describes experience my wife and I had with SAAB European
delivery, from arranging a European delivery purchase to dropping off
our new car for delivery back to the US.  Since our vacation ended
just a few days ago, we haven't received our SAAB stateside, yet.  IDS
stands for International & Diplomat Sales, which is what SAAB calls
their European delivery program.

Who handles European delivery 
You can choose to have your European delivery handled by a SAAB
dealer, an independent broker, or a rental agency that rents cars in
Europe to US residents.  We chose to go with a SAAB dealer, and have
had a good experience with them, even though we are their first IDS
customers.  Perhaps the best reason to go through a dealer is that
some dealers are willing to negotiate the European delivery price, so
you can realize even greater savings.

The real savings (i.e. hidden costs)
The car we ordered, a 1994 900 SE Coupe (turbo engine), retailed for
$27,795 (including destination charge) at the time we ordered the car,
and the official SAAB IDS price was quoted as $24,995.  Neither of us
are particularly savvy negotiators, so we were only able to knock the
price down to $24,000.  I suspect many people will have considerably
better results.

BTW, if you are in the market for a SAAB 9000, I believe that factory
to dealer incentives still apply to 9000 Euro delivery.  We met a woman
who opted for an aspiro 9000 CS instead of a 900 SE - both are about
the same price via Euro delivery, but I guess she didn't like having
the key between the seats. :-)

The optional Mondial Insurance is not included in the cost of the
car.  This insurance insures you for any theft, collision, etc. while
you are in Europe, and is available regardless of your previous
driving record!  Mondial Insurance also covers your hotel bill and
rental car if circumstances regarding your new SAAB turn truly awry.
The minimum term for Mondial Insurance is one month, which costs $395.

The delivery (pick up the car) and drop off prices for Euro delivery
can vary greatly - from gratis to $1000 for combined drop off and
delivery.  Our costs totaled $245.  We had free delivery in
Trollhattan, Sweden, and $245 drop off in Munich, Germany.  $65 of our
off fee was an additional charge we knowingly incurred by dropping the
car off on a weekend instead of a weekday.  Your SAAB dealer will have
complete details regarding delivery and drop off costs.

If you want to visit non-Scandinavian Europe, don't forget that your
car will have to be ferried from Scandinavia to the Continent.  It
cost my wife and I $125 for a 2nd class cabin (no window) from
Goteborg, Sweden to Kiel Germany.  Our SAAB's berth in the boat cost
$200...  I think there are cheaper (i.e. shorter) ways to transport
your car to the Continent; contact your travel agent or Scandinavian
tourist information here in the US for more details.

In summary, for our particular case, our car costs were:
	car:		$24,000
	delivery:	$     0
	drop off:	$   245
	insurance:	$   395
	ferry:		$   325

We still saved almost $3000 off the list price of the car in the US,
which I understand is selling for full list price in most parts.
Obviously, any taxes you have to pay will be lower, as well.  If you
are a California resident and put more than 7,500 miles on your car
before you ship it back, I think you are exempt for California sales
tax as well!

Payment options
My wife and I were able to obtain outside financing for our car, but
the SAAB dealer offered us a better rate.  In general large banks are
not interested in financing IDS purchases, but you may have better
luck with a smaller one.  If you do finance through the SAAB dealer,
they will also finance your Mondial Insurance.  Delivery and drop off
fees are not handled by the dealer, and therefore cannot be financed.
You can also lease a IDS car, and your SAAB dealer will probably push
this option.  Unfortunately, the excellent GMAC rates which are
available for US purchase SAABs do not apply to Euro delivery
SAABs. :-(

Ordering your SAAB
You order the car about 3 months before you take delivery.  In our
case, we ordered our SAAB in June, it was built in July, and we took
delivery in September.

The official SAAB USA propaganda states that you can only order a car
that is available for sale in the US.  However, this is a distinction
that is imposed by SAAB USA marketing, _not_ the SAAB factory in
Trollhattan.  For instance, we saw lots of Imola Red (bright red) 900
sedans being assembled, although it is strictly a coupe color choice
in the US.  You may be able to request this color for a 900 sedan, if
you're pushy.  If you want a 900 sedan with a turbo, Sensonic, sport
suspension, and velour interior, forget it.

Taking Delivery in Trollhattan
The city of Trollhattan is located in southwest Sweden.  Fly into
Goteborg, the nearest airport, not Stockholm.  Our travel agent
screwed up, but fortunately, we were able to change our ticket while
stopped over in Amsterdam.

SAAB rolls out the royal carpet for your European arrival.  We were
picked up in a 9000 Turbo taxi from the Goteborg airport and whisked
through the Swedish countryside to the Ronnum Herrard hotel outside of
Trollhattan.  We were lucky and had the taxi to ourselves.  The woman
taking Euro delivery of the 9000 CS had to share her cab with two
stuck up businessmen.  Your mileage may vary.

Dinner at the Ronnum Herrard consists of Swedish specialties for the
appetizer, main course, and dessert, all of which were sumptuous.

