• Dec 19, 2009

Saab 9-5 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Less than a day after General Motors officially announced Saab's euthanization, it looks like the storied Swedish brand might still have the faintest whisper of a pulse. Motor Trend is reporting that there are rumors swirling that the Swedish government will hold emergency meetings this weekend to try to save Saab. At least some government officials apparently feel that Saab is too important to fail... now where have we heard that before? With such a small population, the closure of Saab could have a major impact on the nation's economy, much like the failure of GM (and Chrysler, to a lesser extent) was viewed as potentially catastrophic in the States.

Some 3,400 employees will be jobless when GM completes its planned
"orderly wind down" starting in January. That estimate doesn't include workers from the 1,100 Saab dealers that will also be shuttered around the globe.

Despite the failed selloff, things look like they're picking up at The General. The automaker announced yesterday that they had paid back the first $1 billion TARP money they borrowed from us the U.S. government. BAIC, Koenigsegg, Spyker and others had attempted to jump into the Saab fire-sale, but all have come out burned. Well, BAIC at least scored tooling for the old 9-3 and current 9-5. With a new-for 2010 9-5 having taken the stage at auto shows around the globe in recent months and the 9-4X in the wings, we'd love to see all of the Saab faithful get an early Christmas gift. We're definitely not holding our breath, but we'll keep you posted through the weekend should anything materialize.




[Source: Motor Trend]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is crazy.

      More drama involved in the SAAB story.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not crazy at all.

        Show me the money!
        GM to Sweden: "you can make it in a form of a bailout. The EU won't notice a thing! Magna tried it with Opel, it almost...almost worked."
        • 5 Years Ago
        It'll be interesting to see how much Sweden is willing to cough up and how much GM says they'd need.

        I'll bet those numbers will be off by a factor of at least 2, as in, Saab is at least twice as expensive as what Sweden can afford in the current down economy. .
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope SAAB can still be saved (even by a Swede bailout) and goes back to it's roots, quirks and all...SAAB for Swedes!

      http://www.rescue-saab.com/en/index.html

        • 5 Years Ago
        I really feel sorry for the people who care about Saab and the workers who will be effected. This is one big game for the beancounters at GM. They have no interest in seeing Saab survive outside of the fold. I really doubt the Swedes will want to hand out the kind of cash GM would be looking for to put off shuttering Saab. Especially since it will open the door for Ford to get the same cash to help Volvo.
      invisiblepigeon3
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they keep a failed brand alive like this, would anyone be stupid enough to go buy one, after all this nonsense?

      They'd be better off pulling a Bugatti and letting the brand go away for a few years, then have some other firm invest in reviving it, and making it better than ever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have always liked Saabs for their cool quirkiness and as a sportier alternative to stodgy Volvos. Still, the past few years have not been kind to the brand and the front of the last 9-5 was just plain hideous. Saw the new 9-5 recently at an auto show and have to say it's not bad even if it is not really in the same league as its competitors. It would be nice to see the Swedish government put something together and help form a partnership with GM to keep the parts flowing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The failure of the SAAB deals thus far is due to one thing and one thing only:
      The simple fact that GM isn't willing to let the new buyer make the current SAAB cars with all that GM IP in them (new 9-5, new 9-4x and others) for long enough to allow the new buyer to find a replacement.
      The last thing GM wants is competition between an Epsilon platform SAAB 9-5 and a matching product from Buick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Passion? Loyalty? Where are all the big sales and profits for Saab then?

      What makes 3,500 jobs so special that the Swedish government (and GM) will have to subsidize them indefinitely? For what purpose?

      Saab has no hope whatsoever of righting the ship or turning and honest profit, it's been nearly 15 years since the company had an honest profit. Like the autobailout here it doesn't make any sense to throw tax money at a few jobs only to have them fail later when the market doesn't exist to support them?

      How can GM justify keeping a subisdary that makes no money? GM doesn't have any money, they owe the US government and the taxpayer. They cannot continue to have parts of an empire that loses billions of dollars.

      GM WANTS to sell Saab. They DO NOT WANT to sell their engineering and technology they have invested in it. Why on Earth would GM want to sell it's latest parts and engineering to compete with itself? If any of you really though this out you would completely understand why GM doesn't want their IP as part of the sale. It's thoroughly stupid. It makes vastly more sense to put this company out of it's misery than to let it continue draining the mother company unless Sweden really wants to let it drain their tax money instead.

