• Jan 9th 2009 at 4:03PM
  • 13
General Motors' precarious cash position and a dire automotive market means that some blood-letting will occur to some of GM's brands. The General has mentioned that Saab and HUMMER are up for strategic review, which Maximum Bob Lutz told Automotive News was "code for we realize they're not working and something needs to be done." Many are expecting GM to sell Saab, but unfortunately you need a seller and a buyer to strike an accord. And sources are telling AN that the General doesn't have the latter.
Tight credit markets could be part of the problem, and any would-be buyers that have ample cash on hand are likely to be hesitant to part with it. That's especially true when considering the fact that Saab's sales declined at nearly twice the US industry decline in 2008, with only 21,000 units sold. The Swedish government may make it a little easier to keep Saab after it offered up $3.1 billion in loans to aid its industry (including Volvo). GM likely needs as much short-term cash as possible right about now, but the fact remains that the Swedish brand hasn't brought much success in the past 20 years, and the near-term prospects don't look very good, either.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Perhaps it is because they have been neutered and haven't been interesting since the 900S. Or because every time they come out with an interesting concept, GM cans it before it gets a chance. Maybe that is why.
      • 6 Years Ago
      SAAB sucks. my 2 cents.

      • 6 Years Ago
      If I were in the market for a car like a saab I'd buy one in a second. There unique, not everyone has one - that's a good thing. There upcoming cars look amazing.

      Why hyundai wouldn't want them is beyond me. I'd buy them, tweak the genesis and you've got an instand luxury brand - credible one, not this ripped off cheap imitation rolex one they are going with now.

      Same for hummer. Sell them beside kias. Have nothing above the H3, come out with H4's and H5's. Small, cheap fun mobiles like the old wrangler used to be before they made them $21,000. You'd sell a ton of them! Think wrangler, samurai, etc. Also add a hummer pickup - a real one, not a $35,000 H3. I am talking chevy luv sized - great mpg, durable as hell, and fully loaded for $15,000 out the door.

      You'd sell a ton of them!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The product line may be neglected, but you can't underestimate the value of an established, recognizable brand, a dealer network, and design and engineering facilities. When the price is right, some ambitious future car mogul from India or China will purchase Saab for those assets.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      SAAB's drivetrains are pretty bad ass (the turbo X comes to mind), but their interiors are seriously in need of improvement. I was looking forward to the future Delta II based 9-3 (that's the Cruze's platform), but I could see how there is little case for them.

      SAAB, Volvo, and VW occupy similar brand identity (sub-luxury european) and VW royally trounces the area. Of course, VW is globally prolific and thus has a lot of cash to throw around, where Volvo and Saab don't.

      I'd consider a Saab if they were more competitive with VW, but that would require a huge investment from GM. That said, its a brand that needs to be put on ice for some happier days.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd love to see Hyundai pick Saab or Volvo up as their luxury marque. I think they have the resources to turn this brand around and make it compete again with MB, BMW, and Audi.

      Saab really has a unique market niche. Most of their buyers are not interested in status, and just want a premium automobile that stands out and has great design features, much like how Hyundai buyers just want a reliable automobile with more features than the bigger guys. If they can price their cars 2-3k less than the prominent luxury marques, that may sell quite nicely.

      GM really screwed Saab over by using their own parts bin and designers too much. The latest 9-5 has an awkward Malibu feel to it....ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
      • 6 Years Ago
      SAAB was once known for their turbo hatchbacks, being a unique combination is performance, practicality, comfort, safety, and fuel economy. Most famous was the classic 900 turbo from the 80's and early 90's. Problem is, never once did I see a SAAB ad on TV promoting these benefits. So no wonder their sales are low. IF YOU DON"T ADVERTISE THE FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF YOUR PRODUCT, THEN WHY SHOULD ANYONE BUY IT?

      SAAB could have made a simple yet effective ad with no dialog: Show people at the loading dock of IKEA with their sedans, struggling to fit the large items in their cars. Then someone rolls up in a SAAB, opens the hatchback, folds the rear seat, and fits everything neatly and quickly, then drives away.

      Instead zombies in management killed the hatch and created a sedan. Smart move Einsteins! Now you have no differentiating feature and compete directly with Audi (who has Quattro), BMW, Lexus solely on performance - a competition they can't win and the sales figures show it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Saabs are a great vehicle. There latest concepts have won numerous awards in Europe and N.A. The 9-X Biohybrid would have made a great addition to the 9-3 and 9-5. A new 9-5 has been sorely needed for the last 3 years as the present 9-5 was first produced in 1999.

      GM's decision to expand Cadillac into Europe has been a financial disaster. It is to bad that the money spent on that idea, should have been made on Saab to expand their lineup and improve their capabilities. It will be a sad day in our household if Saab goes by the wayside because of GM's blunders.

      Saab has allways been a top notch innovative brand, with leading technology in turbo charged 4-cyl engines and safety features.
      • 6 Years Ago
      it is sad that GM ruined SAAB. they were once so great and innovative. what if Subaru/Fuji buys them? Subarus are quirky and have a die hard loyal following, much like SAAB. Besides, they already shared the Imprezza and the 9-2x, courtesy of GM. I think it would be a great match.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Both companies (Fuji/SAAB) also have a similar heritage as aircraft manufacturers.

        Both companies also use turbos exstensively in their lineups.

        Might have been a good fit if the economy weren't so bad.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I love the 9-2x. If Fuji bought saab they could come out with a new 9-2x model!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Saab is still way ahead of the game, GM just doesn't fund their innovations anymore, and that's the real problem.

      Yeah, turbos are all the rage now, but Saab led the race over a decade ago. Same with FWD/AWD and Trionic engineering. All that's missing is Volvo's safety cachet.

      Now, if you want to see what Saab is all about today and their innovations for the future, take a gander at their concept vehicles, 9X Air, 9X BioHybrid, 9X BioPower, and especially the Aero X

      Very impressing indeed!
      Now with $3 billion to play with, think of the possibilities.!!

      I still crave for a black on black 9-3 AWD turbo convertible. That's so hot!
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