This Abandoned Saab Dealer Was a Time Capsule Until the Thieves Arrived
Some secrets are best kept quiet.
Abandoned places have an eerie allure, especially when valuables are left behind. Unfortunately, it's often best for places like these to remain forgotten—because once the masses find out, things tend to go downhill fast. Such was demonstrated by an abandoned Saab dealership in France, which has been targeted by vandals and thieves since becoming widely known a few years ago.
The shuttered Saab dealer was recently featured in a YouTube video uploaded by Forgotten Buildings, which explored the sales floor of the more-than-decade-defunct carmaker. The dealer closed down with cars still on its showroom and shop floor, while its offices remain packed with official documents and office supplies. It's a particularly strange fate for a business that—at the time of closure—clearly had plenty of assets to liquidate. So, what happened?
The dealer's history is murky, but a rough account has been pieced together by Saab blogs. It's said to have opened in 1972 as a family business and found success alongside Saab as a manufacturer. However, just as Saab entered what would become its death spiral in the 2000s, one of its owners' health began to fail. That left their brother to run the dealer, and apparently do so poorly, by overcharging customers. Then the recession hit and the dealer went under. According to Saab Planet, the business was meant to be liquidated in 2010, while Saab itself wouldn't outlast 2011. But for unknown reasons, the sell-off never happened, leaving the dealer's facilities in decrepit but recognizable shape.
The condition of the showroom made the dealer an offbeat destination for abandonment tourists and Saab fans, and it might've remained their secret for a while longer. Unfortunately, knowledge of the dealer started to spread online over the last few years, and it has attracted vandals and thieves. Since photos shared in 2021 on Saab Blog, some of the cars in the showroom have had their windows smashed in, or parts stolen. The offices also appear to have been ransacked, though whether for valuables or Saab trinkets as souvenirs can't be guessed.
Sometimes it's best for lost things to remain so, both for their sake and for those who know how to respect them. If there's no bringing the past back, then let it remain there instead of having its remains picked over by the buzzards.
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