The hotel itself is part of the international Chateau Relais chain of
hotels.  The rooms, service, and food at these Chateau Relais is
simply beyond reproach.  Our room at the Ronnum was furnished with
period furniture and included a sauna in the bathroom!

Breakfast the next morning was a huge Swedish buffet which included
pickled herring (yum!) and lots of fresh fruit, meats, and breads.
Gronan (the SAAB Euro delivery rep) met us at breakfast and took us to
the SAAB Museum where we took delivery of our car.  

We had another Euro delivery rep take us into a room where our SAAB
was parked and spend an hour with us showing us the various features
of our SAAB, etc.  There is plenty of time to tour the SAAB Museum
(see the SAAB network archives for details) and pick up free postcards
and posters while you are there.  You also receive a crystal
Trollhattan Troll ("Made by Trolls in Trollhattan"). 

One of the new postcards features a 900 Turbo Sedan (not available in
the US).  Interestingly, all the 900 posters were gone, and the book
on the new SAAB 900 was sold out.  A scarabe 900 convertible and imola
red 900 coupe (like ours) are the newest additions the the museum.

After receiving our car and looking around the museum, we followed
Gronan to the SAAB factory in Trollhattan.  After our factory tour of
the 900 assembly line, we were on our own.  Please see my article on
the SAAB factory for further details.  

The best thing about taking delivery in Trollhattan is that SAAB
provides you with a very pleasant and smooth beginning to your
vacation.  The taxi, dinner, suite at the Ronnum, breakfast, museum,
and factory tour are provided complements of SAAB.

Notes about driving in Europe and Euro delivery SAABs
All Euro delivery SAABs come with Swedish export plates and you get a
big "S" sticker to show your friends you picked up your car in Sweden.
Actually, I didn't want to put the "S" sticker on the car because I
think they are obnoxious, but we found out at the end of our trip that
these stickers are required by law in Europe.  Oops!  The plates and
third brake light make it pretty obvious you are not a native, BTW.

Also, don't be surprised if you get stopped at customs a lot when
traveling between countries.  Many junior customs officers (especially
in Austria, it seemed) have never seen Swedish export plates.

All Euro delivery SAABs are US spec cars (California spec if you're
from California) and come equipped with catalytic converters, third
brake lights, etc.  You have to use unleaded gas.  I found out the
first time we went to fill up that leaded gas nozzles don't fit - pump
at the green pumps.

For details about what it's like to drive the new 900 SE Turbo in
Europe, please see my article on the SAAB Network regarding our
experiences of 3000+ miles of driving on the autobahn, back roads,
cobblestones, and the Alps.

Drop Off 
We were originally going to drop our SAAB off in Rome, but we changed
our minds about visiting Rome and went back to the Alps and Germany
instead (no flames, please).  If you drop your SAAB off in an Italian
city except for Venice, EH Harms will drive your car to Munich,
Germany for delivery back to the US.  We dropped off our car in Munich
with EH Harms and filled out simple paperwork in less than one hour.
BTW, they steam clean the interior and wash the car before sending it
on the boat, and SAAB covers your shipping costs and marine shipping

Final Comments
I would highly recommend taking IDS of a SAAB if you are considering
the purchase of a new SAAB and are also considering vacationing in
Europe.  Driving in Europe is a lot of fun, and visiting the SAAB
Museum and SAAB factory in Trollhattan are must-do activities for a
SAAB nut.  Sweden is a great country to visit if you are like most
Americans and don't speak any foreign languages because most Swedes
speak excellent English.  SAAB now has a package called the "Swedish
Adventure", which offers low rates on Chateau Relais hotels throughout
Sweden if you are planning on going first class.

If you have any questions regarding IDS, please send me email:
The Saab Network

Message from
Subject: European Delivery - The Conclusion
My wife and I picked up our '94 900SE Coupe from the dealer yesterday,
nearly two months after we dropped it off in Munich.  BTW, our earlier
experience with SAAB European delivery can be retrieved from 2736, 2757,
2759, and 2765.

Unfortunately, stateside delivery was not nearly as glorious as the European
experience.  Hopefully, our pain can be your gain, so here are a few
pointers we picked up.

SAAB offers the option of having your car delivered to one of several ports
throughout the US.  I suspect we could have picked our car up stateside a
lot quicker if we had it shipped to Port Hueneme (for those of you close to
the LA sprawl).  If you get it shipped "direct" to the dealer, then your car
arrives in Georgia and then is subsequently shipped by rail and then truck
to its final destination.  Despite what SAAB Cars USA claims, this will take
at least two weeks.  Don't hold your breath!  Another advantage to picking
up your car portside is that you can personally do battle with the Board of
Equalization (or whoever your state's taxing arm may happen to be) and the
DMV and try to wiggle a few dollars your way.  The dealer may be incompetent
regarding what can be taxed (more about this later).  BTW, the importer, EH
Harms (sp?), says that the _other_ European manufacturers ship their cars to
local ports.  Only SAAB insists that all cars be funneled through Georgia.
"Those Swedes - they have to be different", said the agent at EH Harms while
rolling his eyes.

