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  • Spyker dealer adding Saab, brings Saab presence back to Seattle (USA)

    A Spyker dealer is the first in the U.S. to also begin selling Saabs. Saabs are a common sight on Seattle streets. However, for the past two years, Seattle has been without a Saab dealer. This is no longer the case. Saab of Bellevue, located in a Seattle suburb, is one of the newest Saab dealers in the United States. It has the distinction of being the first Spyker dealer in the U.S. to begin selling Saabs, not vice versa. Ryan Vanderwel, General Manager of Park Place Ltd., Spyker’s Seattle area dealer, kindly spent some time with SaabWorld.

    The Seattle area had multiple Saab dealers in the past. By September 2008, Carter Saab-Volkswagen, the last remaining Saab dealer in the city, obtained the Subaru franchise. Without room to expand, the dealer decided to drop the Saab line. McCann Cadillac Saab Hummer (renamed Larson Cadillac Saab) has been in the Saab business for quite a few years but is located about 30 miles away near Tacoma. For a short period of time, a Cadillac/Chevrolet dealer in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue was an authorized Saab service only dealer.

    SaabWorld: How did Saab of Bellevue get its start?

    Ryan Vanderwel: I had been following the Saab developments for the 6 months prior to Spyker winning the bid as I was passionate about Saab having owned one and been around them for most of my formative years. As soon as we heard Spyker was the winning bidder, I was on the phone to see what the prospects would be that we could become a Saab dealership. As luck would have it the Seattle market had not had any Saab representation since Carter closed shop in Ballard (a Seattle neighborhood) in 2008, so they were looking for someone in the Seattle/Bellevue market. Obviously we were a good fit as we also represented their parent company.

    SaabWorld: Isn't Saab of Bellevue building a new showroom for Saabs?

    Ryan Vanderwel: We are in the process of taking over additional showroom space within the Park Place Center at 13710 NE 20th St., Bellevue, Washington that we will develop into a stand alone Saab dealership. In the interim they will be displayed outside of my Aston Martin showroom. (editor: Park Place Ltd., the parent company, has two adjacent showrooms, one for Aston Martin and one for Spyker and other cars)

    SaabWorld: How did Park Place Ltd., the Spyker dealer and parent company to Saab of Bellevue get its start?

    Ryan Vanderwel: Park Place Ltd was started in 1987 by David Bingham and Butch Bockmier who were friends from their time at the University of Washington. They started the dealership as a hobby as they both were "retired" from other carriers and wanted to do something fun.

    SaabWorld: SaabWorld learned that Park Place Ltd. is a locally owned car dealership started in 1987 by David Bingham, a philanthropist and retired Fisher Communications executive, and his friend, Butch Bockmier, who had previous experience in the automotive business. Park Place Ltd. started in the business of exotic used car sales, which continues to be a significant portion of the business. Park Place Ltd. is an authorized Spyker, Aston Martin, and Lotus dealer. The dealer also has an auto salon department which details cars as well as being a dealer for Superformance, Speedster, Cobra, and Classic Performance Coachworks. There are two showroom buildings, one of them housing Aston Martin and Saab. Another showroom is under construction and will be used for Saab cars.

    Service personnel with previous Saab experience have already been hired in anticipation of new Saab business. A veteran Saab service tech from Seattle’s previous Saab dealer who had a short stint with Bellevue’s Saab service only dealer, has been hired as well as a veteran Saab service advisor. Saab of Bellevue is also in negotiations to fly over and hire another Saab technician with over 15 years of experience in the brand.

    SaabWorld photo of Saab of Bellevue, photo of Ryan Vanderwel courtesy of Saab of Bellevue and used with permission

    So far, Saab of Bellevue has received only one Saab 9-3 but that sold like hotcakes and the dealer is temporary out of Saab cars! Another shipment is expected later this month, including three Saab 9-5s and some 9-3s. A welcome party to Saab enthusiasts and potential Saab customers is planned.

    Although Spyker announced plans to expand distribution through selected Saab dealers, the plan is still in its infancy. In the North America, there are only a few Saab/Spyker dealers . Roger Beasley Saab (Austin, Texas) and Bluegrass Motorsport (Louisville, Kentucky) are among those few, but those dealers were Saab dealers already with Spyker added later. Suburban Saab (Ann Arbor, Michigan) and the Spyker dealer in Troy, Michigan are owned by the same parent company but the showrooms are miles apart. Saab of Bellevue/Park Place Ltd. has the distinction of being a Spyker dealer that later added Saab.

    SaabWorld: What is your background?

    Ryan Vanderwel: I was born and bred in Toronto, Canada and have worked for David and Butch for 10+ years after graduating from University of Western Ontario. I am a car nut to put it mildly and have been into Saabs ever since my neighbor growing up took delivery of a 900 SPG. There has always been a point in my life were a Saab was very close to my heart, my first car was a 900NG 2.0T coupe.

    SaabWorld: When do you expect your first Saab 9-5?

    Ryan Vanderwel: I have two Turbo 4's and one Aero (coming in late January).

    SaabWorld: Anything else you want to tell the readers?

    Ryan Vanderwel: We are very excited to become a representative for Saab in the Northwest and will do everything necessary to make sure that the Saab community has a strong dealer presence to rely on. We are very excited to see where Victor (Mueller, CEO of Spyker) takes the brand over the coming years. He is truly an inspiring man and has the vision and ability to bring Saab back to its core values. Having said that, I think their current and immediate future products are some of the most advanced that I have seen come out of the company in a long, long time. The new 9-5 is sensational and the 9-4x looks to be equally as good. Once we are up and running in our new facility, we will have a welcome party for all the Saab customers in the northwest. In the meantime, feel free to come down to our main showroom to peruse the Saabs and feel free to call our service department at (425) 746-5447 for all your servicing needs.

    Ryan expresss his dedication to customer service; “If we provide our customers with the highest level of service for all their automotive needs, they will be our customers for life.” Best of luck to Ryan Vanderwel and Saab of Bellevue.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Spyker dealer adding Saab, brings Saab presence back to Seattle (USA) started by Dave 37 View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Nathan 9⁵'s Avatar
      Nathan 9⁵ -
      Such good news! I can't wait till I'm back in my native Pacific NortWest.
    1. NordWulf's Avatar
      NordWulf -
      It would be nice if you could get a Spyker loaner when you bring in your Saab for service.
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