• Nov 24, 2009
2010 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

After riding in on a white horse, Koenigsegg Group AB has pulled out of negotiations to buy Saab from General Motors, leaving the Swedish automaker's future very much in doubt. In a brief statement issued by GM (available after the jump), president and CEO Fritz Henderson says that the company is "very disappointed with the decision to pull out of the Saab purchase."

It is unclear what will happen to the brand now, but if Saab fans can hold on to any hope, GM says it will "take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week." It is worth noting that this is different from the brief announcement that GM issued when Roger Penske's group pulled out from buying Saturn – GM immediately announced that they would begin "winding down" the brand. There was at least one other serious bidder interested in purchasing Saab previous to Koenigsegg becoming the preferred purchaser, but it isn't immediately clear if they are still interested, or if their financial backing checked out to begin with.

We suspect that even if Saab is unable to survive as a brand, someone will step in and purchase the assets to the already tooled-up forthcoming 9-5 sedan – perhaps the Chinese – and potentially the newish 9-3/9-3X as well.



[Source: General Motors]

PRESS RELEASE:

Koenigsegg Group AB Terminates Agreement For Purchase of Saab

2009-11-24

DETROIT -- General Motors confirmed today that the proposed sale of its Saab subsidiary to Koenigsegg Group AB was terminated at the discretion of the buyer.

"We're obviously very disappointed with the decision to pull out of the Saab purchase," said GM President and CEO, Fritz Henderson. "Many have worked tirelessly over the past several months to create a sustainable plan for the future of Saab by selling the brand and its manufacturing interests to Koenigsegg Group AB. Given the sudden change in direction, we will take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week."

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  • 91 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sucks to see Saab go but.............there is only room for that many car makers, and the market is already beyond saturated.

      I'd say take Opel and Saab to the grave together with Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Hummer and Saturn.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Perhaps Koenigsegg didn't want to inherit such a fugly collection of cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i'm saving up all my saabs so one day it will sell like a rembrandt
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I didn't know any better I would say this would be a bold move to lower Saab's asking price
      • 5 Years Ago
      Magna should scoop up Volvo and Saab and get crackin' in the European market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Volvo / Saab / Magna backed by Russian money? sounds like the ultimate car marriage from hell...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well Magna already builds the 9-3 convertible.

        But I wouldn't have them buy both Saab and Volvo. They're competitors.

        Magna buying Saab would be nice, but they'd still need to figure out how to make it work without a high-volume brand to pay all the development bills.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was going to post: What about Russians?

        But I think you beat me to it. :-)

        Both, SAAB and Volvo, are very good fit for Russian industry, economy and consumers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honestly is anyone really surprised? The Economy is not turning significantly, vehicle sales are down and SAAB didn't really have any cutting-edge technology to share. Add this to a shrinking and skeptical fan base and you had quite a project on you hands. Besides Kooenigsegg has their own problems. They made the right decision

      SaaB-RiP
      • 5 Years Ago
      Poor GM --- They can't even sell a SAAB to a Swede these days...
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM is on the roll!

      First, they shoot Pontiac. Then, they screwed Saturn. Now, Saab. And they are still trying really hard to keep Opel,so that they can drive it to the ground in a couple of years. God forbids, any of these brands will fall into the wrong hands and will actually make cars that people will buy.

      GM is a company whose sole purpose in this world is to acquire and then destroy car brands.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Soccer Mom: Sarah Palin probably could have posted a a more coherent response than that.

        Saab was in a vegetative state when GM bought them and placed them on life support. Pulling the plug may be the kindest thing for Saab right now.

        Saab's last head turner was the 9000. Everything else is based on the medival 900. This formula works fine for Porsche, because the 911 lives in the ALPHA male sector of Cardom. Saab of today is the Taco Bell chihuahua of cars.

        The 9.5 is in the most hotly contested segment of the market, it is forced to compete with the likes of: Volvo, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Acura, VW, Cadillac, Lexus, Audi and Infiniti & Lincoln all of which outsell the 9.5. In the Mid-late 80s, Only MB, Audi, Volvo & BMW competed in this segment.

        The world has passed Saab by.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Of course you wouldn't recall Saab was about to kick the bucket when GM bought it anyway right?

        This ain't Daimler, Saab was a mess when they got it, they've failed to change all that but they certainly haven't made it worse.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Amen Soccer Mom! GM seems to have the touch of death.
        • 5 Years Ago
        FThorn,
        GWB is responsible for the governments ownership stake in GM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        With a big push from their dollar donor, BHO
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dwayne Peka wept.

        (Shout out to Industrial Arts teacher who made Saab known to adolescent boys)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why can't GM hold on to and offer the 9-5 as something else within the family? GM spent a lot of money on SAAB and they finally have a new product available.

      Just rebadge it as a Buick and get it over here already that would be GREAT!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Too little, too late. Saab might have had a fighting chance to survive the recession if GM had released the new 9-5 a few years ago.

      I'm hoping that Fiat buys the US distribution network and uses it to sell Alfa Romeo's.

      Next, I'm expecting Sichuan Tengzhong Machining Co. to back out of buying Hummer. With sales plummeting to oblivion, there really is no point in buying the brand anyway.

      All that any of this will prove is that a reckless (pre-bankruptcy?) GM ballooned their product portfolio until it popped. I hope at least Volvo survives the ordeal with their Chinese suitors, MG-Rover didn't have such luck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As far as I know, it is GM's fault management-wise that GM had to cut itself in half. But it isn't their fault that Saab sales stayed stagnant. From an engineering stand point Saab is competitive in terms of how their cars drive. People just crap on it because they know GM is full owner. GM. Never really messed with Saab's Quirkiness either. All GM Did was hand them the Epsilon Chassis, and Saab itself developed th cars, that are nothing like the other Gm brands. I just see it as an underestimated sleeper hit from the late 80's onward. And this time I don't think SAAB will be dead for had it would be, it would've been mentioned. Nor do I think the Chinese will get predict that GM will shrink it by pulling out of some markets and shrink the dealership network. Also find more ways to cut the cost of running SAAB instead of mercy killing. But only next week will tell what they will do. I don't death is iminent
      • 5 Years Ago
      So sad. What about Renault? They could have a semi luxury brand to slot above Renault in the European market.
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