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  • Minnesota dealer successfully bids for 68 Saab company cars

    Schmelz Countryside Volkswagen Saab, a large Saab dealer in the northern American state of Minnesota, has successfully bid on 68 new Saabs and former company cars recently. Among them was a 9-4X previously assigned to Saab designer, Jason Castriota, as well as a 9-3 test car with a prototype Android-style large screen display.

    On June 27th and 28th, Ally Financial auctioned 45 new Saabs which were located at the port in Newark as well as approximately 67 former Saab Cars North America company cars located in Michigan and around the U.S. The former Saab company cars were auctioned as two lots and the 45 new Saabs were auctioned individually through Ally Financial's SmartAuction system, which is open to Saab dealers but not individuals.

    Two of the 45 new Saabs and both lots of former company cars were won by Schmelz Countryside Volkswagen Saab, a dealer in Maplewood, near St. Paul, Minneapolis. The dealer started in 1966 by the Schmelz family and remains in its original location. Jonathan Schmelz, the grandson of the founder, runs day to day operations as the co-owner with his father and coordinated the dealer's successful Saab bids. In recent years, it was the fifth largest Saab dealer in the United States in terms of number of new Saabs sold.

    The front lot at Schmelz Countryside had to be cleared to make space for all these 9-4X and 9-5 cars

    Included in the auction lot successfully bid on by Schmelz Countryside was a Saab 9-4X company car formerly driven by Saab car designer, Jason Castriota. (It's now for sale here Used 2011 Saab 9-4X AUTO For Sale | Maplewood MN VIN (vehicle identification number) is 3G0FNUE68BS800246) One of the lowest 9-4X VIN ending in 00007 is a former Saab company car and is for sale by Schmelz Countryside (00001 is located in Sweden). Another one of the former Saab company cars won was a Saab 9-3 previously equipped with Google equipment, including an interface for radio and a mock-up Android display, as well as testing equipment. Schmelz Countryside is planning to restore the 9-3 to the standard Saab configuration. Most of the former company cars were Saab 9-4X and 9-5 cars. There were a few Saab 9-4X with no titles, which could be sold only for display or parts.

    The description of Saabs just obtained by Schmelz Countryside is too numerous to list and can't be done as nicely as the Schmelz family is capable of doing. In short, the Saabs that were obtained recently and still are available include:

    1 - 9-3 Aero Sedan
    1- 9-3 Aero Convertible
    1 - 9-5 Turbo 4 Manual
    28 - 9-5 Turbo 4 Premium Automatic
    7 - 9-5 Turbo 6 2.8L XWD
    4 - 9-5 Aero XWD
    2 - 9-4X 3.0L Premium
    13 - 9-4X Aero

    It was a feat of coordination that Schmelz Countryside went through to transport cars to Minnesota. Several trucking companies bid and were chosen to transport a large batch of over 30 cars from Michigan, 2 new Saabs from Port Newark, and a variety of former Saab company cars in California, Connecticut, Long Island (New York), Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and other locations. Some of the cars located in far flung locations were previously driven by Saab field representatives.

    Schmelz Countryside VW-Saab is open to working with interested Saab buyers locally and out of state. They are also willing to place a bid with Ally Financial for the some of the remaining Saabs at U.S. ports if there is a specific car that a Saabworld reader is interested in. Saabworld plans to have further information on the next auction.

    Thanks to Jonathan Schmelz for photos and information. Schmelz Countryside Volkswagen Saab has a website at Schmelz Countryside, +1 (651) 484-8441.
    This article was originally published in blog: Minnesota dealer successfully bids for Saab company cars, gets 68 Saabs started by Dave T
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. nordwulf's Avatar
      nordwulf -
      Great report and good to see these vehicles are finally going to be available to Saab customers. It would be interesting to see what the interior of the 9-3 test car with Android display looks like. Sad to see how these new exciting features never made it to production vehicles.
    1. rpiereck's Avatar
      rpiereck -
      Funny that there are many pictures online of SAAB's Android system, aka IQon, but none of the car's interior with it. Maybe the dealership will be kind enough to take some pictures before changing the car to regular specs.

      Iqon News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - Jalopnik

      Pretty neat system:
    1. Dave T's Avatar
      Dave T -
      About photos of the system, I did ask Jonathan Schmelz, even before writing this article or seeing your comments.
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