- Nov 28, 2009
REPORT: Saab still has at least two interested parties - BAIC and Merbanco
2010 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery
When Koenigsegg pulled out of its agreement with General Motors to purchase Saab, many thought that General Motors would dump the Swedish automaker much like it did the Saturn brand. But it appears that The General is still willing to look for another interested party, and speculation is that two perspective buyers are at the front of the line. The Swedish press is reporting that China's Beijing Automotive (BAIC) and Wyoming-based merchant bank Merbanco have shown renewed interest in perennially cash-poor Saab.
Saab spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs reportedly told Automotive News that there were 27 suitors interested in the Swedish automaker prior to Koenigsegg becoming the preferred bidder and confirmed that there are now other bidders interested. "We have a close dialog and close contact with several who have expressed interest in buying Saab Automobile," Gustavs says.
if another bidder does win the opportunity to purchase Saab, they'll inherit an automaker that expects to lose $427 million in 2009 and a similar amount of cash in 2010. That buyer will also run into plenty of resistance when trying to get its hands on GM's technology assets. One issue that reportedly derailed the Koenigsegg bid was GM's reluctance to share its tech for new products like the new Saab 9-5. On the upside, the aforementioned 9-5 sedan has just begun serial production, the 9-3X allweatherwagon is ready to go, and the 9-4X looks to be just around the bend, too.
Earlier in the week, GM released a statement stating that it would "take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week." Thanks for the tips, everyone!
[Sources: Autocar; Automotive News; Auto Motor und Sport]