General Motors has announced that it is cutting Saab out of the 5-year/100,000-mile GM powertrain warranty, instead saddling the Swedish brand with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty. In other words, Saab reliability is so poor that GM has to cut warranty coverage lest the resulting repairs push the automaker further toward bankruptcy? Not so, claims spokesperson Joanne Krell, who says the change "makes sense to the import premium buyer, which is where Saab fits in the automotive landscape." Uh huh. Any import premium buyers out there want to chime in on that assertion?
Jalopnik Snap Judgment: This is a bonehead move by GM. Saab already had a mediocre reputation on the reliability front, so reducing warranty coverage is not going to help dealers compete with BMW and Mercedes. Of course, that may be exactly the point. This may be one of the first quiet steps in letting Saab wither on the vine: Reduce competitiveness through corporate maneuvering, then blame dealers for lackluster sales when they axe the marque. Either way, as the owners of a 9-5 that needed a timing chain replacement at 60,000 miles, we wouldn't take this change too lightly. [Forbes]