Freeport, Maine Native Gives Up Saab 9000 For Toyota Prius In U.S. Goverment “Cash For Clunkers” Program

Posted on 28. Jun, 2009 by in 2000-2009

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Photo Credit: Joel Page / NY Times

As one who lives in the same state as the driver in this article, that also owns not just the same make, but the same model and color and year even (a 1997 Saab 9000 CS), I was very interested to read about this person’s experience in a recent New York Times article.

Jon Edwards, who lives in Freeport, Maine, the same town that L.L. Bean is headquartered, decided to recently look into the “cash for clunkers” program through the United States government and unfortunately, not buy another Saab, but a 2010 Toyota prius (a conquest sale).

Evidently, the qualifications of the program include that your vehicle must be no more than 25 years old and then get a combined city and highway rating of no more than 18 mpg, as calculated on the EPA fuel economy ratings program. To obtain the entire $4,500 credit, your new vehicle must be at least 10 miles per gallon higher if it is a passenger car and 5 miles per gallon higher if you are getting rid of a truck or SUV. So if the new car is only 4–9 MPG more, you will get about $3,500, but if it’s 10 MPG and more, you will get another $1,000 giving you the maximum credit of $4,500.

I think it’s quite sad that the Saab is going to meet a certain death through this program as I have always been on principle, more about giving every Saab a new chance at life opposed to automatically choosing to part or crush it for parts and/or scrap value based on a few blemishes.

Moreover, if Saab had a hybrid right now such as the 9-X BioHybrid Concept Car, I am willing to bet that this individual would have purchased the Saab instead, but I am guessing that by default, he’s going with the Prius because well, how many real hybrids are actually on the market?

This program is set to expire November 1st or sooner if the funds run out, so hypothetically, if you are in the market for a new car in the United states and qualify for this program, make sure you buy one before this deadline, because you could get this credit in addition to the entire sales tax deductible as well this year thanks to the IRS indicated earlier this spring. Furthermore, and for good measure, make sure you buy a Saab.

Although it’s quite sad seeing the Saab go in place of a Toyota from a fellow Saab owner nearby, I think this kind of situation should spell out another clear opportunity for Saab, which must work hard to meet, keeping existing owners in the brand with new products. At the very least, I hope the owner at least parted out the ski racks and some other items before it went to the crusher for others to enjoy! Does NHTSA thoroughly examine each car for completeness before it gets crushed?

I urge you to take a look at this article at the New York Times, it’s a very interesting read. I also suggest you visit the EPA’s “Cash Allowance Rebate System” (CARS) program, for all of the details.

While I don’t agree with Mr. Edwards going to Prius instead of a new Saab, I do think the New York Times covered this new CARS program well, however their focus on the cosmetic aspects of the Saab 9000 was not enough justification for a new car sale. If Mr. Edwards consulted with a good Saab mechanic, enthusiast or did some quick searches online, he could have simply replaced his bumper from a local salvage yard and a new hood emblem from Saab USA Parts and other items for just a few hundred dollars.

When my Wife and I picked up our 1997 Saab 9000 last June which was also heading to the crusher by the owner, it had a rusty hood, paint cracking on both front and rear bumpers, exhaust rusted away, faulty display computer,electrical ground issues, both headlights sandblasted & cracked, and both emblems flaked away, etc, etc., Did all of those “problems” stop us, no. Now our car is in great working order, after some necessary tender loving care, much like one would do on a fixer-upper home, so why is there a double standard for repairing and restoring cars when people have no problem restoring a home? Both the homes as well as automobiles rack up age over time and use, and both need repair.

I did enjoy this article, I just don’t think this particular car was the best candidate for the CARS program, Saab or not, it just had some cosmetic issues that could have been easily resolved.

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No Responses to “Freeport, Maine Native Gives Up Saab 9000 For Toyota Prius In U.S. Goverment “Cash For Clunkers” Program”

  1. Carl

    29. Jun, 2009

    I wish I had more hands… so I could give this four thumbs down.

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  2. karenc

    29. Jun, 2009

    You could donate your car to charity and get a tax deduction instead of the voucher. Donated cars that are not junk, are repaired and able to pass inspection before they can be sold or given to the public.

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  3. Kirsty

    29. Jun, 2009

    I have no idea how Jon’s car was only getting 18mpg…He is a customer of ours and I’ve seen the car in a little better shape though. It seems that Lee might have skewed some numbers to get a deal through. How many 9K owners are getting below 25mpg?

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  4. Ryan

    29. Jun, 2009

    Kirsty,

    I think I found Jon’s website, so I went ahead and e-mailed him.

    We’ll see if we get a response. I am surprised he would sell this.

    The figure actually came from the EPA cars.gov website that shows the figure. I think it’s totally wrong though. It’s kind of slanted so that people are convinced to buy a new car.

    R

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