      The new 9-5 and 9-4X are 100% GM cars full of GM engineering and parts. Just like Saturns GM doesn't want to sell itself to their competition to compete with themselves, that's absolutely nuts. Penskie couldn't come up with a vehicle supplier so that sale was off and he's better off for it really, both Saturn and Saab are massive, massive turkeys that bankrupt their hosts. There's also nothing about any of the new Saabs that have anything about them that would change Saab's fortunes. Don't kid yourselves. You'd have to be 100% nuts to buy either one over the Euro or Asian competition in their price ranges. Which is why nobody does.

      The automotive world is competitive and a business, passion is great and all, but at the end of the day a brand or company has to be managed effictively, offer products people actually want to buy and make money. Saab hasn't done any of these things.

      I really question a government throwing an unending amount of money into a company like this and GM losing more money on it now that they're coffers are thinly padded.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Passion? Loyalty? Where are all the big sales and profits for Saab then?"
        Its clear many people have passion for the brand but they don't own Saabs currently because they aren't happy with the current products or lack there of. It really proves the ineptness of GM when they own a brand like Saab with a fiercely loyal following and they can't manage to make it work. You seem to blame Saab for this failure when it is clearly GM that is largely responsible (not entirely) for Saabs current state. Yes, GM did save Saab two decades ago when they took a controlling interest but since then what has GM really done for the company besides keep it alive? Its been 20 years and GM has given Saab the funding for two models (9-5 & 9-3), that's ridiculous! How is any company supposed to make money when they have two model lines that are both around a decade old now? On top of that the other two models that GM gave Saab (9-7x & 9-2x) did nothing for the brand besides water down the image further, something GM has been a master at doing with its other brands like Pontiac. On top of that they gave Saab platforms to use that could not be configured for a hatchback (current 9-3), what the hell is a Saab without a hatch? Like all of its brands GM did not understand the importance of branding, marketing or legacy and thought the way to profits was badge engineering. If you really want to absolve GM from Saab's failure please explain why GM has had to try to sell or close 6 of its brands this year alone, this isn't just Saab this is clearly mismanagement from the top by one of the most poorly run companies of the past several decades. You might have had a valid point in blaming Saab for their own failure if like Volvo they had a full line of competitive cars and they were still loosing money but that's not the case, this is another classic case of GM's ineptness at running a car company. When you are a company like GM and have a cult like following for one of your brands and you can't figure out how to sell them cars you are doing a really crappy job of running a car company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Every single person from pizza taxi driver to hotel cleaner gets effected if Saab Automobile goes down. We are talking about tens of thousands jobs lost overall.

        • 5 Years Ago
        All the people involved in manufacturing the letter 'a' took a big hit when abba broke up. How can they survive the demise of Saab?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Can't Elin Woods just buy it?
      Surely she has enough money:)
      • 5 Years Ago
      While Saab may be integral to Sweden, Sweden is way too small to be big potatoes on the global scene that Saab needs to compete in.
      • 5 Years Ago
      But you can not save jobs by a bailout. Who will buy the cars? The only force that can save Saab jobs is the buying public, but the buying public is not interested. They have already spoken. The lack of customers is the reason why they went belly up. How can a government bailout produce customers, unless the government plans on buying all the cars produced?

      For people who complain that certain things are not "sustainable" . . . nothing is more unsustainable than a company that produces goods people don't want.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Presumably, Sweden will give tax rebates for buyers of Saab cars?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, when you get right down to it, that was supposed to be the point of C4C, wasn't it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        What does that do? It just functions as charity. Why not just give the cars away then? Then they can "sell" billions of cars and save even more jobs.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        And cash for clunkers worked brilliantly for Honda and Toyota LOL
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh I hope so.

      I've never owned or driven, but I do love them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One of my first accidents (not my fault, not driving) was in a 9000CS.
      I have loved them ever since.

      SAAB has real problems.
      They are selling pretty nicely loaded 9-3's in Detroit new for just under $20,000 and they are still not selling.
      That is not good.

      If they drop them down to $15,000 I will definitely go pick one up.
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