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2010 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

In what would arguably be the first optimistic news for Saab faithful out of General Motors in some time, Reuters is reporting that GM has extended its December 31 bidding deadline for the 60 year-old Swedish marque – a move that will actually trigger the restart of some of the company's production lines next month.

Reuters indicates Spyker Cars' chief executive Victor Muller (head of the company believed to be in the lead position in the bidding war) has let slip that GM has extended the deadline until January 7, and Muller reportedly believes that there are still several parties involved in the bidding process.

Adding credence to Muller's statement is word that Saab spokesman Eric Geers has been quoted as saying that Saab's production lines will fire up on the new 9-5 sedan (above) and the 9-3 convertible: "We have the orders and we have to deliver them as usual. We also have the orders for the 9-3 and others. The factory has to continue again... we are preparing the wind-down process. At the same time we are open to options, to bids that come in. Therefore the deadline has also been dropped."

Looks like industry analysts and Saab loyalists will have to wait until early next year for a conclusion to the sales saga. Will there be cheers and gears in 2010, or jeers and sneers? We're not sure yet, but once the dust settles, we're looking forward to someone chronicling this whole sordid affair in a nice, thick book. Thanks for the tip, Ed!

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they only make a few 9-5s in say just January and then shut down, wouldn't it be a nice collector to have?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is worse than a daytime soap. Dead :( alive! :) Dead :( Alive! :)....

      • 5 Years Ago
      God this is becoming painful.
      Either someone wants the damn company or they don't.
      Make a decision.
        • 5 Years Ago

        What's wrong with Russian financial backers? German government saw nothing wrong with that when it came to Opel.

        Russia != Soviet Union
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah I'm sure its keeping you up at night being the blogster armchair quarterback and all. To say nothing of the people who's livelihoods are at risk or the millions of dollars at stake. They should get this over with now so you can feel better and not have to click through stories on the internet about it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This sort of seems similar to a prisoner on death row receiving a stay of execution just moments before he is to be lead into the death chamber.
      • 5 Years Ago
      why GM won't sell Saab is beyond me. If this article is correct in stating that there is a "bidding war" for Saab, what the heck is GM doing?

      If Ford could clear the roadblocks to selling Volvo, so can GM. Unless, the "new" GM is really still the old GM.

      I don't think U.S. taxpayers will be happy when they learn that GM is closing Saab without getting a cent back (by not selling). After all, unlike Saturn, Saab has bidders that are begging GM to sell.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "The factory has to continue again... we are preparing the wind-down process."

      What? Talk about your contradictions. I mean...what in the hell is Saab's spokesman smoking?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Saab is not dead weight.

      Saab is responsible for bringing turbos to the forefront of the automotive industry. That ALONE should be enough to make someone realize that they're a different kind of company than something like Saturn or Pontiac.

      Further, the current 9-3 actually has a lot of things differentiating it from its stablemates from GM and a little more than a rebadged vehicle from another brand. People also forget that the Saab 9-5 was class-leading in many respects when it came out.

      A couple years ago, Saab was also the most reliable European brand sold in the U.S.

      It is a brand that has been starved for too long, but that still has more than just hope. It has actual good products in the pipeline, something you can't say about a company such as Chrysler. They already have the new 9-5, the 9-4X and an almost-done new 9-3 about to come out. Really, all they need to do is have those models and maybe add a new 9-2 (Volvo C30-style vehicle) and they have a complete and refreshing lineup that can compete with anyone. Plus, these are all vehicles with good quality and character, something not a lot of cars have anymore.

      Also, their production facilities can accommodate additional makes' models. So, let's say Merbanco or Spyker get the company... They could contract out production of other brands' models like future European Cadillac models, et cetera. If I were GM (yes, a company), I'd sell Saab to one of the bidders and retain a 10% share of the facilities and brand so that they can have Cadillacs or others built there in the future. That would also help them with dealer networking for Cadillacs in Europe (through Saab dealers) and make them have less of a worry about intellectual property.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Saab simply needs to die. Companies need to stop hanging onto dead weight and let things go so new things and better things can come along.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Would make no sense for Fiat buying Saab. They already have Alfa Romeo. What has been said though is that the Saab factory is so efficient and flexible that it could be used for production of Fiat cars along with Saabs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm getting an ulcer from all this drama. Please just sell the brand and move on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm gonna celebrate this news by getting my 9-3 convertible washed today!
        • 5 Years Ago
        With the top down? :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Naturally the people who bought a new 9-5 expects them to be delivered. I've seen one or two out and about already and they're quite elegant in reality. Let's see if something nice comes out of Marchionnes planned visit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        wait... Fiat is looking at buying Saab? I have not heard this one.

        I like the Spyker idea simply because I think the two companies (Spyker & Saab) have some of the most creative designers and engineers in the auto industry but Fiat's ownership of Saab would certainly seem to offer more long term stability.
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