In California, at least, you cannot be taxed for insurance.  However, our
dealer was not cognizant of this fact, and furthermore proceeded to
calculate the vehicle license fees and taxation based on the car + European
insurance price. Needless to say, this involved much grief on our part
before we convinced the dealer they were wrong.  Sorry for wasting bandwidth
if you don't live in a fiscally challenged part of the nation...

In other respects, the car is fine, and survived mostly unscathed.  A very
faint scratch appeared courtesy of either the importer or the dealer while
the car was being washed, and I get the feeling that every 900SE owner
on received a SID3 computer unit with sticking buttons, myself 

I am now currently working on obtaining a speeding ticket...  It is much 
more fun to drive at 110mph on the autobahn than 65mph on the interstate.
On the plus side, noise level is far lower at 65mph, but then again, I'm
getting a lot better than the 20mpg economy of the higher speed.

Finally, another thanks to everyone who posted about installing a Clarion
CD changer.  It only took about two hours last night, and everything is
working well.

Happy Saabing!
Albert Lew
Teradyne Inc
The Saab Network

Message from
Subject: Re: CA Tax-Free European Delivery
I have taken delivery on 3 SAAB's European delivery 
(86' 9000i; 89' 9000t; 89' 900base) If your take delivery and drive the 
car in Europe (one day is enough) you avoid the Import Duty Tax 
(2.5%) but when you register the car in your home State for the tag
you pay the Sales Tax on the purchase price. Saab in Sweden will
sell you Insurance for up to 12 months and Export Tag to drive around 

Bob Lomitola
89' 900base (40K)
Message from
Subject: Re: European Delivery
I'm a (french) canadian who has already purchased two (2) Saab on the IDS
program  (a 99 long ago, and a 9000 Turbo). I'm on the way to buy the third
one ('she' is already ordered : delivery date will be July 1996).  'She'  is
a brand new 900 2.3i, with canadian specs  -which are very-very close to the
european ones-.

What is IDS ? International and Diplomatic Sales

I never had any problems with this scheme  (and saved a lot each time !!!
The higher your country taxes are , the most you save )

You can order the car (even a GB model with RHD) for example in France,
having it delivered where you want in Europe (Paris-France, London, or at
the factory in Trollhatan-Sweden). Delivery in Sweden is free, otherwise you
have to pay for road transport (around US $300-400).

* If you order a USA-Specs model : the car will be absolutely similar to the
US-imported models. The 'compliance certificate' is provided : there are
absolutely no problems for importing it in the USA. * The 'shipment' back to
USA is included in the sale price (free home shipment) and the corresponding
'voucher' is valid for one full year maximum (to my knowledge ==> check with
Saab International before...). * The car is delivered with 'european export
license plates' : swedish plates if you choose a delivery in Sweden :
Insurance is mandatory for driving a car in Europe : They (Saab
International) can arrange insurance for you (cost depends on the number of
months you intend to travel on the european territory. of course no problems
crossing borders  (most of the time there is no stop at all.... you cross
the borders at regular speed (60 mph or ... more !) US insurance are (to my
knowledge) not allowed. *AIRPLANES TICKETS FROM USA to Paris are, to our
standards, very cheap  (it costs less to travel from Paris to New-York than
to Stockolm

I STRONGLY recommand you to contact (fax and phone numbers below...)

Gilles LUGAN  : SAAB International & Diplomat Sales Manager
SAAB Rive Gauche
76 bis avenue de Suffren                (close to Eiffel Tower)
75015 PARIS   France

                phone   33  1  47 83 45 22
                fax     33  1  47 34 65 50
33 is the 'international phone code' for 'France'
 1 is the 'special' number for Paris

He gave me excellent service, and interesting price (with discount). Feel
free to contact him 'ON MY BEHALF'  (I have absolutely no personnal interest
in Saab business ! only the will to help other Saab buyers and Saab Clubs
members to get the best offers... ). I'm a Saab Clubs member (Saab Club of
North America 'included'), a happy owner (see the Gallery of members on the The Saab Network)

You can have your car ordered from him, in Paris, and delivered where you
want (even in Paris of course) If you need it, I know an Hotel (very close
to the SAAB office / delivery center) where SAAB buyers /drivers are
particularly welcome (...the general manager owns 'a lot of Saabs'

Keep me informed of your will and actions , FEEL FREE to ask me for ANY HELP

Sorry if my english is not perfect : this is not my native language

Hoping to see you 'at the steering wheel' of a new 900 or 9000 : Mine will
be delivered in Trolhattan, probably on July 6th : Nice to see you there

Have a nice week (I'll travel for the next 4 days - sorry not with a Saab
but a Citroen BX diesel : company car ... of course !!!)


  Joel SOUMAGNE    tel :  (+33)  87 74 99 38
   Supelec         fax :  (+33)  87 76 95 49
           E-mail :
  2 rue Ed. Belin,
  57078   METZ, Cedex 3
The Saab Network

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